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Thread: Thrace campaign, thoughts and experiences

  1. #1
    Genius of the Restoration's Avatar You beaut and magical
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    Default Thrace campaign, thoughts and experiences

    Find my other stuff here.


    This thread will follow my RTW vanilla campaign for Thrace on VH/VH.

    I’ve started a campaign for Thrace and thought I'd share it with you. Toern and I initially had hoped to do a swap campaign but we couldn’t get it to work, so back to the normal mode it is. I can upload the save if anyone wants to try and play it.

    Thrace. The game tells me it has a “Good choice of hoplite phalanxes and barbarian close-combat specialists but limited cavalry”. Almost right, CA, almost right. It technically only has one hoplite phalanx unit, the Militia Hoplites, the Phalanx Pikemen is actually a pike phalanx unit.


    An overview of the units.

    The only real advantage Thrace has over other factions in its unit recruitment is its mixture of barbarian and phalanx infantry. Other aspects of the army aren’t anything special.


    Infantry.

    Militia Hoplites
    The first phalanx unit. These fellas have poor morale and no armour, but luckily have the large shield (5).

    Uses: Against most barbarian infantry it is strong enough, but never let a missile unit attack it from the right or behind because they have zero defence against it.

    Falxmen
    The first barbarian unit available. With 13 attack, 5 charge, fast moving, good morale and the warcry ability, these guys will destroy most units they engage. Just make sure they go around the phalanx, not into it. Like the Militia Hoplites though, defence vs. missiles is a problem. With 3 armour and no shield, these guys don’t stand a chance if the enemy has brought 6 archers.

    Uses: Use for flanking duties while Militia Hoplites hold the line. Good for hammer and anvil strikes.

    Phalanx Pikemen
    A step up from the Militia Hoplites. These guys should be the bulk of a Thracian army. With 6 armour and a small shield (2) though, they aren’t very missile resistant. Their frontal arc defence is the same as the Militia Hoplites, which isn’t great.

    Uses: This is your best phalanx. It’s more delicate than the phalanxes of other factions, so don’t send it off against Royal Pikes or Armoured Hoplites without support. Make getting these guys your priority.

    Bastarnae
    This is an interesting unit. It appears to be the upgrade of the Falxmen, but all is not well in Bastarnae-ville. Like their Falx-wielding brethren, the Bastarnae has low armour, two actually. But they have a shield! Only the small one though, so it’s not really a great deal more protection. They also lose out to the Falxmen in the defence skill category, having two while the Falxmen have 7. This means they are more susceptible to sustaining wounds in close-combat. To help them they have two hitpoints. They are also fast moving and have good morale. The only other difference between them is that the Bastarnae don’t have the warcry ability.

    Uses: Honestly, I prefer the Falxmen. They’re cheaper, a lot less of a hassle to retrain, and do more damage on the charge thanks to the +10 attack of the warcry. These guys would be better when coming out of a siege tower or from ladders, but I don’t use those enough to justify taking Bastarnae instead.

    If a unit of Bastarnae is captaining your army, it gets the rally ability (at least in custom battles). Not sure how effective it is though. I’d still prefer warcry


    Cavalry.

    Militia Cavalry
    These units flank the enemy and throw javelins at them. They are blessed with the wonderful benefits of missile cavalry, but are the worst species that genus has on offer. They can fight close-combat better than early horse archers.

    Uses: Useful at the beginning of the campaign because there aren’t too many units with high armour values. They become redundant later when they can’t cause any casualties. Use against ze Germans.

    Greek Cavalry
    Ah, the worst cavalry in the game. With an amazing 6 attack and 5 charge, these Greeks clearly have no idea that a cavalry unit is supposed to punish enemies they charge into.

    Uses: Next to none. Militia Cavalry have more uses, so stick with those. Maybe if you’ve got all the upgrading buildings built you could run a couple, but honestly, just use your generals, they’re the best cavalry you’ve got.


    Ranged.

    Peltasts
    Throw these guys in front of your phalanx to throw their own javelins at the enemy before they reach you.

    Uses: Also good for chariots and elephants, so keep a couple handy if that sort of thing is what you want to be prepared for. Archers are more useful though, so swap when you get the chance. Once they run out of ammo send them around to sit behind or on the flank of a unit engaged with your phalanx as merely by being there it will cause a morale hit.

    Archers
    Your basic archer. No more, no less.

