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Pile on from hell - What am I doing wrong?

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Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on April 18, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Upgraded PoM to Gold and recently started a new campaign (base game) to experience the changes. Very nice so far, and having fun. However, it seems I come to a point in the game every time where further progress just seems to be impossible. I can't take on any of the suggested challenges because I'm being overwhelmed by enemies from all directions. This invariably seems to happen after taking back Upper Macedonia, Heraklea Lyncestis in particular.

Now the tutorial makes it pretty clear that you're supposed to reclaim Heraklea Lyncestis as that's not only where you defeat Bardylis but also where a lot of food and gold can be found to get you started on your world conquest. Obviously you need to then defend this region with some strong units as not only will the Illryians continuously try to reclaim it, but later another faction (can't recall the name, but they have large cavalry units and archers) will come up and have a go at the region as well.

Problem is, you can only recruit and maintain so many units, and while you're trying to hold this territory you're also being asked to invade into Thessaly while at the same time trying to hold the area north of Pella from incursions by various groups and keep your southeastern border safe from the occasional forray form the Athenians. What happens is that my forces end up spread too thin, unable to even defend everyhting, much less attack and capture new ground. At this early stage, losing a couple of farms or a mine can be devastating to your ability to field armies and keep everyone supplied, and th egame rapidly goes downhill as enemies close in from all sides.

So what am I doing wrong? Why does all of Greece seem to pile on as soon as I've taken Heraklea Lyncestis from Bardylis and his Illryians? Should I be stopping at some point and trying to build more units? What kind of units? Peltasts and Spearmen seem mostly useless, and the only thing cavalry scouts seem good for is recon and easy capture of watchtowers, sheep and mines. I've been building nothing but Phalangites (with the exception of the one unit of Hypaspists you're given as a reward) and still just can't seem to keep up. Am I pissing off too many people? I know that when you near a pillar you activate it's quest line, so maybe Olosson isn't the best place to head next after securing Heraklea Lyncestis? That's where the game seems to point me though...

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on April 18, 2011 at 6:58 pm

One word:

Open the Diplomacy window with 'm' (I believe).

Level 21 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Location: Toronto
Posted on April 18, 2011 at 9:58 pm

One option is to use the diplomacy option to buy off the Paeonians. This will stop them from raiding with there tribal cavalry.

Set up defensive points by fortifying the native Macedonian cities and set up regional reaction forces, each comprised of one phalangite and one or two scout cavalry ... whatever you can afford... The cavalry can run down any peltasts while the phalangites can respond to any hoplites.

Always have at least one scout cavalry on hand for each engagement. The scouts can chase down defeated enemies and force them to surrender. This gives you slave workers, but more importantly, it also reduces the enemy recruit pool, reducing their ability to recover losses.

Use the Hypaspists and Companions to spearhead attacks into new territories. Add whatever local forces are available. Use the old catapults until you can build newer catapults to replace them with. Avoid full sieges until your catapults are in range, as they will significantly shorten a siege.

Think supply, combined arms and rapid response.


Level 8 Human Whermacht (deceased)
Alignment: True neutral
Location: Stalingrad 1942-1943
Posted on April 18, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Yes use what ever you can sack loot use total warfare kill as much as you can and only sustain minimal casualties. or an example feign an attack through one mountain pass with a heavy infantry unit or two pin them in, then attack around the rear with anything (lancers or phalangites preferably) once done unless they immediately muster reinforcements their city will be nearly defenseless, if you know that you wont hold the city (once or if you take it) tear the walls down burn the farms and flee.

Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on April 19, 2011 at 9:52 am

You can slow the enemy up with those scouts that seemed useless. Have them do a lot of raiding. Go into their territory with scouts and burn farms, capture mines, watchtowers etc. The enemy will take these back before attacking you, so if you keep raiding you'll keep them busy. It's micro, but it helps.


Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on April 20, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions guys, especially the ones about Diplomacy (which I didn't even know was an option!) and unit tactics.

I started a new game ot try and take advantage of some of the suggestions and fix mistakes I'd already made in my most recent campaign. So far so good! I've got a better economy and more units than ever before, and I've forged a truce with the Peolians (sp?), the tribal guys from the north, so I only have to worry about incursions from one empire on my northern and western borders now. I've captured all of Upper Macedonia and am consilidating my forces now to decide where to push next. I'm thinking either the Illryians to the West or the guys I made the truce with to the East, as either way I'd be securing a border making it easier to head south later on.

