Today you are a satrap, but tomorrow a king. While we still bow our necks to the son of Seleukos Nikator who resides in far away Seleukeia, we will not do so for long. The Seleukid Empire is beset on its western border by the Ptolemaioi and it's attention is there. The eastern provinces of the vast empire is neglected and the barbarian horsemen from the north are attacking it's eastern satrapies and killing lawful Greeks and natives alike. Are we just going to sit idly by, while the lands that Alexandros and our grandfathers conquered decades ago are overrun by the foul Dahae or other barbarians? No. If the King of 'Arche' Seleukeia is going to let his eastern lands be overrun we will not answer to him no more. And if you break free and defend the eastern Greeks from the northern savages, the coins minted with your head on, might have the word 'Soter' or Saviour written on them.
The forces of the kingdom of Baktria are an exciting mixture of Hellenic and Iranian (and if you choose to expand there, Indian), and you will not lead them to glory on the field of battle without utilizing the best of both worlds. Mainland Hellenes straight from Thessaly and Athens served with Hellenized Iranians and locals throughout Baktria's realms. Hellenistic phalangites and Iranian spearmen will make up the core of your infantry. From the lightest armed local levies in Hellenic and indigenous panoplies to the successor state phalangites, you will have many different types of infantry from which to choose. Any Baktrian king will strive to quickly recruit a royal foot unit suitable for this kingdom and will find that the mobile and elite Baktrian hypaspists, whose equipment and style is a curious mix of a Hellenic unit adapting to the terrain, climate, and fighting styles of Transoxiana, will turn the tide of many battles. You will have to rely heavily on your countless varieties of cavalry, including regional javelin and bow mounted units of varying abilities, Median and Baktrian medium cavalry, as well as Hellenistic and uniquely Baktrian cataphract cavalry. The cavalry are supplemented by Indian elephants, which Baktria supplied in large numbers to the Seleukid empire before its independence. A variety of skirmishers are also available, including well armored and elite units as well as the Baktrian Doryphoroi, whose spears and bows make them one of the most intriguing units available anywhere.
Baktria is constantly harrassed by nomads from the north, and the Seleukids will not let Baktria go without a fight. The relationship with Pahlava is stormy and you will need to choose your path with them carefully; good relations can help to stave off the decaying Seleucid influence in the region, but even then they are a threat that Baktria will have to deal with if they are to move west. The Hindu Kush provide a monumental barrier to the southeast, but any enterprising king must lead his forces across the top of the world to make India his own, and the Bactrians are better poised to do this than any other faction. With India at your back and the barbaric nomads to the north contained, the dream of Alexandros' Brotherhood of Man can become a reality that sweeps across the eastern world!
"Of all the frontiers of the ancient world, none has endured so long in the poetic imagination as the kingdom of Baktria. In those distant haunts of the Hindu Kush, nearly three thousand miles east of Athens, the Hellenes imagined a never-never land untouched by civilization. Rivers of honey oozed on the Baktrian frontier; fierce griffins guarded the precious gold mined by giant ants; people had ears the size of an elephant's, ate their parents, and lived for centuries." According to tradition, the god Dionysos was the first to tame this land, then Herakles, and finally Alexandros. The realities of the kingdom of Baktria are more difficult to come by however, and the influence of the Iranian peoples played a larger role than the legends reveal. While the history and culture of the kingdom of Baktria is obscured in the mists at its home near the top of the world, it is known that at its largest extent it encompassed an area consisting of all of Turkmenistan, Tadzhikistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, up to the Indus."
The Baktrian Kingdom was founded around 250 BC by the Seleukid King Antiochos II's satrap Diodotos in the region, when he secured his satrapy's independence from the seemingly irresponsible Seleukids. Though Diodotos' reign was relatively free of major emergencies, it was exceedingly brief, and was ended by one of the first internal feuds that characterized Baktrian politics for almost all of it's history. In 230 BC, Diodotos was overthrown and killed by Euthydemos, who managed to secure the kingdom's possessions in the North around Ferghana and Sogdiane. During the first decade of his reign, Euthydemos fought frequently and inconclusively with the Parthians in the West, but reportedly secured some minor new Western territories, though these minor operations received no follow-up. Only ten years after his reign began, an expedition out of Alexandreia Eschate, resulted in the first Hellenic contact with China. Though the two peoples did maintain a profitable trade agreement, it led to a great mixing of cultures between both. The Baktrian Hellenes were mostly unaffected (though Chinese goods would eventually grace the shelves of Baktrian markets more frequently), but the contact supposedly inspired a great many principles within Chinese art that had been previously unseen in the mainstream. One particular notable instance suggested by Chinese records is the first Emperor Qin's terracota army, which might have been inspired by Hellenic figure design. This first expedition also led to the contacts that would eventually develop the Silk Road. With a comfortable frontier in the North and East, Euthydemos eventually met the Seleukid army under the direct command of King Antiochos III, approaching his South-Western border after successful campaigning in the area. During the ensuing conflict, Euthydemos managed to first repel an attack by the full Seleukid force, and to resist a two year siege; eventually managing to convince Antiochos of the value of an independent Hellenic kingdom in the far East. Recognizing the potential danger of the warlike nomads in the East, Antiochos decided to grant Euthydemos' kingdom it's independence so that they might serve as a buffer against further Eastern incursions in to the empire, and sealed the agreement by marrying one of his daughters to Euthydemos' son Demetrios.