    Uses: Firing into the backs and sides of enemies, flaming elephants and chariots, targeting low armour units.

    Onagers
    Use these guys when the target is a fair bit away so you don’t kill your own units.

    Uses: Flaming shots for units, normal for buildings. I aim for the middle of the enemy army, because the shots never go where you want them to anyway and this way there’s a higher likelihood that they’ll actually hit something.


    My recommended standard armies for stacks 14 units strong:

    Early (2000 pop)
    5 Militia Hoplites, 3 Falxmen, 4 Militia Cavalry, 2 Peltasts.

    Middle (6000 pop)
    6 Phalanx Pikemen, 3 Falxmen, 2 Militia Cavalry, 3 Archers.

    Late (12,000 pop)
    7 Phalanx Pikemen, 3 Falxmen, 1 Militia Cavalry, 3 Archers.

    All armies should include 1 Generals Bodyguard for a shock cavalry unit.


    An overview of the building browser.

    Thrace has reasonable building tree. It has the Hellenic benefits of being able to construct Paved Roads, Dockyards, Academies and the high-level smiths. It pays for this by being severely shortchanged on temples though. You have two choices. Dionysus, who provides happiness (up to 60%) or Ares, the god of war. Unlike other war shrines, Ares gives no bonus to experience or weapons but only gives a morale bonus. At Pantheion level, this is +4. Whoopee. The result of such mediocre temples is that you’ll often want to keep the ones that you find in captured settlements. This isn’t particularly problematic because Greek culture (of which Thrace is a part) is fairly widespread in your region.


    The first five years of the campaign.

    Turn one saw my faction leader, Sautes leave his army with a single unit of Militia Cavalry to besiege Byzantium. I’d hoped that by doing so, the AI would think they could win and sally. My two settlements built roads. And I sent an army to take Bylazora and another to meet up with Sautes and the Militia Cavalry on the way to Thessalonica. The Rebel Sithones sallied and were defeated as I took the square and locked them out of the city.






    After an uneventful second turn of moving troops and selling trade rights and map information, Summer began in earnest with a large Rebel army appearing next to my capital. Led by a unit of Bastarnae, the combat odds balanced even, but without any cavalry, they really had no hope. A clear victory for my disinherited family member, who got a Shieldbearer and the Untouched by Fear trait for his troubles, which just goes to show how useful Rebels are for training your generals.






    By the end of the year, Bylazora had fallen and Sautes was besieging the Macedonian capital of Thessalonica. After a hard fought battle, the troops rested to retrain and waited for the new faction heir, Byzas to join his father. Before the campaign south could be continued though, the city was besieged by vengeful Macedonians. A sizable army had gathered including many Light Lancers and the two Macedonian Cavalry. The Macedonian reinforcements never showed up though (much to my disappointment) so Sautes only had one army to butcher.




    Father and son also went on a Summer Holiday in 267 and ran into some Macedonians, together taking care of another 346 of the faction faithful. Following this battle, Macedon would only have Corinth with a garrison of three units left, so was pretty much done.



    Having defeated Macedon, I turned my attention to the Greeks in Winter of 267. Fighting on horseback, Sautes led an army of Militia Cavalry to attack a Greek stack that was heading for Thermon. Desperate not to let them inside because of the pain of fighting a phalanx in the city, and because I was upset that they recruited the Rhodian Slingers before I could, I dumped the infantry who slowed the army down and just made it to attack the Greek stack.





    After this victory, a spy uncovered some Greeks hiding in forest outside Corinth, but unluckily for them I could see that they were waiting in ambush at the bottom of a big hill, so I attacked from that direction. The result was a wipeout.




    When the Greeks had the opportunity to respond they sallied forth from Sparta to attack the army that had just laid siege to it. My units were beneath strength, but superior tactics and patience won the day. This battle was actually a bit tricky and took about half an hour to complete.




    Desperately attacking the Spartans:



    Still going:



    and at last, done:




    The result of the (other, less well-known) Seige of Sparta




    The Greeks also landed an army in an attempt to stop Sautes and his army from reaching Thermon, but were defeated again as my Militia Cavalry swept down from the hill to throw javelins into their ill-protected backs.



    The Brutii foolishly besieged Thessalonica and so we are now about to have a brawl, but unfortunately Sautes and most of my Militia Cavalry are on the other side of Greece having taken Apollonia from the Brutii last turn. Nevertheless, this will be a good battle.



