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Sparta gets strong, military-focused modifiers from its heritage and missions, with a permanent {{icon|discipline}} discipline bonus of {{green|+20%}} - not including any deity or technology modifiers - after all 4 mission trees are finished. Combined with the relatively high level of technology that typically comes from starting as a small state and conquering the city-rich provinces of Greece, this means that a fully resurgent Sparta can easily defeat significantly larger armies and, if played intelligently, take on much larger and nominally stronger powers. Therefore Spartan success hinges largely on how effectively the nation can expand in the early game when the Diadochi states are still a significant threat, and whether or not Sparta can manage to unite the Peloponnese and build up enough of a power base to sustain a sufficiently strong army.  
 
Sparta gets strong, military-focused modifiers from its heritage and missions, with a permanent {{icon|discipline}} discipline bonus of {{green|+20%}} - not including any deity or technology modifiers - after all 4 mission trees are finished. Combined with the relatively high level of technology that typically comes from starting as a small state and conquering the city-rich provinces of Greece, this means that a fully resurgent Sparta can easily defeat significantly larger armies and, if played intelligently, take on much larger and nominally stronger powers. Therefore Spartan success hinges largely on how effectively the nation can expand in the early game when the Diadochi states are still a significant threat, and whether or not Sparta can manage to unite the Peloponnese and build up enough of a power base to sustain a sufficiently strong army.  
  
Securing strong alliances is the most important part of the early game. The best ally to try to get is {{flag|Phrygia}}, who is very strong with their many feudatories and has a strong navy that can be used to easily access Greece; however, as {{flag|Phrygia}} starts out of diplomatic range, at the beginning of the game there is little that can be done to encourage this other than leaving a diplomatic slot open and hoping that {{flag|Phrygia}} offers an alliance, which they nonetheless will often do after they go to war with {{flag|Macedon}}. If {{flag|Egypt}} and {{flag|Seleukid Empire}} declare war as they often will after a few months, it can be very advantageous to send an army to pillage their core areas while they are busy engaged with the {{flag|Phrygia|0}} [[Phrygia|Phrygians]] - the largely undefended Nile Delta is very suitable for this as long as the Egyptian navy can be avoided, being full of high-pop cities and territories with virtually no forts. Sparta can easily take dozens of {{icon|slaves}} slaves and pillage over a thousand {{icon|wealth}} gold from sacking their cities, providing a very substantial boost that goes a long way towards completely the infrastructure part of the [[Spartan_missions#The_Second_Peloponnesian_League|The Second Peloponnesian League]] mission tree. Assuming that {{flag|Phrygia}} wins or is not defeated too badly in its wars, which is usually the case, they will be easily able to take on {{flag|Macedon}} and any allies they may have, making the Laconic If achievement fairly straightforward as long as their truce expires in time to start another war.
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Securing strong alliances is the most important part of the early game. The best ally to try to get is {{flag|Phrygia}}, who is very strong with their many feudatories and has a strong navy that can be used to easily access Greece; however, as {{flag|Phrygia}} starts out of diplomatic range, at the beginning of the game there is little that can be done to encourage this other than leaving a diplomatic slot open and hoping that {{flag|Phrygia}} offers an alliance, which they nonetheless will often do after they go to war with {{flag|Macedon}}. If {{flag|Egypt}} and {{flag|Seleukid Empire}} declare war as they often will after a few months, it can be very advantageous to send an army to pillage their core areas while they are busy engaged with the {{flag|Phrygia|0}} [[Phrygia|Phrygians]] - the largely undefended Nile Delta is very suitable for this as long as the Egyptian navy can be avoided, being full of high-pop cities and territories with virtually no forts. Sparta can easily take dozens of {{icon|slaves}} slaves and pillage over a thousand {{icon|wealth}} gold from sacking their cities, providing a very substantial boost that goes a long way towards completely the infrastructure part of the [[Spartan_missions#The_Second_Peloponnesian_League|The Second Peloponnesian League]] mission tree. Assuming that {{flag|Phrgyia}} wins or is not defeated too badly in its wars, which is usually the case, they will be easily able to take on {{flag|Macedon}} and any allies they may have, making the Laconic If achievement fairly straightforward as long as their truce expires in time to start another war.
  
 
Sparta's mission tree will direct it towards conquering {{flag|Messenia}} and {{flag|Lepreon}} first, who can usually be conquered with ease with given Sparta's military-focused heritage and high {{icon|martial}} martial king. Defeating the Arcadians and Achaeans is usually somewhat trickier given that they will usually band together in a defensive league of some sort, though once Laconia has been fully conquered Sparta can usually sustain enough of an army to beat them; a combination of picking off isolated armies, attacking when they are otherwise distracted in another war (a very common occurrence in early game Greece), and/or calling in allies will usually ensure victory is usually enough to do the trick. Once the Peloponnese has been united, it is definitely worth taking the time to go through the infrastructure branch of the [[Spartan_missions#The_Second_Peloponnesian_League|The Second Peloponnesian League]] mission tree, which gives a number of rather powerful bonuses - including to {{icon|local output modifier}} population output - to all the main cities of the area.
 
Sparta's mission tree will direct it towards conquering {{flag|Messenia}} and {{flag|Lepreon}} first, who can usually be conquered with ease with given Sparta's military-focused heritage and high {{icon|martial}} martial king. Defeating the Arcadians and Achaeans is usually somewhat trickier given that they will usually band together in a defensive league of some sort, though once Laconia has been fully conquered Sparta can usually sustain enough of an army to beat them; a combination of picking off isolated armies, attacking when they are otherwise distracted in another war (a very common occurrence in early game Greece), and/or calling in allies will usually ensure victory is usually enough to do the trick. Once the Peloponnese has been united, it is definitely worth taking the time to go through the infrastructure branch of the [[Spartan_missions#The_Second_Peloponnesian_League|The Second Peloponnesian League]] mission tree, which gives a number of rather powerful bonuses - including to {{icon|local output modifier}} population output - to all the main cities of the area.

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