Game Settings, The Map, Colonies and Culture, Martial Law and Pacification, Military
Infrastructure, Unit Costs and Dealing with the
AI, Combat and Phalanx Warfare, Temples and Scools, Loyalty,
Caravans, the Silk Road, and the Royal Road, Force Diplomacy Script, Peace with
the Dead Script, Garrison
Some features of XGM require that you have advice switched on,
preferably to "low". The campaigns are designed to work best with the
"large" units setting. Smaller units will produce population growth
rates that are too high, and excessive unrest. Larger units may cause
settlements to be depopulated by the AI. The campaigns in XGM are
generally much harder than the campaigns in vanilla RTW. Most campaigns
present an optimal challenge on "hard/hard". On "very hard/very hard"
many of the campaigns will be un-winnable. For some of the campaigns
with weaker factions, like Pontus, Armenia, and Saba, it is advisable
to set the campaign difficulty to medium. Otherwise you may find
yourself fighting on too many fronts too early.
The XGM installer will use your
existing preferences if it can find them. It also makes several default
changes: (1) Advice is switched on and set to low. (2) Advice is
switched to text only. (3) The green unit marker arrows are switched
off. (3) The unit upgrade sparkle effect is switched off. (5) Editable
settlement names are switched on (left click on the settlement name at
the top of the settlement info scroll). (6) Fatigue is switched off
(the AI doesn't know how to manage fatigue). You can change these
default settings by editing xgm/preferences/preferences.txt.
The map is based on the Mundus
Magnus map by ngr. The map extends north to include all of the British
Isles, south to include Ethiopia and Arabia, and all the way east to
India, making it much more suitable than the vanilla map for
representing the Hellenistic world. The map is big enough that you can
now play the Seleucid Empire in all its sprawling glory, or play the as
the Greco-Baktrians, holding out on the fringe of the Hellenistic
The map has
199 regions, including three sea regions, producing better naval AI
behavior, and two un-capturable desert regions, producing
betterAI behavior and
historically accurate game-play. Map heights, features, and settlement
locations have also been altered to produce better AI path-finding.
The Sahara has been unified into a single region, and some regions in
out-lying parts of the map have been combined, while a number of new
settlements have been added in and around Greece, including
Thebes, Ephesus, Cyzicus, and Patras.
A land bridge has been added between Sicily and Italy, allowing armies
to walk between the two regions, resulting in more release behavior by
the Roman AI. An optional land bridge also connects Europe and Asia
Minor near Byzantium, allowing for AI forces to invade Asia Minor from
Greece, and visa versa.
Trade resources have been adjusted to represent the vast wealth traded
along the silk road, and by sea from India to the Mediterranean world
Colonies and Culture
A new culture mechanism has been introduced using the religion
mechanism from the Barbarian Invasion expansion. Populations are
divided between three culture groups: Barbarian, Western Civilised, and
Eastern Civilised. When you capture a settlement that belongs to
another culture you can begin converting the population to your own
culture by building a colony. This will cause unrest in the short term
but greater stability and tax income in the long term. It will also
make it possible to build higher level barracks in the settlement.
Martial Law and Pacification
Building a colony takes time,
involves considerable expense, and can seriously annoy the natives.
When deciding where to expand, consider carefully whether you will need
to build colonies in your newly captured territories. Expansion is
always easier in regions that share your faction’s culture. If
you do decide to colonise, make sure you are ready to deal with the
ensuing unrest. Sometimes building entertainment or cultural buildings,
like Theatres or Arenas, in advance can be a good idea.
Martial Law and Pacification can be used to impose an iron rule on newly conquered
territories, but that control comes at a steep economic cost. To construct the Martial Law
or Pacification buildings you will need to demolish any existing temple. Because of the
high cost of maintaining Martial Law, or a Pacification campaign, you should demolish these
buildings and return to a normal mode of government as quickly as possible.
All factions can recruit basic
garrison units from government buildings. Siege weapons are built in
siege workshops. Chariot units are typically recruited from Blacksmith
buildings. Otherwise almost all recruiting is done through the culture
specific Faction Barracks buildings, and the culture independent
Auxiliary Barracks buildings.
