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Thread: ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing the Hellenistic Military Reforms

  1. #1

    Default ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing the Hellenistic Military Reforms


    Greetings fans of Europa Barbarorum!

    As many of you will now be aware, there is a new version of EBII on the horizon (announced back in April), due in the summer. The Twitter feed has been busy with previews of new units, many of which will feature in this upcoming release. Something else we're excited to reveal is that the Hellenistic factions will be getting new reform events, which will significantly impact their unit rosters, and thus gameplay right from the start. This change will affect quite a number of factions: Baktria, Epeiros, Kimmeros Bosporos, Koinon Hellenon, Makedonia, Pergamon, Pontos, the Ptolemaioi, the Seleukids

    The primary reason for these changes are historical; the existing roster features units which weren't actually available in 272BC and fails to reflect the evolution of Hellenistic armies in response to the conflicts of 3rd century BC. It brings the Hellenistic factions on par with the Romani for nuance and representation of military development.

    The second justification is gameplay. By constraining the recruitment options of all of these factions, it alters the tactical considerations involved in building garrisons and armies, and forces the player to make some harder choices about what to recruit. Furthermore, it means that, as with the Romani and their reforms, you have something to look forward to as the game develops. Instead of receiving all the best troops right at the start, you have to wait for them, making the reform event a significant one. This will also increase the challenge in the early game, though the AI will be labouring under the same restrictions as the human player.

    The reforms will increase in significance in later releases, as new units are added to the Hellenistic roster, many of whom will not be available at the start of the game. This is by no means the final version of the Hellenistic reforms.


    The Hemithorakitai Peltophoroi

    There is a new unit which is responsible for enabling this shift, which has already been previewed: the Hemithorakitai Peltophoroi.


    In the early part of the game, they fill the gap between skirmisher and heavy infantry. I'll hand over to our historians for an explanation:

    The Hemithorakitai Peltophoroi are the peltastai of the early Hellenistic Age. They wear only a partial panoply, thus the name hemithorakitai, and carry throwing spears along with their melee weapons, making them a versatile infantry force. Their helmets, peltai shields, and occasional body armor, afford them some level of protection without so encumbering them as to erase their advantages over heavier infantry, or to completely inhibit them from running down other skirmishers. These semi-heavy infantry filled an important set of roles in the first generations of Hellenistic warfare, later on being replaced by thureos-equipped soldiers.

    The rise of the mercenary, the peltast, and finally the Makedonian phalanx exerted considerable pressures on the Hellenic way of war. The changing face of war during the conflicts of the successors, helped carve out a permanent place for peltastai, mobile infantry equipped mainly for skirmishing, yet competent in melee. The role and panoply of peltasts evolved over time, from Thracian-influenced skirmishers to Iphikrates' mobile line infantry to the multi-role infantry of the Thessalian League and Sacred Wars. The precise roles of Hellenic mercenary or allied infantry in Alexandros' army is unclear, but what is fairly clear is that an evolved version of the peltast continued to play a significant role in the first century of the Hellenistic era. During the third century BC it became common to refer to these troops by two new names, although "peltastai" continued in use on occasion. An Athenian inscription related to the war against the Galatai refers to hemithorakitai, half-armored men, among the contingents that fought the Latter-day Titans. Likewise the 262 BC defense treaty between the Akarnanians and Aetolians lists hemithorakitai as a contingent receiving superior pay to light troops and inferior pay to hoplitai. While the evidence is scant, both mentions likely refer to troops otherwise recognizable as peltasts. The other popular term, deployed across much of the Greek world, was peltophoroi, very similar to peltasts, as a way to refer to infantry who carried peltai and could fill multiple roles, either in close order with pikes as a phalanx or in looser order as a multi-role infantry. In Boiotia, the peltophoroi filled the gap between light troops and hoplitai just as the hemithorakitai did in Akarnania and Aetolia. This late form of the classical peltast passed away as the classes of thureophoroi troops became more and more popular.
    At the start of the game the following units will be affected:
    • Hemithorakitai Peltophoroi become available to Koinon Hellenon, Epeiros, Makedonia, Pergamon and as mercenaries.
    • Thureophoroi, Euzonoi and Machairophoroi are no longer available to any factions.
    • Lesser phalangites (Deuteroi, Leukaspides, Pantodapoi, Machimoi etc) will be available to all bar Koinon Hellenon.


