This faction must be unlocked with game editing before you can play.
This faction must be unlocked with game editing before you can play.
Frogbeastegg's Guide to Total War: Shogun II. Please note that the guide is not up-to-date for the latest patch.
Whoooeeeeee...this faction makes Spain look easy! I'm ready for try #5 on very hard/very hard. I might have to drop down a level...or two.
You start with very little in the way of money and it gets worse for the first 10 turns or so. Egypt will march in an army right away and take Siwa even if you have an alliance (I abandoned it the turn before they arrived to avoid war.) I can't field enough of an army to beat those Egyptian chariots, so this is the first time I've ever intentionally pulled out and let my city turn rebel to avoid a war.
There are brigand armies everywhere making if difficult to transfer units, and they can beat you if you are not careful. I had a decent game going last time...until the Spanish landed in Tingi. I'm getting picked on by the weak Spanish who are at war with Rome, WOW! I had taken Cyrene with my Siwa evacuee army. And I took Nepte. I couldn't get to Lepcis Magna before Carthage (in spite of bribing away their first force.) I think this next time I'll march on Lepcis Magna first, then worry about the other two.
Off to try again...
Good insights Red Harvest.
This is my sixth time on hard/hard. As it stands now, I have fought off the Egyptians at Siwa (though I hesitate to take the offensive), made a (more or less) permanent alliance with Carthage with trading rights and military access both ways and Spain just folded one turn ago. I control all of N. Africa except the Carthaginian and Egyptian starting provinces. But I am STILL thinking of quitting because I am 1500 dn. or so in the hole and I don't know how to get back in the black without risking outright rebellion...
1) I always empty out my Dimmidi garrison to take the (3 turn trip) to Nepte and take it.
2) I send my Cirta garrison (except my King but with my spy and those guys milling about the city) to take Lepcis Magna although that is, I think, a five turn trip.
3) I send my diplomat to negotiate the above agreements with Carthage.
4) I have tried abandoning Siwa (to eventually use that fleeing Siwa garrison to conquer Cyrene) but that REALLY gets me in a ton of debt and, moreover, the rebels attack you (peasant army but still annoying) as you attempt to beat a retreat. Instead, I have had better luck just fighting the Egyptians when they decide (inevitable as the tide) to finally invade. You will fight them no matter what I have discovered, even if you abandon Siwa -- they eventually just find their way to Cyrene and you are STILL not well prepared because money is, as you mentioned, SCARCE. You can eventually take Cyrene with your Lepcis Magna garrison in any case and this way you at least avoid debt (for a few years).
I too, had a problem with the Egyptians but then I decided to take the manual at its word and test my Numidian Horsemen against his chariots. In short, although it involves plenty of micromanaging (classic horse archer tactics of shoot-n-run) it IS possible to occupy and tire out the chariots with your jav horse while the rest of your army takes on his spearmen and archers -- if you get lucky you might even be able to fold up the latter from behind with one horse unit while the second one plays tag with his chariots. If I can do this, I am convinced it is a worthwhile tactic, since I am a horrible general under normal circumstances. Eventually, those tired chariots become a lot more manageable...
The second time the Egyptians invaded me they brought no chariots, but came with all light horse (with spearmen of course), which surprisingly posed more of a problem. I had collected a few archers and once again I sallied forth with my Numidian Cav to harass his siege parties. His cavalry did not move thoughout all this. The rest of my guys (Numidian Jav/Foot and Archers) were behind the wall in concentric rings radiating out from the town center - the positioning was clumsy because of the many buildings. Still, it came down to my general (situated near center which I don't usually do) making some heroic charges on the Egyptian penetrating light cav to finally win that one.
Despite all these victories, I really think the Numidians are extremely difficult to play because of a number of key factors:
1) Distances, Distances, Distances: Although I always plan to, it is impossible for me to build a real navy -- locked as I am in land combat almost from the beginning. But even if I could, it would be solely for harassing an enemy since it still, even by water, takes a long time to transport troops along the enormous east-west axis of the African continent.
a) Obviously, that problem is compounded when one discusses transport over land. In fact, I would recommend not even bothering - once you take Nepta, Lepcis Magna, and/or Cyrene just try dismantling those garrisons because they will just eat up your funds while doing nothing. It literally takes years to transport people across the African deserts. The focal points are Siwa and, eventually when Spain enters the dance, Tingi and/or Cirta. Keep garrisons there and forget the rest.
2) Egyptians: Even if you manage to win a few battles against them like I did you constantly have to maintain a strong posture against them for years. This obviously eats into your pathetically meager treasury.
3) When Spain enters the fray you have to fight a two-front war without the ability to transport troops quickly from one front to the other because of point #1.
4) You are poor and any attempt to build up your cities might lose you the war.
5) In the first few turns Carthage gets involved in a war with the Julli, Scipii, and the Senate. The Carthaginians, alas, fold like a house of cards in what seems like five seconds. Which then leaves you with having to deal with a strong Roman faction in N. Africa in addition to the problems mentioned above.
I, too, am going back to it now. I would be very interested to see what other expert players (I am far from being an expert) have to say on Numidia and whether anyone has solved these problems. I have not yet abandoned all hope but I'm close...
Last edited by Boulis; 10-10-2004 at 23:48.
Nice strategy! That is really an all out rush. I tried something a bit more subtle, but it didn't work.
Try #5 (very hard/very hard) went very well until Egypt and Scipii sent full stacks at Cyrene and Lepcis Magna. I could not get any mercs or build enough to win. I had some nice victories with the light Numidian forces, really schooled the Romans, but fighting two powers at once well away from my troop building regions did not work. You can only win so many when outnumbered 3 to 1. Too bad, because I was consistently making 2800 denarii per turn for the last 4 turns or so and was about to hit critical mass. Unfortunately, the merc supply disappeared when I finally got some money, and the invasions started.
I started by taking Lepcis Magna first using the Siwa army and leaving some foot javs for garrison in Siwa. I had to dump the other slow moving unit of foot javs along the way to beat my ally Carthage to Lepcis, despite building roads for the trip.
I of course allied with Carthage and got trade with Egypt. Egypt was slow to advance on Siwa because a brigand army was on the road, but eventually they bribed my garrison which was what I hoped they would do. I did no upgrades to Siwa other than the road.
My first move was a lot of trade center and port upgrades (2 turn builds) and that piece of road from Siwa. I marched a 2nd army from Dimmidi toward Lepcis as a relief force. And I used some Cirta troops to take Nepte.
When the Lepcis Magna relief arrived, I sent the Lepcis garrison to take Cyrene, and they arrived just two tiles ahead of the Egyptians. Nick of time. I bought enough mercs that Egypt lost the attack and gave a ceasefire. Unfortunately no more mercs arrived, and I couldn't build cav.
During the meantime I built up everything economic and got robust trade. I built a boat in Tingi and sent an emissary to the Gauls and Spanish. The Spanish were happy to ally with me--this seemed to slow their landing in Tingi.
For several moves early on I was running slightly negative, until I took Lepcis Magna and then Nepte. By Cyrene I was cruising. But I probably should have been building more cav in Cirta sooner, and moving them to support Lepcis. I knew Scipii would land eventually since Carthage doesn't put up a fight. The Numidian cav does a number on the roman infantry units...until the archers arrive. I made good use of the slingers I was allocated.
I did sell map info once to the Seleucids to gain some needed cash early on.
I might have to figure out how to kill or bribe the Egyptians. Maybe I should make a stand in Siwa.
O.K. Red Harvest I think I've turned the corner!
Of course, I might be mistaken - I have been foolishly optimistic before - but I just have a good feeling on this one.
*All the following applies to hard/hard Numidia:
It is now around 239 B.C. I have taken Thebes from the Egyptians (yay!) - I have never enjoyed obliterating an entire city before as much as I did this one. This happened around 15-20 years ago but they are still very much alive, even if in a largely defensive posture. I am now preparing (after 20 years) to finally start moving north into their Wonder provinces.
Cyrene I never took - it now belongs to the Macedonians but they have never bothered me and we have a trade agreement.
I not only fought off four large (3 with over 1k troops and one with about 700) successive Roman (Scipii) invasions of N. Africa - I even managed to restore Carthage to the Carthaginians and, due to their losses, the Romans lost Thapsus to a rebellion. That effectively means that they are not going to hit Lepcis Magna, as I've noticed the AI starts always in Carthage and works its way southeast. They are still landing tiny armies that are basically target practice for my javelin horse.
I took Carthago Nova from Spain although I have had my hands full keeping it - not from Spain but from...Gaul whom the Spaniards are allied with. Still, I am reasonably confident I can hold it.
