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Thread: What's your favorite "royal army" to build, and what is the lore/history behind it?

  1. #1

    Default What's your favorite "royal army" to build, and what is the lore/history behind it?

    So you've cleared out a nice little kingdom for yourself, and have already built economic structures. Your position is stable, so it's now time to invest into future conquests and raise a royal army. What is your army composition? The pros/cons tactically and strategically? What will history remember that royal army for? Glorious conquests, or embarrassing defeats? I'll start with my Eastern Mediterranean Pergamese Empire.

    1x General (led by the king or the Diadokhos)
    3x Lydian Lancers (a massive expeditionary mounted corps consisting of wealthy Anatolian Hellenes seeking glory and conquest)
    1x Anatolian Medium Cavalry (nobles from native anatolian tribes riding on the coattails of the EMPE army)
    1x Anatolian Light Cavalry (retainers of said anatolian nobles)
    1x Indian Elephants (a little something procured from liberating Antiochea from the Nabataeans. Horrifyingly expensive to maintain, horrifyingly effective at terrifying the enemy)

    3x West Anatolian Elite Infantry (the foot counterpart to the mounted corps. Capable of both skirmishing and CQC)
    1x Cretan Infantry (some elite Cretan infantry were given land in Halicarnassus in exchange for their elegant swordplay)
    2x Karian Infantry (a warlike native people hired for their savagery in combat)
    2x Thureophoroi (an experimental unit of settlers from Pergamon who are tasked with guarding the flanks)

    2x Anatolian Tribesmen (a select corps of skirmishers selected from various Anatolian camp-followers)

    1x Cretan Archer (more settler Cretans from Halicarnassus)
    1x Hellenistic Slinger (what few Rhodians that decided to join the EMPE army were diluted by slingers from other Hellenistic city-states)
    1x Isaurion Highlanders (a native people from Pamphylia. Great pains were taken to allow autonomy in Side, granting the EMPE army a powerful missile presence at the cost of limited Hellenistic development)

    Pros: the entire army can be trained and retrained in 5 settlements in Southwest Anatolia: Pergamon, Sardis, Ephesos, Halicarnassus, and Side. These regions are situated close to many theaters of war, allowing for easy replenishment and swift deployments. Its massive cavalry arm and elephants will crush the opposition's flanks easily. Meanwhile its missile troops comprised of the legendary Cretans and Rhodians can assassinate the enemy general.

    Cons: Except for the Thureophoroi, all heavy infantry units carry small shields that our military scientists deemed unsuitable for withstanding ranged bombardment. Said military scientists were promptly fired and replaced with Persian yes-men. This time according to them, the EMPE army is woefully unprepared for facing armies featuring the cataphracts of the east. Except again for the Thureophoroi, all the line infantry carry swords and have already fared poorly against the cavalry of the Anatolians and Greeks. So just imagine how the catapracts, supported by light cavalry to ward off our elephants, and heavy infantry and missile troops to distract ours, would destroy our precious Lydian nobles. The Persians advisors then recommended against campaigning against the empires of Pontus and Hayastan, so we fired them and replaced them with some Nabataean slaves. Those slaves then insufferably bragged about how the lancers of their people would crush our frontlines while their mounted archers would riddle the poorly-shielded line infantry, distract our cavalry, and panic our beasts of the east. So we used those slaves for Lithobolos practice. Nothing can beat the EMPE army. Nothing. There are no cons.

    History: The EMPE was founded after the conquest of Ephesos, Halicarnassus, and Sardis decimated the Pergamene's expensive mercenary army. A new source of manpower was needed - the martially-minded Hellenes of the Ionian coast were a prime candidate. Thus the Lydian Lancers and West Anatolian Elite Infantry corps were established, drawing in numerous Hellenes with the high pay and promised of future loot. These valuable men acted as the solid core to the wearied mercenary forces. The EMPE army then engaged the Seleucids in the Showdown at Ipsos, where it destroyed both the defending army and the relieving army. The Ptolemies, seeking to reclaim the Ionian coast, sent a punitive expedition led by Ptolemy's golden child. The EMPE destroyed that too, and liberated the Pamphylians while they were at it. It was then that the battered remnants of the Thracian, Thessalian, and Cretan mecenaries were given their much-deserved Kleuruch in Halicarnassus. Some of the Cretans mercenaries decided to return as full-time professional troops, bringing along their eager brethren as well. Meanwhile the Karians took notice of their new overlords and pledged their swords in exchange for an opportunity at glory. As the EMPE swelled, bolstered by the Cretans and Karians, even the native Anatolians too decided to enlist. Nobles from various tribes formed their own light screening force, along with their mounted and foot retainers as well.

