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Rome: Total War

aka: RTW

Description official descriptions

370 BC. A select group of influential families have united Italy under the Roman banner. It is time for them to turn their eyes outward. You will be leading one of these families of Rome (Julii, Scipii, Brutii) for more than three centuries in an attempt to conquer most of the known world. The Julii are in control of northern Italy and they are very close to the borders of Gaul lands and the remainder of Europe. The Scipii are in control of southern Italy and Sicily. They are facing the Carthaginian people, who are one of the prime powers in the Mediterranean. And the last family, the Brutii hold the eastern part of Italy. They have already set their eyes on Greece and Macedonia, the most advanced civilizations of the ancient era. No matter which you will be choosing, your faction's ambitions will ultimately lead you to open war against the Senate and the other Roman factions.

The game, true to the Total War series, lets you manage your empire and armies in turn-based mode. In the Imperial Campaign you command the movement of your armies and generals on a regional map comprised of Europe, northern Africa and the Middle East, managing cities, hiring spies and mercenaries and using diplomats where your military might can't reach. When the time comes to war, the game takes you to a 3D real-time environment where you control your army directly on the field of battle and you can employ different formations and tactics using the units' individual advantages (killing from a distance with archers, chasing routing enemies or flanking with cavalry etc.). Both modes of play let you make strategical decisions that affect your entire game. Each civilization you conquer will be added as a new playable faction. After finishing the game you will be able to choose from all the playable factions. The game has some pre-arranged historical battles for those who want a quick fight. These are the same 3D real-time battles but with pre-determined forces.

During the Imperial Campaign it's important to increase the number of your family members. They can act as praetors, which means that, depending on your choice, they can either lead armies in battle or function as a governor of a city or town. In both cases they may offer certain bonuses or penalties based on the traits they possess and the retinue they hold. Characters earn new traits and retinue members depending on what actions they perform. For example, a general who has run from the enemy once, may find out that he is lowering the morale of all nearby units under his next command. Another element that is imperative to winning the game is conquering settlements, not only because the victory conditions state how many you must have, but also because they generate income through trading and taxes. All settlements are capitals of a province--they usually start as a village and can be developed up to a huge city, unless they are already populous by the time you discover it. An entire collection of edifices can be built, such as temples, public baths, defensive walls, barracks, archery range, and so on. Every one of them has a purpose, be that increasing the public health and order or allowing the recruiting of a specific military unit. If the public order is beyond tolerable, the population becomes discontented and will eventually riot, which in the worst case scenario may lead to losing the entire province to rebel forces or a powerful neighbour state.


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Credits (Windows version)

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Subject User Date
Merge game groups SharkD (434) 2009-01-22 13:59:53


1001 Video Games

Rome: Total War appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


If you ever wondered whether manual combat brings better results than automatic combat (e.g. better character trait results), then the answer is yes. This is because the game programming requirements at an end battle are usually much better during manual combat than automatic combat. Automatic battles usually inflict minimal enemy casualties which usually is not enough for a character requirement to progress.


When you look in the building description for aqueduct, there's a quote "what have the Romans ever done for us? This is what!" This is a line from the Monty Python comedy movie Life of Brian.


In December 2004 has Rome: Total War won the Gold-Award from the German VUD (Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland - Entertainment Software Association Germany) for selling more then 100,000 (but less then 200,000) units in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.


The Total War engine was used in The History Channels TV program called Decisive Battles to depict ancient battles and on the BBC television program Time Commanders, where contestants reenact historical battles and must work together to find the best battlefield tactics to win.


  • 4Players
    • 2004 – Best PC Strategy Game of the Year
  • Computer Games Magazine
    • March 2005 - #5 Game of the Year
  • GameSpy
    • 2004 – #5 PC Game of the Year
    • 2004 – PC Strategy Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • February 2005 - Best PC Strategy Game in 2004 (Readers' Vote)

Information also contributed by Indra was here, Maw, PCGamer77, uclafalcon and Xoleras

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Related Sites +

  • Europa Barbarorum
    Home of the "Europa Barbarorum" total conversion mod.
  • Hegemonia: City States
    Home of the "Hegemonia: City States" total conversion mod (Hellenic wars topic).
  • Rise of Persia
    Home of a "Rome: Total War" mod covering the rise to power of the Achaemenid Persian Dynasty in ancient Iran.
    Official website for the Total War games

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 15182


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by reeZe Risowisch.

iPad added by Sciere. Android added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: Rebound Boy, Unicorn Lynx, Sciere, Stillman, Silverblade, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Last modified March 12th, 2023.