Civilization 5 Fall of Rome Scenario Strategy and Achievement Guide

The Fall of Rome Scenario for Civilization 5 lasts 70 turns from roughly 380 AD to 475 AD. One turn is ~1.5 years so that within a reasonable number of turns the game covers the first half of the (Great) Migration Period and the eponymous Fall of the Roman Empire. The era that followed was (with some dark centuries in between) the Viking Age. In terms of complexity, potential outcomes and just sheer opportunities, Fall of Rome is most certainly the 2nd best scenario right after Into the Renaissance. Eight playable civilizations, Eastern Rome and Western Rome teaming up, Barbarians engaging in border quarrels with one another: All these things make this scenario interesting and versatile and eventually make each Fall of Rome strategy quite unique.

Civilization 5 Fall of Rome Scenario Map

The map is not dynamic, so as usually you’ll find a map for the scenario in this separate blog post: Civilization 5 Scenario Fall of Rome Map. Also in 2020 I’ve updated this map and shared it via the Steam community: Fall of Rome scenario map

The Fall of Rome scenario comes 6 Steam Achievements. The strategies for those Steam Achievements are mostly simple, since they don’t require Deity difficulty. Also I’ll say it straight out: I do believe some of these achievements are impossible on Deity! However: There is one Steam Achievement that requires the highest level of Difficulty: “Pax Romana Aeternum”. Read about all of the achievements in this post and get an overview of the strategy guides playing all Civs on Deity. Further below you’ll also find general advice on this scenario.


Fall of Rome Steam Achievements

Et tu, Brute

Et tu, Brute Steam Achievement

Unlocked 24 Feb, 2014 @ 9:15pm

Win the Fall of Rome scenario.

Turks Shmurks!

Turks Shmurks! Steam Achievement

Unlocked 24 Feb, 2014 @ 10:22am

Capture Constantinople as any enemy power in the Fall of Rome scenario.

In my opinion this one should be called “Goths Sloths”, since it’s much easier and more likely to capture Constantinople playing the Goths.

Double KO

Double KO Steam Achievement

Unlocked 24 Feb, 2014 @ 10:22am

Capture both Rome and Constantinople in the same game in the Fall of Rome scenario.

Double KO, at least on higher levels of difficulty, is only possible playing the Goths. Neither other civilization is in striking distance of both respective capitals without messing (too much) with 3rd Barbarian parties.

Pax Romana Aeternum

Pax Romana Aeternum Steam Achievement

Unlocked 11 Mar, 2014 @ 8:46am

Win the game as Eastern or Western Rome on Deity and have all your original cities under your control in the Fall of Rome scenario.

I personally have only achieved that playing Eastern Rome. Western Rome, being under attack at land and sea by 4 other players is just too much to stomach, compared to Eastern Rome being harassed by “only” 3 AIs.

I Missed That Day in History Class

I Missed That Day in History Class Steam Achievement

Unlocked 1 Mar, 2014 @ 11:31am

Capture any Sassanid city as the Celts in the Fall of Rome scenario.

The first scenario / Steam Achievement strategy guide I wrote here. It’s been a while…

I Sunk Your Imperial Capital!

I Sunk Your Imperial Capital! Steam Achievement

Unlocked 25 Feb, 2014 @ 9:10am

Capture Rome as the Vandals using a boat in the Fall of Rome scenario.


Fall of Rome Strategy

Things you can’t control

I do believe the order of turns plays a huge role. Building one unit before the enemy builds one (or not) can be a tipping point. It can determine the outcome of a battle, but also if the battle takes place at all. Because if you’re one unit stronger, the AI might decide to turn it’s army elsewhere.

The biggest difference here, I encountered playing the Huns: In one game I encountered fierce resistance by the Sassanids which I could only overcome by sneak attacking their capital. In the second game resistance was minimal and I overran them. Compare both games in this guide: Fall of Rome Spec Ops: The Huns Deity Strategy

Barbarian Wars of Brothers

I’ve learned this through various failed Deity attempts: Playing as one Barbarian civilization (Celts, Franks, Goths, Vandals), ridding oneself of neighbors does not lead to victory:

Yes, they won’t hassle you anymore after they’ve been defeated (which is possible), but you won’t score Victory Points for their cities. Once you’re finished with them, you’ll run out of time scoring VP against Rome. By that time one of three things will have happened, all depending on the Eastern theater (sorted by likelihood):

  1. Eastern Rome’s defense stays strong: You can’t catch up with the combined score of both Eastern and Western Rome.
  2. Eastern Rome falls to the Huns, who also keep the Sassanids in check and score tremendously so that you can’t catch up. Or vice versa:
  3. The Sassanids overrun Eastern Rome and defend solidly against the Huns.

So you won’t have the means to take on both Rome and neighboring Barbarians. On the contrary: While playing one Barbarian nation, all neighboring Barbarians will send armies your way, trying to conquer you. A solid defense to either side is required, but should not distract from the road to Rome (or Constantinople respectively).

