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Thread: Total War: Rome II - Beginner's Guide by Dark Side

  1. #1
    Senior Member General Dark Side's Avatar
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    Total War: Rome II - Beginner's Guide by Dark Side

    Hey everyone. Keeping in tradition of the past couple of releases, I'll compile here any tips and hints that I gather from around the internet, chatting with friends over Stream, and from my own gaming.

    Please feel free to ask specific questions and I'll answer them if I can or someone else from this great community will.

    The following is based on playing a single Roman campaign (100 turns so far) on Normal Difficulty, and an Egyptian campaign (20 turns so far) also on Normal Difficulty. Please correct me if my observations are incorrect.

    I will be updating a lot in the next week. So any specific questions will help me in deciding what to include. The size and content will be determined by interest and amount of questions

    If anyone has any tips and hints, please post them and I'll include them in the guide under the proper section and give you the credit. Consider this a compilation more than a pure guide by myself.

    Check out Kurkistan's Guide to Guides for the latest and best guides

    My nemesis, daelin4, is working on an amazing and awesome FAQ that you MUST READ RIGHT NOW:


    I am hosting the images on Flickr. Let me know immediately in case you don't see the images or you get a broken-link image so that I'll solve the issue. This has happened in previous guides that I did for the forum.

    Table of Contents
    1. Basics
    2. Economy
    ..2.1. Food
    ....2.1.1. Basics
    ....2.1.2. The Obvious
    ....2.1.3. Achilles's Heel
    ....2.1.4. Balance
    ....2.1.5. Exploit
    ....2.1.6. Farms vs Livestock
    ..2.2. Income Basics
    ..2.3. Tax Income
    ....2.3.1.The game is lying to you (Wealth vs Income)
    ....2.3.2. Wealth
    ........ Base Wealth and Wealth Types
    ........ Weath Types
    ........ Wealth Modifiers
    ........ Tax Income
    ....2.3.3. Taxes
    ........ Taxing a Province
    ........ Tax Level
    ........ Tax and Corruption Modifier
    ..2.4. Trade
    ....2.4.1. Trade Partners
    ....2.4.2. Trade Lanes
    ....2.4.3. Trade Resources
    ....2.4.4. Trade Income
    ..2.5. Other Sources
    ..2.6. Piracy
    ....2.6.1. Piracy Effects
    ....2.6.2. Reducing Piracy
    ....2.6.3. Reducing Piracy Example
    ....2.6.4. Is it worth it?
    3. Public Order & Rebellions
    ..3.1. Basics
    ..3.2. Contributing Factors
    ..3.3. Increasing Public Order
    ..3.4. Controlling Unrest
    ..3.5. Rebellion vs Slave Revolt
    ..3.6. Triggering Rebellions for Subjugation
    4. General Management Tips and Tricks (Temporary)
    5. Q&A (Temporary)
    Last edited by Dark Side; 09-10-2013 at 07:35 PM. Reason: Title correction

  2. #2
    Senior Member General Dark Side's Avatar
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    1. Basics

    When in doubt, hover you mouse pointer over the numbers in you Graphical User Interface (GUI) or right click for the Wiki page. A minute spent reading a Wiki page can save you hours of frustration

    2. Economy

    I consider the Economy to be the most important Strategic aspect of the game. Once that's covered the rest is mostly tactical.

    2.1. Food

    2.1.1. Basics

    Food is generated by Farms, Animal Pens, Fishing ports, Delicacy/Food chain upgrade of the Forum/Market plot, Food-Related Temples, Grain Towns, Fishing Towns, etc.

    Food is consumed by upgrading all other types of buildings.

    Global Food Surplus (what you see on the GUI above the "End Turn" next to the bread icon) is only affected by food production and consumption by Taxed Provinces. Check out "2.1.5 Exploit" below for a cheap trick

    2.1.2. The Obvious

    Food is more important than ever. You must always maintain a positive Food surplus. The direct effects are obvious: Increased Growth and Faster Replenishment.

    The Increased Growth allows you to expand your cities and to have more buildings per region. This is paramount as buildings are both limiting and synergyzing (more details below) and the more you have earlier, the better.

    The Faster Replenishment is important for both offense and defense. The faster you replenish your troops, the better you can repel counter attacks and the faster you can field your army back.

    Food Surplus effect peaks at 20. Any more than 20 Food Surplus does not give any additional benefits. This doesn't mean it shouldn't need to be above 20. Read on for more details.

    2.1.3. Achilles's Heel

    Food is what will slow you progress to a complete halt if ignored or mismanaged. Building the first level or two of any structure is not associated with any negative effects. Once you start upgrading you will notice two negative effects: Increase in Squalor and Reduction of Food

    Most buildings that are not involved in food production will require food (-4 for level 3 and -12 for level 4)

    The Increase of Squalor affects the happiness of your population. I'll discuss this under happiness.

    So to be able to upgrade your buildings without affecting happiness and growth, you will need to keep an eye on your food. The best option is to maintain a surplus of 20 or more food, and only upgrade plots when you also upgrade your food production plots to ensure a 20+ surplus.

    2.1.4. Balance

    This will be objected by alot of people and I would love to hear your opinion below.

    Don't upgrade all of your plots beyond level 2 or 3 unless you have to!

    Before you lynch me on the nearest tree, hear me out. In this game you need to balance food, taxes and happiness. The three are interlinked. The cheapest to do is to reduce your taxes or tax income (both are not the same)

    Stop throwing rotten tomatoes and eggs. Ok, check this example of Sacred Grove (Temple) and Farm:

    @level 2: +4 happiness, +2 Latin Culture, -0 Food
    @level 3: +8 happiness, +3 Latin Culture, -4 Food
    @level 4: +16 happiness, +4 Latin Culture, -12 Food

    While a Farm:

    @level 2: +6 Food, 40 Wealth, - 0 happiness
    @level 3: +9 Food, 60 Wealth, -4 happiness
    @level 4: +15 Food, 90 Wealth, -12 happiness

    Upgrading both to level 3 will net you +5 Food and +4 happiness. Upgrading both to level 4 will net you +3 Food and +4 happiness. That's -2 Food after upgrading!!! And I am using the best Roman temple (meaning best happiness rating) while most others give half that much happiness or less.

