[[quoteright:335:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/twr2_cover_2198.jpg]]
-->''[[{{Tagline}} How far will you go for Rome?]]''

''Total War: Rome II'' is a game in the ''VideoGame/TotalWar'' strategy series, released on September 3rd, 2013. As a sequel to ''VideoGame/RomeTotalWar'', it returns to classical antiquity and the rise of UsefulNotes/TheRomanRepublic[=/=][[UsefulNotes/TheRomanEmpire Empire]]. Several new features have been introduced, such as combined land and sea battles, an abstract "tactical" map for battlefields and the combination of territories on the turn-based strategy map into larger "provinces".

As in the original ''Rome'', if the player takes control of the Roman faction, than they must choose one of several patrician houses to represent - Cornelia, Julia, or Junia - each enabling their own unique perks. Campaign goals remain the same for the player, regardless of whichever family they select, ''how'' those goals are achieved depends on personal discretion.

The player is also able to [[http://wiki.totalwar.com/w/Factions control several other factions]], which present similar options for internal politics. Eight playable factions were included with the base game, with additional playable factions subsequently released as paid or free {{DLC}}. In total, over 100 factions appear on the campaign map, although most of these are not playable.

In addition to the main campaign, there is also a prologue campaign set during the early years of the Roman Republic that serves as a tutorial. The player follows the rise of Gaius Fulvius Silanus during the Samnite Wars, which would lay the foundations for the rise of Rome.

The first expansion pack, ''Caesar in Gaul'', was released on the 17th of December, 2013, and follows, naturally, Creator/GaiusJuliusCaesar himself during his conquest of Gaul, opposed by the various Gallic tribes (including the Arverni, led by Vercingetorix himself), the Germanic Suebi and the Belgic Nervii.

The second expansion pack, ''Hannibal at the Gates'', was released on the 27th of March, 2014, this time, it follows Hannibal Barca during the Second Punic War, opposed by Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, with the Hellenic city-state of Syracuse and the Arevaci and Lusitani tribes of Iberia caught up in the middle.

On September 16th, 2014, the game was updated to the ''Emperor Edition'' for all existing and future players at no additional cost. In addition, it automatically includes the new ''Imperator Augustus'' campaign, which follows the civil war between the former members of the Second Triumvirate ([[UsefulNotes/{{Augustus}} Gaius Octavian]], Marc Antony and Marcus Lepidus) and Sextus Magnus Pompey for control of the Roman Republic, while factions on the outskirts of the Republic plan to take advantage of this chaos to their own ends.

The third expansion pack, titled ''Wrath of Sparta'', was released on December 16th, 2014. It takes place during UsefulNotes/ThePeloponnesianWar between Sparta, Athens and their allies (including the Boiotian League and Korinthos/Corinth), while the Persian Empire watches and plots from the sidelines.
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!!This game provides examples of:
* AbnormalAmmo: The "Beasts of War" DLC features siege weapons that can throw [[BeeAfraid bee hives]], and pots filled with [[ScaryScorpions scorpions]] or [[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes snakes]].
* ActionGirl:
** Several agents are female and are very much capable of assassinating and/or dueling other agents.
** The ''August Warriors'' update and ''Daughters of Mars'' Unit Pack add several units made up entirely of {{Action Girl}}s who are every bit as eager to spill the blood of their enemies as their male colleagues, if not ''[[BloodKnight more]] [[UpToEleven so]]''.
* AluminumChristmasTrees: Some people have complained about the "magical" unit special abilities, the most common target being the [[ArrowsOnFire flaming]] [[JavelinThrower javelins]]. The Falarica, however, was a common javelin variant that was occasionally wrapped in oil-soaked rags and ignited before being thrown.
* TheAlliance: Barbarian factions have the option of creating confederations with other barbarian factions, melding their territory and units.
* AmazonBrigade: Several were added in the ''August Warriors'' update and ''Daughters of Mars'' {{DLC}}, including the [[TropeNamer original Amazons]].
* AncientRome: Given the game's title, it's to be expected.
* AncientGreece: Despite the title, the era the game is set in is still very much dominated by Greek culture and Greek nations of all shapes and sizes constitute a large portion of playable factions.
* AntiCavalry: Much more detailed than in previous games.
** Proper formation is ''very'' important for infantry. While spear/pike infantry are still very effective against cavalry, especially when using their special formations, they must have unbroken, properly braced formations with deep enough ranks when receiving a charge, or they'll be flattened anyway even if it's from the front. If properly formed up, however, almost any infantry unit can absorb cavalry charges with (relatively) little damage.
** Spear-armed melee cavalry can be quite effective vs other cavalry, though (counter-)charging instead of receiving their charge is a must. This goes double for shock cavalry.