    However powerful the EMPE is, the Attalid dynasty was still not officially recognized as a major power by international players. The Kingdom of Bithynia and the city-state of Rhodos remain economic competitors, the Galatians continue to demand regular tribute, and the Seleucids still lay claim to Anatolia despite their presence being reduced to their stronghold at Tarsos. Meanwhile the conquest of Antiochea by the burgeoning Nabataeans presents an interesting opportunity to gain fame at the international stage. Thus, with a bloated backlog of tasks, the EMPE set out to make Pergamon an empire. First, in a mighty battle against the Bithynian garrison and relief force, the EMPE scored a strategic victory. It then swung south to forcibly acquire the other economic powerhouse of the day in Rhodos. With the Hellespont and the eastern entry to the Aegean Sea secured, Pergamon enjoyed economic supremacy. After being replenished, the now-experienced EMPE conquered the remaining Seleucid army in Anatolia at Tarsos, facing deadly scythed chariots in the process. EMPE scouts then sighted the Nabataean satrapy of Antiochea as well as discovered the recent conquest of Galatia by their Pontic allies. One opportunity to claim legitimacy lays straight ahead in Antiochea, the other stolen by the Pergamene's so-called ally. However, an insidious and diplomatic solution was proposed by the EMPE's black-ops Cretan corps. In exchange for a hefty sum of 50,000 mnai, the Pontic kingdom agreed to allow the EMPE to overpower the small Ankryan garrison in Galatia without triggering prolonged war. The Cretans used their reputation to enlist some of the newfangled Thureophoroi as well as old-fasioned Mercenary Hoplites, and conquered Ankrya. The second part of the blockbuster deal was to rewrite history to credit the Pergamenes as the subduers of Galatia. Fortunately news of the Pontic initial conquest of Galatia haven't reached far, and the alternative facts of the Pergamenes began to spread. The Attalid dynasty was recognized as legitimate by the Greeks and Anatolians, but not yet to the powerhouses of the Seleucids and Ptolemies. Thus the EMPE army trekked to Antiochea and punished the Nabataeans for their mismanagement of the historic city. With Antiochea liberated and restored to its former glory, and its elephants secured, the EMPE army helped Pergamon become an empire, recognized by all the great powers of the day.

    In the meantime the Galatians have diffused their military know-how among the Hellenes. In particular, the previously disgraced military advisors again offered themselves to the Attalid court, this time promising an innovation to "transform Hellenic martial power as we know it". Rehired, the advisors trained a special versatile unit dubbed the Thureophoroi, named after the Galatian thureos shield. This unit was incorporated into the EMPE, replacing the remnants of the Hemithorakitai Peltophoroi. The Thureophoroi's CQC prowess, skirmishing ability, and mobility immediately showed, and the advisors were cleared of their wrongdoing of giving actual constructive criticism to the EMPE army. Back to political matters, with the benefits of legitimacy comes the (mostly uniform) compliance of natives. For example, an advanced form of governance was established in Side and its Isaurion natives joined the EMPE army. However, a small rebellion of Pamphylians, who were terrified of the prospect of being oppressed by the Attalids just like the Ptolemaics did, threatened to overwhelm the region. It is here the this chapter of the EMPE army concludes - only the distraction at Pamphylia blocks the EMPE army from setting its sights on the rest of the ancient Mediterranean.

  2. #2

    Default Re: What's your favorite "royal army" to build, and what is the lore/history behind it?

    The Genuosian model army, or what the then-humble Akarnian governor of the Greece, Illyria and Thracia used when the faction leader and the faction heir were gallivanting around the Italy (and later Asia Minor) with their main army.

    At first it was rather humble:

    1 x Strategos Agema
    1 x Hippeis Thessalikoi
    2 x Raskumenezai


    8x Illyroi Thureophoroi


    3x Spendonetai (or 3x Asanai, whatever was there to scratch off the bottom of the barrel)
    3x Illyroi Peltastai


    Eventually it developed into:

    1 x Strategos Agema
    2 x Hippeis Thessalikoi
    2 x Raskumenezai

    8x Illyroi Thureophoroi

    3x Spendonetai
    4x Illyroi Peltastai (or 2x Machairophoroi + 2x Peltenai for a deluxe variant)


    After Genuos's ascension to the leadership the main army was reformed into following this model with a higher quality troops:

    1x Strategos Agema
    2x Aspiditai Hippeis
    2x Thureopherontes Hippeis

    7x Italoi Thorakitai (also know as the Cohors Sociorum)
    2x Machairophoroi (optionally two of those mail-clad Italoi Machairophoroi)

    3x Spendonetai
    3x Euzonoi/Leginu/Peltenai/Promachoi


    Simple as it was, it was also perfectly suited to Genuos's limited martial knowledge best summed up as "Spears to be pointed with the iron-tipped end at the enemy, the center stands in place and the wings can unfold! Eureka!"



    Performance:
    The initial Illyrian-based one was simply a solution to the need of a second larger army when the main one was already taking money with their fancy Hellenic troops. It never had to fight quality opponents. The final Italian-based one proved to be more flexible than the high-tier phalanxes whilst still being less expensive to keep and able to hold their own against the heavy hitters. It doesn't have any particular strong points, but also no clear weaknesses. Even things like elephants can be met with the concentrated javelin love when nearly all units have something to throw at the enemy. The only real problem is that it requires fast flanking because the main line holders don't do great at killing their enemies in a timely manner.

