Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Campaign start strategies for minor factions

  1. #1

    Default Campaign start strategies for minor factions

    Hi all! First of all, congratulations for keeping this great mod alive!

    I find myself unable to find a viable strategy at the beginning of campaigns as Pontus, Armenia, Bactria, especially the first two.
    They are surrounded by rebel settlements that make perfect ground for expansion, but even taking those cities won't provide enough income for development. For example, playing as Pontus, I took Sinope and Trapezus to exploit their trade ports. I managed to took them with low casualties, but in the end attrition took its toll, income was low and I found myself barely able t conquer either Mazaca or Ancyra. And still, I had to try to disband all my units trying to stop my bankrupcy.
    I also forced diplomacy to enstablish trade rights with everyone around.
    Playing with Bactria I found things to be easier, due to the city being more developed wuth mines.

    Playing H/H with Alexander EB 1.32.

    Any advice?


  2. #2
    Stath's's Avatar Protector Domesticus
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Makedonia, Greece
    Posts
    4,548

    Default Re: Campaign start strategies for minor factions

    Even if you are bankrupt, continue to fight with your armies and loot settlements. It is not easy, but i think it is a good strategy. Do not care about being bankrupt, if you win the battles, you will turn things around.


  3. #3

    Default Re: Campaign start strategies for minor factions

    That's what I have always done in both EB and EB2

    But with larger factions, starting with decent armies, I takes a lot of turns before attrition makes conquest impossible. At that point, I usually disband what I don't need for garrisoning and start developing my cities.

    But with Pontos, even after taking 3 or 4 settlements, bankrupcy won't stop and I have insufficient troops to do anything.


  4. #4

    Default Re: Campaign start strategies for minor factions

    Playing Hard battles is, well, hard! The mod was balanced for Medium difficulty, and Hard battles increase the difficulty of small factions by a lot.

    As Pontos I recommend to take Mazaka first: if you're lucky you can do it on T1 with a spy and Ktistes Mithradates leading troops. There are different schools of thought about the follow-up: the cheesiest way to play is to kick the Seleukids out of Anatolia entirely, meaning that you should conquer Ipsos and Sardis as soon as possible, and then take the rebel cities when you're well set-up. I prefer to go for the hardest strategy, which is to take Sinope and Ankyra, possibly baiting the defenders to sally thanks to my small sieging army and beating them in the open.

    With Amaseia, Mazaka and Sinope I was on positive balance; with Ankyra I had a good amount of spare money to invest in army, so I could take Ipsos and Halikarnassos. From this point on the campaign gets easier, so I usually attack the Ptolemaioi in order to divert their attention from the Seleukids (who get beaten pretty often in my campaigns). Also, keep in mind that taking Trapezous usually pisses off the Hayasdan, so take it into account.

    Talking about Hayasdan… That's another hard campaign for sure. You need to conquer the settlements to the north and the east (don't remember their names, unfortunately) as soon as possible, otherwise the Sauromatae will come for them. Then go south and kick the Seleukids out of their northernmost city. Don't bother with Trapezous and Mazaka too soon, otherwise you piss off Pontos.

    If you have questions, feel free to ask.

    Good luck for your future campaigns!

  5. #5
    Boriak's Avatar Senator
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Slovenia
    Posts
    1,203

    Default Re: Campaign start strategies for minor factions

    I never played on Hard battle difficulty. Just don't have the stomach for those "more HP!" cheats. For the smaller empires, I really don't see why you would want to try.

    I made successful Pontos and Baktria plays but could never figure out Hayasdan. The Seleukids just came steam-rolling through those hills before I could build solid infrastructure. With Pontos, you can grab a large number of cities within 10 turns and quickly remove opposition in Asia Minor, while Baktria is so removed you can harrass incoming armies and fortify in time.

    Pontos and Baktria both have solid infantry from the start to counter the phalanxes while Hayasdan has archers. Archers are not an anti-phalanx tool so... no to Hayasdan, unfortunately.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Campaign start strategies for minor factions

    Quote Originally Posted by mephiston View Post
    Playing Hard battles is, well, hard! The mod was balanced for Medium difficulty, and Hard battles increase the difficulty of small factions by a lot.

    As Pontos I recommend to take Mazaka first: if you're lucky you can do it on T1 with a spy and Ktistes Mithradates leading troops. There are different schools of thought about the follow-up: the cheesiest way to play is to kick the Seleukids out of Anatolia entirely, meaning that you should conquer Ipsos and Sardis as soon as possible, and then take the rebel cities when you're well set-up. I prefer to go for the hardest strategy, which is to take Sinope and Ankyra, possibly baiting the defenders to sally thanks to my small sieging army and beating them in the open.

    With Amaseia, Mazaka and Sinope I was on positive balance; with Ankyra I had a good amount of spare money to invest in army, so I could take Ipsos and Halikarnassos. From this point on the campaign gets easier, so I usually attack the Ptolemaioi in order to divert their attention from the Seleukids (who get beaten pretty often in my campaigns). Also, keep in mind that taking Trapezous usually pisses off the Hayasdan, so take it into account.

    Talking about Hayasdan… That's another hard campaign for sure. You need to conquer the settlements to the north and the east (don't remember their names, unfortunately) as soon as possible, otherwise the Sauromatae will come for them. Then go south and kick the Seleukids out of their northernmost city. Don't bother with Trapezous and Mazaka too soon, otherwise you piss off Pontos.

    If you have questions, feel free to ask.

