Mediterranean Map Civilizations

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Mediterranean Map Civilizations

by Blitz

Mediterranean maps offer the most diverse economies and military battles in Rise of Rome. Players fight over the abundance of fish in the sea resting in the middle of the map. Opponents are placing docks next to each other and are fishing the same spots in Stone Age. As soon as the Tool Age comes the action starts and doesn’t stop until the game is over. The best civilizations offer bonuses to give you a quick advantage on the sea. Winning the sea means wiping out half of your opponent’s economy and making it near impossible for them to compete with your newly earned 100% economy tilt.

This guide is written from a Zone expert’s view of the different civilizations. Primarily played settings for this guide is no reveal default resources settings. Expert Zone play is dominated by fishing boat booming in Stone Age, heavy navy battles in Tool through late Bronze, and land attacks primarily starting in mid to late Bronze. Land Tool Age fighting is usually lighter than the navy battles occurring at the same time on the sea. Generally all teammates must participate in navy battle to bring victory, therefore making the sea the first priority and land the second.

Economies reach around 38-50 Villagers in the Stone Age and reach in excess of 100 in the Bronze Age. Typical Tool Age advancement times are between 11:00-13:00. Bronze Age usually begins around 14:00 and goes until around 23:00-30:00. Most of the sea battling is decided by early Bronze, and the land battles are decided in late Bronze. Usually all civilizations will reach the Bronze Age, but only civilizations that won the sea will reach Iron Age. Dominant civilizations will reach the population limit, regardless if it is 150,175, or 200.

Minoan is the benchmark civilization on Mediterranean maps. Minoan boats are 30% cheaper and this translates into the single biggest bonus of all civilizations for Mediterranean maps. This bonus makes Minoan players faster and bigger while they are on the water. Minoan players can boom from multiple docks quicker than the other players can. This strong economy combined with their cheap navy usually means trouble for opponents in Tool Age navy battles. Their Composite Bowmen +2 range bonus makes them devastating on land in the Bronze Age. Most Minoan wins can be categorized as winning the sea in Tool/ early Bronze and massing cheap Composite Bowmen complimented with Stone Throwers and Cavalry and simply run over opponents on the land in mid to late Bronze.

Iron Age brings Heavy Cats and Helepolis to the field. This is a “dynamic duo” that can crush whatever is left of weaker civilizations. They are strong through all ages and therefore are the most popular civilization for Mediterranean maps. Minoan’s biggest weakness is being gold dependant for Bronze and Iron military units. The Scythe Chariot is the biggest Minoan killer if Chariot civilizations are still alive and kicking come Iron Age.

Hittite is the next most popular choice. Their +4 range bonus on war ships gives them the ability to win battles of equal or similar numbers. Hittite War Galleys strike fear into the hearts of Minoan players. A large group of Hittite War Galleys in Bronze Age is gonna keep anybody struggling as arrows shoot out of the darkness into their navy fleet. This range keeps their War Galleys feared even in Iron even with a sea full of Triremes. Having a +1 attack on their Tool Bowmen can stop an axer or scout attack at home. Most experts are hesitant to rush Hittites with anything less than a dozen slingers. Five Tool Archers in opponent’s woodcutters means no more woodcutters. Their +1 attack bonus for Chariot Archers and double hit points for Stone Throwers translates into a brutal Bronze Age combination. This combination can match the Minoan Composite Bowmen/Stone Thrower combination in equal numbers.

Hittite Heavy Cat is the strongest single unit in the game. Hittite has the strongest tech tree in Iron and they are not gold dependant. The pressure is always on opponents to kill Hittite players before they get a mature economy in the Iron Age. If there is a weakness, it is having no economic bonuses outside of all Market upgrades.

Yamato is the most under played civilization on Mediterranean maps. Their ships having 30% more hit points giving them the best navy through the ages. Most players simply don’t understand what a dominant force this makes Yamato. Winning the sea means winning the game in almost every game. Add the 30% increased Villager speed and Yamato has a great economy as well as the best navy in the game. Yamato is capable of beating Minoan and Hittite players on the sea, as well as every other civilization. Why aren’t they the civilization that all others are measured by? They are frowned upon generally because of their “weak” land army in Bronze and Iron. Their 25% cheaper Cavalry isn’t that effective against Minoan and Hittite standard armies, not to mention both civilizations have Camels. Their Composite Bowmen/ Stone Thrower combination is inferior to Minoan and Hittites armies.