Why all this success (for now)? I think it is all in the way the Numidian player approaches the battle strategy.
1) The Egyptians - They are still the toughest opponent I have faced. I am going to surprise some by saying that it is not really their chariots I fear. Don't mistake me, they are strong, but I think on the whole rare (because of their price probably). Furthermore, a group of foot javelins does quite a number on them if positioned exactly right. If they are chariot archers, I prefer my jav cav (in Cant. Circle) - or even better, Camel Archers (CC again) - as a counter.
No, the real problem with the Egyptians is their access to those Pharaoh's Bowmen. These guys are driving me up the wall - I don't know what to do. In a straight up melee they beat up on my Desert Spearmen (after peppering them with a thousand arrows on top of it) they can still whoop them hand-to-hand without the arrows though. I have hit them from behind in wedge with Long Shields and they still manage to turn around and shred what is supposed to be their classic counter. Even my General's Guard gets owned in melee with them, sheesh. They even massacred (hand-to-hand!) some understrength merc Hoplites in phalanx a while ago! Really, they are an enormous problem for a Numidian player. I am planning to use my generic legionaries next...testudo maybe?
Their infantry is easily crushed (see below).
2) The Romans - In short...meat. I know they are super strong, so no disrespect implied, but for the wily Numidian player they are a joke. Why? They are almost all infantry. Against them, forget everything except your Numidian Cavalry (a.k.a. JavCav). Literally, it is possible to defeat them with an all JavCav army - although I have not tried that yet, my anti-Roman army IS currently 90% javcav. This is what you should do:
a) Divide the javcav units up into manageable groups (I like three units to a group but you can go higher if impatient with too much micro).
b) Once the battle starts put them in Cant. Circle mode.
c) Send one group against each of his flanks and attack whatever spot in his line opens up with the rest.
d) Sit back and watch the Romans get absolutely decimated!
e) Once a group's morale breaks press that alt button with your closest javcav unit and obliterate it.
f) If it does not break (rare, but you do run out of javs eventually) let them chase one of your units and bring in another javcav (alt button) from behind. You will have extra available because, by this time, a lot of his units will have broken. Be sure to sandwich them in with the unit they had been chasing after your first one hits them from behind. They will be so tired from running after your cav they will break almost immediately.
It is sort of sad really watching all those expensive Hastatii, Princinpes, and Triarii get obliterated by your unarmored and rather cheap javcav. Still, the Numidians need some love, no? In the above scenario, your infantry just gets in the way because they are absolutely no match for the Romans - they are simply fodder for a very frustrated Roman infantry. I am, however, dreading the Marian reforms. It's all fun and games with early Roman infantry but will it work against hardened professionals? Stay tuned.
3) Gaul and Spain - Generally infantry so...see above. Just don't chase them into a forest! They turned around and absolutely pounded my javcav once when I got overconfident. Still, that is an old-fashioned and straightforward TW rule so I just mention it for people new to the game. Also, if sallying forth with your javcav (applies to all of the above examples) be sure to be well clear of the walls before you start harassing his infantry. Walls hamper the proper execution of a Cant. Circle and also hem in your javcav forcing them to fight melee (not good).
That's all for now. I will post again if I win or if it all blows up in my face (more likely).
Very interesting things there:
I played Numidia on vh/vh a while ago and it was a really funny game..
I did focus almost entirly on the economy in the first ten years, getting trade agreements with Spain, Gaul and Carthago. I also Eliminated military units to reduce the costs by 1000 denarii.
Tingis is a relatively great trading city, as the Spanish, the Carthies and the Gaul trade with you there via Sea. Roads and Harbours were n.1 priority, Markets number 2. Farmupgrades are handy to. With paved roads the distances are drastically reduced and your cav stacks can move very quickly. Trade with Carthago is vital in the first years, although a quick rush might work too. Even if the Spanish attack, chances are high that crushing victorys help to restore tradeagreements. I did this three or so times in the first years, as it means some 1000 denarii more..
During the first years I entirely used Numidan Cavalry. Incredible good unit against the Spanish, Gaul, Carthies and Romans, somewhat less against the Egyptians. Later Camelriders and Longshield cavalry bolstered the ranks. I never bothered with infantry, only with merc. hoplites and Leg. for cityfighting.
Boulis tactics work very well indeed, you will be able to kill Roman armies 10 times as large..
Camelriders are an absolute must to turn the Cav matchup in your favor as DC is a killer on VH. Against this supersized standard and this Pharaoh's Archers only concentrated multiply cavalry charges with LSC work fine..
Ally first with everybody, fear the Egyptians and hold some money ready to bribe them. With superior tactics and bribing I was able to take all the Nile regions by 240 BC.
Carthago is weak and after 10-15 years it is time to kill them of; You will be able to get on good terms soon, as the Romans will be your common enemy.
Sicily is your best oversea expansion area, as the Romans are anyway your enemys and it is right next to your new capital Carthago...
More to come later
Last edited by Oleander Ardens; 10-29-2004 at 09:50.
I have not played Numidia yet, but I couldn't help noticing people say it's hard for Numidia to build up a navy. In quite a few campaign I've played I've seen the AI numidia player have navies all over the place... I've seen times when they manage to rush Carthage out of their original lands too...
Success! (Summer 143 B.C.) It's a blue-gray (bathroom tile-blue perhaps?) world...
I think everyone here has made some fine additions to this developing resource for the aspiring Numidian player. Having just finished my h/h campaign I only have a few more things to add.
Numidia was my first full campaign - for some reason playing with the Romans didn't seem appealing, although I have nothing against them historically speaking...perhaps it was the whole "play to unlock" routine. Anyway, I tried to guess which the most challenging faction would be and I came upon Numidia through the process of elimination, sandwiched as it is between Carthage and Egypt, the latter being the richest and most favorably positioned faction at the outset in my opinion. Furthermore, as a Numidian player you never really get any heavy troops and you start off with one of your provinces (Siwa) separated from the other three. I have touched upon some of the other weaknesses above (namely the vast distances between your settlements), as have Red Harvest and Oleander, so I won't belabor the point. Suffice to say, I was not surprised to see that a clear majority of players think Numidia is the hardest faction to play in a recent org poll...
But I am not so sure that is correct. Since it was my first campaign (all 50 provinces of course), I lack any point of comparison but the game did start to roll fast once Egypt was out of the picture. Certainly the beginning is the biggest challenge for Numidia - once N. Africa is largely consolidated and Egypt has been checked (if not defeated) the path to victory begins to clear up considerably. The biggest reason for this is the unparalleled excellence of Numidian Cavalry against any and all infantry. The only thing it has to fear are cavalry archers, foot archers, and light cavalry - in that order usually. I include chariots that fit the applicable categories above as extra-strength cavalry essentially. I will make some preliminary comments on general campaign strategy then switch over to various battle tactics I have not already covered in detail above.
1) You must make a lasting alliance with Carthage, preferably on the first turn. Putting my trust in Tamur's truly excellent diplomacy guide, I did not only settle for an alliance but also gave, as well as received, military access. That is really the only way to get a LASTING alliance. In my game, this Carthaginian alliance lasted nearly a hundred years until the Carthies, having nowhere else to expand to because the Romans had boxed them in, attacked me...all after I did them the favor of restoring Carthage to them, moreover. I guess the Roman writers were right about Punic treachery...
2) I never did abandon Siwa to the Egyptians. I collected all the mercs I could, rushed to build walls and a practice range, recruited like crazy, and waited for the inevitable Egyptian army. You MUST fight Egypt.
3) You must tax your people till they are (literally) blue in the face. Raise taxes to the highest possible point, right before it spills over into outright revolt. Personally, I never build farms since all too soon you will have more population headaches than you would ever want. I concentrate on trade and culture aside from the obvious military development.
4) In my opinion, you must essentially pretend that Siwa is separate from the rest of your provinces even if you do achieve the relatively simple task of uniting all your initial provinces through the capture of Lepcis Magna in the first few turns. Quick transportation of troops is nearly impossible across Africa so you must have a two-front mentality.
5) You must be prepared for a tough fight with Egypt. I never went after him but waited for him to come to me. Only after I was certain he had wasted himself against my Siwa fortress in numerous attacks did I dare take the offensive. In the beginning, I went for archers to add to my ubiquitous javcav but you might want to go for desert spearmen instead - they both come in handy. You will only be able to choose one before the Egyptians are in your face, so choose with care. My philosophy is always reinforce your strengths and ignore your weaknesses (unless the opponent is stronger in things you are strong in - e.g. other HA's - in that case you MUST exploit HIS weakness), otherwise, go with your strength vs. his strength - the Egyptians have better bowmen so picking archers seems therefore stupid in this regard, but at the time I wanted to emphasize defense over offense.
