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Size of army?

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Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on July 26, 2010 at 4:18 pm

I have noticed that, unless terrain is very flat, it doesn't pay to have a lot of units in an army/group. At least that goes for regular infantry. Missile (javelineers and archers) are very useful in large numbers behind the front and quickly tear down enemies with rains of missiles.

What is your strategy? How many units do you keep in one army/group and how do you position them?

When going after Illyrians in their home turf, it seems that a large army/group is just negative, much better then to keep it to 4-5 units in one army/group and make 3-4 armies/groups that operate independently?

Please let me know of your strategy! I love this game!

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on July 26, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Another aspect: I have also enjoyed the useful strategy of starting a campaign in early winter, when the enemy units are all in the forts and cities. Depriving them of food supply and sieging them is very effective during winter. Granted, my units are taking some lack-of-supply hits (once their brought supply), but the enemy is losing out.

Comments? Would like to hear what other "Philips" have to say about this.

Level 8 Human Density Tech
Alignment: Lawful
Location: Portland Or
Posted on September 9, 2010 at 10:04 am

I gather a large group of sheep and attack all year around. My easiest battles are during the winter.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on September 21, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Hi all!

I have some similar questions. Do you know what is the best use for each unit? For example, if I'm attacked by hoplites or thracian peltasts, what are the best units to destroy them?

And does your strategy depends on the ennemy you are confronting?

Thanks in advance!

Level 11 Extraplanar Awesome Sauce!
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on September 21, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Hi all!

I have some similar questions. Do you know what is the best use for each unit? For example, if I'm attacked by hoplites or thracian peltasts, what are the best units to destroy them?

And does your strategy depends on the ennemy you are confronting?

Thanks in advance!


Hey!
I've created a list of the units strenghts, weaknesses, description and deployment. I hope this helps out a little!

Combat Units:


Archers

Description: Archers are light infantry that fight in loose formation with a short bow. Archers have greater range than Javelineers or Peltasts but are extremely weak in melee combat. As with other ranged combat units, archers are primarily used in a battleline support role.

Strength: Long range
Weaknesses: Lightly armoured
Weak against: Melee troops

Deployment: Archers can provide good melee support but must be protected from direct combat. As an unarmoured unit, archers can move quickly, have a good view distance and can carry more food and stay out in the field longer than most units.

Catapults
Description: Catapults are an artillery unit that fires bolts. Catapults appear on city walls and on forts when a garrison is present. In the scenario Philip of Macedon, mobile field catapults can be built after you escort the scholar Polyidus from Olooson to Pella.

Deployment: Mobile catapults are ideally suited to support any siege, but must be protected from enemy melee units. In some circumstances, catapults can provide ranged support for field armies, such as when helping to force a river crossing. Wall mounted catapults are vital to siege defence and their rate of fire is linked to the strength of the garrison.

Cavalry
Description: Greek cavalry fight in an open, flexible formation. Their equipment includes greaves, breastplate, helmet and a 12-foot lance.

Strength: Speed
Strong against: Light infantry and Spearmen
Weak against: Heavy Infantry


Deployment: Due to their good view distance and speed, Greek cavalry are best used for reconnaissance, flanking attacks and pursuit after combat. Use cavalry to surround and force enemies that rout to surrender. Avoid engagements with battleline infantry.

Heavy Infantry
Description: Heavy infantry are troops that favour strength and protection over speed and manoeuvrability. Heavy infantry usually wear armour and carry a shield and a heavy thrusting spear. They typically fight in close quarters, overlapping their shields to create a defensive line. Their long thrusting spears create a bristling wall of death for anyone foolish enough to attack them directly.

The heavy infantry designation includes Spearmen, Hoplites, Phalangites, Hypaspists, the Sacred Band and Spartiates. Although these units aren't equipped the same, they all fight best in battleline formations and are thus all classified as heavy infantry.