    Sure, you get more taxes if you upgrade to 4, but it is negligible. If your tax rate is 30% (you won't be that lucky considering the skyrocketing corruption), the difference between lvl3 and lvl4 farms is 30.

    30 per turn which is nothing. It costs 2300 to build a lvl4 farm. Assuming no extra Agriculture Wealth Modifier, it will take you 2300/30 = 76 turns to get a full return on your investment!!! Stick to Level 3, save the money from the upgrade, and you get 2 more food at level 3.

    While the +16 happiness is really really nice, but the -12 Food is HUGE. you don't really need it in most provinces if you build two @level 3 or build one @lvl3 and a Gladiator Circus @lvl3.

    Plan ahead, know which plots you really need to upgrade to lvl4 (only a single Barracks in every 2~3 neighboring provinces, the Circus/Race Course in every province for the huge happiness, etc), and keep all other plots at lvl2 or lvl3.

    That is of course, considering everything else being equal. Here my example is too simple. I am comparing only two buildings while you should be taking into consideration a balance between all of your buildings in all of your provinces. My advice is don't rush into upgrading buildings once they become available. Do some basic number crunching and see if that upgrade it really worth it.

    2.1.5. Exploit

    What counts is your global food surplus (above your "End Turn" button next to the bread icon). If you hover your mouse over it you will get what positives/negatives you are getting from the current level of Surplus.

    Remember that only taxed provinces will contribute to the global Food Surplus. That is, if you don't tax a province that produces a surplus of food then that province's food surplus will not count towards your global surplus.

    The good news is that any food deficit in a region doesn't contribute towards your food surplus if that province is not taxed.

    This can be exploited easily by Min-Maxing . Plan ahead which provinces you want to turn into "Food Surplus" provinces.

    Select a province with one or more "Grain Towns" (this will increase wealth from Farms). All towns have types (Capital, Market, Grain, Marble, Iron, etc) that can be known by hovering your mouse over the town building. Turn all ports into fishing ports, all available plots into food production buildings choosing the highest generating ones where possible. All other plots should be temples that gives the highest happiness as you want to counter the Squalor effect when you upgrade, and you want to be able to get 100 happiness to be able to tax and to prevent needing a garrison ($$$$$). If you have farms at level 4, having the "Bread and Games" Edict gives 2 additional food resources for each farm!!!!

    Now select a province or more that have no "Grain Towns" and make those your culture/non-production/non-resource provinces. Here you want to build your most advanced Libraries, both types of Barracks, all types of Army Training/Upgrade Camps, etc. Basically put everything that doesn't produce a lot of money nor food and build it here. You want to upgrade all of the buildings here to level 4 or higher (if applicable), and all else should be happiness. This type of provinces you want to exempt from taxing.

    If you have such a province that has 6 buildings that gives each -12 food, then you will have a province that requires 72 food. Exempt this province from taxes and you get 72 food back to your surplus pool!!! This is huge.

    All other provinces needs to be balanced in terms of food, taxes, and happiness

    Above you can see that I have exempted Asia from taxes and I have a total of 65 food surplus (I'm greedy )

    Above you can what happens when I tax Asia. I get a HUGE surplus of money (2249) but my food surplus goes down to 54.

    That's a difference of 11 food units.

    Now here it doesn't make a difference because I have a huge surplus above 20 whether I am taxing Asia or not. But for someone who is in the negative or almost at 0 and wants to upgrade a building, this difference in food will allow you to upgrade (albeit at the cost of money).

    2.1.6. Farms vs Live Stocks

    First the numbers (based on Roman Culture, Normal Difficulty, Base Prices before adjustments by Technologies and Characters)

    Level 1:
    Cost: 800
    Wealth: 40
    Food: 3
    Public Order: N/A
    Replenishment Rate: N/A
    Special Effects: N/A

    Level 2:
    Cost: 1100
    Wealth: 40
    Food: 6
    Public Order: N/A
    Replenishment Rate: N/A
    Special Effects: N/A

    Level 3:
    Cost: 1500
    Wealth: 60
    Food: 9
    Public Order: -4
    Replenishment Rate: N/A
    Special Effects: N/A

    Level 4:
    Cost: 2300
    Wealth: 90
    Food: 15
    Public Order: -12
    Replenishment Rate: +3%
    Special Effects: Bread and Games Edict gives plus 2 Food (Total 17!!!!)

    Animal Pen/Livestock
    Level 2:
    Cost: 1200
    Wealth: 80
    Food: 4
    Public Order: N/A
    Replenishment Rate: N/A
    Special Effects: N/A

    Level 3:
    Cost: 1900
    Wealth: 140
    Food: 6
    Public Order: -4
    Replenishment Rate: N/A
    Special Effects: N/A

    Level 4:
    Cost: 2600
    Wealth: 200
    Food: 8
    Public Order: -12
    Replenishment Rate: N/A
    Special Effects: Bread and Games Edict gives plus 1 Food (Total 9)

    Considering the top level (lvl4), Animal Pens cost more to construct, gives almost half the food (8 vs 15), same public order penalty. Yes, you get more than double the wealth, but money won't be an issue once you are past turn 50. Lack of Food will be your undoing.

    There is no competition here, Farms wins in every scenario except a very specific one.

    There is an upgrade for the Forum/Market plot (Yellow colored plots) that gives you benefits Livestock wealth (+40% at lvl4). So unless you have this upgrade and it is only worth it if you have multiple Livestock pens in the province, there is really very little benefit for building Livestock Pens.
    Last edited by Dark Side; 09-08-2013 at 07:03 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member General Dark Side's Avatar
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    Income is split into 6 categories:

    Other Sources
    Slaves (affects taxes)

    Terms used below:
    Province vs City/Town: A Province is split into 2 or more cities/towns
    Capital: The main city in a Province
    Wealth and Income, definitions below.

    2.2. Income Basics

    The most basic summary of your income is above the "End Turn" Button.

    The first amount is called the "Current Treasury" next to the coins chest icon. This shows how much money you can spend on building, recruiting, agent actions, etc. Basically it's what you see is what you get. You can't spend money you don't have (no loans)

    Expected Income is the value next to that and it shows you how much money will be added to your treasury on the next turn if nothing changes: No cities lost, no armies recruited, no upkeep/tax modifying characters die, etc.

