|“||Mithridates, the cunning king of Pontus has expanded his kingdom on the Black Sea coast at the expense of Rome's allies in Anatolia. Claiming descent from both Alexander and the Persian King Cyrus the Great he has incited the Greeks and Easterners to rebel against our interests and even forged an alliance with the mighty Tigranes, King of Artaxiad Armenia. The Senate is dispatching you with the legions to restore our eastern domains and humble this so-called King of Kings.||”|
|“||Mithridates of Pontus has greatly expanded the power of his kingdom on the Black Sea coast of Asia Minor. He has captured Roman provinces in Asia and invaded Greece itself. Rallying the Greeks to his cause against our Roman rule, he has fanned the flames of rebellion in our eastern provinces. This invasion must be stopped and our eastern provinces restored. Take the forces at your command and break the power of Mithridates.||”|
- Starting Age: Iron Age
- Starting resources: 200 food, 300 wood, 150 stone
- Population limit: 50
- Starting units:
- Gaia units: None
- Destroy the Wonder of Pontus.
- Weaken the defenses of your enemy by sea to establish a safe landing ground.
- Concentrate solely on the mission; complete conquest is unlikely.
- Player (Romans): The player starts in the Iron Age, with twelve Long Swordsmen, two Scouts, four Heavy Cavalry, two Ballistae, six Triremes and three Heavy Transports. They also have three Villagers and some resources at their disposal.
- Macedonia (Macedonians): This player is sited to the westernmost part of the map, as well as to the southeast and to the northern part of the map. They have two well-established bases in the west and the southwest, as well as some fortifications to the north. They also have sizeable starting forces, consisting mostly of Composite Bowmen and Heavy Cavalry.
- Pontus (Palmyrans): This player controls the majority of the map, with a massive, well-established city that includes the majority of military structures, including the dreaded Ballista Towers. Pontus' garrison and attacking units include powerful units, such as Heavy Catapults, Centurions and Heavy Cavalry. They control the Wonder that must be destroyed to beat this scenario.
- Town Center, a pair of Sentry Towers and a handful of Villagers, and can be dispatched by an early attack with just the initial forces. This player is sited on the far eastern corner of the map, southeast of Pontus's city. They will eventually support Pontus with units of their own, but start with only a
- This player consists just of several Catapult Triremes on the northern part of the map that attack Pontus' structures. They will be quickly dispatched and defeated.
There are two ways to finish the scenario. The first is for the player to send their troops north, and use the Villagers to build up a base and train units for an assault. The other, simpler and quicker option, is to take the initial forces, sail past their Towers, and attack the Wonder.
For the latter option, the player has to embark their troops in the Heavy Transports, and head upriver. The Towers on both sides will cause some damage to the player's ships, so try to use Triremes to take the brunt of the attack - the Transports are far more important. When the forces land, more Towers are in the player's way. Walk past them; this is less dangerous than staying to assault them.
Find the Wonder, and try to attack from a position where the enemy towers can't hit the player's forces. There should be an enemy Heavy Catapult or two close by. If they come too close, send the cavalry units to crush them - a single hit could wipe out the player's infantry, if not careful. In a few minutes, the Wonder should be down.
In the Definitive Edition, the latter strategy is still effective, but with one major difference. Pontus' ships will now actively attempt to intercept the player's fleet as they navigate the channel, but they can be dealt with by having a Trireme attack one of the towers before withdrawing. This results in the Pontic navy sallying out to attack the player one-by-one, where they can be sunk easily.
|“||Pontus was a Persian kingdom based on the Black Sea coast of northeast Anatolia and heavily influenced by the Hellenic culture predominant in the Near East following Alexander's conquests. Founded by Mithridates I in 281 BCE, the kingdom saw its greatest extent under Mithridates VI the Great, who conquered most of the Anatolian peninsula and nearly the entire Black Sea coastline. The ambitious Mithridates VI was a rival and opponent of Rome throughout his reign, fighting three distinct wars, known as the Mithridatic Wars, against the Romans from 89 BCE to 63 BCE.|
Portraying himself as a successor to both Alexander and the Persian King Cyrus the Great, Mithridates leveraged otherwise disparate cultural heritages to his advantage, uniting both Greek cities and eastern kingdoms such as Armenia in opposition to Roman rule and eastward expansion. In the First Mithridatic War, Mithridates was defeated in Greece by the armies of the Roman consul Sulla. Sulla offered the Pontic king moderate peace terms as the consul was embroiled in a conflict with his rival, Marius, for control of Rome and was eager to return to the city with his legions. These moderate terms allowed Mithridates to rearm and re-equip his military. The official Sulla left behind, Licinius Murena, invaded Pontus soon after to hinder the kingdom's militarization efforts, igniting the Second Mithridatic War, but peace was soon restored on Sulla's order.
A decade later, Rome attempted to annex the client kingdom of Bithynia in Anatolia. Mithridates attacked, beginning the Third Mithridatic War. The Roman general Pompey defeated Mithridates, forcing the king to flee with his surviving army past the Caucasus Mountains to the Crimea, on the north coast of the Black Sea, where his son Machares ruled as viceroy. After Machares refused to aid his father with troops, Mithridates had him killed and took control of his son's realm. In 63 BCE, another son, Pharnaces, led a coup against his father. Mithridates withdrew to his citadel, where his attempt at suicide by poisoning is said to have failed due to his habit of taking daily precautionary antidotes. Whether this story is true or not, Mithridates did not survive his son's coup.
Pompey, meanwhile, fresh off his victory over Pontus, led his armies into Syria and Judea, where he captured Jerusalem and made the Jewish kingdom a satellite state of Rome.
|“||Your victory over Mithridates and his allies have recovered our eastern provinces and restored peace. We now control most of the Mediterranean coastline, although the seas itself is still rife with pirates who resist Roman rule. With Greece and the East pacified, Rome can now turn to clearing the sea of these pirates and make the Mediterranean a truly Roman lake.||”|
|“||All of Greece is warring against us now and our provinces in Asia are long gone. Rome's losses are incalculable. Thanks to your ineptitude, Mithridates looks like a modern Alexander the Great. You, however, have fallen significantly short of that mark. Report to the arena for duty poking starved tigers with small sticks.||”|
|“||Mithridates VI of Pontus had greatly expanded his kingdom on the Black Sea coast of Asia Minor by 90 BC and threatened Roman provinces and allies in that region. He successfully invaded Roman Asia and then moved into Greece, fanning the flames of rebellion there. A Roman army under Sulla responded to this upheaval and forced the retreat of two Greek armies into the defenses of Athens and Piraeus. Athens was taken by storm but the second army escaped by sea. A Roman fleet defeated a Greek fleet off Tenedos. Sulla moved into Boetia and twice defeated the Greek army that had escaped from Piraeus. Two Roman armies then moved into Asia and Mithridates made peace temporarily, ending his first war with Rome.||”|
|“||Your victory over Mithridates and his Greek allies have recovered our eastern provinces and restored peace. We now control most of the Mediterranean coastline. You have been elected one of three co-rulers of Rome. Your family will become one of Rome's greatest. We can now clear out the pirates that have been interfering with our trade.||”|
|“||All of Greece is warring against us now and our provinces in Asia are long gone. Rome's loss is incalculable. Thanks to your ineptitude, Mithridates looks like a modern Alexander the Great. You, however, have fallen significantly short of that mark. Report to the coliseum for duty poking tigers with small sticks.||”|