Fall of Rome Franks Strategy (Deity)

This third Fall of Rome (Deity) guide gives you a quick walkthrough how to beat the scenario playing the Franks. The Frankish strategy is not very straightforward, since it matters a lot what to focus on, in order to avoid a three (!) front war. Neglect the Celts – and they conquer “France” (which belongs to the Franks, eh?). Neglect the Goths and they overrun our homeland. Push too little against the Western Roman Empire and they might even survive! Fall of Rome was the first Civ5 scenario I had played, but failed to beat it on Deity difficulty with any of the Western civilizations (Celts, Franks, Vandals, Goths, West-Rome). In 2019 I revisited this one and succeeded where in 2013 (!) I had failed.

Fall of Rome – The Franks

Playing the Franks in Fall of Rome basically sets the foundation for what historically became both France and the Holy Roman Empire: Starting East of the Rhine and in the lower Rhine region with the cities of Duisburg, Cologne, Betuwe, Tongres and Tiel we’ll start our long march through and supporting the end of the Roman Empire.

The Franks, our historic example, conquered or rather claimed most of Gaul, the Northwestern Part of the Roman Empire, basically today’s France. Focusing on the West, the historic Franks weren’t as restless as the Goths, who matched their conquest and focused on Italy, taking Rome (Ostrogoths) and even surpassed the Franks on their southern flank, settling in present-day Spain (Visigoths).

Failed attempts

In a first attempt I played on Fall of Rome – Franks on Immortal difficulty only and invaded the Celts. It took quite some time despite the lower level of difficulty. Time that I lacked in the end to capture Roman cities. My conquest ended with the siege of Ravenna. My score: 8200. Score leader were the Huns who left not much of the Eastern Roman Empire and scored 12200. So the strategy was clear: Other Barbarians Germanic peoples needed to be contained, but must not distract from the goal.

In a branch of my successful playing the Franks on Deity, I turned on Castra Regina, right after capturing Trier and Gesoriacum. While this felt like a good step into Northern Italy quite early in the game, I learned: Unless you focus on Lutetia right from the start – it will fall to the Celts. And they put up a much more fierce resistance compared to the Romans. So Lutetia must be our priority early on.

Franks Deity – Contain Celts and Goths and conquer Rome

Franks Deity – Build Order

Here’s the build order of the successful game. It takes into account some early units to fend off the Goths and Celts, but strikes a good balance between infrastructure improvements (for those national wonders in particular) and building your army.

DuisburgCologneBetuveTongresTiel
Mead HallMead HallMead HallMead HallMead Hall
MonumentMonumentMonumentMonumentMonument
GranaryWallsbuy Seaxman
Catapult 1SeaxmanSeaxmanComposite Bowman
BarracksBarracksBarracksBarracksBarracks
ColosseumGranarybuy Amphitheater and work the Specialist
SeaxmanColosseumColosseumColosseumColosseum
Catapult 2
Heroic EpicSeaxmanHarbourComposite Bowman
buy AqueductCatapult 3
SeaxmanSeaxmanComposite Bowman
Seaxman
Circus MaximusComposite Bowman

Franks Social Policies

The main driver for social policies is conquest of Roman cities. You will get plenty of these and very early on. Conquest starts earlier compared to the Vandals or Goths, because Western Rome is strong at sea (but busy with Vandals) and their resistance at land is negligible. Order of things is of course focus on the military branch first:

  1. Willing Recruits (turn 4), +50% Production when training combat units
  2. Wily Veterans (turn 18), Military Units gain +100% Experience from combat
  3. Destiny’s Army (turn 29, 10 turns earlier compared to the Goths), +50% combat strength for military Units which have another military Unit in an adjacent tile
  4. Native Coercion (turn 41, extending the lead to 14 turns), build Courthouses 150% faster
  5. Tribal Bloom (turn 54, early enough to still matter), +5 Production in every City
  6. Kingdom Come (turn 67), +2 Food, Production, Gold and Culture per City

Conquering (or founding) France while fending off the Celts and Goths

Please also see the Fall of Rome Map for navigating and planning your conquest. Here for starters is the better strategy, immediately heading for Lutetia/Paris and not letting it fall to the Celts:

Above defense against the Celts only needs some unit rotation early in the game. With a full defense bonus and some promotions, backed by archers in the 2nd row, the Celts won’t stand a chance against your defense without any further efforts on your side.

