Olbia is a small Greek local power on the northern shore of the Euxine Sea between its fellow Greek city of Tyras to the west and the tribes of Scythia to the east, straddling the mouths of the Hypanis and Borysthenes rivers. Founded as a colony of Miletos in the 7th century BC, Olbia has grown to be a large and prosperous trade hub in the region, though one still in a somewhat precarious position in 450 AUC, surrounded by more powerful countries - in some cases significantly - and relatively isolated from its fellow Greeks, but with the Diadochi fighting over the scraps of Alexander's Empire and showing little interest in the region, Olbia has the potential for growth and expansion to become the dominant power in the area if its cards are played carefully. Historically the city would enjoy the protection of Scythia and later Pontus as one of the main trade centers in the region until its brutal sack and conquest by the Getae. Olbia would continue with a much reduced status under the Romans for few centuries longer until its final destruction at the hands of the Goths.
- Main article: Greek missions#The Hospitable Sea
As a Bosporan culture country, Olbia 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 Olbia 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 Hellenic League.
Like all other countries, Olbia also has access to the generic missions.
Reunite Alexander's Empire
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.
Olbia begins with a population of 20 between its 4 territories at the beginning of the game, mostly tribesmen (unusually for a civilized Greek state) and all Bosporan Hellenic.
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Olbia's position in 450 AUC at first glance appears to look dire, as it is surrounded by many larger nations in the area, but it does have opportunities for expansion. One of these options, Tyras, is an excellent target for any Olbian player looking to acquire new territory, as Tyras has approximately an equal or slightly weaker army to Olbia at the start of the game (which an AI Tyras will typically downsize within within the first weeks of the game), access to a port, and all of their pops belong to Olbia's primary culture and religion. The Senate may potentially disapprove of going to war against a fellow Greek country, but the tyranny penalty may be well worth the potential rewards of a conquest of Tyras for an Olbian player in the years to come, as Olbia's total accepted pops will nearly double. It is highly recommended for a player wanting to annex Tyras within the first few years of gameplay to make their move swiftly, however, as Tyras will usually try to form an alliance or defensive pact with their neighbor Tyrgetae or Scythia, either of which are usually too strong for Olbia to take on solo within the first few years. Another good opportunity for expansion is the uncolonized land to the north. Colonization can be a tedious and highly involved activity for an Olbian player to undertake, as all of the pops are in different culture groups and belong to different religions, but there are many rare and valued resources from the region that can be acquired through this process, such as steppe horses which allow for horse archers, and iron which allows for heavy infantry. An Olbia player who expands aggressively into the uncolonized areas should be careful about maintaining their research ratio, however, as there are few citizens in the area, and each additional colonization of territory will likely lower the research efficiency. Sometimes barbarian hordes may approach from the uncolonized border and raid to lower the civilization value, which can be dealt with by building forts along the frontier or by stationing troops nearby. The Bosporan Kingdom can be a reliable ally early on to an Olbian player, to at least deter stronger threats from invading. A player should always be on the lookout for opportunities that can occur during gameplay, and be weary of foreign invasion.
The following achievement(s) can be obtained by playing Olbia: