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Thread: A Seleucid Guide

  1. #1
    Rex Basiliscus's Avatar Princeps Prior
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    Icon1 A Seleucid Guide

    Since there were some requests for a Seleucid guide and since this is probably the toughest faction to start with, I thought it would be helpful for many if I wrote some tips on how to play this faction. Now, I consider this an open guide - meaning anyone can add their own thoughts on how to aproach the campaign.

    Part I: Reviewing the situation

    The Seleucid Empire at this stage controls the biggest piece of the campaign map in RSII. This is somewhat problematic, as you are surrounded by many enemies: Ptolemies, Parthia, Pergamon, Armenia and Pontus. At first, you are only at war with the Ptolemies, but as was the case in RS1.6 and earlier versions, all of those factions want a part of your land. They will attack eventually. So one of our first priorities in the beginning is strengthening our border defenses - mainly our eastern posessions, which are very vulnerable to Parthian attacks.
    But before we get to that, we need to start making some money.
    And before we do that, we should make sure that our empire doesn't lose provinces to rebellions.

    Now, there is some dilemma to the last sentence... some players would disagree with my post, but my argument is if you have those regions already, there are little reasons to why we should abandon them. Only if you are really sure you can't hold them, you should do that (my opinion).
    So there are two ways of dealing with this:
    1. Keep the regions, build your defense and fight. These regions contain the building "Silk road" and I think some of them "Spice road" also. So if you build your economy, they would bring much income you'd need later in the game.
    2. Abandon them, move west and leave the regions to Parthians, who'd grow only stronger and wealthier and eventually reach your vital regions in Mesopotamia. This would no doubt strengthen your western forces against Egypt, Pontus and Pergamon and for awhile shift your attention to that part of the empire and not worry about the East. But it is a short term plan. The + in this is, if you defeat the western enemies quickly, you could attack Parthians in full force in a few years and possibly defeat them. The downside is that while you concentrate on the West, the Parthians could then attack your central regions and open the second front, much closer than the one you'd have if you'd have kept the regions...
    And this is all without considering Armenia.

    Anyway, lets see what we have:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 




    Our capital Antiocheia is located in the far west corner of the empire... this means the eastern cities get a huge distance to capital bonus, which means lower public order. How many times have you seen the AI move capital of the Seleucids to east in your other campaigns? That's why.

    Next, we have our faction leader Antiochus III with his full army near Raphia. This is the famous battle site (roughly) of the historic battle of Raphia, where Antiochus III and Ptolemy IV fought.
    The RSII team added many challenges for players in the mod and two of them are the battles of Lake Trasimene (Carthage and Rome) and Raphia (Seleucids and Ptolemies). A very nice addition indeed.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    Now, you could decide to fight, but in my case I won't. This is an army I don't want to lose and will need elsewhere. Also, for me, conquering the cities of Raphia and Rhinocolourta (forgot the name, sry) is not a big success, if I lose to much troops and gain underdeveloped towns, which will be attacked non-stop. You can choose otherwise and try to push into Egypt, which once captured would bring you a fortune, but that's if you're lucky. The reinforcements (good ones) would have to be recruited as far away as Antioch and would need much time to get to you.
    So, I retreat from the enemy territory and move my army near Jerusalem.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 




    This way, Ptolemy won't attack the army, or Jerusalem the next turn. Jerusalem will become my main defense against Egypt in time and so it's crucial to hold it. It's stone walls can stop any army, even a few times bigger than yours (trust me). When I make sure it is well defended (archers, slingers, peltasts and some thorakitai or hoplitic style of infantry) I will move Antiochus to Cyprus and from there to Ptolemaic holdings in Asia Minor, which I'll conquer more easily than Egypt itself. After that, I might push into Pergamese territory and secure the West.
    An alliance with Macedon is almost crucial in this. I need a strong ally.

    Back to diplomacy. For now, it is not bad at all.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 




    I'm allied with Pontus and Armenia, but I should not count on those two. However there is a good possibility that they would attack each other and that would save me a lot of trouble. My enemies are Ptolemies and Rebels. Ptolemies would never stop fighting me. Rebels, though are far away and since I'll really not fight them for years to come, my goal is to stop that war and make trade agreements.

