This strategy game is set in the period starting from 395 AD, the moment when the sweeping pressure of the barbarian tribes finally forced the Roman Empire to its knees. The object of the game is to see whether, by skill and manipulation of the forces at your command, you can alter the events of history and maintain Rome as a great empire. The Fall of Rome is for one player against the computer.
All the events take place on a map of Europe which is divided by red border lines into the various provinces. At the start of the game you are shown those which are under Rome's control.
Playing is split into three distinct phases. During the first you are asked to create and move your forces province by province and any money balances left over. Your military forces are split into Mobile and Static legions, Cavalry units and Auxiliaries. You are allowed to create one mobile legion per province per tum if you have sufficient funds. Static legions are converted from mobile ones but, once converted, may not be changed back. Again, depending on funds, you may create cavalry or auxiliary units in a strict ratio to the number of mobiles in the province. If any money is left over, it may be moved to one of the adjacent provinces indicated on the map where it may do more than leaving it where it is.The second phase is the movement part of the game. Here you are asked how many mobile legions you wish to move, again, province by province. The same goes for cavalry and auxiliaries if there are any present. With each province, the map will indicate the possible destinations of the movement.
The third, or attack phase, shows you how many enemy tribes there are in the various provinces where Roman military forces have been moved, and it gives their varying strengths. You are allowed to attack one enemy per province per move. The computer calculates the result based on enemy strengths and Roman forces available, this completes a turn and one turn represents five years. At the commencement of the second turn you can see how well you have done, where you have hung on and where you have lost control.