Total War: Rome II – Emperor Edition – How to Win with Pompey the Great (Legendary Mode)

With this guide you will learn how to play the campaign on Imperator Augustus with Pompey the Great and to obtain the achievement Pompeius Magnus. You will also learn other cool stuff, helping you to win any campaign from the very beginning of the game at any level.

Guide to Win with Pompey the Great

Setting Your Priorities

In order to start, we must set our priorities. Keep in mind Rome 2 TW is a challenge at the real beginning of the game, just like any other game from TW. If you don’t work out your economy you are not going to succeed most of the time.

To win the campaign, the following achievements are required:

  1. To own 90 settlements.
  2. Owning Sicily, Africa, Corsica et Sardinia, Macedonia, Latium.
  3. Building an army of 180 land units and 60 naval units.

Our priorities are the following:

  1. To build an economy.
  2. To build a strong and non-expansive army.
  3. To make a small Empire by invading Numidia, then Africa.
  4. To take down Octavian, conquer Rome and expand your Empire.

Step 1

This step is really important. In order to build a strong economy, let’s start by saving money. At the present moment, we don’t need a navy, and the units we have are not good. Disband all of the Leves and Vigiles, the whole navy and put the Admiral inside your settlements. Put the spy into stealing mode inside Italia in Octavian’s Rome. This will provide you with extra money and food.

In Rome 2 TW we don’t need to build roads, but there are many buildings to improve your economy. When playing with Pompey, remember about the Neptun Temples. It does help a lot for both your economy and order in the provinces. You need one in Sicily and one is Corsica et Sardinia. Build trading docks and do not care about the navy. Don’t worry about not having an army before the first 10 turns. Research technology “Civil -> Land Management”. You will research the Economy up to “Improved Irrigation” as a priority. Then research “Philosophy -> Scholarship” and build a Dignitary. This agent will make you save money. Put him immediately inside your army, even if there is only the General. You can use him to administrate your province in order to get more money. However, as soon as he levels, do put him in your army.

By the first 10 turns you must have built the following:

  • Syracuse – Trading port, Field of Mars.
  • Aleria – Harbour, Shrine of Neptun.
  • Agrigentum – Harbour.
  • Panormus – Meeting place, Harbour.
  • Calaris – Suburbia.

By the first 20 turns you must have built the following:

  • Syracuse – Manipular Barracks.
  • Aleria – Market Settlement, Meeting Place, Trading port.
  • Agrigentum – Harbour, Shrine-Temple of Neptune, Trading Port.
  • Panormus – Market Settlement, Trading post.
  • Calaris – Civil Colonia, Amphora Maker.

You might choose another building, but make sure food is always there. The strength of Pompey at the beginning is by building a Maritime Commerce. The happiness won’t be much good, but it’s fine. You are protected at the beginning. Do seek a spouse for Pompey and Pompeia.

Very well, now it’s time to work on the army.

Step 2

Going for auxiliary barracks from the beginning is usually not a great idea. We are going to build strong units and we will work on the micro. While we might use cheap units at other difficult levels, in legendary mode we need well-made and strong units, such as Praetorians and Coorts. Make sure your general is made by a cavallery unity. We won’t use him in battle unless things turn ugly, but we need to move him fast if we want to save his life and if we want to boost our units very quickly.

Step 3

Do remember at this moment to go on with your economy, so keep building your economy. We only need barracks in the city of Syracuse. The rest of the cities are meant to be economies and farms.

By now you should have researched “Improved Irrigation”. Do update your farms and build 6 units of Legionairs and 4 Velities. Do add 2 unities of cavalry. You can use mercenaries.

This should be your situation.

Now let’s work our way to building our first Empire by invading and conquering Numidia. Attacking Octavian might be a good move if you are an expert, but he has a strong army in Rome. He won’t attack you for a while because he is busy against Anthony’s Rome and the local barbarian tribes. Invading Numadia will improve your economy and farming. After that, we will work out an invasion on Carthago to defeat Lepidu’s Rome. We will also build a second legion in Syracuse to hold the ground and to prepare our army to get back Rome.

Invading Numidia and Africa

Step 1

We are now going to build an army in order to invade Numidia. Leave Carthago alone because this might trigger a war with Rome and we are not capable of handling it, for now. Depends how your diplomacy is going.

Understanding the units you need.

In Rome 2 TW, the cavalry doesn’t have great importance, just like in Ancient Rome. The strength of the Roman army is the infantry. In Rome 2 TW the units will fight longer than the previous versions. This will allow you to use the Roman maneuvers. By doing so, you will be able to flank and surround the enemy army just like the Romans did. Usually, 2 units of cavalry are enough. Use them to chase the enemy or to take down his archery.

Your first army must have a strong infantry, decent archery, and a couple of cavallry. This army costs 1700 gold per turn without a Dignitary.

Do not forget about using mercenaries. They are really handling and as soon you have finished, just disband them. Remember to never have your mercenaries in the army longer than 5 turns, or the cost of your army will increase dramatically.

