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  1. #1

    Default Parthia

    Guide.
    Frogbeastegg's Guide to Total War: Shogun II. Please note that the guide is not up-to-date for the latest patch.


  2. #2
    Altogether quite not there! Member GodsPetMonkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthia

    Parthia Ė

    I. Introduction
    II. General Strategies
    III. Money
    IV. Battles
    V. Sieges
    VI. Mid to Late game


    I. Introduction -

    Parthia is the Ďmajorí eastern faction, being the only one that CA made unlockable. It relies almost entirely on cavalry, which is both good and bad. The good is, this includes cavalry archers, the bad is a lack of heavy infantry hurts every now and then. The aim of a Parthian army is speed and range despite having War elephants and 2 types of Cataphracts, horse archers are going to be the most potent weapon at your disposal.

    Any suggestions or corrections are welcome

    I personally run the game with a few modifications.

    Move Speed mod Ė I put in some small penalties of my own

    Kill speed mod Ė Reduced the attack speeds to 50%. I have tried, and didnít like the double HP mod, and whilst this isnít perfect, it slows down combat with out shifting the rock-paper-scissors balance.

    Parthia now has Cataphract Archers Ė Never could work out why they didnít in the first place.

    Parthia now has eastern heavy infantry Ė Whilst I rarely use them, its nice to have something to man the siege engines and doesnít run at the first sign of an arrow.

    By adding those 2 units, Parthia becomes very Armenia like, and while I didnít want to subtract from their uniqueness, there is still one key difference, Armenia gets legions, and heavy infantry is something you will really miss, especially after playing the Romans or Barbarians. You donít have to play with these changes, they only make life a little easier, but neither shift the balance in any major, or even moderate way.

    I play at Very Hard/Hard difficulty for the Map/Battles. Lesser campaign battle difficulties would be the best way to make the game easier, especially in the diplomacy side of things. Egypt may even keep an alliance.

    II. General Strategies

    As Parthia, the biggest problem will be money. Despite the intro money, the only thing flowing through your lands is sand. Be prepared to do a lot of tax-rate tweaking to maintain a balance between money and growth. Its imperative that you keep as many family members as possible in garrison. As you will be hard pressed to field more then one Ďkillerí army, as too many of your best offensive units will drain the treasury in a matter of years, this isnít so hard. I play with one designated general (to start with) in charge of my main army, try to get plenty of the extra movement ancillaries for him, he will be doing a lot of marching.
    First up, there are 2 nearby rebel provinces, either bribe them, or attack them. Arabia will take a long time to grow into something useful, so just put a minimum garrison there and let it make some money. Atropatene is more useful, mostly because it separates you from Armenia. Take them both, and make sure you build roads early (build them everywhere!) the East is a big place, and it takes an infuriating amount of time for you to move up re-enforcements to the Mediterranean, once you start fighting there.
    Your first target should be Armenia. Right from the start, make alliances with everyone, especially Egypt, the longer you can play them off, particularly against Seleucia, the better. Make an army, your starting Cataphracts are an obvious inclusion, but add in as many horse archers as you can, even bring some down from Campus Sakae if you feel the need for them. Bring along some foot archers and eastern infantry if you have some to spare, or bribe of few rebels on the way, they will help to boost your numbers, a field battle is unlikely at this stage and foot archers can be very useful in early sieges against wooden barriers. If you are willing to wait a little, and hope that no-one attacks you first, you can aim for some Persian cavalry, which can be great in melee (remember to turn of skirmish though, I have made the mistake of leaving it on a few times, and they donít seem to be able to fight properly, even if cornered, with it on).
    After Armenia has fallen, Seleucia should be at war with Egypt and losing (as they always do). Try to grab Babylonia, especially for the Gardens wonder, as you will probably be bleeding for cash by now, and itís a very handy boost. After this, work your way west. Iíll cover mid to late game later in this guide.

    III. Money

    The Parthians are in dire financial problems right from the word go, you have to be REALLY careful on your building selections for some time. It also means you canít support many armies, a good idea is to have one main army, and a supporting one of a smaller size. Donít bother building up trade in your far eastern cities, they donít seem to have much to offer to trade to each other, and the Silk Road line of buildings is to expensive for now, and doesnít pay off on the first level.
    As you expand, especially towards the med, you will pick up a few provinces. Try to worm your way towards Egypt, which is a cash cow, and grows like mad too (which is why its so damn powerful, all the time!).
    I try to balance out growth and taxes, and aim to get two cities up to Huge City (and Camel Cataphracts). Most of your armies will be Persian cavalry as well as Cataphracts, and a few elephants, both Large City level units, which is pretty easy to achieve, you may as well tax the crap out of cities after they reach this stage, even if most of your units are cheap upkeep.

