The Rebels

by Dugit

Some think of us as errant slaves; mere animals who were created to just be a nuisance, rebellious, unordered, barbarous seperatists who deserve extermination and absorbtion. But the Rebels are not merely rats that stalk the silk roads, or fanatical madmen who deserve but the best hemlock for their medicine. No. We are the independent states, bound to our own rules and ways of life, bound to our own gods and our blessed lands. We may be scattered and weak, but we are the only faction that cannot be destroyed! Our cities do not object; they will happily empty their pockets for their freedom! All humans suffer the urge to rebel- and eventually, all shall join us!

The Rebels are a hard faction to win with (the winning condition is to take everything. Yes, everything), but the able player would be happy to accept a slightly different mode of play in order to get the Rebel experience.

The Lands

Our barbarian settlements are many, but few will stand for long. The town of Tara, that appears on Ireland (Hibernia), is well garrisonned by a force of three experienced warbands and the only rebel druid unit at the start. Tara is unable to recruit troops, and as it will last for a long time, keep pumping cash out of it. Lugdunum, in a part of central Gaul (Lugdinensis), will not last for long, and cannot recruit, so again just pump the cash out of it and let it fall to the Gauls once the garrison has been drafted to Massilia. Bordesholm, although it starts as a village, is unable to recruit and starts with a weak garrison, is actually situated in lands (Tribus Saxones) that are prone to large numbers of brigand armies, so this town is worth defending, with these brigand armies, so this troop reservoir doesn't go to waste. Vicus Gothi, a village on the Polish north coast, is threatened early on by Vicus Marcomannii, so draft the troops over to Bordesholm for its defence.

The villiage of Aquincum is threatened by the Dacians, so drafting the Illyrian garrison down to the safer towns of Segestica or Salona is recommended. Iuvavum is protected by the mountains, and the Cisalpine Gauls generally do not try to attack it; only the Romans bother, so you can either draft the good garrison down to Segestica or Salona, or you can wait it out; the former is still recommended, as with the weaker town of Lovosice in Bohemia. The towns of Domus Dulcis Domus (home sweet home) and Vicus Venedae, in the western Steppe, are both well isolated from any factions by distance, but the Scythians will try for Venedae early on, so draft the troops from there to Domus, and if you can, draft both garrisons via pirate convoy to Bordesholm, once the land route via Gothi has been cut. The remaining barbarian rebel settlement is Ancyra in Galatia. It is unable to recruit, but has a good garrison, and would benefit from sending it to Nicomedia and then Byzantium.

There are a multitude of rebel settlements in Arabia, but only two in Northern Africa. In the Sahara, we have Nepte and on the shore, Lepcis Magna. Both settlments are in danger, from Carthage and Numidia respectively, and both should draft their garrisons immediately to Cyrene. The town of Palmyra (what is to become to capital of the short lived Roman-Palmyrene Empire) is well garrisoned and is able to recruit, and is able to fend off early Seleucid attacks with good generalship, and maybe even Egyptian attacks, once more troops have been mustered. The city of Petra in Arabia Petra is also well garrisoned, but is unlikely to survive Egyptian attacks, so removing the garrison for Bostra, and then both garrisons for Palmyra is recommended. Dumatha is well isolated by the Arabian Desert, but will eventually be annexed by Parthia, so perhaps removing the garrison to Palmyra is the best option. Phraaspa is in immediate danger from both Armenia and Parthia; it is a waste of time to try and keep this settlement. If it is possible at all, remove the garrison and traverse the steppes immediately north of the Caucasus, and take them by pirate convoy to Chersonesos or Byzantium. The settlement of Segesta is doomed by Rome; remove the garrison and use them to reinforce Massilia.

Many of our settlements are Greek based; our only city starts as Athens, a city well worth protecting. It is able to recruit (it even starts with Barracks), but is isolated from other rebel settlements. Immediately improve the Barracks, and build a Port. We own a settlement on the Bosphorine Peninsula- Chersonesos (Cherson), which is garrisoned by Militia Hoplites and Scythian Horse Archers. Once there is a chance, remove the garrison for Byzantium. The settlement of Massilia lies on the southern Gallic shore, but is in danger from Gaul. Once the reinforcements from Segesta and Lugdunum arrive, and troops are recruited, it can be well defended. The town of Segestica is isolated well by the Alps; if reinforcements from other settlements arrive, it can be easily defended. If not, the garrison should be sent to the safer Salona, a village on the coast parallel to Italy, as should the garrison in Apollonia, as it is immediately in danger from the Brutii.

Cyrene lies isolated on the Libyan coast; it is very far from anyone, but Egypt will try for it. Once the garrisons from Nepte and Lepcis Magna arrive, it can be easily defended. If Cyrene revolts, it will, however, not revolt into Rebel hands; it will revolt into Macedonian hands. On Crete is the village of Kydonia (Cydonia); few attempt to take it, but if, in the eventuality a faction does, it can be easily defended by the experienced garrison of Militia Hoplites, Cretan Archers and Cicilian Pirates. It can also form a good trading junction with Cyrene, Athens and Byzantium. The town of Nicomedia (Nikomedia) lies on the northwestern Anatolian coast, with a small garrison, containing Thracian colonist Mercenaries. This garrison should be sent to Byzantium when the chance appears, before Pontus takes it. Halicarnassus (Halicarnassos) lies on the southwestern Anatolian coast; owning the only rebel Wonder of the Ancient World- the Halicarnassus Mausoleum. For this alone it is worth defending from Seleucid or Greek attacks, which is comfortably possible due to its large garrison.

