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Roman World civ2

World map at the scenario start.

The Rise of Rome is one of the two original scenarios designed by MicroProse, included with every version of Civilization II except Test of Time. It covers the period of the late Roman Republic when it rose from a regional power to hegemony over western Eurasia and northern Africa, despite the rivalry of Carthage, the enmity of the successors to Alexander's empire, and periodic invasions by northern "barbarians".


"In the 50 years since the conquests of Alexander the Great, the civilized world has become virtually a Greek world. Alexander's premature death in 323 B.C. provoked a series of wars among his generals for the control of an empire that stretched from Southern Italy to India. Eventually it was subdivided into three relatively stable kingdoms ruled by the descendants of three of his generals, Seleucus's kingdom in Asia, Ptolemy's kingdom in Africa, and Antigonus's kingdom in Europe. They coexist harmoniously with the great mercantile power, Carthage, based in northwestern Africa. The only serious threats to peace springs from periodic invasions of the warlike Celts of central Europe. Recently, however, a small republic with the unassuming name of Rome has emerged from several centuries of regional warfare as the dominant power of the Italian peninsula. The stage is now set for a stunning series of campaigns in which Rome, historically, conquered, in turn, the western Greeks, Carthage, the Celts, and, finally, the three Greek empires to become master of the Western world."
– Scenario introduction

The scenario lasts 250 one-year turns, from 278 BC to 28 BC.

The game begins with the Celts launching a brutal attack on Macedonian Pella and the Romans involved in the Pyrrhic War with the Greeks of southern Italy. The Ptolemids and Seleucids hate each other and will find coexistence difficult, despite the importance of not disrupting the construction of the world's last two wonders.

Generally speaking, the Macedonians are doomed; the Romans need to break out towards one of the corners; the Ind. Greeks should swiftly consolidate, particularly by annexing and developing Athens and Sparta; the Celts should explore, conquer, and trade as much as possible to swiftly make up their initial backwardness; the Carthaginians should race them to Iberia and Gaul's many small villages; and the eastern superpowers are well advised to consolidate and develop early on, while sending out explorers to the many villages, before relying on their diplomats and advanced units to overwhelm the Mediterranean's major cities.


The map covers the Mediterranean and Black Seas and nearby territory. Each civilization begins with a number of cities, but large parts of the map remain open for settlement. Only some of the cities already established at the beginning of the game, however, count as objectives for scoring the game.



The Romans under Scipio are a monarchy (!) controlling 3 objectives:

They also begin with Sena, Tarracina, Neapolis, and Heraclea in Italy. They are completely surrounded and must break through in some direction to be able to establish new colonies. Legions are just as expensive and generally useless as in the vanilla game and, at the moment, the Romans lack the much more useful elephants (Polytheism), caravans (Trade), and harbors (Seafaring). That said, the legions sitting behind the Great Wall are very well off and it's advisable for the players of other civs to focus elsewhere during the early game. Italy is too much of a Pyrrhic slog, when the Pyramids or Hanging Gardens are much more useful within this scenario.

As the Romans, it's helpful to send units early on to beat the Celts and Carthaginians to all the huts in the west. Massilia and the Celts should eventually be bottled up, purchased, or conquered on the way to developing the coasts of the western Mediterranean and Venice (silk & coal). The north tip of Sardinia has a whale and two fish, but using the whale with the coal on Corsica is probably more useful.

Taras isn't worth conquering but the many Greek units who start the game parked there should be dealt with. If you can't buy them off (the ships are very useful), you're best off destroying the whole place and rebuilding a loyal Italian colony to its southeast, further away from Heraclea. Another city can be erected on the hill 4 tiles south of Heraclea (whale, 2 fish). The Gargano Peninsula (fish, whale) east of Tarracina should be developed as a port permitting the colonization of the Adriatic and easy conquest of whatever's left of the Macedonians.

Carthage should be avoided until they or the Ptolemaids have finished the Lighthouse.


The Carthaginians (Reworked Zulus) under Hannibal are a monarchy controlling 2 objectives:

They also begin with the Lighthouse under construction in Carthage (+1 OBJ upon completion), Hippo Regius and Leptis in Africa, Lilybaeum on Sicily, and Caralis on Sardinia. They have extensive territories to explore and colonize in Iberia and western Africa, but Celtic Numantia should be purchased or destroyed as quickly as possible and it will be a race to get around to Gaul's huts before the Celts from La Tene can.

A settlement near the whale and oasis southeast of Leptis will block Ptolemaid expansion by land; other good early locations are on Corsica (coal & whale) and Malta (2 whales, 2 fish); beside the river north of the Pyrenees (whale, fish, & silk); and near Valencia (whale, silk, & pheasant). The whale and hills in Calabria can also be used to establish a fortress on the Italian peninsula to contain Roman expansion and draw off its attacks, until Carthaginian tech or income has developed well enough to allow the conquest of Roman cities themselves.

Macedonian Greeks[]

The Macedonian Greeks (Reworked Vikings) under Antigonus are a monarchy controlling 2 objectives:

They also begin with Abdera and Demetrius in Greece and Hecatompylos in the far East. They have access to the Aegean, Scythia, and Persia.

Obviously, your catapult in Pella will repulse the initial Celtic invasion there but do your best to repair the damage to one of your few already-held objective cities; if the Celts were very lucky, you might even want to send settlers to increase its size back to 2 or 3.

Pergamum and Miletus are nonissues and, without the ability to construct science wonders, Rhodes is more valuable as a trading partner than a conquest. Instead, grab Sparta and Delphi as soon as possible, being careful not to destroy the entire town. Colonizing the Bosphorus can seal off the Balkans but the more valuable spot is just to its southeast (whale, fish, coal, wine). Send units to as many huts as you can reach first and then try to knock the Celts out of Galatia and Braunsberg as early as possible, permitting the domination of the Balkans, the Pontic coast, and Scythia. While this is going on, develop the hills of the Peloponnesus to boost Sparta's production and send out occasional colonists to the surrounding islands, starting with western Crete (whale).

Hecatompylos will be all on its own for a long while. Use it as a base for explorers while building up its income with new roads, then send the settler to colonize the river mouth to its north (whale, gold). The second town will be on a hilltop to the south (bison, oil, gold, iron). With enough production, its possible to overrun the unwalled cities of the Seleucids with teams of elephants, but remember to wait until after the completion of Seleucus's Observatory. In the meantime, remember that barbarians will appear often in this wasteland and keep a few offensive units around each of your cities there to knock them off and grab their leaders.

Ptolemaic Greeks[]

The Ptolemaic Greeks (Reworked Spanish) under Ptolemy are a monarchy controlling 4 objectives:

They also begin with the Lighthouse under construction in Alexandria (+1 OBJ upon completion), Heliopolis in Lower Egypt and Cyrene in Cyrenaica. They have access to Cyprus, Libya, and Arabia. Settlements in Judea and Phoenicia can be very useful, but will need to be protected from Arabian raiding and Seleucid attacks.

The obvious move is to push into the Seleucid Empire while all of its major cities lack walls, allowing a few well-trained elephants to pull the entire thing off in a single campaign. That said, you should still wait long enough for them to finish their Observatory and not put enough direct pressure on them that they change its production. Instead, use caravans to complete your own wonder early; knock off as many huts as you can reach; and begin filling in the space between Raphia and Damascus, starting with the cape SW of the bison able to reach the first whale above Egypt. If bridges are still an issue, build at the source of the Jordan 3 tiles south of Damascus and use that as a base for colonizing lower Mesopotamia while repelling the occasional elephant or diplomat.

To the west, develop the coast between Cyrene and Alexandria: a good first spot is 2 tiles above the grain. This port can then be connected to an interior city (grain, bison, oasis). If relations are fine with Carthage, build a city SE of Leptis (whale, oasis) to stop their entry into Cyrenaica. If relations are bad, do the same thing, but after either conquering Leptis or constructing another town between Cyrene and your border. As with Carthage, SE Malta is an attractive base and trading emporium.

Seleucid Greeks[]

The Seleucid Greeks (Reworked Chinese) under Antiochus are a monarchy controlling 3 objectives:

They also begin with the Observatory under construction in Seleucia (+1 OBJ upon completion), Miletus in western Anatolia, Nisibis in Assyria, and Damascus in Syria. They have access to Scythia, Mesopotamia, and Arabia. Like with the Ptolemaids, settlements in Judea and Phoenicia can be very useful but will be exposed to attack early on.

Purchasing or conquering Raphia, Pergamum, Galatia, and Hecatompylos sews up the entire East; colonizing the Bosphorus avoids any wayward Macedonian units and comes with a whale and some fish. That said, there's a better spot to its southwest (whale, fish, wine, coal) and the Seleucids can get along just fine developing the chain of hills east of Damascus and Antioch into an industrial juggernaut. The spot southeast of Seleucus with access to buffalo and coal should be used to protect southern Mesopotamia from raiders.

Given that no additional science wonders can be constructed there in this scenario, Rhodes is much more valuable as a rich (and sometimes republican) trading partner on a different "continent" than it is as a conquest, at least until after its Colossus becomes obsolete. Instead, overrun Egypt at the earliest convenient moment.

Ind. Greeks and Allies[]

The Independent Greeks and Allies under Hiero (here considered the "real" Greeks) are a monarchy controlling 3 objectives:

  • Syracuse (OBJ) on Sicily
  • Delphi (OBJ, owing to its Oracle) in mainland Greece
  • Rhodes (OBJ, owing to its Colossus) in the Aegean

They also begin with Massilia in southern Gaul, Taras in southern Italy, and Pergamum in western Anatolia. They have access to the Aegean but their far-flung empire can make it difficult to exploit Iberia, Gaul, and Scythia before the other powers. The Romans are coming for Taras, the Carthaginians for Syracus, and the Celts for Massilia.

These Greeks' capital is at Syracuse and ending Carthage's constant flooding of its squares with units is worth purchasing Lilybaeum. It's not actually worth a war, however, when the real problem is the way that Macedonian Athens sits athwart the Indy's main lines of trade and support. Malta is also calling out for Syracusan settlers (2 fish, 2 whales).