    In the early game, this will be your skirmishing mainstay besides the Akontistai and the other psiloi.


    The Reforms

    There are two reform events: the Thureos Reform and the Late Hellenistic Reforms. In the new release they will be date-triggered, but the intention is that they will have a more sophisticated trigger mechanism with later releases. We were keen to get this reform into this release, rather than wait until the final method of it's execution was completed.

    Once again I'll let our historians explain the reasons these reforms occurred:

    Thureos Reform

    The Hellenistic military world could, at times, be quick to change and revolutionize, or dogmatic and unresponsive. The coming of the Galatians in 279 BC forced the Makedonians and Hellenes face to face with this unwelcome truth. Despite key successes by Antigonos Gonatas and Antiochos Soter, the performance of the Hellenistic powers were mediocre at best, which allowed the Galatians to permanently settle territory in Mikra Asia. Furthermore, their military prowess gained them employment as mercenaries throughout the eastern Mediterranean basin. The Ptolemies were so impressed that they gifted land to many in Egypt in return for their service. And where the Galatians went, their fighting style and equipment did.

    By the 250s BC, the Hellenistic powers were adopting the thureos – the ovoid, wooden shield that the Galatians used to such good success in their initial invasion. Longer than the aspis and held further from the body, it proved to be a very flexible shield for a variety of formations while still offering significant protection. As such, it could be seen carried by men among the psiloi or heavy infantry.

    The shield was popular among the powers in Asia and Mikra Asia. The Ptolemies were particularly fond of the thureos as witnessed by their near total abandonment of the pike phalanx after the Battle of Panion. In the Greek city-states, the shields popularity waxed and waned depending on fortune. The Boiotians took to the thureos quickly, but abandoned it in the 240s after military losses to the Aitolians. Yet, the Achaians began using the shield soon after. Regardless, the thureos became a permanent fixture in the region as testified in sculpture, funeral stele, and other forms of art.
    With the Thureos Reform (c257BC) the following changes take place:
    • Hemithorakitai Peltophoroi and Hoplitai Haploi become less common.
    • Machairophoroi, Thureophoroi and Euzonoi become available.


    This will occur on or around turn 60 (257BC).


    Late Hellenistic Reforms

    A little over a century after the death of Alexander, the militaries of the Hellenistic world were both much different and very much the same. Still reliant on large infantry formations – often without a proportional amount of supporting cavalry – generals tried their best to find success with what resources they had available. However, the one constant trend was toward heavier equipment as a sort of arms race among the powers of the eastern Mediterranean basin.

    Through constant pressure to succeed and survive, the militaries of the Hellenistic kingdoms and city-states continued to evolve and innovate throughout the 3rd century BC. Nor were they unwilling to borrow successful ideas from other peoples. These new formations allowed the Hellenistic powers to diversify their armies and increase their versatility. By late in the century, the variety of unit types available were staggering. Chief among these were units carrying the thureos shield, which continued to gain favor as the role of the traditional hoplite shrunk. Thorakitai, men carrying the thureos and armoured with mail or cuirass, performed admirably as heavy infantry. Even the elite hypaspistai were superseded on the battlefield by the picked men of this class.

    Among the equestrians, the traditionally anemic Greek cavalry were replaced by those carrying the thureos or aspis and the heavier lonche throwing spear. These cavalry units could be found throughout the Greek peninsula as well as Mikra Asia, and were able to skirmish or fight in melee better than their precursors. Yet these failed to compare to the splendor and power of the kataphraktoi, which were introduced to the Mediterranean world by Antiochos III after he had likely encountered such cavalry during his anabasis – perhaps even among the secessionist Baktrians. A rousing success, this cavalry type became a permanent fixture of the Seleukid military after 200 BC.