    Then there's the added inconvenience of having to ship the units to and from Italy. I'm still looking into what troops could take the role further East. Hellenic thureos troops don't come in large recrutation pools and with the free upkeep.
    Last edited by Satapatiš; August 06, 2020 at 09:37 AM.
    Furthermore, I believe that Rome must be destroyed.


  3. #3

    Default Re: What's your favorite "royal army" to build, and what is the lore/history behind it?

    Interesting army composition! The Cohors Soci - I mean Italoi Thureophoroi are supremely underrated. With their meaty shield beefing up their effective defense to 21, huge numbers, and deadly pilum turned javelin tsunami thanks to said numbers, they can help any Hellenic madman achieve Mediterranean supremacy. Genuos must be cackling like a madman armed with these playthings.

  4. #4

    Default Re: What's your favorite "royal army" to build, and what is the lore/history behind it?

    They tend to lose their momentum after the initial javelin charge and the slow grind with the 0 lethality spears begins. Pontos fared against them the best because their AI loves their pantodapoi phalangitai which tends to turn the battles into slow standouts between the clashing lines (Ptolemaioi prefered higher quality troops which means their lines were shorter with fewer phalanxes... Much to their demise.). But the Cohors Sociorum can run whilst keeping their defenses and a fully unfolded line of those huge units makes for a really long front. AI often stops trying to flank something this wide. Then it does things like trying to break through somewhere near to the flank. OR they try flanking, but they're intercepted by the unfolding wings. Then their fancy Iranian cataphracts end bogged down in the numbers of the troops they were trying to charge. Then they end cut down by the whatever cavalry or AP flankers I've got.



    Fun thing was, this army was ambushed in the Cisalpine not unlike Pyrrhus was ambushed in Liburnia on my play. Except the Pyrrhic army paid for the victory with the life of their king because them phalanxes being so slow, but the Cohors only had to turn around and run for a while.


    The cost for a single unit is brutal. Granted, them being Polybian units, by the time one can recruit them they'll have the money.

    But you don't have to pay for keeping them.

    No disbanding. No loss of experience.

    The army core recruited by Genuos for grinding down the Cisalpine troublemakers saw the Egyptian war with him. Then they were sent back for retraining. Then Deinarchos took them with him against the Celtiberians. Then they were sent home again. Then they went to Syria and finished the Ptolemaic Kingdom with Deinarchos, then they were used for territorial disagreements with Pontos then they finally were sent to Italy.

    By the time they were reaching their fifties, veterans serving in those would be filthy rich people.
    Last edited by Satapatiš; August 04, 2020 at 03:49 PM.
    Furthermore, I believe that Rome must be destroyed.


  5. #5

    Default Re: What's your favorite "royal army" to build, and what is the lore/history behind it?

    Sounds like them Italoi Thureophoroi got to see the East hundreds of years early. What a generous overlord you are sponsoring vacation time for thousands of Italians

  6. #6
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar I am your sovereign now
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    Default Re: What's your favorite "royal army" to build, and what is the lore/history behind it?

    Cool setup, although you should create a second list for units that exist beyond the Hellenistic Thorakitai reforms that kick in around 222-220 BC. It creates sweeping changes for Hellenistic factions, with the disappearance of hemithorakitai, the emergence of both Thorakitai and elite Thorakitai Epilektoi heavy infantry, along with Lonchophoroi Hippeis in Greece, Aspidiotai Hippeis cavalry in various places throughout the Mediterranean, Kataphractoi heavy cavalry in the Levant, Thureopherontes Hippotoxotai horse archers and the toxotai foot archer variant of that in the Black Sea region, and wider use of phalangitai sarissa pikemen for certain factions. If you're playing a faction like Koinon Hellenon it takes about 200 turns into the game to expand and build the infrastructure necessary to recruit units like the Thracian Katoikoi infantry and Galatian colonist swordsmen.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What's your favorite "royal army" to build, and what is the lore/history behind it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    Cool setup, although you should create a second list for units that exist beyond the Hellenistic Thorakitai reforms that kick in around 222-220 BC. It creates sweeping changes for Hellenistic factions, with the disappearance of hemithorakitai, the emergence of both Thorakitai and elite Thorakitai Epilektoi heavy infantry, along with Lonchophoroi Hippeis in Greece, Aspidiotai Hippeis cavalry in various places throughout the Mediterranean, Kataphractoi heavy cavalry in the Levant, Thureopherontes Hippotoxotai horse archers and the toxotai foot archer variant of that in the Black Sea region, and wider use of phalangitai sarissa pikemen for certain factions. If you're playing a faction like Koinon Hellenon it takes about 200 turns into the game to expand and build the infrastructure necessary to recruit units like the Thracian Katoikoi infantry and Galatian colonist swordsmen.