** Concentrated missile fire (especially javelins) can be murderous against cavalry, though they'll rarely break an oncoming charge by themselves. Best used in support of a braced infantry line or cavalry counter-charge.
** Under most circumstances, extended melee combat will not go well for most cavalry unless they're fighting very weak units like (most) skirmishers and mobs, so the cavalry cycle tactic[[note]]Charge, withdraw, charge again, repeat until target is broken/dead[[/note]] is important.
* ArbitraryHeadcountLimit: In addition to the usual 20 unit limit per army/fleet and the limit of the number of armies/fleets and agents you can have simultaneously, some units also have a limit on the quantity you can field at one time.
* ArtificialBrilliance: The AI has an odd bi-polar disorder and veers between this, ArtificialStupidity, and everything in between. For example, on the campaign map, enemy armies will curtail the fog of war to remain just out of view, and the AI will always lie in wait nearby weak settlements, waiting for you to abandon them. They have also been known to lure away units on the battlefield, flank and encircle properly, and in general they are a huge leap forward even from ''Shogun 2's'' AI, which in and of itself was pretty good.
* ArtificialStupidity: Unfortunately, the AI is also dumb as bricks at times.
** The AI will often entirely abandon their siege weapons during a Siege battle to burn down one gate and charge right into an awaiting wall of pikes.
** They also tend to blindly rush the flag to the exclusion of all else.
** They tend to abandon their cities when you're sieging them... even when it's their last city.
** On the campaign map prior to Patch 2, the AI would field armies consisting solely of [[CannonFodder thousands of cheap spearmen and slingers]] to be mowed down.
** Weak factions will frequently make decisions not good for them diplomatically when dealing with the player (e.g satrapies and client states refusing to join wars for the player).
* ArmorPiercingAttack: All attacks deal both regular damage, which can be reduced or blocked entirely by armor, and armor piercing damage, which is always dealt regardless of how much armor is present.
* ArmorPiercingQuestion: ''How far will you go for Rome?'' indeed.
* AnAxeToGrind: An uncommon melee weapon, which has the highest armor piercing ability of any one handed melee weapon but typically deals less overall damage. They're generally more accurate than spears, but less accurate than swords.
* AnnoyingArrows: If a unit has good armor and/or shields, they can shrug off a lot of arrow fire, since those don't deal much in the way of armor piercing damage.
* AscendedMeme: The military adviser's "This is a shameful display" when a unit routs references the JustAStupidAccent adviser's comments in the same context in ''Shogun 2''.
* ATasteOfPower: Downplayed. From the beginning of any campaign, starting and newly recruited Generals can have EliteMooks that aren't available for regular recruitment until later in the game as their Bodyguards.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Justified, as classically, it took a great deal of wealth and status for someone to get all the best equipment, especially armour.
* BadassArmy: Individual armies can not only have DistinctiveAppearances (different emblems, uniforms, names, etc.), but they also can develop traditions that serve as a universal buff to the entire force.
* BadassBeard[=/=]BadassMoustache: Various units across the different factions have varying degrees in badass facial fair, ranging from the full bearded glory of the Suebi to the beard-styled helmets of some Hellenic and Carthaginian soldiers.
* BadassCape: Favored by generals, unit captains and many EliteMooks.
* BadassGrandpa: Agents and Generals that live to their 50s or longer tend to have racked up a lot of experience, making them much more effective than their younger counterparts.
* BarbarianTribe: While numerous factions are barbarians by Greco-Roman standards and are generally tribal in structure, they're a far cry from the unwashed, uneducated hordes with little culture typically depicted by the trope.
* BilingualBonus: Greek units occasionally shout in Greek (when given an order, they reply with "Kudos!" meaning "glory"), and refer to officers by their Greek titles ("strategos", "taxiarchos"). Romans will shout "Roma Invicta!" ("Unconquered Rome") and Celts will shout [[http://www.reddit.com/r/totalwar/comments/2084g5/odd_bits_of_protoceltic_in_rome_2_total_war/ "katus kladiwos", ("battle swords")]]. It gets a bit stretched when Parthian cataphracts also shout "strategos", though.
* BladeOnAStick: Various kinds of pointy sticks serve as the primary infantry and cavalry weapon for most factions, ranging from incredibly long ''sarissa'' pikes to shorter, one-handed spears like the Greek ''dory''.
** Spears have a bonus against large units like cavalry and have moderate overall damage and armor penetration, but swords and axes generally hit more often and the former does more overall damage while the latter has higher armor penetration.
** Pikes deal relatively little damage per strike, but can keep almost any incoming melee attackers (aside from other pike phalanxes) at a safe distance if formed up in a pike phalanx and pointed the right way.
