Idiot's Guide to Rise of Rome
A lot of the new tweaks seemed to make DM more complicated. I thought Rome was the new dominant tribe. Then I thought that perhaps it was Carthagian. There are a lot of new features in Rise of Rome to try and distract you from the REAL way of playing it.
The new maps do little at best. Highland is still the most popular and gigantic maps lag too much so huge maps still reign. Queuing tries to get you to try and produce as many units as you can. I have learned that this feature is for IDIOTS! It's a stupid trick to try to get players to waste resources on nothing. For example, a Hittite player has no more gold for Armored Elephants or Horse Archers because he is queuing ten catapults a piece at his siege workshops. Now a legion army rushes in and he can't do anything because his resources are gone towards non existant units. You are much better off doing single queues, except for villagers. This makes you use the military you have instead of waiting fifteen minutes and realizing you have an army of 200 legions all of a sudden. It also helps you anticipate your economy needs more. By queuing rediculously, you lose the track on your economy and it will frustrate players and that screws up your game.
Logistics doesn't make much of a difference. Yes, now it takes fewer houses for legions and it is possible for an army of 400, but large legion armies aren't anything new, in fact, I think most legion forces are too big already, you only need so many legions before it becomes too much. Logistics also counters it's benefits by not giving any reason to start farming. When I see the pop limit warning, I know I can take a breather and get my economy up, logistics wrecks that.
Now onto the new tribes. Although I think they have a lot of good advantages, they each miss the items needed for effectiveness. Choson and Hittite are dramatically improved in Rise of Rome. Now catapult fire each count as a hit, unlike regular AoE in which if cats were timed right, only one shot would register. Plus, Armored Elephants are a big plus. Choson gets logistics and a new sound to tell you when farms are gone.
Roman is a good tribe, their legions can actually take Choson legions 1v1 w/ proper upgrades. However, it doesn't do it with many hitpoints remaining. They also have extremely sucky towers. Without those, they simply cannot do much land-wise. Their catapults are nice, but get banged up by Hittite. Roman also has too many units that any one person can use. Expect them to only use legions and helepolises and rarely catapults. Choson is overall better and a good Hittite can beat Roman easier than Choson.
Carthagian has a sucky technology tree in their storage pits. Having powerful elephants and centurions are good, but they lack upgrades to take advantages of those. They also eat up a lot of food and gold. Plus, they cannot do anything about Helepolises. A smart Choson will build Helepolises and priests and the game is all over. A Hittite can do some damage as well with properly sized Horse Archer armies. Macedonian has a few nice advantages but they have sucky siege and can't stop helepolises. Palmyran will actually screw your economy just trying to create enough of their overpriced villagers.
Basically, the secret to RoR is simple, play the EXACT way that you do for normal AoE. Only add Armored Elephants to Hittit'e arsenal and that's about the extent of the changes needed. I'd say the best civ selection is Hittite/Choson/Choson. Occasionally Roman into that mix.