Land your units and attack the city of Cirta. Make it a Farming Settlement, but for the moment, grow up the Grain Pits, because this will be our base for the moment. The Grain Pits will recover your army quicker and they won’t generate any extra disorder. In the meantime, build your second legion. You can build a similar one to the first one, and if your money entrances are the same as mine, you can go for a 3rd legion.

Important: You have to make sure that all the money you are making out of your economy can support the army. In easy words, once you are done with your economy, invest all the money in the army, then conquer, then build an economy in your new provinces, then invest in money. Repeat.

From this moment, we will be spamming Legions all around the map, we will start to open a front in Italia and we will continue to conquer Numidia and Africa. If your diplomacy did not change, we are now at war with Lepidu’s Rome, but do not worry too much, he is the easier one among the Roman factions to take down and Carthago is a lot of good money.

This should be your situation now.

Keep Pompey, your first Legion, to guard the enemy’s armies from getting close to Carthago, and get your second Legion ready to land on Cartagho.

Numidia will attack you with Elephants. In case you need, do hire 2 units of Light missile Cavalry. Make sure to hold your army in the middle of the city and use your archery against the Elephants. They are really easy to take down.

Make sure to play on the defensive with Pompey while attacking the other front with your second or third general.

Now that Pompey is holding Numidia’s army, invade Carthago.

You can use Pompey’s army as I did to help the second Legion with some numbers. Use your politicians to keep the city calm by providing entertainment, while you are invading.

This is what your small Empire looks like.

Now you do understand the three phases of playing this game:

  1. Build an Economy.
  2. Invest money into the army.
  3. Conquer a settlement.

Repeat the above. Do read the next chapter to find out better about it.

Learning the Three Phases and Expanding Your Empire

Rome wasn’t built in one day.

From this moment on, you know how to play the Legendary mode. You cannot “quick save” so you must play carefully. Just follow these three phases.

  1. Build an Economy.
  2. Invest money into the army.
  3. Conquer a settlement.
  • Building an economy means investing your land into 2 activities. Economy and farming. The remaining space is to build a temple or a Theatre/Amphitheatre to keep order. Once you see your food is stable, your money is going up and there are no riots, you are ready for the second phase.
  • Think about the money you are making per turn. As you can see from the following screen, we are making 5.000 coins per turn. This means by the next 10 turns we will have 50.000 coins to use for the army. The money must be used 100% into the army. This is a Total War game and there is no other use other than building plenty of Legions. Make sure your army doesn’t sink your economy. As long you earn 300 or 500 coins per turn, then you are fine.
  • An army is indeed used to conquer a settlement. Actually, you need it also to keep order, to defend yourself, but until you don’t attack, you won’t go anywhere. If you have 3 legions, you might conquer 3 Settlements. However, marching with 2 or 3 legions together is much better. In later game, you will march with 4 or 5 legions and you will use the automatic resolution.

When you do conquer a Settlement from the barbarians, make sure to build the temple of Jupiter if the population is really hostile.

At this point, all you have to do is repeat.

We have just conquered 2 Settlements, Cirta and Carthago. The next step is to build an economy and to increase the money we are making per turn.

After that, we build more legions. In this case, we are still in Syracuse and we get ready to invade Italia.

Economy -> Army -> Conquer. Repeat all over.

Your game will indeed have many unexpectations. The diplomacy might change and the AI might attack you from different points.

At the present moment, I’m working on the next chapter, which includes invading Italia to put a line on the Alps, and then Greece for good money and army.

Just like the Romans did.


So, what did you learn from this guide?

  1. Legendary mode will take time, but observing the 3 phases, you will increase your chances of succeeding.
  2. Pompey’s campaign is actually easier than you think. Starting from islands is a good way to avoid getting invaded in the first 10 turns. You have the time to build an economy and an army.
  3. Small and strong legions with the help of mercenaries. Building a super large army at the beginning of the first 50 turns will ruin your economy. In legendary mode, however, you cannot go cheap with units, so make 6 good units, some Velites, 2 Cavalry, and hire a few mercenaries according to the army you are facing. Remember to disband them right away if your enemy has been defeated.
  4. Maximize your skills in combat. The key to winning is by knowing how to fight in battle. Do remember to keep your archery behind your infantry. Use spearmen to defend your General, or you can use the Cavalry to defend him. If you cannot play well in battle mode, use 2 legions together and then let the automatic resolution to win the fight.
  5. Have patience. In legendary mode, a campaign takes even 100 hours of gaming.

In this campaign, avoid invading Asia (Turkey) and keep pushing into Europe and Africa. You can capture 90 settlements easily. In Asia there is only what is left of Anthony’s Rome, but I would not advise getting into a fight due to the large army of AI spams there.

Jan Bonkoski
About Jan Bonkoski 960 Articles
Jan Bakowski aka Lazy Dice, was always interested in gaming and writing. His love of gaming began with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Nintendo 64) back in 1998. He’s been making game guides since 2012. Sharing his gaming experience with other players has become not only his hobby but also his job. In his free time, he plays on Steam Deck.

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