Rise to the throne of an empire dominating the Mediterranean Sea and defend your borders against countless barbarian invasions. The Roman unique units are the Legionary, a sturdy infantry unit, and the Centurion, a heavy cavalry unit that increases the power of nearby Militia-line units.
- Villagers gather, build, and repair 5% faster
- Galley-line +1 attack
- War Galleys +1/+1P armor, Galleons and Dromons +2/+2P armor
- Infantry receives double effect from Blacksmith armor upgrades
- Scorpions cost -60% gold and benefit from Ballistics research
Roman unique cavalry unit. Increases movement and attack speed of nearby Militia-line units.
Roman unique infantry unit. Strong vs. buildings and infantry.
|Ballistas (Scorpions and Galley-line fire 33% faster)|
|Comitatenses (Militia-line, Knight-line, and Centurions train 50% faster and receive a charge attack)|
- Scorpion-line minimum range reduced
Upon the death of Emperor Theodosius I in 395 CE, the Roman Empire was divided in two for the last time. Untold troubles and changes faced Rome and Europe as a whole during this time. Decades of internal instability and civil war had gutted the Empire from the inside, while the Hunnic migrations from the east started a chain reaction that caused wave after wave of Germanic and Alanic migrants to pour towards the Roman frontiers on the Rhine and Danube.
By 395, despite being accustomed to centuries of military supremacy, Rome was ill-equipped to face these threats. The once-formidable border fortifications were in disrepair, the once-numerous legions were underpaid and understaffed, and the once-prosperous imperial land was ravaged and in dire need of reform. The Roman military was forced to change its defense strategy: whereas it was formerly capable of defending everything all of the time, its new strategy was to hold the frontiers with a token force while relying on an elite mobile reserve to swiftly respond to any threat that bypassed the border.
Compounding the problem, many of Rome’s northern neighbors had already forced their way across the border and established themselves within Roman territory by the early 400s, whether as hostile raiders or as allied federates – mercenaries that the Empire furnished with land and money in exchange for military service. These federates, though useful in a pinch, began to pose a long-term problem. Often unwilling to assimilate to Roman culture and law, they were functionally independent polities whose allegiances switched on a whim and were a massive drain on Rome’s finances. Disgruntled federates could go rogue; the Visigoths, for example, even went so far as to sack Rome in 410 and seize much of Gaul (modern France).
As the 5th century progressed, Rome faced a new threat: the Hunnic Empire – a massive confederation of Germanic, Alanic, and Hunnic people-groups – had established itself in Pannonia and Germania and began consistently raiding Roman borders. This rival reached its apogee under Attila, who pillaged much of both Eastern and Western Empires before marching on northern Italy and nearly sacking Rome. Contemporary sources credit the sitting Pope, Leo I, with intervening and convincing Attila to turn away – although famine and plague in his armies as the campaign wore on were likely more stirring factors than the threat of divine retribution.
After Attila’s death in 453 CE, the Hunnic Empire fragmented, shattering the balance of power between the Hunnic confederation and Rome and its few Germanic allies. Ineffectual rulers, a collapsing economy, and dwindling military manpower made the less defensible and poorer Western Roman Empire unable to prevent invading groups from tearing away Imperial territory. While the Vandals seized the Empire’s breadbasket in North Africa, ambitious barbarian generals flexed their muscles on the imperial court. Finally, a Germanic chieftain, Odoacer, deposed the last Western Roman Emperor in 476, ending the era of Roman rule in the West.