Set during the rule of the late Roman Republic and the early Roman Empire, Rome: Total War is a real-time tactics and turn-based strategy game that takes place across Europe, North Africa and the Near East. The player assumes control of one of three Roman families with eight other factions playable outside the main campaign. The main goal of the campaign is to become emperor of Rome by conquering fifty provinces with the support of the people before capturing Rome itself although a short campaign is also available wherein success depends on besting other factions in a race to seize control of 15 provinces. At the campaign’s beginning the player must choose from the Julii, Brutii and Scipii families, each with their own advantages, specialities and controlled regions. Then the player must work on expanding his empire on the turn-based campaign map, settling any conflicts that arise by commanding vast armies in real-time 3D battles. Each faction’s leader and all their of-age male heirs are controllable and can be used either to govern cities or as generals of armies, providing their own unique abilities as well as a morale boost to soldiers under their command. Agents can also be hired, with their own specific abilities and ancillaries. Family members will develop traits depending on their actions during battles and the campaign map and these can have both negative and positive effects.