    I'll update this soon. Comments are welcome as always. Also, does anyone know how to have the enemy army details appear in on the scroll when you're about to fight? I've seen it done, but I'm not sure how to do it, it'd save on the screenshots.
    Last edited by Genius of the Restoration; February 10, 2014 at 02:09 AM. Reason: Changed missile attack info

  2. #2

    Default Re: Thrace campaign, thoughts and experiences

    wow your results in battle seem excelent are you using the severous method of tiring enemy infantry?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Thrace campaign, thoughts and experiences

    Wow awsome, +rep

  4. #4
    Genius of the Restoration's Avatar You beaut and magical
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    Default Re: Thrace campaign, thoughts and experiences

    @Toern
    I think so. I actually read NobleNick's guide for cavalry a few years ago which was helpful. Basically I harass the enemy and try to take out missile units with cavalry before the armies meet each other. Attacking infantry tends to result in cavalry losses, so I don't do it very often except in need. If it's going to be a harder battle I try to tire the enemy out a bit with cavalry, and make them run up hills even if I'm not actually going to fight on the hill.

    I also use missile units a lot when I have them and use them to deplete enemy units before a battle. If you want to try it, I suggest these two battles.
    The first battle requires you to use your missile archers to even the playing field.

    @nazmus
    Thanks
    Last edited by Genius of the Restoration; August 14, 2009 at 06:41 AM.

  5. #5
    Genius of the Restoration's Avatar You beaut and magical
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    Default Re: Thrace campaign, thoughts and experiences

    I bought a brand new copy of Rome with Barbarian Invasion this week because I lent my copy of BI awayafter hardly playing it and because it was such a bargain. Problem is, now I canít get back into this save game for some reason. Every time I try, I get a ctd with no error message, so it looks like this campaign is over. Iíve got one (very short) final update on it though.

    My battle against the Brutii invaders went well and saw their forces melt away under the fury of the Thracian hoplite and cavalry combination. The fools didnít attack me even though they were in range, but tried to go for Thessalonica so I gained a hill advantage by choosing which direction to attack from.




    This turn also saw me fight it out with a Dacian army after taking their two starting settlements. This is a lesson on the easiest way to get Heroic Victories and Famous Battle markers; attack Warbands with cavalry. Honestly, why would the auto-resolve people seriously think they stood a chance?





    Next turn and the Brutii were finally destroyed as Sautes attacked and conquered Croton on the Italian mainland. This is him turning into a beast. He actually survived the entirety of the campaign up until it stopped working, which is lucky because I had no other generals in Italy.




    I also have another bone with the Bastarnae. Why is it that the Bastarnae that the Thracians get cannot warcry while the mercenary ones can? Seriously CA!



    During this bridge battle the Dacian Faction Leader and Heir charged across the bridge into the Bastarnae Mercenaries who were holding my side while javelins flew in to the crowded bridge. Here you can see my two generals have moved up to reinforce the Bastarnae. Youíll notice that Iíve put them in Guard Mode because this way they wont break ranks. This is useful because generals are always positioned on the far left of its unit. By turning Guard Mode on, I ensured that the vital generals wouldnít die because they were out of range of the fighting. The bodyguards can die all they like, theyíll be replaced free of charge anyway. You can see the two generals with their fancy hats in the centre of the screen.





    As soon as their general fell, I charged two units of Militia Cavalry into the other side of the bridge causing a rout with nowhere to go. The result was the ending of any Dacian hopes for survival.



    In the Winter of 263 Sautes brought the fight to the Scipii on route to Capua. Unfortunately for them their two armies were following the advice of one of the quotes of Rome and marching divided. This meant I could attack their armies one at a time. The trick was to attack the bigger army first because they wouldnít retreat to the other army because they thought they could take out Sautesí army.






    Capua was then open to attack, but first along came the SPQR stack! This was going to be a grand battle, but unfortunately the campaign finished before I could fight it.