** Dacian/Thracian falx/rhomphaia (a cross between a polearm and a {{BFS}}) tend to have the highest attack, damage and charge bonus of all melee weapons, plus a large hidden bonus vs large units like cavalry, but their wielders have [[GlassCannon minimal melee defense and no shield protection from missile fire]].
** Lances are absolutely deadly on the charge, but are unwieldy and ineffective in close quarters, forcing their wielders to switch to their EmergencyWeapon.
* BloodierAndGorier: The ''Blood and Gore Pack'' manages to surpass its ''Shogun 2'' counterpart, not by using more blood, but by being more [[NightmareFuel realistic]].
* BloodlessCarnage: Played straight with the base game, but it can be {{Averted|Trope}} if the player, as in ''Shogun 2'', owns the ''Blood and Gore Pack''.
* BoardingParty: One of the main naval tactics is to board enemy ships and engage their crews in melee combat. Particularly effective against missile and artillery ships, whose crews aren't very good in melee.
* BodyguardBetrayal: The Authority assassination method for spies.
* BornInTheSaddle: The background story for the factions made playable with the ''Nomadic Tribes Culture Pack''.
* BreadAndCircuses: The name of a Roman-specific edict, which boosts food output and happiness in a province.
* ButThouMust:
** It's entirely possible to use clever tactics to defeat the entire Samnite army in the prologue campaign without ever entering the city you're supposed to defend, but you'll eventually trigger a scripted defeat if you don't follow directions even if the Consul still holds all three victory points and no Samnites are even in the city.
** During the Battle of Teutoburg Forest, moving Varus' cavalry unit too far into the forest (say, to chase archers) results in his instant death and you having to restart the mission. This despite the fact that Varus deserts the army minutes later anyway.
* CarryABigStick: A rare melee weapon only used by the Germanic factions, it does the least overall damage of any weapon in the game, but has relatively high armor piercing capability and is the only weapon available to non-ambush units that has a vs. Infantry bonus.
* TheCavalry: The Siege of Capua in the prologue campaign is broken when a Roman-Lucanian army of horsemen rides to the rescue.
* ChariotRace: The Circus Maximus is an available building for Rome.
* CivilWar: A possible result if you become too politically weak or powerful in a large enough empire, where everyone that's not from your party (and possibly some that are) will rebel against you. If you're playing as Rome or Carthage, winning this will give you the option of becoming an Empire or remaining a Republic. The historical civil wars that lead to the formation of UsefulNotes/TheRomanEmpire are also the focus of the ''Imperator Augustus'' campaign.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: Whenever a computer-controlled faction captures a settlement, they will instantly convert any culture-specific building versions to their culture in just one turn, which is much faster than the player can.
* CoolBoat: Naval battles include many SlaveGalley types, ranging from Hellenic triremes to "barbarian" longboats. Expect many fancy figureheads, especially on command vessels.
* CoolHelmet: Includes a plethora of Cool Helmets from across the ancient world. Special mention goes to the Corinthian helms of the Spartans, which include ''[[http://wiki.totalwar.com/images/d/d3/Sparta.png enormous]]'' horsehair crests.
* CoolSword: Various kinds of swords, ranging from short blades meant for stabbing like the Roman ''gladius'' to larger blades meant for slashing like the Iberian ''falcata'', serve as the weapon of choice for the Roman legions, among others, as well as most unit captains and generals. They also serve as {{Emergency Weapon}}s for pikemen, as well as most shock cavalry and missile units. They have the least armor penetrating capability of any melee weapon, but they tend to be more accurate and do more damage overall.
* CripplingOverspecialisation: Some factions have rather limited rosters. Can be subverted by hiring mercenaries, levying units from client states/satrapies and/or, specifically for Rome, recruiting auxiliaries.
** True to life, Sparta's military options are horrendously limited: they don't get any swordsmen, elite ranged units, elite cavalry or shock cavalry. Their hoplites are the best in the game and their pikemen are decent (better than Carthage and Athens', about the same as Pontus', not nearly as good as Egypt/Seleucid/Macedon/Epirus'), but it's very easy to simply whittle them down with ranged units or surround them with units which are better in close combat.
** The steppe nomad factions have three infantry units: basic spears, axes and archers. ''That's it.'' Everything else, bar their siege weapons, is a cavalry unit. To make it worse, their cavalry isn't even the best in the game, that honor goes to Parthia's cataphracts. A combination of pikes and long-ranged archers or slingers is enough to beat them most of the time.
** Rome has a large variety of some of the best sword infantry in the game and an excellent selection of artillery units, but only has a few spear infantry, no missile or shock cavalry, very limited skirmisher options (just ''two'' javelin units), and mediocre melee cavalry.
