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Thread: Playing The Rebels

  1. #1

    Default Playing The Rebels

    The Rebel faction is playable by amending the desc_strat file.: There does not seem to be a goal for the rebel faction in the Imperial Campaign - merely capture everything, although of course you can stop any time e.g. finish when you have 50 provinces and Rome.

    Welcome brave warrior to the free cities. We are a conglomerate of 30 cities, towns and large towns spread out through the known world - from Tara in the North-West, to the Saharan Nepte and Dumatha and up to the legiondary Themiskyra - we are equal opportunity adherents and the Amazonians will play a key part to our campaign.

    Our initial Capital is Tara and at the start we look to be losing 2,500 Denarii a turn so in four turns we will be bankrupt. This can be easily remedied by moving the capital to a more central location, Salona or Athens. This will change the loss to a 4300 surplus. Our many supporters believe in freedom and don't mind paying more in taxes to enure that freedom.

    Our establishments are many - but some won't be worthwhile protecting. Regrettably we will need to concentrate our forces to fight back against those proponents of 'civilizaton' - a trap and snare to deprive us of the liberty that is so dear to us all.

    Initial Starting Cities - on an East - West basis

    Tara (Capital): Population 1152: Population Growth 1%: Forces 3 Warband, 1 Druid
    Nepte: Population 400: Population Growth 0.5%: Forces 2 Numidian Cavalry, 1 Unit Peltasts
    Lugdunum: Population 1200: Population Growth 3%: Forces 2 Warbands, 1 Barbarian Cavalry
    Masillia: Population 1200: Population Growth 4%: Forces 2 Militia Hoplites: Can Train: Peasants
    Segesta: Population 900: Population Growth 2%: Forces 1 Warband, 1 Peasant
    Bordesholm: Population 800: Populaton Growth 1.5%: Forces 2 Warband
    Lepcis Magna:Population 800: Population Growth 2.5%: Forces 2 Town Militia
    Luvavum: Population 900: Population Growth 2%: Forces 1 Naked Fanatics, 2 warband, 1 Peasant
    Segestica: Population 1400: Population Growth 1%: Forces 3 Illyrian Mercenaries
    Lovosice: Population 400: Population Growth 2.5%: Forces 2 Warband, 1 Barbarian Cavalry
    Vicus Gothi: Population 800: Population Growth 3.5%: Forces 2 Warband, 1 Barbarian Cavalry
    Aquinicum: Population 800: Population Growth: 1.5%: Forces 3 Illyrium Mercenaries
    Salona: Population 400: Population Growth 2%: Forces 1 Militia Hoplies, 1 Ciscian Pirates, 2 Illurian Mercenaries
    Apollonia: Population 900: Population Growth 3%: Forces 1 Militia Hoplites, 2 Peltasts
    Cyrene: Population 1200: Population Growth 1.5%: Forces 2 Militia Hoplites, 1 Skirmisher: Can Train Peasants, Militia Hoplite
    DDD: Population 400: Population Growth: 1%: Forces 2 warband
    Athens: Population 3000: Population Growth 4%: Forces 3 Militia Hoplites, 1 Peltast: Can Train Militia Hoplites, Dimplomat
    Kydonia: Population 1000: Population Growth 3.5%: Forces 2 Militia Hoplites, 2 Cretan Archers, 1 Ciscian Pirates
    Vicus Venidae: Population 400: Population Growth 1.5%: Forces 2 warband, 1 Archer Warband
    Helicarnassus: Population 1200: Population Growth 4.5%: Forces 2 Militia Hoplites, 2 Hoplites, 1 Peltast, 1 Ciiscian Pirate, 1 Rhodian Slinger: can Train peasants
    Byzantium: Population 2000: Population Growth 5.5%: Forces, 2 Hoplites, 1 Peltast: can train Peasants, Militia Hoplites, Diplomat
    Nicomedia: Population 900: Population Growth 5.5%: Forces 1 Militia Hoplite, 1 Peltasts 1 Thracian Mercenaries
    Ancyra: Population 400: Population Growth: Forces 3 Naked Fanatics, 1 barbarian Cavalry
    Chersoneses: Population 1200: Population Growth 5.5%: Forces 2 Militia Hoplites, 1 Horse Archer: Can train peasants
    Themiskyra: Population 1500: Population Growth 0.5%: Forces Amazonian Chariots: Can train peasants, Diplomat
    Petra: Population 1200: Population Growth 2%: Forces 1 Archer, 1 Eastern Infantry: 1 Bedouin Archer: 1 Arab Cavalry: Can train Peasants, Eastern Infantry
    Palmyra: Population 1200: Population Growth 3.5%: Forces 2 Archers, 1 Horse Archer, 1 Eastern Infantry, 1 Bedouin Warriors: Can Train Peasants, Eastern Infantry
    Bostra: Population 900: Population Growth 2.5%: Forces 1 Archers, 2 Bedouin Archers, 1 Arab Cavalry
    Dumatha: Population 400: Population Growth 1%: Forces 1 Bedouin Warriors, 1 Bedouin Archers
    Phraaspa: Population 400: Population Growth 2%: Forces 2 Eastern Infantry, 1 Archer

    This is quite a roster. Asia Minor should be one of your key battlegrounds as well as the Middle East and Greece. (And perhaps Massilia).

