Visionary leader, military genius and shrewd diplomat – Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE) was larger than life. In ARENA, he stands proud as a Roman commander, bringing sledgehammer force against his foes.
Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE) was the son of King Philip II of Macedon and his wife Olympias. He learned to fight and ride from an early age, tutored by the expert trainer Leonidas of Epirus. Philip II wanted an heir who was cultured and literate and so had young Alexander tutored in reading, writing, and music by Lysimachus of Acarnania and philosophy by Aristotle until he was seventeen years old. His mother repeatedly told him he was the son of the king of the gods, Zeus, and his father had built Macedon into the greatest power in Europe at the time, a power Alexander knew he would inherit on his father's death; he was therefore convinced of his own greatness long before anyone referred to him as "Alexander the Great".
When his father died in 336 BCE, Alexander became king and mobilized his forces to invade Persia. Leading an army of 5,100 cavalry and 32,000 infantry, Alexander began his invasion of the east in 334 BCE by sacking the city of Baalbek in Asia Minor and then moving along the coast liberating Greek cities under Persian control. At the Battle of Issos in 333 he defeated the Persian king Darius III and drove him from the field. He then sacked the important city of Sidon, conquered Aleppo and then the whole of Syria and marched on to Egypt where he was proclaimed a god and founded the city of Alexandria.
In 331 BCE he again faced Darius III in battle where, even though outnumbered, Alexander was still victorious. He marched on to the great Persian city of Susa which surrendered after hearing of Alexander's victory and how their king Darius had been assassinated by his own men. From Susa he rode on to Persepolis, the seat of power for many of the most important Persian kings, and looted the treasury to pay his men. He then burned the city and left Persepolis in ruins, marching on through regions which surrendered to him without a fight; his fame spread as an invincible warrior and even as a god.
Throughout 327-326 BCE he marched through India conquering the Aspasioi and Assakenoi tribes and facing King Porus of Pauraca at the Battle of the Hydaspes River. Alexander's men had never faced war elephants before and fell back but Alexander rallied them and drove Porus from the field. He won the day but lost his beloved horse Bucephalus who was killed in the battle. Alexander now planned to march across India and subdue the entire sub-continent but his men would go no further.
He returned to Susa where he set about organizing his empire but his time was running out. Following the death of his best friend and second-in-command Hephaestion, he brought the body to Babylon where he died of fever at Babylon at the age of 32 in 323 BCE, master of most of the known world of the time. As he lay dying he was asked by his generals who should succeed him and answered, "The strongest" which caused his empire to be divided between his four generals and set in motion the powers and principalties which would rule until the rise of the Roman Empire.
HAMMER: A damaging charge used by melee infantry and melee cavalry.
ANVIL: Melee infantry will disable and pin the enemy whilst in combat.
RAPID ADVANCE: Faster acceleration, turning and speed.
WEDGE: Melee cavalry will form a cavalry wedge.