** Macedon owns one of the best pike units in the game, good spear units and the might of the Companion Cavalry, but lack sword units until mid-campaign (Thorax Swordmen) and its missile units, both infantry and cavalry, are mid-tier at best.
** Parthia's strength relies on its cataphracts, either camel or horse ones, and it also possesses good skirmishers and missile cavalry. However, [[MagikarpPower the former are only available late in the campaign]] and its infantry roster (be it spear or sword) is rather deplorable.
** The Seleucids have access to some of the best units in the game (be it Silver Shields or War Elephants), but [[MagikarpPower they're in the deep end of the tech tree]] and tend to be rather costly.
** Egypt has a wide roster in the beginning and some good late game units (Galatian Royal Guard), but suffers in the mid game from a lack of units.
** Athens has a wide variety of hoplite units at its disposal, some of which are quite high tier but not quite [[TheSpartanWay the best]]. Meanwhile the rest of their limited unit roster is eclipsed by every single one of their Greek neighbors, who have both a wider selection and higher quality units. Also, while ostensibly a naval power, its selection of naval units is also low.
* DarkerAndEdgier: The overall atmosphere and tone seems to be heading for this direction in contrast to the first ''Rome''. Compare [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvZWOG8QkOg both]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLVf3LMNDoQ intros]].
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything:
** Unit captains (generals too, if their bodyguards are an infantry unit) and standard bearers will fall back behind the protection of their unit when that unit is ordered into a Phalanx, Shield Wall, Square or Testudo formation, rather than always occupying the front row.
** Arrows and javelins won't just stick into the ground where they fell, but protrude satisfyingly from the corpses of those they kill.
** Units will [[LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe raise their shields]] of their own accord to defend themselves from missile attack.
* DifficultButAwesome:
** Sparta starts out with just one small settlement that isn't even walled[[note]]TruthInTelevision, as the Spartans refused to build walls for their city. The men of Sparta were the wall that mattered.[[/note]]. They are lacking in cavalry selection and have no sword infantry to speak of. However, they have some of the best spear infantry in the game.
** Carthage is easily one of the hardest factions to play as in the game. Everybody hates your guts and you go up against the chief superpower of the game (Rome) very early on. However, you also have a huge, varied unit roster, lots of land (albeit indirectly controlled by your satrapies) and the best part yet, you can re-enact Hannibal Barca's march over the Alps yourself!
** Everybody hates the Suebi. It seems like every faction that you come into contact with will want to kill you and everything you love. However, you can get access to ''berserkers'' and you also have the opportunity to expand without harassment early on.
** Elephants are surprisingly fragile for their size and expense, especially against concentrated missile fire, but can wreak ''a lot'' of havoc if left unchecked.
* DirtyCoward: After the Romans break out of the initial ambush in the Battle of Teutoburg Forest, Varus tells his Legions "You're on your own" and runs away when he sees Arminius leading a massive cavalry force. When asked about his fate later, the narrator says "No one knows. Even fewer care." In the meantime, we're shown Varus, alone, being ambushed by Germans and killed by Arminius as he begs for his life, contrasting with his real-life death[[note]]Upon nearing defeat, he [[BetterToDieThanBeKilled committed suicide]]. Arminius then [[OffWithHisHead cut off his head]] and sent it to King Marbod of the Marcomanni tribe as a gift[[/note]].
* DramaticIrony: In the "Find A Way" trailer, the Roman senators speculate about how Hannibal will strike at them. The very last suggestion, that Hannibal will march on Rome from the north, is met with derision and sarcasm-loaded lines like "over the Alps, perhaps!" and "I suppose he will bring with him an army of elephants!" while he's doing ''exactly'' that.
* EnemyChatter: Units on both sides in a battle tend to pipe up with inspirational lines, comments on their current situation and taunts directed at their opponents. Exactly what is said varies depending on the unit, the faction they belong to, the faction they're facing, what other units (friendly or enemy) are nearby, and what they're doing or having done to them at that moment.
* EnemyExchangeProgram:
** Units from other factions can be levied if said faction becomes a client state/satrapy, which can be done either by diplomacy or stomping them into the ground and sparing them. A random unit is available each turn depending on what units they can currently produce, and they're hired in the same way as mercenaries (limited number available per turn[[note]]Unlike mercenaries, their quantity depends on how many settlements the client state/satrapy holds in the province being recruited from.[[/note]], but recruited instantly).
** Rome can recruit auxiliaries if they have an Auxiliary Camp in a conquered region, which are typically similar or identical to units that were used by the former owners.
* EnemyMine: The backbone of diplomacy. Whenever faction A takes hostile actions against faction B, enemies of B think higher about A. This can lead to a situation where previously sworn enemies can become best friends after beating up enough factions they mutually hate.