    IV. Battles

    Battles are very different from the other factions (except the modable to be played Armenians and Scythians, but even they have some half decent infantry). Its all about the cavalry, particularly horse archers, which are nothing short of devastating, especially after a little experience.
    Some general tips Ė
    I know its obvious, but avoid melee at all costs, even with their nice melee attack stats, Persian cavalry (and Cataphract archers if you mod them in) will be eaten by any half decent infantry. A very much at-a-pinch move.
    Keep skirmish on at all times, except when they are forced into melee. The skirmish engine is a lot better then that in MTW, which makes massed horse archers even more devastating. You can micro your Cataphracts and not worry about anything else.
    Forget infantry. Except for sieges (covered later) and city defence, they will just slow you down.
    War Elephants are essentially walking arrow towers, even after the first patch. Charge them in if you want, but itís a waste of a good harasser. I make them stand in the middle of my deployed line, and whilst my archers flank, they sit their shooting away. When the enemy is broken and half routed, charge them in for a laugh. Beware though; elephantís arenít so good vs. later game troops. More then once some over enthusiastic armoured hoplites have given my silver chevron elephants a nasty surprise.
    Make sure your general has a cherigon or equivalent. I find that most of my friendly fire casualties heal with one of them around, and you will have a lot of them in some battles.
    Keep your horse archers in loose formation. This helps reduce their friendly fire casualties, and helps against the best counter to them, archers.
    When auto firing, units donít take into account nearby friendlies, so make sure your archers arenít firing before sending in the Cataphracts, otherwise you might lose as many expensive horses as the enemy looses cheap infantry!

    I use similar deployments for both offensive and defensive battles. My Ďstandardí line up is (when grouped) Ė
    1 * 3 War elephants [E]
    3 * 3 Persian Cavalry [P]
    1 * 3 Cataphract Archers [A] (substitute Persian Cavalry if you prefer)
    2 * 2 Cataphracts [C] (of either type)
    1 * 1 General [G]
    I generally deploy them like this.
    .....PPP...EEE...AAA....
    PPP.....CC.G.CC.....PPP
    The archers attack from the side, the elephants hold, and the Cataphracts charge where needed, normally chasing down enemy cavalry sent after my archers. Itís the same in defence, except the enemy makes it easier by coming to you. You can really set up some nasty cross fire as they approach your elephants, with pretty much a constant stream of arrows hitting on 3 sides. Rarely do any enemy infantry make it to my elephants line before routing.

    Now, heres something very important. Something that makes the Parthians the bees knees, the Parthian shot. Itís why you leave four archers set to fire at will all the time (except in very rare circumstances, normally to do with friendly fire). Its great watching your archers shoot away at targets they pass on their way to where you told them to go, it makes skirmish even more powerful, as they shoot their chasers whilst they run away. And, when the enemy starts routing, just send all your archers to the point at which they are leaving the map, and they will start shooting those poor cowards on the way. Whilst horse archers are powerful in their own right, Parthian shot is why you donít need any infantry, why use something to protect and pin, when you can kill whilst moving to safety. Its almost unfair.

    V. Sieges


    Sieges are where the Parthians hurt, and try as I may, I canít find a way to pull off a non-phyyric victory.
    Against wooden walls, its easy enough, walk up to them, and shoot anything stupid enough to be defending close by, ram your way through, then kill at your leisure.
    Against stone walls though, your lack of heavy, or even medium infantry becomes all to evident. The arrow towers hurt a lot, and if they have some archers on their walls, its going to be hard to approach them with anything. I have tried sapping the walls then covering my advance with elephants. The elephants live, but once in the city, it just gets worse. With nowhere to manoeuvre, the horse archers are at the mercy of the defenders, and Cataphracts are to expensive to bring in huge force. If your enabled heavy spearman, you could try a Greek like hoplite attack, but they are weak on the offence, and will be eaten by any decent infantry (like legions). Most of the time, I just starve them out. To do this, hire some mercs, and put them on siege duty. Try to draw their garrison out first, and obliterate it with archers in their backyard, then just wait the 8 or so turns, which is infuriating, but with a decent army roaming nearby, the city wont be relieved by an external force.
    I normally enslave when I capture, it boosts my core cities pop, and reduces negative effects in the city I just took, thatís a win/win!

    VI. Mid to Late game

    The mid game depends a lot on how the dice have fallen. Itís a given that Egypt will be powerful, and will make for your hardest opponent pre-Rome, it took me about 20 years to take Antioch and Sidon from the Egyptians, but those 2 cities gave me enough funds to fuel a second major army. The main challenge is not that they will butcher you with superior units, far from it, they just have an endless supply. On the whole, their cavalry is pretty poor, and infantry succumb to arrows in their hundreds, the only real threat is their archers, and they normally get a face full of Cataphracts.
    Taking Egypt should resolve most of your financial problems, but unless they are in a nasty war with the scipii in the west, expect it to take some time. After Egypt has been crushed, you can either take the rest of Asia Minor, or head west into Africa. If you go the Asia route, thereís a good chance that the Greeks still exist, finally some foes that cant fight back. They lack cavalry, and their hoplites are well armoured but to slow to prove any challenge. Threat them as a warm up for the final show, Rome. Most likely you shall meet the scipii or brutii first, but once one goes to war, expect the other front to flair up. By now you should be the king of the eastern med, I personally think Greece is a nicer target then Carthage, but either way.
    The Romans are a hard team though, the toughest infantry in the game, very good ranged unit, and a moderate selection of cavalry, but most important of all, by the time you meet them in battle, they will have a killer economy, so expect droves and droves of cohorts. The only time I ever ran out of arrows was in a battle vs. the Romans. Donít let their lack of spears tempt you to go Cataphract crazy either, upgraded cohorts can kill them if they stop their charge, and vs praetorians or urban cohorts things can get very nasty. Stick to collecting their richer holdings, although money shouldnít be an issue anymore, it denies them valuable denarii, and will help with a few more armies.
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  3. #3
    Typing from the Saddle Senior Member Doug-Thompson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthia

    A well thought-out guide, GodsPetMonkey.

