Persian traditions

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See also: Military traditions

The Persian traditions cover the tactics of the peoples of the Scythian steppe and satellites of the former Achaemenid empire. Life on and around the steppe has forged these peoples into exquisite horsemen who, armed with a bow, can harry and surround their opponents from beyond their reach, while their infantry concentrates on whittling down the worn out formation.

Availability and focus[edit]


The Persian traditions are available for Flag of Bactria Bactria or for countries with the following culture groups:

  • Anatolian
  • Aramaic
  • Bactrian
  • Caucasian
  • Iranian
  • Scythian

The traditions focus on strengthening the below unit types and possibly unlock some new abilities:

  • Cost −15% Horse archers cost
  • Unit focus:
    • Strong Unit horse archers.png Horse archers
    • Good Unit heavy infantry.png Heavy infantry
    • Good Unit light cavalry.png Light cavalry
  • Possible ability unlocks:
    • Military colonies Military Colonies
    • Raise levies Raise Levies
    • Cavalry skirmish Cavalry Skirmish
  • Possible unit unlocks:
    • Unit octere.png Octere


Starting bonus
Scythian Horse Archers icon
Scythian Horse Archers

  • Cost −15% Horse archers cost
Strong-backed Scythian horses have been used by the nomadic tribes of the steppe for generations. Unparalleled as skirmishing troops, the chaos they could incur was a major advantage to thsoe lucky enough to be able to raise or hire them.
Parthian path
Persian scythian path 1.png
  • The Parthian Shot
  • Offense +10% Horse archers offense
The signature tactic of horse archers was the Parthian Shot. Requiring utter mastery over their steeds, the riders would retreat from their foe, and by twisting their bodies in the saddle, would fire back at their target.
Persian scythian path 2.png
  • Nomadic Lifestyle
  • Monthly war exhaustion −0.01 Monthly war exhaustion
  • Local cohort recruit speed.png +25% Cohort recruit speed
The people of the steppe are often on the move. Their constant readiness is quite a boon when making war.
Persian scythian path 3.png
  • Hit and Run
  • Morale.png +10% Horse archers morale
Contrary to the formative tactics associated with infantry, cavalry tactics tended to involve much more individual autonomy. None more so than horse archers, who would create a swirling cloud of arrows and horses, demoralizing enemy formations, and giving an advantage to the subsequent pitched engagement.
Persian scythian path 4.png
  • Cavalry Skirmish
  • Cavalry skirmish Enable "Cavalry Skirmish" tactic
Cavalry make for excellent interceptors, cutting off routes of retreat, and interfering with supply lines. By ordering our riders to harass but never definitively engage, we deny our foes the convenience of a numerical advantage.
Persian scythian path 5.png
  • Cataphracts
  • Cost −20% Heavy cavalry cost
Many cultures with a history of equine mastery developed usage of heavy cavalry, or cataphracts, as a means of countering small arms. With both horse and rider clad in heavy scale or mail, nothing short of total rout would break the charge of a unit of cataphracts.
Persian scythian path 6.png
  • Steppe Mastery
  • Army weight modifier.png −20% Army weight modifier
The nomadic lifestyle instills our people with an excellent knowledge of how to act and survive in this harsh terrain.
Persian scythian path 7.png
  • Footsloggers
  • Defense +10% Light infantry defense
While the majority of steppe warfare was mounted, scythian infantry are reported in numerous engagements in mid-antiquity. The Battle of Thatis saw the use of a large Siracian contingent of infantry, warring against the early Bosporan kingdom.
Persian scythian path end bonus.png
  • Bonus: Born to Ride
  • Offense +10% Heavy cavalry offense
  • Discipline.png +10% Horse archers discipline
The Sarmatian and Scythian tribes learn their horsemanship from a young age, developing an affinity for the saddle unlike any western culture. This knowledge can be put to good practical use when organizing our armies.
Resurgent Achaemenid path
Persian achaemenid path 1.png
  • Legacy of Cyrus
  • Manpower.png +10% National manpower
The huge hosts of the Achaemenid empire instilled the Hellenic civilizations to the west with the utmost fear. The vast territory controlled by his empire, and the willingness of his people to serve, guaranteed a high throughput of soldiers.
Persian achaemenid path 2.png
  • The Immortals
  • Defense +10% Heavy infantry defense