With the Seleukid threat to his kingdom neutralized, the Baktrians began focusing on conquest and the assimilation of several Western territories. Only a few years after Antiochos' departure, Euthydemos managed to absorb some of the old Northern provinces of Persia, and finally managed to subdue much of Parthia, thanks to their state of weakness after Antiochos' victories against them. Having secured much of Parthia, Euthydemos ruled for about a decade more before his death, of seemingly natural causes. During this time and the early years of his son's rule, the Baktrian borders remained static, save for a few varying losses and acquisitions in the West. His most significant undertaking, however, was an invasion of the Sungan kingdom in Northern India. This invasion was incredibly successful, with Demetrios securing almost all of the Sungan possessions, up to their capital - bringing the Hellenic rulers for the first time into power over lands heavily populated by an Indian majority. The influx of Hellenes into these possessions brought about a culture mingling between the Buddhists of India and the Hellenes, that would continue for five centuries after the rule of Hellenes ended in the region, influencing modern Buddhism in a variety of ways - and creating the Gandhara culture that would last a millenia. Examples of this Hellenic influence are more apparent then most would imagine, as the first statues of the Buddha himself were very likely executed by Hellenic artisans or commissioned by Hellenes. Before the Hellenes' arrival, most Buddhists in Northern India represented the Buddha with a small plethora of symbols; almost never giving him his human form in their design. It was also the Hellenes who first depicted him as standing or walking in their statuary design. By 175 BC, the conquest of India was completed, and most of Northern and North-Western India wasin Hellenic hands. Hellenic rule here was so successful, that it would outlast the actual Baktrian kingdom itself in the North, where even at this time internal feuding was once again disrupting the kingdom's growth. In Baktria itself, Antiochos III's cousin Eukratides had managed to secure the loyalty of all Demetrios' possessions before the path he followed to India. At the beginning of his rule, the Parthians reconquored the Baktrian's Western possessions, and Demetrios' brother Anthimachos I led an unsuccessful resistance to his rebellion, weakening him against the eventual reprisals of Demetrios, who was approaching once again from India. The two confronted each other, when Demetrios marched an army of 60,000 men, composed of Hellenes, Indians, and even some of his levies from inside Baktria itself. Despite numerical superiority, Eukratides managed to defeat Demetrios, forcing him to retreat into India - where his successors would rule for almost two centuries, promoting a further melding of cultures that would nearly complete the development of the Gandhara culture, and the creation of a Greaco-Hindu Buddhist pantheon focused around Apollo and the Buddha. Though Demetrius had been defeated by the Greaco-Baktrian army, his future successor Menandros I took his revenge for him, by recapturing most of Southern Baktria from Eukratides' successor, Eukratides II. After only a few years on the throne, Eukratides was also replaced through the political maneuvering of Platon Epiphanes around 166 BC, who ruled for twenty years of territorial loss and internal feuding. Upon Eukratides' death, Heliokles came into power, and ruled over the finally collapsing Graeco-Baktrian kingdom. The kingdom's final downfall came in 125 when he abandoned Baktria to the Yuezhi who had been eating up his territory for most of his rule, and moved his capital into the Hellenic territory of Northern India.
Baktria can field a wide variety of troops, probably the most diverse troops among all factions. Due to it's distance from Greece, Baktria makes use of more non-Hellenic troops, but still has enough Hellenic troops to fight in the Macedonian manner as most Diadochoi do, although Baktria is technically not among the real Diadochoi, but instead one of many "lesser Diadochoi" that defies Seleukid rule. Baktria can also field many Indian troops and steppe horse archers in addition. In fact, should India be subjugated and the Baktrian homelands be secured, the Baktrian king can have access to any unit type there is, except elite pikemen.