    The Seleucids don't defend Seleucia in the opening moves, for some unimaginable reason. Taking it in the early turns eases the money problems.
    "In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns."

  4. #4

    Default Re: Parthia

    I might have to try this faction again.

    I went after the practically undefended wonder in the first cpl turns. Soon after, Egypt showed up on my doorstep and declared war; followed by Armenia; followed by Scythia.

    Had some nice battles, but it was just a (frustrating) downward spiral.
    Ja-mata TosaInu

  5. #5

    Default Re: Parthia

    I also have noticed that early in the game you may want to make a dash to get coastal provinces (most ideal would be the caspian sea ports which connects to the med. sea). By gaining trade access that way, you can greatly improve your cash flow, then use the funds to finance your way on egypt and the seleucid empire. I havent got past that part yet but will inform ;)

  6. #6
    Typing from the Saddle Senior Member Doug-Thompson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthia

    Quote Originally Posted by HopAlongBunny
    I might have to try this faction again.

    I went after the practically undefended wonder in the first cpl turns. Soon after, Egypt showed up on my doorstep and declared war; followed by Armenia; followed by Scythia.

    Had some nice battles, but it was just a (frustrating) downward spiral.
    @#$% Egyptians.

    I posted a long rant on another thread about how much I hate the @#$% Egyptians. Kill 1,000 and another 1,000 jump up, of better quality than the first bunch.

    I had to declare war on Armenia just so I can conquer their provinces to get enough revenue to support my war on the @#$% Egyptians.

    The @#$% Egyptians can't be strong everywhere. The fighting so far has been in the Palmyra-Damascus corridor. Lately it shifted to Bostra-Arabia.

    I'm going to put an all-cavalry army where it can threaten Damascus, Jerusalem and Bostra at the same time, with plenty of spies. Let's see if the @#$% Egyptians are strong enough to guard all three. I'll attack one and won't care if I can maintain the siege or not. I'll just draw the @#$% Egyptians into a fight and whip them piecemeal. If I take a town, I'll burn it down. I'll also launch a smaller force at Petra.

    I assume the AI will spam fleets in the Red Sea again, but if they don't or if I can get around them, I'm going to cross that sea and put a bunch of cavalry in the Nile valley.

    When I finally break the @#$% Egyptians, I'm going to put their cities to the torch just out of principle.
    Last edited by Doug-Thompson; 10-13-2004 at 23:42.
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  7. #7
    Altogether quite not there! Member GodsPetMonkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthia

    Quote Originally Posted by HopAlongBunny
    I might have to try this faction again.

    I went after the practically undefended wonder in the first cpl turns. Soon after, Egypt showed up on my doorstep and declared war; followed by Armenia; followed by Scythia.

    Had some nice battles, but it was just a (frustrating) downward spiral.
    I know what you mean, Egypt is by far the hardest faction you will face, mostly because they outnumber you totally and completely, and you dont have the cash to upgrade your cities to super unit factories.

    In my current Parthian game, which most of that quide was based on, there are about 10 great battle markers in Syria alone from me battling them, several times I would attack their army in my turn, then in theirs they would attack with another, a great bloody war that was, it wasnt untill I was able to push them down to the nile that they were finally broken, and that took 50 years. You would seige a city to find they have 5 full stacks of troops marching towards you.

    Its also one reason why I went for Armenia rather then Seluecia straight off, those north provinces are normally safe (Pontus rarely bothers me) and can keep you afloat whilst you and egypt exchange blows down south. Another reason is that Egypt and Seluecia had a alliance for the first 10 years of that game, and some very large stacks kept walking up and down my border, I wasn't willing to provoke them. Should they go to war straight away, a quick grab would be a good idea, but hope they dont feel like some retribution.
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  8. #8
    Kanto Kanrei Member Marshal Murat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthia

    Ahh, parthia.
    Just as the horse riders, I use them to raid (namely thous #@!*% Egyptians)cities, mostly I'll conquer them, exterminate, get the bag of the buck.

    Selucia is a nice prize.
    Armenia is very anti you, so go and burn thier eyes out. Pontus is a good ally. However Seleucids are practically dead. Feed on thier carcass. Pontus and the desert are buffers, keep cavalry patroling the area. Scytia can match you with cavalry so block all the mountain passes to them with mercs. Very effective.

    A interesting story, I got a army of Scytian, Sarmatians, and Parthians into Roman lands. The hastati, Princpes, and Triarii are chewable. Heavy infantry are easy prize, so the Greeks are no problem. However archers are havoc.

    Get your cavalry archers pumped out as much as your money allows. With alot of them, you can spread them out. I like to micro my troops to one units against larger armies, and just arrow them and then withdraw, until you can get a huge army of horse archers, then just pummel thier carrions with arrows, and once thier broken, charge.