* EncyclopediaExposita: The game comes equipped with its own internal reference guide - called (duh) the Encyclopedia - which lists unit descriptions, potential strategies and tactics, campaign footnotes, historical factoids, etc.
* EverythingsWorseWithBees: The ''Beasts of War'' {{DLC}} introduces the Beehive Onager to Roman and Hellenic factions. It [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin launches live beehives]] at enemy units. Those that survive the initial impact take an [[ThisIsGonnaSuck understandable]] hit to their morale.
* FollowTheLeader: On a small scale, as some of the new mechanics might make several Creator/ParadoxInteractive fans (''VideoGame/CrusaderKings'', ''VideoGame/EuropaUniversalis,'' etc.) feel right at home.
* TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou: In the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stK8aAsLBo4 intro]], you are witness to [[TheWarSequence various battles amongst the different factions]], [[CallBack like]] [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/RomeTotalWar the first game]]. However, you also get to see [[WarIsHell the slaughter and destruction]] in greater detail, as well as some soldiers [[DespairEventHorizon being broken by the very battle]]. It ends with the factions leaders looking at you in a similar way to the general from ''[[VideoGame/TotalWarShogun2 Fall Of The Samurai]]'' at the victory cutscene and with the Latin phrase ''Quo usque pro Roma ibis?'' - "[[{{Tagline}} How far will you go for Rome?]]"
* FriendlyFireproof: Averted, projectiles will kill friendlies as readily as enemies.
* FromNobodyToNightmare: Silanus from the prologue campaign goes from commanding a small garrison to controlling the entire Roman war machine. The final cutscene implies he's planning on conquering the rest of the Italian peninsula.
* FullFrontalAssault: The barbarian Naked Spears/Swords/Warriors units don't wear ''anything'' at all. This, of course, means their only [[GlassCannon (minimal) protection comes from their shields]].
* GameplayAllyImmortality: The special generals in ''Caesar in Gaul'' (Caesar himself, Vercingetorix, Boduognatus and Ariovistus) won't die permanently if taken out in battle or by assassination, they'll simply be wounded.
* GladiatorGames: Not only can players build gladiatorial arenas in their cities, but Roman players can recruit gladiators as military units. [[GlassCannon They're exceptionally deadly in melee, but don't have much armor and health]]. Their [[AmazonBrigade female counterparts]] added in the ''Daughters of Mars'' {{DLC}} have better defenses and morale, at the cost of some offensive capability and health.
* GroinAttack: Several battle animations involve a soldier kicking his enemy in the crotch.
* HorseArcher: A recruitable unit and the specialty of the steppe nomad factions, particularly (Royal) Scythia, which have 4 (''6'' with the ''Daughters of Mars'' pack) different types.
* HiredGuns: Armies can hire anything from hoplites to horse archers to war elephants, which are recruited instantly, unlike regular troops, but cost a lot more to maintain and are subject to varying availability. Notably, this is the only way to recruit new units in enemy-held territory. There are two types of mercenaries, regional and factional. Regional mercenaries can be recruited if you're in the right region, while factional mercenaries are available anywhere as long as you're playing as a certain faction.
* HistoricalInJoke: A lot of the achievement names.
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade: Varus gets this in Teutoburg Forest, being both an incompetent and naive dunderhead who trusts [[ObviousJudas Arminius]] and a coward who abandons most of his army and tries to flee by himself. He might have been incompetent and naively trusting of Arminius in real life, but he historically stayed with his army and [[BetterToDieThanBeKilled committed suicide]] when it became obvious how it would end.
* HumanSacrifice: Played with. While the Carthaginian faction bio states that many people believe they carry out human sacrifices in their temples, it neither denies nor asserts whether this is actually true.
* KillEmAll: The trailer that announced the Siege of Carthage historical battle has Scipio Aemilianus ordering his soldiers to kill everyone in the city, [[MissingTrailerScene though this doesn't show up in the final game]].
* InstantWinCondition: Victory Points replace the old central plaza from previous ''Total War'' games during sieges. Capturing a specific flag (others, if present, will simply boost morale for units from the controlling faction around it) causes the defender's point total (ranging from 50 to 200, depending on the situation) to begin dropping, and the attacker wins after it reaches zero.
* JavelinThrower: Javelins are one of the three missile types, and tend to deal high overall damage, have the highest armor penetration and have a bonus vs large units like cavalry and elephants, at the cost of having the shortest range and smallest ammo reserve. In addition, many melee infantry and some melee cavalry (typically those armed with swords or axes) units carry a few javelins, which they can throw while charging an enemy unit or from a stationary position with Fire At Will enabled, though they tend to not be as good as proper skirmishers.
