Europa Barbarorum modification for Rome: Total War
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Arche Seleukeia








Koinon Hellenon

History Units

The two urns on the floor of Zeus' palace do indeed hold a mixture of good and evil for all. The glorious summer of the fifth century, when the relatively small poleis of Athenai and Sparte turned away the combined might of a terrible empire, when each in turn possessed naval empires and controlled lands far from their native soils, is gone. Today they are but splendid memories perpetuated by the philosophers who walk the streets of Athena’s city on the hill. The gifts of Zeus have been full of sorrow for them from the day in 338 that a teen-aged boy named Alexandros led a successful cavalry charge into their midst at Chaironeia (and even then the Athenians were tricked into believing victory was theirs; "On to Makedonia!" was their cry before the young prince stormed the gap their rash charge had left open and smashed the ranks of their allies from behind). But the god turns his sorrow now towards the north and the Makedonian fetters have been partially broken at last! Athenai herself is freed, though Attike itself cannot rest from the threat of Antigonos’ soldiers. Sparte renews the agoge military training of its sons and has men strong enough to campaign as mercenaries far from their home in the Eurotas valley. Rhodos, who has rarely if ever looked outside the shores of her island except where money could be made, possesses naval might and trading clout that might be harnessed more efficiently in tandem with other powers. Realizing it is in her best interests at the time being to do so, Rhodos has joined the other two ancient cities in the hopes of warding off their common enemies. Individually, they are small, regional powers. But sharing common interests and facing their enemies together, there is hope at least.

To cope with Makedonian advances in phalanx warfare, changes in traditional hoplite equipment have been made. Lighter armed but faster hoplitai now can chase down and deal more effectively with the threat of peltastai, and the more elite hoplitai have a better chance, with some help, of staving off the Makedonian troops. Spartan hoplitai are still among the most feared troops in the Mediterranean, but they are not easy to come by, their numbers are greatly reduced, and it is arguable whether or not they are the equals of their ancestors on the field of battle. Something of a return to ancient styles has been brought to some cities, still retained by others, where shorter spears and javelins can deal better with the threat of Roman troops than hoplites, though their use still has not been perfected against those western forces. With the help of light armed peltastai and archers, and a few cavalry options that have evolved with the rise of Makedonian equipment and techniques, there is much hope in the renewed strength of Hellas.

This alliance of city-states is nowhere near as powerful as they once were individually. Each can contribute their share and while a second great age is a distant possibility, their enemies surround them and there is no foreign shore upon which they can assuredly rely for help. Makedonia is your first concern as a leader of the Hellenes, and you might feel their grip tighten before this very year is up; to allay fears at Pella by begging for their mercy or to smash the other fetters at Korinthos, Demetrias, and Chalkis will be one of the first decisions you must make. The best hope for Hellas probably lies in controlling the wine-dark seas that surround them, and the small rebel factions across it and on islands nearby. Krete, currently too divided by many factions to be firmly under your control, will surely join your cause if 'coerced' and indeed Sparta’s king is there even at this moment, ostensibly attempting to hire other Cretans as mercenaries. His presence might be turned to your advantage if he is supplemented with other soldiers or he recruits mercenaries there effectively enough. Though it lies but a short distance from Rhodos itself, Halikarnassos is a tempting target for many Asian powers, and the Ptolemaioi have had some troops and diplomats in parts of Karia for some time now. Other Hellenic cities across the Mediterranean may appear to be tempting, but although Kyrene and Massalia and Emporion and Chersonesos and Sinope are homes for other sympathetic Hellenes, and although all seem to be sources of potential wealth and allies, you will face resistance wherever you go (unless money is no object of course!).

To the chief problem at hand: the Makedonians and their king, Antigonos Gonatas, have enemies, and if at all possible it would be best to exploit their weaknesses as quickly as possible. No other foes are immediate. The grasping hands of power-hungry Roman generals have eyes on our western coasts, but they also have their hands full with other peoples for the time being. The Ptolemaioi have some sympathy for your cause and their advisors and deep purses might be available, though they will ultimately only try to better their own expanding power base in the Aigaion by helping you. Beware the marauding general Pyrrhos. Although he is very talented, and he might be bought off to aid your cause, his huge forces would be expensive to maintain and he may well be regarded by both you and the Makedonians as a 'rebel', who will harm anyone that finds themselves close enough to him to be attacked. Whether or not you choose to free your kinsmen in Megale Hellas ("Italia," Hah!) and Sikelia, will be your choice, but remember and do not take lightly the sea power of the men of Karchedon. Have faith, Strategos! Zeus and the fates may yet return a share of good to Athena’s two favorite cities and to the shores of Rhodos. The war with Antigonos and his men will not soon abate, and it might be possible this time, if indeed we are favored by the god, that we will find truth in our cry of 'On to Makedonia!'