    TBH the reform isn't changing much. The units that were useful before stay useful. Only the poor hemithorakitai are missed.
    Last edited by Satapatiš; August 04, 2020 at 11:39 PM.
    Furthermore, I believe that Rome must be destroyed.


  8. #8

    Default Re: What's your favorite "royal army" to build, and what is the lore/history behind it?

    Usually I don't craft a Royal Army until I've reached the Empire Stage (30+ provinces.) They aren't so much practical military forces as much as they are a demonstration of my empire's vast reach and might. However, since they do comprise completely of veterans (must have at least 1 Gold Chevron before I consider them worthy) and elite units, I have won grand victories with them. While I do often create a "prime army" with picked units, intended to be lead by my Faction Leader/Heir/Preferred General, the Prime Army takes into consideration timely recruitment and replenishment, which is not practical for my Royal Army.

    My favorite Royal Armies are the Army of Streuinta, which serves the Druit-Rix of the Boioi; and the Army of Armavir, which serves the Arkhayitsh Arkhay of Hayastan. There are other examples which I've put to good use, including the Stratos Akhilliad, which razed Roma to the ground as the last act of Pyrrhos Aetos. However for now I will simply cover the Kondamantes Streuinton. It's formation was a long process lasting over a hundred years in game time, and since I can't remember utilizing a Royal Army in...it's Royal Army capacity outside of it's final form, where it fought the Cohors Legiones; my tactical assessments will apply only to it's circa 52 BCE form.





    Pros:

    Made up of numerous veterans with several distinguished units further boosting morale, I have yet to see any of these men flee, even in the face of the finest Romani. With my meritocratic approach to the election of the Boioirix, ensuring any general that would lead the host is a distinguished veteran bearing multiple social honors, they are nigh unbreakable.

    Makes heavy use of elements uniquely suited for attack, the Thraikians, Bastarnai, and Gaisatoi are especially distinguished in this.

    Well balanced mix of spearmen and swordsmen, light and heavy cavalry. Though this army is clearly better at aggressive maneuver than it would be at taking the slow or ranged approach, it has flexibility that can address a variety of stages of battle or different foes.

    Cavalry arm is well built (if a bit gamey,) with the only weak link in the bunch being the single Epades Dessis (and to be blunt the Zibutai perform below their price range.) Having overseen many of these units on the Battlemap, I have a fair (though not scientific) understanding of their...standing. I am confident that they won't lose out unless outnumbered or facing the AI's shenanigans...like 5 Aspidiotai Hippeis + supporting cavalry or something.

    Cons:

    Extreme diversity means any losses will be a massive pain to replace in terms of time spent and movement points consumed.

    Despite the Elite status enjoyed by the majority of it's soldiers, they are actually not well armored in comparison to the Agema of my Makedonian allies or the hated Legiones of Roma. Thanks to the Keltic Twilight reform, the Army of Felsina is by and large better equipped. This means that if the prodigious offense of the Royal Army fails, then they are susceptible to being ground down. A fitting weakness, I suppose. According to the Tribal traits the Boioi are supposed to specialize in attack.

    A complete lack of skirmishers means that the Royal Army has no means of harrying the enemy at range, or responding in kind if they have no way to close the distance. Which is just as well, I much prefer the brevity of the melee clash.

    Several elements of the host, such as the Italic Keltoi, the Eluetoi, and the Noroi Keltoi are actually middle-of-the-road as far as their performance goes. In extreme circumstances they could prove to be the weak link.


    History:

    The historians of the middle sea have had much reason to fear the dominion of the Boioi, having burst forth from the Alps and Balkans to form a great power that dominated Europe, bloodied the vast Steppes, and even holds an enclave in Asia. Even so, the history of the warriors that personally accompany their Druid-King, a symbol of the confederation's unity and might, is known only in fragments. Fortunately, the line of the Druit-Kings is long, and the inscriptions they left behind can at grant a rudimentary timeline of the Royal Army's formation.

    In 210 BCE, 42 years after the Second Sack of Delphi and 16 years after the Liberation of Felsina. Reign of Boioirix Ariandos. From his post in Felsina the Boioirix sends the Ubioi Epas Kokolitanos, aided by the Boioi Epas Lukterios, to rescue the Antigonid domain from the Aiakids. Benefiting from the Second Sack of Delphi dissolving the credibility of the rising Koinon Hellenon, the Aiakids have capitalized on the chaos of the Boioi's passing and rule most of Hellas. As well as Syrakousai, Rhodos, Ephesos, and Knossos. The Boioi themselves have expanded their domain as far east as the Skordiskoi, then liberating Felsina under the legendary Boioirix Battaios, and recently warred with the Sweboz, liberating the Ubioi and the Treveroi. Orbios Uindomorukios, while studying in Streuinta, is inspired by his time as a hostage in Roma and a mercenary in Qarthadast to begin forming a multi-tribal army. The Orbios requests the Boioirix to send distinguished warriors to Streuinta.

