Heraclea Pontica

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Local powerHeraclea Pontica
Heraclea Pontica.png
Primary culture
Pontic (Hellenistic)

Capital territory
Herakleia Pontike (207)

Monarchy (Aristocratic)

State religion
Military traditions

Flag of Heraclea Pontica Heraclea Pontica is a Local Power in Bithynia et Paphlagonia, controlling two territories on the Euxine Sea coast in the province of Mariandynia. Founded as a Flag of Megara Megaran colony like many of the other Greek cities in the region in 560 BC, Heraclea Pontica has become a large and important city and trade center in the region and in 304 BC is under the rule of Queen Amastris, widow of the previous tyrant Dionysius and the niece of the last Flag of Achaemenid Empire Achaemenid emperor Darius III, making her the last reigning scion of the Achaemenid dynasty. Historically, the city would fall into the sphere of influence of Flag of Thrace Thrace after Amastris's marriage to the Diadochi king Lysimachus but regain its independence after that kingdom's collapse, feuding as a fierce rival of Flag of Bithynia Bithynia until aligning with the Flag of Rome Romans after their arrival in the region. This would last until Heraclea Pontica sided with Flag of Pontus Pontus in the Mithridatic Wars, leading to its sack and annexation by Flag of Rome Rome after which it would never quite reach its former importance. Ingame, despite the prestigious heritage of its ruler Heraclea Pontica is merely the largest of the many small Pontic city states in northern Anatolia and significantly smaller than the native Anatolian kingdoms, all the while precariously close to the Diadochi kingdoms of Flag of Thrace Thrace and especially the Flag of Antigonid Kingdom Antigonid Kingdom who will inevitably eventually turn its attention to the region. The city of Hercules will have to quickly grow its power or find powerful allies to protect it if it wants to survive and prosper, whether to crush its Anatolian rivals and control all trade in the Euxine Sea or embrace the Persian heritage of its queen and restore the Flag of Achaemenid Empire Persian Empire for the glory of the Achaemenid dynasty.

Missions[edit | edit source]

Main article: Greek missions#The Hospitable Sea

As a Pontic culture country, Heraclea Pontica has access to the unique Euxine Sea Hellenistic cultural mission tree The Hospitable Sea from game start, directing it to expand its influence and dominate the Euxine Sea region. Like most other Hellenistic group countries, if Heraclea Pontica conquers territory in Greece it can also get the Greek cultural mission tree Pan-Hellenic Government and attempt to unite the Greek city-states into a new Flag of Hellenic League Hellenic League. Note that neither of these missions will be accessible if Heraclea Pontica decides to embrace Persian culture.

Regardless of which culture it chooses to embrace, like all other countries Heraclea Pontica also has access to the generic missions.

Events[edit | edit source]

Heraclea Pontican events[edit | edit source]

Flag of Heraclea Pontica Heraclea Pontica has a single country-specific event that triggers at the beginning of the game, allowing the country to choose between staying true to its Greek heritage or embracing the Persian culture, religion, and traditions of its ruler.[1]


The Persian Heiress

As Alexander overthrew the old Persian empire and took control of its ancient areas, the dynasty of King Darius was married to the many generals and satraps serving Alexander to secure his new rule.

One of his nieces, Amastris, ended up married to the Macedonian general Crateus. The marriage was shortlived as Craterus wanted an alliance with Antipater just a couple of years later, after the death of Alexander, and sent Amastris to the tyrant of Heraclea Pontica, Dionysus.

After the old tyrant Dionysus passed on, Amastris has been left in charge of their two sons and the rulership of Heraclea Pontica, and become quite popular among the populace. Though some argued against Persian rulership at first, they are now quickly becoming used to the idea.

Trigger conditions
  • Is Flag of Heraclea Pontica Heraclea Pontica
  • Owns at least 1 territory
  • Has not triggered the event before
Is triggered only by

On game start

Event button.png
Though we have a Persian ruler, we will embrace our heritage.
  • Get the modifier Embraced Heritage until the end of the game, giving:
    • Unintegrated culture group happiness -3.00% Unintegrated Culture Group Happiness
    • Integrated culture happiness +10.00% Integrated Culture Happiness
Event button.png
We will bring in her old countrymen to rule this nation.
  • Lose Stability.png 10 Stability
  • Lose Political influence.png 25.00 Political Influence
  • Set the Policy cultural assimilation.png primary culture to Persian, with the old primary culture becoming integrated
  • Get the modifier Persian Influence until the end of the game, giving:
    • Unintegrated culture group happiness +5.00% Unintegrated Culture Group Happiness
    • Pop assimilation.png +10.00% Pop Assimilation Speed
  • Set the Religious power.png state religion to Zoroastrian
  • Tooltip: Unlocks Persian Tradition Groups
  • (Hidden Effect) Set graphical culture to Persian
  • Get Citizens 3 Zoroastrian Persian Citizens in the country's capital
  • Tooltip: The mission The Hospitable Sea will no longer be available

Amastris marriage events[edit | edit source]

Main article: Thracian events#Amastris Marriage Events

A few years into the game, King Lysimachus of Flag of Thrace Thrace will receive an event allowing him to propose his historical marriage to the Heraclean queen Amastris. If he chooses to extend the offer, Amastris can either accept and will leave Flag of Heraclea Pontica Heraclea Pontica to her heir to join Lysimachus in Flag of Thrace Thrace, who will extend a guarantee to her Heraclea Pontica in return, or refuse and allows Flag of Thrace Thrace to get claims on the region, possibly encouraging it to extend its influence more aggressively.

This event chain will only trigger if the Heirs of Alexander DLC is not enabled. If the DLC is enabled, it is replaced by certain mission tasks in the unique Flag of Thrace Thracian mission tree Crossing the Hellespont.

Decisions[edit | edit source]

As a Hellenistic culture group monarchy, Heraclea Pontica has access to the decision to form the Flag of Hellenistic Empire Hellenistic Empire if it does not choose to change its culture at start.


Reunite Alexander's Empire

For too long parasites and scavengers have made a feast of the Great Empire that Alexander spent a lifetime building. It is time we do away with all claimants, usurpers and delusional provincial strongmen. There can be only one authority within the empire of Alexander the Great, one upholder of the great Hellenistic legacy that this great man founded.

That one power could not possibly come from any dynasty but our own. Only a family that respects the Argead traditions can legitimately claim its legacy.

Potential requirements
  • Has not previously formed the Flag of Hellenistic Empire Hellenistic Empire
  • Has at least 1 territory
  • Country is in the Hellenistic culture group
  • Is a monarchy
  • Is not Flag of Hellenistic Empire Hellenistic Empire
  • Is not AI-controlled or has more than 40 territories
  • Flag of Hellenistic Empire Hellenistic Empire does not current exist
  • Is a monarchy
  • Is not at war or in a civil war
  • Owns or has a subject that owns the following territories:
    • Pella (379)
    • Korinthos (418)
    • Athenai (416)
    • Lysimacheia (350)
    • Sardeis (292)
    • Alexandreia (516)
    • Memphis (500)
    • Gaza (659)
    • Tyros (743)
    • Antigoneia (790)
    • Ammoneion (5537)
    • Babylon (918)
    • Seleukeia Megale (911)
    • Persepolis (4799)
    • Ekbatana (1595)
    • Taxila (7314)
    • Alexandrou Limen (6821)

  • If the country is tribal, add the modifier Civilizing Tribe for 10 years, giving:
    • Civilization.png +0.10% Monthly Civilization Change
    • Local pop promotion speed.png +2 Pop Promotion Speed
    • Integrated culture happiness +10% Integrated Culture Happiness
  • If the government type is not Empire or Imperial Cult, set the country's government to Empire
  • If the country was originally a republic:
    • If the country originally had the Enact law cost modifier.png Provisioning Act or Enact law cost modifier.png Punic Reforms law, enact the Enact law cost modifier.png Royal Guard law
    • Otherwise, if the country originally had the Enact law cost modifier.png Military Modernization or Enact law cost modifier.png Marian Reform law, enact the Enact law cost modifier.png Royal Army law
  • Get the modifier Argead Unification until the end of the game, giving:
    • Unintegrated culture group happiness +6% Unintegrated Culture Group Happiness
    • Land morale recovery.png +5% Morale of Armies
    • Diplomatic reputation.png +2 Diplomatic Reputation
    • Freeman happiness +8% National Freeman Happiness
  • Get Province investment 5 free province investments
  • Current country becomes Flag of Hellenistic Empire Hellenistic Empire
  • If the current ruler has the Blood of the Argeads Blood of the Argeads trait, set the country's name to Flag of Argead Empire Argead Empire
  • Get the event Capital of an Empire
  • Get claims on all unowned provinces in the regions of Parthia, Syria, Ariana, Bactriana, Media, Persis, Gedrosia, Mesopotamia, Assyria, Bithynia et Paphlagonia, Cappadocia Taurica, Phrygia, Cilicia, Asia, Greece, Palestine, Gandhara, Lower Egypt, Upper Egypt, Macedonia, and Thrace
  • If the country is Flag of Antigonid Kingdom Antigonid Kingdom, Flag of Macedon Macedon, Flag of Seleukid Empire Seleukid Empire, Flag of Egypt Egypt, or Flag of Thrace Thrace and is not AI-controlled, award the achievement No More Worlds Left to Conquer

