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Thread: Imperializing Greece as Carthage

  1. #1

    Default Imperializing Greece as Carthage

    2.35a brought about one crucial change that made colonizing and developing Greece as Carthage worthwhile - foreign military colonies now offer excellent recruitment for factions that cannot recruit from hellenistic poleis. Combined with the existing recruitment of libyan colonists in the Barcid klereuchy government, as well as the fact that klereuchy governments can be built anywhere with level one phoenician colonies, the Carthaginian player can turn Greece into a stable base of operations, enough to rival the historical Barcid second capital in Iberia.

    In order to take full advantage of the east colony recruitment, as well as convert the culture of Greece in time before the population recovers and spirals out of control, the player must make swift decisions.

    Your early-game military operations consist of wiping out Numidia ASAP. After all, you can't pour resources into conquering, stabilizing, and developing Greece with a thorn in your backyard. To faciliate this, have your navy in Shardina-Corsica gather as many troops from these two islands and dump them into Carthage. Queue up all available libyan hoplites. Most importantly, you MUST train a unit of Lithiboloi. Meanwhile, your navy near sicilty should escort all Punic garrison troops to Hanno, who should also be joined by the Lilybauem garrison. You should have enough movement points to not only defeat the closer Syrakusian army whom the campaign script forces to besiege Lilybauem on turn 3, but also besiege Syrakousai, baiting a siege relief battle from the remaining rover stack. While this happens the absolutely vicious 2.35a R3 AI will have the Numidians besiege one of the core Punic cities. Worry not, by turn 2 when you've conquered Syrakousai and finished off the expelled garrison script army, you have more than enough movement points to ship Hanno's army back to Punic lands and kill off the maniacal Numidian stack. While Hanno's forces will be exhausted, your Punic forces are fresh and eager for revenge. Have them besiege and assault Capsa in one turn thanks to the unit of Lithiboloi. Next turn, Kirtan, and the turn after that, Sigan. Be sure to use Hanno's army if this army gets depleted in the brutal siege battles. BE WARNED, taking the Numidian's last settlement in Sigan will horde the Numidians, and they almost always instantly appear near Carthage. The last thing you want is for your two armies to be stuck near Sigan, out of movement points, and during the winter so that ships cannot move that far. Time your final assault carefully, even waiting a turn or two for Spring to arrive and both your land army and navy's movement points to refresh, before finishing off the Numidians.

    As for the early-game administrative matters, have the faction heir govern Syrakousai. His max-influence and obscene wealth will quell the populace. Upgrade the schools in Carthage to level 3. Have your fleet in Iberia transport all western FMs to Carthage, where they will be educated as well as situated perfectly to accumulate wealth and influence. In fact, move ALL FMs under the age of 28 into Carthage. Having an elite cadre of high-influence, quality-traits governors is vital for Punicsizing the Greeks. The exception is that you need FMs to raise the population growth of the 3 other regions capable to building Council Administrations. You see, Carthage gains 1 colony point every 16 turns for each CA it owns. At the beginning of the campaign, that numberis only 1. To develop Atig, Adrumet, and Lilybauem into Council Administrations, they must reach City-level (6000 population) and have built waystations and garrisons. They will also need to have spent 1 colony point each to reach level 3 phoenician settler colonies. This brings up the topic of colony point management - until you've reached 4 Council Administrations, DO NOT SPEND ANY COLONY POINTS. Play the long game. Build temples of Tanit and farms ASAP, then aim for waystations and garrisons. Also, keep recruiting Libyan Hoplites so that even when the script sometimes attempts to deplete the pools (libyans constantly had to report for policing/defense duties), there's nothing to deplete! Train Libyan Skirmishers as well.

    By turn 10, you should have a cluster of governors accumulating wealth and governoring skills, a clean backyard, and a strong economy. The Numidians are reduced to occasionally raiding your Punic core, the Romans are either getting bushwacked by the Cisalpine Gauls or drowning by the thousands trying to board their pathetic boats and invading your island holdings through Carthaginian-controlled waters, and you have a capable (and pro-Barcid!) Rab Mahnet in Hanno. Time to imperialize those haughty Greeks.

    You cannot waste any time in conquering Greece. The reason lies in foreign military colony restrictions - you cannot upgrade it beyond level 1 in settlements with a level 3 poleis. The Hellenistic factions of Greece, despite constantly battering each other down, will still use what little money they have to invest into achieving level 3 poleis. Korinthos and Athenai start off with level 3 poleis, but we'll discuss dealing with that later. Pella and Thermon start off with level 3 walls and level 2 markets. That means in the fastest (and thus worst) case scenario either the Antigonids or the Eleutheroi will have erected a level 3 poleis by turn 20-25. Meanwhile Ambrakia and Demetrias, both level 2 settlements, are not that far behind in development.