Unique Units and unique weaknesses

The unique traits of each civilization hugely vary in usefulness:

The Huns have the biggest advantages. Attila’s unique trait (+movement) makes Battering Rams and Horse Archers deadly mobile in enemy territory.

While the Celts, Franks and Goths have strong melee units, the respective second units of the Vandals and both Roman empires are neglectable:

  • Trihemiolias are amazing, while Axemen are not much stronger than the units they replace.
  • Legions are great, while Ballistae pretty much suck.
  • Dromons are a blast, while Cataphracts don’t keep their promise.

Combat and Conquest

In normal games of Civilization research and technology play a much bigger role than in this scenario. This is both blessing and curse: While more and faster technological research makes warfare more versatile it also means strategy and tactics change frequently, depending on your and your opponents technological level.

The Into the Renaissance scenario is different: Both Pikemen and Crossbowmen will be the backbone of your military until the end. I always prefer Crossbowman, because they’re no melees and don’t need to move to attack. When the time comes and the economy can support loads of units, I mainly spam these. They also don’t need any resources unlike Longswordsmen or Musketmen or any mounted unit. The bigger empires (the AI!) will always have loads of those, because they’ll have resources in abundance. We have to make due with the little we have.

Fall of Rome Strategy Guides (Deity)

Being a bit addicted to the challenge of winning scenarios with all Civilizations on Deity difficulty, the Fall of Rome scenario posed quite a challenge: While it’s straight forward and easy with some civs, it’s a curse with others. Here’s my overview of Fall of Rome Deity wins and links to dedicated Fall of Rome strategy guides:

The Celts – Boudicca

Status: Not achieved on Deity

Unique Ability: Painted Rebels (Combat bonus (+50%) when fighting against a civilization with more cities. Treats forests in friendly territory as roads. Embarked units have +1 Movement and pay 1 movement point to move from sea to land.)
Unique Unit: Pictish Warrior
Unique Building: Ceilidh Hall

Playing the Celts I did neither win on Deity, nor did I manage to get the Steam Achievement “I Missed That Day in History Class” on Deity difficulty.

The Franks – Chlodio

Status: Achieved on Deity

Unique Ability: Regal Bloodline (Units ignore terrain cost when moving into any tile with Hills and move faster along rivers.)
Unique Unit: Seaxman (replaces Swordsman)
Unique Building: Mead Hall (replaces Circus)

Good fun playing the Franks on Deity. After figuring a lightweight defense against both my Celtic and Goth neighbors I marched on Rome. Read all about it in the Fall of Rome Franks Strategy Guide (Deity).

The Vandals – Genseric

Status: Achieved on Deity

Unique Ability: Mediterranean Pirates (Naval units will “recruit” defeated ships to fight on their side.)
Unique Units: Axeman (replaces Swordsman), Trihemiolia (replaces Trireme)

Dominating the seas playing the Vandals is amazing – great feeling to rival the Romans “Mare Nostrum”, capturing their fleet and eventually sacking Rome. More in the Fall of Rome Vandals Strategy Guide (Deity)

Western Rome – Honorius

Civilization 5 Scramble for Africa Italy Guiseppe Garibaldi

Status: Not achieved on Deity

Unique Ability: Battle Enrollment (Western Roman Empire Legions will recruit defeated enemies to their side.)
Unique Units: Ballista, Legion

Played it several times, but never successfully. Not beating the Fall of Rome scenario as original (Western) Rome is a stain on my record.

Eastern Rome – Theodora

Status: Achieved on Deity

Unique Ability: Theodosian Walls (+10% Combat Strength bonus if within 2 tiles of a Fort. Great Generals spawn 50% faster and provide an additional 10% combat bonus.)
Unique Units: Cataphract, Dromon

Yay! At least beating the Fall of Rome scenario playing Eastern Rome makes up a little bit for aforementioned shame.

The Goths – Alaric I

Status: Achieved on Deity

Unique Ability: Healthy Plundering (Combat units heal completely after pillaging a non-road improvement.)
Unique Unit: Gadrauth (replaces Swordsman)
Unique Building: Hov (replaces Market)

Leading the Goths not only to raid Eastern Rome, but to actually capture Constantinople was great. Read about it in the Fall of Rome Goths Strategy Guide (Deity).

The Huns – Attila

Status: Achieved on Deity

Unique Ability: Scourge of God (Start with Attila, the Scourge of God. All units gain +2 Movement. +2 Production from Pastures.)
Unique Units: Battering Ram, Horse Archer

Playing the Huns – a walk in the park! Stroll through the ancient empires of the Sassanids and Eastern Rome and indulge in the riches both fallen empires have to offer! More in this guide on Steam: Fall of Rome Spec Ops: The Huns Deity Strategy

The Sassanids – Bahram V

Status: Not achieved on Deity

Unique Ability: Achaemenid Legacy (Golden Ages last 50% longer. During a Golden Age, units receive +1 Movement and a +10% Combat Strength bonus.)
Unique Unit: Clibanarii (replaces Horseman)
Unique Building: Satrap’s Court

The third and last unachieved Deity victory. I’ll update this page as soon as I’ve beaten it. “It” meaning “the crap out of the Huns and Byzantians”.

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