Total War ROME REMASTERED: Basic Campaign Strategy For All Factions

A brief overview of the general strategy/opening moves to aim towards for all playable factions. While avoiding the step-by-step breakdown of every possible move, it does point out general targets and common issues you are likely to encounter.


Part 1: Julii, Brutii, Scipii, Macedonia, Greek Cities, Egypt


One of the easiest factions to start with. Take the small rebel town to your northwest in your opening turns and siphon off troops from the garrisons of your cities to move north towards Patavium and Mediolanum. You should be able to take both of these cities with little actual struggle – your Hastati are superior to their Warbands and the difference between the quality of your infantry will only grow as the game progresses. After capturing Patavium, start stacking growth buildings on it – this city has a hefty growth modifier and will likely be your first huge city – triggering the Marian Reforms very early on.

That said, despite this very easy and quick path to late game domination, you don’t need to wait that long to destroy Gaul utterly. While you can choose to build up your economy and go for a slower conquest, simply pumping out Hastati in every single city and sending them to the front line against Gaul will crush them entirely in short order. If you are hunting for the “use only auto-resolve” achievement, I managed to beat the short campaign in 15 real-life minutes using this method. Gaul will be stuck on Warbands for an extremely long time and you just beat them at every stage of the game so they will never be a match for you even with a numbers advantage. Ignore any large stacks in the field if your own armies are large enough, just destroy their cities and let them waste all their time sieging one tiny town back. Don’t forget the settlement in Spain and you’re all done for the short campaign.

Your next options for expanding into a long campaign is to crush the barbarian neighbours for easy extensions to your territory, not much more trouble than Gaul except for Brittania’s chariots which are strong in auto-resolve. Swing down into Greece or Carthage to limit your fellow Roman’s expansion and prepare for your showdown with the senate and the other families once your popularity gets high enough.

Start: Very Easy
Overall: Very Easy


Slightly harder than the Julii only due to the fact that Hoplites are more dangerous than Warbands. This is made up for by the fact that Greece is far richer than anything in Gaul and you will find yourself raking in the cash after building the suitable trade and port buildings (make sure to swing by Rhodes to grab the wonder). Opening move is to immediately jump across the sea to the east, grab the rebel settlement and jump straight at the throat of the Greek cities. Macedon may either attack you or try to ally you, accept the alliance and just betray them later after Greece is destroyed or exiled to the east.

Hastati and Principes are still the go-to here, just don’t march them straight into a phalanx and you will be fine. If you are attacking a wooden-walled settlement, just knock multiple holes with your ram until you have a breach without a bunch of Hoplites on the other end – then flank and crush them with the better stats on your infantry. Once you have Greece established, finish off Macedonia and expand in whatever direction you want – the only factions that are likely to pose even a sliver of challenge is Egypt or a Seleucid Empire that managed to survive them in the early game.

Start: Medium
Overall: Easy


A largely identical roster to the other Roman families with little variance in tactics. Immediately attack the Greeks on the island to your south and follow up with attacking Lilybaeum on the western edge. From here, you can either cross the sea to take Carthage immediately or take a small detour to pick up the various islands dotted around the map – Caralis and Palma to your West, Khydonia just off the coast of Greece and of course Rhodes with that all-important wonder of theirs. If the Brutii are doing well, you might want to steal Corinth away from them to take the Statue of Zeus wonder for yourself, which will help when you run into issues with public order across your empire – which tends to be less concentrated than the other two families at the start.

Finish off Carthage, dominate the seas, kill Numidia on either side of Carthage’s remnants and pick up any rebel settlements that haven’t been collected. You may end up in possession of Carthage’s one-time foothold on Spain and use that as a staging point to attack those barbarians, or you can skip straight to the showdown with Egypt which will be the only challenge to be found until the civil war happens against the other families. The only remotely challenging thing about this run is the early fight against Elephants when you first fight Carthage and the likelihood of a showdown with the rich Egypt happening before you are fully ready. Still, not at all difficult – especially once the Marian reforms arrive.

