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How Does The "Total War" video game series work?

I keep playing Total War: Rome and keep losing. I send my spear men forward to break the lines then have swords men follow then have ranged units sit back for ranged support. Then I have my axemen or whatever go for the sides. Then I always get my butt kicked. Could someone please descriube how the game works because I'm new to the series and have never played very many RTS's outside of Halo Wars.

I agree with what Brian said, but I'll add more information to help you out.

As was previously stated, breaking enemy morale is essential to victory in Rome: Total War. You can win just about any battle by understanding how your units operate and adjusting your plans to the situation presented before you. Analyse the enemies forces, and work out how you are going to win before making a move.

A simple tactic that works in just about all battles is having your spearmen, axemen or swordsmen engage your opponent at the front, and having your horses circle around their flank and rear. You then essentially have them surrounded. Also remember that your foes cavalry can have a detrimental effect on you, SO TAKE THEM OUT. The only time you require archers is when your enemy (more specifically Thrace, Scythii, Parthia, Armenia or Egypt) is using archers. Otherwise they are useless.

Don't forget that you can't win a war without money. Your economy is essential to constructing buildings capable of producing quality soldiers. You may be losing because you're using an inferior force. When playing as non-roman factions, most infantry have poorer defence and attack levels (apart from the Greeks). To check a unit's statistics, right click over their unit card. Lastly, check the difficulty levels. On hard the battles are ridiculous and unrealistic. I am a veteran of the Total War series and it is admittedly laughable.

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