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Thread: Campaign tactics for the Seleucids

  1. #1

    Default Campaign tactics for the Seleucids

    Yo ! Does anyone have a good campaign strategy for the Seleucids? I love their units, but whenever I play as them, I end up with a bunch of 20-unit stacks of generals, mercenaries, and, militia hoplites. LOL!! Any advice?
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  2. #2
    Deranged rock ape Member Quirinus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Campaign tactics for the Seleucids

    If you're always having trouble recruiting the high-tier units, that health temple the Seleucids have is very useful for expanding your cities early on.

    As for campaign strategies... I've found that bribing Egypt with a small annual cash tribute really helps to delay the inevitable war with them. Use this time to wipe out the other factions like Armenia, Parthia, and especially Pontus. The Seleucids have the potential to be extremely rich, so when these 'minor' factions are dealt with or almost done with, your treasury should be able to support the bribing of their armies every other turn. Do it as often as you can to undermine their military potential, which is insane because of Egypt Proper having sky-high base farming rates and grain imports.

    Or, an alternative strategy is to blitz, where the above startegy demanded turtling to some extent. In this strategy, launch a pre-emptive attack on Egypt, and pound them relentlessly with your low-quality units. You should be very aggressive, aiming for their cities in Egypt in particular.

    I generally favour the former strategy to the latter, but that's just my playing style. Whichever one works for you.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Campaign tactics for the Seleucids

    The Seleucid guide is active, probably the best place to compare notes, and glean ideas.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Senior Member Quintus.JC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Campaign tactics for the Seleucids

    I try to wipe out Egypt with everything I got early on. even if it cost all your former Seleucid lands, Egyptian lands are much more profitable and has a much bigger population/growth, which would help you to recruit higher tier units. Plus it's safer, not bordering several hostile factions all at once.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Campaign tactics for the Seleucids

    Quote Originally Posted by QuintusJulius-Cicero
    I try to wipe out Egypt with everything I got early on. even if it cost all your former Seleucid lands, Egyptian lands are much more profitable and has a much bigger population/growth, which would help you to recruit higher tier units. Plus it's safer, not bordering several hostile factions all at once.
    This is the only strategy I've found that works at all. Build tons of Militia Hoplites and (especially) Militia Cavalry, and crush Egypt. Once you have all the Egyptian territories, you've got a mostly secure southern (now western) border, and can turn to your enemies in the north, wiping them out one by one. Parthia, Armenia, Pontus, and the Greek Cities should fall to you in turn, and once you have them all, only the Romans will have a chance of challenging your supremacy.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Campaign tactics for the Seleucids

    Thanks . What difficulty level do you guys usually play on?
    This thing all things devours:
    Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
    Gnaws iron, bites steel;
    Grinds hard stones to meal;
    Slays king, ruins town,
    And beats high mountains down.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Senior Member Quintus.JC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Campaign tactics for the Seleucids

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Megahertz
    Thanks . What difficulty level do you guys usually play on?
    Depends, if its' the first time you're playing as the Seleucids then I suggest easy, maybe normal if want a bit of challenge.

  8. #8
    Deranged rock ape Member Quirinus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Campaign tactics for the Seleucids

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Megahertz
    Thanks . What difficulty level do you guys usually play on?
    I play at M/M, normally, so admittedly what I've suggested might not work at all at a higher difficulty setting.
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    The Scourge of Rome Member Spartan198's Avatar
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    Default Re: Campaign tactics for the Seleucids

    Egypt was always my primary threat as the Seleucids. Pontus,Armenia,and Parthia commonly held long alliances with me until Egypt fell.
    Mercenary and defensive armies (made up of low-level units such as Levy Pikemen and Greek Cavalry) were always incredibly useful in the beginning,for me.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Campaign tactics for the Seleucids

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirinus
    I play at M/M, normally, so admittedly what I've suggested might not work at all at a higher difficulty setting.
    Is that difficutly choice a Seleucid faction thing or general policy?

    May be, some factions have better play on harder settings and others medium.

  11. #11
    Deranged rock ape Member Quirinus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Campaign tactics for the Seleucids

    I always play on M/M. The Seleucid campaign's difficulty should be because the Seleucid Empire was attacked on all sides by a myriad of enemies, not because I am constantly fighting three full Egyptian stacks with my half-stack.

