jimwinsor2
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(BOR) Ager Gallica AAR (jimwinsor2 vs bob.)

Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:53 pm

Here is an AAR of the Ager Gallica scenario in Birth of Rome, with me as the Romans and bob. as the crafty Gauls.

I’m posting these AAR moves with a 6 turn delay; in other words, our actual game is advanced 6 months from what you all are seeing here. That way Alex (aka bob.) is free to come into this thread, and even comment if he likes! It’s unlikely he’ll see anything here he does not already know; the only thing is, I will have to avoid taking about my grand strategy in this scenario (assuming I have one).

Rome has 6 objective cities in this scenario:

Volaterrae (in Etruria, neutral at start): 5
Felsina (in Boii, also neutral): 5
Sena Gallica (Gallic capital): 15
Placentia (in Boii): 5
Ariminum (2nd Gallic city just to the north of their capital): 5
Arretium (controlled by Rome, right on the border with the enemy): 5

Things begin with my two consular armies in Rome, facing a big Gallic army led by their champion Britomaris in Sens Gallica. Both of our forces have a total of 4 “green dots” on our unit bases, so things are evenly matched, numbers-wise. Of course I’m sure my 4 Roman legions are higher quality than the Gallic heavy infantry they are matched against (and my Socii legions aren’t bad either). Total power ratings for both armies are listed on the map (908 and 1089).

Counter-balancing this are my leaders, two unwarlike senatorial bureaucrats who I’d rather not see running this war right now. The first consul, Tucca, is a 3-1-1 leader, and the second consul Denter is a 3-1-2 leader with the Dispersed Move and Reckless traits. He’s also student of a School of the Offensive, which does not really go well with his 1 Offensive rating. His biography lists him as having been “defeated and killed by Britomaris at Arretium” which does not exactly inspire me with confidence.

Another big problem is that there are other neutral but hostile powers lurking about. The Etruscans have a medium sized army poised just north of Rome, and the Boii in the north have a large mob of barbarian that look eager to come down south. And then there are the treacherous Greek cities in the far south. One glimmer of hope is I do have some potential allies north of the Boii, which we may have an option to activate at a later date.

So, on to this turn. Tucca’s army is locked for a turn, and I certainly don’t want to divide my army up within marching distance of Britomaris combined mob. Plus, Denter is inactive this turn on top of that, so, the prudent move for me this turn is no move at all. We’ll just sit in Rome for a turn and see what the barbarians do. I expect he’ll either move on Arretium (most likely, as it is an objective and he can storm it, as it’s only a level 1 fort) or Perusia. I’ve marked these speculative Gallic moves with dotted green arrows on the map.
We do build some new allied cavalry in Rome, however, which should be ready in a couple months, and a supply wagon in Perusia, to help it withstand a Gallic siege if need be.

We also have two options we can choose, Praetor and More Money, neither of which we currently need, so we will pass on them for now.

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jimwinsor2
Lieutenant
Posts: 105
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Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:06 am

Turn 1 - May 284

Interesting, he largely stays in his capital this turn as well, except for a single heavy infantry warband sent to lay siege to Arretium. I have a lot of militia there defending the town, so I could possibly beat him in a field fight if I decided to come out of the city … but I don’t think I’ll chance it.

[ATTACH]21567[/ATTACH]

Instead, now that both consular armies are unlocked, we will combine under Tucca (who is activated) and march on Sena Gallica. I think with the Gauls having weakened themselves with the detachment, we will have an edge if a battle with his main force should result. Denter is given personal command of Legio I (which raises its power number considerably, from 236 to 340). The total force power rating is 1815.

If he dodges and moves out of Sena Gallica, that’s fine too; we’ll begin siege works (which should be worrisome to him, at least … it’s only a level two fort and with legions present and their siegecraft, could fall quickly). And we need to avenge our ambassadors (who we learn were slaughtered last turn):

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Chai Chai
Conscript
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:33 pm

Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:44 am

"Denter is given personal command of Legio I (which raises its power number considerably, from 236 to 340)."

How is this accomplished? Is it a Roman only feature?

jimwinsor2
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Posts: 105
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Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:14 am

All forces are supposed to have this ability to attach a leader as an element to a unit (but due to a bug some non Roman forces are unable to, IIRC ...).

jimwinsor2
Lieutenant
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:07 am

Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:17 pm

Turn 2 – June 284

Ouch, a bloody battle results, in which we inflicted a few more casualties but get judged the loser (-3 morale). Oddly, Denter got praised by the senate for a “victory” and received a seniority boost (4 to 2). He’s now the undisputed senior consul over Tucca. Hmmm.

