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Thread: How to survive as Macedonia?

  1. #1
    Marku's Avatar Domesticus
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    Icon9 How to survive as Macedonia?

    Hi folks

    Was wondering what you guys do these days to play as Macedonia. Iíve been able to hold my own using cheap units , Missiles and an emphasis on cavalry which I was able to kill one of the southern factions generals in battles which caused his vastly superior army to crumble (I had 2k and he had 4K) , now Athens is in Macedonia and Iím currently waiting for my units to recover while my spy keeps this Athenian stack off balance. I could rush them and maybe win but I wonít be able to protect my capital. Iím at war with everyone in Greece except Epirus. Pergamum declared war on me randomly and I have no allies.

    Any by suggestions or ideas. Emphasis has been on cavalry and morale bonuses as far as skills/traits have been concerned.

    "It's not always possible to do what we want to do, but it's important to believe in something before you actually do it"

  2. #2

    Default Re: How to survive as Macedonia?

    The only way to survive as Macedon IMO is to rush your southern Greek neighbors within the first 10 turns, before everyone around you can declare war and form a coalition against you. The key is to use mercs, you can't recruit quickly enough as Macedon to field a large enough force early on.

    Turn one, recruit another (cavalry) General and some pikes/hoplites. Turn 2, recruit mercs and take Larissa. Turn 3, recover and recruit more troops. I target Sparta before Athens, because I don't want to wait until Sparta can field a full stack of those elite Spartan Hoplites that are near impossible to rout. Turn 4, recruit mercs, cross the land bridge into Sparta and declare war on them, they should attack you next turn. Win the battle and take Sparta.

    Now you that you have eliminated 2/3 of your hostile Greek neighbors and surround Athens, you can recruit more patiently until you have a force large enough to siege the city. Or if the AI chooses to leave it's army outside of the city, you can attack it and force a regular land battle.

    It's a brutal first 5-10 turns, but if you move quickly enough, you'll eliminate your most dangerous enemies, take two majors cities, and secure your south. Epirus usually won't attack you because they're fighting Rome, so you'll likely only have to deal with a Northern front against the Thracians. Or if you're fortunate and have the time, you can sail over to Crete and take that too to complete your province.

  3. #3
    Foederatus
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    Default Re: How to survive as Macedonia?

    If you go one or two pages back in the Gameplay Discussions, you will find a number of treats dealing with exactly the same question. But in short, as Devodians allready mentioned, rushing is your best option. And there is this stickied treat: How to play on H/H in v1.2 with the example of Macedonia, which pretty much covers the early game. However, brining neighbours, as described therein, is only one option. I would rather use the gold to hire mercenaries.

  4. #4

    Default Re: How to survive as Macedonia?

    - Don't attack thrace under any conditions.

    - Break alliance with Epirus, backstab them and take their land and use it to get peace with rome.

    - Blitz the other weak greeks, fortify athens as a military production center.

  5. #5
    Marku's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: How to survive as Macedonia?

    Thanks everyone. I'm so used to Carthaginians that my strategy with Macedonia has been diffficult.

    Looks like i may have to restart my campaign then. I've been successful in driving back the southern greek armies but with insufficient funds + units to go on the offensive. My agents + Champion have been having alot of good luck killing their generals and slowing their armies down which i've been able to exploit. Thank everyone.

    I found cheap Infantry units + a mix of light/heavy cavalry really pays off in these early battles. Don't need phalanx so badly but it helps.

    Example 2 screenshots + the rest on my profile of my current situation:

    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfil...?id=1563284578

    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfil...?id=1563284716

    "It's not always possible to do what we want to do, but it's important to believe in something before you actually do it"

  6. #6

    Default Re: How to survive as Macedonia?

    Yeah, avoid early game trade agreements with thracians, it will almost inevitably draw you into a northern war and slow your blitz south. Priority one is peace with rome, priority two is quickly snowballing the greeks south by blitzing + mercs. Once you control two full regions, you can stop and build up for the future relatively safely.

    Also, IMO that army is way too weak. Levy or light spears just don't have the bang to win battles decisively. Early game I try to get 8 standard hoplites (hoplites just plain massacre any other infantry type early game) supported by 3-4 cheap slingers. As I have money, I supplement this with 3 cheap javcav and 3-4 ipirates peltasts or 3-4 cheap swordsmen. If necessary, disband the cheap units between fights to save upkeep, just keep those hoplites intact and you can win early fights. Cav is typically too expensive early game.

