After finding excellent threads about how to do Pahlava reforms and how to do a non-blitz start, I began a Pahlava campaign on M/M, using the strategy of having my spies make Seleucid towns rebel, then capturing them from the rebels without breaking my alliance with the Seleucids. Since there was going to be no sea trade, I carefully reinvested in mines and eventually built my mining income up to more than 50K per turn.
It took until 196 BC to meet the victory conditions. Here is a comparison with other campaigns, also on M/M.
Pahlava, 196 BC, 62 regions, economy 159K income per turn with 35K corruption.
Carthage, 233 BC, 42 regions, economy 121K income per turn with 17K corruption.
Getai, 222 BC, 32 regions, economy 70K income per turn with 2K corruption.
Arverni, 227 BC, 39 regions, economy 73K income per turn with 3K corruption.
Koinon Hellenon, 44 regions, economy 115 income per turn with 9K corruption.
Here are some of the things that made the Pahlava uniquely challenging.
1. Even though I consulted a list of the correct build order for reforms, I usually found that I could not build the reformed government after completing the 10 prerequisites. Most of my cites had only level 1 regional barracks.
2. When I installed an allied government, I almost never got the option to recruit allied generals, and only the expensive ones were available.
3. Captured Seleucid cities kept growing to an enormous size, and I had to let them rebel, then enslave them. Perhaps that accounts for the high corruption.
4. Wiping out the Seleucids, Baktrians, and Pontos was straightforward. Unfortunately, that left me about 15 cities short of victory.
5. The Ptolemids, having nothing better to do, kept sending full stacks out of Egypt to try to retake Jerusalem, Petra, and Bostra. Most of my troops from Seleucia and Babylon were dedicated to fighting them off. Even sacking Alexandria did not help. It might be simpler just to wipe them out.
6. Victory requires all of Asia Minor. This annoyed the Makedonians, who spent the rest of the game trying to retake Nikaia.
7. I had to capture the three Indian cities on the eastern edge of the map, which are garrisoned with elephants.
8. The Hayasdan must be wiped out, and they spread northwest from their homeland into cities that I could otherwise have ignored. When close to defeat, they garrisoned cities with stacks of heavy cavalry that could defeat a force twice their size.
9. Not only did I need to hold the ports on the south coast of the Persian Gulf, I had to capture and hold Ubar in southern Arabia. This is so far from the capital that it will surely rebel, and the resulting garrison is hard to dislodge. Since sending an army to Ubar from any productive city requires about 8 turns and there are no mercenaries available, I finally resorted to delaying my attack until the last turn.
10. Similarly, I had to capture Chach from the Saka. With a full stack as garrison and taxes set to low, it is at about 25% and rebels instantly. Again I had to wait until the last turn. Even a high-influence family member as governor could not solve the problem.
So I finally won by capturing Chach and Ubar and recapturing Bostra all on the same turn, with all other victory conditions met. I advanced to the next turn and got the victory message before I was told that Chach and Ubar were in revolt.
Haha, not to laugh but your last point happens a lot if big cities far from your capital are different cultures from you. What I did was take away the population growth bonuses/health bonuses from a few buildings and replaced them with happiness. For example, granaries store grain for times of need, not for immediate consumption, so I took that to mean people feel more secure if famine should hit rather than increasing population. I gave happiness bonuses for the two levels instead of the extra 1% growth. A doctor/shrine to askelipos/healer/etc. won't stop that many people from dying that it would affect population that much so I instead changed it from 10% health and 20 for a hospital to 5/5 and 10/10 health and happiness respectively. This cuts down on approximately 2% of population growth for many cities, including the early ones you can get from granaries. I found that even the AI with their scripted pop increases has slowed down and huge and large cities aren't popping up everywhere anymore which is nice.
From Frontline for fixing siege towers of death
x30 From mikepettytw for showing how to edit in game text.
From Brennus for wit.
Doesn't the city mod just limit how large the governer's building can get or does it limit population growth through other means as well?
Correct - it limits how large the governor's building size. But if you have a settlement of 10,000+ and only have a governor's building for a large town, then squalor will be massive, reducing population growth probably into the negative zone despite building healers and sewers.