6) Against Cav or Cav/Archer factions (Egypt is like a hybrid Archer/Cav) try to avoid taking the offensive unless you are a tactical genius. I am not. When I was besieged I almost never sallied - the AI will attack don't worry. If you attack, you will have to drive him off completely and that is harder than simply losing a handful of troops to starvation until he finally decides to attack you himself.
7) I fought a pure Cav/CavArcher civ once - the Parthians. Again, unless you are Napoleon incarnate, AVOID the Parthians, Scythians, etc. AT ALL COSTS. They will absolutely cream you on Hard - I don't even want to imagine VH. Bribe them, kiss them, hug them. As a last resort (my solution) lure them into a siege. I barely managed to pull that one out. Thankfully, you will only have to worry about the Parthians only after you beat the Egyptians and, by that time, the Numidian juggernaut is on the roll and they will be weak after years of warfare with the Egyptians (who can apparently fight everyone at the same time) and the Seleucids. Yes, Camels help, but not as much as you might think. They are still essentially light cav and the Parthians can really bring in some heavy armored cav to mop the floor with your Camels.
8) Likewise, do not storm a city unless you have a crushing superiority in numbers. Your (mostly) mounted troops are made for fancy maneuvers on the open field, not for bloody hand-to-hand street battles with big Roman farmboys or iron-skinned Egyptian axemen. I just waited it out - trust me, you have plenty of time.
9) I bribed like crazy. If you don't want to, don't do it, but you will be fighting constantly, believe me. Also beware wandering diplomats. I lost a settlement without a governor to bribery once and it cost me. Eventually, I just had an "interceptor" diplomat outside EACH ONE of my settlements and I would bribe any living thing that came within a certain radius - even wildlife. You will still have plenty of battles to fight don't worry. This is because a) you will not always have the money to bribe and b) some armies cannot be bribed easily.
10) As you're fighting for your life in Siwa you MUST build up a garrison in Cirta because those Scipii go through Carthage like a hot knife through butter and before you know it you're muttering to yourself in Latin as they rip Lipcis Magna apart. They always land first in Carthage and then work their way southeast. If you send an army to Carthage (remember our alliance?) you will get AI help - although you won't need it, it's nice.
11) It is highly probable that Spain will attack you. I simply preempted them at some point (Carthago Nova) when I felt strong. Their mostly infantry armies are no match for Numidian javcav. You just have to get across the Med with a fleet - harder than it seems since the AI seems to LOVE building massive navies.
*NOTE to Slaists: Once you have built up some momentum (that is, turned the tables on Egypt and fought off the first few Scipii invasions) I have no doubt you could build up a powerful navy. In my campaign, I had one very powerful fleet for transport and that's it, but I don't see why you can't build many such fleets eventually. But the problem is that the AI makes so many fleets you could literally walk across the water and not get your feet wet. My invasion of Sicily was incredibly stopped because the AI had surrounded the ENTIRE southern two-thirds of the island with fleets! A naval arms race seems like a waste of time to me in this regard. As for Numidia dominating on the water when controlled by the AI, since this is my first full campaign I don't know what "standard" AI Numidian performance is, but I played half a "short" campaign with the Brutii and the Numidians were the FIRST to get trounced. Other threads that I have read confirm that Egypt usually crushes them easily. But again, all this is completely anecdotal. Personally, I never conquered an island (not even Sicily) and never really had a naval presence (aside from that one very lonely fleet I used for emergency transport) and still rolled over the AI in the late game rather easily.
1) A few comments here since I don't want to cover the same ground I did with my other posts. I love the Cant Circle for my javcav. Why? Without hard evidence (numbers) I can only say that I believe it does protect you slightly better from missile fire and it tends to demoralize infantry better than standard formation - although it kills less people outright. Demoralization is better than raw damage for Numidia - you must fence with the big boys because you run out of ammo fast and even half a legionary cohort can wipe the floor with your javcav if they have run out of javs too early. But NEVER use it against cavalry - only against infantry. Cavalry is too fast and they will initiate melee in the blink of an eye. *NOTE: Remember that your javcav will still stay away from enemy infantry (while leading them on a merry goose-chase) even if they have run out of ammo. Things are so easy in fact against infantry that I think I used the pause button twice in my whole campaign - and I am a very mediocre general! They can do the same to heavy cav (no Cant Circle remember) but here you have to keep an eye on them because they can get cornered. Fear the light cav.
2) Further experiments show that javcav units divided into groups of two are even better than those divided into groups of three for purposes of precision. I hated horse archers in MTW by the way because of all the micromanaging. Now I think they are nearly unstoppable (at least when facing infantry) and there is hardly ANY micromanaging because the skirmish works very well. Battles against infantry-heavy Romans are real yawners - it does get tricky when he brings cavalry and archers though. I noticed the Scipii and Senate send the closest thing to a mixed force (still infantry-heavy though) in second place are the Julii, followed by the almost all-infantry Brutii. Silver-shield pikemen or, indeed, any kind of Hellenic phalanx, are an absolute joke for Numidian cavalry. You will literally run circles around them with very little effort. In fact, that is why I think Numidia is actually easier than most people think. I am convinced I will not have it so easy with an infantry-reliant faction in the mid- to late-game on h/h or vh/vh because of the charge bonuses at those levels.
3) I COMPLETELY second Oleander's excellent comments on Long Shield Cav and Camels. LSC are the best we have against archers of any sort. It does take some micromanaging skill to maneuver them though. Camels are the only real Numidian counter to enemy cavalry and they are not so great - but they are still necessary, so make plenty in N. Africa for use in Europe later on. You really don't need infantry. In the very beginning, Desert Spearmen might help you when besieged. Foot jav might be useful in a siege as well (especially on a wall) but Numidian Legionaries are redundant. On Hard or VH they fold against other types of heavy infantry so their only conceivable use would be as meatshields...and in response to one of my own posts above, they actually can't get into testudo formation. Some archers might be necessary but I rarely bothered with them unless I was facing a very balanced force (rare). Merc elephants are, of course, great but extremely rare - look for them every 20 or so years (guesstimate). Merc phalanx are limited by the same factors that your native legionaries are limited by, although they are spearmen not swordsmen remember.
Well my brain has turned to mush. I would like to thank Red Harvest and Oleander for some truly helpful insights that got me thinking as well.
Signing off from the hot sands of the Sahara...
Last edited by Boulis; 11-01-2004 at 12:00.
Numidia indeed looks miserable. I just started a VH/VH campaign, but I used a different approach - I stabbed Carthage right from the beginning from my capital , with whatever I could afford.
To my surprise Carthage was very weakly defended and I took it easily. Now it is about 5 yrs into the game, and I already gained 5 regions: 2 Carthage city in N. Africa, the Carthage town in Sicily, plus 2 Egyptian cities, with a bank account of 27k or so. It went so well partly because the Egptians made a major mistake of taking me as a protectorate so I had a huge cash boost of 12k and bribed all their captains away.
I would be happy to report more details later. But if you'd like to play Numidia, I highly recommend to take Carthage right from the beginning. Oh, just occupy it is fine. It is a great city with no cultural penalty.
Hi: I am back. Here I will report what opened my VH/VH Nymidia conquest. I will go into some details so it will be quite a long story.
I have read all the great stories above of how troublesome Numidia is, and I snese that it could be very fun. Well, as one of the "crazy expansionists" in the TW community, I gotta try something bold.
So, I pulled away everything in the starting capital, led by the old faction leader himself, plus a unit of mercenary Sumarian(?) horce lancer to attack Carthage city (their capital).
My faction leader's army has 2 horse lancers, 2 skirmishers, 1 slinger (which has a quite short range), plus himself.
The siege of Carthage started on turn 3. The Carthage starting army was not around Carthage at all, probably on their way to a nearby rebel town, so there were only the faction leader + one unit of horce lancer defending. The skirmisher climbed up the stone wall through 2 ladders to capture the gateway; the rest was easy.
I simply occupied Carthage city because I desperately needed a more central capital, and more citizen means stable tax income and recruit source (I play on "large-80" unit size, btw). Later on I built a 2nd level stable to mass produce camels here.
One or two turns later, the 4th family member, aka. the 3rd son of the faction leader matured in Carthage with the "untouched by fear" personality. I transferred all military retinue from his old dad to him, and sent him out to occupy the southern Carthage city (forgot name, sorry). There were 300+ garrisons but without a wall. I could easily divide and kill the roaming units and finally took the city square.