Each culture has its own type of Barracks building, which can be used
for recruiting faction units. If you capture a settlement belonging to
a different culture, then you will not be able to recruit units from
the existing Barracks buildings, so demolishing the existing barracks
is usually a good idea. To recruit your own faction units you will need
to start building your own military infrastructure. To build higher
level Barracks buildings you may also have to establish your own
Auxiliary Barracks can be used to recruit native unit types from the
local population. The units available will depend on the region.
Auxiliary Barracks are not culture specific, so if an Auxiliary
Barracks exists in a recently captured settlement, you will be able to
use it to recruit local units, if any are available.
and Dealing With the AI
Recruitment costs are higher in XGM, and upkeep costs are very high.
That means you can easily get into financial difficulties by recruiting
too many units. Think carefully about what you need, and don't recruit
more units than you can make good use of. Also make sure your borders
do not become over-extended. A single stack can use up the income of
several cities just in upkeep so it is easy to get into a position
where you can't afford to defend your own borders, let alone attack.
If all else fails, exterminate and pillage! Sometimes the only way out
of a financial crisis is to conduct a scorched-earth campaign through
enemy territory. When you capture a settlement, exterminate the
population, destroy every building you can, and move on to the next one
leaving nothing but a token garrison behind. Even if you can't hold the
settlements you capture, the loot will solve your financial problems,
and the damage will fatally weaken the enemy faction.
Factions controlled by the AI have less trouble with the high unit
recruitment and upkeep costs because they get significant economic
bonuses through unique "founding monument" buildings. These buildings
are typically located in the starting capital of each faction. As a
general rule, if when you go to war with another faction you should try
to capture their founding monument as soon as possible.
and Phalanx Warfare
Movement rates, morale
levels, and kill rates have all been adjusted to produce longer more
tactical battles. This has not been taken to the extremes that you will
find in some mods, but still you will find that instant routs are more
unusual, battles last longer, and maneuvering to flank the enemy is
Unit sizes and costs have been adjusted to make ranged units and
cavalry less cost effective and less all powerful on the battlefield.
Still it is advisable to self limit your use of these units if you are
playing infantry factions like the Romans or Greeks. Real men don't
prance about on horses and throw things. :)
Units with the phalanx ability have been adjusted so that they are not
entirely unbreakable. They are still very hard to beat in a frontal
assault, but they are not as lethal, and it is more difficult to keep
them in good order. You can't just form your pikemen into a box and
wait for the enemy to stop throwing themselves onto your spear points.
Instead you should engage rapidly with your phalanx line, to pin the
enemy in place, and then use other troop types to maneuver and destroy
By the time of the game period almost all of the Hellenistic world had
adopted the Macedonian style phalanx with its longer, two-handed,
pikes. The Spartans were perhaps the last hold-outs, and even they
adopted the Macedonian style phalanx in 220 BC. Thus all of the
Hellenistic factions in XGM, even the Greek City States, employ the
Macedonian style phalanx.
Still the main advantage of the Macedonian style phalanx was that
required less training and cheaper equipment. Hoplites and the classic
Greek phalanx did not disappear, they merely became less common as this
style of fighting was increasingly reserved to wealthy elites, and
In XGM Hoplites are represented as heavy infantry, armed with
spears, using an over-hand fighting style. They no longer have the
vanilla RTW phalanx ability, but they do have a high charge bonus, high
unit mass, and if you have BI they also get the shield-wall
Temples and Schools
There are now significant virtues associated with all temples, and
the vices associated with some temples have been toned down. So, if you
have a governor in a settlement it is safe to build any temple type,
and it is a good idea to build at least a second level temple to take
advantage of the positive effects that this will have on your
All temple types can now be upgraded by all factions, and all of the
Olympian gods are now represented. In vanilla RTW it was usually a good
idea to demolish existing temples in captured settlements, and to start
building your own. In XGM you should always consider whether upgrading
might be a better option.
Schools also have a strong positive effect on governors, so it is a
good idea to build them anywhere that you expect to have a governor for
long periods of time.
Romans, and the Greek City States, now have rebel factions. If loyalty
is activated then family members will have the loyalty attribute and family members whose loyalty is low may betray you
and join the rebels. When settlements rebel they will also go over to the rebel
You can control loyalty to some extent by giving important offices
to family members, and by building entertainment and security
buildings. The best method for solving loyalty problems, however, is to
crush the rebels out of existence. As long as they have no settlements,
your own family members will remain loyal.