    Careful with the Egyptians chariots, they can almost match your HA speed, and have almost twice the firepower.
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  9. #9
    Typing from the Saddle Senior Member Doug-Thompson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthia

    I have one complaint about the faction: Too many battles.

    Yes, that's a strange complaint, but I can't get no rest.

    It's not at all unusual for the main army to fight two battles in the same turn. Between brigands and near-constant two-front wars, I might fight four or five battles a turn.

    The campaign game has become rather lengthy.

    Oh well.
    "In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns."

  10. #10

    Unhappy Re: Parthia. Help. My generals always die.



    I'm playing my 2nd campaign as Parthia on Hard/Medium. Things are going well. Its 265BC and I'm the largest faction and am extending my borders on 3 fronts, into Turkey, Russia and South towards Egypt.

    BUT

    My generals are always getting killed. Even in routine bandit hunting raids where I heavily outnumber the enemy. I rely on large horse archer armies but my generals have a heavy cavalry bodyguard. When I start a battle the enemys heavy cavalry charges down my general, chases him around the map and eventually corners him and kills him. My HA usually finish of the enemys army, and I win the battle, but lose my general. Its very frustraing.

    Does anyone know how to protect these vulnerable Parthinian generals with their weak skirmishing bodyguards?

  11. #11
    Typing from the Saddle Senior Member Doug-Thompson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthia. Help. My generals always die.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chancellor Kroll


    I'm playing my 2nd campaign as Parthia on Hard/Medium. Things are going well. Its 265BC and I'm the largest faction and am extending my borders on 3 fronts, into Turkey, Russia and South towards Egypt.

    BUT

    My generals are always getting killed. Even in routine bandit hunting raids where I heavily outnumber the enemy. I rely on large horse archer armies but my generals have a heavy cavalry bodyguard. When I start a battle the enemys heavy cavalry charges down my general, chases him around the map and eventually corners him and kills him. My HA usually finish of the enemys army, and I win the battle, but lose my general. Its very frustraing.

    Does anyone know how to protect these vulnerable Parthinian generals with their weak skirmishing bodyguards?
    Mercenaries: Hire camels in the desert, Samarian Heavies in the northern provinces. Group them with your general. Don't leave home without them. That will more than tide you over until you can make some cataphracts. I've seen the AI stop cavalry charges and turn them around just at the sight of a unit of camels.
    "In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns."

  12. #12
    Member Member Raizen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthia. Help. My generals always die.

    This faction has frustrated me to no end. The horse archers are wonderful, but sometimes they aren't enough, and the Parthians really don't have much more of an option early on. Eastern Infantry are terrible, Hillmen are even worse. Money is tight, so mercenaries are few and far between. HAs have served me well in sieges, since the enemy is often stupid enough to run back and forth behind the wooden walls, but in open battle, it's extremely frustrating. As an extreme example, one rebel hillman got too close to two HA units, and all 108 of them backed off.

    And forget about fighting other cavalry in the open. Taking Armenia was easy enough until I ran into their cataphracts. That was an exercise in patience, and it didn't turn out well for me in the end.

    Egypt is a large pain as well. Go at them early, and you have only one main army that has to go through some provinces to get to the Egyptians, and then you get worn down by their stacks of Nubian Spearmen. Go at them too late, and you won't be able to keep up.

    Parthia is by far my favourite faction to play ;)

  13. #13
    Member Member LordKhaine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthia

    First off... don't pick this faction if you dislike cavalry. It's a really fun faction to play though, so I advise trying them! Anyway... here's how I did the first bit, which is usually the most difficult period of any campaign.

    I quickly built up a few turns, and then launched into Armenia. I rolled through them with ease, and you should too! I allied with Scythia at this point. It's not worth going north. The plains are huge, poor, and simply not worth the effort. You also have the mountain range north of your newly aquired Armenian provinces, this is an easily defendable line. I just left a token guard along the north line, and placed a few towers to get advance warning of any invasion from the north. Next I aimed south...

    Pontus! They may look friendly, but they quickly sent a large army towards me. So I did what any Parthian general should do, I quickly counter attacked! For me at least, they simply used large hordes of Eastern Infantry. As this screenshot shows... eastern infantry are fodder under the onslaught of horse archers. Spare no-one! At this point you'll be very poor, but your horse archers are your strength! With them you will get rich. Just keep pushing at Pontus, and don't stop until you have them wiped out!

    At this point you should be making a fair bit of money, and you can select where to go. I myself took on the seleucid empire, egypt, and greece, in that order (though the latter two attacked me...). Looking back Greece should perhaps of been my first enemy. If you push them out of their eastern provinces and then make peace... you can make a ton of cash out of trade. Going south always leads to a messy prolonged war with the seleucid empire and egypt. Certainly doable with great protential income... but a hard and long fight. By the time I was at peace with other factions, I had taken all of the western greek provinces, and gone as far south as the river nile. At this time I stopped advancing simply because I was making such an insane amount of money. This faction has the potential for a HUGE income via trade. If you get to this point you'll be in a very good strategic position as well.