[ATTACH]21575[/ATTACH]

Also, we don’t retreat out of the province; both our armies are sitting there in Defensive mode. So now I have a big decision: Stay and fight another round, and try to slip out? We seem to currently out “power” him 2-1, but it also seems his leadership advantage over me is too great. Britomaris is a 5-4-1 general with the Surpriser trait. Plus he was entrenched there, to level 2. And I won’t be able to stay in Defensive mode, because militarily he controls the province (so, no legionary trench bonus for me).

I think I’m going to fall back to Perusia and lick my wounds, putting my army into Passive mode and hoping he is discouraged from his own high losses from going into Offensive posture and attacking my retreat. I have plenty of replacements waiting when I do reach Perusia (although my money is now down to just 110 and it’s only July). I’m thinking we Romans might be better advised fighting these Gauls in defensive battles, not offensive ones … for now.

One thing I do notice while I’m there is his attempt to sneak a cavalry unit to the south. I can tell it’s in Passive “sneak” mode because its hide value is 3. I’m not sure what’s he up to with that, any of my town down there should be able to handle a single cavalry raider …

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jimwinsor2
Lieutenant
Posts: 105
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Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:22 pm

Turn 3 – July 284

Meh, he attacked as we tried to slink out, and inflicted even casualties, which for Rome is not a good thing. About 9000 each, including some of his elite warrior elements eliminated. But I was deemed the loser and lost another 3 morale. The morale situation is not good, he’s now at 120 and I’m at 92.

[ATTACH]21577[/ATTACH]

The senate again promoted Denter for a “victory” (is this a bug?). He’s got an experience boost too and is now a 3-1-3 leader. Still, I don’t want him in the army anymore, his bad traits are hurting me (School of the Offense is arguably good, but not when you’re defending, then it becomes the opposite), so I’m sending him back to Rome were he won’t be able to any more damage (hopefully). Also heading back to Rome are two empty supply wagons.

The remaining consul, Tucca, is a mediocre 3-1-1 leader, but at least he has no traits, bad or otherwise.

We’ll sit in Perugia this turn and take in replacements. I have to think the Gauls are hurting somewhat after these battles as well.

What would be nice right now is if a Dictator option appeared; maybe if he can be tempted closer to Rome this possibility will be triggered.

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jimwinsor2
Lieutenant
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Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:15 pm

Turn 4 – August 284

OK, we’re back to healthy status. Since deciding this war in the forests of Sena Gallica does not seem to be the way to go about it, we’ll move north and relieve the siege of Arretium. I will set my force to assault in case it surrenders before I get there; that way I should be able to capture it back immediately. It has just begun to run out of food.

Two of the three cavalry reinforcements are ready in Rome, so I will send them directly to join up with the main army at Arretium.

I’m surprised none of the other powers (Etruscan and Boii) have activated against me yet.

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jimwinsor2
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Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:00 pm

Turn 5 – September 284

There were three significant actions this turn. One, garrison in Arretium just could not manage to hold out a few days longer, and surrendered just before the relief force was due to arrive.

Two, a few days after the surrender my main army marched into Arretium, routed the small Gallic besieging force, and once it fled immediately retook possession of the town.

And three, Britomaris came storming into Arretium in pursuit, defeating me again in battle. I lost an additional two morale, and Rome is now at 89 (the Gauls are up to 125). Afterwards Britomaris army moved on to Ariminium.

That last battle was surprisingly bloodless (only 4600 vs 3800 casualties) considering it lasted for 6 rounds.

[ATTACH]21599[/ATTACH]

It’s clear I can’t win with these leaders while I’m in attacking posture. So, I think I’ll sit here in Arretium and hope he comes to attack me while I’m on defense (with my legionary entrenchment bonus).

And since I’m low on funds and awash in EP, I’ll do some Requisitioning in the south of Italy for some funds … and in Rome as well. I’m targeting Rome because I actually want my loyalty there to drop to 90%, and make it eligible to hold a Triumph (a totally undeserved one for Denter, who is just sitting there doing nothing). This way I can gain some badly needed Morale.

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jimwinsor2
Lieutenant
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:07 am

Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:27 pm

Turn 6 – October 284

On the main front this turn, Britomaris moves back to defend Sens Gallica.

Meanwhile, my Requisitions provoke armed uprisings in the far south at Locri (who cares) and at Rome! Which is now besieged by these peasants, upsetting plans for the triumph of Lucius Caecilius Mettelus Denter (my loyalty is down to the needed 90% range, but I've lost the needed military control).

Oh well, I'll have to send Denter out with the garrison of Rome to give this rabble a taste of Roman steel. In the meantime, I see in the events that I have new military options available (F3) and ... well well well!:

[ATTACH]21603[/ATTACH]

Is it possible those slaves now besieging Rome triggered the condition for the Dictator option? If so … how convenient! I'm not sure what I'm looking forward to more, 4 new permanent legions, or two new leaders who'll replace Tucca and Denter for the next six months.

