Arkah, we salute you.
In the times of uncertainty ahead, you will lead us and the people look forward to your kingship! We are more or less free of Seleukid rule, but you should never count them as friends and allies. The nobles are awaiting your visit to their estates, and many a young Hay noble son is training in the arts of hunting, for when you will come and grace their estate by your visit. Our people are free, or freer than before. It is true we were a satrapy under Persia, but it was a good life then and we didn't feel any oppression. Now again we have our own king, and perhaps a new Greater Hayasdan will be born.
As our king you will lead the host to battle, or send your sons in your stead. The Nakharar and Azat nobles will provide you with the elite troops in your army, the armoured cataphracts. These men either fight solely as lancers, where their task is to punch a hole through a weak spot in the enemy formations, or as archers who pepper the enemy from afar and then close in when the battered enemy is either tired or tries to flee. The estates will also provide more lighter cavalry, made up of tough cavalrymen armed with javelins and tabar axes. They will serve you well in harassing the enemy flanks and pursuing a beaten foe. The lower classes, the shinakans, will fill the ranks of your infantry which can be relied to do their duty, but who sadly are no match for the phalanx infantry of the Hellenes. Remember Arkah that warfare is an art. You have to know what troops to use during battle and when to use which troops. No unit is a war-winning force in itself. Cataphracts alone against phalanxes is disaster, as is infanty alone against horse archers.
Our kingdom is either on the verge to expand and grow greater, or to fail and just be a footnote in history. Your rule only extends to all of Hayasdan proper, yet with cunning and good use of our armies that can change. To our north in the Caucasus there are small mountain kingdoms, who are allied to none and who can be conquered early. North of the Caucasus mountains again there are endless steppes with no strong rulers, but the Sauromatae are north of them again and they might impose their rule further south. Should you face them, then falling back to the Caucasus mountain passes would be a good idea to fight them on your own terms and where the hills will not give their cavalry an advantage. To our west in Persian nobles rule large estates, yet if we move in here we might come into conflict with the upstart kingdom of Pontos. They might consider us easier prey than the Seleukids, so do not leave your western border undefended. To our south, are our "lords" the Seleukids. Be polite towards them as their empire is large and so are their armies. Should they find the mountain passes between our homelands and Syria poorly defended, they might want to reduce your title to satrap and your height by the neck, by sending an army or two. Also be wary of rumours from the south. The Seleukids have many enemies, and should they wage war on many fronts, you might be able to 'grab' some lands from them. To our east there are more independent rulers, but across the Kaspia Thalassa, the Pahlava roam. They might not be an enemy to us now, but keep and eye on the coasts of Kaspia Thalassa to see if any Pahlavan army might come your way. Know your neighbours and understand your armies, and our people will be remembered in the annals of history.
Armenia - Hayasdan, as the Armenians call their country - emerges into the broad daylight of history from the haze of her legendary past through a long line of kings of the Haikazian Dynasty. In 612 BC the Medes destroyed Nineveh and brought the Assyrian power to an end. The Assyrians, Armenia's eternal antagonist was no more. Some 50 years later, king Tigran I formed an alliance with Cyrus the Great of Persia, founder of Achaemenid dynasty who conquered the lands controlled by the Medes and Tigran I enlarged the Armenian kingdom. Tigrans the First had three sons; the third son's name was Vahagn the Dragonfighter. The Armenian pagan tradition covered Vahagn with glory and legends: he was even deified and worshipped like Hercules. However, the era of peace ended as a number of weak and insignificant kings ruled Armenia over the following years, and finally the country became tributary to Persia. An inscription on a rock from around 520 BC called the Behistun Stone, found in Iran, mentions 'Armina' in the list of countries Darius I controlled. The dynasty of Hayk ended: the kings of Armenia were henceforward anointed by the Persian kings but the the position of Armenia was especially privileged in the Persian Empire. During the following centuries the Armenian troops fought for Persia in all major battles. King Vahe Haykazuni , the last offspring of the Hayk dynasty, died together with his offspring in 331 BC, leading the Armenian cavalry at Gaugamela against Alexander of Macedon. While his overlord Darius, king of Persia, fled the battleground leaving his army behind, Vahe chose to fight to the end and die as a true warrior king. The Armenioi as the Greeks called them became well known for the valour of their horsemen.