    As for the tactical side of things. Horse archers are fast, pack a punch, and are pretty cheap. At the start I pretty much fielded entire armies of horse archers, with merc infantry simply there to keep the enemy busy and man the siege equipment. Their downsides are a lack of melee abilities, and they're tricky to maneuver in a town. But they're pretty much all you have at the start. Eventually you'll want to entirely replace them with Persian cavalry. These guys are basically horse archers... but they're in a tighter formation and can handle themselves far better in a melee.

    Concerning the heavy side of things. It will be a long time till you get a city that can produce cataphracts. So grab all the merc heavy cavalry you can get your hands on. Arab cavalry and the camel archers/warriors are also handy for desert combat. Eventually you'll get cataphracts and cataphract camels, and you wont have to depend on mercenaries. And if cataphracts arent heavy enough for you... you're blessed with the ability to get war elephants!

    As for infantry, you'll want some eastern infantry and bowmen (slingers will do until you get the tech for bows) to defend your cities and towns. I highly advise getting stone walls as soon as you can. Hillmen are preferable if you want to use infantry in battles (they're faster and have a better morale). But just remember the Parthian way, infantry are there as fodder to simply tie the enemy up, it's the cavalry that will decide the battle. Between the horse archers and heavy cavalry you can get by without infantry... except for sieges. Stone walls will give you a lot of trouble until you get onagers. Then you can simply charge into the breach with your elephants and cataphracts and hope for the best.

    Anyways... this post was a bit of a ramble perhaps... and plenty of it simply repeated what others said.. but hopefully it still added (or reinforced) some decent advice. Just remember to have fun with this faction, and don't play it like it's greece or a roman faction!
    Last edited by LordKhaine; 10-20-2004 at 03:33.
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  14. #14
    Altogether quite not there! Member GodsPetMonkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthia. Help. My generals always die.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raizen
    This faction has frustrated me to no end. The horse archers are wonderful, but sometimes they aren't enough, and the Parthians really don't have much more of an option early on. Eastern Infantry are terrible, Hillmen are even worse. Money is tight, so mercenaries are few and far between. HAs have served me well in sieges, since the enemy is often stupid enough to run back and forth behind the wooden walls, but in open battle, it's extremely frustrating. As an extreme example, one rebel hillman got too close to two HA units, and all 108 of them backed off.

    And forget about fighting other cavalry in the open. Taking Armenia was easy enough until I ran into their cataphracts. That was an exercise in patience, and it didn't turn out well for me in the end.

    Egypt is a large pain as well. Go at them early, and you have only one main army that has to go through some provinces to get to the Egyptians, and then you get worn down by their stacks of Nubian Spearmen. Go at them too late, and you won't be able to keep up.

    Parthia is by far my favourite faction to play ;)
    Horse archers are very deadly, but melee isnt where they belong.
    At first, I would loose quite a few in battles to them being trapped as well, but that doesn't happen anymore, I think its just a case of learning where to best apply them, as a rule, I send them after cavalry first, then fank in on infantry.

    A quick point though, when they are forced into melee, make sure you quickly turn off skirmish, it seems to be that they will try to run away even when they cant, and dont bother with HTH attacks, end results, loads of casulties, not many kills, persian cavalry in particular can give attacking infantry (and even light cavalry) a VERY nasty surprise. After learning to turn of skirmish, the rare HTH engagement was no longer a problem.

    Vs cataphracts, its about tiring them out, but its best to hit armenia early so to remove their menace, very nasty horses, but HAs will out run them easily. I wouldnt risk my own limited early cataphracts against them, and yoru general will be eaten alive, so try to bait them into chasing HAs all battle long.

    I found egypt pretty easy to butcher, but by then my horses had a bit of experiance from battles with armenia and seluecia. Anything in phalanx is HA bait, nubians and nile spearmen are a joke, and the AI never wants to set them in normal formation. The big problem with egypt, is for every man you kill, 5 are marching from the nile towards you, way to much money, way to much growth, its crazy. One idea maybe to try to slip though and capture an undefended city early, then raise it to the ground. Damascus may be a good idea, as its not so great to be worth keeping, yet far enough in their teriitory to be relatively undefended. You get some good cash from tearing all the buildings down, and set them back a bit.

    But always expect a LONG war with Egypt, 50 years is probably good, unless they get rushed in the west. Thats another thing, pray for the numidians and the scipii to attack egpyt early, dividing their attention. But trust me, their cities on the eastern med are worth it. Antioch (although seluecid at the start) is very rich, but Jerusalem is just insane, despite having a huge population, and thus supporting a large part of my army, its making over 4000 denarii per turn, and thats with being at war with my 2 coastal neighbours (Greece and what remains of Egypt). Whats more, with very high taxes, no governer (I have a shortage) and just 2 eastern infantry for a garrison, it has a loyalty of about 220%. Seems like the Jews like that zoroastra bloke
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Parthia. Make Egpyt suffer.

    Hi GodsPetMonkey,

    I took your advice on dealing with Egypt by "try(ing) to slip though and capture an undefended city early". Memphis is mine. The world map shows a spec of purple in a sea of yellow. It was a crushing blow to the worlds biggest faction and devastating to their finances. What a success.

    It started many turns ago. My armies were stuck in Turkey when Egpyt attacked on masse. Heavily outnumbered I had to do something radical. I slipped 8 HAs and one good general through the front line and pressed heavily into enemy territory. The Egpytians tried to engage me many times, but I always withdrew and pressed on south. Finally I created a fort to the East of memphis and recruited mercs every turn. I built up a large army in the heart of the enemys kingdom.