    Happiness is essential to stability of the empire. This is how it is, while Antiocheia is our capital.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 




    Not good. So, I move my capital east. Historically, one of the capitals was Seleucia and doing that would benefit you alot, since Seleucia (along with Antioch) brings the most coins into your treasury.
    But, I'll choose Babylon - Alexander's capital. Why? Because it's so hard to keep control of it, even if you make Seleucia the capital. The public order is always low. Not now though:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 




    As you can see, public order in the empire improved considerably. And as you can see, income is biggest in Antioch and Seleucia. Money which we need.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 




    Now, what also makes income? Able governors. Or just the fact that there is a governor present. So, I recruit governors where possible and move Alexander from Persepolis to Babylon. Just because I "love" him. My real name is Alexander and so it's more of a RP decision, to govern the capital of the empire
    Where public order is still low, I build Shrine to Ares and Tribal Justice buildings. This empties my treasury completely, but it's money well spent.
    I raised taxes to highest possible (avoiding low PO). Then I end turn.

    This is the situation of my economy:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 




    Profits are low - only 11k. That will improve, once I improve my economy and governors acquire some good traits. Also, you can see my mining income is 0. In Seleucid lands, there are some good mining resources: gold, silver, tin etc. due to the vastness of the Empire. So not getting any income from that is a waste. We shall look to it as soon as we can. The ratio between trade and taxes is too big. If I don't make more trade agreements and continue to tax my people, it won't do good to economy. Our army expenses are also very high right now.

    In our next turns we need to:
    1. Improve economic infrastructure
    2. Secure the border regions (Jerusalem!!)
    3. Conquer new lands
    4. Trade agreements and alliances
    5. Keep an eye on public order

    All of this in the next chapter.
    Last edited by Rex Basiliscus; October 17, 2010 at 10:36 AM.

  2. #2
    DarthLazy's Avatar Equites Cohortales
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    Default Re: A Seleucid Guide

    Il be linking all guides and important threads into One thread
    Quote Originally Posted by Heathen Hammer View Post
    Real imperialism is shown by Western apologists who are defending Ukraine's brutal occupation of Novorossija.
    Quote Originally Posted by Heathen Hammer View Post
    Sovereignty of Ukraine was recognized by Yeltsin and died with him.

  3. #3
    Grouchio's Avatar Pili Posterior
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    Default Re: A Seleucid Guide

    You deserve a really good medal for this, you know that? ++rep!
    Here's what I've Already done:
    I've already conquered Egypt by 541 AUC, and strengthened my economy by then as well.
    AND you can go to preferences, allowing you to rename cities (Ierosolyma became Jerusalem, Antiocheia became Antioch, Raphia became Gaza, Rhinocolura became Pelusium, Damaskos/Damascus, Laodikea/Tyre, Tarsos/Tarsus, Pafos/Salamis, Hieropolis/Edessa, That city in Sophene/Kataphracta (sounds bad-ass) Charax/Mesopolis,etc.
    Last edited by Grouchio; October 17, 2010 at 08:53 AM.


  4. #4
    Smokey Bacon's Avatar Taihō no heishi
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    Default Re: A Seleucid Guide

    How do you rename citys? It dosn't work like in newer TW titles for me :/

  5. #5
    The Noble Lord's Avatar Ba'ath Party Knight
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    Default Re: A Seleucid Guide

    Nice job Basiliscus, we needed something like this on Seleucids for a long time.
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    أسد العراق Asad al-Iraq
    KOSOVO IS SERBIA!!!
    Under the proud patronage of the magnificent Tzar


  6. #6
    DarthLazy's Avatar Equites Cohortales
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    Default Re: A Seleucid Guide

    If you can put it in a spoiler or content box? . ANd how do you name cities?
    Quote Originally Posted by Heathen Hammer View Post
    Real imperialism is shown by Western apologists who are defending Ukraine's brutal occupation of Novorossija.
    Quote Originally Posted by Heathen Hammer View Post
    Sovereignty of Ukraine was recognized by Yeltsin and died with him.

  7. #7
    torzsoktamas's Avatar Pili Prior
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    Default Re: A Seleucid Guide

    Nice guide Basiliskus!I really enjoy reading stuff like this.

    +rep





    <p align=center><a target=_blank href=http://www.nodiatis.com/personality.htm><img border=0 src=http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg></a></p>

  8. #8
    Brain_in_a_vat's Avatar Chugen
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    Default Re: A Seleucid Guide

    Thanks alot for the guide i'm a really poor RSII player and I need guides like these to improve my skill level rep +

  9. #9
    Rex Basiliscus's Avatar Princeps Prior
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    Default Re: A Seleucid Guide

    Thank you all.
    If you want to rename cities, go to preferences file (if playing with Seleucids: Play_Seleucid>preferences>preferences.txt) and change EDIT_SETTLEMENT_NAME: FALSE to TRUE.
    Then, ingame, you click on a settlement to open the construction or recruitment queue and at the top of that screen click on the settlement name. You'll know what to do next.

