Choosing a Path to Victory

Total War is a game of strategy, but there is no single strategy that leads to victory.

The path for a given faction depends on the faction's strengths and weaknesses, just as it depends on the strengths and weaknesses of its adversaries.

Something that all players should remember when playing Total War is that their enemies, together, outnumber and are stronger than them. Separately, they are smaller and weaker. Choosing a course of action that will rally a large number of factions together in opposition to you is most likely a bad strategy, unless you have such a vast advantage in terms of stats that you can take them all on at once (which is highly unlikely, but technically possible).

The first thing a faction should do is check its capabilities, and think of a tactic that ensures its continuous growth in the short term. If a faction becomes stale, it's easy for its enemies to attack it, especially in the first turns.

The second thing a faction should do is look for an alliance. Since all players begin in similar conditions, and the difference between stats is not great in the beginning, alliances offer easy ways to grow (By exchanging and collaborating with stats and traits), defense against common enemies, and consensus on expansion.

The third thing is to observe your adversaries and allies, look for strengths and weaknesses, and start to think of strategies to conquer them.

Because, in the end, the game is about conquest, either through war or subterfuge. Of course, it is possible that a faction's goal does NOT involve violent actions, but that is uncommon. The name of the game is Total War after all.