Hoplites
Description: Hoplites are heavy infantry that advance to melee in a dense phalanx formation. Hoplites are equipped with helmet, breastplate, greaves, 3-foot diameter shield, 10-foot thrusting spear and short sword.

Strength: High missle defense
Weakness: Slow speed
Strong against: Light infantry
Weak against: Phalangites

Deployment: While not as strong in melee battle as the Phalangites, Hoplites remain a strong choice for battleline troops, especially with light infantry support. Their high missile defence makes them the prime candidate for sieges. Having a limited view and slower speed makes Hoplites a poor choice for reconnaissance.

Javelineers
Description: Tribal Javelineers are light infantry that fight in an open formation. They have moderate ranged abilities but are weaker in melee than regular Spearmen.

Strength: Cheaper in cost
Weak against: Melee

Deployment: Javelineers are fast and carry a lot of food, making them good for reconnaissance and battleline support.

Light Infantry
Description: Light infantry are troops that favour mobility and speed over defensive armour. They wear little or no armour, carry more food than heavy infantry and typically work in a fast moving, loose formation. Light infantry tactics emphasize ranged combat, and quick attacks. Since they are lightly armed, they can outrun heavy infantry. Examples of light infantry include, Javelineers, Archers, Peltasts, and Rebels.

Although Phalangites and Spearmen are lightly armoured, they fight in heavy infantry style battleline formations.

Note: The ability to choose where and when to fight should not be underestimated. Light infantry should be used for flanking and reconnaissance and to capture easy targets such as Watchtowers and Shrines.

Peltast
Description: Peltasts are light infantry that fight in a loose formation with a 2-foot diameter crescent shaped pelta shield, helmet, javelins and 6-foot spear.

Strong against: Light infantry
Weakness: Expensive
Weak against: Cavlary and Hoplites

Deployment: Peltasts are fast moving, with a good view distance and both melee and ranged attack options. These versatile units are useful for reconnaissance, raiding parties and battleline support. Have them capture soft targets and harass enemy lines-of-communication. Avoid melee combat with Hoplites.

Phalangites
Description: Phalangites are highly disciplined Macedonian infantry that fight in a very dense phalanx formation. Phalangites are equipped with a helmet, greaves, a 2-foot diameter shield, and a 15-foot sarissa.

Strong against: Melee
Weakness: Missle Defense

Deployment: These battleline troops are unstoppable in a frontal melee attack. Protect their flanks and avoid missile fire by moving to engage the enemy quickly. Having a weaker missile defence makes Phalangites less effective at siege assault than Hoplites.

Rebels
Description: Rebels are slaves that have rebelled and taken up arms.

Strengths: Fast moving, will not rout and do not consume food.
Weaknesses: Lightly armoured and poorly organized.
Strong against: Non-combat units
Weak against: Combat units, Special units


Deployment: Cannot be controlled or deployed. Will attack nearby targets until they are eliminated.

Spearmen
Description: Spearmen are equipped with helmet, shield, 6-8 foot spear and dagger. Although Spearmen are lightly armoured, they fight in a close order heavy infantry style formation.

Strength: Cheap garrision units
Weak against: Heavy infantry

Deployment: Their low cost and greater numbers per population point make Spearmen the ideal troops for garrison duty. Spearmen can't be relied on as battleline troops as they are no match for Hoplites or Phalangites.

Triremes
Description: Triremes are warships with banks of oars and a large crew. They attack by ramming enemy ships. You can build triremes after you've escorted the scholars Agathon and Callistratus to Pella. Agathon appears in Methone and Callistratus appears in Potidea.

Strengths: Troop transport, Speed
Weakness: Rough water
Weak against: Being attacked on an angle by other Triremes

Deployment: Triremes can fight for control of the seas, carry troops to conduct amphibious raids behind enemy lines and rendezvous with land armies to provide the land units with food.


