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Total War Heaven » Forums » Extended Cultures » Extended Cultures 4: Faction Previews - The Greek City States
Topic Subject:Extended Cultures 4: Faction Previews - The Greek City States
posted 23 October 2009 19:57 EDT (US)         

The Greek City States roughly represent the Chremoidean League, an alliance of the classical Greek cities against the Macedonians.
Although historically ill-fated, the union of Sparta, Athens, Patras, and part of the Cretans was the greatest attempt by the Greeks to reassert their independence, and their fate now is in the hands of the player.

Will you succeed in the epic struggle to regain the lost greatness, or will you be crushed by the Macedonian phalanx?

The early Greek army

In the early game the Greeks will rely on an old-fashioned army, with a mix of classical hoplites and units inspired by the Iphicratean reforms.
As their cavalry cannot match the Macedonians in quality or quantity, the focus is on an infantry capable of both forming a solid anchor on the center and being more flexible on the flanks while still able to deal with enemy cavalry with the support of their own horses.


Greek archers are levied from poor farmers around the polis, skilled in the use of the bow to catch a meal when crops were poor.
Armed with a short bow and a dagger, they should be expected to work as support of the battle line against light armoured troops and on the walls in sieges.
Outclassed by eastern archers, these troops won't last long in melee.


Slingers are recruited from hill shepherds, where the sling is often an useful tool to chase away predators from the herds.
While simple weapon, a well-placed sling shot could bring down even an armoured warrior, making them useful skirmishers in front of the battle line.
As with archers, they shouldn't relied upon in melee.

Levy Hoplites

The classical Greek levy hoplite is recruited from the poorer strata of the polis.
Armed with spear, wooden aspis, and a cheap helmet, they can form a shield wall able to absorb most light infantry and light cavalry assaults.
However, due to their little defence and poor training, they are prone to take heavy losses and run, making them a poor choice against anything better than other levies.


The trademark of Greek military for centuries, hoplites are a slowly fading out warrior type, brought on the brink of obsolescence by the post-Peloponnesian warfare evolution.
Still able to form a solid wall of shields and spears, they can go toe to toe with most infantry.

Their slow moving formation makes them vulnerable to flanking and skirmishers, meaning that unsupported hoplites are likely to fare poorly against a more balanced army.

Heavy Hoplites

Formed by wealthier citizens, those heavy hoplites are a traditionalist unit that took advantage of the warfare evolution brought by the recent Celtic invasion.
Mail-armoured and better trained, heavy hoplites are a unit that can be relied upon in most occasions.

Sacred Band

Chosen from the best hoplites of the polis, and richly armed, the sacred band is a truly elite unit.
One of the heaviest units available to the Greeks, they are able to stand against any enemy and hold their own even against crack troops.
Extremely expensive to equip and maintain, they are to be placed where the most intense fighting is going to be.


Peltasts are young skirmishers sent in front of the battle line to disrupt enemy formations.
While they should be kept out of melee, their javelins can inflict nasty losses to unsupported enemy infantry.

They need protection from enemy cavalry as they would be hopelessly slaughtered against them.

Heavy Peltasts

Inspired by the Iphicratean reforms, heavy peltasts are a light infantry unit able to fight against other light infantry.
Javelins, short sword, helmet, and a thureos shield give them light protection and good agility, making them adept at hit-and-run tactics.


Another result of the Iphicratean ideas, thureophoroi are medium infantry that can hold a line when in need.
Light linothorax, thureos shield, and helmet give them adequate protection while javelins and spear makes them equally effective against infantry and cavalry.
While perhaps not the equivalent of hoplites in melee, their flexibility makes them an useful jack of all trades, though master of none.


A heavy infantry unit, thorakitai are evolved from thureophoroi and some say influenced by Roman warfare.
Armoured in Celtic mail and armed with heavy javelins they are a professional infantry unit, expensive to maintain but extremely reliable on the battlefield.

While not able to stand against truly elite units, their mix of flexibility and staying power will make them a prized unit for any general.

Iphicratean Hoplites

Iphicratean hoplites are probably the most direct descendant of the original units created by the Athenian general.
Armed with longer spears and slightly lighter shields, they have a fighting chance even when out of formation.
Derived from a mercenary environment they were probably equipped for different tasks, as flexibility was valuable among soldiers for hire, meaning the same soldier could also perform as thureophoroi when needed.

Heavy Iphicratean Hoplites

Those heavy infantry soldiers are one of the most valuable early Greek units.
Able to fight both in a solid phalanx and engage in sword-play if needed, they are recruited from the same class of thorakitai, with whom they share much of the equipment.
Useful both in open field and storming walls they are definitely worth their hefty price!


The basic Greek cavalry, politikoi are light horsemen.

