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Parthian Icon

StrengthsEdit

  • Offensive cavalry-based faction capable of both rushing and booming
  • Enjoys substantial cavalry superiority, with enhanced anti-attritional ability.
  • Food production bonus that grows in proportion with your empire

WeaknessesEdit

  • Poor Influence and Timber gathering potential
  • Mediocre infantry
  • Almost no siege weapons or navy

The centrepiece of the Parthian army is the highly variegated and powerful cavalry, ranging from light raiding cavalry all the way to cataphract lancers.

Food is one of the most vital resources in the game. Food is required for the recruitment of almost every unit on foot and the creation of cities (as well as the expansion of their abilities), and for use in one of the areas most important of the Parthians — taxation. For this reason alone, the Parthians can expand quite quickly and substantially, especially moreso if they are aided by an ally with substantial border push abilities such as the Sarmatians, Seleucids or Numidians. More food flowing through your empire means more citizens and research being done, which then can be fed into your best units — being your cavalry.

Even better is that you will get up to three cavalry archers for free for every stable built. This can be of great use to facilitate a rushing attack. Timber is generally not too difficult to accumulate, so use that wood up and plop down as many stables as you can and take advantage of those free troops. So plop down 4 or 5 stables and get yourself 12 to 15 cavalry archers as a bonus. This should be a very adequate rushing force. You can go with less but in Rise of Nations, you generally need a bigger rushing force for them to be as effective as in other real-time strategy games. If the Rush fails, it's still not a big loss since those troops are free anyway, and may may have a psychological effect by forcing your opponent to play defensively, and neglect research and economy. That is, being knocked off their game plan, which is really what one hopes to do in these kinds of attacks. Even better of course if you manage to cripple their economy or force them to resign. But remember it is all about cost versus benefit: you get troops that cost you nothing, so use them to cause people some damage, and you can't really lose. Of course it doesn't mean you should squander that bonus either, because you need to meet a certain minimum of force in order to deal adequate damage. You can of course try to bank the free troops till later in game, and use them as part of a combined arms force. However, one should be careful not to accumulate too many of them before the late ages: gunpowder factions such as Spain and the Turks are most adept at taking out ranged cavalry. However, if timed right, the resources you have saved from not having to pay for the cavalry archers can help you build a much bigger and formidable combined arms force where you can really deal some serious damage and bring victory home. The Baatur, being toughened light cavalry with extra bite, should be able to serve in this role, along with two other more powerful units recruitable from the Nobles' Court — the Noyan which is actually a "Chivalric" cavalry archer, and another cavalry archer unit, the Keshig Guard who can supplement your forces with a more powerful cavalry archer. The suicide soldier line, which is upgraded in the Castle Age to the conscript swordsman and finally becomes the Imperial Era armoured militiaman, is a "cheaper than cheap" unit with very poor attack, lower HP and almost no armour. It might then well be possible for Mongolia, with its food bonus, to create massive "human wave armies", but these troops without support are highly vulnerable to cavalry rushing and also do not move very fast. These units will not be as effective in dealing with the generally more resilient troops and buildings of the later ages, especially when faced with gunpowder.

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