Rome: Total War: Alexander
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (March 2008)|
|Rome Total War: Alexander|
|Developer(s)||The Creative Assembly
Feral Interactive (Mac OS X) 
|Publisher(s)||Activision - Original
Sega - Current
Feral Interactive (Mac OS X) 
|Genre(s)||Real-time tactics, Turn-based strategy|
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
Rome: Total War: Alexander is the second expansion for Rome: Total War. It is set in an earlier time period, putting the player in the role of Alexander the Great. It begins with Alexander's ascension to the Macedonian throne in 336 BC and lasts for 100 turns, each of which, unlike the original game and the first expansion, Barbarian Invasion, do not represent six months (assuming that it follows Alexander's actual reign of thirteen years, each turn would represent nearly seven weeks). The game is much the same as the original Rome: Total War, but with fewer factions, different units, and a different map. The player's goal is to conquer 30 provinces, including key cities such as Tyre, Halicarnassus and Babylon, within the 100 turn limit.
The game allows Alexander to live longer than the 33 years of his actual life. He died in Babylon on the afternoon of June 10–11, 323 BC, just one month short of turning 33.
There are only seven factions in Alexander. Of these, only one, Macedon, is playable in campaign mode. The player can make playable the other factions only by changing the expansion's files. The factions are:
- Scythia: The Scythians control Scythia but in Alexander they also control Chersonesos. Their army consists of master horsemen and archers but almost no melee infantry. The Scythians are not a threat to the Macedonians but are difficult to conquer. Also, thick forests block all the land next to the capital of the Scythians, making it troublesome for a player to conquer it.
- Dahae: Representing neighbouring, barbarian peoples like the Illyrians, Thracians, Sarmatians and Scythians, and consisting of independent cities like Byzantium. They are similar to the barbarian factions in the original game; their armies consist of large groups of warriors, including warriors wielding war scythe-like swords. They control various territories on the northern edges of the map.
- Illyria: The Illyrians control the western half of the Balkans with the capital at Epidamnus. Their army consists of axemen and specialist infantry with a limited collection of cavalry. Like their neighbours the Thracians they are a barbarian nation and they are also among the most dangerous nations at the beginning of Alexander.
- Macedon: Macedonia begins with most of Greece under its control. The army is similar to that of Macedon in the original game, consisting of various hoplites and phalanxes, and powerful cavalry, including the Companions; the army lacks archer units, although it can field javelin-throwing units. Macedon also has a unique unit representing Alexander's personal unit of elite Companion cavalry led by the king himself. Unlike Rome and Barbarian Invasion, if the player's king is killed, the campaign ends in defeat.
- Persia: The Persian army of Darius III is made up of a variety of troops, from poorly equipped masses of infantry and archers, to quality cavalry and elite units like the Immortals, as well as mercenaries from Greece and Phrygia. The army also has access to chariots, which the Persian generals also ride. The Persian Empire of the Achaemenid dynasty is vast, controlling all of Anatolia, Egypt, modern day Iraq and Iran, and even as far east as western India- and everything in between.
- India: Far from being a unified nation-state, the Indian kingdoms were nonetheless capable of sending awe-inspiring armies into the battlefield. Their armies consist of large units of lightly armoured troops, chariots and painted war elephants. The Indians do appear on the singleplayer campaign but are unreachable.
- Rebels: The Rebels are not a conventional faction. Throughout the Total War series, the 'rebels' have been used to represent rebellious provinces and various minor factions (such as the Illyrians in the original Rome: Total War). Unlike in most Total War titles however, in Alexander there is not a single 'rebel' province at the beginning of the game, and the 'rebels' will only appear later in the game, either randomly as 'brigand' armies, or when a province revolts, either as a natural, historically authentic progression of the campaign after the player conquers Persia, or when a province's 'public order' rating drops below a certain level... As in other Total War titles, The 'Rebels' faction, being an essential gameplay mechanic, cannot be destroyed, even if every 'rebel' army on the map is destroyed and every 'rebel' settlement captured, the 'Rebels' faction can never be truly destroyed and will almost certainly reappear later in some form.
The historical battles allow the player to lead Alexander in some of his most famous and impressive victories. Like the previous games in the Total War series, the historical battles often put the player in a difficult situation against the opponents, such as starting with a disadvantaged position on the battlefield, or numerically outnumbered, as was usually the case historically. However, the balance of the battles can be tipped using appropriate tactics, for example, killing the enemy general early in the battle will heavily demoralize the enemy troops and is the key to turning the tides. Unlike Rome: Total War, there is a special condition in these historical battles, which is to ensure that Alexander is not killed or does not run away during the battle. If so, then the battle is lost instantly.
There are six historical battles in the game, starting with the Battle of Chaeronea, where Alexander accompanies his father, Philip II, against the combined forces of the Athenian and Theban armies. Next is the Battle of the Granicus against General Memnon of Rhodes. After the battle of Granicus is the Siege of Halicarnassus, in which Memnon is killed. The fourth and fifth battles are respectively the Battle of Issus and the Battle of Gaugamela against King Darius III of Persia. It ends with the Battle of the Hydaspes against the Indian King Porus. Apart from the first battle, each of the battles are unlocked serially as the player successfully completes them. However, a battle must be played and won at least on the difficulty level "medium" in order to unlock the following battle. Once unlocked, they can be played again at any time.