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Sassanids (RTW:BI Faction)

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Sassanids (RTW:BI Faction)
The Sassanids' faction symbol
Name: Sassanids
From Game: Barbarian Invasion
Culture: Eastern

The Sassanids are one of the playable factions in the Barbarian Invasion for Rome: Total War. They are in the Eastern culture group.

Game Play


The Sassanids are one of the more diverse factions in the game. They have lightly armoured units, but also extremely heavy ones as well. They can also build Royal Roads which is the equivalent of a highway. The Sassanids' main enemy is the Eastern Roman Empire. Controlling Egypt, Anatolia, Syria and Palestine it blocks further Sassanid expansions westward. The relationship of the two countries has never been a friendly one and war with the Romans is almost inevitable.

Starting Position

The Sassanids start with Hatra, Ctesphion, Arsakia, Artaxarta, and Phraaspa. The Sassanids are bordering the Eastern Roman Empire and Rebels nearby. As a Sassanids player, your main goal would be to eliminate the Eastern Roman Empire.

Win Conditions

Sassanid World.JPG

Imperial Campaign - Conquer Aegyptus (Egypt), Palastine (Jerusalem), Byzantium (Constantinople), and hold 35 provinces.


The Sassanids are a primarily cavalry focused faction that has some choices with incredible armour, as well as troops who can fulfill all roles. The Sassanid unit roster is aimed for desert warfare. Their ultra Heavy cavalry include the Clibinarii, a unit armed with a short Bow and an Armour-piercing Mace, the Cataphracts, who are strong Lancers, and the Clibinarii Immortals, a ridiculously powerful Generals bodyguard that is very skilled with a Bow and Mace. All three of those units are extremely powerful and can win the campaign. They also have Nomad Horse Archers, a good light missile Cavalry choice. The Sassanid infantry is not as strong but still useful; it includes Levy Spearmen, surprisingly tough basic Spearmen, and Sughdian Warriors, an effective heavy Infantry with a Mace and a shield, but available from home regions only. The Sassanids missile roster is decent, including Slingers and Kurdish Javelinmen from a Practice Range and Desert Archers from an Archery Range; the Desert Archers are the best choice with their long range. The Sassanids also have a light and heavy Camel unit, and have access to War Elephants from their capital. Overall the Sassanids are a very strong faction, which something for everyone, but particularly Heavy Cavalry.

Unique Units

The Sassanid unit roster is unique, but they also have really powerful units in their roster. The first one is the Clibinarii, a heavy cataphract-type unit that also wields a bow. The second one is the Sughdian Warriors which are moderately armoured and use an armour-piercing mace. The final special unit is their War Elephants which only they can train.

Strategy guides

Begin by crushing the Roman Empires and then destory the Hordes before they can take any cities. Taking Anatolia is a good idea as it gives you acess to the lucrative Aegean Sea.



The Sassanids ruled an empire that was frequently at war with Rome. They had flourished in economy, arts and science even through their wars with Rome until the coming of the Arab invasion. After toppling the Parthians, the Sassanids sought to expand their empire to regain all the lands they had lost to Alexander the Great, and to go even deeper to the heartland of the eastern Roman empire. The Sassanids were known for their many achievements, including the first ever feudal system and numerous victories against the Eastern Roman Empire. They even had one of the largest libraries, containing numerous books from all over the known world. Their army consisted of heavy Sassanid cavalry, Sassanid horse archers, elephants that had archers on top; elite foot archers that used the Parthian bow to shoot through mighty Roman armour; and infantry that was basically spearmen and soldiers from all over the Middle East. Their empire quckly ended when the united arab armies of Islam under Mohammad came and quickly conquered the Sassanids. The reason why is because, by the time their constant tug of war against the Eastern Roman Empire had ended, it left both empires exhausted and open to invasion. The Eastern Roman Empire managed to hold off the invasion. Because the Sassanids were in turmoil over high taxes, feudal lords constantly fighting each other, and the Sassanids were not used to the hit and run tactics of the arabs, they were not able to withstand the zealous attacks of the unified arab armies.

See Also

Barbarian Invasion Factions
Eastern Roman Empire | Western Roman Empire | Huns | Goths | Sarmatians | Vandals | Franks | Saxons | Alemanni | Sassanids | Celts | Burgundii | Lombardi | Roxolani | Berbers | Slavs | Romano British | Ostrogoths | Eastern Roman Rebels | Western Roman Rebels | Rebels
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