    Finally, the Makedonian phalanx was eventually adopted by the powers in the Greek peninsula. Although never in great numbers, the longer reach afforded by the sarissa and the solid wall of spear points were benefits difficult to ignore. Unfortunately, the Greek city-states never had much luck with phalangites. Cleomenes of Sparta was only able to organize a woefully small 2,000 phalangites at Sellasia, where he was soundly beaten.
    With the Late Hellenistic Military Reforms (c222BC) the following changes take place:
    • Koinon Hellenon are able to recruit Deuteroi Phalangitai.
    • Thureopherontes Hippeis appear, replacing Hippakontistai.
    • Lonchophoroi Hippeis appear, replacing Hippeis.
    • Thureopherontes Hippotoxotai and Toxotai appear.
    • Hellenistic Kataphraktoi become available to Arche Seleukeia and Baktria.
    • Thorakitai become available.
    • Epilektoi Thorakitai appear, replacing Hypaspistai.
    • Hoplitai become less common.
    • Hemithorakitai Peltophoroi disappear.


    This will occur on or around turn 200 (222BC).


    Once again, these will fill out significantly further once new units appear. We will confirm which units will be available at the time of the summer release... but not before!

    As ever, thank you for your support and remember to read more history.

    - The Europa Barbarorum II Team
    Last edited by QuintusSertorius; November 08, 2015 at 05:59 PM.

  2. #2
    Cohors_Evocata's Avatar Centenarius
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    Default Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing the Hellenistic Military Reforms

    Quote Originally Posted by QuintusSertorius View Post
    With the Late Hellenistic Military Reforms (c222BC) the following changes take place:

    • Koinon Hellenon are able to recruit Deuteroi Phalangitai.
    • Thureopherontes Hippeis appear, replacing Hippakontistai.
    • Lonchophoroi Hippeis appear, replacing Hippeis.
    • Thureopherontes Hippotoxotai appear.
    • Hellenistic Kataphraktoi become available to Arche Seleukeia and Baktria.
    • Machairophoroi and Thorakitai become available.
    • Epilektoi Thorakitai appear, replacing Hypaspistai.
    • Hoplitai become less common.
    • Hemithorakitai Peltophoroi disappear.


    Horse archers carrying thureoi shields? Is that even feasible? And a new thorakitai-style guard unit... I didn't think it was possible anymore, but you guys have proven me wrong once again: the EB team is still capable of suprising me...

    I have nothing else to say, please keep up the good work...

    EDIT: I'd rep you if I could, but I need to spread it around some more before I can. Consider this something I'll get back to.
    Last edited by Cohors_Evocata; May 04, 2015 at 02:12 PM.
    I tend to edit my posts once or several times after writing and uploading them. Please keep this in mind when reading a recent post of mine. Also, should someone, for some unimaginable reason, wish to rep me, please add your username in the process, so I can at least know whom to be grateful towards.

    My thanks in advance.

  3. #3
    demagogos nicator's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing the Hellenistic Military Reforms

    Do no what to say just that I amazed. Playing helenistic faction will get brand new dimension. Looking forward to see this in action and tahnks for working on it and previewing it

  4. #4

    Default Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing the Hellenistic Military Reforms

    Good news!

  5. #5

    Default Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing the Hellenistic Military Reforms

    Quote Originally Posted by demagogos nicator View Post
    Do no what to say just that I amazed. Playing helenistic faction will get brand new dimension. Looking forward to see this in action and tahnks for working on it and previewing it
    What I find particularly interesting is that not every reform option is a straight swap, where one old unit stops being available and a new unit becomes available to replace it. In some instances a unit will taper out, dropping in refresh and being harder to come by, while another will gradually become more common. So there's an overlap and more like the feeling of a newer way of warfare supplanting the older one over time.

  6. #6
    paradamed's Avatar Praepositus
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    Default Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing the Hellenistic Military Reforms

    Great news and nice small preview!

  7. #7
    General Maximus's Avatar Vicarius Provinciae
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    Default Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing the Hellenistic Military Reforms

    Amazing. Simply amazing. Now it will be really a blast to play as the Hellenic factions.
    सार्वभौम सम्राट चत्रवर्ती - भारतवर्ष
    स्वर्गपुत्र पीतसम्राट - चीन
    महाराजानाभ्याम महाराजा - पारसिक

  8. #8
    Skep's Avatar Civis
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    Default Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing the Hellenistic Military Reforms

    This is great news I can't wait for a major patch with this and the pathfinding and skirmisher updates implemented. Now for more screenshots?

  9. #9

    Default Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing the Hellenistic Military Reforms

    Very nice. How are these reforms going to fit in with current Hellenic reforms in EB2? Or government types? Or poleis category?