    Good luck for your future campaigns!
    I made a typo, I played with Medium battle difficulty but anyway I took casualties too severe to take more settlements. Right now I am playing EB2, and I found that conquering a city or two, disband you armies, start a minimal development of infrastructures, then recruit and go again on the offensive works pretty well.

    Will surely follow your suggestions when I'll be back on EB1!

    Quote Originally Posted by Boriak View Post
    I never played on Hard battle difficulty. Just don't have the stomach for those "more HP!" cheats. For the smaller empires, I really don't see why you would want to try.

    I made successful Pontos and Baktria plays but could never figure out Hayasdan. The Seleukids just came steam-rolling through those hills before I could build solid infrastructure. With Pontos, you can grab a large number of cities within 10 turns and quickly remove opposition in Asia Minor, while Baktria is so removed you can harrass incoming armies and fortify in time.

    Pontos and Baktria both have solid infantry from the start to counter the phalanxes while Hayasdan has archers. Archers are not an anti-phalanx tool so... no to Hayasdan, unfortunately.
    I wrote it wrong, I play with Medium Battle. But anyway I find it very hard not to get my armies depleted. I love the EB series for the great starting challenge, indeed I usually don't play extensive campaigns. Will try again for viable strategies when I'm back on EB1!


  7. #7

    Default Re: Campaign start strategies for minor factions

    The way to deal with being a small faction at the start is to be hyper-aggressive, right from the jump. Go to war with the Seleucids right away. They're not strong, they just have a lot of cities, and they don't have the armies or the finances to defend all of them. The more aggressively you blitz, the easier it gets, and the Seleucids are such a nice, fat, juicy, and easy target.

    I play on VH/H. My last campaign was with Baktria, and my current campaign is with Armenia. In both I really struggled financially until about turn 92, when I had blitzed my way to 20 settlements or so and reached the Mediterranean (may have been turn 128 for Baktria). I've found Armenia easier than Baktria, because you can get your hands on Scythian horse-archers quickly and they're fantastic low-cost units. Both factions have the best non-horse-archer general's bodyguards in the world in the early game, and in the late game the Armenian and Baktrian general's bodyguards are by far the strongest units in the world, better than elephants even. I'll come to the importance of the late bodyguards shortly.

    As Armenia, don't worry about infrastructure or the reforms or any of that. The reforms and growing your cities will come in time. At the start however you must blitz. Just throw all your generals together in one army, and recruit some Scythian horse-archers and slingers, with whatever levy garbage spearmen you can get to provide some cover for the slings. Snipe the enemy general with your missiles and then charge your own generals at the enemy together with the levy spears, and start a mass rout. The battle tactics are actually really easy in the early game because nobody's got elite units yet.

    In terms of campaign strategy, as Armenia your first target should be to eliminate Pontus. They only have 1 settlement at the beginning and I wiped them out on turn 4; they'd sent most of their army north to capture Sinope (or Ankara, I forget) and left Amaseia lightly defended. It's so much easier if you get rid of an enemy early on, because then your only immediate threats are the Sarmatians and Seleucids. Next, if you build a couple of forts, right at the base of the mountain pass that Sarmatia uses to access your lands, and put some damaged units in them, that will hold them back for some time. You have to fight defensively against Sarmatia and use guerilla tactics like delaying them with forts everywhere, because on VH/H all the horse-archer factions are lethal and by far the worst opponents you'll face. Apart from the fact that they massively outclass you man-for-man, their territories are also worthless, and for a cash-strapped empire such as your Armenian one, it's just not worth it to go after them early on.

    Once you've built up some defences to slow the Sarmatians down, you should head south, making a beeline straight for Seleuekia and Babylon, capturing whichever Seleucid settlements lie on the way (Mazaka, Karkathiokerta, etc.). Exterminating those cities will give you enough cash to recruit another army full of generals, Scythians, slingers and garbage infantry. By doing so you'll cleave the Seleucid empire right in half. On the western half they'll be busy with the Ptolemies, so that's your target. Head for Antioch via Arbela and Edessa. By now you should have around 12 to 15 settlements and you're well underway as the great power in west Asia.

    Don't be afraid to be cynical with diplomacy. Sell trade rights and map information to your enemy, then attack them immediately after they've given you cash. Sometimes the Ptolemies, or whoever else, will approach you with a demand to become their protectorate. Accept it in exchange for their most important cities - I took Jerusalem and Memphis off them without unsheathing a sword by doing that. Then demolish all their military buildings, get rid of their temples and build your own, and wait for them to break their own peace settlement - a couple of turns at most and the AI will attack you again. Destroying their big cities prevents them from recruiting their best units for at least 9 to 21 turns, and gives you a nice source of cash.

    In the mid-game, after you've reduced the Seleucids to a point where they're not much of a threat and after you've kicked the Ptolemies out of Asia, you need to tread water until the Romans get the vanilla Marian Reforms in. This would be a good time to capture rebel settlements or go after lightly defended enemy settlements that are close to your borders. But it's a bad time to go on an adventure to the east or into Africa, keep your empire compact and focus on defending the borders. Once the vanilla Marian Reforms happen you can resume the aggressive with your upgraded, super heavy duty Armenian cataphract general's bodyguards. These units are amazing. Put three or four of them in an army and you're practically invincible, even in hard battle difficulty. The horse-archer factions especially will just melt away before you. All you need to do is put your generals in loose formation, stand them out front of your main army, and let the enemy horse-archers waste their shots. An entire volley from an elite, 9 experienced horse-archer unit does like 1 kill on your general; they cannot break through his armour. It becomes child's play to deal with the horse-archer factions once you get the cataphracts.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •