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Total War Heaven » Forums » Rome: Total War Discussion » Partian Strategy
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Topic Subject:Partian Strategy
bandicoot
Legionary
posted 23 October 2006 11:07 EDT (US)         
... other than not choosing the Parthians to play at all, what's the most successful strategy you've started off with when using the Parthians?

My game has gone like this (it's about 245 BC):

1 - I started off expanding westward from Arkadia to Phraasa which was a cakewalk cuz the Rebels there are weak and the settlement didn't even have walls (although the Rebels apparently got ticked at this as they later actually got together an army big enough to lay siege to Phraaspa several turns afterwards).
2 - I took a small army westwards from Susa and decided to try my hand at being the Constant Gardener, sacking Seleucia and capturing the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. For some reason, this really ticked off the Seleucids who have come at me for 20 years now with wave after wave of 10-20 units armies which I've until now at least been able to fend off.
3 - I spread farther westwards getting treaties with Scythia, Armenia and Egypt and then took Hatra. Talk about annoyed ... the Seleucids went completed wonky at this and directed just about all their forces to attacking me.

So now, the Egyptians and Scythians have turned on me and the Seleucids actually have an alliance with Pontus and Egypt. The past 10-15 years of game time has seen the Seleucids and Egyptians alternating attacks on Seleucia so that my force there could no longer support the army in Hatra.

Hatra wallowed as I could not advance them to a level where I could even retrain any of my better units so they eventually got crushed by the Seleucids.

Scythia came in took Campus Sakae killing a coupls of drunkard generals in the process ... no loss unless you were a wine merchant in which case you lost your best customers.

So now I have 4 cities/towns left ... Arkadia, Susa, Phraaspa and Seleucia. Seleucia is currently under siege by Egypt with the Seleucids waiting just behind them and Phraaspa is under siege by Scythia.

Two problems with this (other than the obvious) ...

(1)at Seleucia, the Egyptians and Seleucids both have access to onagers ... which may as well be B52 bombers to my army since I've had to use most $$$ supporting an army to hold the city rather than build it up and advance.

(2) at Phraaspa, the Scythians basically have the same composition of units as I do ... lots of horse archers and missile cavalry ... but they have lots more of them.

I'm wondering rather than annoying the Seleucids early in the game whether I would have been better off trekking across the steppes and trying to destroy Armenia and Scythia instead???

any suggestions would be most appreciated.

AuthorReplies:
yakcamkir
Seraph Emeritus
posted 23 October 2006 14:15 EDT (US)     1 / 12       
My advice would be to take Armenia and Pontus early, leaving Seleucia alone. Armenia are weak early on and Pontus are in rich lands that are relatively easy to conquer. Both are also of the same culture, meaning no culture penalties.

In Asia Minor, you should be able to take the lot and hire Mercenary Hoplites, Barbarian Mercenaries, Cretan Archers and Rhodian Slingers. These should be the basis of your infantry force.

Taking Seleucia is another fairly good early move, but you have to capitalise on it by going on to take Hatra and Antioch. Once you have them and have used enslavement to advance Arsakia, the whole Seleucid Empire should be ready to crumble. Take Tarsus, then move into Asia Minor and take the lot.

Scythia can be effectively neutralised by taking Tanais, Chersonesos and Campus Scythii, those three settlements provide the vast bulk of their growth and are a great place to exterminate for cash after taking Asia Minor and as a prelude to attacking Greece. I would personally concentrate on Egypt though, since they are far more dangerous than Scythia. Taking from the Nile to Asia Minor gives you a huge economy, large enough that you will have to do a lot of briberty to break even (as opposed to making loads of cash and getting your generals all corrupt).


The biggest mistake you made as far as I can tell is a lack of aggression. In the first twenty turns, you want to have taken at least four settlements, preferably six to eight. From that position, you can out-produce your enemies and beat them by having larger armies of better troops on the field. This is a good guide to how you want to be thinking when playing the campaign.


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bandicoot
Legionary
posted 23 October 2006 15:26 EDT (US)     2 / 12       
Thanks!!! Some great advice and stuff that I wondered about early on. I should have driven a shiv into the Armenian diplomat when I met him instead of being a pacifist and trusting on my good looks and reputation to carry me through the war.

One mistake that I realized early on that I failed to mention was that when I took over settlements I gleefully wiped out the lot of the rabble living there which crippled my ability to grow and sustain an advance.

I'm generally not a fan of slavery and even less of occupation as have been very successful with all the Roman families and the Egyptians by doing nothing but exterminating taken cities, but apparently these might be necessary evils to live with.

Later, dude and thanks again for the help!

yakcamkir
Seraph Emeritus
posted 23 October 2006 18:37 EDT (US)     3 / 12       

Quote:

I'm generally not a fan of slavery and even less of occupation as have been very successful with all the Roman families and the Egyptians by doing nothing but exterminating taken cities, but apparently these might be necessary evils to live with.


Populaton management is the key. As the Brutii, I can build a port in Apollonia inside six turns (seven if the Scipii are frisky). The trick is to manage where the slaves go and put them only where they are needed.