    IMO.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Campaign tactics for the Seleucids

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Megahertz
    Thanks . What difficulty level do you guys usually play on?
    I typically play on hard/hard. At that difficulty level, the Egyptian attack is destined to come soon, but if you don't press the issue, they'll often wait until you're embroiled in conflict all along your northern border for their drive to Antioch. I find attacking Egypt early to be necessary more to give me breathing space against my northern attackers than to deal with Egypt in its own right - although wiping Egypt out before it can recruit a gazillion massive armies is a worthy goal all on its own.

    I'm currently at war with Egypt, Pontus, and Parthia. I expect Armenia to come along soon. I picked the fight with Egypt and have already taken all but Memphis and Thebes - they're knocking on death's door. Pontus attacked me because I conquered Ancyra in the middle of Asia Minor - if I'd left it open for them, I probably could have forestalled it. Parthia is at war because they never leave Seleucia alone, and they left their southern city exposed to a quick attack, so I grabbed it.

    When dealing with Parthia, I find city fights to be the only way to go - Horse Archers are just too annoying in field battles. Since the Horse Archers were the major reason I was getting frustrated with the Seleucids before, I think that's probably the single best piece of advice I can give tactically, on how to win with the Seleucids.

    So, strategically, attack Egypt. Tactically, only fight horse archer factions in cities. There's your recipe for success as Seleucids, as I'm seeing things.

  13. #13

    Post Re: Campaign tactics for the Seleucids

    Once thing that's key to Seleucid success is rapid building of infrastructure to gain the ability to train higher quality troops. Levy Pikemen and Militia Hoplites are not going to take an empire very far so it's critical to get as many cities as possible up to a standard able to train the hardier standard Pikemen.

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  14. #14
    Senior Member Senior Member Quintus.JC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Campaign tactics for the Seleucids

    Quote Originally Posted by Omanes Alexandrapolites
    Once thing that's key to Seleucid success is rapid building of infrastructure to gain the ability to train higher quality troops. Levy Pikemen and Militia Hoplites are not going to take an empire very far so it's critical to get as many cities as possible up to a standard able to train the hardier standard Pikemen.

    I prefer training elephants rather than phalanx pikemen early on as the Seleucids. At the start only Antioch have the population to train elephants or Phalanx pikemen, I focused on elephants and left Hatra and Damascus to train militia hoplites in masses, this might not helped the population growth but it did gave me massive armies to deal with Egypt. Militia Hoplite as core units with elephants as key units to rout these naughty Egyptians.

  15. #15
    Aged retainer Member Guyus Germanicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Campaign tactics for the Seleucids

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Megahertz
    Yo ! Does anyone have a good campaign strategy for the Seleucids? I love their units, but whenever I play as them, I end up with a bunch of 20-unit stacks of generals, mercenaries, and, militia hoplites. LOL!! Any advice?
    Greetings Lord Mega, Seleucids are an interesting challenge. I tend to play them on the easier settings and I usually try to turtle my pace. As you've probably noticed, the Seleucids usually end up in a four front war before too long into the game. If you aren't at war with at least two factions by turn 5, it should surprise you. Hence, having a good income, and reasonably solid armies to defend Tarsus from Pontus, Hatra from Armenia, Seleucus from Parthia, and Antioch from Egypt requires a very fast build up. That usually can't be done without buying up mercenaries and playing smart with the low level troops you can recruit. You've experienced that frustration, no doubt. I usually purchase mercs for their cavalry,except around Sardis where I go for the hoplites and archers.

    The problem you're facing (from your question above) is typical for the Seleucid faction. You're having to use Antioch as your main recruiting city for cavalry and phalanx pikemen which keeps taking away from its population growth. This means it will take longer for Antioch to get to the higher city population levels where the better barracks and stables are available. Taking Sidon will help with recruiting and take some of the burden off Antioch, but for the most part your recruiting bottleneck is not going to go away until you've knocked Egypt out of the running and acquired its big three large cities. (Seleucus and Antioch are too far away from each other to be mutually supportive for army buildup. It's a bummer.)

