So I am a new player of Hegemony: Gold, and have so far been quite pleased with it. However, I am running into some difficulty with, well, the difficulty. I am now about two hours into my second campaign as Macedon (the first I abandoned after a few hours because I got a bit too greedy and lost the Royal Army campaigning in the Illyria). I have the game mode set to casual because I'm new and my first campaign taught me that at normal the enemy sends in armies from every side at a fairly decent rate. The problem though is that on casual the enemy also sends in armies from every side at a fairly decent rate. And these are not isolated raiding parties thrown in piecemeal. The autumn of my first year I faced an Illyrian attack with 3-4 peltasts and 1 hoplite brigade, a Paeonian attack with 3 cav units and 1 phalangite brigade, and an Athenian invasion with 2 hoplite brigades, 2 cav units, and 3 peltasts. The armies attacked nearly simultaneously and the Athenians and Paeonians began to capture unwalled towns. This was the first hour of play. On the beginner tutorial. At the lowest difficulty setting.
I can't complain too much, I suppose, because all three attacks were thrown back. But the loses my units sustained were so horrendous that only 2 of 7 phalangite brigades are at full strength and every town in Macedon is out of recruits. As I write the Athenians are sending yet another stack over for a mid-winter assault. How am I supposed to beat all these guys back and not be bled white in the process? I have (or rather had) a defense network of phalangite brigades stationed at Heraklea, Edessa, Pella, and Elima, with 2 spare brigades with Philip and the Royal Army. There was also a scattering of scout cavalry and peltasts, but no spearmen as they are laughably bad. But without fresh men these defensive brigades can't hold back another assault, and the enemy seems to have no end of troops he's willing to throw away. I can't concentrate my forces when I'm being attacked from all sides.
So what am I missing here? Is there something that will allow me to mitigate my casualties to the point that I can actually go on an offensive next summer? I tried truces last time, but A) they're expensive since everyone in the world seems to have developed a personal and undying hatred towards me and B) last game I found myself breaking them and having hostility shoot so high that as a result I was never able to afford a second truce with the same faction ever again. I suppose I'm just puzzled because unless I'm doing something really wrong the difficulty level here seems a bit too steep for the lowest possible difficulty that is allowed. Any help would be greatly appreciated!