    Some of the towns will be able to recruit Militia Hoplites/ Eastern Spearmen when a barracks is built. Some Greek Large Towns will be able to recruit hoplites once a militia barracks is built, provided they are captured by a specific type of Rebel. Barbarian Towns will not be able to recruit at all, so you may as well destroy any military buildings, not waste your money on them. (You can convert them into towns that WILL train troops by entering with a named Greek rebel army). You should also disband some forces - remember that a disbanded unit will not only save you on maintenance costs but, like all good taxpayers, will contribute to your treasury.

    Keeping the ability to train hoplites is crucial to the success of the campaign

    Not all rebels are the same

    Rebels have different cultures just like othe factions. If you occupy a city with rebels from Palmyra you will get a city that can recruit horse archers and eastern infantry. If you occupy a city with one of the Greek rebels then you will get Militia Hoplites and (possibly) hoplites. If you occupy a city with Egyptian rebels then you get a city that can recruit egyptian chariots - once you build an egyptian blacksmith. If you merge rebels together then you may just get a rebel army and cannot recuruit hopites. You can use this to your advantage - build a Greek/ Roman war temple and then evacuate the city and bring in a different culture. Rebels seem to lose their culture if transported on ships - if done on the rebel ships for instance then they become 'pirates'.

    Merging armies

    Make sure that you only add forces to an army that has a description of the type of rebel, rather than add a named rebel army to one that has no name i.e. 'rebel army'. Thus you can add barbarian troops to a Greek rebel army i.e. one out of Athens or Byzantium, and the army will still have the ability to convert a city of a different culture to one of that faction and train hoplites. What you MUST be careful of is moving armies from one of the other Greek cities into Athens (or Byzantium) when it is unoccupied as Athens will lose its ability to train hoplites. You can tell this because the City description will change to "Rebel City" - rather than "Rebel City (Athenian Rebels)".

    Summary of additional Information

    The Good News

    • You gain random troops all over the map
    • You don't need worry about cities revolting
    • You immediately have a lot to do each turn as you are at war with everyone.
    • Everyone fights against you - so they don't expand rapidly

    The Bad News

    • Most of the rebel cities are disgustingly poor
    • Recruitment is often not possible in Cities - especially barbarian ones.
    • Whilst you get general cavalry, initially you only rarely get a general that can recruit mercenaries
    • If your forces decline battle or are defeated then they are destroyed.
    • You will lose a lot more battles - at least they are minor ones.
    • You will lose a lot of settlements at first - the trick is to work out which ones are worth saving.
    • Upgrading military buildings doesn't generate the capacity to recruit better units. There is no point in developing third level (City) Forces.
    • I hope you are good at fighting with Militia Hoplites, Hoplites and desert spearmen. The ability to recruit other forces cannot be guaranteed. (But See Below)

    Starting point

    The initial capital is 'Tara' in Hibernia - that's Ireland to you modern-day players and the first thing to do is to move it into the centre of the map to minimise corruption. Athens is an obvious starting point with income from Byzantium, Kydonia and Helicarnassus. Massilia on the Mediterranean coast is defensible (and Greek) but otherwise your main object will be to try and merge decent rebel units together and head for the Mediterranean. I would abandon the Germanic setlements altogether - or try and merge all forces into a single unit.

    Game progression

    There is no real strategy that can be adopted with regards to the cities you take. That will depend to some extent on the number and type of rebel forces that are spawned. The overall strategy I used was the Greek Campaign (most forces are Greek).

    Time is against you - as cities develop they can generate better troops to fight you whilst you are limited to level one units, except in a few locations.

    Your Navy

    You will receive random boosts of, typically, 3 large boats. Unfortunately these cannot be retrained, but you will be able to recruit biremes, triremes and quiquiremes once you have ports, shipwrights and docks constructed. You can't train any units in barbarian ports. Be careful moving armies by fleet until you have total naval superiority since any close defeat - and bang goes your ships - and the army being transported. Note that any army transported by a fleet will lose its indentity, either becoming a "rebel army" or a "rebel army (pirates)". This causes problems when transporting units accross the Adriatic/ Hellespont.