    Egypt is your most critical enemy as they are not cash poor like your other three early adversaries. They have more staying power and they field much better infantry units. Knock out Parthia's cataphracts army early, and Susa is vulnerable. Take Susa, and Parthia is all but finished for they have no other city that makes good money and they won't recover. Often Pontus will give you some breathing room before they attack because they're distracted early by going after Nicomedia and Ancyra first. Armenia will likely come at you early, however, at Hatra. So I usually recruit a couple jav-cav and send them to Hatra early, along with my first new faction member as a general. I try to recruit a couple jav infantry in Seleucus and send them to Hatra early as well. After I've got Egypt on the run, Parthia subdued and Pontus battered, I finish off Armenia. Their important cities are few, so they can't raise armies very fast to be a constant menace. I keep my 'shield raised high' at Hatra and ward off their blows until I've disposed of the greater dangers of Egypt and Pontus.

    So, perhaps I haven't helped you much with your original concern. But here are a couple tidbits of counsel. (1) Build a new farm in Sardis in first turn, to get it's population over 2,000 early so that you can knock out a port and stables making them self-sufficient in cav and getting the sea trade profits perking. Have your Sardis governor buy up mercs, but try to slip him some jav-cav from Antioch early so he can defend Sardis from the opportunistic Pontids.

    (2) Get stable built in Seleucus ASAP. Then recruit jav-cav like mad. Even the horse archer/cataphractish Parthians can be beaten with lots of jav-cav backed by some solid militia infantry.

    (3) Don't put off improving farms for too long. With the Hanging Gardens wonder, the Seleucids are getting big bonus profits from farming for all their cities. Bigger/better farms mean bigger and better profits. And until you've taken the big Egyptians cities - Alexandria, Memphis and Thebes - population growth is not going to be a big worry for squalor and public order.

    (4) Recruit Cretean archers at every opportunity. Their long range archers are important for reducing your own casualties and I find them especially effective against the annoying Pontids and their scythed chariots. The chariots panic easily under a hail of fire arrows. If they're trapped inside besieged cities you can panic the chariots and they'll kill huge swaths of their own infantry.

    (5) Phalanx pikemen will be your infantry backbone after you get the city barracks built in Antioch. You probably won't be able to upgrade to silver shields until after Egypt has been subdued and you're involved in Greece proper. The most important cities in Greece for you will be Sparta for its Nike Temple, Corinth for the Zeus wonder (public order benefit), and Athens for its trade profits.

    (6) I try to build stables early in Seleucus, and get to city barracks and second level cavalry stables in Antioch ASAP. I build temples of Hephaestus in both Antioch and Tarsus (since Tarsus is extremely slow growing and doesn't need the extra public order percentage) so that I get the extra military development features for the soldiers and ships I recruit there. That edge is important.

    I've found that the Greeks don't usually give me much trouble until I've developed some strength. But once you've taken Rhodes beware of the Brutii and amphibious landings. They want Rhodes too. This is where Hepahestus temples and owning the Alexandrian light house wonder gives your navy its edge over all comers.

    You're going to notice a lot of annoying encounters with bandits and rebel armies. The Seleucid faction and the territory it covers seems to be bandit prone.

    Have you noticed that every Egyptian city is a port? Lots of trade profits there. Farm profits too as the big Egyptian cities are fast growers.

    I just don't have a formula for getting your Seleucid cities to higher levels of development faster so you can get those Armoured elephants and the silver legionaries fast. Perhaps one of our super guild players has some thoughts.

    I think the key for you, however, will be to slow the game down so you give the cities time to grow.

    Best wishes, big guy, and enjoy!
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Campaign tactics for the Seleucids

    Quote Originally Posted by Omanes Alexandrapolites
    Once thing that's key to Seleucid success is rapid building of infrastructure to gain the ability to train higher quality troops. Levy Pikemen and Militia Hoplites are not going to take an empire very far so it's critical to get as many cities as possible up to a standard able to train the hardier standard Pikemen.

    Eh, give Archimedes a lever and a place to stand and he'll rule the world. Give me a Militia Hoplite and a Militia Cavalry, and I can at least conquer it. Note: I didn't come up with that one, but I don't remember who did, it was probably somewhere in the RTW guides forum under Seleucids or possibly Greek Cities.

    Depending on how obsessively you practice your Alexandrian tactics, you can indeed build an empire on tier MilHops and MilCav, without much trouble.