Adept at chasing skirmishers and causing trouble to unsupported infantry with their javelins, their lack of armour means that they're going to fare poorly in any sustained melee.


Prodromoi are light cavalry with moderate staying power.
Armed in a similar fashion to politikoi, their light armour allows them to engage light infantry and cavalry.
Against heavier foes they will fare better by engaging at distance with their javelins and run towards sturdier support.


Xystophoroi are Greek heavy cavalry.
Armed with spears and protected by muscled cuirasses they form a powerful hammer that compliments the heavy infantry anvil of most Greek armies.
Decent melee fighters, they should be wary of prepared spearmen or the heavier cavalry of the east, against which they will need support.

The Late Greek Army

Militia Phalangites

Levied from the poorer strata of Hellenistic societies, levy phalangites form a basic anvil for any army.
Their long pikes will allow them to keep most enemies at bay while heavier troops hacks at their flanks.
Their lack of armour and poor training means that an unsupported phalanx will quickly crumble if attacked anywhere else than at the front.


The counterpart to the classic Diadochii unit, Greek phalangites fulfill the same needs.
While not inferior to their Macedonian counterparts, their late arrival in the battlefield makes them a potentially obsolete unit, especially in the wake of Roman warfare.

Armoured Phalangites

Richly equipped, armoured phalangites are one of the most solid anvils available for any Greek general.
Thanks to their heavy equipment and superior training they will stand a chance even when fighting out of formation, although at the price of greater losses than their appearance may tell.

The Greeks around the world


Periokoi Hoplites

Recruited from Peloponnesian free citizens and forming the bulk of spartan armies, the Periokoi hoplites benefit from Spartan training, making them superior hoplites.
Extremely solid infantry, they are a welcome addition in any Greek army.

Periokoi Phalangites

A later evolution of the Periokoi, these phalangites will fight ferociously against any enemy of Sparta, defending their polis against any threat.

Last seen at Sellasia in the last spartan attempt to keep its independence, they fought against the odds and often came out victorious until they were crushed by superior numbers.

Spartan Royal Guard

Those hoplites represent the last full blooded Spartan citizens.
Their fighting skills are finely honed by years and years of harsh agoge training, while their courage in battle is legendary.
If they have a weakness, it's their dwindling numbers.
A resourceful Greek general may be able to restore the Spartan agoge's full greatness, benefiting from those unmatched warriors, although at high price.

Athenian Hoplites

Recruited from the wealthiest strata of Athenian citizens, these hoplites are a social elite, if not a truly military one.
Their superior equipment will allow them to last longer by their peers and with some battles under their belt they can become an extremely effective although expensive unit.

Cretan Archers

One of the quintessential Hellenistic mercenaries, Cretans are superior archers who will sell their service to the highest bidder.

Able to dish out devastating barrage, their armour will allow them to survive some abuse, although they still should stay well away from melee.

Rhodian Slingers

One of the quintessential Hellenistic mercenaries, Rhodians make superior slingers.
Able to dish out devastating barrage of bullets, their armour will allow them to survive some abuse, although they still should stay well away from melee.

Thessalian Cavalry

Nearly the equals of the vaunted Macedonian hetairoi, Thessalians are an excellent heavy cavalry unit.
Their heavy armour and great fighting skill will allow them to fight against most western heavy cavalry, although they may find themselves in difficulty against the kataphracts of the east.



Originating from Syracuse, gastraphetes are the ancestors of crossbowmen.
Although serving in a similar role, their weapon was very different in construction and meant for use during sieges.

Able to shoot armour piercing darts, gastraphetes are useful against heavily armoured units.

Syracusan Hoplites

One of the last representatives of the dwindling hoplite tradition in Magna Graecia, Syracusan hoplites are an outstandingly equipped unit able to hold its own in most battlefields.
A solid but expensive anvil, those men fought endless battles against the Carthaginians and successfully defended their city for centuries.

Tarentine Cavalry

A somewhat odd unit for the Greek tradition, Tarentines are an excellent skirmisher cavalry unit.
Able to deal significant losses against heavier enemies with their javelins, they have adequate protection that allows them to face light infantry and cavalry alike.
They are not a heavy cavalry unit however and will incur heavy losses if faced against professional enemies in prolonged melees.


Bosporan Archers

An adaptation of Greek equipment to the harsh environment of steppe warfare, Bosporan archers are designed to counter the nasty skirmishing cavalry of the east and dispatch their weaker infantry at the same time.

An extremely flexible unit, it should however stay away from confrontations with heavy cavalry of infantry as their limited protection is not designed for sustained melees.