    Hope this has been enjoyable, short-lived though it was. Maybe you learned something, maybe you didn't. I learned about barbarians and hoplites and the annoying crashing of save files. Iíve never played a campaign in BI before, so that might be my next venture.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Thrace campaign, thoughts and experiences

    The militia cavalry are absolutely awesome! Its all I used when I played as Thrace (with a few infantry in the core of the army as well). Cheap to recruit/cheap upkeep and the killing death they do is obscene!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Thrace campaign, thoughts and experiences

    Shouldn't this be an AAR?
    "The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise." Tacitus on Health & Safety
    "Abuse, if you slight it, will gradually die away; but if you show yourself irritated, you will be thought to have deserved it." Tacitus on trolling

  8. #8
    Genius of the Restoration's Avatar You beaut and magical
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    Default Re: Thrace campaign, thoughts and experiences

    Probably, but I wanted to put in a unit guide too so it's a bit of a hybrid.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Thrace campaign, thoughts and experiences

    You should have made this in an AAR

  10. #10
    Genius of the Restoration's Avatar You beaut and magical
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    Default Re: Thrace campaign, thoughts and experiences

    For next time then. I plan to do an Imperial Campaign speed run and see how quickly I can do it. I'll record everything and write an AAR of how it goes.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Thrace campaign, thoughts and experiences

    "The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise." Tacitus on Health & Safety
    "Abuse, if you slight it, will gradually die away; but if you show yourself irritated, you will be thought to have deserved it." Tacitus on trolling

  12. #12
    Genius of the Restoration's Avatar You beaut and magical
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    Default Re: Thrace campaign, thoughts and experiences

    Glad to have your grinning support

  13. #13
    King_Arthur's Avatar Libertus
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    Default Re: Thrace campaign, thoughts and experiences

    Your a good player mate.


  14. #14
    Hopit's Avatar Praepositus
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    Default Re: Thrace campaign, thoughts and experiences

    how nany does wonder that why there's thracian and bastarnae mercenarys?

    Quote Originally Posted by SgtScooter View Post
    If you went to the Skyrim forums you'll see a lot posts about how it's somehow been watered down and hampered by money men making the decisions. Fact is, it's a great game and people still complain. It's the same thing as the TW franchise.

  15. #15
    Genius of the Restoration's Avatar You beaut and magical
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    Default Re: Thrace campaign, thoughts and experiences

    Thank you King_Arthur.

    @Hopit
    Do you mean why are there both Thracian and Bastarnae mercenaries?
    I easily prefer Thracians. They can warcry, are reaonably priced (for mercenaries) and significantly turn the tables when they charge into the back of an engaged phalanx. Bastarnae's are pretty expensive in campaign, although the mercenaries can warcry which is a relief.

  16. #16
    Hopit's Avatar Praepositus
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    Default Re: Thrace campaign, thoughts and experiences

    Yep, I mean them both, why there have to be 2 almost same units.

    Quote Originally Posted by SgtScooter View Post
    If you went to the Skyrim forums you'll see a lot posts about how it's somehow been watered down and hampered by money men making the decisions. Fact is, it's a great game and people still complain. It's the same thing as the TW franchise.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Thrace campaign, thoughts and experiences

    A very good guide, some of them battles, I would of never played! Well done, you have changed my ways! Every single battle I will play .
    fantastic guide
    'A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon.' -Napoleon Bonaparte

    'What's that fluttering in a breeze?
    Its just a piece of cloth
    that brings a nation to its knees.
    What's that unfurling from a pole?
    It's just a piece of cloth
    that makes the guts of men grow bold'
    - John Aggard

  18. #18
    Genius of the Restoration's Avatar You beaut and magical
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    Default Re: Thrace campaign, thoughts and experiences

    Thank you. Glad you've found it helpful. It's great fun fighting against the odds, give it a try. You might surprise yourself with how much better you play and use tactics under pressure.

  19. #19
    Sextus Molestus's Avatar Miles
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    Default Re: Thrace campaign, thoughts and experiences

    I thought this was pretty cool; boy do you know how to win battles.

    Why did it end again? Save game CTD, did you say?
    Quoted from a user on another forum:
    "If I werent playing games Id be killing small anamils at a higher rate than I am now"

  20. #20
    Genius of the Restoration's Avatar You beaut and magical
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    Default Re: Thrace campaign, thoughts and experiences

    Cheers.
    Yeah, I'm really not sure why. I reinstalled Rome (Toern and I tried a swap game a few months ago but he couldn't open my saves. I suspect the problem was on my end.) for the first time since I got it I think. I didn't even reinstall when I got an external HD, just copy and pasted it across. Maybe that had something to do with it. No error message either, it just closed and didn't say anything.

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