"The Peloponnesian War has ended and you are part of a group of Greek soldiers hired originally to support Cyrus the younger in his bid to claim the Persian throne. Cyrus has just been killed during the battle of Cunaxa, however, and your contigent of mercenaries is isolated deep inside the Persian Empire. While the main Persian army is not a threat, having been defeated at Cunaxa, there is a long and dangerous journey ahead before you can return to Greece. The decision has been made to strike out for the Black Sea. That is the least dangerous land route to a good seaport and a rich treasure there can substitute for the spoils and pay that were never collected. Capture the Artifact held in the city on the coast, build a transport there, and carry the Artifact to the friendly building in the north corner of the map."

In-game campaign description
Xenophon's March
Xenophon's March
Scenario information
Game EmpiresIcon Age of Empires
Campaign Glory of Greece
Civilization Greeks
Color Blue
Course of campaign
Scenario no. 7
Previous Siege of Athens
Next Wonder
Xenophon's March is the seventh scenario of the Glory of Greece campaign in Age of Empires. The Greek army (blue) must make its way through Persia (red, orange, yellow, and brown) to get home.

Objectives Edit

Strategy Edit

You start off in the Iron Age, at the south end of the map, with a handful of Phalanxes, two Helepoleis, some Villagers and a Priest. Try to keep the weaker members of your army alive, and save often: if you lose the Priest, you can't heal, and your soldiers won't last as long. If you lose all Villagers, restart or reload immediately, since you can't build Docks to cross water.

Build a Storage Pit, and as you send your military forces north, have your Villagers start gathering Wood. That way, they won't stand around uselessly while the soldiers fight.

You'll soon reach the Red enemy base. Send your Phalanxes forth to kill everything. You can try converting an Armored Elephant or two, but don't put your Priest in any danger. Once it's safe, send the Villagers north to build a Dock, then have them gathering Food and Wood while you wait for a Heavy Transport to be created. Building a Town Center will allow you to create more Villagers.

Halfway down the river, there's a Sentry Tower that could pose a threat, so send some Phalanxes and your Helepoli across the river. The Helepoli should stand out of range and shoot it down, and the Phalanxes should kill everything that moves too closely to your siege weapons.

When you reach the next shore, you've found the yellow Persian base. Kill everything, and send some Villagers down to gather the gold here. Building a Siege Workshop and an Academy will allow you to reinforce your army with Helepoli, Centurions and Heavy Catapults.

Move through the next enemy base, and get ready to assault the last one. There's plenty of Towers and units here, but your siege weapons and elite infantry can handle it. The Artifact is at the western end of the base, encloed by walls and protected by infantry. But since a lot of the infantry, including the Hero Xerxes, is on the other side of the wall, your Helepoli can shoot them down without endangering themselves. Build a Dock, and send the Artifact north to the island to win the scenario.

Historical outcome Edit

"Despite hardship and harassment, the 10,000 Greek mercenaries made it to the Black Sea coast and from there home by ship. The stirring story of the march home was recorded by Xenophon, one of the participants, in his book The Anabasis.

Xenophon was an Athenian and a student of Socrates, but was banished from his home city after serving as a mercenary for Sparta. He went on to write books on a variety of topics, including farming, horsemanship, finance, Socrates, history, and military tactics.

The march of the 10,000 was significant because the experience of the mercenaries revealed many weaknesses within the Persian Empire and military. Important tactical lessons were learned that led to adjustments in future Greek armies. The Greeks had employed heavy infantry in phalanxes almost exclusively for many centuries. Veterans and writers like Xenophon recognized the value of adding missile and mounted troops to armies. The combined arms approach resulted in a more flexible fighting force that could respond to different threats in varying terrain. These lessons had the greatest impact in Macedonia, where King Philip built the first integrated Greek army years later and used it eventually to unite all of Greece for the first time.