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Advice on Playing as Rome

Discussion in 'Strategy Section' started by Jiggly, Sep 10, 2020.

  1. Jiggly

    Jiggly Warlord

    Jun 19, 2018
    Would like any advice for playing with Rome. Also playing with 3rd and 4th Unique components so they have the plantation buff and the ballistas on top of the normal stuff.

    Progress vs Authority?
    Teching to Iron first or Plantations?
    Properly using Ballistas and Pilum buff

    Anything other advice would also be welcome\

  2. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Emperor

    Dec 26, 2017
    I haven't played Rome with 3rd and 4th Unique components so I can't speak about that.

    I prefer to rush Iron Working, only stopping for Pottery for Settlers, and go hyper aggressive early on. God of All Creation is very good for this strategy, it gives you a strong Capital to build Legions from and science to reach Iron Working quickly. Authority would be how I'd open. I might go with a Spear rush first, obtain Statue of Zeus if possible, and then add Catapults (or Ballista) and Legions. Then Masonry for a potential Terracotta Army and Colosseums is a solid choice.

    I suppose Progress could also work, in which case you'd probably want to go for Colosseum first (can't speak for the plantation improvement).

    The best use I've found for Pilum is that you can fortify units outside of a tough city and kill the garrison inside (it stacks with multiple units).
  3. zeofig

    zeofig Warlord

    Jul 6, 2016
    I tried some progress (masonry first) on immortal. Didn't work that great, as by the time you get legions they're not really strong enough to roll over your neighbour.

    I had more success like the above post. God of All Creation is definitely a good choice. Then you just skip religion and conquer someone. God of War can also be good if you have plenty of barbs/CS to kill early with spearmen.
  4. DaniSciB

    DaniSciB Chieftain

    Apr 20, 2020
    I will post my usual strategy playing Rome:

    Rome has a massive Production and very powerful Culture early on thanks to the Colloseums, they also benefit from waiting until your UB are Online in all your cities AND you can produce powerful Legions.

    Early on, I play Rome focused on Religion and infrastructure to get Orders in my Capital and Hero Worship ASAP.

    This is an extra 15XP for your Legions so they will start with Drill 2 + Cover 2 and Morale. Incredibly powerful and the Timing is perfect since you will have your UB Online, your Key Wonders, your religion and your UU ready to war all of them benefit you from doing so.

    You can do Exactly the same strategy going Progress or Authority. The amount of Production and Culture you get is enough to let you do whatever you want early on.

    So your choose should be based on the map. 2 neighbours, barbs and CS? Authority is safe bet. Only 1 neighbour and not many barbs? Progress will carry you.

    As Rome you don't want to rush. You want to create a very strong Army. You have to think that you will be facing walled cities and a powerful defense. So, you don't need to rush, you have the edge anyways.

    Legions are strong enough to laugh at all ranged attacks, meanwhile, your compos and Medics will destroy melee units and forcing them to retreat thanks to pilum, then ballistas are good to destroy the city walls.

    Medics are Incredibly important with Rome. They are generally speaking... But the Legions are so tanky that the extra 5HP per turn is the equivalent of making them nearly immortals.

    Main points:

    Get 5-6 cities ASAP. Get Bronze Working. Try to get Statue of Zeus. Beeline Masonry. Get Terracota Army. TOP PRIORITY COLLOSEUMS (+3 Culture + 3 Production + 2 Production from Barracks per city is Ridiculous at this point.). Get your Religion (Order and Hero Worship should be your objetive). Unlock Legions. Build a Serious Army. Profit.
    dasaard200 and CrazyG like this.
  5. doublex55

    doublex55 Prince

    Jul 3, 2016
    Interested in trying this strat. Only problem is that i have plantation starting luxuries on jungle. Would u skip improving the luxuries until classical era? if we are going to get the luxuries online early do we do it asap or after spearmen. And do we need to go progress if we are improving them to have a enough science? its a really nice authority map, 2 close neighbors and 4 city states, with 2 other far neighbors.
  6. LifeOfBrian

    LifeOfBrian King

    Aug 21, 2019
    When playing Rome, I skip religion (I take God of all creation), go for Minning (Pyramids), then rush Iron working. So I have two cities that are churning out Legions and a few Catapults, then I go very quickly on the offensive against one of my neighbours. I'm in no rush to settle cities because taking cities from AIs and CS as Rome is awesome as you get to keep all the buildings. In fact in one of my recent games I went Tradition, had just two cities, used this strategy to take two cities from Sweden, then used the generated great generals to push my territory towards the Songhai capital (which was very close to my capital), then took that out and with it Songhai's religion. I managed to do this with manually weakining Pillum to just 1hp damage per turn because I think 10hp pillum Legions are utterly broken.
  7. Paramecium

    Paramecium Prince

    Jul 14, 2016
    Let's have a look at Rome's uniques part by part by part. I will have a look at both the vanilla Vox Populi abilities and the ones from the 3rd and 4th Uniques.