    In 180 BCE, 72 years after the Second Sack of Delphi and 46 years after the Liberation of Felsina. Reign of Boioirix Uindomorukios. The Boioirix returns to Streuinta to begin the final period of his studies and ascend to Arduodruits. Despite winning acclaim and prestige from his service to Qarthadast, the Boioirix had to prove his new army to Ariandos and the heart of the Confederation in Streuinta. After waging war against the Aedui and Pritanoi, claiming the lands of the Belgae, Uenetoi, and Ikenoi; freeing the lands of Widura and Skadinauja from the Sweboz; suffering the betrayal of the Lugiones; and conquering Dacia (though a stronghold of Getai would remain in Pergamon for some time,) Uindomorukios has set in stone the use of allied Kingetoi in the hosts of the Boioi.

    In 153 BCE, 99 years after the Second Sack of Delphi and 73 years after the Liberation of Felsina. Reign of Boioirix Endamos. The Boioirix accepts custody of Galatia from Basileus Aristotelis Antigonides, in exchange for 10,000 mnai. His last act before dying by the will of the gods. Arduodruits Mogetemaros is sent to negotiate with the Three Tribes. Mogetemaros spends his tenure strengthening Keltoi culture in the land and eventually mustering Galatians to serve in the Boioi hosts. After proving themselves, the bravest and best armed of their number present themselves in Streuinta.

    It is by 52 BCE, 200 years after the Second Sack of Delphi and 174 years after the Liberation of Felsina, that the Royal Army would be put to the test. Reign of Boioirix Amminos. The Romani, after many failed attempts over the last century to seize Felsina, suffer the loss of Umbria to the Boioi and face being driven out of Gaul by a Boioi-Aedui alliance. In response, they refashioned their army into a machine more formidable than any that came before it. They seize Iberia, Africa, and Gaul up to the lands of the Belgae. Having stationed Legiones across their border with the Boioi, now stretching from Gaul to Illyria, they march on Felsina. After several months and the loss of a quarter of their forces, they claim Felsina, utterly shocking the Boioi. In response, the Boioi muster nearly all men in the lands of the Belgae and Pritanoi, the core of the Confederation near Streuinta, Galatia, and Thraike. Now fully formed and replete with proven men and nobility from across the world, the Royal Army descends from Streuinta to Felsina to confront the bulk of veteran Romani and numerous Primi Ordines, accompanied by a few Eqvites Auxilium and Antesignani.


    The Royal Army, commanded by Boioirix Amminos, faced the bulk of Evocati at the Po River, commanded by Spvrivs Cornelivs Scipio. Both sides stood on opposite ends of a wide, gently rolling hill. The Romani, thanks to the inflated numbers of their new Cohors, outnumbered the Boioi by over a thousand. However, the Boioi held superior numbers in cavalry. The Boioi ordered their spearmen to the left, and swordsmen to the right. The Rompaianai and a unit of Draugai stood behind the line. The Gaisatoi were posted with the cavalry on the right, which held the Boioirix, Treveroi cavalry, and the Galatian cavalry. Both sides ascended the hill, closing to contact. Before both sides could fully form opposing lines, the Boioi right cavalry charged towards and catches the Romani left cavalry, lead by Amminos. The Boioi infantry rushes to close to the Romani, seeking to avoid suffering the deadly Pilum. Spvrivs, who lead from the Roman right, rushed himself left to shore up the left cavalry. Unbeknownst to the Romani, the Gaisatoi had managed to keep pace with the cavalry, and now tied down the Romani left cavalry, allowing the Boioi heavy cavalry to envelop and scatter the Romani left. The Epades Dessis are committed to running the Romani left cavalry off the field. Spvrivs is caught in a large scale fight near the body of his infantry. Meanwhile, the Boioi infantry were able to engage the Romani with most of their strength remaining, but the Romani were able to loose a few volleys. The Mandonai are committed to keep the Romani from flanking the Boioi left infantry. The Zibutai and Markaridai desperately clash with superior numbers of Eqvites Auxilium. The most weakened elements of the Boioi left make a short, measured withdrawal, turning the Boioi left into a checkerboard. The biggest gap is left in the center, the Rompaianai and reserve Draugai rush to engage the Romani mass. The leftmost units, a group of Ambaktoi Kington and the Mandonai, join the left cavalry fight and scatter the Romani right. The Boioi left cavalry encircles the Romani and begin charging their flanks. The Mandonai encircle Spvrivs' bodyguard and slays him. With their commander and cavalry gone, not even the Romani could secure victory. They were slain to the last man (or at least that's what I prefer to the mass capture and enslavement that actually happened in the game,) and the Boioi Royal Host lost about a fifth to a quarter of their number in the battle. To anyone else, these losses would have stung, but against such mighty foes it was a worthy trade. Furthermore, with this army vanquished, and with the help of a spy, Felsina was reclaimed.