    Example 1: At an end of a turn you have 1000 left in your treasury, and you are expected to make 3000 on the next turn. Your next turn starts without any major changes you will have 4000 (1000 + 3000) in your treasury for your shopping spree

    Example 2: At an end of a turn you have 1000 left in your treasury and you are expected to make 3000 on the next turn. Your next turn starts after losing a city that was generating 1000 in tax money. You end up with (1000 + 3000 - 1000) 3000 in your treasury.

    2.3. Tax Income

    2.3.1. The game is lying to you (Wealth vs Income)

    Before I start elaborating on any of the topics, please know that the game is lying to you. No, it is not cheating, but not everything you read means what you might think

    This is the most advanced Total War to date. Everything has modifiers. Even Modifiers have Modifiers that affects their value.

    First thing is to differentiate between Wealth and Income. They are not the same. Wealth means how much you are making (raw), while Income means the actual money that makes it into your treasury.

    When you hover your mouse pointer over a city/town you get a small summary box under it's name. The first value in the left bottom corner is the Wealth generated by that city/town.That is not how much money that city/town is contributing to your treasury.

    Also when you select a city/town, a small box pops-up on the left-bottom corner. In that box there is a field called income and under it there is a number. That is the total Wealth generated by all your cities/towns in that province, not your income. That is not how much money that province is contributing to your treasury

    That's misleading, isn't it?

    To get your real income from the city you have to dig in a bit deeper. Select any city/town from the province of your interest and click on the "Details" button that looks like a magnifier glass over a building (middle-bottom bar).

    This will pop-up the "Province Details" window.

    The left half is called "Wealth and Income". Under "Wealth and Income" you will see how much Wealth each city/town you own in that province is generating. The sum of those values is what you see in the box on the left-bottom corner under the misleading "Income". To get more details about each city/town, hover your mouse pointer over it and you will get detailed breakdown of all sources of Wealth in that city/town.

    After listing the Wealth of the cities/towns, you get your Modifiers. The first is the Taxes modifier which is affected by your tax level, then you have Slaves modifier and finally corruption.

    When you add up Tax, Slaves and Corruption modifiers and multiply it by your Province Total Wealth, you get your Real Income from the Province. This is the same number you read under "Province Details" -> "Wealth and Income" at the bottom as Income. This one is correct and true. This is the amount that makes it into the "Expected Income" calculation for next turn.

    Simple, isn't it

    Your goal then is to increase your Real Income by increasing your Wealth, increasing the tax and slaves modifiers, and decreasing the corruption modifier.

    2.3.2. Wealth Base Wealth and Wealth Types

    Base Wealth is quite simple. Every time you build/upgrade a building, it will show you how much Base Wealth that building will give. That is not the real Wealth that will be taxed for your real income, this is the Wealth the building will generate before it gets affected by local and faction-wide modifiers (like wonders). Weath Types

    To make things more complex, there are different types of Wealth. To name a few:
    Subsistence (Orange plots)
    Culture (Yellow plots)
    Industry (Brown plots)
    Agriculture (Green plots)
    Livestock (Green plots)
    Maritime Commerce (Blue plots)
    Local Commerce

    The color coding is not 100% accurate. Some towns (Orange plots) gives Agriculture Income (like Grain, Olive, Wine, etc Towns), while some Blue plots (docks) gives Industry Income. To know the exact type of Wealth that building produces, hover over it's icon in the "Province Overview" which shows the plots.

    Why is Wealth type important? Because of the next part which is the Wealth Modifiers Wealth Modifiers

    Wealth Modifiers is what allows you to get your Real Wealth from your Base Wealth. Most buildings/technologies/characters that have Wealth modifiers are usually for a specific type of Wealth. There are some buildings (like the Orange Plot in your Capital City) that gives Wealth modifier for all types of wealth generated in a province.

    Modifiers are also most commonly provincial. That means the effects are generated by buildings in the same province. Rarely they are faction-wide caused by technologies and Wonders (Those are awesome).

    To get the real Wealth of a building, add up all Wealth Modifiers (Modifiers that affects all Wealth types and Modifiers that affects that specific type of Wealth), add them to 100%, and multiply them by the Base Wealth of the building.

    Example: Farm
    Base Wealth: 60
    Wealth Type: Agriculture
    Agriculture Wealth Modifier from "Grain Town" lvl3: +40%
    All Types Of Wealth Modifier from "Roman Municipum" lvl 3: +20%
    Real Wealth = 60 x (100+40+20)% = 60 x 160% = 96 Tax Income

    After getting your Real Wealth of your buildings in a province, you multiply that by your total tax modifier (which is the sum of your tax rate, slave effect and corruption) to get your tax income.

    2.3.3. Taxes

    Taxes will be the biggest single source of income for most of the game if not all of it. I still haven't reached a point where other sources of income combined contribute as much as taxes although I'm getting close to the 50% mark. Taxing a Province

    Taxing is Province wide in Rome 2. You either tax all cities/towns in a province or none at all.

    To do that select any city/town from that province and click the "Details" button. Check or uncheck the box on the top left corner of the "Province Details" box that pops up to Tax or exempt the province from taxes respectively.

    Your first decision is whether to tax a province or not. When you tax a province, you will be able to generate Income from its produced Wealth and get its Food Surplus/Deficit calculated towards your global Food Surplus. However if you do that you will get a certain level of Public Disorder and it will stunt the Population Growth.

    Your decision should be one of balance. If a province doesn't suffer from decline of Public Order if you tax it, and Population Growth is still happening then you should be taxing that province. However if a province is reaching -100 Public Order and you have no armies nearby to supress the rebellion, then exempting the province from taxes might be the solution until you build up some Happiness generating buildings like temples and race courses. Tax Level

    Tax levels are global/faction-wide. You can't set a different tax level for different provinces/cities/towns. However there are some Edicts, Buildings and Character Traits that affects the tax rates in provinces/cities/towns.

    The Higher the Tax Level, the more Income you will be able to generate from your current Wealth. This however comes at the cost of increased disorder and decreased growth.

    Tax Level should be adjusted in such a way that you strike a balance between your income and disorder levels to prevent rebellions.

