The Creative Assembly visited modern day Rome on the set of the HBO TV series, “Rome,” to showcase the latest playable version of the Sega real-time strategy (RTS) game, Total War: Rome 2. Rome is the biggest RTS from Sega’s award-winning studio, which most recently unleashed Total War: Shogun 2 for PC gamers. With the Roman Empire not yet established, armchair generals can take control of the action in massive battles that span the world and even take place at sea. The campaign map stretches from modern-day Afghanistan to Portugal. 

Mike Simpson, Studio Director at The Creative Assembly, offered some tips and strategies on how to conquer Rome in this exclusive interview.

What’s the best strategy when playing as the Roman faction?

Your main power is the Roman Legions, who are heavily armed and very well disciplined foot soldiers. It was this Roman discipline that gave them an edge over a lot of their enemies. They have very strong infantry-based armies.

What’s the best way to play as the Parthians?

While the Roman Army is very strong with infantry, the Parthians excel at covering and archery. The Romans didn’t really bother with archers. They used slings and occasionally they’d hire mercenary archers, but some of the Parthians really focused heavily on archery, so they have a very different style of fighting.

What does Carthage add to the battles?

One of the coolest units in the game is the mighty war elephants from the forests of North Africa. They’re used by a number of different factions and can really turn the tide of a battle. They’re like the tanks of the ancient world. They tear into the battlefield and swing the fight at key moments.

What factions do you like to play?

Out of the different factions, I prefer the Greek factions and the Greek successor state. This is the period of time where Alexandra the Great’s Empire had collapsed, and there are a number of successor states, which are basically Greek in style, but they have a lot of interesting stuff.  One of the biggest things they have, literally, are elephants. I love the elephants on the battlefield. I also like playing as the barbarians. They’re interesting with chariots and archers and so on. I find it really hard to find a favorite because they’re all good. They’re all different.  

How has naval warfare evolved in Total War: Rome 2?

Naval warfare is something we added to the franchise a few games ago, and we’ve been gradually refining that. This is the age of awe, so it’s all about galleys and ramming and boarding enemy vessels; that’s quite interesting. It’s different from the previous games. It’s great fun to ram into the side of an enemy ship and then have your guys leap on and take it over. 

What are the strategies that you would advise when it comes to the naval warfare?

The main thing is to try to ram enemies side-on and not let them do that to you. There’s a lot of to and fro positioning where you’re trying to make sure the enemy doesn’t get into your side. Once you’re locked together, you’re vulnerable to other ships. Then you have to make sure that you have other ships to take care of the ships that are going to attack you once you’re locked in a boarding action.   

Total War: Rome 2 releases on PC September 3rd.