    The grand victory at the Po restored Boioi confidence, and with mailed soldiers, "Kondamantes," mustered in unprecedented numbers, the Boioi began their counterattack. Tauriskoirix Kritognatos, Orbios and Senonesrix Frontus, Skordiskoi Epas Enestinos, Galatesrix Taskiouanos, Insubresrix Neracos, Skordiskoirix Adcobrouatos, Eluetoi Epas Taskiouanos, and many more esteemed commanders began a war on a scale never before seen by the Boioi people. Holding bridges and forest ambushes in Gaul, a naval invasion of Southern Italy, a brutal siege in Illyria, clashes in the mountain highways of the Alps. Despite heavy losses the Boioi managed to seize the majority of the Italian peninsula, and drove into Akuitanon. In order to prevent Roma herself from falling to the torch, the Romani sued for peace, which the Boioi granted only after the ceding of Qarthadast and Atig. Having proven the dominance of their traditions, and adding the might of their new mailled hosts, the Boioi had proven themselves undisputed masters of Europos.
    Last edited by BailianSteel; August 06, 2020 at 09:31 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: What's your favorite "royal army" to build, and what is the lore/history behind it?

    Quote Originally Posted by BailianSteel View Post
    Usually I don't craft a Royal Army until I've reached the Empire Stage (30+ provinces.) They aren't so much practical military forces as much as they are a demonstration of my empire's vast reach and might. However, since they do comprise completely of veterans (must have at least 1 Gold Chevron before I consider them worthy) and elite units, I have won grand victories with them. While I do often create a "prime army" with picked units, intended to be lead by my Faction Leader/Heir/Preferred General, the Prime Army takes into consideration timely recruitment and replenishment, which is not practical for my Royal Army.

    My favorite Royal Armies are the Army of Streuinta, which serves the Druit-Rix of the Boioi; and the Army of Armavir, which serves the Arkhayitsh Arkhay of Hayastan. There are other examples which I've put to good use, including the Stratos Akhilliad, which razed Roma to the ground as the last act of Pyrrhos Aetos. However for now I will simply cover the Kondamantes Streuinton. It's formation was a long process lasting over a hundred years in game time, and since I can't remember utilizing a Royal Army in...it's Royal Army capacity outside of it's final form, where it fought the Cohors Legiones; my tactical assessments will apply only to it's circa 52 BCE form.





    Pros:

    Made up of numerous veterans with several distinguished units further boosting morale, I have yet to see any of these men flee, even in the face of the finest Romani. With my meritocratic approach to the election of the Boioirix, ensuring any general that would lead the host is a distinguished veteran bearing multiple social honors, they are nigh unbreakable.

    Makes heavy use of elements uniquely suited for attack, the Thraikians, Bastarnai, and Gaisatoi are especially distinguished in this.

    Well balanced mix of spearmen and swordsmen, light and heavy cavalry. Though this army is clearly better at aggressive maneuver than it would be at taking the slow or ranged approach, it has flexibility that can address a variety of stages of battle or different foes.

    Cavalry arm is well built (if a bit gamey,) with the only weak link in the bunch being the single Epades Dessis (and to be blunt the Zibutai perform below their price range.) Having overseen many of these units on the Battlemap, I have a fair (though not scientific) understanding of their...standing. I am confident that they won't lose out unless outnumbered or facing the AI's shenanigans...like 5 Aspidiotai Hippeis + supporting cavalry or something.

    Cons:

    Extreme diversity means any losses will be a massive pain to replace in terms of time spent and movement points consumed.

    Despite the Elite status enjoyed by the majority of it's soldiers, they are actually not well armored in comparison to the Agema of my Makedonian allies or the hated Legiones of Roma. Thanks to the Keltic Twilight reform, the Army of Felsina is by and large better equipped. This means that if the prodigious offense of the Royal Army fails, then they are susceptible to being ground down. A fitting weakness, I suppose. According to the Tribal traits the Boioi are supposed to specialize in attack.

    A complete lack of skirmishers means that the Royal Army has no means of harrying the enemy at range, or responding in kind if they have no way to close the distance. Which is just as well, I much prefer the brevity of the melee clash.

    Several elements of the host, such as the Italic Keltoi, the Eluetoi, and the Noroi Keltoi are actually middle-of-the-road as far as their performance goes. In extreme circumstances they could prove to be the weak link.


    History:

    The historians of the middle sea have had much reason to fear the dominion of the Boioi, having burst forth from the Alps and Balkans to form a great power that dominated Europe, bloodied the vast Steppes, and even holds an enclave in Asia. Even so, the history of the warriors that personally accompany their Druid-King, a symbol of the confederation's unity and might, is known only in fragments. Fortunately, the line of the Druit-Kings is long, and the inscriptions they left behind can at grant a rudimentary timeline of the Royal Army's formation.

