The Byzantines are the heirs to the remains of the Eastern Roman Empire. Their backward-looking nature as opposed to the progressive mindset of their neighbours is the cause of stagnation, unrest and general dissent in their empire and they have been in steady decline for decades. Catholicism is the greatest threat to Byzantium, typified by the Great Schism, since the nations under the influence of Rome are likely to attempt to seize the world’s trade capital, Constantinople, tearing the heart out of the Byzantine Empire. The Turks are nearly as large a threat to the east, but fortunately they are a single enemy and there is a chance to consolidate holdings in Anatolia before war truly begins. The Byzantines lack virtually all forms of gunpowder in their late units, meaning that they will have to rely on their relatively strong early units to counter this threat.
The Byzantine Empire begin with a Minor City at Constantinople, a Castle at Corinth, Large Towns at Thessalonica and Nicacea and a Wooden Castle in Cyprus. Threats are all around – Turks to the east, Hungary to the north and Venice to the south and west. Arguably, the greatest threat is the Pope though. The Byzantine Empire cannot stand alone against the forces of Catholicism until they build up a strong powerbase, particularly protecting Constantinople. There is enough rebel territory around to allow an initial land grab as a buffer and to allow domination of Greece and the western coast of modern day Turkey. The Turks are probably the best initial target, although skimp on defences against your fellow Christians at your peril. Your lack of gunpowder units is a disadvantage, but you should have a strong empire by the time gunpowder is discovered in any case.
The following table contains all of the units that the Byzantire Empire can recruit in Multiplayer and Custom Battles. For the Grand Campaign, use the “All” period with the following corrections:
Units in (Brackets) are mercenaries and therefore cannot be trained in campaign, although any general can recruit them in the field if he has space in his army and there are some available.
Units in [Square Brackets] cannot be recruited in campaign, they are for Multiplayer and Custom Battles only.
Units in Italics can only be recruited in certain regions (eg. The New World) or after a certain event (eg. The discovery of gunpowder).