Start: Easy
Overall: Easy

Macedon / The Greek Cities: Putting these together because they are very similar. Keep. The. Romans. Away. You don’t want them to get a decent foothold as they are extremely tenacious when given the opportunity to start building troops out of a proper city, so take the rebel settlements that they want to take or declare on them to kick them out of the country – with luck, they will sit and cry in Italy until you are ready to cross the sea and take their cities for yourself – and if not, you are the master of all defensive sieges. Abuse the power of chokepoint phalanxes in defensive sieges to turn unwinnable battles into bloodbaths – any small garrison is essentially invincible if played correctly.

Take the rebel settlements around you first, then attack your neighbour in the Greeks/Macedonians – the fighting style is very similar so you are best off just sieging their cities and ignoring whatever their army does unless they come to you – ideally, they send their big stack to lay siege to a city where you have Phalanxes and you block all the breaches in the wall or all of the roads to the town square with overlapping Phalanxes in a V or U shape and utterly annihilate them.

From here, you can either kill the Romans straight away with your excellent economy and Hoplite abuse, go and mop up the money-starved Barbarians to the north for some easy territory or venture into Pontus and the remnants of the Seleucids – you are unlikely to encounter much trouble any direction that you go as long as you have enough Hoplites. Elephants and Chariots are both fairly poor at handling spears, so your biggest enemy is likely to be a powerful Julii faction if they crush the barbarians quickly enough. Nothing you can’t handle from your foothold in Italy though.

Start: Medium
Overall: Easy


You outmatch your neighbours both early and lategame, but there isn’t any sense in letting the Seleucid’s get to a comfortable and powerful army when you pretty much start the game with your boot on their throat. Move north to take Antioch as soon as you can, then pick up any other settlements you can find nearby that their other enemies haven’t snatched up already. Proceed to grab the distant rebel settlements surrounding you, then pick an enemy at random and smash them. I tend to pick Parthia and anyone else on my Eastern side – just to close down a possible avenue of attack. Looking west, Numidia is dirt-poor and easy to roll over – Carthage tends to be weakened by the Scipii and tends to be unprepared for you just walking up to them and declaring war. Pontus and Armenia can’t match your economy or lategame.

The only opposition you are likely to find is in the Roman families who have typically grown fat from your lack of interference – however, thanks to your starting position you can actually pretty much win the long campaign just by taking Africa, the various islands, Pontus and moving up north through Scythia and Germania – not necessarily coming into conflict at all until you attack Rome with a surprise Onager-led army from the sea. That isn’t to say that you need to avoid them as your army is equally strong – but you don’t have to if you don’t want to.

Start: Very Easy
Overall: Very Easy.

Part 2: Carthage, Parthia, Pontus, Gaul, Germania


A relatively easy start, despite an early clash with the Scipii. Start by shipping across troops to Lilybaeum from Carthage, and move against the Romans whenever you are ready – or better yet, whenever they take their stack to attack the Greeks and leave the city relatively undefended. Let them fight amongst themselves and then jump in to finish the winner (probably the Romans).

Once you have the entire island to yourself, you can either swoop in to finish the Scipii and their last city and then take the neighbouring Brutii land for a strong economic position and a great staging point towards Greece and Rome itself, or you can take the sedate route of massacring Numidia and Spain to the west – this will eventually put you into conflict with the Julii, but you were probably going to fight them at some point anyway. The AI terribly struggles at handling attacks on multiple fronts, so if you feel that the Julii stacks in Spain are getting to be too much just land a stack or two onto Arminium and the neighbouring cities which have been left tragically undefended.

Try not to creep towards Egypt if you can help it until after you have smashed the Romans back to somewhere they can’t pose a threat to you anymore – they are likely to be your biggest threat if you end up in a war with them. You don’t particularly need to fight them as you can supplant Rome easily enough from your starting position and just expand outwards from there much like a Roman family would – cruising to an relatively simple victory after vanquishing your arch-enemy.

Start: Easy
Overall: Normal


You are poor as dirt at the start, your infantry is hot-garbage and you will be entirely reliant on your powerful cavalry all game – including the early game which places you against plenty of Phalanxes. You want to be pumping out missile cavalry as your only offensive unit until you get better stables, don’t bother with Eastern infantry for anything other than bumping public order as a garrison – and even then archers would be a better choice in most cases. The tier of horse archers above the first gives you a decent melee combatant as well, but you are going to be spending most matches circling around phalanxes trying to shoot them in the back to avoid the defensive missile bonus they get from their shields.

