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Helepolis
Helep icon
Unit type Super siege machine
Base cost Exorbitant!
Ramping cost  ????
Creation time Very slow
Hit points Reasonable
Line of sight Medium
Movement speed Rather slow
Attack strength Brutal
Attack range Long
Armour Epic
Population cost 4
Created at Siege Workshop
Prerequisites GromaPrefabs Timber
Upgrades from none
Upgrades to none
Available to Macedon IconPergamene Icon

True to its name, (Greek: ἑλέπολις, English: "Taker of Cities") this monster siege tower is encased in metallic armour plates, and not only has the height required to scale the loftiest towers ever built, but is also armed to the teeth with all manner of weapons — most missiles are virtually worthless against this war machine.If it was not enough that the Helepolis is lethal to buildings, it is already a menace to all manner of units. Just send four of these into your enemy's lands, and your foe will more likely than not yield out of sheer fear.  Additionally, use the Helepolis to draw the fire of your opponents' archers, even as the multi-storey artillery floors of the Helepolis rake holes in any resistance that is proferred against you.

Even so, the Helepolis on its own is not invincible. For one thing, despite its powerful attack and near-invulnerability to most weapons, there are many ways to defeat one. The first is to ensconce heavy artillery, in the form of ballistae or lithoboloi, to continuously take potshots at it. Because the Helepolis is armed only with light artillery similar to Scorpios and Oxybeletai and is also extremely deficient in mobility, it can be easily outranged by other siege weapons. Factions with a bonus to siege weapons, such as the Epirotes and the Romans, are capable enough to put down Helepoles using heavy artillery. Another issue with the Helepolis is that it has very high minimum range — so if you are playing a faction with good infantry or melee units such as the Arverni or many Greek factions, you can spam out melee infantry who at the least can help slow down a Helepolis and even take it down with very little risk to yourself. Finally, the immense cost, construction time and research period means that the Helepolis will take a very long time to construct. It does not help that the large size of the Helepolis makes it vulnerable to powerful siege weapons and war elephants. Even a gang of Libyan war elephants are more than good enough when it comes to taking apart a Helepolis. Even so, a Helepolis is capable of attacking targets directly in front of it, so caution should be used when attacking an enemy escorting two of these monsters.

With this in mind, we can draw two conclusions — the first is that like most siege weapons, the Helepolis needs to be protected at all costs with infantry escorts, perhaps archers as well. The next thing that any faction wishing to bring this monster to bear upon the foe's cities must remember is that because of its very slow movement, you will need to do some forward building, and have the resources on hand. Always research the upgrades required for the Helepolis first as quickly as you can, then build Siege Workshops near the enemy in order to cut the traveling distance between the point of construction and combat hotspots.

HistoryEdit

The Helepolis (Greek: ἑλέπολις, English: "Taker of Cities") was an ancient siege engine invented by Polyidus of Thessaly and improved by Demetrius I of Macedon and Epimachus of Athens for the unsuccessful siege of Rhodes, based on an earlier, less massive design used against Salamis (305–304 BC). The name was derived from "ελείν πόλεις", meaning taking or capturing cities. Descriptions of it were written by Diodorus Siculus, Vitruvius, Plutarch, and in the Athenaeus Mechanicus. If their numbers are accurate, it was the largest and most powerful siege tower ever erected.

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