There are certainly quite a few brigand/rebel armies in N. Africa. With a lot of micromanagement to lure away individual units and rout them one by one, I could cut the casaulty down to single digit. It was a great learning experience.
Soon the faction heir arrived in Carthage all the way from the west. (I was planning to abandon that town to Spain, but now I have some money, so I trained a diplomat here, ready to bribe away the invaders as long as I can.) The faction heir also fought off some rebel groups on his way to become a 6-star commander, so I made him the chief of invading Sicily.
Carthagians have a formidable elephant army on Sicily, but somehow they are not around the town by the time I landed. Later on, my diplomat happened to bump into them in the woods close to the border with Scipii... oh well. Better check whom your major enemy is.
I took over the rather defenseless Carthage town on Sicily. I made a huge mistake of charging all of my cavalry to the city square without infantry support. I thought I had them very closeby because I have ordered them to come very long ago. I guess pathfinding is not so great especially in the rather irregular Carthagian towns. I ended up losing 3/4 of my cavalry before the rest charged in. Please don't make the same mistake as I did.
Fortunately, the final batch of reinforcement arrived all the way from the dessert on the next turn, so I will continue my Sicily campaign immediately. I have allied to the Greeks. In order to please them, I offered a free military access. I am looking forward to shake hands with the Carthagians soon, as I wish to push towards Rome next. It will be fun to see the Scipii ambushed by the elephant army, too.
Yeah, crazy expansionist! Only effective against the rigid AI though.
For all of the above Carthagian part, I didn't really use extra cash. I finished everything with whatever I had at the beginning. I believe you can also reproduce my result as long as you are willing to learn some novel battlefield technique.
The following part I am not sure you can reproduce it. Maybe I was extra-lucky.
With the mind of losing everything for Carthage city, I sent out my starting army in Siwa (the town close to Egypt) to, yeah, Egypt, aiming to reck a havoc, or at least to burn down a town or two before this army finally vanish. This way I can also get some fast bloody money. I picked the closest town of Thebe (I might spell city names wrong, sorry).
The AI built a wall around Thebe just before I was close enough to attack, so I had to siege it. There were one unit of bowman, one unit of iron-skin infantry and one unit of peasants. Only the bowmen were out defending the wall. As soon as I knocked a hole on the wall, I rushed my general and cavalry lancers in to massacre the bowmen. Feels good! Then I threw some lances at the poor iron skin phalanx and the peasants at the town center, killing the majority of them, followed by the final skirmisher mop up. (I have no other choice) This town was exterminated easily. I am sure you can reproduce it, too.
With the bloody loot I could hire archers in Thebe, thinking I want to kill as many Egyptians before death. I sent out my diplomat to sell my map for 3k. I found a captain up north, just outside Memphis. In my experience, captains are easier to negociate. To my surprise, the captain countered with the following request:
- I give them map info.
- They give me 7000+
- I become their protectorate
I was really curious about actually being a protecorate, so I was going to agree. Well, just for fun I asked for 12,000 isntead of 7000+, and that captain agreed only to be bribed immediately and returned home. lol.
On the diplomatic panel I actually "ally" with Egypt, with trade rights and mutual military access. I could reproduce this request while loading the previous save file. Everytime he asks me for becoming a protectorate.
With this huge mercy from Pharaoh, I built ports in every town, and start to think seriously to actually continue my eastern expansion. I bribed every Egyptian captain coming this way, and killed yet another group of rebel with my first Numidian cross-sword on the ground. I was intending to clear a way for my reinforcement from Siwa, a lone unit of skirmisher. Ironically, that miserable unit of reinforcement were slaughtered by the retreating brigand heavy cavalry.
Anyways, with military access I marched my army north. There are two Egyptian towns: the one with the pyramid (Memphis) and the one with the great light house (Alexendria?). There was a strong Egyptian force outside Memphis led by a 5-star family member, so I spent one more turn to march further, sieging the light house city Alexendria.
I purposely sat my units on a bridge (probably the only city that can be sieged from a bridge) in case the 5-star army wants to attack me. Indeed they came. This was the most exciting RTW bridge battle I have played, so I will describe it from the beginning.
The Egyptians had a total of 3 generals: their King and 2 others in their speedy chariots. They also had one unit of bowman, one phalanx type infantry, a peasant horde, and some skirmishers for a total of 7 or 8. I had my general (heavy cavalry), 2 cavalry lancers, 3 skirmishers, 1 mecenary skirmishers (I hesitated before hiring them because none of their stats were over 3 (?)... the worst I have ever seen. They also come cheap for 350.), plus 2 units of archers.
In terms of number I had 496 men, with a slight advantage, but on the blue-red bar it was about 3(me): 5(them). I knew this would be a hard bridge battle, especially I get nothing to seal the end of the bridge. All I had were missle units except the general himself. I had no chance to hold the line.
Then I recalled my horde-fighting experience in good old STW. I used to face the horde in a bridge province, so a few units will come across the bridge, but get routed by the 3-way surrounding army. While my army actually stayed away from the bridge, I don't suffer from enemy archer's arrows, perhaps just a few of my own in the back.
I made a " C " type opening on my end of the bridge, keeping some distance from the river, and my archers could touch units on the bridge. I only get about 2 volleys before the engagement, though.
The AI sent their poor peasant as arrow absorber, then rush all of their chariots through the bridge.
When they were half way across the bridge, I rushed "EVERYTHING" except the archers who kept firing. Who cares about friendly fire - I just want to rout them before all of my men are under the blade wheels!
It was a huge clash and the flaming arrows were flying crazily across the little area (yeah, I wanted to maximize the morale penalty). My right flank cavalry lancers routed in 3 seconds becuase there were only 3 of them left! However, my poor-melee skirmishers successfully intercepted the chariots with their wall of flesh, and soon I saw the enemy king's wagon crashed, throwing him to the ground - DEAD! WooHoo!
For all Egyptians that have cross the bridge this immediately cause a huge rout, but the enemy archers were still pouring on my general and I could see its number reduce every second. More enemy units were rushing through the bridge.
I had no time to massacre the already routing units - I had to stop the infantry from outnumbering us in the five seconds. So I ordered everybody, again except the archers to CHARGE on the bridge, while the archers to aim at their archers trying to thin their number down. Now as I recall all of this, I think I'd better shooting the enemies on the bridge because I wanted them to rout.
I was lucky that the mob charge combined with fleeing chariots successfully routed the rather fresh Egyptian infantry on the bridge. Once across the bridge, I ordered all cavalry (with a total of 16 horses) to charge into the annoying bowmen, and my infantry chasing the routers. They couldn't catch up, right, but at least I could keep them from turning back. Finally the brave cavalry killed every single bowmen.
Alexendria was mine! Unfortunately there wasn't a cross-sword on the bridge.
So this is what happened in the first 5 years. I am not really a good military commander - so I am sure you can get similar or better results.
Last edited by Maltz; 11-03-2004 at 15:29.
Wow, excellent strategy and great story! I think it proves that offense is better than defense - even if you're playing as poor little Numidia. I read your posts over once quickly and will read them again - certainly I think you present players with maybe the best starting strategy I have seen. A few questions though:
1) Did you capture Nepte and/or Lepcis Magna?
2) Did you march your diplomat all the way to Siwa from Numidia? I assume you did because you said you sent him north to Memphis after capturing Thebes so just wondering if that diplomat was your starting diplomat or one you created in Thebes or Siwa...?
I think that since you dealt with Numidia's biggest problem (Egypt) so quickly it should all be rather easy from here. Just be careful to watch your back (Carthage - your capital). The Romans like to land there with huge amphibious forces on a pretty regular basis. I doubt the Scipii are going to be much of a threat since you're hitting Sicily but the Julii might try landing forces there eventually. Spain might come in to Tingis a little sooner too if the Gauls or Julii have not crushed them. Still, I think you should have no major problems - well done!
Thanks for your encouragement. I wish to also thank the above pioneers who also offered valuable experiences.
> 1) Did you capture Nepte and/or Lepcis Magna?
Nope. I haven't touched any rebel town yet, and I probably won't until the Romans are exterminated. I have sent everything I had to Sicily and Egypt. Now all of my starting towns are guarded by friendly peasants.
2) Did you march your diplomat all the way to Siwa from Numidia?
I trained one in Siwa in the first turn. God bless Numidia that it can train a diplomat in Siwa. The starting diplomat is in the capital, so I brought him with the clan leader. He didn't even manage to sell a map to the Carthagians, or bribe anybody until I sent him to Sicily. He brought me the alliance with the Greeks.