    To adjust the Tax Level, click the "Trade & Finance" button from the middle-bottom of the screen. The first tab shows you the Taxes details. The Tax Level is a slider with 5 possible values. Adjust to see how much income you will be generating at the different levels.

    The Levels are: Minimal, Low, Normal, High, Extortionate.

    Although the slider might give the illusion that you have more steps in between those levels, you only have 5 discrete levels of taxes.

    You can also see the effects of the tax level next to the Tax Level slider under "Tax Effects" which reflects effects on Disorder and Growth. In the bottom right corner you can see the province with the highest disorder level. Optimally, this province should have a positive Order level. Tax and Corruption Modifier

    As explained a few paragraphs before, your Tax Income is calculated by multiplying Wealth by the Total Tax Modifier. The Total Tax Modifier is comprised on the Tax Modifier, Slaves Modifier and Corruption Modifier.

    The Tax Modifier is affected by Global Modifiers like Technologies, Wonders and Faction effects, and by Provincial Modifiers like Buildings, Edicts, Characters, etc.

    The Slaves Modifier is affected by how much slaves you have and your slaves market upgrades (if any). Slaves are increased by the looting option when taking settlements, and the take slaves option when winning a battle. They decrease in number over time unless new slaves are acquired. Slaves have a disorder modifier associated that might result in a Slaves Revolt/Rebellion that has a cool movie.

    The Corruption Modifier is a negative one. The further your empire expands, the harder it is to keep track of records and taxes. The only way to reduce this is through controlling your empire's size (subjugate settlements instead of occupying them) or through the Philosophy Technology Tree.

    2.4. Trade

    2.4.1. Trade Partners

    Before anything you need partners. The more the better. Try to get as many trade partners early on as it gets exponentially harder and more expensive to get new Trade Partners. Send out spies/dignitaries/champions on map exploration and sign up treaties with far away nations.

    Things that affects your chances of getting a trade partner (incomplete, from my personal observations only):
    Having negative relations
    Being at war with one of their allies
    Being an ally of one of their enemies

    So the earlier you start gathering trade partners (before you declare wars), the easier it is.

    You can have as many trade partners as you can as long as you can reach them (both parties have a port, or you join a terrestrial border with them)

    To make a faction your trade partner, open the Diplomacy pop-up (Diplomacy button from the middle-bottom bar), select the faction(s) of your choice that have a trade lane to you (those who can't have grayed out trade lanes) and that you are not at war with. Offer a "Trade Agreement".

    Test around and see if you can increase your chances of acceptance by offering a Non-aggression agreements or Military alliances (sometimes this reduces your chances) as long as you don't plan on breaking it later on.

    Most of the times they will counter by demanding money. Check to see how much you are making from your current trade partners and see if you will make the demanded money in a few turns. Sometimes it is worth it as you can make the money back in under 5 turns. Other times (especially when you are extremely rich) what they will ask for is more than you can make back in a 100 turns.

    2.4.2. Trade Lanes

    Trade Lanes are decided by the game (Naval or Caravans). Naval Trade suffers from Piracy (hover your mouse pointer over sea portions to sea Piracy level).

    Piracy levels can be reduced by controlling all settlements that have a port/border on that sea section or by putting fleets in a "Patrol" stance.

    Piracy levels are increased if the sea section is shared with other factions (more if "contested" with enemy factions) and by having fleets in the "Raid" stance.

    Armies can raid trade lanes on land to replenish and reduce upkeep costs.

    Needless to say, you need to reduce Piracy and Raiding to a minimum to ensure highest trade income possible.

    2.4.3. Trade Resources

    Trade Resources are simple but rare in this game. They are:
    Olive Oil

    To be able to export any of those, you must control the city/town that has the respective resource, and upgrade that city/town's center (Orange Plot) to be able to produce more of that resource. Other than trade sources, those town centers generate taxable income too.

    Each trade resource has a market value that fluctuate according to supply and demand mechanism. This is decided by the game.

    Resources are spread away so that a non-expanding faction can't control more than a couple of resources.

    Marble/Iron/Lead/Glass are spread around, Silk is common to the east, Wine and Olive is common around the Mediterranean, Timber is common in the north, and leather is common in north and south.

    2.4.4. Trade Income

    Trade income is decided by multiple factors:
    How much trading resources you generate
    The price of those resources
    How long you have trading with that faction
    Piracy and Raiding

    To see a summary of most of this info, check the "Trade" tab (middle button) on the "Trade & Finance" pop-up (chest icon in the middle-bottom bar).

    This tab will show which nations you are trading with (flags and next to the them the type of lanes), followed by what you are importing from them, followed by what you are exporting to them. In the bottom right corner you have the total sum of your export income.

    2.5. Other Sources

    Here comes everything else.

    You get a fixed base income. In both of my campaigns it was 2500.

    If you have any client or satrap states, they will pay you a portion of their income each turn they stay under your protection. If you are a client of another state, a part of your income will be deducted and given to your overlord.

    When you negotiate with other factions, you might demand money or be demanded to pay.

    When you complete missions, you are sometimes offered a monetary reward.

    All/some of those are reflected under the "Other" category in the "Trade & Finance" pop-up

    2.6. Piracy

    2.6.1. Piracy Effects

    The sea regions are categorized into:

    "Contested" which has the highest penalty and happens when an enemy of yours shares settlements on the sea region (Red color when you hover your mouse over it)

    "Shared" which has medium penalty and happens when a neutral faction shares settlements on the sea region (Yellow color when you hover your mouse over it)

    "Controlled" is the lowest penalty and happens when you control all settlements on the sea region (Blue color when you hover your mouse over it)

    Sharing a sea region with Allies or Client States still makes that sea region "Shared"

    The effect is the same as Wealth modifier but gives a negative value. So a port that should be giving you 1000 per turn from "Maritime Wealth" would give you 900. It affects only ports on that sea. It does not affect trade income or any other type of wealth.

    2.6.2. Reducing Piracy

    The only two ways I know of reducing this effect is securing all settlements overlooking that sea region (changing from Contested to Shared or Controlled, and from Shared to Controlled) and using your fleets in the "Patrol" stance.

