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Rome

Divided in Republican and Imperial at the third installment, Rome is the main civilization of the Imperivm franchise. It didn't dominate the ancient world for centuries for nothing; in this case, it stands out for its well structured professional army, whose tight formations and elite soldiers can tear down almost any conventional enemy in a pitched battle.

  • Bald of Awesome: Roman priests are shaven.
  • Boring, but Practical:
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    • Legionaries are a relatively simple type of unit, the kind that would be pretty useless in most civilizations, but their immunity to damage makes them a mainstay of the Roman armies.
    • Praetorians are so powerful that, with the right support of healing priests, they can dip into Boring Invincible Hero territory.
  • Bread and Circuses: They have a coliseum structure and can recruit gladiators.
  • Healing Hands: Priests can cure with a hand gesture.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Their shields are thick and their swords are sharp, both literally and figuratively.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Equites are very fast and not too bad for a cavalry unit.
  • Made of Iron: Legionaries. Despite being the most basic type of footsoldier, they have the inmunity skill you usually find in lancers or defenders in other civilizations.
  • Praetorian Guard: Literally: Imperial Rome’s elite unit is the Praetorian Guard.
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  • Sacred Language: They have character quotes in Latin.
  • Shock and Awe: Priests can summon Jupiter's lighting against their enemies. Whether it inflicts them damage, kills them instantly or does nothing at all depends of the enemy in question.
  • Stone Wall: Republican tribunes are not especially good in attack, but their stoppage abilities mean they can block an enemy and hold him there without receiving damage for a long time.

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Gaul

The civilization of heroes, both figuratively and literally. Gaulish warriors venerate their chieftains and oppose any foreign invader who tries to put a hold on their indomitable way to life. Strengthened by the leadership of the best field heroes of the game, they are an aggro faction that fights to death in every battle.

  • Action Girl: Their warrior women. They were the first example of this in the Imperivum franchise, in fact.
  • An Axe to Grind: This civilization has famed axe warriors. Also, one of their heroes wield a double-headed axe.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Their most viable strategy.
  • Druid: Their magical unit.
  • Glass Cannon: Most of their units have high attack yet low defense, which makes the healing skills of their druids vital in order to avoid being butchered in a sustained struggle.
  • Healing Hands: Druids have them, just like their Roman equivalents.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Gaulish heroes are stronger than average, and Fand warriors are a very good heavy troop.
  • Pelts of the Barbarian: Part of their attire.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Their footsoldiers are barechested, presumably as a G-rated version of the supposedly historical custom by Gaul tribes to go Full-Frontal Assault in their warfare. The lack of armor also helps to explain their little defense.

Iberia

Whenever invaders put their eyes on Hispania's fertile lands, they must first face the threat of its ferocious indigenous tribes. Iberians are allrounders, with deadly cavalry and well equipped infantry. They capitalize on their toughness, strategic versatility and uncanny ways to gain experience to crush their enemies.

  • An Axe to Grind: Elite guards wield heavy axes.
  • Barrier Maiden: Their priestesses can heal and reduce the damage of their warrios.
  • Composite Character: In real life, Hispania was populated by a number of often very culturally divergent tribes, not by a single civilization as portrayed in the game for obvious gameplay reasons. For this reason, several of its units are based on warriors of those different peoples. Lancers and priestess are clearly inspired by the scutarii and damas of the southern Iberian coast; militiamen wear Celtiberian mercenary attire yet wield southern falcatas; slingmen look very Lusitanian; and elite guards are presumably based on the northern Celtic people, the only who wielded axes in Hispania.
  • Deadly Delivery: An unusual variation: intentionally or not, slingers are easy to mistake visually for Iberian peasant units, as they wear similar unarmored tunics and don't show any visible weapons when they are not fighting. A careless player might believe he's looking at peaceful villagers and then get surprised that they pull out slings and start wrecking havoc.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics:
    • Iberian cavalry is openly designed for this action: their attack stats increase dramatically at their initial charge and then drop down until they leave the battlefield, making them useful for hit-and-run-and-hit-and-run-etcaetera tactics.
    • Guerrilla fighters are not terribly good in battle, but their ability to remain undetected for potentially unlimited amounts of time allows them to attack out of nowhere and disappear right after, making them excellent to capture villages and disrupt supply lines.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: As a civilization. They have the best charge cavalry in the game, footsoldiers that are all from useful to excellent in their respective fields, some nasty structure tricks, and decent magic units. They only lack all-healing units like the druids and special powerhouses like Fand warriors or Norman chiefes, and they can still compensate it pretty well with enough teamwork and experience.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Their cavalry has high stats, although in a subversion, they perform the best when acting as a Fragile Speedster.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: Their militiamen. Even although they are just a relatively tough light unit, they can be mass recruited with one button click and then turned back into regular citizens when not needed.
  • Made of Iron: Even light infantry has a quite hard skin in Iberia.
  • Skill Gate Character: This civilization is well-balanced in both stats and skills and has very adaptable options, to the point that, although it is designed to employ smart planning, it can also work reasonably well without any complex strategy (only not as good as others). This makes it a good starting place for new players.
  • The Sneaky Guys: Guerrilla fighters, which are both invisible and self-sustaining.
  • Stone Wall: Lancers. Until III introduced the Britannian civilization, they were the best defensive unit.
  • Suffer the Slings: Slingers. They get nerfed from the second to the third game, but they are still a menace.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Iberian guerrilla fighters have rather limited fighting skills for a special type of unit, so a smart player should not try to engage a medium-or-higher-level enemy force with them. However, their stealth and provisioning abilities makes them excellent spies, decoys and surgical attackers.