    I conducted terrorist raids and wiped out any small stacks that came close to the fort. After wiping out most troops from the safety of my fort I beseiged Memphis. The idiot Egyptians rallied out. I guess they outnumbered me 2 to 1 and knew no fear. Those phalanxes and spearman didn't have a chance. It was like shooting fish in a barrel. I gained a wonder from the most powerfull faction with a small, fast strike into their heart.

    Good luck to all fellow Parthians.

  16. #16
    Altogether quite not there! Member GodsPetMonkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthia. Make Egpyt suffer.

    Nice work Chancellor Kroll! Even more successful then I had thought!
    Another benefit about Egyptian cities is they are well built up, with any luck, you should be able to start producing higher cavalry units in Memphis, then strike at Thebes and Alexandria, which should be crippling.

    But better still, it means less of their men will be heading towards your territory, as they attempt to retake Memphis, its a solid plan. I recommend building loads of archers and the best walls you can get ASAP, if they lay siege, just 'sally out' with the archers, dump them on the walls in the deployment phase, and wait for the AI to do some trademark stupid act.


    Actually, I'm starting to wonder why so many people arenít being a lot more effective with their HAs. Even with fresh troops and a so-so general, I am able to kill hundreds of opponents with few losses... change it to my now dreaded (if the AI could dread) stack of all gold chevron cavalry, with gold weapons and armour upgrades (courtesy of Jerusalem) and if i suffer more then 50 losses from my 1200 or so troops, I feel it was a tough battle (well, maybe not, but with something that powerful, its hard to find a good challenge).
    Perhaps more discussion is needed on the best way to work the old horse archer.... damn the lack of replays for single player.
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  17. #17
    Member Member wanderingblade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthia

    Started a campaign as the Parthians, and they're superb.

    The main trouble I've noticed is lack of money at the beginning - which can be rectified by selling Map information, trade rights and alliance left right and centre. The Selucids are in particular good for this and I've yet to have any trouble from them. I've struck out west mainly - took the rebels first, then I invaded Armenia.

    Armenia only have one big army, which frankly looked too nasty to me. So I dispatched a few units of Eastern Infantry to sit in the way of his line of march and flee from every battle. This left the big army more or less impotent, and I'd slipped a few units of horse archers and my general around it to lay siege to his capital. I just sat the siege out, then in a few years that big stack had gone rebel and I got a nice army and 2 generals for 17,000 or so.

    I'm now engaged in war with Pontus, who I'd waited to be busy with Macedonia and Thrace. Settled down to starve his first two cities with a few roaming horse archers exterminating any unit of eastern infantry they see. I'm about to make a stab at his last city in Asia Minor - its going to be long, because he's got a lot but its all Eastern Infantry.

    My next move has yet to be settled. Egypt and Selucia are at war. My choices are to back-stab the Selucids which will make Egypt more powerful, or neogiate military access and help my allies. Hopefully here they can both exhaust themselves while I make the rapid strikes to disable Egyptian money holes, allowing me to roll over them. This is looking my more favoured option.

    My empire is crawling with bandits - which I just love because they're free experience for my horse archers.

    In short, Parthia are great fun to play and look like being quite different.

  18. #18
    Typing from the Saddle Senior Member Doug-Thompson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthia. Make Egpyt suffer.

    Quote Originally Posted by GodsPetMonkey
    Perhaps more discussion is needed on the best way to work the old horse archer.... damn the lack of replays for single player.
    There's an excellent thread in the Medieval:Total War guides section by Ludens, and a brief update by me:

    "How to use Horse Archers" in R:TW
    "In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns."

  19. #19
    Altogether quite not there! Member GodsPetMonkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthia. Make Egpyt suffer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug-Thompson
    There's an excellent thread in the Medieval:Total War guides section by Ludens, and a brief update by me:

    "How to use Horse Archers" in R:TW
    Good stuff, I remember HAs were underutilised in MTW by alot of players, including myself! But just from my experiances playing parthia I can say they have been boosted immeasurably, particularly in user friendliness, no more constant zooming about the battle field maknig sure you HAs aren't about to be eaten up by the enemy. I can actually rely on Skirmish mode, something I would never do in MTW.
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  20. #20
    Typing from the Saddle Senior Member Doug-Thompson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthia. Make Egpyt suffer.

    Quote Originally Posted by GodsPetMonkey
    I can actually rely on Skirmish mode, something I would never do in MTW.
    Check that link for updates. Looks like some veteran testers are going to explore some important questions next week.
    "In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns."

  21. #21

    Default Re: Parthia. Make Egpyt suffer.

    Quote Originally Posted by GodsPetMonkey
    no more constant zooming about the battle field maknig sure you HAs aren't about to be eaten up by the enemy. I can actually rely on Skirmish mode, something I would never do in MTW.
    I don't think that opinion is going to last you long.

    As I've said before, it is better, but they still have numerous quirks in the system. For example, if you have cavalry chasing one of your horse archers, they will get eaten up, unless you micro them. And sometimes even that doesn't help.