    Some notes on Patrolling:

    Patrolling fleet effects for anti-piracy stack. Two or more fleets in the Patrol stance reduce piracy further than a single fleet.

    The number of ships in the fleets does not affect the value of reduction.

    A fleet in "Patrol" stance cannot move or else you lose the benefits, and the fleet stays in its place, it won't move around "patrolling".

    You won't be facing any pirates like in Empire. Your fleets are quite safe

    Army transports can use the "Patrol" stance

    Your fleet needs to have at least 50% of your movement points left to enter this stance

    2.6.3. Reducing Piracy Example

    An example is my Near East "Mare Phoenicum" Sea region. I control Antioch and Tyros, both of which overlook this sea region. It is categorized as "Shared Sea Region" giving -28% to Maritime Commerce.

    Without any other modifiers, Antioch has 60 Base Income from Maritime Commerce, with a +12% Maritime Wealth Modifier, resulting in total 67 Income from Maritime Wealth

    Tyros has base 860 Base Income from Maritime Commerce, with +12% Maritime Wealth Modifier resulting in total 963 Income from Maritime Wealth.

    With a single fleet in Patrol Stance, the penalty from Pirating drops to -23% (from -28%).

    This adjusts the Maritime Wealth Modifier to +19.5% (from +12%), making Maritime Income 72 and 1028 for Antioch and Tyros respectively

    With a second fleet in Patrol Stance, the penalty fro Pirating drops to -15% (from -28%).

    This adjusts the Maritime Wealth Modifier to +27% (from +12), making the Maritime Income 76 and 1092 for Antioch and Tyros respectively.

    The exact numbers are unique to my campaign as my Wealth Modifier are a result of my technologies, buildings, Wonders, characters and Edicts. To see the exact Modifier for each of your ports, select the "Details" window after selecting your province of interest, and hover your mouse over the income from each province to get a break down of Wealth and Income for each single settlement and the type of Wealth for each.

    2.6.4. Is it worth it?

    As you see, Piracy affects the Maritime Wealth Modifier, which is turn affects your Maritime Wealth generated by the province.

    Having "Controlled" sea regions instead of "Shared" or "Contested" offer a big change in the piracy levels. So if that is an option in an area where you have plenty of ports and Maritime Commerce income, then by all means go ahead for it as it might mean hundreds of extra Talents per turn.

    Having your fleets in the "Patrol" stance is another matter. Having a fleet in that stance means you are not using it for your expansion or protecting your provinces, while paying an upkeep for your ships. So if you go that option, make sure that you calculate the cost of the upkeep when weighing whether it is worth it or not.

    The difference for Antioch in the example above is not worth wasting a fleet even of one ship and its upkeep in the "Patrol" stance, but if you have a region that is giving you thousands in Maritime Wealth then think of investing in a patrolling fleet, especially if it is a one-ship fleet (Admiral only)
    Last edited by Dark Side; 09-10-2013 at 05:26 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member General Dark Side's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    The restaurant at the end of the universe


    3. Public Order & Rebellions

    3.1. Basics

    I will use the term Happiness, Order, Public Order and variations of those three and they all reflect "Positive" Public Order. The terms Upset, Unrest, Disorder, etc means the opposite.

    Public Order is a Province-wide effect. All settlements you own in a single province will have the same exact happiness level.

    Having a positive Public Order score in a province provides you with benefits (up to +8% tax rate and +6 growth per turn) while having a low score will start accumulating penalties (up to -16% tax rate and -8 growth per turn).

    To see the current Public Order and its effects, select and province and take a look at the box that opens in the corner on the left side.

    At the top you will see a mask icon (Green icon with a smiling face if positive, red icon with a snarling face if negative) and a two numbers to its right, the second is between parenthesis. The first of those numbers is the current level of Public order. The number between the parenthesis is the value that will be added to your current level of Public order on the next turn. If you hover your mouse over the numbers/icon you will get a complete breakdown of the "Contributing Factors" affecting the Public Order in the province. Items in Green affect you positively, while those in red do the opposite.

    At the bottom of the box you will see an icon with a mask on it . Hovering your mouse pointer over that icon will give you the total effects of the current level of Public Order.

    Besides the effects on taxes and growth, reaching a Public Order value of -100 will trigger a rebellion in that province and an army will show up that might take over your settlements if it grows strong enough and your defenses are meager.

    Therefore it is essential to deal of Unrest as soon as possible to prevent such triggers (unless you want to, more on that later)

    3.2. Contributing Factors

    The first step with dealing with Unrest is to first analyze the Contributing Factors.

    • Faction Effects: Some factions have inherit Public Order benefits or penalties (example: +25% to Cultural Differences penalty)
    • Wonder Effects: Some Wonders have Public Order benefits same as Faction Effects
    • Difficulty Level: The campaign's difficulty level modifier. Positive for Easy and Normal levels.
    • Buildings (Happiness): The total from all buildings contributing +X to Public Order
    • Buildings (Squalor): The total from all buildings contributing +X to Squalor.
    • Technologies: Certain researches provide additional Happiness
    • Characters: The effect of characters and agents in the province
    • Cultural Differences: If the province is not converted to your culture
    • Taxes: The higher the tax level, the higher this factor will be
    • Slaves: The higher the number of Slaves in the settlement the higher the value of this factor
    • Provincial Instability (-1 per turn): Newly conquered settlements will start with a -X instability that decrements by 1 per turn till it reaches 0
    • Military crackdown: When you defeat a rebellion. Decrements each turn till it reaches 0
    • Military Presence: When an army (or several armies) is camping inside the settlement(s). Standing anywhere in the province will not help, the armies have to camp inside the settlements themselves.
    • Events: Reflects effects from issues Edicts and Missions
    • :A constant unrest that affects the province for a single turn after you conquest a settlement in the province. This value stacks if you occupy multiple settlements in a single province.
    • :A positive effect on happiness each turn there is a rebel army in your province for 5 turns (total province happiness reaches 0). The rebel army grows per turn by 4 units till it reaches 20 units after 20 turns. Defeating the rebellion removes this effect

    3.3. Increasing Public Order

    There is no getting around building Temples and Entertainment buildings to truly increase happiness in a settlement.