The strategic position of the region lying athwart the east-west military and trade routes, both along the valley of the Araxes leading from Iran to Cappadocia and more particularly through the Mesopotamian plain dominated by the Armenian plateau, made it far too important to permit its concession to a rival power. The ancient kingdom of Armenia thus suffered the attentions of either the Roman Empire or Parthia for centuries. Straddling the mountains between the two vast states, where the Zagros meet the Taurus, Armenia has long been a bone of contention. The kingdom represents a strategic ‘high-ground’ dominating the northern curve of the Fertile Crescent. Armenia remains a great prize for any would-be empire. Long under the Achaemenid Persian aegis, the kingdom has a very strong cultural flavour of that land. The Armenians have long been open to influence from Persian culture, with Ahura Mazda and Mithras being the chief gods of the nobility and wealthy elite, and Persian costume being adopted universally throughout the kingdom.
Feudalism was a powerful social and political organization in Armenia. Originating in remote antiquity, it survived the kingdom and the loss of independence. Its influence was both beneficial and baneful. It was one of the directing forces of its destiny, the other being the geographical determinism. The influence of the semi-feudal monarchy of Parthia was so great in Armenia as to create some confusion between the two peoples. Many terms of Armenian feudality are of Parthian origin, such naharar, nahapet, sepouh, azat. The Parthians were considered allies by most of Armenians at this time, this is especially true in Greater Armenia or Armenia Proper, where as Armenians of Armenia Minor and Anatolia had more of a Graeco-Roman stance. Indeed the Parthians stood very close to Armenia, many of the Parthian noble houses had their branches in Armenia.
The nobility always played an important role in the Armenian society. The history of the Armenian nobility is as old as that of the Armenian people. Its roots trace back to the ancient tribal society, these chieftains and leaders being the best members of the clans and tribes, who became renowned for their power, wisdom, courage and glorious and heroic deeds. Although the vast majority of the Armenian nobility was of Armenian origin, the historical sources still mention quite significant foreign influxes into the aristocratic class. These assimilated foreign families were predominantly of Indo-European (Aryan) origin, such as Iranians, Alanians, Greeks and Romans. The Iranian aristocratic component was particularly numerous. Many Armenian noble houses were either linked to the Iranian nobility through dynastic marriages or were Iranians (Persians, Parthians, Medians) by their origin. Most of the ancient Armenian noble families were tracing their origins to historic or legendary heroes or even ancient gods, such as Hayk or Vahagn.
The social pyramid of the Armenian nobility was headed by the king, in Armenian arkah. The Armenian kings themselves, far from residing normally in their capitals, continued to lay out hunting preserves or partez and they chose to move about the country making use of rich and elaborate, but transportable, tents or pavilions. The sons of the king, princes, were called sepuh and the crown prince was called avag sepuh. In the case of king's death it was avag sepuh who automatically would inherit the crown, unless there were other prior arrangements. There were three main estates in Armenia; those of the great lords (nakharars), those of the lesser nobility (azats), and what may be called the third estate consisted of the artisans (ramiks) and peasants (shinakans).
The nakharars or princely lords of the country were the real owners and masters of the land who constituted the most solid structure of the Armenian aristocracy. Leading this class were the four bdeshkhs or satraps of the frontier princedoms, descendants of formerly independent rulers. A Bdeshkh was a ruler of a large borderland province of historical Great Armenia. They were de facto viceroys and by their privileges were very close to the king. Bdeshkhs had their own armies, taxation and duties system, and could even produce their own coins.
The nakharars and the azats, also known as aznwakans or aznavurs, formed the principal armed forces of the country. They were called the "army of the noble legions" (azatagund banak) or "noblemen's troops" (azatazork). The attack of such heavy cavalrymen is said to have been irresistible. The nakharars were jealous of their personal dignity and official rank in state functions. Besides blood relationship and old ancestry, they took pride in their personal valor and courage. At the head of each of these families was its senior member, called in Armenian nahapet or more commonly tanuter "lord of the house,". It was these men who personally led the Gund (host) into battle.
The artisans, as well as the shinakans (peasants) belonged to the class of anazats (non-free) or ramiks (plebeians). The shinakan enjoyed certain personal liberties; he could not be forced to contract marriage against his wish. He also took part in the deliberations of national interest.
Armenian tradition has preserved several legends concerning the origin of the Armenian nation. The most important of these tells of Hayk (Hayg or Haig), the eponymous hero of the Armenians who called themselves Hye (Hay) and their country Hayk' or Hayasdan. It is said that Hayk built the fortress of Haykaberd at the site of Dyutsaznamart, as well as Haykashen in the county (gavar) Harq of the province (Nahang) Tauruberan. Hayk Nahapet was the founder of the dynasty of the first patriarchs and kings of ancient Armenia and the source of many ancient Armenian aristocratic houses.
