Ancient Blitzkrieg: –Cyrus’ Immortal Rush Guide

This guide will provide you a step-by-step guide on how to make a successful rush with Persian Immortals.

Ancient Blitzkrieg – Cyrus’ Immortal Rush Guide
Civilization IV, Warlords Expansion, Patch Version 2.08

The Leader

Cyrus of the Persians is your glorious leader, a born warmonger. He starts Imperialistic and Charismatic.

Charismatic grants happy faces (+1/city, +1/monument), but most important is that promotions require 25% less XP per level, resulting in more promotions and stronger units. Its XP bonus has a nice synergy with …

Imperialistic and its 100% bonus to Great General generation, resulting in more Great Military Instructors (+2XP). As an added bonus, although small, is a +50% hammer production to settlers.

The Unique Unit

The Immortal is a chariot-unit available with The Wheel, requiring horses to build, with 4 strength, +100% attack versus axmen, 10% withdrawal chance and 2 movement points.

What makes it special is its 50% bonus versus Archery units and the fact that, unlike normal mounted units, it receives defensive bonuses from terrain. It is a solid choice against most units.

The Unique Building

The Apothecary is a Grocery, available with Guilds, with an added +2 Health bonus. You will notice this goes nicely with Cyrus’ Charismatic trait. In the Industrial ages (if the game lasts that long!), you may even keep yourself from researching Medicine or Refrigeration, in favor of Fascism, Flight or Industrialism.


You usually favor a temperate map with a lot of flat land and little water. This will make your conquest easier. Personally I flag for No Barbarians, No Tribal Huts and Aggressive AI. Game speed is Marathon, naturally. Huge maps are a favorite, for maximum mayhem and challenge.

Technology path

First, you need to see if you can locate any horses nearby. This will have a major influence on your strategic decisions. Therefore, start researching Animal Husbandry immediately. Your starting technologies Hunting and Agriculture will help with this, as they both give a small research bonus.

If you find yourself with a lot of hills, Mining should be next priority. Likewise, if you have a one or more sea resources, research Fishing. When you have found horses, start researching The Wheel, essential for both hooking up resources, rapid movement and unlocking your unique unit. Pottery allows Cottages, the gold to fund your troops and research, as well as the Granary building.

Continue with Bronze working, Mysticism, Writing, Alphabet, Iron Working and Mathematics (not necessarily in that order). Avoid technologies giving access to Wonders or Religion, EVEN if you start with stone or marble. Instead, you will let someone else do the heavy work, and then take it by force.

Build Orders In Persepolis:

1. Warrior – your scout has hopefully located another civilization after you have finished building this. Send your warrior out to them and steal a worker or two. How do you steal workers?
2. Barracks – until city has grown to size 2, when you switch to…
3. Worker – unless, you have stolen a lot of them already. In that case, good work! Continue with your barracks! Either way, improve any food resources in your city radius. If you start near the sea, build a work boat instead.
4. Warriors – For protection and Settler escort
5. Settler – When your city has grown sufficiently, working some food resources, or, even better MINES (remember, +50% hammer production from Imperialistic). Found your city next to Horses, almost regardless how bad the rest of the terrain is. City size should be around 4 or 5 when you make your first settler. Chop it if you have access to Bronze working.
6. Immortals – when you have hooked up horses. Make plenty of them, and send them immediately to the battlefield! Speed is of the essence.
7. Granary – when you discover Pottery. Essential for the health bonus, rapid growth and most importantly: whipping.
8. More Immortals – naturally.

In Pasargadae: (chop/whip if possible)

1. Monument – If you really need it. Note that the Horses should almost always be within the closest 8 squares of the city
2. Granary
3. Barracks
4. Immortals

General Tactics

Until you get Catapults, your army will consist of only Immortals. No Axemen, Spearmen or Swordsmen. They rush head-on, crushing the enemy in numbers, strength and speed.

There are two promotions you should concentrate on when upgrading your Immortals: Strength and Flanking. Generally, if your odds are greater or around 50% chance to win, use a Strength-promoted Immortal. If they are lower, use a Flanking II-promoted Immortal (+30% withdrawal chance, Immunity to First Strikes). Depending on your enemies’ unit composition, you will use both more or less. Remember to leave your Immortals UNPROMOTED until you know what you are up against. A “scout” (with Flanking I + Sentry) may provide you with that information.

If a target city is on flat ground you will mostly bring at least twice the amount of Immortals as defenders. Factors such as Cultural Defense, Walls, Hills and Strong Defenders should influence your decision. When your opponent has Longbowmen, you should probably abandon your Immortals in favor of Catapults, Elephants and Macemen.