    And not all temples are equal. Some temples give minimal increase in happiness at the expense of other benefits (increase to experience, morale, wealth, cultural conversion, etc), and usually each faction has a Deity that gives double or more happiness than any other temple at the same Tier. For the Romans that deity is Nymphs. This line of temples gives +2, +4, +8 and +16 at each tier compared to +1, +2, +3 and +4 for most other deities. So build a temple that aids the specialty of that province (for example a deity that increases Agricultural Wealth in a Farm-based province) and all of your other temples in the province should be for the deity that gives the most happiness.

    The Public Forum and its Entertainment upgrade line increases happiness. For the Roman faction that line is the Gladiator Line. At the Circus Level (Tier 4), you get a whooping +24 to public order and a +30 at Circus Maximus (Tier 5).

    Taxes are a necessary evil (except when you want to negate Food Deficit, read under Food Exploit for details), but you can either exempt a province completely from taxes (0 income, 0 effect on growth, 0 food surplus/deficit from that province), or you can decrease your faction-wide tax level (explained under Taxes). Never exceed Normal, and try to be at Minimal and Low levels if you can afford it as it affects Public Order greatly.

    Researching the appropriate technologies from the Civic branch can help with faction-wide effects. They might seem small but once you consider that they affect all of your provinces you will see how precious those techs are.

    Edicts like the "Bread & Games" edict gives a direct increase to happiness for each turn it is active. This is a great Edict to use on troublesome provinces as very few things can give up to +10 to public order.

    Armies standing guard in your settlements gives additional security and happiness (or fear) that increases the Public Order in the province. Always try to have your armies inside settlements when they are not actively fighting and besieging.

    Defeating rebellions gives the Military Crackdown effect, although it might be worth it to keep the rebellion going as it gives a +20 to Public Order per turn for 5 turns, but in those 5 turns the rebel army will grow by 4 units per turn. This will result in a complete stack by turn 5.

    3.4. Controlling Unrest

    Some unrest factors cannot be avoided like the Provincial Instability factor. Others can be kept to a minimum.

    The worst factor is Squalor that you get from upgrading most building types starting at tier 3 and higher. This can increase very quickly as most such buildings give -12 to Order at tiers 4 and 5.

    This is exactly the same scenario that I have described with Food Surplus and the solution is the same. The only counter to this is to be selective about which buildings you want to upgrade in any given settlement/province.

    And you should be smart about this by specializing your settlements (food production, military production, wealth production, research production, etc) or balancing them. The same strategies discussed for maintaining Food Surplus applies here, but taking into consideration Public Order instead of Food.

    Most buildings give most benefits at tier 3. Very few buildings give a huge trade off in their favor when upgrading to tier 4. I have given the example of the Farming chain buildings. Upgrading to tier 4 gives 6 additional food at the cost of 8 additional points to unrest per turn. I have given a breakdown of the math and it doesn't look good. Unless your settlement is specializing into Agricutlure, you are most probably better off leaving the farm at tier 3. This is not a rule, but you should always strike a balance between food and happiness. And you don't need tier 4 everything everywhere. The key is to define what you ready NEED, and upgrade only those buildings to Tier 4.

    Not taking slaves during battles and not choosing to loot when occupying a settlement will net you 0 slaves and 0 unrest from slaves. This reduces your total income and diplomatic standing of course, but it is a trade off and use the enslaving option wisely. Too many slaves will trigger Slave revolts.

    There are two ways to tackle unrest from Cultural Differences. Increase the level of your culture in a province by converting the temples to your own faction, and select the temples that gives extra to convergence (Romans have Jupiter Temple line for this).

    Characters and agents get traits that affect their cultural conversion rate, so keep an eye of those. The Dignitary has an action called "Cultural Propaganda" that actively convert populace to your culture. This can be only used against enemy settlements, not yours. So you can plan ahead and have a dignitary start converting the populace even before your invade!!

    The Mount Olympus Wonder in the Macedonia province gives "-20% public order penalties due to local presence of foreign cultures (faction-wide)". While this doesn't affect the conversion rate, it affects how negative is the presence of foreign culture. This factor is huge especially with cultures extremely divergent to yours.

    Last but not least, you can expand slowly. If you take 4 settlements from the same province that is an automatic -100 to Public Order on the next turn due to conquest. But if you take settlement 1, wait till province happiness increases, take settlement 2, wait till province happiness increases, etc then you will never have such a severe effect from the conquest penalty.

    3.5. Rebellion vs Slave Revolt

    (coming soon)

    3.6. Triggering Rebellions for Subjugation

    A rebellion will trigger when Public Order reaches -100 in the province. Why would any sane person want to trigger a rebellion on purpose? To subjugate it later of course!!!

    That twisted logic is needed to fight corruption (discussed under taxes and corruption). In my first campaign, the Seleucids have expanded greatly and had over 15 settlements under their control. And each time I defeated one of their settlements I never had the option to Subjugate as the current owner (Seleucids) is still existing. This meant that my corruption levels started to skyrocket and I didn't want to paint the map red with my faction's color. Romans were known for assimilation and that's how I wanted to play the game.

    So the solution was simple. I let the province rebel, remove any army from nearby and lose the defense battle when the rebels attack the settlement. Once they win and a new nation arises, I would rush my armies and crush them into subjugation! A new client state instead of occupying.
    Last edited by Dark Side; 09-10-2013 at 07:31 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member General Dark Side's Avatar
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    4. General Management Tips and Tricks (Temporary)

    I am writing down a temporary "Strategies" list until I get a chance to elaborate them into full paragraphs/sections. For now I'll just right down and outline of guidelines that I think can help you get more out of your campaign


    - Always maintain Food surplus. Optimally keep it above 20 at all times

    - Keep taxes on "Normal" or less.

    Keep your tax level on Normal in the first 30-50 turns when your income is limited and your Empire's size is limited. Any more and your stunt the growth of your settlements.

    Once you start expanding and need your armies on the frontiers away from your Empire's center, you will be building lvl3 and lvl4 of your buildings which will increase disorder. Unrest will be a huge issue while income should be improving. Reduce your taxes to "Low" or even "Minimal" if you can maintain a comfortable surplus.