  10. #10
    C-Rob's Avatar Yuzo
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    Default Re: A Seleucid Guide

    beat me to it.
    I would also stress the need for governors. My first 5001 goes to governors in every major city without one. and I continue recruiting them until every place has one. Family members that come of age are rushed to the city that has, or will have an academy.

    But the most important thing for the empire are roads. You need a second tier road going from Antioch to egypt and from antioch to seleucia. Withotu that, you have no hope. I also move my capital to the city of Arbela(I think taht's the name). 40K profits a turn.(that's money for roads, governors, and "cores" of armies")
    I refuse to not do the battle of Raphia. It's possible to get a heroic victory with it and though I lost my hypastai, I broke egypt enogh to conquer them within the next 12 turns. No one else attacks during this time. This is the time to take down your biggest threat, not later. Not with Parthia breathing down your neck in 30 turns and Armenia joining in.
    I also recruit cores of 13 unit armies from antioch and seleucia and combine them with locally recruited merc's and units to create an effective fighting force on my fronts. I also capture Cyprus in teh first 3 turns and use those recruited cores taht arent' fighting egypt to fight in asia minor and take down egyptain cities there. And then move onto Pergammon. Asia minor is troubling work to catpure though because of those non-walled towns in it. Kind of have to go for it all or there's just too much effort wasted trying to keep those.

    I would never think to ally with Macedon though. That's different. I just have no faith in the alliance system so neglected to do it anymore.
    Last edited by C-Rob; October 17, 2010 at 10:49 AM.

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    Grouchio's Avatar Pili Posterior
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    Default Re: A Seleucid Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Lazy O View Post
    If you can put it in a spoiler or content box? . ANd how do you name cities?
    Sure! Here are the steps for renaming settlements!

    Step 1: Bring up the RS2 launcher
    Step 2: click on Edit RS2 preferences
    Step 3: click on the main RTW folder, and then click OK.
    Step 4: You are now in the preferences editor. Scroll down until you hit the box that says "EDIT_SETTLEMENT_NAMES."
    Step 5: click on the box so there is a check mark in it.
    Step 6: In-game, double click on a settlement name. Now you can type in the new settlement name as shown:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Step 7: Click somewhere else on the settlement scroll to confirm your name change. And you're done!

    And Here's how I change the color of factions...

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Step 1: I Google the RGB value for gold, which brings me to this page: http://kb.iu.edu/data/aetf.html
    Step 2: Go to desr_sm_factions in one of the faction/data folders.
    Step 3: replace the rgb values of the desired faction for the desired combination from that RGB values website.
    Step 4: Save changes and start up a new game. (Copy and paste the new desr_sm_factions to all faction/data folders if you want these colors for all faction games.)
    Step 5: you are done!
    Last edited by Grouchio; October 17, 2010 at 10:48 AM.


  12. #12
    Rex Basiliscus's Avatar Princeps Prior
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    Default Re: A Seleucid Guide

    Yes roads are essential for trade and quick deployment of your armies.
    About Raphia - at the beginning I always engaged Ptolemy, but later I tried this (as in guide) and it worked well. After I sent Antiochus to Cyprus and on, Ptolemy attacked Jerusalem, which was well defended and I broke his entire army in his two consecutive sieges. I would engage Egypt later and conquer up to Memphis and Alexandria, leaving Egypt with the rest.
    There is another reason why I did this. Halikarnassos is Egypt's main military center in Asia Minor. From there they constantly sent stacks toward Tarsos and any future provinces I held in Asia Minor. And even though I border Pergamon afterwards, Halikarnassos is a good, defendable city, which could break their armies, just like Jerusalem does to Ptolemies.

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    Revan The Great's Avatar Pili Prior
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    Default Re: A Seleucid Guide

    I would like to point out a nuance to the 'Hold the East' vs. 'Abandon the East' strategy. I used to be of the school of thought that 'holding' a region was the best no matter what. To some extent this is gospel because you should never outright abandon a city unless you have to, especially if the Parthians aren't at war with you yet.

    However, you do need to recognize the economic detriment of holding the under-developed East. If you have a city that makes 500 income total (just gross income, so we aren't subtracting wages and upkeep from that total) but the garrison you station there to hold it from the Parthians has an upkeep of a total of 600, then in effect you're spending 100 denarii a turn for the privilege of spending money at that city to try and get it developed. Keep in mind that most of your provinces, especially in the East, have little value for many years, and it will take twenty years a hundred thousand denarii to build the proper infrastructure to make them truly worthwhile provinces that could support a small but quality defensive garrison on their own buck rather than skimming off Seleucia and Antioch's respective massive incomes.