Carthage

The ancient world's renowned Mega-Corp of adventurous merchants and ruthless traders. Lacking any trusty warriors aside from the Sacred Legion, Carthage employs insanely huge masses of expendable mercenary forces from all North Africa to just plain bully their opponents while their Punic masters count gold coins and think on their next conquest.

  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Warriors from the Sacred Legion are the only Carthaginian unit that has a good armor and relatively high stats, but they are filthily expensive, rather slow and generally inferior to their equivalents from other civilizations. They are best used as finishers in punctual battles.
    • War elephants are cool and can bully enemy armies when well used, but they have a ton of weaknesses: they are slow as molasses, eat your supply of food alive, and although their quantity of hit points is enormous, they are actually not very tough, so even very inferior units can threaten them if they manage to overwhelm them.
  • Angry Black Man: Mauritanian fighters have this ability in-universe, as they can increase their fury to finish weakened enemies.
  • Bald of Awesome: Some of their heroes, as well as their Mauritanian fighters.
  • Darkest Africa: Most of their African mercenary forces evoke this image. They are black, wear loincloths and wield rudimentary weapons.
  • Gradual Grinder: The expect results of their human wave tactics. Numidian footsoldiers are especially good at this, as they inflict damage by dying, and they can be replaced quite easily.
  • High Priest: Their Moloch shamans are presumably equivalent to real life Baal Hammon priests.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: Although they lack attack stats to make kills, tuaregs are good to annoy slow enemies by poking and retreating.
  • Mighty Glacier: War elephants, which can inflict a lot of famage and take as much.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Mauritanian fighters. They have surprisingly soft voices for guys who look like Bob Sapp's long lost brothers, but most of their lines are about spilling blood.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Most of those guys would not look out of place in a Conan the Barbarian story, but their rudimentary tactics can wear down an unaware enemy.
  • Praetorian Guard: The Sacred Legion.
  • We Have Reserves: Their mercenary forces are overly disposable, with an option designed to obtain economic benefit from their deaths and even a kind of unit even designed to die. In general, Carthage's modus operandi is sending human waves until the enemy cries uncle. Instructionals for the game often joke that if your Carthaginian troops don't have a number advantage of 10-1 over your enemy, you are losing the war.
  • Zerg Rush: To put it simply, Carthage lost the unit lottery: most of their unit classes are ill equipped, have low stats or are just plain absent (for example, they don't have cavalry or defensive units), and even their heroes are quite bad compared to most civilizations. However, they have the right abilities to gather gigantic masses of fighters and send them to the battlefield one after another. What they cannot accomplish by warrior skill, they accomplish by sheer numbers.

Britannia

Rome's bane from the northern islands, Britannia is Imperivm's barbarian artillery. Though slow and heavy, their insanely powerful Highland and Norman warriors are human tanks on the battlefield, and the long-range expertise of their support men and heroes make this faction dangerous from any position.

  • Archer Archetype: They have both archers and javelin throwers, and their heroes are armed with bows instead of swords.
  • Barbarian Longhair: Everybody there has a very Celtic long mane of hair.
  • Composite Character: As with the Iberian faction, this civilization is a rather surprising union of Britannian tribes that in real life weren't exactly friendly to each other. They have Caledonians, Highlanders and continental units working along with vaguely Iceni-looking warriors.
  • Drop the Hammer: Norman chiefs carry massive war hammers that look more like anvils at the end of poles. Druids also carry smaller versions, but presumably only for ceremonial purposes.
  • Druid: They have their own druids, although less useful (and more scary-looking) than Gaul ones.
  • Dual Wielding: Highlanders wield a One-Handed Zweihänder and a shorter sword simultaneously.
  • Dumb Muscle: The thing this civilization is best at is marching forward and crushing everything in their way. Even their most convoluted trick, the druids's ability to invisibilize armies, is best applied when used to ensure a pitched battle.
  • The Juggernaut: Norman chiefs are so incredibly destructive and efficient that they can brawl completely unsupported against entire armies and come on top most of the time.
  • Made of Iron: Almost everybody in this team: Highlanders, lancers, Norman chiefs and even heroes.
  • Mighty Glacier: Insane fighting stats yet pathetic slowness are the main characteristics of this civilization. They even replace cavalry with an extra kind of heavy foot troop, the Caledonian fighter.
  • Pelts of the Barbarian: As per the tradition.
  • Redhead Hero: Many of their heroes, but also the Higlanders.
  • Shields Are Useless: Both Highlanders and Norman chiefs carry their shields on their backs and never use them on the battlefield. Not that they need them a lot, though. (Footsoldiers also have their shields on their backs in default mode, but they grab it quickly when they switch to attack.)
  • Stealthy Colossus: Britannian druids can invisibilize both heroes and their entire squads, allowing them to maneuver out of the enemy's sight.
  • Stone Wall: You need a bazooka to wound a Britanian Highlander or lancer. They also subvert it by having a rather high attack as well.
  • Violent Glaswegian: Highlanders.

