Civilization VI: Alexander the Great Leads Macedon

Alexander the Great, born in 356 BC, was a king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and one of the greatest conquerors the world has ever known. Alexander’s military campaign stretched from Greece on through Asia and northeast Africa, subsequently overthrowing Persian king Darius III and dispatching the Persian Empire in its entirety – all before his 30th birthday.

While undefeated in battle, Alexander met his end during his decade-long campaign. After pushing his war-weary and homesick soldiers into India in 326 BC, they implored him to turn back and he acquiesced, passing away three years later in the city he had planned to make the capital of his empire: Babylon.

Alexander’s tactics are taught in modern military academies to this day, and he is considered one of the greatest military commanders and most influential human beings to have ever lived.

Unique Unit: The Hypaspist

The Hypaspists, shield-bearing soldiers wielding a long spear and short sword, were among Macedon’s soldier elite. Similar to Hoplites, these units were differentiated by their more ornate equipment and were usually positioned on the flanks of the phalanx – a singular group of soldiers moving in close shoulder-to-shoulder formation. The Hypaspists’ job was to guard the flanks of the pikemen comprising the majority of the phalanx, as these pikemen wielded massive spears between 18-22 feet long and were quite vulnerable to attacks from the side.

Unique Unit: The Hetairoi

The Hetairoi, Alexander’s unique replacement for the Horseman, is a fast Heavy Cavalry unit widely considered the greatest cavalry of the ancient world. Additionally, the Hetairoi are widely recognized as the world’s first shock troops – a military unit designed to penetrate enemy defenses and attack vulnerable rear flanks. Chosen Hetaroi were elevated to the status of elite guard for the king, and would ride atop only the best horses.

Unique Building: Basilikoi Paides

Throughout Macedon’s conquests, often young boys would be taken as political hostages and raised as Macedonians. These boys, along with Macedon’s noble sons, received education and training at the Basilikoi Paides, which is roughly translated as “royal page school.” No expense was spared in securing the best tutors for the Basilikoi Paides, where boys were taught to serve, honor and protect the king, and to serve Macedon’s interests above all else.

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