Unlocking the Marian Reforms: A Guide to Obtaining Them in Rome Total War

The Marian Reforms in Rome Total War are a crucial milestone in the game, representing a radical transformation in the Roman military. Understanding and obtaining these reforms can significantly enhance players’ gameplay experience, allowing them to wield powerful new units and strategies that can turn the tide of battles and lead to ultimate victory.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricate details of the Marian Reforms, exploring their historical background and significance within the game. We will unravel the step-by-step process required to unlock these reforms, highlighting the necessary conditions, requirements, and strategies that players need to employ to successfully obtain them. Whether you are a seasoned player looking to expand your tactics or a newcomer seeking an edge in your gameplay, this article will serve as your ultimate companion in unlocking the Marian Reforms and discovering the true potential of the Roman military machine.

1. Understanding the Marian Reforms in Rome Total War

The Marian Reforms in Rome Total War represent a significant turning point in the game, as they introduce a new level of military organization and gameplay dynamics. Understanding these reforms is crucial for players aiming to unlock their benefits and maximize their strategic potential.

In historical context, the Marian Reforms were instituted by the Roman general Gaius Marius in the late 2nd century BC. These reforms aimed to address the Roman army’s need for more manpower and professionalism to counter external threats. Marius implemented changes such as recruiting soldiers from the lower classes, standardizing equipment, and implementing a professionalized standing army.

In the game, the Marian Reforms overhaul the recruitment system and unit capabilities, introducing new infantry units, such as the formidable and versatile Marian legionaries. Unlocking these reforms allows players to train more efficient armies and have a stronger military presence on the battlefield.

To unlock the Marian Reforms, players need to fulfill certain requirements and prerequisites, including technological advancements and control over certain provinces. Strategizing to meet these requirements will be crucial in obtaining the Marian Reforms and reaping their numerous advantages and benefits on the gameplay.

The Historical Context of the Marian Reforms

The Marian Reforms in Rome Total War were a series of significant military reforms implemented by the Roman general Gaius Marius during the late Roman Republic era. To fully understand the impact of these reforms in the game, it is essential to delve into their historical context.

During the time period depicted in Rome Total War, the Roman Republic was facing numerous challenges, such as external threats from powerful enemies like the Gauls and internal political strife. The existing Roman military system had limitations and was ill-equipped to deal with the evolving nature of warfare.

Gaius Marius, a talented and innovative general, sought to address these issues by introducing sweeping changes to the Roman military. His reforms emphasized the recruitment of professional soldiers from the lower classes, allowing them to serve for long periods and receive regular pay. This opened up opportunities for individuals who previously would not have been able to join the army due to property requirements.

Additionally, Marius reorganized the military units, implementing the cohort system that became a cornerstone of the Roman legions. This restructuring enhanced the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the Roman army, making it a formidable force on the battlefield.

Understanding the historical context of the Marian Reforms provides valuable insights into their significance and impact on gameplay in Rome Total War. By grasping the motivations and challenges that led to these reforms, players can better appreciate their gameplay implications and develop effective strategies to unlock and utilize them.

Impact of the Marian Reforms on Gameplay

The Marian Reforms had a profound impact on the gameplay of Rome Total War, transforming the mechanics of the game and providing new strategies for players to employ. These reforms revolutionized the Roman military, making it more adaptable and versatile.

One major change brought about by the Marian Reforms was the shift from a property-based army to a professional standing army. This meant that players no longer had to rely on recruiting based on social class or property ownership, but rather on military skills and capabilities. This change allowed for a more diverse and powerful army composition, as players could recruit soldiers solely based on their combat prowess.

Another significant gameplay change was the introduction of the cohort system. Under the Marian Reforms, the Roman legions were reorganized into smaller units called cohorts, each consisting of 480 men. This new organization allowed for better control and maneuverability on the battlefield, allowing players to strategically position their troops and execute more complex tactics.

Moreover, the Marian Reforms introduced new military technologies and equipment to the game. Players gained access to advanced weaponry and armor, such as the iconic lorica segmentata and the pilum. These enhancements greatly improved the combat effectiveness of the Roman soldiers, enabling players to dominate their adversaries.

In conclusion, the Marian Reforms had a significant impact on the gameplay of Rome Total War, transforming the Roman military and providing players with new strategic opportunities. These reforms introduced a professional standing army, the cohort system, and advanced military technologies, enhancing the combat capabilities of Rome and allowing players to experience a more dynamic and diverse gameplay.

Requirements and Prerequisites for Unlocking the Marian Reforms

To unlock the Marian Reforms in Rome Total War, certain requirements and prerequisites must be met. This subheading explores the necessary conditions players need to fulfill in order to access this significant in-game event.

First and foremost, players must be playing as the Roman faction in Rome Total War. The Marian Reforms were specifically implemented by the Romans, so no other factions have access to this feature. Once the Roman faction is selected, players must progress through the game and reach a specific turn count.

The turn count required for unlocking the Marian Reforms varies depending on the campaign difficulty level chosen. For example, on easy difficulty, the reforms can be unlocked as early as turn 10, while on harder difficulties, it may take until turn 30 or later.

Additionally, players must have a stable and prosperous empire with a sufficient number of highly trained troops. This means having a strong economy, a solid army, and well-established infrastructure.