    Leader Ability: The Glory of Rome

    Gain additional land around a city if you conquer it, it keeps all its buildings. +15% production towards buildings already built in Rome (Capital).

    That first part is what sets Rome apart from other warmongers. You have warmonger like Sweden and Zulu which are just better at fighting than other civs.
    You have warmonger as Assyria and France who gain big yields from conquering cities, regardless if they keep the city, annex or puppet it.
    Rome on the other hand gets city which dont are in ruins and just lose population, but those cities are very worth directly annexing them, because they will pay for the increased tech and policy cost way faster than any other civ could hope for.
    The best part of that ability is, that you can capture unique buildings of other civilizations, so your potential new cities might even get better than your own cities in the long run.
    But that is quite luck dependent. If your neighbours start with early unique buildings, you might snowball harder from there, if they are late bloomer, you might miss some good stuff, but you shouldnt restrain yourself from conquest your neighbours, especially with your early power spike window.

    The second part of the ability is a nice to have, but doesnt set Rome really apart from others. It is a bit like the progress Expertise, something for the late game. It will most likely help your own founded cities mostly, because your conquered ones will have most of the buildings anyways. But it is still helpfull if you are ahead to let new cities catch up.

    Unique Unit: Legion

    One of the most iconic unique units which is out there and one of the most powerfull im comparison to other units in its time frame.
    Legions are swordmen replacements and so come with Iron working. It is again all about luck dependent again for Rome. They need iron. And if you dont like playing with stratgic balance like me, you can end up like me rerolling/restarting like a third of your Rome Runs because there is so few to none iron at all on your continent or the only deposit is on the other end of the continent.
    If that is happen, you losing quite obviously your key stone to be a warmonger. Legions are stronger (18 CS vs 17 CS) than normal swordmen and start with Cover 2. If you chose the Drill promotion line you have one of the most tanky units which cant even be hurt by walled cities.
    But the most powerfull part of the Legions is the Pillum promotion, which allows to make damage even if all your legions are fortified. So your Legions create a frontline which is tanky as hell and punishs every unit in front of it, giving excellent cover to the backline which can consist of archers, composites, catapults or ballistas.
    Last but not least, you can use your Legions to quickly set up roads, if you prepare for a war or to very quickly connect your new acquisition to your realm. Building forts might not be that common, because at that point of the game, you won't have that much land around your cities and mostly want to set other things on those tiles.

    As good and fun those legions are, their descendants are not that impressive. They lose all the unique promotions and end up to be just a little bit better longswordmen with a free cover 2 promotion, which is in fact just one bonus promition. If you compare it to other unique units and their passed on promitions, it is really a bit little.
    And not just that, after the legion window, Rome is not better in waging war as any other civ. The same might be for civs like the Aztec, but their Jaguars pass on better promotions and are not limited in the quantitiy to your available iron, just your unit cap.

    Unique Unit 3rd 4th unique modmod: Ballistas

    A catapult replacement coming at the same time as the other UU, which is quite rare that both UU fall at the same era and even same tech. What that means, rushing Iron working is even more important, because it amplifies Rome's early power spike.
    The ballistas are stronger than normal catapults, don't have the mali vs land units and dont have the vision malus. So Ballistas are stronger catapults and good in dealing with units, which gives Rome the possibility to skip composites or even archers for quite a while.
    But both those "non promotions" get lost on upgrade, only the one really unique promotion stays, to have +1 movement near a Great General. But if you look closer at it, it is like the leader ability of Sweden, just with a condition. At some point you will probably have always one to two GG supporting your army, but if you move your troops around, it will get trickier to have one nearby.

    Unique Building: Colosseum

    Now let's have a look at the part which is in my opinion the strongest in Rome's kit, the unique arena replacement. Coming with masonary, just right next to iron working, it is the key building for Rome's long term success.
    The yields on the paper are very strong to, +3 culture instead of just +1 culture at that moment in the game. But that is not the part which takes the colosseum apart.
    It is the Golden Age Points per kill per every colosseum you have in your empire. What thats mean, the bigger your empire gets, the more colossea you have, the more points you get for killing units.
    Coupled with the second part, that you get Great General or Great Admiral points in the city which built the killing unit means, that Rome has a variant of the Hero Worship founder belief active the whole time when its killing units.
    That can easily mean you get more yields from your colossea than from Hero Worship. Sure, no faith, but it gets just stronger if you get other yield offering abilities for kills like Authority's opener and Dominance policy, Terracotta Army, God of War and Orders.
    The last part of the colosseum, the +2% extra gold from city connections is something, which might only really matter in the late game, if you have a big empire.