Germania

The bandits of the gloomy northern forests. Germans are alien to civilized things like gold, armor and large armies, but they make up for it with their swooping cavalry, hard-hitting brutes and ability for non-frontal warfare. Nobody is safe from their ambushes and raids when they catch speed.

  • Action Girl: In two flavors: Valkyries and guerrilla fighters.
  • An Axe to Grind: Their axe warriors.
  • Carry a Big Stick: The civilization's heavy warriors carry cartoonish spiked maces.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Their ability to wage guerrilla warfare is actually better than the canonical masters at this, the Iberians: they are the fastest in the game, have their own invisible fighters, and most of their units are designed to skirmish and ambush anyway. However, while Iberians have adaptable warriors with decent stats in most fields, making them competent at pitched battles and maneuver warfare as well, Germania is pretty much limited to fight exclusively in guerrilla fashion.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: They aren't the easiest civilization to use given their statistic oddities, but they do have ways to surprise enemies.
  • Fragile Speedster: Although all their units lack defense, their cavalry is strong and even the non-riding ones are fast on their feet.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • Even their heaviest footsoldiers are awfully armored, which means they are not fitted for the sustained fighting those units are usually designed for. However, their big maces and axes are not for show, and if they happen to have enough experience and timing, they serve just as well.
    • In their natural state, German guerrilla fighters can inflict more damage than their Iberian homologues, but they are less tough and lack the Iberians's self-feeding abilitie, so they cannot lurk for long periods of time like they do.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: All the units in this civilization emphasize speed and attack. In particular, as with Iberian guerrilla fighters, German guerrilleras can easily approach unsuspecting enemies, bring a rain of javelins on them, and then escape before they can react.
  • Lady of Black Magic: Their priestesses, based on the real life volva, are an older version of this.
  • Pelts of the Barbarian: Many of their units are clad in wolf/bear pelts.
  • Quality Vs Quantity: As the German civilization works on food for trade instead of gold, their supplies are frankly bad, so they are forced to trust in small bands of warriors instead of trying to maintain big armies.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Their cavalry, particularly Valkyries and Teutonic riders.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: The mace warriors.

Egypt

As in their pyramids, time is on the side of the Egyptian civilization. Their debilitating spells, skillful specialized warriors and strategic defenders make sure that, the longest the battle is, the nearest they will be to finish their enemies to dust.

  • An Axe to Grind: Though they like more to throw them.
  • Armor Is Useless: Their character designs have them barechested or lightly armored most of the time. Even their unit with the highest defense, the Guard of the Nile, is actually a guy in a loincloth who carries a big shield.
  • Balf Of Awesome: Their priests.
  • Boring, but Practical: Warriors of Horus or Anubis. They are basically swordmen with cool masks, but they prove that, at the end of the day, all you need to beat a debilitated enemy is a tough Egyptian and a sword.
  • Carry a Big Stick: Guards of the Nile are armed with an interestingly drumstick-looking club.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Several of their units are barefoot, as per the Egyptian stereotype (although this a case of Flanderization, as warfare was one of the few occasions in which Egyptians always wore footwear).
  • Gradual Grinder: Their light infantry and archery erode the energy of the enemy during their attacks, and their priests and Chariots of Osiris can poison them in a stable basis. This means the enemy is constantly losing both energy and health while fighting Egyptians, leaving them vulnerable to counterattacks.
  • High Priest: The classic Egyptian one.
  • Skill Gate Character: The Egyptian civilization is often recommended for new players, as its high defense, easy units and patient strategy allow the player to take his time to figure out the workings of the game.
  • Stone Wall: Guards of the Nile have an enormous defense and can stall big masses of enemies while their own lighter allies prey on them. (They also hit hard.)
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Or axe, in this case.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Several units.
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