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Dificulty Level (am I doing something horrendously wrong?)

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Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on April 17, 2012 at 12:00 am

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!

Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful evil
Location: Germany / Kassel
Posted on April 17, 2012 at 5:21 am

Hy Damasus,

dont worry.
As a hint - dont expand to the north before you have set peace with the guys north of pella (i think his is paeonien)
The troubble with athen will never end ^^ not until u got ships and can throw back their seaforces
The Athen invasion will alway came at the same position i think (tell my when not pls)
take 1 brigade and your comp. cav and place them right on the beach - maybe the phalangite is enough
when u cover all 4 ships in front of you - you got it - otherwise u can use the open half-moon formation
in this case the entire invasion got souronding debuff and will surrender very quick

for the problem with the illyrier - try to sourund them as well with 1 brig and your comp cav
and make as much slaves as you can
send the slaves to your citys and disband the units - with this u mak an exchange from slaves to manpower and you can easily refill your brigs

for me - i first take my way to the south larissa
little to the west - demos and sorrunding area
look for city with 1 or 2 mines
watch out for fortresses and send garrison to them
and use your generals - every amry (brig +comp cap) should have a general

in they first 2-4 houres you should stabeliz your ground and send 1 or 2 scout units on recon missions
then you can decide what your next target should be and which one is useful to conquer
plus you can see how big the tribe/alliance region is you conquer (look for the color in strategic map)

hope this will help ;)

for further questions/problems just ask :)

amazing - i just saw that i did a timejump and answer your question befor you make it
(look at the time *g* )

Level 22 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Location: Toronto
Posted on April 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Create defensive frontiers, each based on a fortified city and natural obstacles, such as rivers and mountain passes. Set up regional forces of one phalangite brigade and one scout cavalry (for flanking and pursuit and capture of slaves) and if possible, one peltast company to backup the phalangites.

At a defensive frontier choke point, that one phalanx brigade can hold out against anything, especially with the peltast ranged support. The scout cavalry can wait until the enemy routs, unless they can get behind them to flank attack.

Bring in the Companions and Hypaspists to boost the local forces when campaigning in a specific region.

-Edomene is a nature choke point to defend against the Paeonians until you are ready to take Stobi.
-Pella is a good defense point to hold the Axios River line, until later when you can cross and outmaneuver the Chalcidians.
-Aegae can hold against the Athenians until you are ready to take Pydna.
-Take Elimae with the old catapult to help and you have a good choke point into northern Thessaly.

When going after Bardylis, set up a line behind Eordaea and use a scout cavalry unit to draw his forces to you. Make sure you get at least one scout cavalry behind his forces, because if you play it right, there will be a lot of routed troops to enslave.

Make Ooloson your first target after the map opens up, to get access to catapults, then build two catapults to use against any walled city.

To take a city, harass the area with cavalry raids, draw out the enemy and attack them at your chosen location with maximum advantage in force. The goal is to win battles... and there will be a lot of small battles to win... with minimal losses to yourself, while capturing maximum slaves. (If they rout and escape, they rejoin their faction manpower pool. If they rout and you capture them as slaves, they don't.)


Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on April 18, 2012 at 12:58 am

thank you both for your replies. The situation has stabilized a bit now, and I have taken Ooloson, all the Macedonian cities, and Stobi. I have also gone ahead and made a truce with the Paeonians, as last time round I found their land to be hard to keep once taken. Incidentally, can the AI break a truce on casual? If so, I suppose I'll have to station more men up there than I have right now....

So now what? I'm thinking about going west and taking Lake L. and 2-3 Illyrian cities around it. Then I'm not sure. A swing south into Thessaly looks attractive, but I'm afraid that it will be hard to bite off a manageable section of that land. I also could expand east I suppose, but dread abandoning my nice stable border on the Axios. Is taking Methone at this stage viable, or would that stir up the hornets nest of Athens too much? Any advice/suggestions would be appreciated.

Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful evil
Location: Germany / Kassel
Posted on April 18, 2012 at 5:48 am

take the option with south
heading larissa and agains the thyranea
plus the lake but in the east and the citys around
when i am at home i will check for the names

yea the ai can change the terms of the truce
(mostly decrease the incom or increase the expenses)
mostly when the ai see that you become weak

paeonien did never change in my game but the chalcidians

when you take larissa you will get the Hypaspists jim is taking about
these are a formidable melee unit which can expand to 56 men
(your comp cav can become a 35men cav in endgame)

like jim said. try to find hardpoints and focus your
battles at this points
with this tactics you can defeat much larger enemys und with
a scout unit in their bake you have a steady flow of slaves

your comp cav is your best friend for the next houres
they will go to every enemy attack and support your forces

and another tip - with a high skilled comp cav - you dont need any catapults
because phil+comp cav is an eraser unit ^^
you can siege a city in no-time because they got exelent
engenieer skills and have good defense against missle

Level 22 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Location: Toronto
Posted on April 18, 2012 at 7:16 am

At this point you have a number of choices, all of which are doable.

-Pydna becomes native Macedonian when you take it. Athenian raids into the Thermaic Gulf will decrease when you have Pydna and Methone.
-Lychnidos becomes native Macedonian when you take it. The Lake Lychnidos region is a natural western frontier for your early to mid-game kingdom.
-Amphipolis becomes native Macedonian when you take it. It's a pivotal city. You may need to bloody the nose of the Chalcidians, before cutting across to Amphipolis
-Larissa becomes friendly when you take it and makes a great stabilizing point against Pherea, before you are strong enough to take them on.

-Look at the various faction resistance levels. (i.e. How much they hate you.)

The Paeonians are not too unfriendly when occupied, so at the point you are at, I usually take Stobi, sending out scout cavalry to draw off their reinforcements, and then build a Paonian cavalry unit to help hold the region around Stobi.
-Then, I take Larissa to stabilize the southern front.
-Then, I take Lake Lychnidos, including taking Diablis.
-Then, I make my move on Amphipolis, which is a major campaign that involves taking out Olynthus.

Everytime I play through it, I do it a bit differently, depending on where my units are, where my supplies are and where my catapults are.


Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful evil
Location: Germany / Kassel
Posted on April 18, 2012 at 11:54 am

Hey Jim,

did you work with merc units?
i try to do most by my own (macedonien) units
mercs gain no xp and are often more expensive then my own units.

Level 22 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Location: Toronto
Posted on April 18, 2012 at 10:07 pm

In Larissa I build one Thessalian Cavalry and one Hoplite merc to hold the area.

I also build one Paeonean Cavalry. They are big and fast and great for teaming up with a merc hoplite or a phalangite brigade to hold their respective regions.

Other than those two cavalry units, any other mercs that I recruit are just for garrison duty and reaction to nearby attacks, so it doesn't matter that they don't gain experience.

Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful evil
Location: Germany / Kassel
Posted on April 19, 2012 at 5:32 am


yea, i also take hoplite for garisson against enemys.
but in my homeland - all city has Macedonian) sprearmen brigs
and the frontlines are often placed with my
phalangieten brigs with my generals

i replace all my merc units with allied - thats way cheaper i think