    That said, Silver Shield Pikemen, Cataphracts, and War Elephants make it a lot more fun.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Campaign tactics for the Seleucids

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!! That's really helpful, thanks a lot!
    This thing all things devours:
    Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
    Gnaws iron, bites steel;
    Grinds hard stones to meal;
    Slays king, ruins town,
    And beats high mountains down.

  18. #18
    Aged retainer Member Guyus Germanicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Campaign tactics for the Seleucids

    Quote Originally Posted by Praetor Rick
    Eh, give Archimedes a lever and a place to stand and he'll rule the world. Give me a Militia Hoplite and a Militia Cavalry, and I can at least conquer it. Note: I didn't come up with that one, but I don't remember who did, it was probably somewhere in the RTW guides forum under Seleucids or possibly Greek Cities.

    Depending on how obsessively you practice your Alexandrian tactics, you can indeed build an empire on tier MilHops and MilCav, without much trouble.

    That said, Silver Shield Pikemen, Cataphracts, and War Elephants make it a lot more fun.

    I have to admit, Praetor Rick, that I find that in my war with the Egyptians I can usually get my militia hoplites several experience chevrons. Once Antioch is advanced enough with the Hephaestus temples, you can send them to Antioch for a silver shields & swords weapons upgrade. It's amazing how formidable they become. AND . . . you have no trouble reinforcing them after losses in combat because every city has a basic barracks. I do get a kick out of using basic militia hoplites that way.

    I do remember one game recently where I had some significant profits coming in and I bribed away the Parthians cataphracts into my own Seleu army. That certainly ended the Parthian threat in short order.

    As the Greeks, I have used bribery to buy off Crete. You can end up getting two two chevron Cretan archers with two more available as mercenary recruitment. But I don't think that little trick works with the Seleucids. I've tried it with the Roman factions and I don't get the foursome Cretean archer grab either.
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  19. #19
    The Scourge of Rome Member Spartan198's Avatar
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    Default Re: Campaign tactics for the Seleucids

    Quote Originally Posted by Guyus Germanicus
    I just don't have a formula for getting your Seleucid cities to higher levels of development faster so you can get those Armoured elephants and the silver legionaries fast. Perhaps one of our super guild players has some thoughts.
    The add_population, add_money, and process_cq cheats.
    That's the fast way.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Senior Member Ibn-Khaldun's Avatar
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    Default Re: Campaign tactics for the Seleucids

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan198
    The add_population, add_money, and process_cq cheats.
    That's the fast way.

    LOL!

  21. #21

    Default Re: Campaign tactics for the Seleucids

    below here is what i write at the RTW Guide of The Seleucid Empire:

    recently i start a Seleucid campaign,i get a conclusion after few days,that since everyone around you are going to go into war with you,then the best way to survive is to gather all your troops and recruit as many as you can to attack egypt at first turn.

    why?becoz if you can take egypt teritories as your new base(better income,higher level military buildings to recruit better units),then you are survive(coz you can recapture your old teritories after egypt teritories are taken).the numidians?they will not bother you since Scipii are on their back(North africa).That means you only need to fight at 1 side.then the rest is up to you......




    hope this will helps!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Megahertz
    Thanks . What difficulty level do you guys usually play on?
    i usually play on very hard campaign and medium battle,why very hard campaign,coz i want the AI to pound more troops to be the resistants!So the Ai factions won't fall to quickly!


    Quote Originally Posted by Guyus Germanicus
    Greetings Lord Mega, Seleucids are an interesting challenge. I tend to play them on the easier settings and I usually try to turtle my pace. As you've probably noticed, the Seleucids usually end up in a four front war before too long into the game. If you aren't at war with at least two factions by turn 5, it should surprise you. Hence, having a good income, and reasonably solid armies to defend Tarsus from Pontus, Hatra from Armenia, Seleucus from Parthia, and Antioch from Egypt requires a very fast build up. That usually can't be done without buying up mercenaries and playing smart with the low level troops you can recruit. You've experienced that frustration, no doubt. I usually purchase mercs for their cavalry,except around Sardis where I go for the hoplites and archers.