With the fall of the Persian Empire to Alexander the Great of Macedonia in 331 B.C., the Greeks appointed a new satrap, of the Eruandid (mighty hero) clan who had ruled from Armavir as early as 400 BC. The Greeks called them Orontid, and the first ruler named Mithranes became the governing satrap of all of Armenia. The Ervanduni Dynasty as they became known, governed the country for some 200 years, while Asia became acquainted with the Hellenic culture of the invading Greeks. Alexander himself never entered the country, and the control of the plateau by his Seleucid successors was intermittent. Under the Ervanduni Dynasty Armenia regained independence after the death of Alexander the Macedonian, becoming a vassal kingdom of the Seleucids largely in name only. The Greek Empire of the Seleucids, which stretched across Asia and Europe, was one in which cities rapidly grew, spreading Hellenistic architecture, religion and philosophies. Armenian culture absorbed Greek influences as well. The campaigns of Alexander shifted the position of Armenia for centuries from that of an intrinsic component part of the Achaemenid empire to that of a disputed borderland at the limit of the classical and the Iranian worlds. Politically, these Armenian rulers were forced to resist the repeated, though always short-lived, attempts of the Seleucids to establish their rule over the country, as well as the growing power of the Parthians.
The unquestionable presence in Armenia of Hellenic culture and the opening of the country to world trade, evidenced by the presence of coin hoards, did not succeed in obliterating earlier Armenian traditions. The political and cultural ties with the Iranian world remained and Achaemenid Aramaic remained the official written language of the Armenian chancellery. Intermarriages between the Iranian and Armenian royal houses continued to be celebrated with great pomp, as was that of the sister of the Armenian king Artavazd II to the Parthian prince Pacorus at which the head of Crassus was used during a performance of Euripides' Bacchae. This may have had some influence on the wavering Armenian king's adherence to the Parthian alliance and his abandoning the Roman cause.
The kingdom of Cappadocia had been reduced by the Macedonian commander Eumenes. But Ariarat in alliance with Ardoates, King of the Armens, fought and killed the Macedonian general and expelled the Macedonians from the country. The date of the founding of the Cappadocian kingdom through the aid of the Armenian king must have been about 270 B.C. Another Armenian king whose name is unknown, had, according to Memnon of Heraclea, tendered shelter and aid to Ziaelas, son of the King of Bithynia, and enabled him to occupy his father's throne, which he did from 250 to 228. In 212 Antiochus III Megas gave his sister Antiochis in marriage to King Kserks (Xerxes) of Sophene, who acknowledged his suzerainty and paid him tribute.
Artashes and Zareh, the governors of Armenia, appointed by Seleucus the Great, sided with the Romans and declared the independence of two new kingdoms created by themselves. These were the Artashesian (Greater Armenia) and Zarehian (Sophene) Kingdoms of Armenia established as a result of Antiochos III Megas's defeat by the Romans in the Battle of Magnesia. In the invasion of Armenia by Seleucus in 165 B.C., Artashes suffered defeat, but he soon recovered his rights.
The country enjoyed peace and prosperity under the rule of Vagharshak, who came to throne in 149 BC. He set up the institute of nobility in his kingdom and established the new senior official ranking system. Vagharshak made the city of Armavir his royal residence. Several Greek inscriptions from around that period found in Armavir witness about the influence of the Greek culture in Armenia.
During the reigns of the successors of Artashes I, the Parthians under Mithridates I invaded many Seleucian possessions in the East. Their conquests were expanded by the succeeding king, Mithridates II (123-88 B.C.), who had waged war also on Artavazd, the son of Artashes I, and carried away as hostage the young Tigranes (Tigran II), the king's nephew.
Tigran II, younger brother of Artavazd II and ruler of Armenia from 95 to 54 B.C., obtained the throne by ceding to the Parthians the districts which their predecessors had wrested from the Medes and Iberians, a seizure which supplied the excuse for the expedition of Mithridates II of Parthia. A quarrel arose between him and King Ardan (or Vardan) of Sophene, and Tigran attacked the latter, vanquished him and took over his domain. When the Armenians of Sophene were thus suppressed, Tigran's kingdom then extended from the valley of the Kur to Melitine and Cappadocia. Mithridates VI of Pontus, who aspired to the annexation of Cappadocia, sought an alliance with Tigran by marrying one of his daughters to him. So by the treaty which followed the marriage, Cleopatra, a girl of courage as well as high education, became the Queen of Armenia.
