Maurya is a major power controlling much of northern India, founded by Chandragupta Maurya a few years before the start of the game after the overthrow of the Nanda dynasty. Rapidly expanding from its core areas in Magadha to the the west and south, the Mauryan Empire would reach its greatest fame under Chandragupta's grandson, Ashoka the Great, who would rule nearly all of South Asia as one of the largest empires in Indian history. Ashoka and the Mauryans are especially remembered for their conversion to Buddhism after witnessing the horrors of war during the conquest of Kalinga, and he would spend the rest of his reign enacting humane policies, bringing prosperity to the country, and sending Buddhist missionaries throughout Asia and beyond. The Mauryan Empire would go into decline shortly thereafter as weak kings could not keep the empire united, with princes and feudatories on the periphery breaking off one by one until the final overthrow of the dynasty by the Sungas, though the legacy of the first great Indian empire would not soon be forgotten and the Mauryans would be long remembered as one of the greatest empires in Indian history.
Will you follow the Mauryan path of conquest? Or will you convert your empire to Buddhism and bring peace and enlightenment to India? But you must ensure the empire does not collapse as it did historically. What if the world witnessed a long-lasting united Indian empire instead of Rome?
- Main article: Country rename events
As a dynamically named country, the name of Maurya can and usually will change at some point during the game. If the ruling dynasty changes or the country is no longer a monarchy, the former Mauryan Empire will receive an event to break with its dynastic traditions and naming, allowing the country to choose between renaming itself the Magadhan Empire if its capital is still in the province of Magadha or taking a more general name based on its capital region (e.g. Pracyan Empire, Madhyadesan Empire, Avanti Empire, etc.).
Apart from that event, the base name of the country will always use the name of the ruler's family and takes the form [RulerDynastyAdjective] Empire, defaulting to Magadha Empire as a fallback if the country ceases to exist or has no ruler for whatever reason. This behaviour is also currently active if the country loses a civil war.
- Main article: Seleukid flavor events
The Seleukid-Mauryan War
At the beginning of the game, the Seleukids will decide how to resolve the ongoing war with Maurya, which has recently taken control of the former Indian satrapies of the Argead Empire. The Seleukids will usually choose to sue for peace and offer control over their eastern provinces of Paropamisidae and Sattagydia as well as their satrapy of Arachosia for an extended truce, which can be rejected to immediately restart the war at the expense of unhappiness in the conquered Greek population. Rarely, the Seleukids may decide not to make the peace offer and immediately resume the war instead.
As the by-far largest nation on the Indian subcontinent, the Maurya are in a good position to form Bharatavarsha.
The Puranas speak of a united subcontinent, entrusted to Bharata, and known as Bharatavarsha. We must aspire to unite all of those lands so that the subcontinent may enjoy stability and peace.
The Maurya has a population of 3936 across its 304 territories, making it by far one of the largest empires in the world at the beginning of the game. The empire is relatively diverse, with mostly Pracyan culture group pops in core areas in the east while the vast west of the empire is mostly Aryan. While most of Maurya's pops are in another culture group, many of the biggest cultures are already integrated at the start of the game; unrest is mostly concentrated in the unintegrated borders of the empire. Religiously, Maurya is mostly Hindu like the rest of India, but with substantial Buddhist minorities along the Ganges plain, with a significant majority in the capital territory and province - so much so that Maurya can convert to Buddhist almost immediately, as soon as it acquires a Buddhist character. Smaller minorities of Jain pops also exist, scattered throughout the country.
Apart from the Indian population, there are also communities of Macedonian Hellenic pops along the Indus river, populating the Alexandrian cities.
- 25 Nobles (0.64%)
- 681 Citizens (17.30%)
- 948 Freemen (24.09%)
- 1091 Tribesmen (27.72%)
- 1191 Slaves (30.26%)
- Shauraseni (Aryan) - Integrated culture, Citizen rights
- Avanti (Aryan) - Integrated culture, Citizen rights
- Sindhi (Aryan) - Integrated culture, Citizen rights
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A Change in Faith
Maurya can convert to Buddhism very early in the game once 200 Political Power is obtained and the office of Purohita is occupied by a Buddhist. The +30% Pop conversion speed bonus of Buddhism is very helpful for a Mauryan empire expanding into the west as it can overcome wrong-culture penalties to conversion. However, this must be weighed against the costs of converting a large number of pops and characters within India to the faith.
The vast size of the Mauryan empire may be its greatest challenge as the player must prevent the empire from disintegrating as it did historically. Expanding the road network will help the empire respond to revolts and foreign threats in a timely manner. Keeping some highly mobile units such as light cavalry in reserve can prevent rebels or weak foreign armies from rampaging unchecked through the vast countryside.
Consolidating the capital region of Pracya is paramount as the empire already spans several regions from the start of the game. Foreign states which hold territories in Pracya include Kamarupa, Samatata and Nabhapakti.
The regions of Avanti and Madhyadesa are the most populous, and has potential for further expansion; this means that their governors must be appointed and handled carefully.
The greatest foreign threat to the Maurya is the Seleukid Empire, especially if they ally with other Hellenistic states. But both sides will have very long supply lines. Naval dominance in the Arabian Sea (Mare Erythraeum) can provide an alternative route to the Seleukid homeland, bypassing low-supply regions of the Iranian plateau.
The Indian sub-continent consists of many tribes; this also means that Civilization values may be low, so much so that massive barbarian uprisings may occur. Having as many tribal vassals as possible may help raise the Civilization of the area; this also deprives Maurya's enemies of alliances.
Maurya's first targets for expansion should be Kamarupa, Samatata and Nabhapakti; the three states hold territories in the capital region of Pracya. Consolidating the region will in turn solidify the crown's grip on the realm.
The Seleukid Choice
Shortly after the beginning of the game, the Seleukid Empire will probably offer territory in exchange for a peace treaty and royal marriage (and some elephants). In almost all circumstances, it makes sense to accept the offer because you receive land and a new subject without aggressive expansion and can instead expand southwards, coming closer to forming Bharatavarsha. On other hand, the Seleukid Empire may soon become entangled in a war with Phrygia and/or Egypt, allowing an aggressive Maurya without a peace treaty to cripple the Seleukid Empire in a two-front war.
However, care should be taken to ensure the loyalty of Laodice Seleukid; she is not of the Hindu faith and her children (if any) are unlikely to become the primary heir, further reducing her loyalty. Forcing her to accept the Hindu faith should be relatively easier, but ensuring that she becomes the mother of the primary heir may in turn cause other issues. As such, it may be beneficial to turn a blind eye when AI characters are targeting the initial primary heir for assassination.