A legendary unit of soldiers known as the Immortals, supposedly named due to the constant size of the unit at 10,000 strong, the Immortals utilized a diverse array of weaponry, and heavy armor, providing a backbone of heavy infantry around which the rest of the army was formed.
Persian achaemenid path 3.png
  • Reform of the Navy
  • Unit octere.png Allows "Octere" units
  • Morale.png +10% Morale Navies
The Achaemenid dynasty oversaw the implementation of a navy in Persia, drawing on the nearby Phoenician mariners to crew it. Such a legacy of naval tradition still imbues our people.
Persian achaemenid path 4.png
  • Reactive Recruitment
  • Raise levies Enable "Raise Levies" ability
The vast hosts of ancient Persian kings are mentioned in numerous sources. The act of levying local men of fighting age must have contributed significantly to the dazzling size of the warhosts raised.
Persian achaemenid path 5.png
  • Royal Line
  • Morale.png +5% Morale of armies
  • Popularity.png +0.05 Monthly ruler popularity gain
The Achaemenid line ran, unbroken from Cyrus to the fall of the Empire at the hands of Alexander the Great. Despite the recent subjujation, the glory days of the Persian empire remains strong and within living memory.
Persian achaemenid path 6.png
  • To Blot Out the Sun
  • Offense +10% Archers offense
Praised for their prowess in archery by Herodotus, Achaemenid soldiers made use of the ubiquitous composite bow. In the famous Battle of Thermopylae, the sheer quantity of archers used by the native Persian troops were said to be able to blot out the very sun itself.
Persian achaemenid path 7.png
  • Kardakes
  • Cost −15% Heavy infantry cost
Latterly, the Persians relied on heavily armored mercenary infantry known as the Kardakes. Present during Alexander's invasion, they were recruited from Persian lands, but employed as cheap mercenaries.
Persian achaemenid path end bonus.png
  • Bonus: Massed Assault
  • Siege ability +10% Siege ability
The sheer quantity of our troops can overwhelm any pitiful resistance. The cost in lives may be high, but the victory is made all the sweeter for it.
Bactrian path
Persian bactrian path 1.png
  • Bactrian Horsemen
  • Offense +10% Light cavalry offense
Both the Achaemenids and the Macedonians used Bactrian horsemen in their forces, due to their skill and availability. Like the western Scythians, their culture was heavily influenced by an equine nomadic lifestyle.
Persian bactrian path 2.png
  • Greco-Bactria
  • Fort defense +15% Fort defense
The Greek influences on Bactria took hold unusually swiftly. Architecture and fortifications sprang up in these styles, often regarded as superior to their less hellenized neighbors.
Persian bactrian path 3.png
  • Perfect Storm
  • Offense +10% Heavy infantry offense
The Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, which developed in the mid-3rd Century BC, was a cultural melting pot of styles, people, and most importantly, tactics. The fusion of these diverse ways of doing battle, made for a formidable fighting force.
Persian bactrian path 4.png
  • Kleruchoi
  • Military colonies Enable "Military Colonies" ability
The Macedonians created scores of settlements in Bactria during Alexander's conquests, many of which prospered. The Kleruchoi, as they were known, provided a loyal manpower base for generations.
Persian bactrian path 5.png
  • Titans of Battle
  • Defense +10% War elephant defense
The proximity to India, led to the adoption of elephants as an entire wing of the army. Riders would sit, mounted on a howdah, giving them a vantage point over the melee below.
Persian bactrian path 6.png
  • Hippotoxotai
  • Defense +10% Horse archers defense
The nomadic tribes surrounding Bactria were often employed in the regional armies, excelling in mounted archery and horsemanship.
Persian bactrian path 7.png
  • Heartland
  • Army weight modifier.png −15% Army Attrition
The heartland of Bactria itself was a lush, fertile plain, surrounded by mountains, steppe and desert, in all directions. The adaptability required to survive here, leads to our armies being better prepared than most.
Persian bactrian path end bonus.png
  • Bonus: Disillusioned Masses
  • Maintenance.png −15% Mercenary army maintenance
The grand campaign of Alexander left behind thousands of mercenaries, willing to serve for their subsistence. Latterly, many of the surrounding tribes began to be assimilated, leading to plentiful and cheap mercenary contracts being available.


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