Enemy Units

Archers are what Immortals are meant to kill. This is your most frequent target, although not the weakest. Mostly Strength-promotion unless odds are ugly; use Flanking II-promotion in that case, to soften them up!

Axemen are easier than Archers, because of Immortals’ inherent +100% attack bonus. If you see Axemen, your opponent has access to Copper or Iron. Pillage those immediately! You don’t want to encounter…

Spearmen, which are hell. Although not impossible to defeat, their +100% bonus versus mounted units will slaughter you if you aren’t careful. Use Flanking II-promoted Immortals to soften them up. Expect greater casualties than normal, so bring bigger numbers. Note: You may be tempted to bring Axemen or Swordsmen to kill these guys, BEFORE your Immortals come. This will not work the way you thought. Spearmen are usually targeted last, because of their low strength and vulnerability to axemen. Therefore, you will have to do it the hard way.

Swordsmen are like Spearmen, although slightly less powerful and slightly more expensive. Treat them as such.

Chariots are your equals, unless yours are better promoted. Chances are that is the case, so move in for the kill! They do not receive defensive bonuses as the rest.

Unique units you should be extra wary of, especially Phalanx, Praetorian, Impi and War Chariot. Pillage the resources required to build them as soon as possible.

Warriors I shouldn’t even have to mention. If you are fast and/or lucky enough to face these, smile and dispatch of them quickly.

Target Civilizations

Some Civilizations are better to conquer early, because it may become much harder (or even impossible!) later on. Other civilizations will be better to conquer a little later: they may found a religion or build a wonder that you would like to keep (you won’t do the heavy work yourself).

This list will most likely not go perfectly with your map’s geopolitics. Use it as a reference.

Attack before they have Metal: Alexander, Shaka, Augustus Caesar, Julius Caesar

Other Threats: Washington, Montezuma, Ragnar, Napoleon, Genghis Khan, Peter, Mehmed II, Hannibal, Brennus, Elizabeth, Victoria and Frederick

Let these develop Wonders and/or Religion: Louis XIV, Huayna Capac, Qin Shi Huang, Bismarck, Roosevelt, Gandhi, Asoka, Isabella, Mansa Musa, Stalin and Ramses II

Save until Catapults: Saladin, Mao Zedong, Tokugawa, Churchill, Catherine, Kublai Khan, Hatshepsut and Wang Kon.

Your First Great General

After a few battles you will hopefully receive a Great General, thanks to Cyrus’ Imperialistic trait. You now have two options:

1. Settle him as a super specialist: Great Military Instructor (+2XP)
2. Create a Medic III-promoted Immortal* to speed up recovery

*If you have BtS you may want to attach your GG to a Woodsman III meele unit instead. Your choice.

If one of your cities is a good or perfect production city, then go ahead and settle your Great General right there. Units from that city will now start out with 5 XP instead of 3. If none of your cities are good production cities, consider option 2 for the time being. Hopefully you can found or conquer a better city for your Great Military Instructors and Military Academies to come.

Note: if you give your Medic a Leadership promotion, you gain twice the amount of XP from a battle. If you attacked with a normal unit at, say 99.9%, you would only get 1 XP. With the Warlord, you get 2 XP. This will not only reinforce your Medic’s combat capabilities, but it will put you directly on path for more Great Generals, as every XP fills up your bar.

Promotions for Super-Medic: (Warlords)

Combat I -> Medic I+II+III -> Morale -> Leadership -> Combat II+III+IV -> Commando -> Combat V+VI

The Impact of Gold

A hard-earned lesson at higher levels is that your treasury doesn’t last for ever. At some point you will need to concentrate on those cottages, because believe me, you will need the gold, if you don’t want your Immortals suddenly disappearing due to Strike!

Do not keep any city of size 3 or less, if the city is surrounded by worthless terrain, or is too far away from the rest of your empire. Capitols are often worth keeping, but keep eye open for other spots.

For short: Keep the best and raze the rest!


As long as you are successful, keep on warmongering. If your opponent is too strong, you were unlucky in an assault or similar, then sue for peace, lick your wounds and attack some other nearby target. You could also wait 10 turns for the Peace Treaty to expire, and then concentrate your forces for another attempt.

When you have Alphabet, you will most certainly want to squeeze your opponent out of Techs when s/he is down to one city. This will help you keep up in research somewhat.

When the time is right, consider building some peace-time buildings such as Market, Library, Aqueduct and Forge. That will prepare you for the Middle Ages and beyond. Hopefully, your early initiative gave you the leg-up to win later in the game by either peaceful expansion or (more likely) conquest and world domination.

Have fun!

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