Centurion, Defender of Rome Centurion




Centurion: Defender of Rome is a turn-based strategy game released in 1990. It's a very entertaining game and will keep you coming back for more, even despite its age. Centurion: Defender of Rome is a classic game, one that started the strategy genre, and is the basis for the modern game in said genre, including the Total War saga.

Although the 16bit graphics and sound effects can't even be compared to most modern games, the game can be played on almost any computer, and it barely takes up any hard drive space (around a MB). If you would like to play the game, but you don't have it, you can download it here. It works on MS-Dos, so for the latest versions of Windows and other OS, you should need a MS-Dos emulator such as DOSBox (look for it at the donwload area).


The game begins in 275 b.c. with you in control of Italy and one infantry legion. The object of the game is to conquer all the provinces to be named Caesar. You can take control of these provinces by force, or by striking up an alliance. The more your empire grows, the higher you climb in rank, allowing you to have more armies which you can use to take more countries or make alliances with important provinces. The greed that that will wake in the other countries is something you'll soon have to face...




¿Need a little help? This section will explain some of the basic gameplay mechanics. This is the map at the beginning of the game::

At the top right of the screen, there's two buttons. "End Turn" ends your turn (as the name implies :). This is an important function because you can only move your legions and fleets once per year (turn).

The other button (the one that displays the current year) opens a menu in which you can save/load games, change the difficulty level (I recommend playing the game on Legionary, the default difficulty, Gallery Slave is just too easy), and exit to DOS.

The map is divided into smaller chunks. Each chunk is a province (there's 25 overall). You control the provinces with a blue outline (for now only Italia). There are also different sections of sea, fleets can only move from one space to another each turn. In the seas, you can see three red boats, those are enemy fleets. If you click on one, you can see what province it's from.

In Italia, you'll see a soldier , that soldier represents one legion. If you right click it, you'll see several "shadow" legions in the surrounding provinces; those are the areas to which you can deploy your legion. Click on any of this and your legion will move there. First your scouts will tell you a little about the province, and you'll start a conversation with the local leaders. You can try to get them to join you peacefully through an alliance. However, due to your small empire and rather wimpy army, you'll most likely fail, forcing you to Withdraw (this will move your Legion back to Italia, or wherever it came from). Or, you can Go to War and meet the enemy troops on the battlefield. Select a Formation and a Tactic, and the battle will begin. If you win, that province will be under your control.

If you left click one of your provinces, you'll see the following menu.

On the left side of the screen, you can access various options.

 -Legion: Your Legions' status.

-Tributes: This option allows you to set the amount of taxes for this colony (tributes are your main source of income).

-Hold Games: Hold games to increase the Province's moral.

-Buid Fleet: You can only build a fleet in provinces with a coast, and only if you are a Tribune (rank) or higher.

-Tribute Policy: Only in Italia, this option allows you to select the tribute level for all your provinces.

-See Province List: Displays a list of your provinces and their stats.

-Continue: Takes you back to the map.

On the right side of the screen, you'll see the people's morale ("The people are..."), their status (in the above screenshot it's Citizen, which is the highest level), the amount of tribute you receive from them each year, the amount of soldiers you can enlist in your armies (manpower), and their courage. I recommend you visit the legions page to learn a little more about the latter two points. And, on the bottom you'll see your rank (you probably have the lowest right now) and the money currently at your disposition (in talents).

Well, I believe I've explained the most important gameplay mechanics in Centurion. Good luck! Use the menu on the left to get more in-depth info on the game. Also, you can download a manual from the game (no images): manual-centurion-english.doc (22 pages,157 kb)



This English translation has been gently made by Mitchell Frizzell