* [[LegacyCharacter Legacy Army]]: Even if your BadassArmy is wiped out, a new force can be raised up with the old army's banner. They may not have the experience, but they still retain the original traditions that buffed their predecessors.
* LightningBruiser:
** Cataphracts in general, available to the Eastern kingdoms, the Seleucid Empire, Baktria and the Massagetae. An organised charge from a single unit of cataphracts can ''flatten'' an unbraced infantry unit, and they ''just don't die''!
** Super/Ultra Heavy units like the Heroes of Sparta or the Praetorian Guard tend to be quite effective even in situations where their lesser brethren would be utterly slaughtered, by virtue of their ridiculously high stats in nearly every regard.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: More than a hundred factions appear on the game and there are regional differences that makes them even more unique.
* LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe: Not just the primary form of defence for most units, often a unit's ''only'' form of defence. As in the first ''Rome'', field battles generally involve two clashing lines of shield-bearing infantry, the winner more often than not decided by flanking manoeuvres that bypass the shield-wall's defences. Shields provide a bonus to armor and melee defence, though only to attacks from the front and left. They also have a chance (depending on its type) of [[NoSell blocking and completely nullifying]] an incoming missile attack.
* MadnessMantra: At the beginning of the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvXCxGKo2iE Teutoburg Forest]] historical battle, we hear Emperor UsefulNotes/{{Augustus}} uttering his famous line "Varus, Quinctilius Varus, give me back my legions!", as he is claimed by Suetonius to have often muttered in the months and years following the annihilation of the Roman Legions in the forests of Germania.
* MercyRewarded: Diplomacy can and often will lead to sovereign nations willingly becoming your client state. Unlike previous instances of the ''Total War'' series, Client States/Satrapies also count as part of your faction for the purpose of victory objectives, and can contribute normally unusable units to your cause. With the help of some popular mods, they'll even have a diplomatic bonus, making their rebellion unlikely.
* MightyGlacier: True to life, pikemen and, to a lesser extent, hoplite phalanxes are ''incredibly'' durable, more than capable of fending off more powerful enemies when on the defensive. Pike phalanxes are more vulnerable to flanking and aren't as heavily armoured, but the nigh-impassable killing zone created by their twenty-foot-long pikes means that they can keep enemies out of melee range and blunt frontal charges with impunity. They are also more mobile than hoplites, capable of sprinting and charging while in a phalanx.
* NavalBlockade: Settlements can be blockaded by fleets of any size, cutting off trade through that settlement and increasing unit recruitment time in that region. It also causes attrition to the blockading fleet.
* NonIndicativeName: The source of no end of confusion regarding Royal Peltasts. The problem is the Greeks named troops after what shield they carried (hoplites carry a hoplon, peltasts carry a pelte, Silver Shields have silver shields, and so on) rather than what they do. While every other type of peltast is a lightly equipped javelin throwing skirmisher, Royal Peltasts are heavily armored sword swinging shock infantry that are only peltasts by virtue of carrying a pelte. This is not helped by their description which begins "The King's own skirmishers", their encyclopedia entry, which is identical to every other peltasts', or their unit picture, which clearly depicts a man holding a javelin.
* ObviousBeta: A criticism among some fans and reviewers, citing ExecutiveMeddling on Sega's part to have the game released earlier than originally intended. That said, patches are already moving the game into the right direction, making significant tweaks and improvements on the gameplay.
* OneSteveLimit: ZigZagged. Some provinces or settlements that shared the same name with a faction received [[IstanbulNotConstantinople another historically used name]] like Roma, Carthago and Aegyptus, while others like Sparta remained unchanged.
* PraetorianGuard:
** A General's bodyguards, especially if they're the faction leader.
** The TropeNamers are present as Rome's strongest units and come in infantry and cavalry flavors, as well as a household item that increases Cunning. Ironically, Praetorian Guardsmen can't be used as a General's bodyguard, probably a historical in joke about what the Praetorian Guard's [[BodyguardBetrayal favorite pastime]] was.
* ProngsOfPoseidon: Roman Gladiator Spearmen wield tridents instead of regular spears.
* PromotedToPlayable:
** Played straight with Pontus and Macedon, which were secondary factions in the original game (though they could be unlocked with some editing skill). The (Royal) Scythians have also been promoted from the first game as a DLC faction in the ''Nomadic Tribes Culture Pack'', as well as the Roxolani, who featured in the ''Barbarian Invasion'' expansion. The ''Pirates and Raiders'' DLC also added the the Odrysian Kingdom and Tylis factions, who comprised the former Thrace faction.