The ensuing invasion of Cappadocia in 93 B.C. compelled Ariobarzan, its king, to yield and hurry to Rome for aid. His appeal won a ready response. The great Roman general Sulla came to Asia Minor, reinstated Ariobarzan on his throne and forced the Armenian army to retreat to the east bank of the Euphrates. The Eastern allies did not, however, admit defeat. The civil war which raged in Rome in 90 B.C. gave them the opportunity of regaining their advantage on the field of battle, and once more Ariobarzan was put to flight.
Tigran's star was now in the ascendency. When Parthia's great king, Mithridates II, died in 86, Tigran felt himself equal to the task of proving his supremacy over the Parthians. He recaptured the lands which had been ceded to them, and marched still further to seize Atropene, Gordiene and a part of Mesopotamia, thus once more subjugating the territory of old Nairi-Urartu. To this were soon added the domains of Adiabene, Mygdonia and Osrhoene. The Armenian armies penetrated further into Greater Media and reduced its capital, Ecbatana, in whose royal palace Tigran had once been held as a hostage. It of course followed that he had now become the "King of Kings," a title which he inscribed on his coins. So the supremacy of Asia, which had belonged to Parthia under the Achaemenids and Seleucid's, was in this triumphant moment transferred to Armenia.
Tigran's glory attained its apogee when he was invited to Antioch in 83 B.C., and offered the crown of the Seleucid dynasty. Syria, which had long been torn by internal strife, under Tigran's rule enjoyed full peace for eighteen years. His power reached even beyond the confines of Syria proper, to include Palestine on the south and Cilicia on the west. But like most Oriental monarchies, his kingdom was only an assembling of uncongenial peoples, with no cohesion.
He created a standing army of around 100,000 men which was comprised of large numbers of cavalry(mostly of the Armenian aristocratic class of azats) he also created separate bodies of footmen, archers, and pikemen, with that of the allied nations the total force of Tigran's army was at its height with perhaps 300,000 men. Allied peoples included Georgians, Adiabenians, Caucasian Albanians, Atropatenes, Cappadocians, Gordeyenes (Armenians of Korduk) and many other tribes and peoples who were all comrades in arms with the main body consisting of battle hardened Armenian troops.
Even though being a settled nation and a mountainous at that, Hayasdan fields cavalry focused armies with horse archers & javelin cavalry in almost equal measure and in addition to armored cataphracts. However, infantry is also used widely, alas of poorer discipline and equipment than their Hellenic neighbours. Still, properly used a Hay or Armenian army can still go toe to toe with most foes.
Like any other campaign, the Hayasdan campaign begins in the year 272 B.C, with the aging but capable Yervand Yervanduni as the faction leader. Unlike most campaigns, Hayasdan is in possession of only one city (Armavir), very few units, and a heavily depleted treasury, placing it in a dire situation. This unfavorable predicament is why most consider the Hayasdan campaign to be one of the most challenging in the game. However, once this challenging start is conquered, the remainder of the campaign should proceed more smoothly and prove to be quite rewarding.
Despite the weak state of the kingdom of Hayasdan during the beginning of the campaign, all it needs is a few years to get it back on its feet. On your first turn, merge the small band of troops waiting outside the city of Armavir with Yervand's army situated in Armavir. This gives you an average-sized army that will be crucial in the following turns. It is also advised that you hire as many units as possible during your first turn because your negative income will heavily deplete your treasury and leave you incapable of hiring units, diplomats, spys, or constructing buildings. You may also notice that you have both a diplomat and a spy in your possesion. Send the spy to the settlement just north of Armavir: Mtshketa. The spy will give you a higher chance of having the settlement doors open before you even begin your siege, but there is also a chance that he will be caught and executed. As for the diplomat, send him north to begin negotiating trade rights and alliances with countries, starting with Sauromatae and then proceeding either left, to the factions of Romani, Makedonia, Sweboz, Aedui, and Getai, or right, to the factions of Baktria, Pahlava, and Saka Rauka. If you wish to manage the taxes yourself, make sure that the tax management is not set to automatic on your faction screen in the lower right corner. It would also be a good idea to manage the setlements yourself, so uncheck that box as well. Once completed, end your turn.
