Opening Moves-The Seleucid Empire

By ScipioMaximus.

The Seleucid Empire probably has one of the roughest starts in Rome Total War, mostly because you're almost sure to be fighting a three front war, but also because you start with an extremely stretched out empire. This becomes a problem since it's very difficult to get troops to protect your cities when needed. The bright side is that should you survive the first few turns, you are guaranteed to win the game.

We will be doing this with the very hard / very hard difficulty setting so to make this a foolproof plan.

In this tutorial I will be demonstrating the Blitzkrieg strategy for how to fight a many-front war. Simply stated, the strategy is to gain the ability to make quick decisive strikes at the enemy and take them down one by one, like the divide and conquer maxim. It was invented by Nazi Germany and proved to be decisive in the war against France, Britain, and Russia. It was also used by Israel in the six day war against Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. I thought the circumstances of these two wars best represented the one of the Seleucid Empire so I decided I would base my campaign on that tactic which has proved itself to be extremely powerful.

Throughout the campaign I will be focusing on the Wonders, World Wonders may not help so much in the long run, but for the first part of the game, they help keep your people happy when in war, and give an extra shiny penny when you'll need it. The Seleucid Empire has the best start location to gain all the Wonders of the Ancient World, but to do so is no small achievement.

First turn

Alright, first you'll want to look at all your cities and set the taxes as high as you can go without going lower that 110% public order, then you should take your diplomat near Antioch and send him down to Sidon to get trade rights and an alliance, and make them give you map info and 400 denarii.

Diplomacy with Egypt

This is mostly to get their armies away from your cities so that you can strike the first blow. After that send your spy up towards Arsakia/Media, we will be watching that Parthian army to see if we can bribe their Cataphracts which could come in handy later.

After that you will build and recruit the following in each city:

  • Antioch: Militia Barracks, Bireme
  • Tarsus: Nothing
  • Damascus: Roads, Militia Hoplites
  • Seleucia: Barracks, Diplomat
  • Sardis: Militia Hoplites
  • Hatra: Nothing

End the turn.

Second Turn

Now you might get a suitable husband thing this turn so accept and he will pop up in Antioch. I don't think this will make too much of a difference.

You get a handsome profit this turn, so go to Selucia and send your diplomat to get trade agreement and alliance for your map info, don't charge money because they might refuse.

Recruit the following:

  • Antioch: Bireme
  • Damascus: Militia Hoplites
  • Sardis: Militia Hoplites

Keep sending your spy up to Arsakia. Also, get Alexander out of Sardis and recruit all of the mercenaries, he is going to go and capture Rhodes in a few turns. Rhodes is pretty lightly garrisoned right now and has one of the seven wonders.

Alexander and the Colossus of Rhodes

This one in particular is the Colossus of Rhodes and will give you a 40% increase in sea trade if we capture it (that's very good because we'll need the money for our war with Egypt).

Now, take all the units garrisoned in Antioch except Antiochus and put up next to Sidon, then take all the units is Damascus except the peasants and put them on the other side of Sidon, buy the mercenaries too. Now the Bireme in Antioch is because they will probably try to get troops from Salamis to aid Sidon and that could be a problem for us.

End the turn.

Third Turn

Load Alexander's army along with 4 Militia Hoplites from Sardis into the boat. Take your army north of Sidon and siege Sidon. Take your army form Damascus and destroy the army just south of Sidon.

Besieging Sidon

Take your navy in Antioch and attack the Egyptian navy near Salamis. You should sink the navy quite easily.

Recruit the following:

  • Antioch: Militia Hoplites
  • Damascus: Militia Hoplites
  • Sardis: Mines, Militia Hoplites

End the turn

Forth Turn

Recruit the following:

  • Antioch: City Barracks, Levy Pikemen (Finally some good troops)
  • Damascus: Militia Hoplites
  • Sardis: Militia Hoplites
  • Selucia: Militia Barracks, Militia Hoplites

Take your diplomat and bribe what's left of the troops south of Sidon that you defeated, you don't want them getting in the way of your siege. Now assault the city, it shouldn't be too hard since you have a pretty big advantage.

Exterminate the populace - reason #1 because they hate you and will revolt if you don't. #2 because you will need the money from looting. And #3 because the larger the populace in a city the less money you get, so you should never enslave, always exterminate anything larger than town, and only occupy the smallest of settlements.

Repair all the damaged buildings and build Militia Barracks, retrain all of your militia hoplites and recruit one.

Now send your fleet in Sardis to Rhodes and land on the opposite side of where the Greek army outside of the city is. This is so they don't attack you before you have depleted the numbers of the city garrison and are ready to Assault.

Send your diplomat near Sidon down towards Jerusalem.

End the turn

Fifth Turn

You are now the largest faction

You are the largest faction

By now your spy has gotten to the Parthian army and found that the Cataphracts are under the control of the Faction Leader, so you are currently unable to bribe them. On the other hand, the faction leader is 62 years old so he might not be around much longer so keep an eye on him. Now you see that there is a medium sized army near Jerusalem. Don't panic that's just what you want. The fools have sent almost their entire military out towards your cities, thus leaving the Nile valley vulnerable, most importantly Memphis. Memphis holds the prized Pyramid and Sphinx of Giza.

The Great Pyramid and the Sphinx at Giza

The Great Pyramid and Sphinx of Giza increase the loyalty of the Egyptians to the ruling faction, so if we take this it will probably cause the Egyptians to revolt against, well... Egypt, and make our campaign that much easier. But we're getting ahead of ourselves, first we have to capture the Wonder we first took a look at, the Colossus.

Keep up the siege on Rhodes; you should be able to take it in about two turns.

Recruit the following:

  • Antioch: Levy Pikemen
  • Sardis: Militia Hoplites
  • Sidon: Militia Hoplites
  • Damascus: Militia Hoplites
  • Seleucia: Militia Hoplites

End the turn.

Both Pontus and Armenia will ask for trade rights for map info, accept both and don't ask for alliance since they will refuse.

Sadly your faction leader has died so I feel this is the most appropriate moment to leave you. You should have enough troops in Antioch, Sardis, and Damascus to defeat the Egyptian army coming in, and Rhodes should fall within 2 turns, with that 40% sea trade bonus you should have enough finance to finish off Egypt by taking Jerusalem and exterminating the populace and then sending an army to take Memphis.

You should go and get an alliance with Pontus after that and by then the Parthian faction leader will be dead so you are free to get those white shining cataphracts. The rest should be easy just remember to keep conquering and stay away from Greece since it will only mean disaster in the form of Romans. I'd advise you to conquer Halicarnassus sometime soon, and then later Pergamum. Do that and in no time you will be on the road to victory and glory.


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