Shortly after Lutetia falls, you should have connected all your cities with the capital and be about to complete the road to Trier. Once you have that road you needn’t bother with infrastructure outside your home region anymore: The Romans have an excellent road network and your unique ability makes it possible to move quickly through all kinds of terrain without requiring roads.

Conquering Italia and Hispania

Here’s my entire timeline: Since Italia and Hispania are the heart of the Roman Empire, Victory Points are plentiful. Every city past Genua has 10+ population and thus grants 1000+ VP on initial conquest. The Franks even on Deity difficulty will have no problem reaching the first place, scoring a whopping 17000 VP!

Timeline of ConquestTotal VP
03 – 600 VP Trier (6)
— declare war on Celts turn 4 —
13 – 600 VP Gesoriacum (6), razed
25 – 800 VP Lutetia (8), razed, liberated
26 – 200 VP Lutetia (2), razed
— Golden Age turn 32 —
36 – 800 VP Lugdunum (8), razed
43 – 800 VP Massilia (9), liberated turn 46
45 – 800 VP Castra Regina (8)
— declare war on Goths turn 45 —
47 – 200 VP Massilia (2)
— Golden Age turn 48, with Great Artist from Betuve —
50 – 1000 VP Genua (10), razed
51 – 1000 VP Milan (11)
55 – 1400 VP Ravenna (14), razed
56 – 1200 VP Narbo (12), razed turn 60
— declare war on Vandals turn 57 —
60 – 2200 VP Rome (22)
61 – 1200 VP Caesaraugusta (12)
64 – 1400 VP Neapoli (15), razed, liberated turn 65
66 – 200 VP Neapoli (3), razed
67 – 1200 VP Tarraco (13), liberated
68 – 200 VP Tarraco (3)
68 – 1200 VP Brundisium (13)
68 – Salonae (Goths, only culture and gold)
600

1200
2000
2200

3000
3800
4600

4800

5800
6800
8200
9400

11600
12800
14200
14400
15600
15800
17000

In order not to be overrun by the Goths at the southeastern border I deployed a slowly but steadily growing force of Seaxmen, merely defending the forests. They never saw much action, since that position can not be taken by Civ5s AI.

As mentioned earlier: The Romans Army is weak at land, but strong at sea. Most coastal cities will be liberated at least once. Prepare to capture them with Horsemen as to not lose veteran Seaxmen. Since our unique ability allows us to move faster on hills and beside rivers, archers can easily move and fire and even catapults have an easier time surviving.

After capturing Massilia you should have enough troops to split them basically into three armies:

  1. The first and main force to march East into Northern Italy
  2. The second army having captured Castra Regina and joining the first army through the Alps
  3. Your third army venturing West into Hispania, capturing the major Roman cities there (or at least those that haven’t fallen to the Vandals yet)

The above also represents our focus: Rome is the main goal, since it will grant incredible ~2200 VP! Still we don’t want our troops stepping on each others toes.

Fall of Rome Frankish main achievement: Capturing Rome

Capturing Rome as the Franks is the main achievement. The icing on the cake of an already won game by this point. With Romes Navy scattered after their attempts to liberate the cities in Southern France, Rome doesn’t put up much of a fight anymore. To score more points the thing that matters most is being quick about it. Fortunately Rome can easily be bombed from two 3-range-tiles in the North (the hill and the deer-camp) and from plenty of 2-range tiles around the city.

Since capturing comes easy, given the size of our army by then, we can even push for more: Neapoli and even Brundisium can still be taken in time, leading to a united Frankish Italia.

Winning Fall of Rome: Franks

Conclusion:

I find it interesting how many things are similar, but how in the Fall of Rome scenario the barbarian Civs differ. Even though they start in similar locations with the same goal, the strategy needs to be different in order to succeed. The Franks become incredibly and overwhelmingly powerful, able to wage war on 3 fronts (not counting defense vs. Celts and Goths). That’s impressive. But seeing how early strategic mistakes can ruin the strategy was quite an experience as well. With 3h 53min playtime this Civilization 5 experience was just 10 minutes longer compared to the Goths.

🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.