    As a result, your must blitze. For those of y'all who hate blitzing and prefer a later-game challenge, well, your challenge begins right now, just not during the late-game. It's fighting 7 siege assaults in rapid succession to conquer the mainland Greek settlements that benefit from 2.35a's foreign military colony boost. Prepare accordingly.

    Leave behind the bare minimum number of troops to garrison your settlements and defend against the random Numidian raids. Escorted by two powerful navies, your invasion force should consist of one field army built to your liking, and one assault force that MUST contain your Lithiboloi and plently of Liguri-Corsici Slingers, Sardinian infantry, Balaeric Slingers, Ligurian Spearmen, and whatever other missile troops your can gather. Wait for spring, and move your invasion force to the southern tip of Sparta, a little out of view. Wait for the next turn, then invade Lakonia from the South, and begin the blitzing process.

    Each siege battle will be fought with the same strategy, yet with enough variations to keep them interesting. Create up to 4 breach points with your Lithiboloi, and flood each gap with at least 2 heavy infantry (this "buddy" system improves morale) as soon as possible. If you flood the first breach, the defenders will concentrate most of their defenders into that breach, allowing your subsequent breaches to occur unopposed. It is VITAL for you to use your missile troops to pour javelins, stones, and arrows into the backs of the defenders clustered around your first breach team. It's scummy, but it's the only way you can fight 7 siege battles with minimal reinforcements. If that's not possible then do everything you can to lure the defenders into these little traps where they'll be surrounded on 2 sides by your units.

    Once the settlement is yours, you sack it... UNLESS it's Korinthos or Athenai. Remeber how they both start with level 3 poleis? Well, here's you're change to downgrade it to a level 2 poleis. Many EBII players have reported their newly enslaved settlement's poleis downgrading upon deciding their fates. It's not guaranteed, and the destruction of the population and infrastructure will set you back a decade, but the reward, which is unlocking the ability to fully develop the settlement's foreign military colony, is definitely worth it.

    Work your way north, prioritizing Therman and Pella if possible. In the meantime, you've got plenty of Libyan setters in the form of hoplites and skirmishes ready to oppress the Greek civilians, and educated (and wealthy!) FMs in Carthage. Definitely garrison the newly-conquered settlements with Libyans, but only send in a governor from Carthage if he is either over 28, or if some of the settlements are proving impossible to control, requiring a FM to end his education early and start hands-on governance immediately.

    You can aim for Crete and Rhodos next, but those require additional resources to keep, not to mention you now need a strong armada in the Aegean to prevent Ptolemaic and Pergamene invasions. Still, having two more settlements that provide excellent Greek troops can be a valuable asset. Also, the more you wait, the more likely that Rhodes will eventually develop a level 3 poleis.

    Of course, you won't be able to establish foreign military garrisons without the Barcid governments, so aim to achieve that reform ASAP. Fight 6 battles against Roman stacks with at least 12 units, and own Carthage, Gader, and Mastia (which will be renamed Qart-Hadast as well upon conquest). Accept marriages from pro-Barcid Charismatic suitors only, and keep them stationed in Carthage to build up the wealth needed to become Rab Mahnet.

    Meanwhile, develop Greece to prepare it for Barcid colonization. Build level 1 phoenician settler colonies in each of the 7 (or 9 if you conquered Krete and Rhodos) Greek settlements once you're built 4 Council Administrations. Do NOT upgrade beyond level 2 phoenician settler colonies or else level 3 foreign military colonies will be off limits. You don't need the conversion to 65% from level 3 anyways - 45% from level 2 will suffice. After all, the Carthaginians do not suffer from the Statis and Hellenic Autonomy buildings!

    Once the Barcid reforms hit, you will be able to develop Greece into a powerful province, able to expand anywhere with its Libyan colonist and Greek native troops.

    We now conclude with an overview of 2.35a's foreign military colony recruitment in Greece! The full details can be found in export_descr_buildings.txt, but here are the notable troops:

    Northern Greece (Pella, Demetrias, Ambrakia): TWO units of Hoplitai/Thorakitai, both variants of Thracian Cavalry, Delmato-Pannonians, Thracian Peltasts, and Elite Illyrian Slinger-Axemen

    Southern Greece (Thermon, Sparta, Korinthos, Athenai): TWO units of Hoplitai/Thorakitai, both variants of Thracian Cavalry, Cretan Archers and Sabellian Cavalry and Infantry,

    Greek Islands (Rhodos, Krete): TWO units of Hoplitai/Thorakitai, Isaurian and Iturean Archers, Cappodacian Cavalry, and Lydian Lancers.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Imperializing Greece as Carthage

    This is a fun little guide. I don't know that I plan to embark on this strategy but its cool to see how it could be achieved and what the troop rewards would be. Thanks a ton of sharing!

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