The year is 359 BCE. The Hellenic world remains divided after nearly one thousand years of internecine wars. The Kingdom of Macedon – until now a footnote in Greek history – has just been invaded by the Illyrians, and her king, Perdiccas III, has fallen in battle.
The heir to the throne is Amyntas IV, an infant. Without a leader to rule the kingdom, the king’s death has left a vacuum of power. As the royal family continues to politic over the rightful king of the Macedons, it is Perdiccas’ younger brother, Philip II, who takes action to save the kingdom.
In his youth, Philip was held as a royal hostage in Thebes. During his captivity, he received an extensive diplomatic and military education which will serve him well now and in the coming years. It is perhaps no surprise, then, that Philip’s first action is to place himself in control of the kingdom; not as her king, but as regent to the infant Amyntas. With this political manoeuvre, Philip’s diplomatic brilliance is immediately evident; the Macedons remain indecisive regarding the heir to the throne, but by comparison, merely electing a regent appears the easiest choice.
His next action is nothing short of reinventing Greek warfare. With the invention of the phalangite – a lightly-armoured phalanx armed with the sarissa, a six-metre-long pike – Philip has afforded himself a tactical advantage over the other Greek factions.
This is where Philip’s story begins. Not yet even a king, these are the first steps on his campaign to conquer the ancient Greek world and unite it under one flag. A campaign which will ultimately position Greece as a formidable power on the world stage and provide his son, Alexander the Great, with all the resources and insight necessary to conquer the Persians and build the largest empire the world has ever seen.
Hegemony Gold: Wars of Ancient Greece began its life as Hegemony: Philip of Macedon, a game focused on the career of Philip II, king of the Macedons. When researching Philip, we discovered that he led a very interesting life, and remains a very under-played character in history, despite the incredible impact he had on the ancient world.
Although Hegemony Gold has been expanded and improved in many ways, Philip's campaign still remains the crown jewel of the game, including highlights of his career and over a hundred historical objectives. We hope you enjoy playing his campaign as much as we enjoyed recreating it.
For a more detailed history of the accomplishments of Philip of Macedon, check out our history page, and for a short story written by Jim McNally, the lead designer of Philip of Macedon, don't miss Hegemony: The Story Begins.