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bob.
General
Posts: 540
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Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:45 pm

Oh OK so that's what it was.. your slaves besieging Rome.. to be honest I do think that is a bit unfair because my whole playstyle was only so you would NOT be able to call in a dictator but on the other hand I think the Senones are a bit too strong anyway ;)

jimwinsor2
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Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:44 pm

Yeah I wouldn't think a single slave unit sieging Rome would have triggered a Dictator, or if there's another explanation? Maybe the designers/playtesters might have some input on this?

The option says "25 or more enemies within 2 regions of Rome." Enemy what? Units? Elements? Strength points?

jimwinsor2
Lieutenant
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:07 am

Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:29 am

Turn 7 – November 284

We get our Dictator, Appius Claudius the blind, and Marcus Aemillius Paullus at his Master of Horse. Claudius is a 3-1-1 with Pontooning skill (eh) and Paullus is a reasonably competent 3-2-2 leader. Interestingly, Paullus has seniority over the Dictator Claudius (2 vs 4). A database error? Or because of his failing eyesight?

Anyways, looking over the past battle results, I'm rethinking my tactics. Having 8 legions concentrated in one big force does not seem to be doing me any good, because in the mountains and woods around Sena Gallica frontages are so limited that the vast bulk of my troops aren't even getting into the fight.

It seems to me we would be wise to split our forces, and be able to threaten/defend more than one point, since counterintuitively, concentrating does not seem to be accruing me any battle benefit. So, I will split my Romans into two equal forces, one advancing on Ariminium for an assault, the other to Perusia. If all goes well the Gauls should then be hemmed in, and I can advance on Sena Gallica with both armies simultaneously. I may keep losing battles for a time, but at least I'll wear him down. Roman replacements are cheap in is scenario (Roman heavy infantry is only 3 money each, for example).

So, Tucca will make a difficult march across the mountains with 6 legions (3 Roman and 3 Socii) to Ariminium and lay siege. Unfortunately he is not activated, otherwise I'd assault.

Meanwhile, the new Dictatorial army of 4 legions (2 Roman and 2 Socii) will move to Perusia, where it will join up with the remaining 1 Roman and 1 Socii legion detached from the consular army.

Rome gained one loyalty last turn, to 91, spoiling Denter's triumph opportunity. I guess I'll have to tax them again!

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jimwinsor2
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Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:00 am

Turn 8 – December 284

Well that went well. Tucca made a tiring march over the mountains in winter, and although he lost a lot of cohesion he's now sieging Ariminium, with one siege engine built so far even.

Paullus' army will march on Sena Gallica. If Britomaris moves to attack Tucca in the north, Paullus will have established himself beneath the walls of the enemy capital. If not, there will be another bloody forest battle most likely, but Ariminium may fall. A tough choice for the Gauls here.

I'm still surprised the Etruscans haven't activated.

And Denter has his triumph this turn, LOL, worth 2 Morale and 2 EP for me at a cost of 50 VP. Obviously I’ll have to win by victory conditions (ie, take all of Sens Gallica, and not lose any of Samnium or Etruria) and not victory points this game.

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jimwinsor2
Lieutenant
Posts: 105
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Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:29 pm

Turn 9 – January 283

He does not move, so two more bloody forest battles result. I lose 7 Morale and a bunch of cavalry elements, which is partially offset by the surrender of Ariminium, which gains me 5 Morale. So I am now at 89 Morale (and the triumph I’m organizing at Rome is two turns away).

[ATTACH]21611[/ATTACH]

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I think what I have to do is just keep bashing him in a war of attrition. I can actually afford the troop losses, no problem (Roman heavy infantry steps only cost 3, while allied cavalry, which dropped like flies this turn, cost a measly 4). What I’m not sure about is can I afford the Morale losses?

We will find out. Tucca’s army, fresh and whole after accepting the bloodless surrender of Ariminium, shall march against the victorious but (hopefully) weary Gauls in Sena Gallica. Meanwhile, the defeated Dictator army will rest and take replacements, ready to go back into the meatgrinder next turn if need be …

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jimwinsor2
Lieutenant
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:07 am

Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:06 am

Turn 10 – February 283

This is really starting to resemble Grant’s Richmond campaign:

[ATTACH]21614[/ATTACH]

Well, this time I’m taking a page from Grant’s strategy book, we will NOT withdraw. The new consul replacing Tucca (yay! Our A-Team leaders have finally arrived!), Publius Cornelius Dolabella (a 4-3-3 master logistician with irregular fighting skill) will plant his eagles in the province, Hold-at-all-costs Defensive posture. If Britomaris want me out, he’ll come out of his entrenchments (level 2 … which is a bit surprising, I thought the max in BOR was level 1?) and attack.

