The People of Pontus

by Awesomated88, with help from Drakontos

Welcome my lord, to the lands of the people of Pontus. We are people of mixed heritage, drawing both from the Achaemenid Empire of the Persians and from the Hellenes that have settled the region. Although we control little territory, we are a people well able to make the sacrifices to establish an empire to challenge that of the mighty Alexander of Macedon, or Cyrus of Persia. The Ptolomies, Greeks, Macedonians, Seleucids and Parthians fancy themselves the the rightful inheritors of the east-with your aid, we shall instruct them not to underestimate us, the true heirs of both Persia and Alexander, as contenders for the title.

An able warlord will be able to help us destroy the Armenians to the east and the Thracians to the west, as well as establish a kingdom of 15 or more provinces. A truly mighty commander shall lead us beyond, to take on the emerging powerhouse of Rome, and establish an empire of a mighty 50 regions!

Our Lands

The starting lands of Pontus, and her immediate surroundings

Our humble kingdom lies along the southern coast of the Pontus Euxinus, or Black Sea. From our capital at Sinope, in Pontus, our king Mithridates also exercises authority over the city of Mazaka, Cappadocia, which is but a short journey to the south. At our immediate disposal in Pontus we have not only Mithridates' garrison of heavy Pontic cavalry, light cavalry, eastern infantry, peltasts and archers, but also the small navy of Admiral Ariobizanes, the spy Singes, the diplomat Sauromates, and the army of Pharnaces, experienced commander and heir to the kingdom-his forces consisting of heavy cavalry, light cavalry and eastern infantry. The capital itself is currently a large town, containing within its wooden walls a stable, barracks and trader, and along the coast a port. In Mazaka the able administrator and second son of Mithridates, Heracles, governs the large walled town contains a trader and archery range, and a garrison of two divisions of peltasts.

An understanding of the surrounding territory should be no less important in forming your plans- north, across the sea, the Scythian tribes gallop across the Pontic steppe, and to the west, across the Anatolian desert, lies the independent barbarian kingdom of Galatia and further, along the coast, both the independent kingdom of Bithynia and settlements which owe allegiance to the league of the Greek Cities. To the south of our kingdom lies the Seleucid Empire, and beyond the Egyptians, while to the east lies the mountainous kingdom of the Armenians and the territories of the Parthians. Although we are surrounded, the rivers and mountains of our territory provide ample aid for defensive operations. Furthermore, our enemies underestimate us; this we can use to our advantage.

A decent strategy might be to unite Anatolia before you sally out against other enemies-the capture of the independent kingdoms to the west, plus the coastal Greek and Seleucid cities ought to provide us with stable borders and not inconsiderable trading potential, especially if Rhodes and Cyprus are also taken-but of course, my commander, this is but a recommendation.

Units

As you are no doubt already familiar with a number of the troop types of this region, I have highlighted here just the most important of our units.

Infantry: Pontic Phalanx Pikemen and the elite Bronze Shields await patiently for battle to commence

Phalanx Pikemen- These well drilled infantry of the Macedonian style wield the mighty Sarissa pike and are able to form a phalanx. These men ought to be the mainstay of your infantry forces, pinning the enemy lines while your cavalry maneouver on the flanks.

Bronze Shields- These are the creme de la creme, the most elite of Pontus' infantry. To carry their bronze shield is a honor and a sign of a high social standing, a privilege well earned by their superior discipline, training and espirit de corps. Also wielding the mighty Macedonian sarissa, these phalanx troops are likely to be among the last men to flee a battle.

Missile troops: Again, as you are no doubt aware that our armies can field peltasts, archers and onagers, I shall not bore you with details of such units.

Cavalry: Pontic Heavy Cavalry hurl javelins at Brutii horsemen amongst Macedonian ruins

Pontic Light Cavalry- These javelin-armed light cavalry are best used to harass the enemy and chase routers; although as with any cavalry a well timed charge can do a great deal of damage, their lack of equipment means they are likely to recieve many casulties doing so-close combat is best reserved for emergencies.

Pontic Heavy Cavalry- These cavalry, also javelin-armed, are arguable the best of the Pontic cavalry. Not only are they able to destroy enemy formations with their javelins, but their powerful horses, armour and close combat training allow them to join the fight with a terrifying charge once their ammunition is spent.

Cappadocian Cavalry- These excellent horsemen come, as one would expect, from Cappadocia. Not as heavily armed as the feared Armenian and Parthian cataphracts, they are nonetheless of this tradition, and their spears and heavy armour allows them to charge the enemy with devastating effect.

Scythed Chariot (from the blacksmith building tree)- although the chariot is seldom used on the battlefield these days, it is nonetheless a useful tool is used correctly. Like conventional cavalry, it has a powerful charge, but also tends to knock down troops as it passes, rapidly disrupting formation and causing heavy casualties. This comes at the cost of being more easily damaged-do not let this unit get bogged down by enemy troops, whatever happens. There is also some chance that the charioteer may loose control of the horses-in which case the chariots shall run wild over the battlefield, and may disrupt your own formations. Be cautious in their use, these are not for the unskilled.

Chariot Archers (from the blacksmith building tree)- like the scythed chariot, this unit can knock down troops. Carrying archers, and built on a lighter frame, this particular version is best used to attack the enemy from range, and only close in when most necessary.

Our Gods:

As a successor kingdom, we have adopted Greek gods and worship them as our own. We primarily worship Zeus, God of the sky and kings, Aphrodite, Goddess of love and beauty, and Hercules, the heroic demi-god and legendary founder of the Macedonian royal household. Each god, should you establish a temple in their honour in a settlement, will grant you a bonus. The worship of Zeus will ensure that your people are happier and more law abiding. Aphrodite will provide a happiness bonus as well as augment the population growth of a city, while Hercules, grants a happiness bonus to the citizens and an experience bonus to troops recruited from the city. Each of these boni is immensely useful, so think carefully before selecting a cult to install in a province.

The Mods

: Many modifications of Rome Total War feature the Kingdom of Pontus, among them XGM and XC- both of which focus heavily on the regional troops used by our kingdom, providing a unique and enjoyable gaming experience.

The size of this dispatch limits the information we can provide you, my lord- to find out more, come to our aid and experience this yourself, and help us achieve victory!

Article by awesomated88
Edited by Drakontos

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