Overall, unlocking the Marian Reforms requires strategic planning, careful resource management, and successful military campaigns. By meeting these requirements and prerequisites, players can gain access to the game-changing Marian Reforms and take their Roman empire to new heights of power and dominance.

Strategies for Obtaining the Marian Reforms in Rome Total War

The Marian Reforms in Rome Total War are a significant milestone in the game, and unlocking them requires careful planning and execution. Here are some strategies to help you obtain the Marian Reforms and reap the benefits they offer.

1. Strengthen your economy: To afford the costly reforms, you need a strong economy. Focus on building income-generating structures in your cities, such as farms, trade ports, and markets. Consider trading with other factions to boost your income further.

2. Expand your territories: Controlling more regions increases your income and manpower, making it easier to meet the reform requirements. Build armies and conquer neighboring provinces to expand your influence.

3. Recruit and train high-quality troops: The Marian Reforms require a specific number of top-tier units. To meet this requirement, prioritize recruiting and training elite troops, such as Legionaries or Praetorian Guards. Upgrade your military buildings to access higher-tier units.

4. Secure loyalty and stability: Maintain a stable empire by managing public order, securing loyalty within your factions, and preventing rebellions. A stable empire will allow you to focus on your military campaigns and attain the necessary reforms.

5. Form alliances and acquire allies: Forge alliances with other factions to bolster your military strength. Allies can provide support during wars and help fend off hostile factions, giving you the freedom to focus on fulfilling the reform requirements.

By following these strategies, you can lay the groundwork for obtaining the Marian Reforms in Rome Total War. Unlocking these reforms will enhance your military capabilities and propel your empire to new heights of power and conquest.

Advantages and Benefits of Unlocking the Marian Reforms

Acquiring the Marian Reforms in Rome Total War offers numerous advantages and benefits that can significantly enhance gameplay and the overall experience.

Firstly, the Marian Reforms introduce a new recruitment system that allows players to train more versatile and effective military units. These units consist of professional soldiers who possess superior training, weaponry, and armor compared to their predecessors. This upgrade in troops enhances their combat capabilities, making them more formidable on the battlefield.

Moreover, unlocking the Marian Reforms provides access to new military technologies and inventions. These advancements enable players to develop more advanced weapons, siege equipment, and defensive structures, giving them a considerable advantage in warfare. Players can now effectively counter enemy attacks, siege enemy cities with greater ease, and create impenetrable defenses.

Furthermore, the Marian Reforms bring about significant changes in the faction’s social structure and army organization. Players witness a shift from the reliance on citizen-soldiers to a professional standing army. This change allows for greater strategic flexibility as players can now achieve greater specialization within their armies, leading to more efficient and tailored military strategies.

In conclusion, unlocking the Marian Reforms in Rome Total War unlocks a treasure trove of advantages and benefits, providing players with superior troops, advanced technologies, and enhanced strategic capabilities.


1. What are the Marian Reforms in Rome Total War?

The Marian Reforms refer to a significant update in the game that introduced a new recruitment system for Roman armies. It replaced the old system with a more flexible and effective one, allowing players to recruit professional soldiers called Marian Units.

2. How can I unlock the Marian Reforms in Rome Total War?

To unlock the Marian Reforms in Rome Total War, you need to achieve a certain level of technological and political progress. This includes reaching the Imperium level of “King,” which is the highest rank in the Roman faction. Additionally, you must have researched the necessary military technologies and fulfilled specific faction requirements.

3. What advantages do the Marian Units offer in Rome Total War?

Marian Units introduced through the reforms bring several advantages to the game. First and foremost, they are highly trained and well-equipped professional soldiers, making them superior to the earlier militia-style units. These units have increased morale, better armor, and more advanced weaponry, allowing for greater success on the battlefield.

4. Are there any disadvantages or limitations to the Marian Reforms in Rome Total War?

While the Marian Units provide significant advantages, it’s important to consider the potential disadvantages and limitations as well. Unlocking the reforms often requires significant resources and time investment, which could divert focus from other aspects of gameplay. Additionally, they can be costly to maintain compared to earlier units, requiring a stable economy to sustain them.

5. Can the Marian Reforms be unlocked in all Roman factions in Rome Total War?

No, the Marian Reforms can only be unlocked in specific Roman factions, such as the Julii, Brutii, and Scipii. Each faction has its unique requirements that need to be fulfilled before the Marian Reforms become available. It adds an element of faction-specific strategy, as players must choose their path to unlock the reforms based on their desired playstyle and objectives.


In conclusion, unlocking the Marian Reforms in Rome Total War is no easy feat, but with the right strategy and patience, it can be accomplished. This guide has provided a step-by-step process to obtain these reforms, emphasizing the importance of military victories, population growth, and maintaining a stable economy. By following these guidelines, players can experience the immense benefits of the Marian Reforms, such as the recruitment of professional legions and the ability to field more powerful armies.

The Marian Reforms not only enhance gameplay but also mirror historical events that shaped the Roman military. The transition from the citizen-soldier system to the professional standing army played a pivotal role in Rome’s dominance over ancient Europe. Therefore, achieving the Marian Reforms in the game not only adds an exciting dynamic but also reinforces the importance of adapting military strategies to the ever-changing circumstances of war. So, embark on this journey and unleash the power of the Marian Reforms in Rome Total War!

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