At the beginning of your second turn, you will be asked to break your alliance with either Pahlava or Arche Seleukeia. Seleukeia is a powerful Hellenic faction located just south of Hayasdan, while Pahlava is located east and is less of an immediate threat. Regardless of who you choose, Seleukeia will attack Armavir in approximately 10 turns (2.5 years). Thus, it would be wise to always keep some units situated in Armavir, for the capital of Hayasdan will serve as a buffer zone between Hayasdan and Seleukeia as Seleukeia sends one army after another in an attempt to conquer your capital. Regardless of this imminent attack, the ailing economy of Hayasdan must be cured before you face Seleukeia, for you will not be able to hire any units until a steady income is established. The easiest way to do this is to recapture the neigboring rebel settlements, which should serve as a solid source of income and eventually negate the deficit. For now, create an army outside of Armavir by moving most of your troops outside of the city. Have Yervand Yervanduni lead your army, for his experience makes him a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield (until he passes away in a few turns, that is). Leave Yervand's son in Armavir because the capital must always have a wise ruler who knows how to manage the settlement (you can check a leader's attributes by right-clicking on them). Once you form your army, proceed north to besiege Mtshketa. Alternatively, you may go for Kotais first, where you can construct a trade port and gold mines later on.
During your third turn, your army should be at the gates of Mtskheta. Lay siege to the city by building rams. Since your treasury is probably depleted by now, you cannot do much else, so end your turn. Next turn, your army should conquer Mtskheta, hopefully without losing more than a quarter of your army. Do not exterminate the population, for it is one of the core settlements of the Kingdom of Hayasdan. You will want to build up its population and establish it as a major city and source of income (same goes for Kotais, Ani-Kamah, and Karkathiokerta). Once the tax rate and other settlement details are established, head west to take the rebel settlement called Kotais, which will serve as an important port due to its proximity to the Black Sea. Remember to leave at least one unit in Mtskheta to discourage rioting.
Once Kotais has been liberated from the rebels, you should be making enough income to stop the economy from diving furthur into debt. Next, proceed north and attack the rebel settlement of Kabalaka in Caucasian Albania, just north-east of the Caucusus Mountains near Mtskheta and the Caspian Sea. However, do not advance furthur north, for you do not want to be at war with Sarmatia just yet. Instead, wait a few turns and allow your treasury to regenerate. Once you have enough mnai, begin hiring units and building better barracks in Armavir. Also, it would be wise to build a type I government in Armavir. Once you have captured Ani and Karkathiokerta, the other signature settlements of Hayasdan, build type I governments there as well, for this will enable you to train some of the most powerful units Hayasdan has to offer. Finally, as soon as you have enough money, proceed to construct mines to boost your income.
The next settlement that awaits capture is the city of Ani-Kamah, which lies just south of Kotais. The rebels don't plan on handing it over without a fight and have probably stationed a large army there. For this reason, it would be wise to wait until you have a large enough army to make the battle more even. Once Ani has been captured, it should provide a good source of income due to its mines. Use this extra income to continue to bolster your army with new barracks and stronger units. Your next target will be the infamous Arche Seleukeia itself.
By now, the Seleukids have probably made several attempts to conquer Armavir, and hopefully you have repelled each attack. Now, the time has come to switch to the offensive and cripple one of Hayasdan's most dangerous foes. The armies of Seleukeia are based around phalanxes, and you will soon realize just how different their armies are from yours. They probably possess little to no archer and slinger units. Their main missile units are heavy skirmishers known as Peltastai, which are similar to your Eastern Skirmishers but are much stronger in hand-to-hand combat due to their armour. The Seleukids virtually always have a general in their army, so they will always have at least one unit of heavy companion cavalry, similar to what Alexander the Great fielded a few decades before the start of EB. Despite their fierce appearance, your general's cavalry should be able to handle them. However, the main component of the Seleukid armies are the phalanxes. Most of the phalanxes are Hellenic Medium Phalanxes, which are average by phalanx standards, along with a few Hellenic Elite Phalanxes, which are much more powerful. Phalanxes are more than a match for your early infantry (Caucasian and Armenian Spearmen), which is why your cavalry will be critical in these battles, for a phalanx's weak spot is its rear.
You can proceed in two ways. You can build up several huge armies consisting of only your early unarmoured units. If you are going down this path, make sure you hire plenty of infantry, since the strategy will be to use your numerical advantage to outflank the phalanxes. On the other hand, you can wait until advanced barracks in Armavir have been constructed, allowing you to hire stronger units such as Armenian Medium Infantry and Armenian Medium Cavalry. If you choose this path, you will be under constant pressure from the attacking Seleukid armies. Whichever path you choose, you will still probably be overmatched (although by various degrees) during the battles, which is why strategy, and not strength, is the key to winning these battles.