If Heraclea Pontica does choose to embrace Persian culture, it will instead have access to the decision to form 20px Persia, and in particular can directly restore Flag of Achaemenid Empire Achaemenid Empire if it manages to keep its ruling Achaemenid dynasty. As well, as Persian will already be its primary culture Heraclea Pontica will not have to take the additional step of integrating to reform the Persian Empire.


Form Persia

The days of Cyrus and Darius are long gone, but the Persian people remember the great empires built by their own. It is time to throw off the shackles of our foreign oppressors, and unite our people once again!

Potential requirements
  • Has at least 1 territory
  • Country is in the Iranian, Caucasian, or Anatolian culture groups
  • Is not 20px Persia
  • Is not AI-controlled or owns at least 40 territories
  • Is not a Tier 3 formable
  • 20px Persia does not exist
  • If the country is not AI-controlled and there are Persian-cultured pops in the country, has Persian as a primary or integrated culture
  • Is not at war or in a civil war
  • Owns the follow territories:
    • Babylon (918)
    • Ekbatana (1595)
    • Pasargadai (4951)
    • Persepolis (4799)
    • Nostana (6561)
    • Arbela (880)
    • Gazaka (1515)
    • Opis (914)
    • Hormirzad (4791)
    • Zadrakarta (3435)
    • Artakabana (6559)
    • Sousa (946)

  • If the country is AI-controlled, there are Persian-cultured pops in the country, and Persian is not the primary culture, add Persian as an integrated culture
  • If the game is ironman, the country is not AI-controlled, and the country is or started as Flag of Heraclea Pontica Heraclea Pontica, award the achievement Heraclea Persica
  • Country becomes 20px Persia
  • If the country's ruler is in the same family as Amastris Achaimenid (82), set the name and flag to Flag of Achaemenid Empire Achaemenid Empire
  • If the current government form is a monarchy and not Empire or Imperial Cult, set the government form to Empire
  • Otherwise, gain Political influence.png 300 political influence
  • Get the event Seat of Power
  • Get the modifier Unification of Persia for 20 years, giving:
    • Integrated culture happiness +15% Integrated Culture Happiness
    • Freeman output +12% National Freemen Output
  • Get claims on all unowned territories in the regions of Persis, Media, Parthia, Ariana, Mesopotamia, Bactriana, Gedrosia, and Assyria
  • Get Province investment 5 free province investments

Population[edit | edit source]

Heraclea Pontica begins with a Population.png population of 27 between its Local.png 2 territories at the beginning of the game, mostly Pontic Hellenic though with a substantial minority of Mariandynian Hellenic natives. This means that Heraclea Pontica will have very few primary culture and state religion pops if it embraces Persian culture and religion, though the fact that the old primary culture Pontic is integrated and the current Hellenic pantheon is kept means that happiness problems are not significant. Omen.png Omen power, however, will be very low until more Zoroastrian pops are conquered or converted.

  • Pop noble.png 2 Nobles
  • Citizens 5 Citizens
  • Freemen 10 Freemen
  • Tribesmen 6 Tribesmen
  • Slaves 4 Slaves

Diplomacy[edit | edit source]

Heraclea Pontica begins in a Defensive league.png defensive league with Flag of Tieion Tieion and Flag of Sesamos Sesamos.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

Players who wish to play as Heraclea Pontica will be forced to play tall at first due to only having one province which isn't in the control of any Regional or Major Powers. This is further complicated for the player's decision whether to adopt Persian culture or keep Pontic culture, as adopting the Persian culture and traditions will disable the Greek mission The Hospitable Sea, thus only leaving Heraclea Pontica with the generic missions.