Fortunately, your initial targets are relatively easy pickings. The Seleucid Empire is about to implode and is likely to be annihilated from all sides, letting you pick up a stray city or two with little resistance, Armenia only has two or so cities to its name and will usually send its only major army out into the field – easily avoided on the campaign map by your cavalry army, letting you grab mercs and take all their cities without a single fair battle. Scythia would be troublesome if their horse archers were capable of avoiding other fast cavalry – the AI isn’t that good and you should have little trouble in ordering your own missile cavalry into a giant melee blob to annihilate theirs piece-by-piece. Make sure you take the fight away from their non-horse-archers as they can inflict some serious casualties to a massed blob.

You start with Cataphracts and extremely powerful general units that demolish melee with a huge charge bonus, abuse them but be aware that you will struggle to replace any that are lost until you capture a decently sized city. Depending on how fed up you are with advanced phalanxes, you can either go and murder the melee-centric barbarians on the north side of the map (Germania still has a type of phalanx, no getting away from it entirely!) or just bite the bullet and sweep Egypt, Pontus and later the Greeks aside and claim their rich lands for yourself.

It isn’t an easy start and you must be at least moderately capable of using and abusing cavalry to even stand a chance, but once the money starts flowing and the larger stacks of Cavalry get riding, you become very strong – even though it takes a long time to get to an opponent that you can really flex that powerful cavalry against thanks to the absurd number of phalanxes between you and Rome.

Start: Hard
Overall: Hard


Start with building roads everywhere, you will need the mobility if an unexpected war breaks out. You get phalanxes, so get ready to abuse them where appropriate. Armenia is to your east, with typically undefended cities but also several turns away. Consider attacking the Seleucids first instead, claiming their rich cities closest to you as a bulwark against Egypt. Take Pergamum to the west whenever you have enough troops in the area, the Greeks are unlikely to ever fight you back for it as they will be busy with Rome and Macedon for a while. Take Rhodes later if you have time.

Once the Seleucids are in ruins, backstab Armenia before they can put their armies into position – their armies are large for their size, so its best to locate wherever their big stack is and just take their main cities while it is busy. You massacre them with phalanxes in defensive battles, so don’t worry too much if it comes to a fight – but finish them off to secure that front. Scythia rarely comes down from the north, so finishing Armenia off alongside Parthia will let you devote yourself to the battle with Egypt.

There isn’t much getting around it – Egypt is strong, rich and is eager to kill you most of the time. This is likely the hardest scrap that you will get into through this campaign as it comes before you have a fully established economy and high-tier army. They have a lot of stacks to deal with, so settle in for some defensive sieges with phalanxes and build up a fleet to go around the endless stream of armies and take their core cities around Alexandria. If you spot a gap in the frontline, don’t be too afraid to push onwards – they may have sent armies to attack Numidia, a rebel settlement or Carthage. Once you take a few cities, their war machine will grind to a halt and you will be the undisputed ruler of the East. Advance westwards towards Greece and Rome, knowing that your flanks are secure and your economy is without equal.

Start: Medium
Overall: Medium


Combining these as they have the same aims. You have three early game goals: Kick the brits off of the continent by taking Samorbriva (and anything else that they take after that), sweeping up the many rebel settlements dotting the landscape for your own use and stopping the Julii advance in its tracks. The first is the easiest. Don’t autoresolve against chariots, let them fight your spears and get slaughtered for it. Without the chariots, Brittania is a pushover.

The Julii will be keen to expand to the relatively undefended rebel settlements – beat them to it or just declare war on them to take it back, you want to stop them from employing their powerful economy to churn out units as everything that they have is better than what you have. If they only have their starter cities? Three units a turn at max? Your war machine will drown them soon enough. Five, six, seven can get a lot more painful and they have the economy to support it.

If you are Germania, consider whether its better to lend a hand to Gaul’s defence or to backstab them early to safeguard their cities from the Julii. If the Julii get settled, you’re in for a brutal slog of a fight against a superior opponent – and your barbarian neighbours will happily backstab you while you fight it. Beat the Julii down through raw numbers, take their cities – don’t stray too close to the southern part of their territory as SPQR will happily come out and attack you if you are within range of their main army.