Caravans, the Silk Road, and the Royal Road
All civilised factions can now build caravans, but only in eastern
provinces (roughly everywhere east of the Mediterranean, and the Black
Sea). The Silk road can only be constructed along its historical path.
To represent the ancient Royal Road that spanned the Persian
Empire, and largely coincided with the Silk Road, the provinces from
Sardis to Susa now start with paved roads, and these roads can be
upgraded to highways once the Silk Road has been constructed.
A variety of new
character traits have been added, including the
- Spartan: The ancient Spartan way
of life required constant and rigorous military training. Those who
keep up the ancient ways are much harder to kill, and armies led by
Spartans have much higher morale. Limited to members
of the Spartan sub-faction.
- Rhetorical Skill: The Greeks
invented the arts of rhetoric and logic. Those who master them gain
added influence. Acquired from schools and in various other
- Political Skill: Increases
influence and reduces unrest. Acquired by engaging in political
- Demagogue: Increases influence
and increases unrest. Acquired by not taxing enough or allowing
riots and rebellions.
- Kleptocrat: Increases tax income
and risk of assassination. Acquired by taxing too much.
- Stoicism: Stoicism is a school of
philosophy that teaches strict control of the emotions. Mastery of
this school of philosophy will improve bribe resistance and law
bonus, and protect against a variety of vices. Acquired from
- Epicureanism: Epicureanism is a
school of philosophy that teaches the rational pursuit of pleasure
and avoidance of pain. Mastery of this school of philosophy
improves management and squalor bonuses. Acquired from
This is a special set of traits. If a Greek general achieves great
victories on three continents then he gets the Legendary Conqueror
trait, and "the Great" added after his name. For "Victor in Europe"
you must win a great victory against a Roman faction, or a
Barbarian faction, or against the Greek Cities, Macedon, Thrace, or
Spain. For "Victor in Africa" you must win a great victory against
Carthage, Numidia, or the Ptolemaic Empire. For "Victor in Asia"
any Eastern faction, or the Seleucid Empire will do. A win counts
as a great victory if the odds are worse than 3:2 and the result is
a clear victory or better.
This allows you to force any faction to accept any diplomatic offer
you make to them. You can access this by clicking on the help button on
the diplomacy scroll (the question mark in the top right corner) and
then clicking on the "show me how" button when the advisor comes up.
This option is included so that you can correct for certain weaknesses
in the AI. Here are some suggestions for how this option can be used to
make the game more realistic and more interesting:
(1) The AI doesn't know when it's beaten. You can use this option to
force a faction to accept a ceasefire or protectorate status when they
have been beaten down to the point where you could crush them easily.
My own house rule is that I can use this option when a faction has been
reduced to three regions, I have their capital under siege, and I have
enough forces available to crush them easily within a few turns.
(2) The AI often doesn't know a good deal when it sees one. You can use
this option to force the AI to accept an offer that is clearly to their
(3) The AI won't keep an alliance, even with a reliable ally, and even
when breaking the alliance would be foolish. If you want to role play a
lasting alliance, you can use this option to keep the AI from staring
wars that don't make any sense.
If you do use this option it is a good idea to come up with sensible
house rules, at the start of your campaign, that govern how and when
you can use it. Your game will be a lot less fun if you use this option
as a cheat to make the game easier.
The Dead Script
A faction will not form an alliance with you if you are at war with
one of its allies. Unfortunately, due to a bug in RTW, this is true
even if the ally has been destroyed. This script allows you to make
peace with the dead, so that you can form alliances with the living.
Note, however, that it will also make peace with hordes that do not
hold any settlements.
To activate this script (1) open the overview scroll, (2) go to the
diplomacy tab, (3) click on the help button, and then when the advisor
pops up (4) click on the show me how button.
Several important cities have garrison scripts, including Rome,
Carthage, Syracuse, Rhodes, Antioch, Seleucia, Alexandria, Bactria, and
Nisa. If you lay siege to one of these cities a well armed garrison
will spawn at the start of the following turn. You can avoid dealing
with these garrisons by attacking immediately (with catapults for
example). Otherwise you should be prepared to fight a major battle.