    Unique Improvement 3rd 4th unique modmod: Latifundium

    An unique improvement coming with calendar and roughly acting like an plantation, which can be build on all planation ressources plus wheat. It gives a bit extra early culture and boosts adjacent plantations with +1 extra culture. In the meantime since I played Rome with 3rd4th UU, it got a buff and boosts adjacent farms with +1 production.
    On top, it spawns a bonus ressource, figs with already constructed plantation. It cant be removed (the latifundium) and it takes certainly longer to be constructed than plantations. It is somehow luck dependent, the spawn of the figs is random, it can give you an unowned tile, but it can also mess up your farm triangle and village placement planning.
    It is an okayish ability, as I said, I played Rome prior the buff, it is nice to have, but nothing which sets Rome apart.

    Rome's gameplan:

    If you take a look at Rome's kit, it is a straigh forward warmonger and heavenly relies and benefit from warmongering. You could argue, that it might be currently the civ which profits the most from warmongering.
    But the clear downside is, that after it's early power spike, it has nothing directly supporting its warmongering. You might have more GG or GA than other Civs maybe, but so has Portugal and some others. And if you dont spam your GG for citadels, you actually dont need that many in my opinion.
    As Rome it is very important to get to Bronze Working ASAP to see, where that very valuable iron is. Imo, Rome is even more dependent on it than other Civs with unique Swordmen/Longswordmen units.
    After you have discovered the iron deposits, try to get as many as possible, rush Iron working to begin to build you tanky punishing front line and add your ballistas (or catapults and archers) and begin your world conquest.
    It is important you field as many as possible and get all those to veteran levels, because that is your core army which will enable you to benefit from all your other abilities. If you fail to get iron or cant keep your legions and its veteran descendants alive, your late game will just get way harder. Especially if you remember, that the passed on bonus promotions of the UU are not that special.

    But there are two important question which you have to answer for yourself in the early game: Which policy tree you will take and will you try to enter the Religion race?

    Ancient Policy Tree

    The first question is in my opinion simpler. Rome profits from killing units, something which does Authority too. Authority helps to get stronger units all game long, which is in your interest. You want to kill units, you want to conquer cities, all that is easier and more rewarding with Authority.
    But I can see strong points for Progress too. It makes fighting more difficult and conquest a bit less rewarding, but it has its own plus points. First, you will most likely rush faster to Bronze Working and Iron working, your key techs in the early game. It will help you set up your improvements and buildings faster and it stacks with the later part of Rome's leader ability.
    But in most cases, I would still go for Authority, it just makes fighting easier.

    For tradition I dont really see a point, maybe to have a bigger capital and push the +15% production towards buildings in the capital a bit more, maybe to have a better shot on a religion, but it would be most likely just an experiment.

    Religion or no Religion?

    The religion is really a thing and it dependents again from luck. Rome has nothing in its kit to support founding one, you might still get one, if you spam settlers and build some cities with shrine first. But even that is a gamble on higher difficulties. If you have the choice of a strong Pantheon, you should try it. But you shouldnt do it, if it would delay Bronze Working and Iron Working for too long, if the AI is already in medieval and you start building your first legions, you just made your game harder.
    But especially the religion might be a point to go for Progress. If you are not that lucky to have a faith natural wonder or easy pantheon and dont want to gamble with God of War (you are not always guaranted to have enough barbarians or easy AIs around you to farm faith), everything which might get your faith generating improvements faster would be a point for Progress and might even justify to take a detour in the tech tree.

    If you manage to get a religion, Orders is always a got option for warmongers, timed well and getting those before pop 10 in your cities, you might to manage to have all your units with morale, plus extra xp. And extra yields for killing, something you love as Rome.
    Hero Worship might be a consideration, but might be even an overkill for Rome, because your colossea will do the same, later even better if you got Orders. In fact, take what ever belief benefits you the most, I would only say that Orders are the best consideration for constantly warmongering.
    For other beliefs, something which benefit from Golden Ages is very good with Rome too.

    If you dont think that you will get a religion, I agree with the others, take God of All Creation, it is the best early game pantheon, which you know you wont keep. It takes you faster to your early game objects.

    Early Wonders

    Last but not least, if you focus on rushing to iron working and masonary, I would suggest to try to get both Zeus Statue and Terracotta Army. Both are probably the most important warmonger World Wonders, at least in the early to midgame, prior to the nerf I would say the Great Wall too, but being obsolete with Gunpowder shrunk its mighty considerably.

    How or who to conquer?

    If you all keep that in mind, I have a last tip, which is again luck dependent. To cheese the most out of your ability to take others UBs, try to take on your neighbours, who are most likely to already have build their one (or maybe even both) UBs, because that is really the fun part of Rome and the one, which might even enhance your snowball.
    If you are lucky and can time it well and conquer one civ after another depending on their UBs Rome becomes a beast which is hard to stop.

    Just imagine eating up Ethopias unique monument, taking Shaka's Ikandas, followed by Greece's Akropolis, Japan's Dojos up to Germany's Hansas. And all those cities will still have your Colosseum to keep you in an endless GA.
    Melchizedek and LifeOfBrian like this.

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