** {{Zigzagged| Trope}} with the Greek States; Athens, Sparta, and Epirus have become independent factions with the ''Greek States Culture Pack'', as with Syracusae with ''Hannibal at the Gates'', though the other cities from the ''Rome: Total War'' faction (Rhodes and Pergamon) have not. Also zigzagged with Iberia, as the ''Hannibal at the Gates'' DLC adds the Arevaci and the Lusitani but not the rest.
** Initially {{inverted| trope}} with the Seleucid Empire, which was DemotedToExtra prior to being released as the second free-DLC.
** Various mods can make all factions playable in the main campaign.
* ProperlyParanoid: The paranoia chain of traits increase the character's chances of evading enemy agents.
* UsefulNotes/PunicWars: Several optional objectives in Rome and Carthage's main campaigns involve reenacting the three wars to an extent. In addition, the Second is the focus of the ''Hannibal at the Gates'' campaign, and the Third is the subject of the Siege of Carthage historical battle.
* RainOfArrows: Arrows are one of the three missile types, distinguished by dealing the highest overall damage and having excellent range, at the cost of armor penetration.
* RammingAlwaysWorks: All ships can ram opponents, with the ship's size relative to its target and speed on impact determining how much damage it does. Big ships going fast enough can obliterate most lesser ships with just one ramming attack.
* TheRemnant: Taking a faction's last city won't get rid of their armies and fleets, though they'll suffer attrition since that faction no longer has any income to support their upkeep costs.
* RousingSpeech:
** Silanus makes several in the Prologue campaign during certain battles and in the final cutscene.
** As with most of the previous ''Total War'' games, generals will make these at the start of the battle. However, they're pretty easy to miss, since they're delivered during the battle rather than in a pre-battle cutscene. Furthermore, the speeches are really only 'rousing' about half the time. The rest of the time, they're usually insulting their enemies or talking about how awesome it is to beat them up and take their stuff.
* RunOrDie: The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest has the Romans surrounded and heavily outnumbered by the Germans, requiring them to constantly keep pushing forwards to escape.
* ShieldBash: Soldiers with shields can and will use them to smack enemies in the face.
* ShoutOut:
** A possible name for a Britannic army is "The [[Film/MadMax Woad]] [[Wrestling/TheRoadWarriors Warriors]]."
** To ''ASongOfIceAndFire'':
*** Several shout-outs in the army names--"The Stonecrows" and "The Brave Companions" most evidently.
*** The description of the Champion agent type's trait "Guardsman" is "The night is dark and full of terrors".
*** "All men must die" is one of the lines repeated by Roman spy after ordering assassination.
*** Contrarily, "all men must serve" is one of the lines said by Eastern (Parthian, Egyptian, etc.) spies upon being clicked on.
** While moving, the druids can occasionally be heard saying [[Literature/LordOfTheRings "The road goes ever on and on..."]]
** The flavor text for the bonuses granted for holding the Pharos of Alexandria is [[Literature/LordOfTheRings "May its light be a beacon when all other lights go out."]]
** One of the Iceni's political incidents is rumours about a [[KingArthur sacred sword that's been pulled out of a stone by a long foretold leader]].
** Barbarian generals sometimes say [[Film/ConanTheBarbarian1982 "We will hear the lamentations of the women."]] when ordered to raid.
** Greek Heroes (their Champion Agent) sometimes say [[Film/ThreeHundred "This is madness!"]] if ordered to do something after all their action points are expended. The achievement for completing a campaign as Sparta is also appropriately called [[PunctuatedForEmphasis 'This is Sparta!']] as well.
** When a Roman general or senator dies, the event card will say he was a man of Rome, ending with [[Film/{{Gladiator}} "Honour Him!"]]
** To Film/{{Dune}}:
*** The flavor text on the Eastern Spice Trader building is "The spice must flow."
*** The flavor text for the Human Computer ancillary is "It is by will alone I set my mind in motion..." In addition, both it and the Twisted Assassin ancillary are listed in the game files as r2_sp_anc_all_spy_'''mentat'''.
** To Series/{{Rome}}:
*** One personality trait has the qualifier "I like to kill my enemies, take their gold, and enjoy their women."
*** Both Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus are present as ancillaries for Roman generals.
** One ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin achievement is [[Music/{{LMFAO}} "Everyday I'm not Autoresolving"]]
** The Dread Cultist ancillary has the flavor text "[[CthulhuMythos Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!]]"
** The Unwashed Trooper ancillary happens to be [[Series/{{Blackadder}} Baldrick's]] identical ancestor, who still has the same "I have a cunning plan!" CatchPhrase. Said ancillary is even listed in the game files as r2_sp_anc_civilised_army_'''baldrick'''.
