The Sons of Seleucos

Hail, Strategos! Hail, all-powerful Arche! We are your people- of the vast Arche Seleukeia. We are the true children of Alexander, formed out of the bulk of Alexander's Empire by his able lieutenant, Seleukos. Our empire stretched from Anatolia to the Indus; our treasuries overflowed with riches from the bloated silk-roads; our vast army comprised the best of Alexander's veterans; nobody dared touch us. But things have changed. Your kingdom is under threat. To the west, the Pergamenics and the Makedonians; to the north, Pontos and Armenia; to the south, the Arche Ptolemeia; to the east, Arsacid Parthia. We even here of distant superpowers that one day may place the final nail in our coffin- we hear "Roma". Our lands have dwindled, great Arche. The Baktrian Kingdom has forsaken us, and we are no longer in contact with the rest of our lands, past Characene and Elymais. We no not whether they have survived, for we know of the threats posed by the Parthians, Dahae Tribes and Saka nomads.

Our once great armies have also dwindled, Basileu. All of Alexander's veterans are dead, or unfit for service. Our hoarding has cost us a well-trained and maintained army; we are reduced to our militias, bar our own generals' Hetairoi Somatophylake bodyguard, and the potential of a few expensive Rhodian and Cretan mercenaries. However, I, Arche, know rightly that it is time for the Seleucids to rise again, and claim what is rightfully ours- Greece, Macedonia, the rest of Anatolia, and Egypt. The Selecid Anchor of faith has not rusted and buckled yet, Strategos.

The Lands

As you know, Basileu, our lands have dwindled. We have been reduced to but five regions, and even these are not well defended. In western Anatolia, we have a town, Sardis, that was once the capital of the Anatolian Persian Satrapy. Its wealth has disappeared, along with many inhabitants. It does, however, have a Pallisade, along with Roads and basic Barracks, and the potential to construct mines. It has two units of Militia Hoplite and one of Peasant, and one of your generals, Alexander. He has a bodyguard of twenty-four, and will be your general in the securing of western Anatolia, and then Greece and Makedonia. The region that contains Sardis is riddled with able and willing mercenaries, and we are prepared to exploit this. In the Aegean immediately outside our coast is a bireme commanded by Admiral Euthydemus. Use him well. In Cicilia, we have Tarsus, a small town with a unit of Militia Hoplites and two of Peasant; it also has Roads, and the potential for mines.

South-east of Tarsus is our capital, Antioch. We have a garrison of three Militia Cavalry, two of which have good experience, two Militia Hoplite, and one Peltast unit. Antioch has a port, Stables, Barracks, Roads and a Wooden Wall. Here your bodyguard is stationed, great King Antiochos I Soter, and your retinue of a Heroic Saviour- he is already implemented into your bodyguard. Here is where your best troops will be recruited against Egypt in Phoenicia and Judea, be sure to use the port to pacify Cyprus. East of Phoenicia is the settlement of Damascus. It is small, but it does have Barracks and a Pallisade. It is under immediate danger from Egypt, so be sure to bolster its existing garrison, which contains your general Demetrius, along with one unit of Militia Hoplite, one of Peltast and one of Peasant. If you can, Basileu, pacify the rebels in Palmyra.

In the east, in Mesopotamia, is the settlement of Hatra. It has no walls but it has a Trader and Roads. It is garrisoned by one unit of Militia Hoplite and two of Peasant, but is not in immediate danger. Finally, in the far east is the large town of Seleucia. This town, Strategos, is to bear the brunt of the Parthian offensive. It will be more or less alone in this affair, unless we can recover the Eastern provinces, namely the Adygedy coast, Susa, Gedrosia and Ichthyophagia, but these seem far from our thoughts at the moment. The Parthians are regrouping around Seleucia, and the garrison of two Militia Cavalry, three Militia Hoplite and one of Peltast, and your son Aristarchus, who aspires to inherit the kingdom upon your death (as your eldest son Seleucus was executed for treason), is ready to buckle. He has an experienced and large bodyguard, and a retinue of an Exotic Slave, and a Biographer. Seleucia already has Roads, basic Land Clearance, Walls, and a Practice Range. Use them well, Arche- the survival of our remaining eastern provinces depends on Seleucia.

West of Seleucia is our spy, Philip, and south of Antioch is Attalus, our diplomat. As I'm sure you know, Basileu, we own two of the world's wonders- the Temple of Artemis at Ephesos, near Sardis, and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, of Nebuchadnezzar II. The former automatically takes 30% off the construction cost of any new religious buildings, and the latter gives us a 20% farming bonus, a boon, I'm sure, Arche.

The Warhost

Although are armies presently are mere militias, we have the potenial to recruit a grand army that mirrors that of once Alexander's, with our own native twist. From our basic Barracks, we can recruit the basic Militia Hoplite. When Alexander crushed Persia, he took the basis of Greek warfare with him. The settlers and natives are already mostly familiar with the Hoplite tactics, and can be trained cheaply and quickly- but they are not true soldiers. Basileu, do not trust militias. Once our Barracks have been upgraded, we can recruit troops trained in the true Makedonian fashion. Although they are not armored, the Levy Pikemen, or the Pandotapoi Phalangistoi, are able pikemen, wielding the sarissa and a shortsword. But Basileu, trust that better is yet to come.