    - Get as many trade partners as early as possible. Send out spies/champions/dignitaries on exploration trips to discover new factions and sign up trade agreements

    - Always have surplus of money. After turn 30-50, you should have a comfortable cushion for emergencies. If not, then you are over recruiting. As a rule of thumb, your total Army and Navy upkeep should be between half (1/2) and two-thirds (2/3) of your tax income (not total income). The rest should be spent on building, recruitment, agents actions, etc...

    - Always occupy settlements that have a Wonder (faction-wide effects are rare and awesome)

    - Always occupy settlements that have trade resources (listed above) as they boost trade considerably.

    - Try to occupy all settlements in a single province. This allows for synergy between the different settlements (stacking Wealth effect, stacking happiness effects, etc). The same applies to sea regions.

    - Subjugate if it is an option and the above 3 scenarios are not possible. This will help you control corruption level modifier

    - Specialize your provinces. You have main specializations:

    Industry (Income and Production)
    Agriculture (Food)
    Commerce (Trade)

    Synergise by building the proper temples, Forum/Market and port upgrades.

    Synergise with Edicts if possible

    - Keep your populace happy. Build the temple that gives the maximum public order as much as possible (highest public order to cost ratio). Build Gladiator arenas.

    - Use Agent's special stances to increase happiness and conversion to your culture.

    - Understand your temples. They vary quite a bit between factions. Some temples are meant for Happiness or Public Order, others are for spreading your culture, others are for Public Safety (against agent actions), others are for commerce, others are for growth, others are for morale/experience/forge. Build the proper temple(s) in the proper

    - Exempt troubling provinces from taxes especially if they have low income and food surplus levels

    - Use your Edicts.

    - Keep an eye on slaves. Too few slaves is bad to the economy and too many is bad to Public Order.

    - You can change the type of building without destroying it. If you have a fishing port in a province where you need a dock yard instead, select to convert the fishing port to a dock yard of the same level. Saves you money and time. Same applies to any plot type that have multiple options. I always convert Animal/Livestock pens into Farms when I occupy new settlements.

    - Convert buildings to your own culture. Buildings of other cultures (settlement center, barracks, docks) DO NOT generate town watch forces for protecting your new settlements. Converting those buildings to your culture fills out the ranks.

    - Taking a settlement not of your own culture will incur a cultural penalty that might be huge. Build temples and buildings that spreads your culture's influence.


    - You don't need multiple barracks in a single province. Destroy one if you get more than one by occupying new regions.

    - You don't need a barracks in every province. I have three provinces for recruitment (center, and one on each frontier). I will recruit 15-20 units into a newly formed Legion in one of those provinces and march them out using the "Forced March" stance to the front.

    - Know when to build an Auxilia barracks. Archers and horse Archers/peltasts are only attainable by building Auxilia barracks in regions that allows you to recruit Auxilia Archers (Persian/Syrian Archers that I have seen so far).

    - Keep your fleets nearby the shore. The further from land they are the higher the chance they will suffer attrition.

    - Understand, Use and Abuse your stances. A forced march, although it might cost you 25% of your army's morale, might tip the defense battle of an important settlement that's undefended. Raiding while in enemy's territory might replenish all loses from attrition. Understand, Use and Abuse.

    - Used "Forced March" stance to get away from attrition zones (Desert, Snow, etc).

    - Keep an eye on attrition. Even in your regions you can suffer from attrition if in an extreme climate zone. Stay on the Roads to prevent that. Standing next to roads will not reduce attrition, you have to be on them.

    The image above doesn't show the mouse pointer so I added red dots to show where I was pointing. As you can see, if I order my army to march next to the read (left hand side), I get a warning about attrition (And the not-showing mouse pointer will have a skull next to it). If I order my army to march ONTO the road (right hand side) then I won't suffer attrition (no skull next to mouse pointer - not shown)

    - Stay in friendly or better yet your own provinces to replenish faster.

    - Navies replenish faster when in ports.

    - You don't need a navy to cross bodies of water. Your army can cross water bodies but don't engage in fights as transport ships have very low health points.

    - Don't let fleets fight against settlements without support from a proper land army.

    - Don't let land armies on naval transport fight naval battles without support from a proper navy.

    - Use the opposite for profit: Rush to attack by using your fleets when you see an enemy's army is using naval transport without having a fleet nearby for protection

    - Use multiple stacks/armies/legions when attacking settlements. This is extremely helpful on Auto-resolve battles as numerical and quality superiority might mean you lose tens only.

    - Recruit mercenaries on the same turn you plan on forcing a battle, and disband them on the same turn. This way you don't have to pay for upkeep while boosting your forces considerably.

    This is also a cheap way to keep a "rover" legion in your Empire's center. Keep a skeleton army with a few or no soldiers. Hire mercenaries whenever a region is about to rebel or about to be invaded. This way you don't have to pay for upkeep for regular soldiers

    - Have Attack and Support Armies. Attack armies are used to win over settlements and crush enemy armies. These legions will contain your most expensive and most experienced units.

    Support Armies are what follows in the wake of your Attack armies. They stay in newly conquered settlements to boost Public Order and deal with rebellions and counter attacks. Those will have numerous but low quality armies as count is what counts towards Public Order.

    - Commander - Force - Agent Effects

    So you have an army with a rank 6 General with 3 auto traits, a household follower and 6 traits that you upgraded. And your army is a level 5 legion with 5 Military Traditions researched. And above all that you have an agent accompanying your Army. Not to mention you have Wonders and technologies affecting your army stats. Where are all of those numbers and effects?

    Easy. When you select an army, look at the left bottom corner. Under the General's image you have 3 icons reflecting Commander, Force and Agent (if the last exist)

    Hover you mouse above each to know what your effects are. Morale, extra armor, upkeep discounts, etc... All effects from all sources are shown here.


    - Understand your agents:
    Spies counter Dignitaries
    Dignitaries counter Champions
    Champions counter Spies

    Specialize your agents. A spy that is taking the poison route should not invest in blades

    - Agents have stances
    Dignitaries have Administration
    Spies have Counter-Intelligence
    Champions have Military Fervor.

    - Use your agents. The 300-600 cost of doing an action is worth it if it means that the enemy agent can't hinder your army.