Non-Combat Units:

Princesses
Description: Princesses appear by completing objectives and in the scenario "Philip of Macedon" may be escorted to Pella to marry Philip

Weak against: Combat units

Scholars
Description: Scholars appear as part of the system of objectives and must be escorted to a destination. The scholar units represent various individuals with a broad range of knowledge from philosophers and mathematicians to artists and playwrights. A few royal entourages that require in-game escort are also represented by the scholar unit.

Weak against: Combat units

Merchant Ships
Description: Merchant Ships travel along supply lines that are set up between docks. Merchant ships have no combat ability and the player has no direct control over them, but they must be protected to maintain the income generated by their supply lines.

Weak against: Combat units

Slaves
Description: Slaves are created when surrendered enemy units are captured and can act as workers. There is no cost to maintain them, however slaves must be guarded by keeping them within view of friendly cities, buildings, or combat units. The risk of revolt will increase the longer slaves are left out of view.

Weak against: Combat units

Workers
Description: Workers can be recruited from Macedonian population points or hired as mercenaries from non-Macedonian population points. Use mercenary workers when possible, so that Macedonian population points will be available for use in combat units.

Weak against: Combat units


Special Units:

Agrianians
Description: The company of Agrianians is an elite special unit of Javelineers that appear as a reward after completing the objective The Entourage of King Langarus. The Agrianians fight in a loose formation with javelins.

Strength: Free unit
Weak against: Heavy infantry

Deployment: The Agrianians are fast moving, with an excellent view distance making them great for reconnaissance, raiding and battleline support.

Companion Cavalry
Description: Companion Cavalry are a special unit of elite Macedonian cavalry, equipped with greaves, breastplate, helmet and a 12-foot lance.

Strength: Speed, Missile Defense
Strong against: Light infantry and Spearmen
Weak against: Heavy Infantry

Deployment: Companions are the ruling class and form the king's court and personal bodyguard. Unlike regular cavalry, companion cavalry are strong enough to survive if forced to engage battleline infantry in melee.

Cretan Archers
Description: Cretan Archers are light infantry that fight in loose formation with a short bow. Archers have greater range than Javelineers or Peltasts but do less physical damage. As with other ranged combat units, Archers are primarily used in a battleline support role.

Strength: Long range
Weaknesses: Lightly armoured
Weak against: Melee troops

Deployment: Cretan Archers can provide good melee support but must be protected from direct combat. As an unarmoured unit, Archers can move quickly, have a good view distance and can carry more food and stay out in the field longer than most units.

Generals
Description: General units represent a leader and his personal support staff. Potential generals are added to your pool of available companions as objective rewards. You can promote (hire) one general from your pool of companions for each villa that you control.

Strengths: Don't consume food. Add skills (Heroics, Initiative, Logistics, and Engineering) to the skills of the unit merged with.
Weaknesses: Require a villa. Not strong enough to fight alone. Don't earn experience as skills reflect historical levels of competence.

Deployment: Merge generals to larger and stronger combat units to protect the generals and maximize the benefit of their skills.

Hypaspists
Description: The brigade of Hypaspists, or shield bearers, are the Royal Foot Guards of the Macedonian king. They are an elite special unit of heavy infantry and are equipped as Hoplites.

Strengths: Melee, Missile Defense
Strong against: Light infantry and Spearmen

Deployment: As core battleline troops and in sieges.

Sacred Band
Description: The Sacred Band are the elite special unit of heavy infantry Theban Hoplites. They are equipped as are other Hoplites, with helmet, breastplate, greaves, 3-foot diameter shield, 10-foot thrusting spear and short sword.

Strengths: Melee, Missile Defense
Strong against: Light infantry and Spearmen

Deployment: The Sacred Band will attack as battleline troops and will be hard to defeat.

Spartiates
Description: Spartiates are the elite special unit of heavy infantry Spartan Hoplites. They are equipped as are other Hoplites, with helmet, breastplate, greaves, 3-foot diameter shield, 10-foot thrusting spear and short sword.