With the Julii gone, you can either eliminate Gaul/Dacia/Spain/Gemania/Brittania on your flanks, or continue down into Rome itself for the main prize. Take Greece afterwards for their rich cities and the statue of Zeus and you are all set. This would be “hard” without the opportunity to strangle Julii in the crib.

Start: Medium
Overall: Medium

Part 3: Britannia, Armenia, Dacia


A very easy start against Gaul and Germania by abusing your chariots in autoresolve and blitzing their cities in the early game – but be very careful about your chariot generals on the battle map, they can absolutely evaporate at a moments notice. Chariots do tend to massacre enemy cavalry, but for the most part the regular barbarian tricks of drowning them in spearmen will work just fine.

Unfortunately, you can’t help but come into conflict with the Julii in the mid-game so you may have a tough fight ahead despite an explosive start against Gaul and later Germania. Make sure to move your capital as you expand, having it in the far corner will only hurt you in the long run. Grab the rebel settlement on Ireland when you have some troops to spare, but don’t let it slow down your assault on Gaul – the faster you take their territory, the less Julii will have to work with against you. If Julii or Germania don’t take the land to the north of Patavium/Mediolanum, take it yourself to box them in.

If you find yourself at peace after killing Gaul or Germania, muster all of your troops and crush the heartland of the Julii as soon as you can. If you don’t think you are strong enough or the Julii are too large already, expand through Germania and Dacia to start carving up Greece from the north. Consider a naval landing with a strong fleet carrying troops around the edge of Spain straight to their capital – a highly effective strategy that I recommend for anyone attacking Roman factions.

Strength in autoresolve and weak opposition early makes for an incredible start, but fighting a Roman faction that also feasts on the remains of the enemies you just beat up makes an otherwise easy run into something with a bit of opposition. Once you mow them over, it’ll be a quick cruise towards 50 settlements against your barbarian neighbours and Greece.

Start: Easy
Overall: Medium


You start off in a poor, but safe area of the map. Nobody around that is likely to jump you, leaving you free to assault any of your neighbours in relative peace. Scythia and Parthia to the North and East are easy targets but have equally terrible and poor land, meaning that for best results you need to head down to cut yourself a slice of the Seleucids or attack Pontus to the west. Taking on the Seleucids will generally mean an earlier conflict with Egypt, so I would advise attacking Pontus instead and advancing towards Pergamum before looping back around.

Taking some of the pressure away from the Seleucids empire might help them stand up to Egypt a bit more, potentially even threatening you – but you have one of the best unit rosters in the game and now have some richer land with the economy to utilise it: Cataphracts and Cataphract archers are stupidly good when you reach them, but you also have a Phalanx unit and heavy infantry to fill both offensive and defensive roles. In general, massing horse archers is your best “stack” for defeating an equal opposition out in the field but you have great roster flexibility and should feel free to abuse it however you wish.

A relatively safe start followed by the pivotal battle with Egypt, the only real threat in the early game is being suddenly backstabbed while your army is abroad or a surprise Seleucid-Egypt alliance turning on you unexpectedly. Scout well, put up Watchtowers when you can afford it – once you conquer some wealthier and larger cities your unit roster will carry you to victory after you beat Egypt.

Start: Easy
Overall: Medium


A fairly typical, uninspiring roster and a tough economic situation is partially salvaged by weak neighbours and proximity to the rich cities of Greece and Macedonia. Expand quickly, your economy woes can’t be fixed without conquest thanks to your landlocked position. Take nearby rebel settlements and set your eyes on Thrace for your first conquest – watch our for Macedon allying them unexpectedly, but don’t worry about it too much as you’ll be gunning for them soon enough as well. With Thrace down, get to building ports, farms and roads to unite your cities and start earning a bit of cash.

Germania will often backstab you if you are unprepared, so keep an eye on incoming armies through a spy or watchtower – but otherwise get ready to attack Macedonia. The plague in macedonia is a common event around this part of the game, so try not to have any important generals inside the main macedonian cities when you capture them in case you get unlucky.

To the North-East, Scythia rarely has the economy to field a truly dangerous stack, but you don’t have many good tools for dealing with horse archers save for archers of your own. Take advantage of any peace to sneak up on their cities and capture them – Scythia is abysmal at offensive sieges under the AI so it should be trivial to hold with a decent garrison even without “proper” spearmen or any phalanxes. When you have money, a single general can often find enough mercs to take Scythian cities alone without taking away from your garrisons – leaving you free to focus on Greece.