Arche Seleukeia will be in possession of a huge empire that stretches from the Anatolian Plateau to modern day Iran. The best way to cripple the Seleukid empire is to march your armies south in a linear fashion and capture Seleukeia, the central capital, thus dividing the empire into two regions cut off from each other. Proceed by sending either a large army or two small armies south of Armavir to capture the city of Karkathiokerta, another of Hayasdan's main cities that can provide a huge source of income (about 4,000 mnai) if managed correctly. After taking a few turns to pacify Karkathiokerta and rebuild your army, proceed to capture some of the neighboring small cities, such as Arbela. Make sure to leave a few units in each settlement that is close to enemy territory, giving you a higher chance of holding off enemy attacks. However, cities that lie in the middle of your empire face virtually no threat from enemies. Thus, make sure to move all units (except a family member or general for administrative purposes) from these cities to your peripheral cities that face imminent enemy attacks.
Soon you will see two settlements in close proximity, positioned in a vertical fashion. These two settlements are Seleukeia and Babylon, respectively. You will need a lot of military firepower to take down this well-guarded combo, so hire some mercenaries if necessary and bring two well-constructed armies. Lay siege to Seleukeia first, since it is the one closer to you. During your opponent's turn, you will most likely be attacked by the army situated in Babylon, so be prepared for a crucial battle of epic proportions. Once the battle is won, you should have no difficulty dispatching the surviving units that avoided death in the previous turn. These settlements will provide you with a huge population boost each turn, and rioting is common once population levels exceed 20,000. You can try to construct buildings to appease the population, but this seldom works. The best solution is to remove your army from the city, allow the settlement to revolt, and then recapture it. Once recaptured, you could expel the population and award all of your settlements a population boost. You could, of course, enslave the population the first time you capture it, making appeasement an easier endeavor.
Once Seleukeia and Babylon have been captured, Arche Seleukeia will be divided in half. From now on, the Seleukid empire will no longer be a main threat (although do not expect a walk in the park when attacking their remaining settlements). Now that the core of Hayasdan has been created, it is time to branch out. However, there are four routes you can take: north toward the Sauromatae, west toward Pontos and Makedonia, south toward the Ptolemaic empire, or east toward Baktria and Pahlava. Each route will be discussed briefly to give an idea of what to expect. Be sure to concentrate your effort in expanding only in one or two directions, for it would be unwise to dilute your military and leave your entire empire vulnerable.
Proceeding south will be one of the more difficult paths to take. If you continue conquering Seleukeia's settlements, you will eventually proceed south to the area of Jerusalem and Damascus. Once this collection of settlements is captured, you will be attacked by the empire of Ptolemy (in Egypt), who does not appreciate the fact that you are getting dangerously close to its border. The Ptolemaic empire is a formidable enemy that is even more powerful than Seleukeia, with legions of heavy pikemen and a variety of swordsmen. Thus, it would be smart to bring several large armies to fight them off. Similar to your early predicament with Seleukeia, the Ptolemaioi will attack you mercilessly until you decide to invade Egypt, which will be no easy task. Just keep charging south until their offensive assault is exhausted, allowing you just enough breathing room to sneak into Egypt. Once in Africa, the Ptolemaioi will be severely weakened, and taking their settlements should be much less arduous. Remember to be patient with the Ptolemaioi, for at times it will seem like they have an unlimited amount of armies. You will just have to weather the storm until it is over. As a side quest, you can send an army or two down into Arabia to conquer the Arabs. Be warned that their cities are situated near the coastline and are very spread out. Make sure you take several armies with you if you go down this path, because it will be a very long journey.
A second alternative would be to focus your expansion effort to the Anatolian Plateau to the west. Like the journey south, this path will be a difficult one, with legions of Pontic swordsmen, Makedonian phalanxes, and Gallic barbarians obstructing your path towards further expansion. However, along with the journey into Egypt, this alternative is one of the more favorable routes to take during the current stage of the game due to its close proximity to your military strongholds in Ani, Armavir and Karkathiokerta. Also, conquering the Anatolian Plateau is required to attain victory with Hayasdan. Arche Seleukeia still possesses a few settlements in the southeast region of modern-day Turkey, such as Tarsos and Antiocheia, so make sure to clear them out. This sets the stage for a showdown with your newest target: the Kingdom of Pontos. When at full strength, the Pontic army is very similar to the army of Hayasdan, boasting heavy cavalry, heavy swordsmen, and phalanx units. Despite their impressive units, Pontos is a very small faction with only 2-3 settlements in her possession. Send a well-constructed, large army to their capital of Amaseia, situated just west of Ani, and destroy the bulk of their forces. Their remaining units will flee to their periphery settlements, such as Sinope, so make sure to hunt them down and wipe the Kingdom of Pontos off the face of the Earth. Once completed, wipe out the Gauls situated in Ankyra. The barbaric warriors of Gaul are fairly unarmoured but can still inflict heavy damage to your troops, so proceed with caution. Beyond this lies the mighty Kingdom of Makedonia. Like Arche Seleukeia and the Ptolemaioi, the Makedonians are Hellenic warriors that specialize in elite phalanx units and Hellenic bodyguard cavalry. The units that can best match the Makedonians on the battlefield are the Greek Classical Hoplites, which can be hired in Sinope (just above Amaseia) and Trapezous (north of Ani), which will need to be captured from the Koinon Hellenon. Not only are they cheap, their excellent defence allows them to hold their own against enemy phalanxes. While the enemy is preoccupied with your hoplites, trample them from the rear with your cavalry. Makedonia is a powerful enemy and conquering it will be difficult, but consistent assaults on their settlements on the western coast will eventually prove fruitful and leave you in sole control of modern-day Turkey. You may also ship your elite units from Armavir to the front lines via the port in Kotais, giving you a greater edge in battle. Once you have stabilized your new settlements by quelling any riots, proceed into Europe and end the reign of the Makedonians.