    The problem you're facing (from your question above) is typical for the Seleucid faction. You're having to use Antioch as your main recruiting city for cavalry and phalanx pikemen which keeps taking away from its population growth. This means it will take longer for Antioch to get to the higher city population levels where the better barracks and stables are available. Taking Sidon will help with recruiting and take some of the burden off Antioch, but for the most part your recruiting bottleneck is not going to go away until you've knocked Egypt out of the running and acquired its big three large cities. (Seleucus and Antioch are too far away from each other to be mutually supportive for army buildup. It's a bummer.)

    Egypt is your most critical enemy as they are not cash poor like your other three early adversaries. They have more staying power and they field much better infantry units. Knock out Parthia's cataphracts army early, and Susa is vulnerable. Take Susa, and Parthia is all but finished for they have no other city that makes good money and they won't recover. Often Pontus will give you some breathing room before they attack because they're distracted early by going after Nicomedia and Ancyra first. Armenia will likely come at you early, however, at Hatra. So I usually recruit a couple jav-cav and send them to Hatra early, along with my first new faction member as a general. I try to recruit a couple jav infantry in Seleucus and send them to Hatra early as well. After I've got Egypt on the run, Parthia subdued and Pontus battered, I finish off Armenia. Their important cities are few, so they can't raise armies very fast to be a constant menace. I keep my 'shield raised high' at Hatra and ward off their blows until I've disposed of the greater dangers of Egypt and Pontus.

    So, perhaps I haven't helped you much with your original concern. But here are a couple tidbits of counsel. (1) Build a new farm in Sardis in first turn, to get it's population over 2,000 early so that you can knock out a port and stables making them self-sufficient in cav and getting the sea trade profits perking. Have your Sardis governor buy up mercs, but try to slip him some jav-cav from Antioch early so he can defend Sardis from the opportunistic Pontids.

    (2) Get stable built in Seleucus ASAP. Then recruit jav-cav like mad. Even the horse archer/cataphractish Parthians can be beaten with lots of jav-cav backed by some solid militia infantry.

    (3) Don't put off improving farms for too long. With the Hanging Gardens wonder, the Seleucids are getting big bonus profits from farming for all their cities. Bigger/better farms mean bigger and better profits. And until you've taken the big Egyptians cities - Alexandria, Memphis and Thebes - population growth is not going to be a big worry for squalor and public order.

    (4) Recruit Cretean archers at every opportunity. Their long range archers are important for reducing your own casualties and I find them especially effective against the annoying Pontids and their scythed chariots. The chariots panic easily under a hail of fire arrows. If they're trapped inside besieged cities you can panic the chariots and they'll kill huge swaths of their own infantry.

    (5) Phalanx pikemen will be your infantry backbone after you get the city barracks built in Antioch. You probably won't be able to upgrade to silver shields until after Egypt has been subdued and you're involved in Greece proper. The most important cities in Greece for you will be Sparta for its Nike Temple, Corinth for the Zeus wonder (public order benefit), and Athens for its trade profits.

    (6) I try to build stables early in Seleucus, and get to city barracks and second level cavalry stables in Antioch ASAP. I build temples of Hephaestus in both Antioch and Tarsus (since Tarsus is extremely slow growing and doesn't need the extra public order percentage) so that I get the extra military development features for the soldiers and ships I recruit there. That edge is important.

    I've found that the Greeks don't usually give me much trouble until I've developed some strength. But once you've taken Rhodes beware of the Brutii and amphibious landings. They want Rhodes too. This is where Hepahestus temples and owning the Alexandrian light house wonder gives your navy its edge over all comers.

    You're going to notice a lot of annoying encounters with bandits and rebel armies. The Seleucid faction and the territory it covers seems to be bandit prone.

    Have you noticed that every Egyptian city is a port? Lots of trade profits there. Farm profits too as the big Egyptian cities are fast growers.

    I just don't have a formula for getting your Seleucid cities to higher levels of development faster so you can get those Armoured elephants and the silver legionaries fast. Perhaps one of our super guild players has some thoughts.

    I think the key for you, however, will be to slow the game down so you give the cities time to grow.

    Best wishes, big guy, and enjoy!
    after reading this,i only got some thoughts to fill in:
    always enslaving your capture cities at early game,so those slaves can pop up your populations very fast,why dun slaughtering them,coz you will need them to pay you taxes!
    Last edited by guineawolf; 05-06-2008 at 04:08.
    In all warfare,speed is the key!

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