Strengths: Melee, Missile Defense
Strong against: Light infantry and Spearmen

Deployment: Spartiates attack as a battleline and will put up a hard fight.

Level 8 Human Vault Technician
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Posted on September 22, 2010 at 12:08 am

Woah, talk about a comprehensive list! Clarissa sure appears to love us! And it's all mutual. ;)

Of course I can't compete with that, just thought I'd drop my less eloquent 2 cents on armies in response to Ellwe's question.

So in short, you want 2 lines of troops: some tough, defensive melee unit like hoplites walking in the first line, backed up by some missile troops like peltasts in the second line.

This strategy doesn't change throughout the game, just replace your standard 1st/2nd line troops with better ones as you go and you're good. Let me give you a brief summary of what worked best for me:

-----------------------

Melee/1st line (in increasing order):

40-man Hoplites - Sturdy fighters with great missile defense, so use them against foes with many ranged troops. They're the best standard melee when phalangites or anything elite isn't available.

Phalangites - Best (after Hypaspists) for *early to mid* game, depending on which way you're expanding. They can beat anything that isn't a 50-man hoplite brigade or persian cavalry. Important: They have weak missile defense, so switch to hoplites when you're facing enemies with tons of ranged backup.

50-man Hoplites (Theban/Spartan) - They kick some serious ass. Best melee footsoldiers available in mass quantities. Use Hypaspists the first time you meet them and capture one of their cities quickly so you can recruit them yourself. I prefer Thebans for their siege defense.

Persian cavarly - Hypaspists on horseback. No, really, they *are* that awesome. Almost as strong as Hypaspists, once you gain access to these guys, forget about footsoldiers for melee, just recruit these riders of apocalypse and watch them dominate. Good against: Everything. Weak against: Nothing.
(The only thing I can imagine giving them a run for their money would be 50-man hoplites but anything else is a cakewalk for them)

Companion cavalry - Deserves a mention as they're very strong for melee, especially once you finish a couple of objectives that increase their size. I used them as frontline melee at least as often as the Hypaspists if not even more, their mobility is just priceless. Great for hit and run tactics too. I usually sent them in first to scout the area and capture/burn/demolish whatever my foes left undefended.

Hypaspists - Hands down the best melee guys in the game. They're the Chuck Norrisses of ancient Greece. Only thing standing between them and godhood is their inability to be everywhere at the same time. Use them where you face the most resistance.

Ranged/2nd line (in increasing order):

Peltast company - Basic stuff, gets the job done until you aquire something better. Bring at least 2-4 for a noticable effect.

Javelineers - Better than regular peltasts, worse than archers. Get them if you don't have access to archers yet.

Thracian peltasts - Also a great option if you don't have tribal archers yet (or don't have any with you). Short range, but good damage. Better than Javelineers.

Tribal archers - I consider them the best missile troops in the game. Longest range, very good damage. Their tribal version is the best due to its superior size. You can recruit them from the far north/northeast. Once you have tribal archers, you don't need anything else. Always carry at least one of them with you, but preferably 2 and a 3rd/4th for backup in case you lose one. Warning: They rout extremely easily so keep them out of enemy missile/melee range.

-----------------------

Additionally, while they have little use in combat, scout cavalry (the 6-man version) is very useful for scouting (duh) *and capturing undefended stuff* if you use them in groups. When capturing farms, it's not the number of troops, but the number of companies that increases the speed of the process, which is why these fast, small cavalry companies are perfect for such harrassment raids (or quick mop-up after the battle).

One last thing worth mentioning is that against factions which field obscene amounts of missile troops, using bigger cavalry formations to flank them will make your life that much easier. Thessalian and Tribal cavalry are ideal for that - simply engage their melee with your melee and run around them with your cavalry to attack their ranged guys in the back.

Good luck in your conquest through ancient Greece!

(Disclaimer: The above is based on the first retail version of Hegemony, not Hegemony Gold, which I'm about to try as soon as I get some time - can hardly wait!)