Consisting of all the Greek-speaking lands of the Tyrrhenian and Ionian, Hellas is the main torchbearer of culture in the eastern Mediterranean and has prospered well over the past few centuries, in no small thanks due to the chaos in the lands of their hated foes, the Persians of Asia. Cities such as Athens and Corinth are currently the envy of the world, even as Greek bankers, doctors and teachers have pretty much overrun the cities of Asia, and seem set on conquering even the barbarians to the west from their outposts in distant Gaul and Spain.
Although Hellas itself is not a tribute-generating region, it is split into four different regions: Magna Graecia, Graecia, Sicilia and Macedonia, with the Macedonians ruling the territories of Makedon and Thessalia at home in their namesake region, and the Chremonidian League, a new alliance between the Athenians and Spartans against Macedonian might, covering the lands of Attike and Lakonike, its capital. These two however are not the only powers in the region: the Achaean League and Epeiros also rule the area.
One major weakness of Hellas is that its communities do not have adequate supplies — the only two areas where supplies may be obtained are in Krete, Graecia and Messapia, Magna Graecia. This means that some factions such as Macedon and Epirus benefit greatly from their access to external supply centres (Epirus can expand westwards into Italy, and Macedon can move northwards if it sees no reason to unify Greece yet), while the smaller factions like the Chremonidoi and Achaeans have to compete with one another for control of Crete. If that was not bad enough, Hellas' location in the middle of the map makes it open to attack to all comers, starting with Italia to the West, Africa to the South and Anatolia to the East, followed by barbarians pouring in from Sarmatia to the north if you are unlucky enough.
So if you choose to play as a faction based in Macedonia or Graecia, you must try to unify your lands as quickly as possible, and engage in diplomacy if you can. This is especially so if you play as a one-territory faction like Epirus or the League of Achaea, where you have very little land available. Other factions like the Egyptians, Carthaginians, Getae, Romans or Pergamenes are potential allies because of their ability to draw resources from neighbouring regions. The Chremonidoi have a diplomatic bonus as they can count on their alliance with Egypt and Carthage, although it must be said that Carthage may prove to be the more useful ally if their armies can be used to cause overrun attacks in Italy by having Carthaginian armies stationed along the Tyrrhenian where they may strike the littorial regions of Italia.
Strategic resources Edit
Covering Greek Italy (or rather, the home of Italian-born Greeks), Megale Hellas (or Magna Graecia as the Romans call it) may well be the one and only reason why Greek culture and influence has survived some of the most brutal and destructive conflicts and calamities of ages, but its existence as part of the Greek world is increasingly coming under threat from its Carthaginian rivals, as well as native tribes who believe that the Greeks have no place in Italy.
- Alternate names: Rhegium; Rhegion; Calabria
- Corresponds to: Apulia (w)
The strategic location of Bruttium between Sicilia, Messapia and the rest of the Italian mainland has turned it into one of the most densely populated areas of the Mediterranean, with cities dotting the coastline everywhere.
- Alternate names: Brundisium; Taras; Tarentum
- Corresponds to: Apulia (e)
Once the home of the Messapii tribe, this peninsula is now the abode of the descendents of Greek colonists who have since then considered this land their home, led by the former Spartan city of Taras.
Located off the "toe" of the Italian peninsula, Sicilia itself is an odd mix of Greek and Phoenician cultures, due to recent competition in trade and battle between the two cultures, represented by the Carthaginians or ("New Townies") of Zeugitana to the south, and the Greek apoikiai founded here almost simultaneously over the past few centuries. The location of Sicilia in the Mediterranean is one which is highly strategic, for it guards the approaches to Italia and Melita ... and beyond Melita, Carthage.
The diamond in the Italian tiara of the Greeks, Sirakusa boasts the finest cities in this part of Italy, fed by the burgeoning trade in wine which is easiily grown in its volcanic highlands.
- Alternate names: Lilybaeum
- Corresponds to: Sicily (w)
The western half of Sicilia has been the haunt of Phoenician mariners for centuries, and boasts the finest harbour for ships on the northwestern Sicilian coast, known as Ziz in Punic but called Panormus by the Greeks.
This small but not insignificant archipelago of two is a vital waypoint in the Mediterranean, connecting Africa and Hellas and Italia to distant Egypt and Greece and serves as a base for anyone seeking to challenge control of the seas between Africa and Sicilia.