A third alternative would be to continue your expansion towards the east. To begin, take the coastal city of Charax from Seleukeia and establish it as a military stronghold in the vicinity. From here, hire units such as Babylonian Heavy Spearmen and Persian Hoplites and send them eastward. The main targets will be Pahlava (the Parthians) and Baktria. First will be Parthia, which should be significantly weakened at this point from its struggles with Seleukeia. Even so, the Parthian cavalry rivals that of Hayasdan, so be aware of their presence on the battlefield. Start by conquering Gabai and Persepolis, then proceed north to Apameia. With any luck, the Persians will not put up much resistance and will soon be wiped off the map. Once Parthia is taken care of, you will be matched against Baktria. Baktria is the dominant faction in Asia and will temporarily halt your advancements into the region. The Baktrian army is very powerful and consists of formidable infantry, such as Indo-Greek Noble Hoplites and Baktrian Royal Guard, and some of the best cavalry in the entire game. Be sure to establish several military settlements in the East, because Baktria will repeatedly launch attacks on your settlements. Absorb their attacks and strike at their settlements during gaps in the attacks. Once Baktria is defeated, you may go after Saka Rauka in the Northeast if you wish. However, defeating the Saka is not mandatory to completing the game.
The final alternative is to expand north. The only faction in this region is Sauromatae. This faction specializes in guerilla tactics, with various horse archers forming the focal point of their armies. Although some are armored, their cavalry are no match against your own armored cavalry. If you have managed to build the final level of barracks in Armavir, you should be able to hire some very powerful units, which would make this path a stroll in the park. However, you should not advance north in the beginning of the campaign because that would result in Hayasdan getting attacked in all directions, which would be a dire predicament indeed. Instead, wait until you have established Armavir as a factory for powerful units such as Armenian Noble Cataphracts and Armenian Noble Infantry. The settlements of Sauromatae are as separated as those of Southern Mesopotamia, so be prepared to do some traveling to reach these settlements.
Once Hayasdan has expanded in all directions and captured the required settlements, victory will be achieved. You should be proud, for you have led the Kingdom of Hayasdan from a struggling faction on the verge of extinction to one that now boasts vast lands, an unstoppable military, and superb living conditions that would make any enemy faction envious.
The military strength of the kingdom of Hayasdan lay in its superior cavalry, although certain Armenian infantry units were more than capable of holding their own during battle. The army of Hayasdan boasted a wide variety of horseback units, including Armenian Horse-Archers, Armenian Medium Cavalry, Armenian Noble Cataphracts, and so on. In the earlier sections of the campaign, the cavalry units are crucial during battle due to the relative inferiority of the Armenian infantry (Caucasian Spearmen, Armenian Spearmen) compared to those of neighboring countries such as Seleukeia and Pontos, which boast phalanxes and various units of heavy infantry. The main role of cavalry units is to charge enemy units from behind, for a head-on charge would prove fatal considering that cavalry are vulnerable against infantry. The infantry should engage the enemy spearmen/swordsmen to draw their attention away from your cavalry. Once the enemy is distracted, the Armenian cavalry should be used first to eliminate enemy archers, for they can be a nuisance to both infantry and cavalry. Archers are no match against cavalry, and will rout soon after you charge into them. After the enemy missile units are defeated, proceed to charge into the backs of the enemy infantry. A well placed charged should be able to easily route weaker units, but stronger ones will require multiple charges. If the enemy does not route, pull out the cavalry, for they will not last long in the heat of combat. Once the cavalry are a safe distance away, charge again and repeat. Eventually, the enemy will be diminished or routed. Once the enemy routs, it is a good idea to pursue and destroy them, for there is a chance that they will regroup if you don't. However, if the enemy still has enemy infantry, the horses should not stray too far from the battle. Cavalry are most efficient when used in open terrain, such as fields. This gives them plenty of room to navigate around the enemy and makes it easier to outflank them. Forests provide more of a challenge due to their rugged terrain, since running up hills tends to exhaust cavalry before they even make contact with the enemy. Charges are most effective when running down a hillside, so positioning your army on top of a hill would be ideal.