Early Game

Heraclea Pontica should, after choosing to adopt Persian culture at the start of the game, endeavour upon two primary strategies. Firstly, to snatch a few provinces from the local, equally small Pontic states, such as Sinope, Amisos, Kotyora, Kerausous, and even Trapezous, although be careful of attacking the latter if you are still on two provinces. To facilitate this, try and secure military access from nearby states, most crucially Kaukonia, Bithynia, and Pontus, as a navy is not really worth investing in at this stage of the game. Some of these cities will have a complex web of alliances and defensive leagues, but being opportunistic and aware of their situation at all times allows you to quickly take them when they are vulnerable. Once you have some extra provinces, you may be able to target Colchis and Bithynia, and perhaps Mariandynia and Kaukonia, although they tend to ally with each other, and can quickly overrun your small home province due to their large shared border. A few years or decades into the game, Paphlagonia and Pontus may be weakened by infighting and wars with Cappadocia and the Antigonid Kingdom.

Your second strategy should be to secure an alliance with Armenia at all costs. They are Zoroastrian, like you, as well as culturally integrated (culturally homogenous in this case), so they will be able to provide many troops to help in the wars you should be able to drag them into. It is relatively easy to secure northern Anatolia with Armenia's help, especially since none should involve the nearby Diadochi at this point, all of whom should be too busy to concern themselves with you. The more territory you claim near Armenia, the more likely they are to, over time, seek to break their alliance with you after sending several insults. Do not let this happen, preemptively raise their opinion, send gifts, and switch to appeasing stance - anything to avoid getting on their bad side. You may even need to prolong some wars you are fighting alongside them for the opinion boost modifier. At this stage in the game, even if you control most of northern Anatolia, you cannot hope to stand against them, if they set their sights on you, it will put your run in serious jeopardy.

Mid Game

If you control northern Anatolia, you will most likely be strong enough to try and capture the Ionian cities along the western coast. But again, be mindful of their alliances and defensive leagues, you will have to judge whether you are strong enough to be able to capture them.

Central Anatolia will most likely be controlled by either the Seleukid Empire or Antigonid Kingdom. To defeat them, your alliance with Armenia, and trying to ensure they are busy in another war will be crucial to your success. As the game progresses, Armenia occassionally a tendency to lag behind in military tech, in which case your expansion will need to keep pace with your increasing portion of responsibility to defeat your enemies. Nevertheless they are still useful as an ally even if they are already starting to lag behind, especially if your enemy is the Seleukids, as they will be a buffer against any Hellenic doomstacks that are sent your way. The more allies you have between yourself and the enemy, the better.

The largest cultural groups in central Anatolia are Cappadocian and Phrygian, and you should integrate these pops as quickly as you can, that way they will be able to provide more levies, which you will use to secure southern Anatolia.

After these crucial wars, you should be left with almost all of Anatolia and a relatively strong Armenian alliance. This will put you in a good position to secure Mesopotamia from the despotic Hellenic imperialists who have shackled the former home of Cyrus for far too long.

Late Game

Most of the advice mentioned above continues to apply to your further conquests. The best regions to take would be Syria and Mesopotamia, whilst leaving southern Phoenicia for later. Once you have secured southern provinces of Mesopotamia, the Seleukids will likely be crippled and unable to mount any serious defence. If Armenia have conquered Atropatene, which contains a necessary province to form the Achaemenid Empire, you will have to break your alliance with them at some point. However, if you have expanded all the way down to Mesopotamia, they should not be the senior partner in your alliance anymore, and thus you can most likely defeat them. At this point, your strategy should be relatively straightforward. Potential stressors are the Maurya expanding into eastern Persia, Egypt capturing southern Phoenicia and eyeing off your territory, and Rome expanding into neighbouring Greece, Macedonia, and even Thrace. Once you have formed the Achaemenid Empire, however, these threats will be manageable.

Achievements[edit | edit source]

Three Great Fires icon
Three Great Fires
Form Persia and own Ganzak, Nevshapur and Gur.
Heraclea Persica icon
Heraclea Persica
Starting as Heraclea Pontica, form Persia whilst your ruler belongs to the Achaemenid dynasty
On the Measure of the Earth icon
On the Measure of the Earth
As any Greek nation, build Towers in Omboi and Alexandria.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. This event can be found in /ImperatorRome/game/events/dhe/dhe_heraclea_pontica.txt.