    Ideally you bait people into an ambush or hit them when they are weak. For example, get a 2nd army made up of 2-3 units only, set it to patrol well away from the city, then hide your main army in the woods. Declare war, and often the enemy will blindly rush the weak army and fall into your trap. Its also fairly easy to backstab epiros when they send their armies across the sea to fight rome.

    Don't overinvest in buildings early game -- mace REQUIRES mass expansion quickly and that means spending most of your income on army/mercs. You can upgrade your buildings once you win your first region.

  7. #7

    Default Re: How to survive as Macedonia?

    You want to expand more rapidly than you have done in those screenshots. I made a guide about playing small factions on Hard/Hard, and the sample campaign I used was Macedon. It will give you some good tips for playing their campaign for the first 15-20 turns.
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...strategy-guide

    As others have said: focus on conquering the Greek city states and avoid Thrace. As you consolidate your power base in Greece, be prepared to strike at Apollonia to prevent Rome from establishing a foothold on your side of the Adriatic.

  8. #8

    Default Re: How to survive as Macedonia?

    I'm curious what difficulty you're playing on OP. Some of these strats won't work if you have ramped up the difficulty or have difficulty increasing sub mods. If you're playing just base DeI with some combo of N and/or H, then these bum rush your neighbor strats are the gold standard and works universally across every campaign. In terms of effectiveness and efficiency, there is no reason to do anything else. Apart from that, in my view, the main early variable as a Macedon is whether you want to fight Rome early on or not. If not, then you need to maximize your diplomacy points with them by exploiting Epirus. Raid/Sack/Loot/Execute prisoners, etc. Even better if you can afford to pay to join Rome's war against Epirus. Then you need to actually take Apollonia before the Romans. I only have anecdotal evidence of this but they seem to be much less willing to declare war on you when they have no foothold and have to cross the sea.

    Also worth noting, with the latest changes and how willing the AI seems to be to negotiate agreements now, there are more ways to survive and expand than before. For example, it's not uncommon for the barbarian tribes just north of you to band together. You can use that to your advantage in a myriad of ways. In my latest I took a DA with them and it has been good for keeping the Romans off my back since the Ardiaei captured Apollonia with some lucky timing very early on.
    Last edited by Satansblofish; November 17, 2018 at 12:01 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: How to survive as Macedonia?

    Well rush strategy failed for me, I took Larissa in second turn and was about to move against Epirus but Atens and Sparta declared war on me and in next 6-7 turns I took out both of them but then Rome finished Epirus and declared war on me. Now they have 2 full stacks moving towards my capital while my 12 stack army and a single general army whom I can barely afford and they are now at roughly 80% strength because of constant battles are rushing to save Pella and now a northern barbarian state which had refused all agreements with me has declared on me too and are coming with a full stack army.

    This is on Normal, what is to be done now?

  10. #10

    Default Re: How to survive as Macedonia?

    You may have to start over. Remember in that initial blitz to NOT spend any money on buildings, etc. Instead use it on troops, including mercs, to steamroll them before they even get their first stack out. I find that hoplites + slingers + mercenary cav are an overwhelming combination in those first few battles.

    If you want upload your save file and I will try to fight through it and get you a stable starting point.

  11. #11

    Default Re: How to survive as Macedonia?

    Sorry for the late reply but if you are still interested in looking at my save file, and give some inputs, I will be very greatful.

    Here's My save and few things too, you will see a second Roman stack and a Barbarian army after you end the turn and also I have severly miscalcuated, this is 21st turn but in my mind I was blitzing. :/ : https://ufile.io/9ri0y



  12. #12

    Default Re: How to survive as Macedonia?

    Ok, its not as bad as it first appeared.

    The mistakes I can see are first, not pacifying rome. The easiest way to do this is to backstab epirus early and take apollonia from them and keep rome out of greece. But since you missed that window and rome never surrenders, you are stuck fighting rome unless you reroll, and rome is VERY hard to beat early game. The second mistake was trading with triballi. Triballi is friendly, but everyone hates them and so you get drug into fighting the thracians and friends. They are also very formidable early game, but at least we have a fighting chance on that front.

    So my plan is to eject rome from greece then defend, then strike out at thrace. I'll get back to you soon.

  13. #13

    Default Re: How to survive as Macedonia?

    What I did:

    1. First, jump start the economy by consolidating some useless troops, increasing taxes temporarily, and getting some trade with other greeks. This gives me a temporary income of about 4k a turn.

    2. Recruited support infantry to round out what you have.

    3. I eliminated the thracian stack, moved to hit the romans. That's a strong army, however, so I avoided it first turn. I hit it second turn and eliminated it.

