List of Factions here: http://wiki.totalwar.com/w/Factions_in_Total_War:_Rome_II Edit: You have no choice! I've decided to play as the Romans. I will update with more info late, but now you do have a choice: Option 1: Magna Graecia (I probably butchered the spelling) - Sicily and the bottom portion of the Italian Pennisula. The Carthageans control the west side of Sicily, along with Corsica and Sardinia, while the Syracusae control - you guessed it - Syracuse and the east side of Sicily. Do I go to war with them early, to take the Islands from Carthage and unify Magna Graecia? Note: Know your Geography and Factions! Option 2: Barbarians! Modern day Genoa, Milano, and Venice are controlled by three Barbarian Tribes. Milano is a fortified City. So heading North first, to use the Alps as barriers with the rest of the Pagan, Barbarian Hordes of Europe wouldn't be a bad idea either, but allows Syracuse and Carthage to have their way and see what happens.