    Amazonian Chariots

    You start off with 5 in Themiskyra but unfortunately they cannot be recruited, even though building a blacksmith notionally gives you the option to do so. As with all chariots, you should autoresolve battles with them.

    Egyptian Chariots

    If you capture an (Egyptian) town with Egyptian rebels (skirmishers/ archers/ chariots/peasants) then the town will remain egyptian and you will have access to (low level) troops - and Egyptian chariots once an Egyptian Blacksmith is built. If a city is captured by Greek/ Far Eastern rebels the ability is lost but emptying the cities - and re-entering with egyptian troops restores the ability.


    You can recruit Greek Cavalry/ Missile cavalry in some Cities. Cordoba is obviously a key target. In the East, horse archers are available (as a level 1 cavalry).


    Depending on the city your basic infantry will either be militia hoplites or Eastern Spearmen. You can recruit Hoplites in some cities, but on occasion I have had the ability and lost it. Initially Athens, Byzantium, Massilia, Chersonethos, Halicarnassus, Cyrene and Themiskyra! have the ability when developed. Cities captured by armies purely from these cities will also gain the facility if they are originally of a different culture - ensure that the army that captures the city has the specific type of rebel describing it e.g. voconti, libyan, athenian, cretan, lycian, slithone, bosphoran


    At the start of the game Barbarian Generals were spawned without the ability to recruit mercenaries. However once I had taken over Pontus I started getting Family Generals that could. One would arrive nearly every turn, presumably because the AI wants to create as many Generals as provinces held . . .

    There is no family tree - so you don't have prospective marriages from the distaff side. Maybe sex-starved generals fight better . . .

    Handling Cities

    No need to keep any troops in them for law and order purposes since they can't rebel. Makes holding Tarsus, Corduba and Jerusalem and Themiskyra a LOT easier. It also saves money on peasants. I would keep one unit in each one, however, so that when besieged they last a couple of turns more - and to keep the identity of the city. (And it is amazing what Militia Hoplites can do in front of a gate or wall that is to be breached). With regards to tax rate - do whatever you want - put taxes on very high (with very few exceptions) since there is limited military advantage in having a highly developed city - you gain the Armourer and presumably the foundry. Remember that any rebel troops entering an unoccupied city are likely to change the culture of the city.

    Diplomacy etc

    Diplomats, spies and assassins are available at the appropriate level of trade outposts. Spies and assassins work the usual way, but Diplomats are really only useful for Bribing forces/ other diplomats. No one wants peace with the rebels or map information or trade rights.

    New rebel forces

    Keep a lookout for them - they may spawn close to a town which is poorly defended and you can capture. You can get up to 6 troops, including cavalry generals (who can't recruit), but are weighted towards peasants and warbands (in barbarian areas)/ level 1 infantry, with naked fanatics less likely.

    Development Comparison

    Your own status (Military strength/ Financial/ production/ territories held/ overall) does not appear - only the relative strengths of the other factions.

    Your opening turn(s)

    Unlike other factions it is not possible to plan ahead many turns since you don't know where your rebel forces will turn up. Here is a general guide.

    Move the capital to Athens. Get rid of all troops in Tara (you can't hold it when the British arrive). In general aim to build land clearance in remote areas (You gain 68 Denarii/ 400 spend), Start upgrading barracks to military barracks where possible. Increase taxes to very high everywhere.

    The Northern Campaign: You can't recruit troops so start merging all the troops into one army. Destroy any military buildings. Your aim is to slow down the German advance so each town you take - exterminate the population and destroy everything. Be a true rebel.

    The Gallish Campaign. Move one unit of militia hoplites towards Lugdunum and move the units in Lugundum towards Massilia. Do NOT merge them. Move the wardband from Segesta - evey little helps - since Segesta will fall at turn one to the Julii. In Massilia, remove the remaining militia hoplites and then put them back in again. Start developing the town beginning with the barracks. Remember to keep barbarians in the field (by the ford) where they belong. Only cultured Greek troops should be allowed in the town. Your aim is to hold the ford with your militia hoplites while you build up a military presence. On turn two your militia hoplites can enter Lugdunum, which converts it into a Greek town - and can now recruit militia hoplites once a new barracks can be built.

    Lugdunum at the startNote the rebel name.

    Lugdunum now occupied (Voconti Rebels) and a barracks is being built

    Lugdunum can now train Militia Hoplites. Note that the rebel symbols for both Lugdunum and Massilia have changed. Massilia cannot now train Militia Hoplites

    The Aedui have been moved out and the Voconti moved back in. The symbol has changed and Massilia can now train Militia Hoplites Again.

    The African Campaign: Abandon Nepte and move troops towards Lepcis Magna. You can try and hold it but it will not be easy. Cyrene can be developed - you can create militia hoplites and the aim will be to head towards the Nile and be a pain in the backside of the Egyptians.

