Faction Overview: The Greek Cities

Hail, Strategos, all-powerful Polemarchis! We are your loyal peoples, and we have long been ready for war. We Greeks could rule the world- Alexander did, the world was his from Greece to the far Indus- but his blood was tainted. A great king, of true Greek blood will rise soon, Strategos, one to equal the great Achilles, and crush the foul simulacrum Makedonians where they stand; the bloated, turgid Seleukids from all sides; the backward, power-drunk Egypt back to Tartarus; and Rome. Rome! Not one will live on through our omnipotent rule. The Greek Cities, the Koinon Hellenon, stand unified against these gathering barbarians, their swords glinting with the blood of our ancestors. Our ancestors cry for vengeance; the summit of Mount Olympos heaves with anger. And yet we are divided. Our way of warfare has remained in the past- we know not how to train the famed Makedonian Phalangistoi, Hetairoi or Hypaspistai that came to rule the world under Alexander. We have the most intelligent men within Oceanus, and yet our swordarms are wasted and necrotic.

Our lands are heavy with betrayal, Strategos, and altough we thrive by trade, we are not a unified Greece. The time has come to bind us together by sword; a common cause against the common barbarian. Let not our swords quiver, or our spears fall. We will come home with these shields, or upon them!

The Lands

We own five major settlements, Strategos, but not all are ideal for our cause. And what is more, Polemarchis, not all of Greece is unified with us. Corinth has defected to Makedonia, and Athens is fiercely defending its sovereignity as a city state. Byzantion, Halicarnassos, Kydonia and Apollonia in Epiros are doing likewise. However, Strategos, the few settlements we do own are rich and advanced; we own two cities- all of our lands are rich, and we still own a good navy, despite the fact that we do not own the Athenian navy. Unfortunately, our settlements are scattered, and each can easily fall.

In Sicilia Graecus, we own the city of Syracuse. It is well garrisoned, with two Hoplite units, two Militia Hoplite units, and one unit of Peltast and Archer. Stationed there is your son, Dionysios of Sparta, who stands to inherit the Koinon Hellenon, with his bodyguard of twenty-six and his coveted Playwright. Syracuse has Stone Walls, Barracks, Roads, a Port, and basic Land Clearance. It is worth keeping, but it is under immediate threat, especially from the Scipii Romans to the north, in Messana, but also from the Carthaginians, in the west, in Lilybaeon. I suggest, Strategos, that we ally with Carthage, for both military assistance and trade. If we are unified in this war, Roma will not spell our doom. This is certainly possible, as west of Syracuse is an experienced diplomat, Diodoros of Gela.

In western mainland Greece, we own the large town of Thermon, with a garrison of three Peltast, one Militia Hoplites, and one Cretan Archers. Also stationed there is your younger son, Antigonos. Thermon has a Pallisade and a Practice Range, but nothing else. Thermon is also in danger, from both Makedonia in Larissa, to the northeast, and the Brutii Romans, who (as it is reported, Strategos) are planning a campaign to pacify Apollonia, which will place Thermon in danger. Our capital, Sparta, is situated in southern Greece, Laconia. It is garrisoned by two units of Hellot Peasant, one unit of Militia Hoplite and Hoplite, and one unit of Spartan Hoplite. Your bodyguard of 48, great Kleomenes, is situated here, as is your champion Wrestler. Sparta has Militia Barracks, Roads, Land Clearance and a Temple of Nike, but no walls. I recommend that they are built soon to meet any Makedonian or Roman threat. East of Sparta is our faction spy, Charax of Gythium. I suggest, Polemarchis, that he be sent to Corinth to infiltrate it and to prepare it for our attack.

Luckily, sir, the Pergamene Kingdom in northwestern Anatolia has defected to us, and has provided us with two units of Militia Hoplite for garrisoning its capital, Pergamum. It has a Trader, Barracks, and Land Clearance, but no walls. Nearby are some silver reserves- I suggest the construction of mines to exploit it, Strategos. One of your sons, Eumenes, is situated there also, along with another of our diplomats, Castor of Elis. Around Pergamum are a number of mercenaries ready for recruitment; I suggest we exploit this before the Pontics do. Our final settlement is Rhodes (Rhodos) on the island of Rhodes, southwest of Anatolia. The small island is easily defended; it has a garrison of one unit of Militia Hoplite and one unit of experienced Rhodian Slingers, and your son, Memnon. North of Rhodes is our navy, of three Biremes under Admiral Polydoros; I suggest using it to capture Halicarnassus and thus the famous Mausoleum.