    In 210 BCE, 42 years after the Second Sack of Delphi and 16 years after the Liberation of Felsina. Reign of Boioirix Ariandos. From his post in Felsina the Boioirix sends the Ubioi Epas Kokolitanos, aided by the Boioi Epas Lukterios, to rescue the Antigonid domain from the Aiakids. Benefiting from the Second Sack of Delphi dissolving the credibility of the rising Koinon Hellenon, the Aiakids have capitalized on the chaos of the Boioi's passing and rule most of Hellas. As well as Syrakousai, Rhodos, Ephesos, and Knossos. The Boioi themselves have expanded their domain as far east as the Skordiskoi, then liberating Felsina under the legendary Boioirix Battaios, and recently warred with the Sweboz, liberating the Ubioi and the Treveroi. Orbios Uindomorukios, while studying in Streuinta, is inspired by his time as a hostage in Roma and a mercenary in Qarthadast to begin forming a multi-tribal army. The Orbios requests the Boioirix to send distinguished warriors to Streuinta.

    In 180 BCE, 72 years after the Second Sack of Delphi and 46 years after the Liberation of Felsina. Reign of Boioirix Uindomorukios. The Boioirix returns to Streuinta to begin the final period of his studies and ascend to Arduodruits. Despite winning acclaim and prestige from his service to Qarthadast, the Boioirix had to prove his new army to Ariandos and the heart of the Confederation in Streuinta. After waging war against the Aedui and Pritanoi, claiming the lands of the Belgae, Uenetoi, and Ikenoi; freeing the lands of Widura and Skadinauja from the Sweboz; suffering the betrayal of the Lugiones; and conquering Dacia (though a stronghold of Getai would remain in Pergamon for some time,) Uindomorukios has set in stone the use of allied Kingetoi in the hosts of the Boioi.

    In 153 BCE, 99 years after the Second Sack of Delphi and 73 years after the Liberation of Felsina. Reign of Boioirix Endamos. The Boioirix accepts custody of Galatia from Basileus Aristotelis Antigonides, in exchange for 10,000 mnai. His last act before dying by the will of the gods. Arduodruits Mogetemaros is sent to negotiate with the Three Tribes. Mogetemaros spends his tenure strengthening Keltoi culture in the land and eventually mustering Galatians to serve in the Boioi hosts. After proving themselves, the bravest and best armed of their number present themselves in Streuinta.

    It is by 52 BCE, 200 years after the Second Sack of Delphi and 174 years after the Liberation of Felsina, that the Royal Army would be put to the test. Reign of Boioirix Amminos. The Romani, after many failed attempts over the last century to seize Felsina, suffer the loss of Umbria to the Boioi and face being driven out of Gaul by a Boioi-Aedui alliance. In response, they refashioned their army into a machine more formidable than any that came before it. They seize Iberia, Africa, and Gaul up to the lands of the Belgae. Having stationed Legiones across their border with the Boioi, now stretching from Gaul to Illyria, they march on Felsina. After several months and the loss of a quarter of their forces, they claim Felsina, utterly shocking the Boioi. In response, the Boioi muster nearly all men in the lands of the Belgae and Pritanoi, the core of the Confederation near Streuinta, Galatia, and Thraike. Now fully formed and replete with proven men and nobility from across the world, the Royal Army descends from Streuinta to Felsina to confront the bulk of veteran Romani and numerous Primi Ordines, accompanied by a few Eqvites Auxilium and Antesignani.


    The Royal Army, commanded by Boioirix Amminos, faced the bulk of Evocati at the Po River, commanded by Spvrivs Cornelivs Scipio. Both sides stood on opposite ends of a wide, gently rolling hill. The Romani, thanks to the inflated numbers of their new Cohors, outnumbered the Boioi by over a thousand. However, the Boioi held superior numbers in cavalry. The Boioi ordered their spearmen to the left, and swordsmen to the right. The Rompaianai and a unit of Draugai stood behind the line. The Gaisatoi were posted with the cavalry on the right, which held the Boioirix, Treveroi cavalry, and the Galatian cavalry. Both sides ascended the hill, closing to contact. Before both sides could fully form opposing lines, the Boioi right cavalry charged towards and catches the Romani left cavalry, lead by Amminos. The Boioi infantry rushes to close to the Romani, seeking to avoid suffering the deadly Pilum. Spvrivs, who lead from the Roman right, rushed himself left to shore up the left cavalry. Unbeknownst to the Romani, the Gaisatoi had managed to keep pace with the cavalry, and now tied down the Romani left cavalry, allowing the Boioi heavy cavalry to envelop and scatter the Romani left. The Epades Dessis are committed to running the Romani left cavalry off the field. Spvrivs is caught in a large scale fight near the body of his infantry. Meanwhile, the Boioi infantry were able to engage the Romani with most of their strength remaining, but the Romani were able to loose a few volleys. The Mandonai are committed to keep the Romani from flanking the Boioi left infantry. The Zibutai and Markaridai desperately clash with superior numbers of Eqvites Auxilium. The most weakened elements of the Boioi left make a short, measured withdrawal, turning the Boioi left into a checkerboard. The biggest gap is left in the center, the Rompaianai and reserve Draugai rush to engage the Romani mass. The leftmost units, a group of Ambaktoi Kington and the Mandonai, join the left cavalry fight and scatter the Romani right. The Boioi left cavalry encircles the Romani and begin charging their flanks. The Mandonai encircle Spvrivs' bodyguard and slays him. With their commander and cavalry gone, not even the Romani could secure victory. They were slain to the last man (or at least that's what I prefer to the mass capture and enslavement that actually happened in the game,) and the Boioi Royal Host lost about a fifth to a quarter of their number in the battle. To anyone else, these losses would have stung, but against such mighty foes it was a worthy trade. Furthermore, with this army vanquished, and with the help of a spy, Felsina was reclaimed.

