I played Rhodus a lot as a beta tester, so I thought I would give it a test drive on Experienced level. As Rhodus, you start with only one region and a faction manpower shortage of -35%. So I disbanded most of the fleet and built a small land army. I then conquered Creta and Ionia ASAP. This gave me my first province. I also conquered Cephallonia. This is a good island that gave me 5 regions overall. As you may know, 10 regions are needed to gain the highest civilization level. So I just needed 5 more regions, but where? All my neighbors are so large. So I headed off to the Black Sea and conquered Phanageria using a stack of 6 regular infantry and 6 light cavalry. The frontage of the swamps and forests there allow a nation with a small army to achieve success. This province has mostly Hellenic citizens and one of the best Horse Archers in the game. The Alani raided a lot and gave me some problems, but they lack logistical organization and quickly fell apart. By turn 75 Rhodus is a Gloriuos Merchant City-State League (and a mouthful to pronounce). I upgraded my army to 8 Phalanx, 8 Phanagerian Horse Archers and 4 regulars (for the siege benefit). The Antigones faction had fragmented so I took Cyprus. This gave me copper mines for the construction of the Colossus of Rhodes. Antigones then vanished, leaving several small factions in Graecia. But not for long. Aegyptus allied with Rhodus and I gobbled up my third province of Graecia. I was finally able to build a stables and added 2 Heavy Cavalry to my stack to secure the flanks. Its turn 94 and Rhodus is 3rd overall in Legacy. Macedonia looks like a good target for further expansion. Rhodus is an excellent challenge if someone would like to try. Good luck!
I'm the 51st shade of gray. Eat, pray, Charge!