Palmyran Civilization Guide

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Palmyran Civilization Guide

by Liberty_PA


Palmyran is probably the most extensively overlooked civilization in Rise of Rome. I can’t tell you how many times at the start of a game my opponents say things like, “Palmyran…interesting” or, “Palmys are weak.” I just love to give these folks a lesson in this underrated civ.

Civilization Highlights

Villagers One main strength of Palmyran villagers is the rate they consume resources. They work 20% harder, so that means they gather all resources at a greater rate before any upgrades. You can’t believe how fast a dozen Palmy villagers mow through a dense forest. Check on them more often, since they are such hard workers, they go idle more quickly than other civs. If you keep you villagers busy, you won’t want for any resource.
Another strength of Palmyran villagers is armor. Your first explorer can survive 2 lion attacks with 1 hit point left. That’s probably enough to find at least one enemy camp. The armor is helpful if you have to resort to using villagers as defense units.
Now the down side: Palmy villagers cost 50% more than the standard 50 food. You only get 5 villagers to start with, and it’s three food trips before you can start number 6. This can lead to many very slow starts. But time is on Palmyria’s side (when you’ve pop limited, all of yours are working harder, even better if you are eating your opponent’s resources).

Trade and Tribute

With all those hard working villagers, why not trade surplus resources for gold? With Palmyria, gold per trade trip is doubled. Trade goes hand in hand with free tribute. You can be the designated gold gatherer for your team and share the wealth and help your allies Iron faster with extra gold. It is not uncommon to gather 10,000 gold with a fully researched iron Palmyran civilization (pop 100 or greater). Pair up with Phoenicians or Hittites and trade freely with them.

Your Unprepared Enemy

Since many people regard this civilization as weak, you’ll find these many don’t have any idea what you’ll be attacking with. Not only will they be a little lost as to what attack units to make, but his defense is likely to be unprepared for a well orchestrated Palmyran battle. This advantage can be almost as important as luck. 


Camels and Stable Units

Palmy camels have +25% speed. If you haven’t found your enemy by Bronze, a few camels and you’ll have no trouble finding him. And when you do, you can relieve him of some extraneous woodcutters. 
Your stable also houses both Cavalry and Heavy Cavalry units. Your bronze age Chariots upgrade to Scythes in Iron. War Elephants and Armored Elephants make the Palmyran stable very strong.

Siege Workshop

The only siege weapon Palmys don’t get are Helepolis. If you like Hittite, you won’t miss Heavy Catapults because Palmyria has them too. Upgrade to Catapult and Heavy Cats as soon as you can, their damage potential is undeniable.


The Palmyran Archery Range is healthy. Bronze Age Chariot Archers and Composite Bowmen are effective villager protectors and attackers. After you get the Iron Age Chain Mail upgrade, you can sweep your enemy with an attack of Heavy Horse Archers. Don’t forget the pit upgrades: these puppies are deadly with flaming arrows and extended range.

Academy Units

Nothing special in Palmyria’s Academy. Bronze Hoplites and Iron Phalanx units are both handy Cat killers when protected from your enemy’s archers with your own Horse Archer or Heavy Horse Archer army backing them up. These units are easily converted, so watch out for civs with good Temples.


If Palmyria had Monotheism, I think I’d never play another civ (how I delight in converting the enemy’s buildings). Temples are decent in Palmyria, and though they lack Medicine, Martyrdom and the before mentioned Monotheism, you can research Conversion Effectiveness and Range and nab yourself some fine Eles that way.

Bronze Barracks

Most likely the last time you’ll use the Barracks is in Bronze, since the best unit here is the Broad Swordsman. But if you have lots of food, and enough wood to make about 3 or 4 barracks, then expand to your enemy’s backyard and give him a 25 Broadsword salute! 

Other Notes

At Sea

Palmy civilizations get both Triremes and Fire Galleys, quite a lethal combination. If you have a fast Iron, you have make short work of the opponent’s docks and cut off vital fishing. We have regularly taken out Minoan and Phoenician navies with Palmyria. Remember, since you gather so much wood, you can make lots and lots of boats.

Towers and Walls

I love Ballista towers and Palmy’s got them. If you find resource gathering villagers under attack by Archery units, these guys build fast too. Make your tower quickly with 5 men. You might lose 1 or 2, but then you have tower in trade, so it’s worth it.
I almost always wall. I usually research walls before towers in Tool, and block off choke points. Since Palmyria has a somewhat slow start, the extra time walls afford you can mean the difference of life and death with an attempted Tool rush or early Bronze rush. If I set 1 man on stone in the Stone Age after all the resources start coming in nicely, I usually have enough stone for a tower and the defensive walls to start.


Like all Rise of Rome civilizations, Palmyran has some weaknesses to keep the civs balanced against each other. The primary weakness is villager price, but if you survive a Tool rush, your villagers are more valuable as covered under the Units section above. You are probably weakest in Tool as a Palmyran.
Without Metallurgy, your hand-to-hand units will not get the +3 attack enhancement this upgrade offers. If you keep defenses and attacks well diversified, this disadvantage should not matter too much. Since Palmyria also lacks Engineering, your Siege weapons cannot benefit from the +2 range it offers. And without Aristocracy, your Academy units can’t get the 25% speed bonus.
No Coinage for Palmyria. That’s OK, since you already have free tribute from day one, and the double gold per trade trip bonus offsets the loss of a 25% gold mine activity upgrade. 


Palmyran is a strong civilization. Hardworking villagers make booming the logical strategy if the map allows and feel like you have 20% more villagers than you actually do. Good resources in the bank mean an healthy economy that can expand all over the map. If you can survive until Iron, your Palmyran Civilization can cover the map.