    The grand victory at the Po restored Boioi confidence, and with mailed soldiers, "Kondamantes," mustered in unprecedented numbers, the Boioi began their counterattack. Tauriskoirix Kritognatos, Orbios and Senonesrix Frontus, Skordiskoi Epas Enestinos, Galatesrix Taskiouanos, Insubresrix Neracos, Skordiskoirix Adcobrouatos, Eluetoi Epas Taskiouanos, and many more esteemed commanders began a war on a scale never before seen by the Boioi people. Holding bridges and forest ambushes in Gaul, a naval invasion of Southern Italy, a brutal siege in Illyria, clashes in the mountain highways of the Alps. Despite heavy losses the Boioi managed to seize the majority of the Italian peninsula, and drove into Akuitanon. In order to prevent Roma herself from falling to the torch, the Romani sued for peace, which the Boioi granted only after the ceding of Qarthadast and Atig. Having proven the dominance of their traditions, and adding the might of their new mailled hosts, the Boioi had proven themselves undisputed masters of Europos.
    Excellent writeup, BailianSteel. That army composition has got to be one of the scariest ones out there. Its reputation is backed up by beautiful stories of conquest. The only thing stopping it from ruining the geopolitics of the ancient world is, as you mentioned, its extremely wide area of recruitment. I personally wouldn't trust these powerful units to individually march to their retraining grounds without the oversight of loyal FMs.

  10. #10

    Default Re: What's your favorite "royal army" to build, and what is the lore/history behind it?

    Thanks Shoebopp. I put a good amount of thought into crafting that Royal Army, in order to truly represent the splendor of the Boioi empire. I spent a good bit of time leveling up these units to their veteran status, so I'd be pretty mad if I ended up losing them to treachery.

    While I am hesitant to deploy the Kondamantes Streuinton, if I seek to bring low the other powers of the world, I have other forces available to me. Felsina isn't just a symbol of Keltoi triumph and cultural transmission, but a significant economic and industrial base from which I can levy an army on short notice.



    In a single turn and recruiting from the other regions of Keltoi Italy, I could probably produce a stack where the majority of line infantry are mailled soldiers that are near equal in defenses to the Legiones. It is quite a bit more expensive than the armies I used to expand, but by this point I've laid down more than enough infrastructure to support it. And since I've recently acquired most of the Italian ports, as well as Qarthadast and Atig, I have the War Fleets to ensure naval dominance.

  11. #11
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar I am your sovereign now
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    Default Re: What's your favorite "royal army" to build, and what is the lore/history behind it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Satapatiš View Post
    TBH the reform isn't changing much. The units that were useful before stay useful. Only the poor hemithorakitai are missed.
    No, it changes a lot more than that and even affects the royal army listed above, since the "West Anatolian Elite Infantry" (i.e. Hyperaspistai) also disappear and would ostensibly have to be replaced by an equivalent heavy infantry unit like Thorakitai, Thorakitai Epilektoi, or even the chain-mail-wearing and javelin-throwing Bosporitai Logades (Crimean heavy infantry skirmishers).

  12. #12

    Default Re: What's your favorite "royal army" to build, and what is the lore/history behind it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    No, it changes a lot more than that and even affects the royal army listed above, since the "West Anatolian Elite Infantry" (i.e. Hyperaspistai) also disappear and would ostensibly have to be replaced by an equivalent heavy infantry unit like Thorakitai, Thorakitai Epilektoi, or even the chain-mail-wearing and javelin-throwing Bosporitai Logades (Crimean heavy infantry skirmishers).
    Well, it's a bummer with certain pre-reform units disappearing with no choice as the Hyperaspistai don't have a good Hellenic replacement. You get better defenses with the units you mentioned, but no ap on the hand-to-hand attack.

    Personally, I think that the ap attribute is overrated in a mod where the majority of the troops gets their defenses mostly from their shields and skill, but sometimes it comes in handy.

    I'd rather use Katoikoi Thraikes for not having to worry about the reforms.
    Last edited by Satapatiš; August 08, 2020 at 10:47 AM.
    Furthermore, I believe that Rome must be destroyed.


  13. #13
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar I am your sovereign now
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    Default Re: What's your favorite "royal army" to build, and what is the lore/history behind it?

    Katoikoi Thraikes are a worthy supplement/replacement, for sure, although it is a shame to lose the Hyperaspistai, especially if you're playing as Pergamon.

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