Byzantium, or Constantinople of course, lies on the junction between the Black Sea and the Aegean; once the garrisons from Nicomedia and Ancyra (possibly Chersonesos) arrive, it will become the Rebel powerhouse; easily defended, and with huge trade capability. Finally, the impervious Themiskyra, garrisoned by five triple-experience Amazon Chariot units. Keep the trade going here; as far as is known, the AI won't try for Themiskyra.

The Warhost

We embody all cultures within our vast spectrum, and thus we have the potentials of all cultures. But with invincibility and with no threat of public disturbance comes a price. We are limited to but the weakest of the world's soldiers, the mere militias, with few exceptions.

Our western barbarian cities are unable to recruit troops at all, and rely on their starting garrisons and brigand armies to keep afloat. All of our barbarian cities have the Warband, a basic spear-wielding militia that is oddly different in appearance to the Gallic, Dacian or Britannic Warband, but nonetheless keeps the same characteristics. Many also have Barbarian Cavalry, identical to that of the Gallics, Germanics, Dacians or Scythians in all but color scheme and a few other small details. A number more barbarian units are encompassed by us, such as the Dacian/Scythian Archer Warband, the Illyrian Mercenary, the Naked Fanatic, the Barbarian Peasant, and the Druid.

Our African/Eastern settlements are however, able to recruit troops, but these still remain as scattered and poor militias. These settlements encompass the Numidian Javelinman, the Numidian Cavalryman, the Eastern Archer, the Bedouin Camel and the Bedouin Camel Archer, the Arab Cavalryman, the Eastern Infantryman, the Parthian Horse Archer and of course, the Peasant. Brigands that appear in the Egyptian regions can also have Egyptian Chariots and Slingers.

Our Greek/Roman settlements are also able to recruit troops, and encompass the Illyrian Mercenary, the Militia Hoplite, the Hoplite, the Scythian Horse Archer, the Peltast, the Libyan Skirmisher, the Cretan Archer, the Cicilian Pirate, and the Thracian Mercenary. Brigands that appear in Italy can also have Town Watch, Hastati and Equites.

All brigand armies that appear can receive any of the local mercenaries by default, although it is uncommon for a brigand army to exceed four units. Some brigand generals may appear, and some that appear may have a good trait record. Unfortunately, brigand family members do not have a general's bodyguard, and are likely to be guarded by a unit such as Barbarian Cavalry or Scythian Horse Archers. Brigand armies may recieve a general's unit, but no family member to encompany.

The Rebels are, however, allegedly home to two elusive but powerful units, hidden away far along the Borean Winds, and into the lands of the Hyperborea. Although we only see the former of the two, the latter is attributed to us. The first is the Amazon Chariot, the best chariot archers in the world (be careful with the few you start with; you can't recruit them or even retrain them)- Amazonian colonists who brought their way of warfare to the lands of the Hyperboreans, "who the gods had blessed with endless sunshine and happiness, and could not be approached by the land or by sea" [i]Homer[/i], but a historical inconsistency within the game does allow access to Hyperborea. The second is the Yubsteb Elephant, a monstrous beast; at least quadruple the size of even the most rich-lived elephant, and with a platform to house at least ten of the best archers available. That look suspiciously like Cretan Archers.

The Gods

We do not share gods among our lands; the gods of our hearth and home are plenty for our resilient peoples. In our Greek settlements we praise a select few of the Olympian gods; in our barbarian settlements, we praise gods that only the people know- gods of Law, Horse, Health and Viking, their names lost among the sands of time (Horse and Viking give experience bonuses). Our Eastern settlements praise the wonderous Zoroastra; our African settlements praise the Carthaginian Pantheion. Our other civilised settlements praise even the Roman Pantheion.

How to Play

In order to play us, you will need to go to the descr_strat file in Data -> World -> Campaign -> Imperial Campaign (as I'm sure you know), and cut/paste the Rebels up to playable, making sure that there is at the most of twenty in the "Playable" section and the "Unlockable" section altogether; each with tab indent and on different lines. Save to Desktop and then Move and Replace.


Although there are no mods (that I know of) that aim to directly modify the Rebel faction, many mods include a change to the Rebels in their modification spectrum. Amazon Total War adds a number of possible units and new lands for the Rebels. Rome Total Realism gives them many new lands, and here, they aren't a pushover- each rebel settlement has its own king and private, well drilled army, so that each rebel settlement appears truly like an independent state.

In conclusion, the Rebels are difficult to win with, but present a fun new gameplay stance for anyone who is prepared to adopt it.


Oddly, the names of diplomats appear as characters from what seems to be the Bible- such as Jacob, Esau and Aaron, and all family members (non-Brigand) appear as Roman.