Expand to the north-eastern corner only so that you have no more enemies that can attack you from that direction. Now you are free to focus your enemies on the likely incursion from Brittania as they smash Germania or from the Julii as they touch your borders. Alliances can be possible, but don’t trust the AI to keep it for long – especially because the Brutii will declare on you if they manage to land in Greece properly and the Julii will be forced to join them in that war. You can expand East into Pontus, Seleucids and Armenia while you gather strength and economy if you are at peace with Brittania/Julii and dont fancy your chances in a fight – just make sure that you don’t end up in a three-way brawl between Egypt, Brittania and the Julii all at once. You have no phalanxes as a crutch to lean on defensively and no horse archers to abuse the AI with, so choose your wars carefully and make sure to concentrate your forces on closing off one frontier at a time.

I’ve already mentioned it, but your roster absolutely sucks overall. Great in melee, but not as great as the Romans once the Marian reforms hit. Try and stop them before they get out of hand, but that can be a tough ask if you spend too long tied up fighting in Greece trying to salvage your economy.

Start: Medium
Overall: Hard

Part 4: Numidia, Spain


In my personal opinion, the hardest faction without doubt. While Carthage is little threat at the start and easily falls victim to you – that does nothing to change the fact that your part of the map is literally worthless and geographically estranged. Your roster is among the worst in the game, with no phalanxes, chariots, elephants or horse archers apart from javelin-horsemen that don’t have enough ammo to be abused. The only redeeming feature is that you are capable of getting Numidian legionnaires in the late game, which aren’t at all equal to what Rome can field but can at least stand up to the Egyptians and Greeks – especially in autoresolve.

You start out with a city close to Egypt that will likely draw you into a war with them that you will be lucky to ever peace out of, the Scipii will invade and be a nuisance if you are too slow in killing Carthage and expanding up into Spain will pull you into a long fight with the Julii that you don’t have the economy or the roster to win. Your natural expansion paths will send your cities into a public order crisis thanks to distance from the capital, combining with squalor – on top of several notable cities having an inbuilt unrest modifier just to screw with you even more. Your starting position sucks.

Which is why my top tip is to leave. Attack Carthage, as usual – take their major settlements. Then ditch your starting cities on the western and southern edge of the map the moment it looks like it will rebel. Don’t invest in it, don’t try to save it by filling it to the max with garrisons. It’s a money sink, it isn’t worth it. You need to kill Rome. You are one of the worst factions in the game and I promise you that if you let them live to thrive in the Marian reforms you will regret it – they will grind you down with a better economy, you have absolutely no answer to Praetorian Cohort spam aside from abusing the AI in sallies and drowning them in sheer attrition.

That’s why all the Romans need to die. Now. The Scipii are easy to kill, hop out from Carthage to Lilybaeum and take over the entire island. The Scipii will probably be down to one city, move across and take it. Even if you lose your starting cities to rebels – just take it. You are changing your starting position. You. Must. Destroy. Rome. You are everything Carthage thinks that it is. The Brutii are next, kick them off of Italy and then chase them into Greece. Kill them. Don’t stop until you get the faction destroyed notification. Start pumping legionnaires out of these cities when your economy and city size can handle it, they take two turns but they will stand up to Greek Armoured Hoplite spam if they attack you as long as you don’t walk in from the front.

You aren’t done. Kill the SPQR. Kill the Julii. The Julii are the worst of all of them, having the easiest time to grow while you were busy. If you were to meet them through Spain, you would be in for a world of suffering – but they are pretty bad at defending attacks from the south of Italy so crush them entirely from behind. Only when they are all dead will you be safe from an absolute nightmare of a campaign.

At this point, you can conquer Greece and take the Statue of Zeus – the public order benefit of which will allow you to effectively hold the edges of your rebellious territory assuming you moved your capital somewhere reasonable – Lilybaeum, Rome, Carthage depending on the shape of your empire right now. The only real threat left is Egypt, but apart from fighting for your african provinces they won’t bother you if you want to eke out the long victory off of the barbarians to the north. If you do want to fight them, with Rome and Greece under your control – you can print out legionnaires all day and drown them under the tide, the complete opposite of what happens if you were to try to expand that way without crossing the sea into Italy or Greece.

