Lydia (ROP Faction)
The Lydian faction in Rise of Persia is the first time the faction has had a 3d representation of it made in any game.
They begin with the control of the more central part of Asia Minor, surrounded by rebels on all sides but the direct west of their capital, Sfard, where the Ionian cities have 2 settlements on Asia Minor itself, and a third on the isle of Lesbos. This gives them the opportunities for growth in all directions and the potential to have a very effective economy.
The Lydian army is diverse and versatile, but is lacking in more elite units, this is due to them being able to recruit local troops in any province they conquer. Only Lydian archers and chariots can be trained anywhere (that is highly developed), chariots lack the toughness and range of other factions chariots, being armed with javelins instead of bows and only having a low defence rating and 2 hit-points.
Lydian archers on the other hand, can be brutally effective owing to their long range, which is a rare thing in archers in this mod, and high missile attack value, like other archers however, they are fairly week in melee combat (though, not compared to Greek, barbarian or Iranian archers). Its worthy also to mention the city of Hekerala, to the west of Sinope in the north of Asia Minor, here, barbarian troops used by the Illryians and Bessoi can be trained, including Mezzoi cavalry, which are far more effective in melee than most cavalry (owing to a much higher defence stat), and inter-bus, slingers which have a long range.
A good strategy when playing as Lydia is to quickly marshal an army and take the Ionian cities on Asia Minor (consider taking the isle of Lesbo's, unfortunately pirates are very common in this mod so its not always do-able). Then turn your attention easterly.
As with all foes, the right balance of troops will produce the best results, against any Greek cities, it is advisable to use more archers, hybrid spearmen and cavalry (especially Lydian archers, Phyrigian infantry or Ring-bus and Mezzoi) whilst against eastern enemies, armies with more hoplites will achieve better results (they compare very well to Madan Sparabara and Babylonian Nas Turki, and can even hold their own against elites). However, you must always bear in mind that troops will need to be brought home to be retrained, so heavy losses far away from their homelands are unsustainable.
Additionally, Lydia can only use the Beirme, meaning, their navy is useless in small numbers.
All in all, they are an effective faction unfortunately its almost guaranteed that they'll be at war with either Mada, Babylon or the Ionian cities at some point in time, if they face more than one then they are at serious risk of becoming overstretched.