    The Adriatic Campaign: You need to move Militia hoplites up the coast so that you can convert the towns into Greek settlements and recruit Militia Hoplites (eventually) from them. It also means that when you capture Patavium you get a town that can quickly train hoplites for the Roman Campaign. For some reason the Brutii tend not to expand up the coast after taking Apollonia - it seems they are hard-wired into going after the Greeks and of course they don't do this in a rebel campaign. I have played the campaign several times and so far the Brutii have never expanded.

    The Greek Campaign: Athens and Byzantium can recruit troops and should be developed as quickly as possible to produce Hoplites. Your aim will be to take Corinth, fight of the Macedonians from the North and eventually take Sparta. The Spartan hoplites are difficult to beat, even when surrounded with hoplites. If Sparta hasn't walls then luring them away e.g. by sacrificing a unit can work since on VH/VH the AI seems to like pursuing and killing routers.

    The Asia Minor Campaign: Move all your forces from Halicarnassus and seige Sardis. Move militia hoplites from Nicomedia towards Ancyra. Turn 2. Capture Sardis and move all forces towards Pergamum. remove forces from Ancyra and move the militia hoplites in - you can now build a nice Greek governor palace. Turn Three Capture Pergamum (it will have no walls). Pontus will soon show up to attack Nicomedia - you JUST have time to build a wall, a barracks and recruit a unit of Militia Hoplites. This will give you time to get your forces over from Pergamum.: Your first aim is to remove Pontus. This is the weakest faction compared to the forces at your disposal from taking Sardis, Pergamum and your initial forces at Halicarnassus. Once Pontus is destroyed you will start obtaining Generals with the ability to recruit mercenaries - like Cretan Archers.

    The Middle-East campaign: Move all forces from Dumatha (No point defending it from Parthia) towards Petra and head towards Jerusalem from your other three rebel cities. Capture Damascus en-route. You will soon have an interesting mix of militia hoplites and desert spearmen - and horse archers, which eat up Egyptians for lunch. You will soon be facing a 2-front campaign against Egypt and Selucia. Fortunately Jerusalem and Sidon develop quickly. Once you take Salamis, Egypt loses a great deal of income and your aim should be to develop it on an economy basis.

    The Far East Campaign: That leaves Phraaspa between the Armenians and Parthians. It's a poor town with no growth and no prospect of influencing the war. Armenia will soon show up. Playing on Medium difficulty, you may be able to win the first battle by barricading the central square with the Eastern Infantry and archers - but there is no realistic hope of retaining the village. I moved all forces to the ford North of the town.


    Temples do not appear on the tech-tree. Nevertheless they can be constructed. Some of the names are unusual e.g. 'temple of love', 'temple of governence'. No real point in building a 'temple of hunting' since you can't recruit archers. Temples may change their names e.g. a 'shrine of mars' may be upgraded to a 'temple of Ares'

    Culture Changes

    When the culture of a town changes, you will see the picture of the troops that can be trained change to a peasant in grey. This means that the training for the current turn will work, but that the unit type will not be available in future turns.

    Other Factions

    During the time playing the rebels, very few wars break out between the other factions. This means that the other factions do not expand and as such there are more, weaker ones than you would expect during a game playing with a 'normal' faction. For example: In my current game, The Brutii have three cities, the Scipii two and the Julii went up to three before I took the two large ones. This is after 20 turns. This means that the Roman factions cannot recruit as quickly as one might otherwise expect.
    Last edited by weejonnie; 12-15-2020 at 13:05. Reason: Information about converting cultures.

  2. #2
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Fortress of the Mountains

    Default Re: Playing The Rebels

    Hi weejonnie,

    Thanks a lot for the detailed overview! It's quite fascinating because I remember not being able to play as the Rebels, and yet, here we are.

    Do you have any screenshots by any chance?
    Ja mata, TosaInu. You will forever be remembered.


    Been to:

    Swords Made of Letters - 1938. The war is looming in France - and Alexandre Reythier does not have much time left to protect his country. A novel set before the war.

    A Painted Shield of Honour - 1313. Templar Knights in France are in grave danger. Can they be saved?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Playing The Rebels

    This is 250BC and shows the roster at Memphis

    Corduba - showing Loing Shield cavalry and Iberian Infantry

    Force about to take Arretium - note the large number of Generals - these came from defeating Rome when the 'large army' sent to fight didn't include many of them.

    THis is what happens when you don't win (Arriminium) - look at the left hand side. This was done on autoresolve.

    The invasion of Britain. becasue a Roman rebel general took Samarobriva biremes could be constructed. Otherwise ships will have to be moved round Spain and France.

    One second from Victory

    The End of Campaign
    Last edited by weejonnie; 10-15-2020 at 14:20.


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