Olbia is a small Greek regional power located along the Black Sea in the region of Caucasia, bordering Tyras to the west and Scythia to the east, with uncolonized land to the north. Olbia starts the game as a democratic republic with with 4 cities, 5 cohorts of archers, and a 15 pops in total, of which 12 are Tribesmen. Olbia's position in 450 AUC is precarious, as many neighboring countries in the area are significantly more powerful and most of the surrounding pops are different culture and religion groups, but Olbia has the potential for expansion if played to their strengths.
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: