No need to Rome around for tips, we’ve got you covered.

Fancy yourself to be a bit of a strategist, eh!? Or maybe you’re just curious about what there is to know about the intricate world of Paradox’s Imperator: Rome. Either way, we’ve put together a handy list of tips for players who are new to RTS games or new to the complex designs that Paradox is oh so good at putting together, have a look and give yourself a little edge when it comes to creating your own slice of empire.

Get yourself some Property Tax

As soon as you kick off a new campaign you’ll be able to invest in one new piece of “Technology,” which are essentially passive boosts for your kingdom to benefit from. There are quite a few to choose from at the start of the game but our tip is to go for the “Property Tax,” tech first.

It’s a handy boost to your coffers, upping your income by five percent which, depending on the province you’re playing as, is an extra boost to a pretty healthy bank account or – if you’re playing as any number of tiny provinces – an essential step to getting a couple of extra pennies in each month.

The tech really is a must early on in the game and goes a long way to help you put together a worthwhile army down the line.

Know what you need to import

Conquering is only one part of Imperator Rome and you’ll only get so far with a head full of dreams and a can-do attitude when murdering your enemies. So, when it comes to looking after the territories you already own, it’s handy knowing exactly what goods are worth importing into different cities.

Press on any city that you own and you’ll get a breakdown of the goods this city already has but if you’re able to get these to show a “+1” sign then you’ll get a host of different boosts depending on what you’re bringing in.

These boosts range from livestock boosting a city’s population, which is handy for not only recruiting numbers for an army but also puts them on a long, long road to becoming a citizen, which boosts your research points and means you can get snazzy new tech a bit quicker. Whatever you’re importing carries over a couple of boosts so it’s worth taking the time to do your research, figure out what it is that could do with a boost, be that population, building time or something else, and invest in a trading route that’ll get you that.

Select the right commanders

Every cohort of soldiers you have at your disposal should have a commander, it’s as simple as that. But there’s a bit of fine print to take into account when it comes to selecting your commander. All the prospective candidates (yep, I’m sticking with that lame job application tone) carry a Martial number which is signified by the legionnaire helmet while a few also have a couple of personality traits that can come in handy if used correctly.

The Martial rating is easy enough to understand and your list of would-be commanders are ranked from highest rating to lowest so picking the best is pretty easy. But you might also see a couple of icons attached to a commander and it’s worth reading what traits they have. Some offer a boost to heavy cavalry, war elephants or navy units, while others command greater loyalty from units or boost an army’s morale. With this in mind, it doesn’t make much sense to attach a commander with a specialty for naval units to your archers or vice versa, just like it’s usually better to steer clear of commanders who gain loyalty from their troops but are also corrupt assholes because it could spell a coup later down the line.

It’s also worth cross-referencing any potential commanders with your list of scorned families mostly because it’s an easy way of appeasing a few uppity nobles.

Save your omens

Whether it’s sacrificing an innocent lamb or calling down a blessing, the religious omens you can use in the game all offer handy, albeit time sensitive, boosts. It’s all too easy to cast a blessing or sacrifice something in haste because, well, because you can but it’s worth keeping in mind that these omens can sway a battle or decision outcome in your favour if you use them at the right time.

Basically, save your omens for when you need them most; it’s worth saving an aggressive expansion blessing for just before you go to war while a sacrifice to the gods (which boosts stability) is priceless when commerce or morale drops in troubled times.

Every omen has a different effect and costs you religious points so it’s down to you to figure out which omen best serves your needs and managing your religious points so that you’ve got enough on-hand for when you need an extra boost.

Move your troops before going to war

Right, this was a hard-learned lesson which cost me a fair few campaigns because I started a war far too casually and it basically ruined my life… in the game.

Before you even think about expanding your territory, make sure you’ve got permission to do so, this is most easily done by fabricating a claim to some land which allows you to declare war. Calm down, you’re not going anywhere just yet; use this time before going to war to make sure you’ve got the numbers you need, a decent variety of soldier classes, and all the commanders, then you want to move your armies into strategic positions.

There are a couple of things to take into account with this. Travelling cohorts have a supply limit, move as one gigantic army and you’ll lose a fair few soldiers on your journey so it’s worth splitting your armies into groups where you can and then moving. You can tell if you’re over the supply limit because a moving cohort will have an adorable but very deadly skull attached to it.

Moving your units is pretty simple, press on one cohort or click and drag to select a couple, and then right-click on where you want them to go. Use actions such as asking for military access through neighbouring provinces to shorten journey times and try to manoeuvre your armies so you’re positioned outside your target from a couple of positions.

It’s worth keeping a few units back and close to home in order to protect your own lands and having them in reserve if you need a boost to your numbers mid-way through a war.

There you have it, five tips for beginners that should come in handy if you’re trying to get to grips with Imperator: Rome. Did we miss an obvious tip? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter and we’ll add you tip and credit you with that priceless little gem we call knowledge.