    Bh

  22. #22
    Altogether quite not there! Member GodsPetMonkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthia. Make Egpyt suffer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bhruic
    I don't think that opinion is going to last you long.

    As I've said before, it is better, but they still have numerous quirks in the system. For example, if you have cavalry chasing one of your horse archers, they will get eaten up, unless you micro them. And sometimes even that doesn't help.

    Bh
    Its lasted me 4 games as Parthia (2 loss, 2 victory). Very few cavalry units are fast enough to catch up to HAs (not cataphract HAs, just normal and Persian Cavalry) and besides, the first thing I go for in a battle is their cavalry!
    After that, I normally concentrate on the centre of my line, which are my elephants and cataphracts, making sure they dont run into battle untill the timeing is right. I keep an eye on my unit bar, if I see a HA with-out a bow icon, I send them after something new, if he is stuck in melee, I quickly set them out of skirmish mode and try to get any nearby HAs to help (I normally keep them in groups of 3, and even lowly HAs atacking on 3 flanks can beat alot of very tough enemies!)

    It's very rare that skirmish lets me down, but its half due to ensuring it can't. Anything that can catch you will succumb to arrows pretty quick, so get them first, then avoid map borders.
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  23. #23

    Default Re: Parthia. Make Egpyt suffer.

    It doesn't matter if they are fast enough to catch them or not. All they have to do is chase them to the map's edge, where they just stand there and get slaughtered.

    Yes, if you micro your units, you can avoid that. But you could do the exact same thing in MTW. My point was you can't set a unit on "skirmish" and forget about it. If the enemy has any cavalry, they will chase your unit down and destroy it.

    In the same way, you can't manuveur your units with skirmish off, and simply turn skirmish back on and expect them to work. In non-sally fights, your units skirmish towards the closest border. And they don't care if there is anything between them and the border. So they will happily "skirmish" through enemy units.

    The worst enemies for those problems are the Egyptians, as they get bigger cavalry units. It's hard to whittle them down enough with bowfire to take a stand. And as they are quite fast, you aren't going to be able to get away from them. The best "defense" seems to be counter-charging them with non-missile cavalry units (general or cataphract work well).

    Bh

  24. #24
    Altogether quite not there! Member GodsPetMonkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthia. Make Egpyt suffer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bhruic
    It doesn't matter if they are fast enough to catch them or not. All they have to do is chase them to the map's edge, where they just stand there and get slaughtered.

    Yes, if you micro your units, you can avoid that. But you could do the exact same thing in MTW. My point was you can't set a unit on "skirmish" and forget about it. If the enemy has any cavalry, they will chase your unit down and destroy it.

    In the same way, you can't manuveur your units with skirmish off, and simply turn skirmish back on and expect them to work. In non-sally fights, your units skirmish towards the closest border. And they don't care if there is anything between them and the border. So they will happily "skirmish" through enemy units.

    The worst enemies for those problems are the Egyptians, as they get bigger cavalry units. It's hard to whittle them down enough with bowfire to take a stand. And as they are quite fast, you aren't going to be able to get away from them. The best "defense" seems to be counter-charging them with non-missile cavalry units (general or cataphract work well).

    Bh

    You sure your not confusing skirmish with withdraw?
    I have never had a unit in skirmish try to run through an enemy unit when it wasn't surrounded, and I haven't seen skirmish favour any particular direction.
    That and I don't manouver with skirmish off, unless I want my units to charge through the enemy.

    I agree that HAs arnt fire and forget, but they don't need to be babysit either, I pay as much attention to them as I do an average cohort as the Romans, most of the time they can look after themselves, send them off to attack something, and start to pay attention if something goes wrong.

    Perhaps we just have different play styles.
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  25. #25
    Member Member afrit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthia

    I have just finished fighting several battles as Parthia against Egypt on Medium difficulty. I had a pure HA/Persian cav army (no infantry, no cataphracts, no general. A captain commanding).

    My conclusions:

    Skirmish works well with enemy infantry. Not so with cavalry. As your archers skirmish to the edge of the map, they will eventually run out of space and get engaged by the enemy cav. Since HA's are very weak in melee, they are as good as dead. Persian cav has a better chance against the eggies, although their large unit size cav is a problem. You have to double team them.

    HAs also need to be micromanaged regarding fire at will and friendly fire. If you have them charge (alt-click) a routing enemy unit, they can sustain a lot of casualties from friendly fire. I always turn off fire at will in all nearby unit if I want to pursue a routing enemy. Unlike foot missiles such as Velites, simply having all units in the vicinity alt-click charge the enemy does not turn off their missiles, as they can fire on the run.


    In summary, I agree more with Bhruic: HAs in RTW are a lot easier to use than MTW, but they still need micromanaging in certain cases.
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  26. #26
    Altogether quite not there! Member GodsPetMonkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthia

    Quote Originally Posted by afrit
    I have just finished fighting several battles as Parthia against Egypt on Medium difficulty. I had a pure HA/Persian cav army (no infantry, no cataphracts, no general. A captain commanding).

    My conclusions:

    Skirmish works well with enemy infantry. Not so with cavalry. As your archers skirmish to the edge of the map, they will eventually run out of space and get engaged by the enemy cav. Since HA's are very weak in melee, they are as good as dead. Persian cav has a better chance against the eggies, although their large unit size cav is a problem. You have to double team them.

