Proud of its status, Phokis is ready to fight to keep it. Will you overcome this pride and seek allies or you take on the world all by yourself?
Phokis is a true fight for survival.
You have the protection of the Parnassos mountain range to your West. Your northern neighbor the Thessaly Pherae is already involved in a bloody civil war so should not bother you. The obvious route for expansion is to attack your nearest neighbor Boeotia, to your East, but it is way harder than you would think at first.
Boeotia are much stronger as they can already use Hoplites (advanced military units). You have no time to lose as you feel you need to pump your money into the army, but you find out quite soon that your resource reserves are dwindling. As you cannot use Blacksmiths (that multiply resource production) right from the start, I usually build Trading improvements in all cities to manage urban resource usage.
It is best to keep on good terms with the Boeotians to give yourself time to prepare. Wait for them to be occupied elsewhere and then attack their rear. If this is not possible because they declare war on you before you are ready, try to engage the other neighboring states such as Euboea or Athens to fight against them to divide their military forces.
Defensive war seems to be a good strategy here. I keep my military units in the cities to protect them and have one or two units in the rear ready to finish off any weak enemy units in my territory.
The initial phase is tough and I cannot say I am always better than the AI but the challenge pulls me back to this faction over and over again.