  10. #10
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Call me Ishmael
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    Default Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing the Hellenistic Military Reforms

    Yes! Thorakitai and Epilektoi Thorakitai for the win! Those were my favorite units of the Hellenistic factions from the previous EB.

  11. #11

    Default Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing the Hellenistic Military Reforms

    Thanks EB team, this looks very interesting. Enjoyed reading the preview.

  12. #12

    Default Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing the Hellenistic Military Reforms

    Quote Originally Posted by Thuycidides View Post
    Very nice. How are these reforms going to fit in with current Hellenic reforms in EB2? Or government types? Or poleis category?
    Very good question. At present the reforms are vaguely date-triggered, but that's not the final iteration of how they'll work by any means. I'll ask what the plan is beyond the summer release.

  13. #13
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Call me Ishmael
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    Default Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing the Hellenistic Military Reforms

    Summer can't come soon enough, really. I want my hands on this release NOW!

    I suppose I'll busy myself with actual PhD work until then (ugh, save me!). That and Third Age Total War.

    Seriously, though, I can't wait to play with fully-fleshed out unit rosters for the Hellenistic factions and Romans. I'm assuming this next release will also feature the Spartan hoplites for Koinon Hellenon? Don't get me wrong, though, they're not nearly as important to me as the new thureophoroi and heavy, chainmail-wearing thorakitai units.

  14. #14

    Default Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing the Hellenistic Military Reforms

    Great news!

    I really like hellenistic factions and its nice to see they will be getting all these updates instead of using hoplites all day long xD

    I will have to get used to see the first reform as an improvement though. Euzonoi, I never manage to make proper use of this units and even when batling agaisnt them they feel just like a little disturbance that I can ignore most part of the battle. I ussually stop using them after the very start. My best battles so far have been with Makedonia using their phalanx as main line with peltast for support and avoid flaknings (or Thureophoroi if I had not enough peltasts) with cavalry to stop enemies one and hammer the infantry agaisnt my phalanx.
    Thureophoroi themselves feel better for their multirole but in case of Macekonia for example the peltast outclass them and can get free upkeep in towns so I dont really use them much. In Koinon hellenon they have more weight though

  15. #15

    Default Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing the Hellenistic Military Reforms


  16. #16
    tomySVK's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing the Hellenistic Military Reforms

    Excellent news! I can´t wait for new release

    In the new release they will be date-triggered, but the intention is that they will have a more sophisticated trigger mechanism with later releases.

    I like the idea of date-triggered reforms. I know that you will try to make more challenging to reach the reforms. But when I remember how difficult was to reach Kataphraktoi reform for Seleukids, I hope for date-triggered option.

    Also I have a question about the Late Hellenistic reform - is it possible that also the elite Hellenistic cavalry as Hetairoi will be replaced by Hetairoi units with shields? At least at the second century BC tombstones of cavalrymen show shields.

  17. #17

    Default Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing the Hellenistic Military Reforms

    Quote Originally Posted by tomySVK View Post
    I like the idea of date-triggered reforms. I know that you will try to make more challenging to reach the reforms. But when I remember how difficult was to reach Kataphraktoi reform for Seleukids, I hope for date-triggered option.

    Also I have a question about the Late Hellenistic reform - is it possible that also the elite Hellenistic cavalry as Hetairoi will be replaced by Hetairoi units with shields? At least at the second century BC tombstones of cavalrymen show shields.
    I've not seen any discussion of a "Late Hellenistic General Bodyguard"; though the planned replacements for Hippeis and Hippakontistai are both shield-using units.

  18. #18

    Default Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing the Hellenistic Military Reforms

    Fantastic stuff as usual my dearest EU team! Can't wait to get my hands on this new release

  19. #19
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Call me Ishmael
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    Default Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing the Hellenistic Military Reforms

    Quote Originally Posted by matnjord View Post
    Fantastic stuff as usual my dearest EU team! Can't wait to get my hands on this new release
    EU team? Don't you mean EB team?

    Wait a minute...I knew it! It's been a conspiracy all along! The EB team is actually...the Council of the European Union!


  20. #20
    Samraat Mahendra Maurya's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing the Hellenistic Military Reforms

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post

    Wait a minute...I knew it! It's been a conspiracy all along!
    Jet fuel cant melt steel beams
    Ich bin Kaiser von mauryan reiches

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