    Champions are the GOD MODE cheat of Rome 2. Each main invasion Legion should be accompanied by a champion. A champion will give experience to all units, while boosting your general's abilities, and countering enemy's agents actions. Get them the upgrades that allows for more experience per turn when offered.

    I have 6 Legions that are all on level 9 experience (3 golden chevrons) because of Champions. Do you know what a Praetorian unit with 3 Gold Chevrons can do?

    In the image above, you can see the attached champion at the far right. You can tell which units are my vets (Golden Chevrons) and which ones are new (Copper and Silver Chevrons) due to recent unlock (Praetorians)

    It's a fast way to keep your units gathering experience even when they are recovering and in transit.


    - Synergise your technologies. Each three technologies in the same box give an extra benefit when all are researched.

    The Philosophy tree is a prime example. Each three researches (each box) gives you a 5% reduction of corruption (5%-10%-15% respectively). This is huge.

    - Technology effects from the same line do not stack.

    That is if the first technology in a line of research gives -3% upkeep cost, the second gives -6% upkeep cost, the total you will get is -6%, not the -9% that you might expect.

    - Balance your research. Don't ignore any branch. Some lines and some branches are more important than others depending on your play style and faction type. Experiment and plan ahead of time what you want to research first.


    - Always maintain multiple save files to avoid corrupted save files that might ruin your game. I have a very simple system. For each campaign I have 9 save files like:


    I keep saving them in a loop, using 1 to 3 save files per turn (a save file before each major offensive, and a save file before End Turn). This saved me from ending my campaign prematurely when 2 save files were corrupted. I returned to my third-last save and I was able to continue my campaign.

    - Remember, it's a game. Keep Calm. Relax and Enjoy. Rome 2 is finally here.
    Last edited by Dark Side; 09-10-2013 at 07:26 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member General Dark Side's Avatar
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    5. Q&A (Temporary)

    Question 1
    Quote Originally Posted by Vokram View Post
    I am curious about the rebellion mechanics of the game. Whenever I successfully incite an unrest to -100, I only get an rebel army with four units to appear. The army rarely able to do any damage before getting destroy because they are so small.
    I usually crush rebellions within a turn of them appearing on the map as I know before hand that the province will rebel and I send my closest army to deal with it.

    But one time I had to leave them for 3 turns as I was engaged with a nearby Raiding party from an aggressive AI. To my surprise, and instead of attacking my settlements, the AI stack started recruiting. I am not sure if their general can recruit since the region is basically their home territory or whether he was recruiting mercenaries.

    Again, I have seen this only once. I will test again when I am back home and see if I can reproduce this result a few times.

    Additional Community responses:

    Quote Originally Posted by Telomen View Post
    From my one observation an rebellion armie will be recruting till the unrestvalue is again 0. This way the unrest will decrease for 20 points per turn.
    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisdeScania View Post
    About the unrest issue. A rebellion will automatically be triggered at -100. 4 units of rebels will spawn and if you look at your unrest it has just jumped to -80 and is improving by plus 20 no matter how bad it was before. Every subsequent turn after that boosts the rebels ranks by 4 and lowers your unrest by 20.

    After 5 turns the rebels will have a full stack of low to medium troops and the unrest has been reset to zero for the entire province. Assuming that you move some troops to the settlement so that they are not directly inclined to attack you. A little untested but this is what Ive spotted in my campaign.

    Question 2
    Quote Originally Posted by Hatlin View Post
    Also City Centre buildings (bonuses for diffrent aspects like industry , order , agricultural ) and industrial buildings , kinda still im not sure if they are usefull and if yes how use them efficiently.

    I have elaborated on this under the explanation of Income and Wealth. The text is a bit dry without screenshots. I will do my best to include screenshots by tomorrow.

    But basically each production building have a certain type of Wealth (Maritime Commerce, Agriculture, Industry, etc). And you have modifiers that are specific to each type of Wealth (example: +20% to Agriculture Wealth) and you have rarer and more important Generic Wealth Modifier that affects ALL TYPES of wealth (example: +10% to All Wealth).

    The first is usually higher in value and more common (another reason to specialize your provinces) and the latter is usually lower in value but much rarer as it affects multiple production buildings at once.

    Question 3
    Quote Originally Posted by Darkcow
    After conquering certain regions the buildings there wont function and it say its due to:
    "this building is not available to you faction. You have to convert it to one of your own buildings before you can upgrade it."

    Follow the steps below:

    Consider the Temple of Poseidon. You have that marker on it showing that it belongs to another culture.

    Click on that box and you get a white box that says "Convert/Dismantle"

    Click that white box and you get options to build equivalent buildings from your culture or to demolish it (hammer icon in the corner).

    You can convert your own buildings the same way. Any Temple you own you can convert to a different Diety. The same for Ports, Farms/Animal pens, etc.

    Question 4
    Quote Originally Posted by Julian Scipio View Post
    I have a question, you said to control the size of your empires by subjugating, however I have subjugated two nations and they no longer pay me money but it still says they're my client states.

    So we basically negotiated a peace treaty/alliance.

    They paid me for a bit but it was pretty miniscule and eventually dwindled to nothing, and one of these client states has been expanding over in Asia so I know his economy isn't bad.

    So how do I make them pay me? >.>

    This is is a display bug. You are correct, under the diplomacy panel, when you hover your mouse pointer over the client state you see that each of your client states is giving 0 in tribute.

    However if you open the "Trade & Finance" panel and go to the last tab "Summary", you can see that you are getting X amount from Diplomacy as "Satrapies and Client States".

    Confirmation received from Julian Scipio:

    Quote Originally Posted by Julian Scipio View Post
    Got on and yes it says I am receiving 391 from my client states and satrapies in the summary page.
    Last edited by Dark Side; 09-10-2013 at 07:27 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member General Dark Side's Avatar
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    Reserved for part 7 by Dark Side

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    Senior Member General Dark Side's Avatar
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    The restaurant at the end of the universe


    Reserved for part 8 by Dark Side

  9. #9
    Senior Member General Dark Side's Avatar
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    Reserved for part 9 by Dark Side

  10. #10
    Member Private Hatlin's Avatar
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    Apr 2011


    Thanks a lot i was kinda strugling to grasp how most eficiently use economy ...Shogun 2 or other TW games it was kinda easier to grasp it faster.

    So thank you.

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