    Therefore, if you intend to hold the east you need to make sure that your far Eastern provinces at the very least make more total money than the total upkeep cost of their garrison, otherwise it's money you're flushing down the toilet. This bodes well for simply 'letting' the Parthians take your eastern provinces and in the meantime build little or nothing and set taxes as high as possible. Don't get caught up in letting your Eastern fringe drag down your economy by making you invest a lot of money for a long term return at the expense of developing your heartland's military and economic infrastructure quicker.

    In my opinion, it's better to get your house in order and then deal with your former provinces in the East after the Parthians have made the initial monetary investment to get those provinces on their feet financially.

  14. #14
    Rex Basiliscus's Avatar Princeps Prior
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    Default Re: A Seleucid Guide

    You are right Revan. However, this is my view of this campaign and I'll try to help those that decide to keep the regions.

  15. #15
    Revan The Great's Avatar Pili Prior
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    Default Re: A Seleucid Guide

    Yes but in your first paragraph you said that this was just 'a' (i.e. generic) guide to playing a tough faction and called it an 'open' guide so I went ahead and took that to heart. Either playstyle is valid, but if someone comes here looking for a comprehensive guide then we're remiss in not having told the pros and cons of both playstyles, concerning not just Hold vs. Abandon the East but any other diverging schools of thought as well.

  16. #16
    Rex Basiliscus's Avatar Princeps Prior
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    Default Re: A Seleucid Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Basiliscus View Post

    Now, there is some dilemma to the last sentence... some players would disagree with my post, but my argument is if you have those regions already, there are little reasons to why we should abandon them. Only if you are really sure you can't hold them, you should do that (my opinion).
    So there are two ways of dealing with this:
    1. Keep the regions, build your defense and fight. These regions contain the building "Silk road" and I think some of them "Spice road" also. So if you build your economy, they would bring much income you'd need later in the game.
    2. Abandon them, move west and leave the regions to Parthians, who'd grow only stronger and wealthier and eventually reach your vital regions in Mesopotamia. This would no doubt strengthen your western forces against Egypt, Pontus and Pergamon and for awhile shift your attention to that part of the empire and not worry about the East. But it is a short term plan. The + in this is, if you defeat the western enemies quickly, you could attack Parthians in full force in a few years and possibly defeat them. The downside is that while you concentrate on the West, the Parthians could then attack your central regions and open the second front, much closer than the one you'd have if you'd have kept the regions...
    And this is all without considering Armenia.


    If you see the second part, I said that there is a + and - to abandoning the regions.
    I didn't say you are wrong. In fact, your way makes a lot of sense and is to be considered relevant to this guide. I agree with you (like I've mentioned above) and stand by my words that this is an open guide.
    I just said that I prefer the first way and thus wrote on in that spirit. Your further insight is more than welcomed - this thread is meant to help anyone who struggles with this faction

  17. #17
    Dramatic Cat's Avatar Hastatas Posterior
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    Default Re: A Seleucid Guide

    nice guide!
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  18. #18
    The Noble Lord's Avatar Ba'ath Party Knight
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    Default Re: A Seleucid Guide

    So, would you rather expand East and pacify everything there and then move inevitably Westwards or you go West first??
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  19. #19
    lior999's Avatar Murakawa
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    Default Re: A Seleucid Guide

    Nice infomation guys thanks

  20. #20
    Rex Basiliscus's Avatar Princeps Prior
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    Default Re: A Seleucid Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by The Noble Lord View Post
    So, would you rather expand East and pacify everything there and then move inevitably Westwards or you go West first??
    Well, there isn't much I want in the East. Only Zadracarta and launching a few punishment raids into the Parthian territory. Other than that, I'll only defend my cities there - they'll probably attack Rhagae and Hecatompylos most of the time. Basicaly what I'd like to do is make a few strong, defensive cities on the borders: Ierosolyma (against Ptolemies), Halicarnassus (against Pergamon), Mazaka (against Pontus) and Hecatompylos (against Parthians). All of them with stone walls, military regions. That way I can focus on economy in the rest of the cities.

    To achieve that, I'll push west, toward Halicarnassos and Mazaka, conquering Cyprus and other Egyptian territories in Asia Minor. Once achieving that, I'll probably turn to Egypt itself. After that, who knows? Depending on diplomatic stance, I might invade Armenia or Pergamon. But Parthian lands doesn't seem like a good way (for me). Everything north of their capital is not worth the time and resources... IMO.

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