Level 7 Human Heroine
Alignment: Chaotic
Location: JupiterMoon
Posted on April 22, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Like you see in mission objectives, capturing westsouthwards from PELLAA south of Eordia! after getting Elimea! more southwards Olooson!(but onlyallied), you get Philips Bride strengthning CompanionCavalry too.

You take north of Eordia! after defeating large army of Bardylis HeraLyncetis!,and farer west from HeraLyn liberating Lychydos! makes it also native.

Dardania! far northwest will get native if you conquer all other Illyrian cities behind. Dardania yields a princess too,then.

Getting all 4 paeolian cities in north is good too,(2more Macedon cities along eastern entry to Paeolians) though Philip cant colonize any of them,youll get serenity in innernorthern area.
Paeolia also has a southern entry additional to eastern entry pass north of HeraLyncestis! through Pelagonia!(native). So sure to take them from both sides for being most efficient.

After getting Tympia! westsouth is the Thessalonian League, you can start by getting south of Olooson! towards Larissa!, on making it native getting new princess plus additional Unit Amphipaxian. That was first step into Central Greek/Peloponness.

Along the southeast coast Thermi! becomes native after Kretonia! After Mygdolia!(native)in Lake Bolbe in east, Amphipolis! at top makes itself native.

To build ships you push south of first Macedon city getting Dion!(native),Pydna!,Methone,Herakleum!,toeastsouthwards conquering ChalchidiceLeague(Olinthus!(stays rebelled)plusmany additionalcities). Leads to Trireme tech!

Northeast there are cities belonging Syntike to get down and

youll reach Thrace far east after Krenides!.

Level 7 Human Heroine
Alignment: Chaotic
Location: JupiterMoon
Posted on April 22, 2011 at 8:45 pm

...nothing(its not a post , just a false clicking

Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on April 26, 2011 at 10:48 am

Thanks for the strategy tips! I ended up going in a different direction. In my game I made a truce with the Paeonians fairly cheaply to secure my northern border, then put strong garrisons in place to protect against incursions from the Athenians to the East and Thessaly to the south since both tend to invade along narrow and easily defended passes.

That allowed me to concentrate on the biggest threat I could see to start with, which is the Illyrians. Illyrian forces were constantly invading from both the northwest and due west along multiple routes. Trying to defend against that was going to take quite a few troops, so I figured why not go on the offensive instead? That's worked very well so far, as I've taken several Illyrian cities and cut their empire in half. There is only on city remaining in the south, and I've made a truce with the faction that borders me there (along the eastern coastline). The three major Illyrian cities are all that's left in the north, and I've taken so many mines and farms that it's hampering their ability to do anything but defend at this point. Once I've wiped Illyria from the map and secured my new borders I'll turn my attention south and take on Thessaly.

Level 7 Human Heroine
Alignment: Chaotic
Location: JupiterMoon
Posted on April 26, 2011 at 11:09 am

yeah its good to go against Illyria since you can take Lychidos and make it native base west from HeraLyncetis. And north of Pelagonia and north of Pella you can take on Paeolia too from both sides if you can spare additional troops not going west and dont wanna do truce.
<So instead of going too far to west you should get nearer northern and eastern areas first, you get by crushing them down never ever again any attacks with them having no cities
Thers also threat from eastern side north eastern, who wanna stop your expansion there, so there should be a decent pushing army too if you dont wanna compromise truce there with only defending troops.
I went both to east up to Amphipolis and west up to dardania,lychindos and tympia and south to herakleum,larissa and north Paeolia. and all Illyria still too far to west
But missiongoal rewards you much so good to take chaldyce down and southern Im getting Tessaly full down currently

so why should Illyria be biggest threat? What if you do truce with them too? Are they still threats then?
As far as I can see, lol, the biggest threat to AI am I
since on easy difficulty I playing I have no big threats
dont need truce, just get them all lol

even on sea Im getting Thassos and hegemony there too
far nortrheast on land and along eastern cost to Krenides, wanna get Byzantium and kick Persian Ass with Alexander
he should come after making all shielded main questgoals