Please note: all credit goes to Patrin Darkheart!
This guide is for those who seek to take and control the greatest monuments of the ancient world but may still be new to the game.
How to Obtain Soter Achievement
Starting the Game
When starting out as Egypt, you have a very good position in the game. You control three client states that can easily be integrated into your empire. The Heritage of Ptolemaios provides +10% state religion happiness, -15% found city cost modifier, with an unfortunate -15% pop assimilation speed that can easily be overcome. However, you do not control a Greek nation, and if you do not play your cards right you will inevitably face revolts.
At the start of the game, deconstruct all unnecessary fortresses. These will provide you more funds. Lower taxes to the minimum, along with military cost and wages. If you wish to start integrating your subject states, set the tribute income to a minimum then boost opinions until you have the “start integration” option. Once integration has begun, immediately set tributes to the maximum. Tributes will be your best option for early game funds.
Try and gain allies in regions where there are great wonders. Sparta is a great option, and Rome if you can get them (it is better to keep an eye on them and drain them to help you). As soon as possible, begin fabricating claims on Rhodes, Elis, and Ionia. Those are where your targets will be.
As you work for this achievement, start the Macedonian Pharaoh mission. While costly in the early and mid game, it can provide you the Ptolemaic Games as a way to boost your legitimacy, popularity, and overall stability. Other than that, continue along the Stabilize and Grow missions. These will spread your culture and religion faster than a grand theater or a temple will.
For your technologies, focus along the branches of the Oratory Advances and Religious Advances to give you temples and grand theaters. These will help keep loyalty stable (by +0.05 and +0.04 respectively), and give you the necessary growth you need for your culture and religion.
If this option comes up, do not switch to the Kemetic faith. While helpful, by the later game you will be dealing with Hellenized regions of the world. Most of the wonders lay in Greek territories, so the faith will be important. There is no reason to localize yourself with your religion when you are expanding like this.
Part 1: The Hard Part
Getting the wonders will be easy enough. If you have 1200 gold you will be able to enact Pharos Lighthouse decision and get the Lighthouse of Alexandria. Conquering territories in Asia Minor and Greece will also be easy. What will be hard is taking the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, which lays right in the heartland of Seleucid territories (as only a couple tiles away from their capital city). However do not fret, there is still a pathway to victory.
Ally with the countries of Nabatea and Qedar, since these will bulk up your forces and are safe from Seleucid borders. Allying with Gerrha and Atropene could help you, but the Seleucids could wipe them out and decrease your overall war score.
A little after the start of the game, you will get an option based on the current wars of the Diadochi. You can either:
- Declare war on the Antigonids with the war goal Legacy of Alexander.
- Offer to annex their lands.
- Do nothing.
Choose option two. If the Antigonids refuse you will go to war. This is okay, simply restart the run and do the same thing again. Eventually, you will be able to annex the lands. Once this is done, immediately summon all your levies in the military tab. Immediately move them toward the Seleucid border that leads down the Euphrates River and increase military spending to the middle path.
Declare war on the Seleucid Empire with the war goal of “Take Babylonia.” Keep your forces together, and make sure you can outrun their Bactrian allies. Once Bactria arrives you are screwed as 30k soldiers move into to wipe you out. Try and win victories and keep the holdings you have. Once you can take Babylonia (and maybe even the capital province of Sittacene) you are in the clear. The Hanging Gardens are yours, and this gets a lot easier from here.
With this victory, you do need to secure your territories. As you conquer the wonders, perform the Stabilize and Grow missions for Syria and Mesopotamia if you can, these will allow for regional happiness, loyalty, and pop assimilation.
Part 2: Champion of Olympia
After the Seleucids, you have the freedom to capture any other wonder you wish. However, Olympia is the best option. With it at your side, you can gain a +20 opinion in ALL Hellenic nations. This can be helpful in your consolidation of territory in Greece and Asia Minor. Elis, the original nation that holds Olympia, typically is in a defensive league with nearly all of the Peloponnese. A Spartan-Egyptian alliance could be helpful here, but with your troops you can easily bulldoze over the competition.
Sail troops over to your region of Achaea, and declare war. Your numeric superiority will win the day, so long as you have the middle path of military spending chosen. Furthermore, if you take the other territories you have a stronger foothold in Greece that will be your stronghold against Macedon, Thrace, or Rome.
Part 3: Taking the Ionia and Caria
Three wonders lie within the region of Asia: the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Colossus of Rhodes, and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. If you have not fabricated claims yet, you’ll want to by now. If you annex Kos, you’ll have a pathway toward Halicarnassus and Rhodes. Capture Hallicarnassus first, because the Mausoleum provides a +5% to Unintegrated Culture Group Happiness, which can be paramount in maintaining the many non-Macedonians within your empire. Both Rhodes and Halicarnassus will be easy thanks to their military sizes, even with their allies. Ionia can become more challenging, especially if either Thrace, the Antigonid Kingdom, or the Seleucids control it. However, simply hold the territory until you reach a white peace and you will be in the clear.
Part 4: Lighthouse of Alexandreia and Beyond
The Lighthouse is perhaps the easiest of the wonders. Do not stress about building this so fast. Your conquests against the Seleucids and Greeks may give you the necessary gold needed to build it (just do not choose to do so in the middle of those wars). Unlike other wonders, Pharos Lighthouse is a decision you can pick when the time comes. You will need 1200 gold, 50 stability, and one free building slot.
Once you have constructed the lighthouse, you will have conquered or constructed all Seven Wonders of the Ancient World! From here the rest of the game is yours, and if you are looking to reunite Alexander’s mighty empire you will have a number of the cities under your control from your conquests (Babylon, Gaza, Antiocheia/Antigoneia, Alexandria, Ammon, and Memphis. Maybe even Seleukeia Megale, Corinth, and Athens). You decide where you go next, but now you have earned the Soter achievement.