Bosporan Thorakitai

A dominating infantry in the steppes, those thorakitai are specialized in dealing with heavily armoured enemies.
Their javelins and axes are also adept at city fighting, while their scale armour and thureos shield will grant them protection from melee and ranged weapons alike.

Eastern regions


An Hellenistic adaptation to fight eastern cavalry, lonchophoroi are a flexible heavy cavalry unit.
Spear, sword and aspis along with scale armour will make them able to melee with most enemies, although the heavy kataphracts of the steppes will still get the better of them.

Some buildings Greek City States will benefit from:

- Maritime Guilds enhance a normal shipyard to increase trade, provide food through fishing, and expand your sailors' skills. They are available only to thalassocratic powers, those who rule by the sea, among whom the Greek City States are one such power.

- A Naval Base is the ultimate expression of thalassocratic power. Ships built here and sailors recruited here are the best in the world. Additionally, the advanced navy increases trade as pirates and rivals are kept at bay.

Buildings in the Greek area:

- Plato's Academy in Athens will train your generals for either warfare or government, in addition, many of the wise men who flock to such a place of learning may join your generals.

- The Library at Pergamon is among the greatest libraries of the ancient world. Your generals can learn much from the extensive collection of books their. Additionally, many intelligent men come to study at the library, and some may decide to travel with your generals.

The Hellenic society through traits

1) Ethnic traits features of Hellenic world

All Family members of the League of Greek Cities-States are of the Hellenic group.
The Hellenic characters of League of Greek Cities-States can be a member of one specific city-state from around Mediterranean taken from a pool which will expand through adoption and marriage as the faction secures more regions in the Hellenic homeland and diaspora regions in other part of Mediterranean world.

2) Greek Faction Traits
The League of Greek Cities-States is one of the Greek-cultured factions. Greek are one of the most cultured and respected people in Mediterranean with high praise on intellectual tradition of philosophy as well as natural philosophy with many schools of thought, proud political culture, and great artistic tastes that export to every corner of the known world. The Greek-speaking world is where most of the famous intellectual unique ancillaries roam to study and see the world in their opinions, giving a lot of chances for characters to befriend and welcome them as their retinues.

3) The League of Greek Cities-States
The League of Greek Cities-States is the last stronghold of the real Greek political culture of freedom, independence and citizen rights, without corruption by barbaric ways of the Northern people and the slave tradition of people from the east.
Politic of Greek Cities-States and the League they formed are full of decentralized structures as well as political offices for people to participate in politic on every level for every true Hellenic citizen who is ambitious and favored by Tyke enough. It also needs to beware about other characters’ ambition and the disunity nature of Greek people both about their home regions and about their political opinions as well, as they are prone to backstab each other for their own gain.
But the highest political prize is still out of the reach of everyone as they are weakened by disunity and under oppression by other impure Greeks who claim to be heir of Megas Alexandros and they are awaiting for the true Hellenic hero to prove his worth before the gods of Olympus as liberator of all rightfully free Greek people.

4) Social Climbers
The political environment of Greek cities-states and the League is full with freedom and political rights which allows opportunities for those who desire to be the first among peers. May the gods of Olympus patronize the appropriate ones on their journey to the top of political career.

5) Greek Education System
Greek people take pride in their intellectual culture that everyone in the Mediterranean admires. The upper part of Greek society is among the best educated people in the world.
Greek factions’ characters can spend their time in philosophical discourses with the wise people on many philosophical schools of thought or study about their great proud cultural heritage in libraries and museums or look for a tutor to teach political and debating skills for use in political and military career in well developed cities.
And as part of civilized world, characters can send their children to study abroad if they are concerned about their education and have already seen the education center and like it. There are seven education centers spread across the world that belong to civilized people which wait to be discovered.

Again, I would like to thank Zarax for the work he did on writing up this, and Suppanut for the section on traits. And always, to DimeBagHo and all those who have contributed to Extended Cultures.
We would also like to thank Maraxus, Redfox and the EB team for letting us use their models and skins.

Veni, Vidi, well... you know.

Extended Cultures, A modification of RTW.

Si hoc legere posses, Latinam linguam scis.
ɪf ju kæn ɹid ðɪs, ju noʊ liŋgwɪstɪks.
vampiric canniba
posted 23 October 2009 20:30 EDT (US)     1 / 2       
So... You get phalangites after a Marian Reforms type event?
And why would Greeks have a Sacred Band?

you like something both hardcore and whack
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I had to remove the excessive numbers of smilies I used á la VampiricCannibal so as not to inconvenience low bandwidth users too much... - Edorix
posted 24 October 2009 02:29 EDT (US)     2 / 2       
Yes, historically GCS took a while to adopt the macedonian sarissa.

The sacred band represents group of elite hoplites fighting in classical style, EB calls them chosen hoplites while we prefer a more classical name.
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