Rome: Total War Heaven | Medieval II: Total War Heaven | Empire: Total War Heaven
"Do not stand behind Satan in the Post Office queue because the devil takes many forms."
"Your front-page picture of Kate Winslet with a plunging neckline being up for two golden globes was most appropriate."

Unpublished letters to the Daily Telegraph
Spurius Dufus
Legionary
posted 24 October 2006 06:56 EDT (US)     4 / 12       
How do you do that? I thought slaves were just distributed evenly among your other cities?
bandicoot
Legionary
posted 24 October 2006 07:44 EDT (US)     5 / 12       
I believe that slaves will not be sent to cities or towns where there is no governor so if you don't want slaves to be sent into a town or city simply move the governor out ... but I could be and often am wrong.
Storabrun
Legionary
posted 24 October 2006 21:37 EDT (US)     6 / 12       
Exterminating is probably a bad idea early on as Parthia. If you enslave instead you can get a 12000 pop city much faster so you can build cataphracts and war elephants. I don't think you can get all the slaves into one single city. Every time I tried that they were always divided by 4 anyway. So if you enslave city with 12000 pop, 6000 would be slaves but no city can get more than 1500 so you might as well keep at least 4 governors in good cities and move out the rest.

Seleucia is really tempting with the hanging gardens, but if you wait just a couple of turns chances are Egypt will declare war on the Seleucids first. Thats makes it much easier to deal with them and might keep Egypt from declaring on you for a while. They will do it sooner or later anyway, depending on campaign difficulty, but later is better for Parthia.

Another benefit to taking Armenia and Pontus first is that they can't build roads, just like Parthia. I almost regret taking Hatra, Seleucia and Antioch too early and having to move my troops on dirt roads. Paved roads doubles land trade too.

bandicoot
Legionary
posted 25 October 2006 14:00 EDT (US)     7 / 12       
Sounds like great, solid advice to me. Unfortunately, hindsight really is 20-20 and I realized I should have taken a different path just a few decades into the game.

ciao

yakcamkir
Seraph Emeritus
posted 25 October 2006 16:38 EDT (US)     8 / 12       

Quote:

How do you do that? I thought slaves were just distributed evenly among your other cities?


A quarter of the settlement's population is distributed evenly between those of your settlements with governors. If you only have one settlement with a governor (ie. take the others out for walkies), you send all the slaves there. By taking Syracuse and enslaving it into Apollonia, Apollonia becomes a Large Town instantly, giving you a huge economic advantage due to the availability of Ports and decent economic buildings. You can also use it to produce decent troops.

Using this trick is great to get settlements over the boundary to the next level or just to give them a boost.

The other quarter is distributed evenly over the next 30 (I think) turns between all of your governed settlements.


Rome: Total War Heaven | Medieval II: Total War Heaven | Empire: Total War Heaven
"Do not stand behind Satan in the Post Office queue because the devil takes many forms."
"Your front-page picture of Kate Winslet with a plunging neckline being up for two golden globes was most appropriate."

Unpublished letters to the Daily Telegraph
Storabrun
Legionary
posted 26 October 2006 08:47 EDT (US)     9 / 12       
Are you sure about that yakcamkir? My experience is that all the slaves are distributed immediately as long as you have at least 4 cities with governors, otherwise the slaves are still split into 4 but distributed to less than 4 cities. Early in the game this could lead to the conclusion that only half of them are distributed right away (if you only have 2 cities with governors). I thought it worked like that myself until i compared populations before and after when i enslaved a city much later in the game with a lot of governed cities.

The slaves also give a growth bonus of 0.5% for 20 turns for the enslaved city and all cities it has trade exports with. But that could amount to much more or much less than the original slaves depending on the size of the cities.


yakcamkir
Seraph Emeritus
posted 26 October 2006 12:45 EDT (US)     10 / 12       
That is what I have always been told and I have never found anything to contradict it (I think it was Victoria that said it in the first place, but I will have to check it). However, I always manage my population exactly and rarely enslave into four or more cities.

Rome: Total War Heaven | Medieval II: Total War Heaven | Empire: Total War Heaven
"Do not stand behind Satan in the Post Office queue because the devil takes many forms."
"Your front-page picture of Kate Winslet with a plunging neckline being up for two golden globes was most appropriate."

Unpublished letters to the Daily Telegraph
Storabrun
Legionary
posted 26 October 2006 19:07 EDT (US)     11 / 12       
That's what I used to do too, moving out governors before capturing a city that would be enslaved. But one time I forgot to move them out and noticed that all the cities with governors got a big bump in population. So i wrote down the numbers, reloaded the autosave (start of turn) and compared. The result was that half the enslaved population was distributed right away, not a quarter. But I had like 6 governed cities and not the usual 2-3 that would get slaves.

I guess it could still make sense to move out a lot of governors if you have problems with overcrowding, but you won't get more slaves to the desired destination by reducing governed cities below 4. That would only make some slaves vanish.

EnemyofJupitor
HG Alumnus Superbus
posted 27 October 2006 12:09 EDT (US)     12 / 12       
Yak beat me to it- in everything

And I shall go Softly into the Night Taking my Dreams As will You
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