> (Carthage) The Romans like to land there with huge amphibious forces on a pretty regular basis.
I am sorry I forgot to mention this part in the story. They already came twice in my first 5 years! Well, as soon as I saw a red ship on the shore, I quened up my diplomat #3 so he promptly bribed off the Julii and later Scipii captains. I also gained trade right with them.
> Spain might come in to Tingis a little sooner too if the Gauls or Julii have not crushed them.
Indeed I saw that brown ship, too! I quened up my diplomat #4 for that, but that was just a scout ship. I am very willing to give up those cities though.
Yeah against AI it is better to expand very fast. They out-grow you anyways, so "the beginning" is actually the best time to kill them.
Last edited by Maltz; 11-03-2004 at 23:53.
OK I just played 5 more years of the Numidia campaign (edited post) Just a few more points:
1. The Romans had more landings on Carthage, but after a few failures, they stopped coming. Good AI probably learned this wouldn't work.
2. I left the Scipii & Greeks on Sicily so the Greeks (my current ally) won't attack my holding.
I was partly right/wrong. The Greeks suddenly declared war on me, while there was no diplomat coming or military action whatsoever. I could never do that to AI controled factions... Mostly I could only go from ally to neutral.
Yet the Greeks and Scipii were rather inactive on Sicily, so I didn't waste my main force there. Not until a few years ago I get some extra cash and gathered my 3rd army... They are now sieging Syracuse.
3. Without the elephant to take down the wooden gate immediately, it is very risky to land Italy with all the Roman fleet patroling the shore. I'd rather deal with them early than late.
Well, after all the trouble, I took Rome!
Game Screenshot Numidia 261BC (click to view)
My infantry truly sucked. Two of them (dessert spearman + samnite mercenary) lost a duel with 1 velite on the wall of Rome, right in front of my cheering clan leader. I lost about 50% of my 1st army in that battle.
4. Egypt gone! The final showdown in Jerusalum was great. The AI had a lot of phalanx and dessert cavalry, while I had skirmishers, some archers and jav cavalry, and some low-class infantry. I shot most of their phalanx dead, then rush everybody in. After sandwiching 2 times, I decided to chase the wind-speed routers. They also issued a total charge out. The street was crowded with horses. I barely survived - their faction leader died first.
Playing as Numidia is very intense. There are often big battles but always quite memorable... Highly recommended faction to try.
Last edited by Maltz; 11-04-2004 at 09:58.
just to add my 2 cents of what hasn't been said before:
I played a game on vh/m with huge unit sizes, and one problem I had were those slow growing Numidian desert towns. I took Nepte, Kyrene and Leptis Magna ASAP, and, like everybody, had my share of trouble with Egyptian invasions.
One thing I did, which I haven't seen mentioned so far, I didn't build any units in the western provinces because I had no money and no citizens to spare, really. Instead, I started bribing all those rebel armies that appear in the large North African provinces. They were mostly peasants and javelineers, with an occasional Numidian cavalry unit. These are all units the Numidians can build, so they don't just disband, you can actually hire cheap troops that way.
Doesn't work in Siwa though, those brigands are Egyptian.
I don't know if any other faction can recruit the rebel armies in their starting provinces like that, but for Numidia, it's a major boost in the earliest turns.
Not sure if Numidia are the hardest faction at VH/VH (IMO Thrace are harder due to their having to beat off the Macedonians) but they are certainly the most frustrating....
Those immense distances between cities really do raise the question of why CA didn't rotate the map a few degrees, so as to cut off the Sahara and allow Scotland and southern Scandinavia to be included.
Giving them Siwa is also fairly absurd as it is just an incitement to the Egyptians to attack (next time I might try selling it to them).
However the real killer is the broken economy - even having dispatched all my troops to take Cyrene, Nepte and Leptis on move 1 I was thousands of denarii in debt within a few moves and only got reliably back into credit when I managed to take Corduba (which the Spaniards had developed to such a degree that it contributed more income than the rest of my empire put together).
It also did not help that having formed an alliance with the Scipii the idiot AI sent their armies wandering around a nearly defenceless Thapsus and Carthage but never attacked them - but did attack and take Cirta and then prosecuted a war against me quite oblivious to their also being at war with Carthage.
(same thing happened when I played as Parthia and both the Seleucids and Egyptians ignored the supposed state of war between them to attack only me).
While my Numidian cav can beat pre-Marian Romans, as they have to advance within pilum range they don't have as big an advantage as HA's and take a lot more casualties.
The one thing that would even matters up would be elephants but bizarrely the Numidians don't seem to have them (the fact that Syphax, Jugurtha, Bocchus and Juba employed large numbers of them historically doesn't seem to have registered with CA).
It would have made much more sense to have given the Numidians elephants at level 2 instead of the long shield cavalry (for whom there is no historical evidence) - although of course with a crap economy they wouldn't be able to afford them anyway....
All in all playing as the Numidians seems to give you all the tedium of the later game in terms of having to hold together a far flung empire and fighting wars on multiple fronts right from move 1, without any of the later game advantages of having developed cities and a decent choice of units - so it doesn't even work as a challenge.
i thought Numidia was very hard to play but its not
u can make 35000 den. in 5 turns if u know this trick (of course not cheating)
if u want, ill show u
Maltz i saw u r a VERY good player,u really do some crazy rushs.Very good strategy.
Im a more "boring" kindaa player.
I'v just started it's been 4 years,built roads,temple and a military building.captured nepte and lepcis magna,holding siwa and planing to conquer the egyptyans.tell u more as i play.
Numidia's weak points are:
1) Very weak economy;
2) Long distances between towns;
3) Less than impressive units (the Numidian javeline cavalry, for instance, has inferior stats compared to the mercenary version);
4) 2 Powerful neighbors: Egypt and the Romans (OK, Romans are not neighbors in the begining, but show up soon enough to become a major threat);
5) Useless potential allies: Carthage folds easily, Egypt is in the backstabbing business and the Seleucid Empire gets rather quicly its hands full of Pontus and Parthia to be of much assistance against the Pharaoh.
Now it's time to hear also the good news.
At the tactical level:
1) The javeline cavalry is good enough to deal with the Romans infantry-centric armies. On some ocasions the Numidian player might face some Roman cavalry. If so, have 2 or 3 javcavs ganging on every Roman mounted unit;
2) The javcavs are good against the Egyptian, Seleucid, Briton or Pontic charriots. Again, have 2 -3 of your units against one of theirs. Don't engage in a bow-against-javeline duel with archer charriots because bows have better range. Charge them instead - they will turn and run away, allowing your guys to hit them in the rear. Of course, their archers can and will shoot backwards but you were going to lose some men in the duel anyway. And you'll lose more when making contact with the charriots. Against non-archer charriots, use your javelins first, then try to outflank them and hit them in the rear. With some luck the charriot would chase one of your units, leaving the to other to come behind for the killer blow. One point worth mentioning is charriots tire more quicly than the horesmen.
Costwise, 3 javcavs are more expensive to produce than a charriot (unless you produce them in a city with a skilled governor, with a good retinue). But normaly we won't waste a whole unit of Numidian cavalry in order to dispose of a charriot. Therefore investing in javcavs turns out to be money well spent. Also they have one of the lowest upkeep costs (cheaper than pedestrian javelinemen - I think this is an unrealistic feature, but this is how the game is, at least in Version 1.0).
3) Archers need only a practice range for production. This means they are accessible early on. Archers are effective against the charriots (but place them behind a screen of foot javelinmen, for protection agains charriot charges). If possible, put most of the archers (and Balearic slingers) on your left flank. They will shoot in the right flank of the attackers, which is not protected by the shield. The level of realism of the game allows you to take advantage of this. Archers decimate the slow moving phalanx-type troops fielded by the Egyptians, Seleucids or Pontus. By the time you land in Europe the other phalanx types - Greeks, Macedonians, Thracians or Germans are probably long gone or on their last legs. And usually Carthaginians don't get to have poeni infantry or sacred band by the time you engage them. Plain vanilla archers are outranged by the elite version the Egyptians can field. But this means only that we need to dispose of the Egyptians ASAP (more about that on the Strategy section).
