AFter 5.5 days of intense Rome Total War gaming, I have won twice, the first with the Franks(its my trial game...very taiko which let me feel Barbarian Invasion is EZ if u play as barbarians....the horde and original wealth of 15000 is too gd an advantage).
Its the 2nd game that is interesting. As I always wanted, I played the Western Roman Empire which is on the verge of collaspe. I actually gave up on my first serious try when i realise i m going around in circles(had my orientation game using W.Roma too). I realised that my mistake was not realising that the basic Roman Frontier guards are mainly militia...poor morale and poor show in combat led to many defeats and wasting tons of $ and time. In my 2nd attempted(I merely reload to an earlier file where i manage to re-wrestle N.Italy from the hordes) I change my emphasize to Germanic Spearmen which I realised form the basic Roman grunt. I also solve my economic problems by using the Cash Cow policy, cultivating cities into rich yet rebellious domains and sending my legions inside to sack them thus gaining wealth. Yes similar to the repeat Roman sacking of Jerusalem. Anyway the policy work and I manage to recruit a substantial number of Roman Field troops.s In Avarcium, I even mange to recruit 2 units of Roman Palace guards and units of Dart throwers in Belgium area, in Carthage, I manage to scrap funds for Samartian Knights. As the story proceeds, an Ad Hoc mix of mercenaries, Field troops, milita, Germans, and archers were sent to conquer Greece led by a mediocre Roman Commander who ironically became Augustus in the end. I had some miraculous victories against the Hunnic Hordes(its the com not me as i was too lazy to fight most of my battles). and fortunately the Greek cities were poorly guarded(HUns had ravaged them b4 me...therefore although they were poorly guarded, they were low in resources too). Anyway after slowing building a more professional force in Macedonia, I send a substantial force (2nd most well equipped in the Empire) consiting of Field Troops, Germans and Mercs(leave the militia and archers at home) and march into Constantinople. Tried some starving and auto resolving but no luck. I then decide to fight the battle myself(i felt something is wrong as i outnumber the com by 100 men, y auto resolve can't work). I muz say i was shocked. Not only were the walls of Constantinople high, they were manned by elite troops and palace guards. True the com had regiments of soft archers but due to problems with the camera, I cannot get hold of these solf units. for the first few minutes of the game, i had quite a few silly losses (kenna shot) due to the camera problems(can't even see the walls, how to get my men up to kill). somehow the camera work and i get my German reserves in(my initial assault force of Field Troops were getting decimated by Com's First Cohorts). Fortunately I had enuff tactical sense of assigning 2 units of Field Troops to climb the city's Western and Eastern Walls thus these 2 units manage to reinforce those at the south gate unscathed. Even so I m losing and my germans were whipped despite being fresh troops. the tide turn when one unit fled and the main gate opened(i captured the main gate long ago but it wun open and my raming manning Germans had to climb in) my horse archers mecernaries and General Unit is now free to charge in. Wasting no time on shooting, the repeat cav charges finally broke the enemy elite in fantry. in the end, the battle of the south gate left me with my cavalry almost intact. A unit of 26 field troops(which will fight bravely till the end), a unit of 20 mercs which were formerly field troops. a unit of 6 field troops, 5 bodyguard dart throwers and a sprinking of field troops consisting of less than 5 men each. I sent my survivors into the main city square hoping to shoot the enemy down b4 charging with horses(i still have my javelins intact). as my horse archers were there first, they start shooting the foe once my main surviving cohorts r reaching the plaza...and damn...the enemy charge me and force me into combat. my General unit run ard in circles buying time for the 2 main cohorts to reach and a crazy melee took place the mercs finally fled and rallied only when the fight is almost over, the horse archers were cut down to abt 7 men. my 26 field troop cohort held all the wy till they got less than 10 guys. My general himself had to fight desperately in the plaza, repeatly charing the foe while my infantry die. finally he manage to charge his way to victory. in the end i was left with less than 60 men and after the injured were healed, my Augustus reunify the 2 Romes with a garrision of abt 100 survivors out of 400.
Its very satisfying with some luck on and off. The surrender of lepis magna, carnutum were great. plus the miraculous defeat of my greek army over the hunnic hordes. my best army(northern Gaul/Germany field army) break the backs of many hordes too and finally eliminate the damn Saxons(well the North Army was nearly destroyed twice lol). The Western Roman Empire is very interesting. unlike ad the game designers claim, I feel that their units were inferior to E.Rome in everyway. C'mon wad i can use, they can use and even better. ok mabbe i have relatively cheap German spears(not sure if E.Rome have these). In an ideal situation, my W.Rome army with have Field troops in the center, dart troops as skirmishers, archers 4 range while the militia support them and act as garrison. The flanks were guarded w German spears...with their speed, they cane asily flank the foe once enemy horses were removed. onli on the extreme flanks will i have H.cav. mabbe some H.cav and my general as reserves. I look forward to custom games.