Another critical aspect of the battle are the missile units. Archers, mainly Caucasian Archers, are crucial during the early battles against the Eleutheroi (Rebels). This is because the enemy lack armor, leaving them vulnerable to arrow-fire. In these early battles, it is advised that you do not move your infantry or your cavalry until you shoot down as many enemies as possible. Even a couple of archer units should be able to inflict heavy damage. However, if you have several archer units, it is possible to annihilate half of the enemy army before the ground assault has even begun. Archers are best utilized by shooting at dense masses of enemy units, for that is when they will do the most damage. It would be advantageous to shoot down enemy missile units first to prevent them from firing back at you. Once they run out of arrows, move your archers back and finish the enemy off with your infantry and horses. Archers also have the ability to shoot fire arrows, which are effective at reducing enemy morale and making them susceptible to easy routing. However, fire-arrows inflict less damage than their regular counterparts, so proceed with caution. Once armored enemy are encountered, mainly with Seleukeia, Pontos, and Makedonia, regular archers become obsolete due to the inability of arrows to pierce armour. Slingers work best here, for they possess about the same range as archers but are capable of killing armored units by flinging stones. Skirmshers, which are warriors that fling javelins (spears) at the enemy, may also be used, although their range is more restricted. Skirmishers are most effective when shooting the enemy from behind, for that is where they are least armored and most vulnerable. Unlike archers and slingers, skirmishers can also be used in hand-to-hand combat, although this is not recommended since they are not as powerful as infantry and should only be used in emergencies.
Siege battles work quite differently from field battles, both in terms of strategy as well as which units are prioritized. You will need a different strategy in siege battles due to space constraints of narrow city streets and entrances. You may also use different equipment in an effort to penetrate the city's interior, such as rams, ladders, siege towers and sap points. Rams will be your equipment of choice in almost all settlements except for huge cities. Rams allow you to break down enemy gates and move your units into the enemy's settlement. Gates may also be opened by spies, though their chances of succeeding vary. Before attempting to infiltrate the settlement, use all of your long-range missile units to bombard the enemy with projectiles and weaken their resolve. Once ammunition is depleted, pull your missile units back and begin the ground assault. Once the gates are opened, it would be best to move your infantry into the settlement first, since the enemy may have few infantry units of its own situated on the other side of the gates with the intent of blocking your progress into the rest of the settlement. Thus, having several strong infantry units in your army would be very beneficial in shifting the tide of battle to your side. Cavalry should not attempt to attack the enemy directly and should only move into the city after the enemy at the gates are defeated. You may also attempt to move your cavalry into the city from another entrance, but this is risky because the enemy usually has at least one infantry unit at each gate. Once your infantry are in the city, march straight toward the city centre. If you have chosen to bring your cavalry as well, send them along the edge of the city and have them take another route into the city centre, allowing you to attack the enemy forces in the centre of the city from two angles. Once the units in this area (known as the Plaza) are defeated, victory is achieved.
Invading huge cities with stone walls is more challenging, since stone walls fire more projectiles at your men and usually pour hot oil on your units as they enter through the main gate. Thus, it would be a good idea to bring a few ladders or siege towers along. Both function in a similar fashion: have one of your units take the ladder or siege tower to the city wall and have some of your units climb up to the top of the wall. There will usually be some archers or weak infantry units there, so dispatch them quickly. Once this is done, lower your units to the other side of the city, taking over the wall in the process. This will minimize the amount of damage your units face as they enter the city.
The same fundamentals apply when you are the one under siege. If you attack the enemy as soon as they siege you, they will not have any equipment with which to penetrate the city and will remain stationed outside of your settlement. Thus, you will have to move your units out of your settlement in order to engage the enemy, transforming this into a field battle. However, if the enemy is equipped with battering rams and ladders, stay inside of the city. Position your archers close to the gate and attack as many advancing units as possible. It would also be a good idea to keep most of your army near your main gate to hold off the enemy's assault. If the enemy still breaks through you will need to use your remaining infantry and cavalry units in the city centre to hold them off.