Macedonia, comprising a region of four territories, consists of all territories in Hellas which come under the political sphere of Makedon. This region's resident hegemons, the basiloi of Makedon through the late Argeads are known to have purchased freedom for Hellas from the Persians through Alexander the Great, and yet it has not come without a cost even to Macedon itself: the consequences of this newfound Greek prestige also include the potential extinction of liberty in Greece itself at the hands of Makedon. For all of Alexander's great achievements, geography and time may yet deal a cruel blow to his descendents, and the day that blow may be suffered seems ever closer than ever before. Despite being hated and feared by their southern cousins, the wealth of Macedonia's lands and the formidable position it occupies between Hellas and Thrake mean that all of Greece will have to nevertheless take Macedonia's masters seriously, regardless of of their feelings whatsoever — in the games of princes there is no sentimentality even for ancestral pedigree.
- Controlled by: Macedonians (Makedon; Thessalia); Epirotes (Epeiros)
- Independent Faction: Aetolian League
- Corresponds to: Thessaly
- Alternate names: Aetolia
Like many parts of the Greek mainland, Aitolia is a land broken up by mountains and bordered by the Achelous to the west and the Evenus to the east, which both flow southwards from its rocky interior. Although they often earn the scorn of more urbanised Greeks who see them as country bumpkins, the Aetolians are also a warrior race, known for the proficiency of their armies.
- Controlled by: Epirotes
- Alternate names: Epirus; Pindia
These snow-bleached mountains are the birthplace of the Epirote nation, with the harshest winters and the most ferocious dogs to match. This inhospitability has created a hardy people, to whom toil and exertion are no strangers and thus are well-matched as the allies of Macedon. Epeiros is the gateway to Magale Hellas and Italia via Messapia, and so control of this territory is vital for any Greek designs on the Italian peninsula.
- Controlled by: Macedonians
- Alternate name: Macedon
Heirs to the heritage of one of the greatest Greeks of all time, the Macedonians hold sway over a land of mountains and hills whose wealth and fertility have swaddled almost two generations of heroes. Makedon is also in a rather strategic location: its close proximity to Thrake in the north allows it access to fine horses, as well as a fair number of bonuses including additionaly manpower for its armies.
- Controlled by: Macedonians
- Alternate name: Thessaly
The territory of Thessalia is one of the more affluent and cultured parts of Greece, and is dominated by the Thessalian Plain, famous in the Greek world for its horse-breeding culture. Its capital city-state, Thessaloniki or "Triumphant Thessalia", is one of the ancient and prestigious cities of the ancient Greek world and is known for its maritime ties, most notably to Asian Ionia.
"Old Greece" as it is called is the cradle of Greek civilisation, centred where the Peloponnese meets the forbidding mountains of the northern coast. Unlike the unwashed northerners of Makedonia who delude themselves into believing themselves the very descendents of gods, the people of this ancient land know that they can count on their descent from the likes of Nestor, Agamemnon and Menelaus. While covering the ancient lands of Achaia, Attike and Lakonike, Graecia isn't just confined to the Greek mainland and also includes Krete — the largest island in the Greek archipelago.
- Controlled by: Achaean League (Achaia); Chremonidian League (Attike, Lakonike)
- Independent Faction: Cretans
- Corresponds to: Morea
- Controlled by: Achaean League
The northern half of the Peloponnese is dominated by the wealthy city-states of Argos and Corinth, and is also known for its mild climate, which makes it an ideal place for the cultivation of olives, although the lack of space means that wholesale cereal cultivation is near to impossible.
- Controlled by: Chremonidian League
The glory days of Attica's rulers, the city-state of Athinai, may be long gone, but Athinai's influence, aided by its democratic traditions, has very much left its mark in the world from distant Baetican shores all the way to the rocky wastes of Bactriana to the far east. Attike is also near to the one shrine the Greeks hold most dear: the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi. The people of Attike are staunch democrats just as they are crafty traders, and for this reason they are often the scourges of tyrants even as much as their investments are most badly desired.
Despite its hallowed past glorified in legend and song, Krete is still a poor country, consisting of arid mountains and the wine-dark sea which swirls around it. Nevertheless, this land is good for grazing and Krete has strategic significance: anyone who wishes to consolidate control over Asia and Greece must control Krete, which forms a vital outpost between Lakonike in Hellas; Galatia in Asia Minor; and Aegyptus Inferior and Cyrenaïca in Africa — and so many have attempted this over mankind's long history. For this reason Cretan shepherds are amongst some of the world's finest fighters, if not the most dangerous bandits.
Lakonike, being the southern tip of the Greek Peninsula, is linked by way of sea to the famous island of Krete to the south. Despite its prowess, the city-state of Sparte — Lakonike's most famous resident — has begun to show the signs of age in this new era of great overseas empire and pecuniary intercourse. The Spartans, however, still live and it is not likely that they will be backing down any time, aided by the remoteness of their rugged homeland.