I will say that while this strat isn’t a complete walk in the park, trying to play the faction normally is a brutal endeavour – so while ditching your homeland and setting up shop in richer pastures isn’t the most radical of cheeses, the simple fact that it is necessary or even recommended places the difficulty of this as “hard”. Without the superior economy of Italy or Greece, you just find yourself boxed in by better rosters/factions and grinded down to dust under the attrition.

Start: Hard
Overall: Very hard.


For a semi-barbarian faction, Spain’s roster is somewhat decent. Both Bull Warriors and Scutarii are decent to spam out and will stand on relatively even ground to the Romans in the early-mid game. You aren’t the richest faction in the game, but your position is a fairly nice one to start out with – Carthage has Corduba that is easily taken to the south, while Gaul is practically begging you to take Numantia in the north. You can take the islands off to the East if you want, but it would be best to quickly move against Gaul while you can – if only to mitigate the armount that the Julii can take from them. Snatching up rebel settlements like Massila is a big win if you can reach it in time, but just make sure that you box in the Julii from all angles and prevent them from expanding too much before you have the army to take them on.

Eat up the remainder of Gaul’s territory, if Julii doesn’t attack you then consider kicking off Brittania from the continent if they aren’t already out of control. War with the Julii is inevitable though, so muster up your Scutarii and Bull Warriors and take the fight to them before they tech up too much – the Marian Reforms spells trouble for you if you don’t already have the edge. Fortunately, your flanks are fairly safe – Carthage rarely bothers you if they survive, and Numidia to the South is extremely passive and poor.

There isn’t much in the way of strategy beyond this point. Bludgeon the Julii to death and take the rest of Italy with them. Move your capital somewhere more central and start laying the smack down on the other barbarians in your area. Conquer Numidia and Carthage when you have some men to spare, but don’t waste too much effort on the desert provinces as only Carthage and the neighbouring Thapsus are likely to return anything other than their contribution of progress towards the 50 settlement mark.

Start: Easy
Overall: Medium

Part 5: Thrace, The Seleucid Empire


Thrace starts with an almost immediate economic crisis – building even a single additional unit sets your balance on a downwards slant, but fortunately this is easily fixed. Build ports and roads in all your settlements, march your troops down to Byzantium to the southwest (and build a port in it) and then march your troops back up north and declare war on Scythia for their nearest city. You are capable of building phalanx units which is all you really need to smash your neighbours. Scythia can’t handle phalanxes well at all thanks to their cavalry and missile spam, so just march right in and continue conquering the rest of their settlements as they come. Try and take the rebel settlement to the north-west of the first Scythian one – Germania often takes it, but if you can handle the force inside then just declare on them for it.

Dacia will probably declare on you along with Scythia, Germania and sometimes Macedonia – who seems to think that they can bully you into giving tribute.

Screw that. You have phalanxes. The AI horrendously underestimates their power and will march their troops straight into chokepoints and breaches in walls to predictably disgusting results. Pump out enough Militia Hoplites behind wooden walls and you can hold off entire stacks of barbarians while prepping for the real fight: Macedonia. The best tip here is to attack them before they attack you. If you can lay siege to Thessalonica and take it before they respond, they are completely done, stuck in towns that haven’t turned into cities yet, let alone had any upgraded structures built. You can field better phalanxes right away and you completely smash them when their stack lays siege to you. The Brutii come? Defensive siege and phalanxes in the chokepoints. Easy. Dacians? Easy. Germanians? Easy. Ironically, the Scythians can be the most difficult purely because if they don’t bring any infantry then they will wait out the full siege timer and starve you out because they can’t attack walls without infantry to man the siege equipment – which forces you to sally out to their horse archers. Bring missile cavalry and force-melee your entire cavalry force into them one by one in these cases – the AI can’t handle it and will rout in most difficulties. But most of the time, they bring one unit of archers to hold the ram – knock one hole in the wall and barrel 400 horses into a pike-filled corridor. Easy.