In our larger cities, our Militia Barracks can be upgraded further, into true City Barracks. Here, we can train Phalanx Pikemen, or the Pezhetairoi. They are true Makedonian Pikemen, wielding a sarissa, and wearing a good helment, linen curiass, greaves, shield and short-sword. These, Strategos, are the backbone to your army, but there are two more yet- the best of the Seleucids have to offer. In a Large City, we can recruit, from the corresponding Barracks, firstly the Silver Shield Pikemen, or the Argyraspides. These, Basileu, are your elite guard, the best pikemen we have to offer. They are trained and armed to the best of expectations. Ah, but Basileu, we are ready for anything; we are prepared to adapt. A select few of the Silver Shields will be trained in enemy tactics and soldiery. We know of Rome's soldiery, and we have mirrored it. Hail, Strategos, for before you are the Silver Shield Legionaries! Bar our own color scheme, there is little to fault about our accuracy. We have even transposed their famous Lorcia Segementata, but we see no further use for it in our own traditionial ranks. Although we do not use skirmishers to an extent as great as, say, Parthia, we do recruit them- Peltasts in our Practice Ranges and Archers in our Archery Ranges.

Our cavalry, Arche, also has great potential- we have kept the Makedonian cavalry and have adopted the local cavalry also. From our most humble stables come the Militia Cavalry, merely mounted peltasts. They are, however, useful in that few can hope to catch them. From our Blacksmiths come the Scythed Chariots- they are cumbersome to train, taking a year, but they are covered in scythes that will cut down all but the most armored infantry, and are certain to cause havoc. From our Cavalry Stables, we can recruit the body of our light cavalry, the Greek Cavalry, or Prodomoi. They are lightly armored and are only good for chasing skirmishers or catching formations off guard, but are a potent force and should not be ignored. From these same stables, where we can, we can also recruit some of the smaller Elephants. Although they take a year to train, they are very effective and frightening, and will cause many casualties against both infantry and cavalry, but, Basileu, they are scared easily, and thus they are just as much a danger to us as the enemy. Be careful, Strategos.

From our Elite Cavalry Stables, we can recruit the Parthian Cataphract- an iron hammer, crack cavalry force that are armored to the teeth, and are armed with a lance and a mace. They can crush all enemy formations (bar the phalanx), and exist as a weapon our greatest rivals, the Makedonians and Ptolemeians, cannot recruit. Here, we can also recruit the larger War Elephants, which can support a platform for two archers to stand. They can take more punishment than the smaller Elephants, but, Basileu, they are also prone to running amok. Finally, from the best Royal Cavalry Stables, we recruit the best cavalry Seleukeia has to offer- the Companions, or the Hetairoi. They are fast, well-armored and well-drilled. They are your guard, Arche, and are prepared to guard you to their deaths. From these same stables, we can recruit Armored Elephants; Elephants that operate as the simpler War Elephant, but are armored to the teeth. From our Archery Range we can also recruit Ballistas, and from our Catapult Range, Onagers.

The Gods

We praise the whole Greek Pantheion, but we only openly worship three: Hephaestus, Dionysus, and Asklepios. A construction tree of temples in the name of Hephaestus will grant bonuses on weapons and armor, and eventually, experience bonuses. Hephaestus is our lame god of Blacksmiths and Metalwork. Son of Hera, we was born with a shrivelled foot that ashamed Hera, and was thrown off Olympus whereupon Thetis, a Titan, and Eurynome, a daughter of Oceanus, looked after him. He was married to Aphrodite, but she preferred Ares. Hephaestus gained his revenge by crafting a magnificent throne for Hera, which imprisoned her when she sat in it. She was only released when, Dionysus, our god of wine and frenzy, made Hephaestus drunk. We also openly worship Dionysus, the son of Zeus and Semele, a mortal woman. He drove all who didn't worship him into a frenzy, but to all those who did, euphoria. He grants us a double happiness bonus (to a corresponding temple), so, Basileu, please use him in our more dissillusioned settlements. Finally, we worship Asklepios, our god of medicine and healing. He was one of the sons of Apollo and Coronis, but his mother was killed by funeral pyre for being unfaithful to Apollo, but the unborn Asklepios was rescued from her womb before she died and was consumed by the flames; this is from where Asklepios derives his name, "to cut open". He provides us with a health bonus equal to a happiness bonus. Use our pantheion well, Strategos.

The Mods

Many mods change the Seleucids. Diadochi Total War, Rome Total Realism, Europa Barbarorum, and Amazon Total War to name but a few. For such an important element of Rome Total War history, it is difficult to ignore.

How to Play

Arche Seleukeia is unlocked after any one of the Roman family campaigns has been completed.

In conclusion, omnipotent and omniscient Arche Seleukeios, our empire is dwindling, but our potential is still strong. Basileu, it is time for a second Alexander to rise from the ashes of the Diadochi. One of Seleucid blood, who will regain and expand Alexander's realm, to the shores of Oceanus! Strategos, we are your children, and the known world is our oyster!