In Iron they are left in the dust trying to compete with Heavy Horse Archers, Heavy Cavalry (Cataphract is a waste of resources and is a whole different debate), and Centurions in a battlefield that is dominated by Catapults/Heavy Catapults, Balistas/Helepolis, Scythe, War Elephants and Balista Towers. Yamato has coinage giving them free tribute in Iron Age to give to “stronger” civilizations. Having stated all of this, Yamato must take advantage of winning the sea by massing a bigger land army and crushing Minoan and Hittite opponents in the Bronze Age by sheer strength of economy. I rank them as the second strongest Civilization in front of Hittite, although Hittite is much more popular in Zone play.

Shang is a formidable civilization on any map. Mediterranean maps aren’t their strongest maps, but Shang is still a powerhouse here. Their 20% cheaper Villagers and a full tech tree through Bronze makes them dangerous on any map. Shang players can out-boom Minoan opponents. Shang speed must be utilized to beat the three previous civilizations. Shang simply must be faster, bigger, and stronger in Stone Age through Bronze Age to win. Their army and navy units are inferior through the Ages to the above civilizations. The saying “speed kills” must be achieved through the ages to beat Minoan, Hittite, and Yamato players. Shang booms can reach in excess of 50 Villagers in Stone and still maintain a 12:00 Tool. This boom brings in well over 1000 wood and 1000 food to spend in Tool on navy and army. That is good enough to keep the above civilizations busy on water while mounting an overbearing ground attack in Tool and early Bronze.

If Yamato is the most under played civilization on Mediterranean maps, then Macedonian is the most miss played civilization on Mediterranean maps. Macedonia has debatably the best Bronze Age military in the game, the Hoplite. Their armor has a +2 missile attack bonus that makes them Chariot Archer and Composite Bowmen killers. Most Macedonian players never use Hoplites! Macedonian Hoplites are very hard to kill. To compliment their armor bonus, they are given a +2 Line of Sight bonus and are 4 times more resistant to conversion. This translates into being able to kill Chariot Archers, Composite Bowmen, Cavalry, Camels, Stone Throwers, and Priests. Furthermore, Hoplites are available immediately upon entering Bronze requiring no researching to put on battlefield.

Macedonian Stone Throwers are 50% cheaper which means they can mass these units quicker in Bronze than any other civilization. Add some Composite Bowmen and they have the toughest army to stop in Bronze. Macedonian players can out-muscle Hittite and Minoan players on the land in Bronze. However Macedonia must rely on this land strength because all of the above civilizations should have an advantage on the water through the Bronze Age because of economy and/or navy bonuses.

Like Yamato and Shang, Macedonian players must crush Hittite and Minoan players before the Iron Age. Iron Age brings the best Academy units in the game, Triremes, Armored Elephants, Heavy Horse Archers, and Balista Towers to give them advantages over Yamato and Shang. These units also give them the ability to compete to some scale with Hittite and Minoan players.

These five civilizations are in an elite group by themselves. Each can compete with one another and have the capability of winning every game against one another. They “control their own destiny” if they execute well and play to their strengths. After these five civilizations there is a gap in strength. The mid-tier civilizations do not control their own destiny against the elite civilizations. They need help to compete against them. Help might include better berry placement, closer to water, closer and bigger forest, etc. Help might also come in better execution of strategies and micro-management of militaries and economies. The great thing about Rise of Rome is all things aren’t equal and therefore these civilizations have an opportunity to win every game.

The first choice of mid-tier civilizations is Egyptian. Egypt enjoys a 33% hit point bonus for all chariots giving them strongest Chariot Archers and Scythe Chariots in the game. They have a full navy, and can compete through all Ages. Bronze Age is a strong age for Egyptian players relying on Chariot Archers and that strength can many times get them to the Iron Age. With a nice tech tree in Iron, Egypt can compete with the best of them with Scythe, War Elephants, Balista Towers, Triremes, and Juggernaughts.

