As a player who enjoys playing roman off much more than roman deff , I would like to talk about a very powerful offense tactic which is early cavalry rush which is VERY unique to romans.
This strategy is credited to a russian player @Дезертир who usually plays in the TEST and comx servers
lets get the facts here :
1) teutons : they get paladins on lvl 1 stable , 55 off strength ( very weak)
2) gauls : they get TTs at lvl 3 stable , 90 off strength , great speed ( much stronger than paladins )
3) Romans : they get EI at lvl 3 stable , 120 off strength , good speed ( much stronger than TTs )
Let this be known that this tactic is for very active off players and usually needs a team to execute the strategy perfectly. Also, this does not focus on an early second village as well . This strategy is best adopted by roman kings early game
brief overview of the build order :
1) get all fields to lvl 5 using residence lvl 1 quests, etc
2) build stable and rush 100 EI using rez from troop builds ( this will be a little taxing )
3) build buildings to get to 200 pop exit out of bp ( almost always, its easy because you are not building settlers)
Now, when you exit the bp, you should find yourselves in the map at some of the highest pop players with other players doing early settle which oftens shoots their pop over 200.
Now, all you need to do is scout and hit villages out of bp (those villages have good economy but no real deff) , add to the fact that most players would be on boots .. .Teutons are most obvious targets .
The best part of the strategy is the speed of the horses and their strength .. No real deff/help can come in when horses travel at 32 units per hour on speed servers. Add to the fact that players are human and need sleep. Simple observation of player's pop growth can give away sleep patterns.
Gauls can do this build , but are much more vulnerable to die when deffed. Romans are definitely much better in this vertical.
If done right, with good scouting and activity, the roman horses can really raid a lot of rez at an amazing pace and have an explosive start to any account.