The immediate fire, however, is the bee in the Romans' bonnet about Taras. Kill their stacks of units as they try to get over the nearby hill and move the fight to Heraclea as soon as possible, using your ships to land veteran elephants and other units if you can't afford to buy the city out. Follow that by colonizing Calabria with one or two cities and building roads that allow them to support one another.

Another immediate issue is getting a mobile unit or two out of Massilia to explore Gaul and Iberia before the Celts and Carthaginians. Try to stay in the Celts' good graces as long as possible, but La Tene will eventually need to go. Several good settlement sites present themselves—Corsica (coal, whale), the river mouth north of the Pyrenees (fish, whale, silk), the river head west of Massilia (2 coals, iron)—but just getting a wall up and preserving Massilia will probably keep you busy for a while, especially if nearby huts spit out barbarians instead of mercenaries.


The Celts (Rework of the much more aggressive Mongols) under Vercingetorix are a despotism controlling 2 objectives:

  • La Tene (OBJ), north of the Alps
  • Milan (OBJ), in the Po Valley

They also begin with Numantia in northern Iberia, Braunsberg across the Danube, Sparta in the Peloponnese, and Galatia in central Anatolia. They have 4 chariots parked outside the unfortified Macedonian capital Pella; conquering Pella and Abdera essentially closes off the Balkans and most of Scythia for other powers. Fairly swift exploration will provide extra units and towns permitting the conquest of Greek Massilia and Carthaginian Gades, leaving all of Iberia and Gaul for the taking. Taking the Oracle at Delphi can help deal with the civ size unhappiness factor, as can a fundamentalist druid-led government once it's available.

Unfortunately, Celtic towns and tech are far less developed than those of the other powers. Importantly, they lack the catapults (Mathematics) necessary to conquer Roman towns and the ships (Map Making) needed to reach anyone else for conquest or trade (once they even learn how to do that). Of course, techwise, the very first objective should be to get out of despotism to improve productivity.

It's important to note the very strong effect of veteran Roman legions sitting behind their Great Wall, which can make the Roman cities seem to be under the protection of the Gods. You can easily lose several veteran catapults taking out each defending unit. This means your best bet for dealing with Scipio is trying to get cannon (Metallurgy) before he can get muskets (Gunpowder). If that fails, just ramp up your mines as best you can.


The major cities at game start and wonders (2 still under construction) are worth objective points. There are 19 total points at game start, with 2 more possible if the Carthaginians, Ptolemaids, and Seleucids are allowed to complete their wonders. It's also possible (probable?) for the Celts to accidentally destroy the heavily defended but unfortified town of Pella in the first two rounds of the game.

  • Decisive Victory: 14
  • Marginal Victory: 9
  • Marginal Defeat: 3
  • Decisive Defeat: -1


"[I] played it three times... [L]ast one... [I] conquered all of his cities in one turn using around 50 spies, 50 tanks and his railroad system.

He had railroads?"
– "Rome's Scenario in Civ 2" at CivFanatics


Over the course of the game, it is possible for the most backward of the original civilizations to fill out the entire tech tree and develop Future Technology.


Trade is more productive than in standard games, despite most of the map being reckoned as a single continent. An example caravan from Alexandria (pop. 6) to Rhodes (pop. 8, with the Colossus) in 264 BC in a chieftain-level game produced 337 gold initially plus 6 gold per turn.


Only the wonders established or under construction at the beginning of the game are available, despite the usual wonders still appearing in the information about the scenario's tech tree. This is a natural side effect of the wonders being counted as scenario objectives.[1]

This has several effects on gameplay. Certain normally valuable technologies (e.g. Genetic Engineering) are entirely worthless since their wonder is unavailable. The lack of the Trading Co. increases the value of the Pyramids, since maintaining granaries in every city will never be free. No one will be able to construct spacecraft or nuclear missiles, since no one will be able to complete the Apollo or Manhattan projects. SDI is useless. Cathedrals and various forms of power plants, however, become more important, since Michelangelo's Chapel and the Hoover Dam are off limits.

At the beginning of the game, the Lighthouse is under construction in both Carthage and Alexandria and the Observatory is under construction in Seleucia. A human playing any of these powers will not be able to use one of their major cities until these projects are completed; they cannot be started again if production is changed and rapid completion of their construction through the use of caravans is advisable. Similarly, a major war against the Carthaginians, Ptolemaids, or Seleucids will cause the AI to shift production, making these wonders (and their associated bonuses and victory points) unavailable for the rest of the game. A player looking to maximize points and bonuses, therefore, will want to avoid conflict in the South and East throughout the early game.

The Oracle will become useless with the discovery of Theology; since its replacement wonders can never be constructed, it should be avoided as long as possible.


On-map pollution is disabled for the scenario. While it will still appear in the city screen, tiles will not be contaminated except by a core meltdown or nuclear strike, with the latter impossible since the Manhattan Project cannot be built. Default Power Plants are therefore the most cost-effective construction option, should they become a viable construction option.


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