Assyrian is the next civilizations on Mediterranean maps. Like Shang, Assyria performs better on other maps. They dominated the Age of Empire maps, and all Zone players have been on both ends of Assyrian beatings. Assyrian Chariot Archers deserve respect because they continue to alter the Bronze Age battlefield if able to achieve a critical mass. Their Villager speed bonus helps to give an early economic boost. Like Hittite, tool rushing an Assyrian player can many times be fatal for the aggressor as Assyria Tool Bowmen as all Assyrian Archer units have an increased rate of fire. Their navy isn’t as strong as the civilizations already mentioned, and this is the primary reason they fall from elite status on Mediterranean maps. Assyrian players are going to have problems with the above civilizations in the Iron Age as well.

Phoenician is a solid civilization on Mediterranean maps. The latest patch has left Phoenicia with a 12% wood gathering bonus. True this is a far cry from the good old days when Phoenicia was a contender for the best civilization on water maps. Given the current economy bonus and a good navy, Phoenicia can still compete through all ages on land and sea. Throw in the biggest tech tree in the game and they have opportunities to defeat the elite civilizations on occasion. The Composite Bowmen /Chariot Archer option can be nice to have.

Phoenician’s army and navy must rely on this versatility because they have no military bonuses until the Iron Age. Their Scythe misses important storage pit upgrades that leaves them inferior to Egyptian, Hittite, and Shang Scythe. The 25% cheaper Elephants are nice if you’re still alive in the Iron Age. However, Phoenicia is a very food-hungry civilization in Iron requiring lots of food to feed the Elephants, Balista Tower upgrade, and Juggernaught upgrade to be a dominant force on the battlefield. Phoenician Juggernaught can rule the water with their 65% rate of fire bonus if sea battle is still an option once the Juggernaughts are available.

Palmyran can be a dominant civilization on Mediterranean maps. Palmyran players need to find their berries fast at the beginning of the game. With Villagers costing 50% more and working 20% faster, they can be great if they can get off to a good start. The 200 food at the beginning is going to give a Palmyran player a total of five Villagers at start while all other civilizations enjoy being given seven. They can gather more wood than any other civilization through the Bronze Age. Like Phoenicia, Palmyra has a versatile army but misses storage pit upgrades to make their Scythe inferior to other civilizations.

The free tribute bonus has got the attention of all players looking for dominating strategies. Palmyran’s strength and weakness will always lie in the first few minutes of the game. They can be a fast and dominating civilization or a slow tank that is easily defeated before it ever got going. It can be frustrating to use Palmyran and be so dominating one game, then have a “no-show” the next game, all because of food in the beginning.

Roman is the final mid-tier civilization on Mediterranean maps. Their 15% building cost bonus gives Roman players a quicker pit, and a combination of faster and/or more docks in Stone. This advantage could give them the early naval advantage among the mid-tier civilizations. Rome’s strong Iron Age can compete with all of the civilizations. What usually leads to the Fall of Rome is Bronze Age land warfare. With Chariot Archers and Composite Bowman being massed, Roman players are left with few choices of Cavalry and Barracks units. Their swordsmen attack 33% faster, but they have difficulty slowing down any combination of Archers/Stone Throwers in Bronze. The 50% cheaper Sentry Towers can help defend against Chariot Archers and Composite Bowman. Roman is probably the best Tool rushing civilization with cheap Towers, cheap buildings, and lots of axers/slingers.

The remaining civilizations fail to have any significant bonuses that translate into early advantages on the battlefield. Mid-tier civilizations match up better against the elite civilizations than the last third. The remaining civilizations technically should never be able to beat the elite civilizations. These civilizations are put in the bottom third of the civilizations because of their ability to compete with the top civilizations and not the mid-tier civilizations. There could be a great debate if Babylonian and Sumerian civilizations could beat Roman or Palmyran. My reason for categorizing these as the bottom third is none of these last five civilizations can compete against Minoan, Yamato, Hittite, Shang, and Macedonian.

