Parthian Units


The last option of any desperate army (except perhaps slaves or convicts), peasants are good for increasing your numbers...and not much else. Poorly armed and with little military experience, their morale and discipline are both understandably low. They are cheap to train, however, and their one advantage is an ability to hide well. Peasants should be used as an absolute last resort, or in cases where funds are extremely short.


Slingers perform a similar role to archers and skirmishers; their attack differs in method rather than in result. They can "reload" faster than most archers, but are even more vulnerable against any kind of close combat troops. The most famous slingers of the ancient world were those of the Balearic Isles. In general, slingers were not quite as widely used as, say, archers or skirmishers, for whatever reason.


Archers were used more widely by some cultures than others. The Romans, amongst almost all the peoples of the ancient world, were prominent in their disdain for archers (and indeed for almost any kind of ranged weapons). Nevertheless, archers are sometimes necessary (particularly, for example, in sieges), and the legions therefore recruited them from amongst the poorer sections of society, and from allies. They are not armoured and thus almost useless in hand-to-hand combat.


The equivalent of the other factions' militia troops, Hillmen are also civilians who have been handed weapons and sent into battle without any training or knowledge of tactics. This makes them largely useless on the battlefield, but they can be used to great effect for ambushes, raids, scouting, and such like. Their lack of training also means that they have poor discipline. Hillmen are armed with spears.

Eastern Infantry

Another generically-named unit type, the Eastern Infantry also carry spears, as well as large shields. This allows them to execute quite efficiently a defensive function, although attempting to use them for anything more than this may have unpleasant consequences for a Parthian player. They are also militia troops, and have the poor morale and discipline common to this kind of part-time soldier.


Perhaps the most powerful cavalry unit in the game, the Cataphracts are very heavy horsemen, who carry not only spears but also maces - the only troops in the game to do so. Cataphracts are capable of breaking through almost anything, even the spear-wielding infantry that can deter most other cavalry. Their only shortcoming is the fact that their excellent armour slows them down and makes them tire faster than others.

Persian Cavalry

Extremely versatile cavalry units, Persian Cavalry carry both swords and bows into battle. Their primary function is that of horse archers, but their swords and armour allow them to hold their own even in hand-to-hand fighting. These units are extremely effective and difficult to counter, since infantry cannot catch them and most cavalry units cannot outweigh them.

Horse Archers

A lighter, faster counterpart of the Persian Cavalry, horse archers do not carry armour or swords, but restrict themselves to raining arrows on their enemies. They are unfortunately not very fast horsemen, and can be caught - and dealt with severely - by other cavalry. According, these units should be used with a specific objective in mind, and not deployed as part of the main body of a Parthian army.

Cataphract Camels

A curious creature in appearance, the Cataphract Camel is nevertheless an extremely formidable opponent. They are extremely heavy, and well-armed; in addition, the smell of camel tends to frighten horses. Carrying spears and maces like ordinary horse cataphracts, these units are equally unstoppable against both infantry and cavalry. Their enemies would be wise to treat them with respect.

War Elephants

Not a very creative name, but these units do not need it. Larger and tougher than normal elephants, war elephants are so dangerous that Hannibal armed their mahouts with spikes to drive into their skulls in case the elephant ever tried to run towards their own lines- the devastation it would cause was simply not worth risking. If you go up against these beasts, you absolutely must have a good counter, or you are doomed. The animal can carry archers.


An onager, unlike a ballista, worked similarly to a catapult. These machines could be used to hurl projectiles up to half a mile (with the larger versions). The Roman used them in many different ways: large boulders were flung at walls to help bring them down; many smaller rocks were used against enemy troops as a sort of shrapnel; various burning projectiles were used to try and spread fire; and diseased animal carcasses were flung into the enemy-held city to spread disease.

General's Cavalry

A bodyguard was, historically speaking, a functional unit, rather than a type of soldier. In the game, however, they are spear-armed shock cavalry, whose success or failure depends to a large extent on the personal characteristics of the general who they are guarding - his effect on their morale, for example, or on their discipline, will play a large role in determining how they fight. They are in all cases excellent troops.