Expeditions: Rome – Ultimate Ironman Mode Guide (Insane Difficulty)

Here you can find things that may be useful for anyone looking to play this mode.

Guide to Ironman Mode (Insane Difficulty)


Money, resources, and so on should be no problem because the game has no timeline and you can gather resources endlessly through legion missions. Conquering an area is also a breeze. In battle, I usually use whoever provides me the greatest loot as my army leader.

I concentrate on the armory —- forge —- foundry path when upgrading my camp. As a result, you will be able to create level 1 – 2 – 3 weapon / armors, as well as tactic items. Getting the forge early in Act 2 is crucial for early-game survival, in my opinion, and the foundry is more optional (because your Praetorian would probably be good enough by the time you get foundry)

The speculation tent is a necessary (to replenish tactical equipment); the factory/arsenal provides you better stratagem, which can help you get better loot and win the game faster; and the others are completely optional.

Finally, in Act 1, immediately recruit at least 3 archers + 2 veles at level 1 or 2. Refresh the pool (from camp) if needed, and make sure they haven’t invested in useless perks yet (see perk build below).


In battle, enemy are stronger than you in HP and damage, and will always use tactic items (fire jar / pilum / poison). Luckily early game in act 1 they are on par with your Praetorian, while late game they can be 50% stronger.

Always equip any tactic item you have (everyone should have pilum, then equip some bandage / fire jar), and grab any free items on battle field if movement allow. Forge more tactic items until all your Praetorian have pilums.

Weapon upgrade is more optional, but do craft all the unique items, and upgrade any weapon / armor if you have resource.

Battle should be fast and quick. The more turns you have, the more damage you suffer. So in early game, this is achieved by 1. free pilum use; 2. kill the militia enemy first (enemy with a chess icon), so you get one extra action; 3. the bleeding / harried / burning weapon effects that lower enemy damage, health, movement, etc.

Then in late game, it will be easier — archers machine gun everyone, and Veles will solve any remaining individual enemy.

Praetorian Perks

Other than story companions, additional Praetorian can be recruited from the camp starting from Act 1. I suggest recruiting them as early as possible, preferably at level 1 or 2, because higher level Praetorian may have perks we don’t need. At max level one can pick 19 perks, but more like 18–19 perks depending on the starting level.

The perk choice below is certainly not unique, but so far the most effective in insane mode.


Early game archer is a little underwhelming, since it has similar damage as others but worse in survivability. However late game they are absolutely OP and will handle most enemies in 1 turn. This is also my main char.

The Machine Gun build


  • Hunter: quick shot (starting perk), versatile, skirmisher, arrow-stab, pinning shots (2 points only), barrage, find-weakness (9 perks)
  • Sniper: marksman, mark-target, walk your shots, seize ground, assist (9 perks);
  • Marksman tree is not needed.

In early game (before getting barrage), equip your archer with one bow & one melee, and pick versatile perk to boost your damage (it works well with the action point refund kill, as archers have high movement).

In late game, every archer shall equip two bows with normal damage skills (aimed shots / fire shots / crippled shots, etc.), and do not equip weapon skills that penalize your accuracy / range / damage (say half-draw). Also equip them with any Talisman that can boost min / max damage.

Once battle starts, click barrage — then you simply walk around and deplete all your skills: 1 pilum, 6 shot from weapon skill, 2 quick shot, 1 assist shot, and 1 more arrow-stab if you are lucky to get a melee. That is a total of 9-11 attacks in turn 1, about 100-160 damage, enough to kill 3-6 enemy per archer.


This is a good character from early to late game. Especially good for killing enemy leader.

The Marathon Build

  • Assassin: lone-wolf, cheap shot, sneak attack , assassinate, marathon, focus master, rush, first strike. (11 perk)
  • Duelist: born-ready, shiv, — (the middle 2 level can be any 3 perks), then quick-witted (8 perks).
  • Do not pick anything from brawler.

In early game Veles is a good damage dealer, especially sneak attack in first two turns. From mid-game, once you have marathon + born-ready + rush, they become true assassins: click marathon, move to enemy leader, sneak attack + shiv, then use rush to refund your action, and strike again; or you may use duel, rush, then sneak attack + shiv. It will easily deal 50–80 damage on enemy leader.

Strictly speaking, Marathon Veles is worse than Machine Gun Archer in damage output, but archers are limited to movement and target sight and cover, while Veles can use marathon to reach anywhere in 1 turn. That is why we need at least 1 Veles.

Princeps & Triarius

They are useful in early game. Princeps are tanky and shield can absord damage very effectively; Triarius can hit from range, and can heal, and there is a strong 5-hit unique weapon in act 2. But in late game under insane mode, their damage output is simply worse than Archer and Veles.

I just level them up in defender / vanguard, and medic / destroyer route. It does no matter much since they serve the supporting role.


In early game your team shall be relatively balanced to cover all your defense and heal needs. In middle game (act 2 onwards) your Veles with marathon and sneak attack is the best damage dealer, so bring more of them.

Then in late game once you have barrage on archer, all you need is 4-5 archers to solve most enemies in turn 1, and 1-2 Veles to finish enemy leaders in 1-2 turns.

In story-based battle you are limited to your companions. With main char being archer, you still have 1 Veles + 2 Archer (main char + Julia), which is sufficient in my insane run so far.

Sometimes, however, enemy will move first in turn 1. This may cause you to lose some archers before they can start hitting. Just load your save and re-position your other troops to take the damage. So long your archers get rolling, the battle is straightforward.

Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 7011 Articles
Egor Opleuha, also known as Juzzzie, is the Editor-in-Chief of Gameplay Tips. He is a writer with more than 12 years of experience in writing and editing online content. His favorite game was and still is the third part of the legendary Heroes of Might and Magic saga. He prefers to spend all his free time playing retro games and new indie games.

1 Comment

  1. Archers so cool, like in Exp.Viking. Same for Veles. i use 3 archers + 1/2 veles+1/2 triarius. Sad that 2 story companions is princeps, they are so bad. Back to archers, fire arrows bows amazing best for many sabotage missions, dont need waste time on greek fire or torches. Only problem for them is shield tanks, but pilums resolve it.

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