The Beauty of Rabble
In the world known as Zeus many things take place. Economy, micro-management...really dumb shepherds and growers. One of the games main features is military. There are many things involved with military: the palace, walls and towers, triremes, elite housing, common housing, horse ranches, armor, and rabble.
Rabble are considered the most pathetic and worthless type of military. What is there to like? Rabble are weak, slow, can not be sent on conquest or raiding missions, and when called, greatly reduce your work force. There is one advantage many players tend to discount, and that is range. Range doesn't appear to be a great thing. It is true that they are still weak. However, when it comes to city defense rabble can be a gem.
For example, say an army of Persians is coming toward the city. Upgraded elite housing is standing well in advance. Six companies of horseman ready to tear your enemy to pieces. A window pops up, "The time to prepare has passed. In one month an army of rival Persians will come to your city, bent on conquest." Heh Heh, they don't stand a chance. Horseman are called in the spot they are most likely to attack from. They arrive. One click takes you to where they will enter the great city of Sparta. Your screen is on the entrance to the river. Enemy ships come pouring in. The horseman are on the other side of the map. They can't possibly make it. The enemy troops are dropped off right next to your palace.
This is a painful scenario. "How could this happen?" These are the words that flow through you after witnessing your own defeat. How am I supposed to stop this from happening if I can't build ships, you think. The answer is rabble. Rabble seem worthless and a waste of time. Still, this poorly trained bunch of rock-throwers could have saved you from defeat. All adventures can benefit from rabble. Even though they seem to be pimple on your city, a blemish, a knot in the wood of your military.
You might be thinking "I could build triremes, that's all the cover I need." This is true. However, rabble can also provide cover for your land troops. A land army can often be overwhelming, and have more enemies than expected. The hoplites and horseman are dropping to the ground like rocks. Rabble can come in handy here, too. If the rabble are behind your mainstream military they provide cover. Rabble deliver blows from a distance. This same feature can be used with walls as well. If rabble are positioned behind walls a salvo of pebbles can be rained on the enemy as they try to get through.
All great generals know that the greatest advantage in war is high ground. Rabble positioned on mountains will rip apart any attack made by intruders. They will be protected from being hurt from their safe position as well. This is especially vital if you wish to send your elite men on a conquest mission but an enemy is on the trail to your city. Why wait those last few months to send your elite men, when they could have been doing something useful. The militia you have offer a very capable defense.
At last, in a forum thread started by KennyFurry called "killing monsters with rabble" it is proved that it is possible to kill monsters that attack your city with this measly bunch of citizens. Why don't horses and hoplites work? Range is the answer to it all. The special forces get eaten away by any monster that is thrown in your face. The rabble do a very good job at this in the first episode of Zeus and Europa. The rabble can use the high ground tactics to hail on the Hydra.
Rabble are a truly valuable tool in a defensive situation. They're range will be beneficial to any city, whether it be SenetEr's great New Athens, or my own humble New Thebes. Rabble are a beautiful accommodation to any city. Next time you think about how grand your budding city will eventually become, don't forget to include some rabble in the picture.