** In the ''Caesar in Gaul'' campaign, the flavour text for the The Seer ancillary is "[[GiantEnemyCrab Through the Mist I forsee... giant enemy crabs... and MASSIVE DAMAGE! AIEE!]]".
** The Mad For It! character trait has the flavor text "[[Film/ApocalypseNow I love the smell of victory in the morning. Smells like… corpses!]]"
** It's possible to have a Twisted Assassin in your household, which is described as "A human computer with the soul of a cold-eyed killer. [[VideoGame/AssassinsCreed In the wrong game.]]"
* ShownTheirWork:
** The developers took great care about the historical accuracy of the factions, as well as making regional differences between the various barbarian tribes such as the Germanic Suebi, who are distinct from the Gallic Averni or the Britannic Iceni.
** Roman Generals will, at the approximate time periods in which they became famous, become available for recruitment to lead your armies. You may well have Gaius Marius himself leading the legions of Rome on the Cisalpine front in 102BC. Although it's kind of weird when an agent defects and you have Herodotus as an Iceni-supporting druid.
** If you fight a battle in the city of Rome itself, instead of fighting in a generic city map, the map will be a surprisingly accurate rendition of what ancient Rome looked like, with landmarks such as the Colosseum and the Circus Maximus in the right places.
** The friezes, pediments and statues that decorate temples seen during city sieges are painted as evidence suggests they would have been in real life, rather than left bare white marble.
* SoundOnlyDeath: The ending cutscene for the Battle of Teutoberg Forest cuts to black just as Varus is killed.
* SpikedWheels: Scythed Chariots are available to certain Eastern factions, and are devastating if allowed to run rampant.
* StanceSystem: Armies and navies on the overworld map can select from one of 4 stances, each with its own bonuses and penalties.
* SufferTheSlings: Slings are one of the three missile types, and are characterized by having the longest range and highest rate of fire, at the cost of raw damage.
* TacticalRockPaperScissors: As in ''Shogun 2'', the agents tend to be more effective against one agent type and less effective against the other. Typically, Spies (High Cunning, low Authority) are strong against Champions (High Zeal, low Cunning), who are strong against Dignitaries (High Authority, low Zeal), who are strong against Spies. This can change depending on how the agent was developed.
* {{Tagline}}: ''Quo usque pro Roma ibis?'' ("How far will you go for Rome"?)
* UnfortunateNames:
** One of the settlements in the Cartaginensis province is named "Arse". Sometimes, it gets occupied by the nearby '''Turd'''etani faction. Were you to try and besiege them there, they might come out...
** There's another city called "Bam".
** There's a barbarian city named "Bagacum".
* UpdatedRerelease: The ''Emperor Edition'', which includes the various DLC and patches made since the original launch.
* UseYourHead: Some combat animations have one of the participants headbutting his opponent.
* VideoGameHistoricalRevisionism: Largely averted in Egypt's case. Gone are the ancient Egyptians of the first ''Rome'' game, replaced by the historically accurate Ptolemaic dynasty of Greek rulers, fielding armies that would have been familiar to UsefulNotes/AlexanderTheGreat rather than [[UsefulNotes/RamsesII Ramses the Great]].
* WarElephants: Both African and Indian variations show up, the former a pure melee unit, the latter a ranged unit that still has a deadly melee presence. Very deadly if allowed to rampage unchecked, but they're surprisingly vulnerable for their size and can run amok and become uncontrollable if they take enough damage.
* WarIsHell: [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] by the creators, and a logical end to the ever increasing realism of the battle engine; actively reinforced now with the ''Blood and Gore Pack''.
* WarriorMonk:
** The Iceni have access to Druidic Nobles. They're very effective melee combatants - almost as good as the top-tier Heroic Nobles - and can buff the morale of nearby friendly units, but have poor armour and come in the same unit size as Berzerkers (roughly half that of standard infantry).
** Egypt gets Sobek Cultists, who wear crocodile masks and scare the pants off everyone.
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: The thought of any units on the receiving end of a barrage of Carthaginian ''Snake Pot Ballistae'', introduced in the ''Beasts of War'' {{DLC}}.
* YouBastard: A possible interpretation of the game's {{Tagline}}: ''How far will you go for Rome?''
* ZergRush:
** An endless swarm of Germans will be constantly attacking you from all directions throughout the Battle of Teutoberg Forest, forcing you to RunOrDie.
** In early patches, there was a typo in the game's coding that gave the various Sub-Saharan African provinces massive income, which often resulted in the minor Sub-Saharan African factions recruiting massive armies consisting of nothing but cheap levy troops, and then overwhelming and overrunning playable historical powers like Egypt, Carthage, the Seleucids, and sometimes even Rome in the Grand Campaign.

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