4) Even though the foot javelinmen stats are also unimpressive, they are light on their feet and can go out of the harm's way after doing a lot of damage. They are best used in long lines and several ranks. Egyptian axemen love to charge those lines, ending up surrounded by javelinmen from all sides. Phalanx types are hopeless against them, which is also quite acurate from the historic point of view (see Xenophon's Anabassis for a contemporary account on hoplites versus peltasts fights or Alexander the Great's preference for surprise attacks with light infantry/peltasts ). Even Roman hastati, principes or legion types might suffer at the hands of a well led javeline force. However an archers + Numidian cavalry combination works better against the Romans. Javelinemen make a nice decoy (more about this crucial feature later) and they do stop charriots (have them _charge_ charriots instead of attacking with javelins, otherwise they'll run for cover). Javelinemen are also great against elephants, though you won't really have a lot of elephants to fight if everything goes well at strategic level. This time don't have them charge the elephants. Have 4 units attack the elephants with javelins and this is usually enough to make the beasts run amok. I didn't have the chance to test if this tactic also works against war elephants or armoured ones because the Carthaginians and the Seleucids were wiped out before being able to field these types of units.
5) Balearic slingers are available for recruiting in the area (more can be found by takning a short trip over the sea to the South of Spain). While normal slingers are rather crappy (they have less killing power than the javelins, compensated somehow by a long range and a lot of ammo), the Balearic (and, in the East, the Rhodian) slingers are the equivalent of machine guns. Place them on the left flank of your battle formation, like the archers, for maximum killing effect. Just make sure you don't place any friendly troops in their line of fire. Since they are skirmishers, they will normally withdraw if charged. Since we don't want slingers to go behind our own troops, it's better to place them on the extreme left of the infantry line with no supporting troops behind and with javcavs or camel archers (mercenaris, not a Numidian unit) to their left, for added protection.
6) An all-light army works perfectly against Carthagininans, Romans, Egyptians, Seleucids, Spaniards or Gauls. The ideea is to have a lot of javcav (6 to 8 per stack) plus an _asymetric_ infantry line. On the left flank have slingers and archers and on the right flank put mainly javelinemen (plus mercenary peltasts if available) as decoy. A basic formation would be
JcJcJc AAAJJJ JcJcJc
where S=slingers, J=javelinemen, Jc=javeline cavalry, A= archers, G=general
What happens is the computer seems to look at our right flank as the weaker one because it allows its infantry to come closer to our troops before being hit by their missiles. As a result most of the time it will send the shock troops against the double javeline line which represents our right. But by doing so it exposes them to the enfilade fire of the slingers and archers, with the result being those troops break and rout quite soon after reaching our ranks. We need to order the slingers to make a few steps forward and wheel right for maximum effect (doing this also to avoids them shooting through our ranks when the enemy reaches our lines). So far this formation led most of the time to heroic victories against Romans, Egyptians, Gauls, Spaniards (be careful with their round shield cavalry, though) and Seleucids.
6) The above-mentiond formation doesn't work at all against Parthians. The key to dealing with the Parthians or Pontus is to hit them as soon as possible, before they develop their really heavy cavalry. This means dealing with them imediately after we took Egypt and the Seleucid Empire out of the picture. Some long-range missile troops (Cretan archers or Rhodian slingers) are a nice addition to our troops, if we can get them. Otherwise we need an all-cavalry army with enough camels in it. The javcav's role is to chase the Partian horse, engage them and fix them till the Numidian camels arrive. Expect heavy loses for the javcav in the process. Arab cavalry (mercenaries) are also good because of their stamina and speed, also because of their better melee stats. Longshield cavalry is not really good for this job because it's not quick enough to catch the horse archers or Pontic light cavalry and doesn't have the cavalry-killing power of the camels.
7) Desert infantry and Numidian legionaires are decent for use during sieges but that's about all they can be really useful for. They are also cost a lot to keep, which for Numidia it's really an issue in the begining.
Bottom line: even though the Numidian units are not spectacular, a general can usually get results with them. However, playing Numidia has a lot more to do with strategy than with tactics.
The soil of the initial territory of Numidia is poor so farms are not really worth the money. It also doesn't start with mines and has only 3 provinces bordering the sea (for maritime trade). The best investments for making money are therefore ports, roads, markets, temples of Milqart and...ships & diplomats.
Use the ships to send diplomats to Europe and have them sell maps (every turn) and alliances. Selling maps and alliances to the Romans and Egyptians early on gets us a lot of money. Money that _must_ be invested in troops.
The Numidians start with 3 distinct theaters of operations: West, North and East. The key to quicly improve the economy is to get all the cities that have ports in those theaters of operations.
In the West, they need to take over the Corduba then the Spanish Carthago Nova and, maybe, Scalabis (in Lusitania/Portugal). This means we need to tech up Tingi (stables and practice range), then ferry an army and a diplomat across the Mediteranean. The diplomat should make money dealing with the Gauls and Spaniards.
In the North, the first and only target for a long time should be Carthage. We need to beat the Scipii (or, sometimes, Julii) to it, then built a strong army there, for fighting the Roman empire. The money for doing that should come from the Romans themselves. Therefore it's important to have at least 2 diplomats in the Italian penninsula: one moving between Rome and Arretium, selling maps every turn, and the other next to Tarentum. Since the Scipii will be already in Africa, in Thapsus, that's where we should place the 3rd diplomat in charge with Roman relations. If possible, another diplomat should be sent way up North, to do business with the Germans and the Britons. Anyway, Corduba in the West and Chartage in the North have to be taken first, before we can start the offensive in the East.
The best expansion is to the East. Forget the small town of Nepte in the south, or Lepcis Magna and Cyrene. Nepte is too poor. Lepcis Magna and Cyrene are too far away to be defended by a mobile field army and they are not rich enough to tech up and build strong garrisons for themselves. The strategic objectives in the East are the Egyptian cities of Thebes, Memphis and Alexandria. And quickly after conquering them we need to sack Jerusalem and Sidon. We should be able to send 3 diplomats to the east: to Egypt, to the Seleucids and to Pontus, to make some money for us (the maps can be initially sold for 1000 to 6000 dinarii).
First step in conquering Egypt is to tech up Siwa, then create a mobile field army (that is, a non-garrisoned army) which would intercept the invading Egyptian forces marching towards the city. After defeating the Egyptians, propose a ceasfire. A lot of times they respond by offering a lot of money in exchange for protectorate. Use the money to build an even larger army and use it to defeat the mobile Egyptian armies which most likely are sitting idle and dispersed around Siwa. Sometimes we can get lucky and find out their armies moved further East against the Seleucids and the Parthians. Anyway, even without the ceasfire & protectorate episode we should be able to build an army big enough to take at least Thebes (wooden walls), which brings us a gold mine and a lot of money from sacking it (=exterminate population).
Keep in mind that we need to work simultaneously on all theaters of operations, in order to be able to have the money needed to defeat Egypt.
We might need to delay the Egyptian armies sent to liberate Thebes by blocking the bridges over the Nile with forts (at 500 denarii per fort, this doesn't come cheap, hence the need for money from diplomatic activities and from the sacking of Corduba and Carthage). Either fort can hold for 4 turns, which means the time needed for producing 8 more troops for us (4 in Siwa, 4 in Thebes). Then we need to garrison Thebes as lightly as possible (keep in mind that as long as Egyptians controll the Great Pyramid, Thebes would be rebelious) and maneouvre with the field army in order to intercept and destroy the Egyptian armies one by one. This would leave Memphis and Alexandria almost undefended. On one occasion things went so well that I was able to take first Alexandria and Memphis (in the same turn, after anihilating 2 Egyptian field armies), then Thebes. Sometimes the Egyptians try to send an army from Jerusalem, but it takes too long till they arrive and by that time we can rebuild our troops and even add some more. If we see this army in the Nile area, we should crush it. This will make the sieges of Jerusalem and Sidon much easier.
During all this time hopefully we've managed to secure alliances with the Romans and the Seleucids. After taking the first 3 Egyptian cities we should be able to have an army big enough in Carthage to smash the Romans in Africa, if they start to behave funny. Ideally they'll still be busy fighting the Carthaginians around Lepcis Magna and low on money because of our repeated map trading. Anyway, as soon as we take Jerusalem and Sidon we should take care of the Seleucid armies by bribing them into oblivion. Then we should cancel the aliance and take Antiohia, Damascus and Palmyra. The new money should go into building a strong fleet in Carthage, because it's high time to deal with the Romans (that is, if they haven't started the hostilities first).
This new stage on the northern front should end with the conquering of Sicilly. In the same time on the Eastern front we should make peace with the Seleucids and finish off the Egyptians if they're still alive (sometimes they still hang on Cyprus/Slamis, Petra and Bostra). Then we might have the Parthian menace to deal with. The Parthians are not strong yet but they have the potential to out-tech the Numidians if left alone. A preemptive strike might be needed. The target should be their best developed provinces. Armenians might have taken care of the rest of the Parthians by the time we get to Susa. Armenians can field a very dangerous heavy cavalry but they're too far away from our money-making provinces and their heavy cavalry can be countered by a combination of desert infantry + camels while parthian horse archers are far more deadly. So I recommend we leave the Armenians alone (or better, ally with them as we might have soon to say hello to Pontus).