    HAs also need to be micromanaged regarding fire at will and friendly fire. If you have them charge (alt-click) a routing enemy unit, they can sustain a lot of casualties from friendly fire. I always turn off fire at will in all nearby unit if I want to pursue a routing enemy. Unlike foot missiles such as Velites, simply having all units in the vicinity alt-click charge the enemy does not turn off their missiles, as they can fire on the run.


    In summary, I agree more with Bhruic: HAs in RTW are a lot easier to use than MTW, but they still need micromanaging in certain cases.
    With a pure HA army, your bound to run into these issues. With nothing else to chase, what are the enemy units going to go for?
    Again, I think its playstyle, out of a 20 man stack, only 12 of my units are HAs, the 3 elephants I normally include in my army arn't for smashing infantry apart, they are giant magnets for enemy units. If they have 6 cavalry units deployed, and 2 of them go after my elephants, the other 4 are split up between my 2 flanks of HAs, that means 6 HAs get to deal with 2 cavalry (normally I would only put 1 group of 3 HAs onto the cavalry problem on their flank, its more then enough). With that much firepower, the enemy cavalry are normally routing from losses by the time they even enter charge range, they just dont get close enough. If they do get lucky, and close in, my HAs have got almost half the battlefield to skirmish in (I always deploy my Parthian armies as close to the enemy as possible! Even when defending). The cavalry strong enough to weather a few volleys from several HAs and still have something left are normally to heavy keep up anyway. Once the cavalry are gone (again, always my first target) its time to mop up the infantry.

    Of course, chariots are a different matter, especially the archer variety. They are hell fast, very strong and may be able to shoot back.

    In my experiance, the natural enemy of HAs is Archers, not light cavalry. A few good volleys will decimate a unit of HAs, even in loose formation (I always keep them in loose formation). The 2nd worse killer is definately FF, HAs seem to carve them selves up well enough to make most enemy units redundant.
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  27. #27

    Default Re: Parthia

    Could be playstyle, but I find it more of a "speed of battle" issue. I generally don't like to use pause, as it breaks the suspension of disbelief. So trying to issue orders to units can get tricky when you are trying to watch the "main" battle, as well as numerous HA who are skirmishing. Most often I'll only notice a problem when they get attacked, by which point they are as good as dead.

    Bh

  28. #28
    Altogether quite not there! Member GodsPetMonkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthia

    Quote Originally Posted by Bhruic
    Could be playstyle, but I find it more of a "speed of battle" issue. I generally don't like to use pause, as it breaks the suspension of disbelief. So trying to issue orders to units can get tricky when you are trying to watch the "main" battle, as well as numerous HA who are skirmishing. Most often I'll only notice a problem when they get attacked, by which point they are as good as dead.

    Bh
    I don't use pause much either, but I do use it as soon as the battle starts to inspect their battle lines (its not like any good general wouldnít have scouted before the battle, or seen a large body of troops move into position a few hundred meters away!).

    Apart from that, if something goes horribly wrong I may pause to recompose myself, but I like to fight in a 'come what may' manner, and it adds a bit more challenge, which can be lacking with the Parthians (esp. vs Greek style armies, phalanxes are just too slow!).

    I will admit I did have problems with HAs vs Cavalry early on, but the more I played with Parthia, the more I found what worked best, and what didn't. Now its more or less knowing the best way to deal with cavalry, not helped by the fact that the AI is incredibly predictable, its very easy to anticipate whats going to happen.
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  29. #29
    Typing from the Saddle Senior Member Doug-Thompson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthia

    Auto-pilot skirmishing works quite well enough when enemy units are killed quickly.

    (Edited clarification: By auto-pilot, I mean just leaving the "skirmish" and "fire at will" option on -- not putting the units under AI control.)

    Putting HA/Persians into big, square formations that can fire on the move in any direction. This leads to massive, rapid concentrations of firepower from several units whenever it's needed. I've seen Greek cavalry charges stopped cold just by arrows.

    I'm a convert from long, thin lines of HA to great big blocks of them. As illogical as it sounds, casualties from friendly fire are reduced because there is less overlap between units.

    Three times as many HA can occuply the same "frontage" if they are densely packed. Don't crowd them, though. Put more space between formations. Then they can move, and concentrate rapidly wherever needed. Coordination with melee cav is better, too. The melee folks have more room to move.

    Before you know it, you'll have shot the enemy's cavalry to pieces and be surrounding his foot units, firing into their very vulnerable sides and backs.

    In the single-player game, the ability to concentrate cavalry on the strategic map is just as powerful.

    ========

    The mini-map is very handy, but only if you zoom in a bit. Everything looks like it's in contact when that map is fully zoomed out. I put a unit of good melee cav in the middle, one out to the right and one out to the left, with the HA in front. That way, I can double-click on one of the melee cav and get to the area of the battlefield I want to view.
    Last edited by Doug-Thompson; 10-28-2004 at 22:34.
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  30. #30
    A Livonian Rebel Member Slaists's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthia

    with "auto-pilot" do you mean just skirmishing or actually putting a group of skirmishers under AI control?

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