player controls an empire with the goal of conquering as much territory as possible and eliminating rival factions, which are controlled by the computer, or AI. The main campaign is split between two gameplay modes: a turn-based strategy map for moving whole armies and managing the empire, and a real-time battle map for fighting battles on the ground between two or more armies
player is presented with a map of Europe, North Africa and the Near East in which territory is divided into 200 provinces... turn-based, each turn representing the passage of three months... annexation of territory, which is done province-by-province, either by successfully besieging the province capital, or by acquiring it from another faction through diplomacy. Once a faction has acquired a province, they may construct buildings in the province capital that either enable the recruitment of certain military units or grant various bonuses to the city, such as greater resilience during a siege or a decreased likelihood of the province rebelling.
Relief, province boundaries, snow boundaries, vegetation types, coastlines and areas prone to natural disaster in 272 BC have all been researched and implemented into the campaign map. The Nile–Red Sea canal linking the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea has been added to the map, as have the great trade routes of the ancient world, such as the Amber and Silk Roads
"government buildings" and military–industrial complexes
construction of new buildings in their province capitals has changed in Europa Barbarorum... Government buildings represent different degrees of central State intervention in a province, and range from a homeland government, which can only be built in a faction's traditional ethnic homeland and represents the highest possible degree of central State control, to an allied state government, which makes the province in question semi-autonomous and installs a puppet ruler... the greater the degree of autonomy granted to a province, the greater the shift in the make-up of the pool of buildings available for construction from the controlling faction's own buildings to native buildings... Nomadic, desert- and steppe-dwelling factions have their own government buildings
The original Rome: Total War's system of constructing and subsequently upgrading different types of building in order to recruit different types of soldier (stables for horses, ranges for archers, and so on) has been replaced in Europa Barbarorum by the "factional MIC", which enables the recruitment of all the province-controlling faction's units, and the "regional MIC"
In addition to buildings that can be constructed by the player, Europa Barbarorum also introduces a number of unique buildings or "wonders", which can either be man-made structures or features of the landscape, and which provide unique bonuses to the province.