That’s it. It’s that simple. Your economy is easily fixed after your ports and roads are up and a little bit of conquest is done. Build farms as usual and then barracks to support the numbers of phalanx units you need to conquer Greece. Once Greece is gone and your economy is raring to go, smash enemies in whatever direction you like – ideally finishing off Scythia and perhaps Parthia to secure the eastern flank before pushing towards the barbarians in the west or just pushing out towards Rome to continue your likely conflict with the Brutii. Your roster shouldn’t hold you back – a lot of people list this as one of the harder factions, but it genuinely isn’t that bad after only a few turns of play.

Start: Medium
Overall: Medium

The Seleucid Empire:

I will preface this by saying two things: First, if you want to hunt down the “do not auto-resolve any battles” achievement, do it here (I don’t know if fleet battles count, but disband that one boat at sea just in case). Secondly, I’m going to call this campaign “hard” even though every battle is incredibly easy. You just can’t leave anything to the auto-resolve.

The most important thing to note about the Seleucids is that everyone hates you. In the opening turns, you are likely to be at war with at least three of your neighbours – and even once you overcome them and reach past Pontus, your first interaction with Greece will likely be them stabbing you. The Brutii will probably do the same. Diplomacy simply will not work 99% of the time. Even if you think you have an alliance, they will betray you. If you ever find yourself asking why the Seleucids always seem to die first – this is why.

But there are upsides to this start. You are pretty decently rich, Antioch and Tarsus are great cities. You can sustain a solid army, have a few nearby rebel settlements to sneak away, have a powerful late game roster and, most importantly, you can build phalanx units. Your opening move for all of your cities is to build the initial barracks required to train Militia Hoplites and start pumping them out immediately. If you already have the barracks needed, get roads, farms and port upgrades instead.

Knowing that you are very likely to be attacked by all of your neighbours at once, you must be familiar with the process of forming a U or at worst V shape with your Hoplites to block off any breaches in wooden walls by battering rams – if you start any battles with multiple holes in the walls then form a chokepoint along a road instead. Do not fight fair! Enemy cavalry, axemen and generals will easily rout Militia Hoplites if they get past the pikes. Right click and drag to overlay multiple phalanx units on top of each other, and make sure that all angles are covered so that enemies don’t blob around to a units flanks without being attacked by another Hoplite unit.

Once you get the hang of this, you will find that defensive sieges are a never-ending string of heroic victories – but you will also have trouble actually advancing against Egypt as you can’t match their stacks in the open field.

That’s fine. If you can’t advance against Egypt, then take a stack of Hoplites and crush your smaller enemies one by one. Parthia is an easy target with a settlement just hidden in the fog of war to the east, then another one in the mountains to the north. The only trouble you are likely to have is with their Cataphracts that they begin the game with – but despite their armour, hitpoints and incredible charge bonus, they still fall to a phalanx eventually. Taking Parthia’s two closest settlements will exile them to the north-east corner, where they will never bother you again and will happily sign whatever peace you offer them.

To the north of Hatra is Armenia. They will pretty much constantly assault Hatra with a large force, but the reality is that this force is all that they have and they only have two cities to their name – swinging your stack around and deleting them as a faction is trivial once Parthia is destroyed. The Scythians to the north won’t bother you, which leaves your north and eastern flanks very safe. If Pontus declared war on you, they are next on the chopping block. None of the rosters of your neighbours are particularly concerning to you except for Egypt, so just smack their cities one by one until your western flank is secure. Greece will probably declare war on you at this point, even if they don’t have a city there anymore they will often just blockade you for the hell of it. Annoying, but they don’t back it up with force most of the time so grab any remaining settlements in the area and return your attention to Egypt.

At this point, you should be pumping out better phalanx units from Antioch and other cities – units that have a much better chance of handling Egypt in a fair fight.Take the fight to them after winning another decisive defensive siege battle that you have probably fought in Antioch for dozens of times by now. Egypt puts up a strong front, but will swiftly run into trouble replacing units fast enough once you start to take their cities as they don’t have many to work with in the first place despite their great economy. Take a city, fight a defensive battle with your phalanxes and then charge onto the next before they can recover. Soon enough, your arch enemy is dead and you can take on the rest of the world with one of the strongest and well-rounded rosters in the game.

Never auto-resolve anything involving phalanxes. You will lose. Especially against chariots.

Start: Very hard.
Overall: Hard.

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Post Author: Robins Chew

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