The Army

We have not moved with the times, Strategos. Our armies practice the time-hardened hoplite warfare, but little else. We do not have the famed heavy cavalry of Alexander, neither do we have his Pikemen. But even so, hidden within every true Greek heart, is the best of the world's warriors. From our most lowly Barracks come the Militia Hoplites, the Hoplitai Haploi. Every citizen of every Greek polis knows hoplite warfare, and can be called on in times of need. They may be just a militia, but they are vital to your success, Polemarchis. They have the Hoplon shield, from where they derive their name, and a good thrusting spear. From our larger towns, we can train the better of our Hoplitai, who provide their own armor. They are the backbone of your army, Strategos. They are well-drilled and well-supplied, and provide our poleis with all the protection they need, but they are not equipped to stand against the Makedonian Phalangistoi. Trust that, Strategos, the best of Greece is yet to come.

From our true poleis, our cities, come the Armored Hoplites, the Epilektoi Hoplitai. They are the best warriors any Greek city has to offer. They are armed and armored to the teeth, their shields boasting a brass finish. These are your true field troops Strategos, they are trained to defend the Koinon Hellenon to the death. Ah, but Polemarchis, from two of your cities, Sparta and Syracuse, come the best warriors the world has ever seen- the Spartan Hoplites, the Lakedaimonioi Hoplitai. They fight as any other hoplite, but have an unwavering loyalty and morale, and only the most powerful of enemy forces could scathe their morale; remember, Strategos, these are the children of the three-hundred who stood at Thermopylae, they are the true few who will come home with their shield, or upon it. They have recovered from their defeat by the Thebans at Leuktra, and are ready to taste the blood of betrayers once more.

We are not a faction with particular equestrian prowess, Strategos, so the few cavalry that accompany the hoplite line must be used to full effect. From our humblest of Stables come the Militia Cavalry, or Prodomoi. They are quick skirmisher cavalry, mounted Peltastai. They are perfect for wearing down the main enemy battle line before closure, against soldiers who cannot hope to catch them. From our Cavalry Stables come the Greek Cavalry, or Hippeis, who are the best cavalry Greece has to offer our cause, bar our own bodyguards, the Hetairoi Somatophylakes. The Hippeis are but light cavalry, Strategos, and should only be used against skirmishers and other light infantry. From our Elite Cavalry Stables comes the Incendiary Pig, pigs coated in pitch and oil, and set alight to run in terror and agony to frighten enemy elephants. From our Practice Ranges come the Peltastai, javelineer skirmishers that are more that capable of ruining a main enemy battle line before any swords are drawn, and from our Archery Ranges come the Archers, or Toxotai, who are famed for the casualties they can inflict, but are vulnerable in combat. Although Crete has forsaken us, we do have access to their archers in great volume, even though they still act as mercenaries. Use and protect them well, Strategos.

The Gods

We Greeks worship the entire Greek Pantheon, but only openly worship four. The first is Athena, the Olympan goddess of civilization, wisdom, strength, strategy, craft, justice, war and skill. She is the child of Zeus and Metis, born fully-armed from the head of Zeus after he swallowed the pregnant Metis. She assisted the Greeks in the Trojan war, after Paris of Troy had declared Aphordite the most beautiful goddess, and she presided over the first murder case, the murder of Clytemnestra by her son Orestes. We get a law bonus from her temples that is equal to the happiness bonus. The second deity we worship is Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty, love, desire, pleasure and fertility. Homer's accounts say that she was born of Zeus and Dione, but Hesiod says that when Chronos castrated his father, Ouranuos:

"the genitalia fell into the sea whereupon a mound of foam formed, and a beautiful maiden rose from the foam, coming to rest at Cyprus."

She gives our settlements growth bonuses.

The third deity we worship is Hermes, our god of roads, travel, writing, wit, language, and more. He is the son of Zeus and Maia, the eldest of the Pleiades; he is renowned as the messenger of Zeus, but also for the invention of the lyre, and his trickery. He provides our settlements with a trade bonus. The fourth and final deity we worship is the goddess Nike, the daughter of Pallas and Styx; she is the goddess of victory, with her siblings Cratos, Bia and Zelus, the patrons of strength, force and rivalry respectively. She provides our settlements with experience for our troops.

The battlefield beckons us, Strategos. Under your guideful hand, by Zeus, we shall reconquer what is rightfully ours, and exterminate the barbarians that plague the lands within Oceanos. Alexander tried, but he was poisoned by success, by his own foul Makedonian blood. We shall not make the same mistakes, Strategos.

How to Play

The Greek Cities are unlocked after a Roman family campaign is completed.

The Mods

Almost all conversion mods affect the Greek Cities in some way or another, as it is a hard faction to ignore. Amazon Total War and Extended Cultures improves its troop roster, while mods like Europa Barbarorum, Rome Total Realism and Diadochi Total War go further, as does the Expanded Greek Mod.