Once Sicilly is conquered the rest of the moves are the same as the ones recommended for the Carthaginian player: take the Brutii cities of Croton and Tarentum, then Capua, then Rome, then kick the Julii out of Italy.
Dromikaites, that is a very well written guide. However, after 1.2, selling maps no longer works and is simply useless microing. Having a thin line of desert infantry greatly increases the longevity of your jav line.
One last thing is that going after Thebes right away is the best and you only have a nubian and a bowmen to deal with. Hide behind buildings to let bowmen waste ammo and then kill em. Extermination gives much needed cash and enslaving will give you much needed population to grow. Gift it away and repeatedly enslave to make it manageable and pump out an archer from there every turn.
i haven't played as numidia yet, and i'm not an excellent commmander but i think following these guides i could do all right
I discovered the following trick while palying Numidia on M/M, v 1.0.
Step 1: The Numidian diplomat meets a faction for the first time and offers to sell them the map at the outrageus price of 10k
Step 2: Most of the time they counter with something linke 4-5k for 2 to 4 turns.
Step 3: The Numidian diplomat offers to sell the map for whatever the sum was, but for 12 turns. Guess what - they accept 90% of the time!
Well, you get a "Transgression!" message most of the time, right after they accept, but this doesn't seem to have any impact in the future
i've heard about diplomat tricks like those.. very clever
Map info thing is a real exploit. 1.2 largely fixed that.
However, they still failed to fix the tribute bug. The thing is, if the AI is willing to tribute you X denarii for 1 turn, they are willing to tribute you that much for however many turns you like. I've never had problems getting 150 turns out of them.
In 1.2, I still managed to sell trade rights and swap map info to thrace as dacia right off the bat for 900 denarii per turn for 150 turns. In Brutii game, I sold the Gauls an alliance, trade rights, map info package for 1150 denarii a turn for 150 but they were getting their butts kicked by the Julii and needed me to ceasefire badly.
Still, hemorrhaging around 1k to a human player per turn for many turns cripples the AI.
The real triarii were not exactly used like in this game. Their main task was to intervene when the situation was really bad and then, most of the time to protect the withdrawal. The lack of javelines was due to their mainly defensive role. However there were instances when the triarii had to be employed in an offensive role. In any case, if the triarii were fighting, the situation was dire. Therefore "fighting to the triarii" came to mean a very desperate situation.
As you can find on this board dedicated to Numidia, almost everybody, including myself, recommend an army of javelin cavalry and foot missile troops (archers, javeline skirmishers and slingers). However due to some circumstances one of my generals was fighting the Gauls in Spain, south of the city of Numantia, with an army made out of 3 barbarian mercs (B), 3 desert infantry (D), 2 javeline skirmishers (J), 2 balearic slingers (S) and 9 archers (A) (the 20th unit being the 8 star general (G)).
The Gauls brought their 6 stars faction leader with 3 family members, 8 warbands and 6 swordsmen. They were attacking while the Numidians were on defence. The difficulty setting was M because I want the troops to behave like in reality, with no cavalry frontal charges against properly deployed phananxes , etc.
The terrain was mostly flatland with some trees towards the back of my starting position. I thought initially that trees might offer some protection against the Gaulish heavy cavalry, but I then realised that I was badly outnumbered also in terms of heavy infantry. On the other hand I was affraid that trees would only hinder the fire of the archers and slingers. Firepower being my only strenght I decided to deploy outside the sparse tree area.
The main problem was that there were simply not enough troops to protect the archers _and_ prevent an outflanking move with the cavalry or swordsmen (or both). Therefore I've decided to prevent outflanking by having two very deadly missile mobile flanks who would execute a pincer movement (outflank the outflankers) and to lure, if possible, the Gaulish heavy cavalry (king & family members) to charge straight into the spears of the barbarian mercenaries and desert infantry.
The Numidian starting formation was:
The second row of 6 archers would either move all of them in front of the barbarian mercs and desert infantry as a bait for cavalry, or some would move on either flank, depending on how the Gauls decide to go.
The Gauls started with 2 lines, their right flank and center being the 8 warbands and left flank comprised of 4 swordesmen. 2 swordsmen and the 4 cavalry were held in reserve. As expected, since they were attacking, they started to move towards my lines.
The archers from the second line moved forward. The 3 archers on the right flank ran forward and to the right and then turned at angle of 45 degrees, in order to shoot in the back whoever was engaging my barbs and desert inf or was trying to outflank them. On the other hand, they were to lure away either cavalry or swordsmen and give my center a better chance to defeat their center. Of course, the hope was the 6 archers in the center would do as much damage as possible to the advancing enemy and force the cavalry to chase them directly into the spears of my infantry. The javeline units on both flanks were to repeat the flanking maneuvre when the enemy would be closer.
In the same time the 2 slingers and the general did a similar move on the left flank. The general was on the Balearic side because their fire was more devastating than the archers'. This meant that whatever unit the general would charge into would be in worse shape on the left flank than on the right flank. Since the general was my only cavalry, I needed him to be able to rout as many units as possible without losing too many of his bodyguards (they where 14 men in total). And remember that a charge from our left flank hits either the back of the enemy (best situation) or their right flank, unprotected by shields.
Note: "in the same time" means I used the "Pause" button to issue orders. I use "Pause" frequently. It's like lending a brain to the comander of each unit.
Things went sort of as expected but not quite so. That is, the Gaulish king and a family member went straight for the archers and impaled themselves into the spears of the barbarians. As it is recommended elswhere in the guides, for best results a spears unit (not phalanx, though) should countercharge the charging cavalry. But the 2 other family members went one for the archers on the right flank and one for the slingers on the left flank, respectively. Also, the warband closest to my general went chasing him, a swordsmen unit from the reserve went after the slingers too and a swordsmen unit from the first line ran to support the family member chasing my archers.
This wasn't looking good at all because:
1. The slingers and archers were running away before having the time to do enough damage.
2. The 6 archers from the center were now behind my infantry line, ready to unleash a lot of friendly fire as the 7 warbands and 3 swordsmen + 1 in reserve were about to engage my 3 barbarians and 3 desert infantry.
3. My general had to outmaneuvre the warband chasing him, which kept him away from where he was really needed.
The emergency measures taken were:
1. Disable fire at will for the 6 archers and send them 3 to the left and 3 to the right, to replace the slingers and their colleagues who were running with screaming Gauls behind them.
2. Send the javeline units to lure some of the attackers away from the center.
For some reason the swordsmen running after the slingers decided abandon the chase and tried to hit my barbarian mercenaries from behind. Bad idea: one unit of archers was ordered to shoot at them while the balearic slingers were machinegunning them in the back. Panic followed and the decimated swordsmen unit ran away. I don't know how it happened, but the other balearics managed to defeat in hand-to-hand combat the family member's bodyguards and sent them fleeing. I think it was because horsemen really suck in the woods. Anyway, both units of balearic slingers, with 'fire at will' disabled, were rushed back to their initial positions.
On the right flank, the other swordsmen tried the same trick but were caught in the crossfire, between the archers unit they were chasing and the archers who realised the cavalry was chasing their colleagues and not them.
Meanwhile things were really going bad for the Numidian center. None of the Gauls took the javeliners bait, instead they ganged on the poor barbarians and desert infantry. The situation was now "to the triarii", but with no triarii to throw in. So the javeliners were sent to hit the flanks of the Gauls in hand-to-hand combat, the 3 archers (from the 2nd line) on the left flank went round and hit the Gauls in the back and so did the 3 archers (from the 2nd line) on the right flank. Also, on the right flank, the archers who were the first to stopp running were sent charging the Gaulish swordsmen in the back while the others were sent to shoot at the family member who had caught the 3rd unit of archers (from the initial right flank). The idea of sending this unit of archers to shoot at the family member was to keep those heavy cavalrymen busy elswhere, away from the main battle.
Remember the general was avoiding contact with the warband chasing him? Well, as heroic as the attack of the archers and javelineers was, they were making little progress against the tougher Gauls. So it was the time for a desperate cavalry charge. The 2 units of balearic slingers were pointed at the warband chasing the general, while he was running to the relief of the Numidian left flank.
