The Seleucid Sledgehammer

By scipio_africanus

WARNING: This strategy is extremely historically inaccurate and many people will probably call it cheating. However, it is fun and good at relieving stress, so I like using it.

This is a strategy that I have found to be extremely effective against non-phalanx enemies, but I'm sure that it could be easily adapted for use against any foe.

25k budget

You will need:

  • 9 Cataphracts
  • 5 War elephants
  • 5 onagers
Spend the rest of the money upgrading the Cataphracts.


The deployment for this strategy is quite simple. Set your onagers up in a line; put the elephants in a line in front of them, and the Cataphracts in a double line behind the onagers. If their is high ground in your deployment zone, use it; otherwise deploy about halfway back.

The Battle

Set the onagers to fire at will and flaming ammo (if you can stand the lag). At this point, the enemy will either stay out of range or take some heavy casualties and morale penalties while advancing.

If they stay where they are, do not move and wait for them to come to you. If you advance with your Cataphracts and elephants now, the onagers will be useless and you will have wasted a lot of denarii. When they advance, and their main line gets close, turn off the onagers and charge the elephants to a point behind their line. Even if your elephants die, the enemy will be in disarray.

Do not worry if the enemy sends troops to your onagers at this point. Your Cataphracts will see off practically everything.

By now, there should be a lot of dead elephants, but (hopefully) even more dead enemies, lying on the field and your enemy will probably be in clusters.

Now is the time for your Cataphracts to spring into action. The next step is simple: charge anything that is alive with all nine units. Nothing will stand under this pressure, especially if you still have elephants chasing after the enemy. Soon there will be nothing left of the enemy but a few men running for their lives.

This strategy is by no means certain to succeed, and although I have usually won with it, don't blame me if you are defeated. Although, if that happens, you have more than enough firepower to take a lot of them with you.