    4. With my second stack I formed a small attack force and surprise attacked knoss. My navy will now move to get more trade contacts and eventually hopefully cut rome's naval access to greece. Stacks of infantry are steadily flowing into greece though, this is a formidable challenge. Another tracian stack is headed in as well. -_-

    5. I defeated the third roman stack. My army is severely weakened at this point and probably can't win again. Good ing god, I can see 3 more roman stacks en route.

    6. Thrace sieged pella and I am in deep trouble. I was forced to empty the treasury to buy off the savages. No doubt they will declare war on me again soon, but I have to repulse the romans right now or die. I had to use everything else I had on mercs and roll the dice, 3 stacks vs my crippled one and a garison. In a fierce battle, his princs gave my hoplites the business but I managed to get behind his lines with my agrarian peltasts and finish him. However, I had to run from the 5th stack.

    7. I eliminated the last full roman stack, then had to immediately downscale my economy to try and get some food and PO back. I am near revolt.

    8. Over the next few turns I liberated illyria and expelled rome from greece, then let my economy and PO recover somewhat. I also bribed a few barbarians on rome's borders to revolt, giving me some breathing room.

    9. I set up a holding army in apollonia with a small fleet to defend against rome. I then created an elite army ready to attack in pella. A third army is forming in sparta, depending on budgets.

    Here is the save file back:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/yt74g15rkg...nter.save?dl=0

    From here I recommend you eliminate the perfidious thracians and use their land for supplemental troops (love those agrians, they are great vs romans) and income. I don't think you are strong enough to attack italy directly, but you have a secure footing and can find other ways to build and get there.

  14. #14

    Default Re: How to survive as Macedonia?

    Many many thanks man, much appreciated.

    Btw I continued that campaign and I lost both Pella and Larissa but managed to wipe out all Roman armies, three stacks but now I only own Athens and Sparta. Now I am thinking, should I start a new campaign with starting focus on Epirus and friendship with Rome or to continue this campaign.

  15. #15

    Default Re: How to survive as Macedonia?

    Ok another campaign, another failure. Took Appolonia from Epirus as my starting move, have good relations with Rome but that's it. Didn't traded with Triballi but its neighbour who later backstabbed me and declare war, I took Larissa too but now I am at war with Athens, Greece and three other factions North of Pella and it seems that AI just cheats heavily even in Normal to maake this game difficult, while I am struggling to keep up my 12 stack they are producing 20 stack army and that when I have three times more provinces than them, I am struggling to keep public order while AI public order is always +100, when my army is raiding in their territory, their po went down by -1 per turn while I get -20 po per turn just by enemy's army presence. I am winning the battles but attrition has started taking its toll and now I have lost pella because got attacked by three different stacks in two turns and now I can recruit at best 4-5 units before next turn when Sparta will come knocking down the Larissa gate along with Athens who has lost 3 stacks now but still keeps producing them (I was on defensive in Larissa with just 3-4 stack army as reinforcements for my garrison army) and they will soon liberate Aetolian league who will get a stack of their own.

    Sorry for the rant but I am a bit frustrated now.

  16. #16

    Default Re: How to survive as Macedonia?

    Hmm, maybe consider another faction. Mace is a pretty hard starting point. Maybe try rome or egypt. You could also download the submod that makes the early game easier to help you get going.

  17. #17

    Default Re: How to survive as Macedonia?

    On normal/normal no mods, I just kill Larissa after recruiting a round of elite units + mercs. After killing Larissa, on that end turn(Turn 3), Athens declared war followed by Sparta. I sieged Athens with my now nearly full, mostly elite + merc stack. Sparta reinforced Athens and attacked out. I crushed them with superior units. In essentially 4 turns, I took Larissa + Athens + wiped out Spartan Army. After I took Sparta next turn, I moved on Epirus and crushed them out while Rome had them finished off in Italy. I think it was by turn 7 I owned all of Greece and not a single Barbarian army posed a threat.

    Good luck!

  18. #18
    Marku's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: How to survive as Macedonia?

    I will start a new Macedonian Campaign after the new year, currently i am playing as Baktrian trying to figure out how best to stabilise my region and where to expand. It would appear they are easier than Macedonia - I suppose i'll just conquer Macedonia as the Baktrians

    "It's not always possible to do what we want to do, but it's important to believe in something before you actually do it"

  19. #19

    Default Re: How to survive as Macedonia?

    Baktrian roster is amazing, maybe the best nonroman roster in the game.

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