The cavalry charge proved to be too much for the Gaulish warbands fighting the barbarian mercs, javelineers and archers. What had remained of the archers and javelineers were sent chasing the running Gauls while the barbarian mercenaries were odered to turn and hit the swordsmen who were shredding to pieces the right flank. And the general's bodyguards disengaged, regrouped and charged again. The swordsmen morale collapsed and they started running for their lives.
The last family member (the one fighting the archers) panicked and ran away. The same happened with the warband crippled by the fire of 2 balearic slinger units (no surprise here). Heroic victory!
The key learning points here are:
1. It pays to stick to the spirit of the plan even if it can't be executed to the letter. The slingers and archers on flanks didn't do as much damage with their missiles as expected but they drove away enough enemy units. This way they prevented the Numidian center to be overwhelmed.
2. Weak hand-to-hand combat units like archers or skirmishers can and should be used to protect the flanks of the stronger units or for last-chance counterattacks. If it's too dangerous for our own troops to have the missile units fire into the flanks or back of the enemy, then we should have them charge into the flank or back of that foe.
Excellent arcticle, Dromikraites. Thanx a lot!!!
Not having had the wisdom of this thread, I took what I thought was the only viable approach. It seemed to me that you simply HAD to take Carthage and Thapsus as quickly as possible. All armies and generals were devoted to this at first, except those in Siwa who took Cyrene and then Lepcis Magna and Nepte. Not only are they good provinces, but you need to remove the thread of the Carthaginians.
Siwa is not defensible if the Egyptians decide to gobble it up, so I left it to its own devices and of course they did. I put a fortress on the road at the narrow point east of Lepcis Magna to provide early warning and hopefully slow the Egyptians down as they came west.
I was just about settled and ready to send a proper army east, when of course the Scipii arrived in force. Beat them off and sent a defensive army east while I built a navy. The defensive army preserved Cyrene, to my surprise, but was eventually trashed by an Egyptian force of two generals and six heavy chariots. My home defence army met up with this force and destroyed it, while the navy gained control of the central mediterranean.
More good provinces were now essential, to support a simultaneous war against both Rome and Egypt. Sicily is closest and the Roman ships are at the bottom of the sea (including one with a full stack army) and so the invasion proved to be little trouble, not least because Syracuse was rebel. Meanwhile a wandering Scipii diplomat bribed Cyrene away.
To help control the sea I then took the western Med islands and made peace with the Carthaginians, hoping that their one remaining province in Spain would act as a buffer against the Spanish. (It did.) An army remained to defend Sicily but all other efforts were devoted to building units to send against Egypt. Siwa was retaken without trouble but the Pharoahs had four full stackers defending the Nile provinces. My two full stackers defeated them more by manoeuvre than by battle: strategy at its purest and best. At that point I left off: I've played a couple of campaigns already and from this position (strongest faction by some margin, borders secure, strike armies straining the leash, 30k in the bank) final victory is inevitable.
Money was a little tight most of the time but was never really a big deal. In the middle game I was short of generals, as you always are, but towards the end there was a glut.
The big distances make this a much slower campaign than other factions - to get to the point described took till about 220BC, by which time I'd normally expect to have at least twice as many provinces.
Foot javelinmen were disbanded at the first realistic opportunity. (Takes a while since they are pretty much all you have at the start, except generals.)Slingers lasted a little longer but once I had archers available I didn't bother with them. Javelin cavalry do the job but take heavy casualties in doing it: I dispensed with them once the better cavalry was available. Ideal army composition by the end was 1 general, 3 cavalry and 3 camel cavalry, 6 archers, 4 spearmen in the first line and 3 legionaries (although I never really got to use them) in the second line. I found that very satisfactory for dealing with Egyptians. Never used any mercs.
Dealing with Roman armies is easy, as mentioned in one of the posts above. Pepper them with whatever missiles you have and then put whatever cavalry you have into their rear/flank. Carthage I dealt with by having armies consisting mainly of generals, and being smart about which Carthaginian army I fought.
Egypt is much harder. The problem is that their infantry is good, their archers are good and their heavy cavalry is devastating. Their weakness is that they use too many javelin and spearmen units, which have zero combat power. Consequently you are never fighting as big an army as it looks.
1) As always when dealing with a powerful enemy, break up their formation. Shower them with arrows (stick one or two archer units way out front if necessary); make cavalry feints: get them coming at you in disorder.
2) The heavy chariots often charge into your frontal archers which, if you get it right, have retreated behing the spearmen just as the cavalry hit. Order adjacent infantry to attack them in the flank. Alternatively the chariots head out in a wide flanking attack. In this case lure them in by having a cavalry unit turn its back on them. They will charge, at which point the bait turns round and counterattacks. The bait will take casualties, but they fix the enemy so that two or three other cavalry units can charge into the flanks and rear of the chariots, defeating them instantly. Timing is everything, but not that hard to achieve.
3) Isolated missile chariot units lose quickly against your massed battery of archers. Or see 2) above.
4) Since your units are static and theirs are moving, your archers are firing and theirs (and their javelinmen) are not. When they stop to fire, charge your infantry at them: if necessary stop the infantry before they engage, you're not trying to fight them, just keep them moving. Keep some kind of formation to prevent flank attacks.
5) Move your cavalry around and behind the enemy army. His previous disarray will now turn into a complete shambles. (For example his useless spearmen will be running all over the battlefield trying to catch your cavalry.) Keep your archers firing and manouevre infantry and cavalry to pick off loose units around the edges. If you're lucky your archers will have a huge solid mass to aim at. Since their (chariot) general is already dead or fleeing and you have units behind them, they will rout quickly. I trust I can leave the mopping up to you.
6) Obviously its never as clear cut as that. The important things are to break up their formation; suck in and destroy their general; keep them moving under your hail of arrows; win the cavalry battle on the flanks; attack their flanks and rear with your victorious cavalry.
Overall, very enjoyable. I'd recommend this faction to anybody who has played a campaign or two already and is looking for fresh challenge. Certainly one of the harder campaigns.
Last edited by macguba; 04-27-2005 at 19:27.
I think Katank's tip is great! I tried it and I can confirm it is the best early move for the Numidians against Egypt. It leaves the Egyptians with only 2 cities to recruit from in that part of the world. They have a strong army near Sidon, led by a guy called Kya or something like that. But it takes time to bring that army to the Nile valey. And they might not afford to do it, if they are at war with the Seleucid empire. If the attack on Thebes is well coordinated with troop production in Siwa and if the Numidian player has enough money to recruit some mercs, then Memphis and Alexandria can be taken before the arrival of Kya's army.Originally Posted by katank
Correction, Kiya is at Memphis in 1.2. He'll just hit you straightaway.
In other news. The Numidia is my Brutii campaign is highly eccentric... It's swarming the Mediterranean with navies, and there's even one in the Bay of Biscay! And every Numidian city is sparsely defended, and they have field armies all over the place waiting to be bribed! What the hell is going on? O_O I thought Numidian behaviour in the game was supposed to be fortified, 13-units-in-the-city-and-no-other-armies-in-the-field?
-=I have returned.=-
Man, oh man.
Maybe sacking Siwa and then letting it rebell was a bad idea. Even though my Siwa force got Cyrene instead, the Egyptians quickly conquered Siwa! Damn them...
I wonder how I will be able to defeat Egypt later in the games... Just how would I counter those Pharoah's Bowmen? Don't they fight as well as infantry, and shoot as far and hard as Cretan archers? I doubt my Camel Lancers/Long Shield Cavalry can go against those monstrosities, any advice?
The best advice I can give you is to pull back your forces much further. Scrap Siwa, don't care for Cyrene: Retreat behind the safe Carthaginian shield (i.e. Lepcis Magna, they'll take it sooner or later...let them do so).
Don't stop until your troops have reached Thapsus/Carthage, then combine them with your assembled forces and take those cities asap. If you succeed, you'll likely have quick access to your better units and your strategic position for the inevitable fight against the Romans will be far better.
Leave Lepcis Magna to the Carthagians (?), they won't be much of a threat there but in most cases their presence will prevent the Eggy from going after you....in my experience, the Eggies expand westwards only when they border a human player. They've never done so in ...say, 10 or 12 semi- and full campaigns when I wasn't Numidia or Carthage. Pretty ridiculous.
As Carthage you can not only ward them off, but defeat them, whereas with Numidia you'll have a much harder time (as you may have seen yourself). Especially since the third-turn sneak attack on Thebes doesn't work any more due to an Egyptian army lurking in the area.
Last edited by Deus ret.; 08-10-2005 at 23:40.
Vexilla Regis prodeunt Inferni.