Babylonian is the best of the bottom group. They have one of the largest tech trees in the game, and are basically a Hittite civilization without the Hittite bonuses. The problem with this is Hittites early strength is in its bonuses and not it’s tech tree. Babylon can mine stone with the best of them. They also have double hit points with their Towers and walls. Question is, so what?

Speaking of “poor-man’s” Hittite, we next have Sumerian. Sumerian enjoys a similar tech tree as Hittite, and they even get a 50% rate of fire bonus for their Stone Throwers and Catapults to closer resemble Hittite than Babylonian. They miss some important storage pit upgrades in Iron to give them inferior units to stronger civilizations. More importantly, they miss the important military bonuses Hittite enjoys and therefore reside as a bottom-tier civilization on Mediterranean maps.

Persia has strengths, just not too effective on a Mediterranean map. Their 30% hunting bonus can’t be utilized on a map that players primarily use only one food source on land in Stone Age before fishing boats bear the burden of being the sole food gatherer. Persia’s economy doesn’t get any help in Bronze missing the wheel. Persia must rely on Composite Bowmen, Stone Throwers, and Cavalry, all of which have no bonuses. This leaves an uphill battle to compete against the elite civilizations. Chances are great that Persia will never live to use their 50% faster elephants and dominate the sea with Triremes having a 50% faster rate of fire.

Choson can be referred to as a watered down Roman civilization. Whatever Choson can do, Roman can do better. Choson has no early economic bonus and only a +2 Tower range to help them up to Iron. Their Bronze Age army is cavalry with no nobility, and Imposite Bowmen and Stone Throwers with no advantage. It is hard for the 30% cheaper Priest to be utilized in the Bronze Age where Archers and Stone Throwers dominate. If they are still alive in Iron, Longswordsmen and Legion with +80 hit points complimented with Balista Towers can me fun to play, but can’t compete with the Scythe, Elephants, and Catapults.

Carthaginian is a great death match civilization. However on a random map they really struggle. Mediterranean is no exception for them. Their Academy and elephants have 25% more hit points. What they gain in having strong Hoplites in Bronze, they lose by not having Composite Bowmen or Chariot Archers. No economic bonuses and no military bonus that can change battlefield until Iron Age generally means an early exit for Carthaginian on Mediterranean maps. Get in the fast transports and play hide and seek with the elite civilizations could be fun.

Greek rests at the bottom. At least Carthaginian gets Improved Bowman in Bronze Age. Greek has nothing to look forward to when going from the Tool Age to the Bronze Age. There is a slim chance that Greek can live to see their strong Iron Age, and that is if they do their business in Tool Age. War Ships move 30% faster, but usually that does nothing in terms of winning the sea. Greek players should lobby Yamato and Minoan opponents for death match settings in game setup.


Minoan- second best economy, second best navy, and second best Iron Age makes ‘em #1.
Yamato- best navy in the game. Must rise up and win before Iron against Minoan and Hittite players.
Hittite- third best navy, best Iron Age, best Stone Thrower/Chariot Archer combo makes them tough.
Shang- best economy, most versatile Tool and Bronze Age. Navy and Iron Age lower them to #4. 
Macedonian- hidden strength of Hoplites must be utilized early to beat the big boys.
Egyptian- great Chariot Archers and Scythe. Formidable navy and tech tree.
Assyrian- among the elite on most other maps. Great Chariot Archers. Lacks navy and Iron Age.
Phoenician- pre-patch had them fighting up with #1-2, today they’re a mid-tier civilization. 
Palmyran- if they can keep up in early Stone they can compete with anyone. Big “If”. 
Roman- building bonus helps early. What to do in Bronze so they can be dominant in Iron?
Babylonian- great tech tree. Bonuses are defensive in a game that you must be offensive. 
Sumerian-poor man’s Hittite. Lack of navy and economic bonuses puts them down here. 
Persian- hunting bonus doesn’t help much. Great Triremes and Elephants “If” they get to Iron.
Choson- Towers and infantry aren’t effective till late Iron. Must rely on Infantry in Bronze to live.
Carthaginian-simply worse than all of the above. Improved Bowman “boosts” Carthage past Greek. 
Greek- here come the axers, scouts, and slingers.