And then he’ll have to fend off Paullus’ fresh and recuperated army, who’ll be storming in in 4 days, all out attack! Hopefully I’ll eventually overwhelm him. Bloody and brutal, but I don’t really have any other option (I’m at -60 VP, so I have to win by a knockout). Besides, city taxes just came in, so I have plenty of cash for replacements.

Morale, yeah that’s not so good … 84 now. Fortunately, an event just popped up which should help some:

[ATTACH]21615[/ATTACH]

The other new consul is in Rome, where he replaced Denter (just a turn before the triumph, ha!). He’s not bad either … Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus Maximus, a 3-2-3. I’ll send him to the front right after Rome finishes celebrating his awesomeness.

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jimwinsor2
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Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:30 pm

Turn 11 – March 283

Britomaris is apparently invincible. Attack or defend, with one big army, two medium armies, in secession, at the same time, bad leaders, good leaders … it all doesn’t seem to matter. He just refuses to lose:

[ATTACH]21625[/ATTACH]

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One part of the problem, I notice, is that the Gauls are constantly taking advantage of what seems to be a permanent level 2 entrenchment in Sena Gallica. You can see in the second battle, when his troops reverted from Offensive to Defensive posture (in the middle of a turn?! … that’s another surprise, I didn’t think game system did that) he had a 200% trench bonus going for him.

Morale is now down to 80, despite a triumph and the prayers of the Vestals.

Oh well. Dolabella will rest up in Perusia, ready for another strike next turn, while Paullus will hold his ground (not at-all-costs this time, I’ll let him retreat after taking a medium-sized shellacking this time). My only hope, really, is that the Gauls eventually run out of money for replacements.

By the way, it’s raining in Sena Gallica this turn, so maybe that’ll help me defensively.

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jimwinsor2
Lieutenant
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:07 am

Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:45 am

Turn 12 – April 283

Well I made a blunder this turn. I sent in Calvinus from Rome to Sena Gallica, alone, to add to the stack. Unfortunately I did not have him in Passive mode so I think his entry triggered a battle. Fortunately it did not go all that badly (compared to previous defeats) but Calvinus got wounded and sent to his villa in Capua to recover for 3 months:

[ATTACH]21630[/ATTACH]

Some of my units have suffered extreme casualties. Legio I herestill recuperating in Perusia, for example:

[ATTACH]21631[/ATTACH]

I'm going to move the units in Perusia that are well enough to reinforce the army camped in Sena Gallica (which will stay on Defensive) while moving out damaged units and empty supply wagons to Perusia. As long as my army stays in Sena Gallica my ZOC freezes him in place.

In other news, the town of Velia in the far south revolted and joined to the Greeks in the far south, as per a fixed event I believe.

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jimwinsor2
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Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:07 am

Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:46 pm

Turn 13 – May 283

Britomaris attacks, and retreats all of my forces out of the province:

[ATTACH]21637[/ATTACH]

I’m guessing now that his army is free to leave that he’ll move to Arretium via Ariminium. Arretium is the key to this scenario, as I’ve found out, he needs to take it to gain more EP.

It’s certainly the move I would make in his situation. So, on that assumption, every unit of mine not near death (about half my forces) will march to Arretium and Defend.

We Enslave and Plunder Ariminium this turn 1) because it feels good 2) the extra money will be useful and 3) if Britomaris does march north and recapture it along the way, I want to make sure it’s ravaged.

I also recruit a Preator this turn, he may come in handy while Calvinus is still recuperating in Capua.

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jimwinsor2
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Posts: 105
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Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:00 am

Turn 14 – June 283

Britomaris advances and take Ariminium, but does not push on to Arretium as I suspected he would. Not only does he storm Ariminium, but he wipes out a slave revolt brought on by my Enslaving the place this turn.

I guess he’ll assault Arretium. I’ll reinforce it with an allied legion that just finished repairing in Perusia, but I don’t have much hope. I’ve lost every battle, and now my Morale is at 71. His is in the 130’s, which translates to some huge combat bonuses for him. In fact, I now suspect this is what the problem has been. Losing battles causes me to lose morale, and losing morale causes me to lose more battles. It’s a downward spiral.

Unless he’s finally run out of money and replacements, I think I may be doomed. He can just move, attack and win wherever he pleases now.

I wish Calvinus wasn’t wounded, so that he could at least threaten to move into Sena Gallica with the recuperating forces in Perusia. The new Praetor has only 4 command points.

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jimwinsor2
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Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:04 am

Turn 15 – July 283

As expected, Arretium is attacked, and miraculously we hold them off! We finally win a battle versus Britomarus! He seems to have had some convoluted move plotted, however, as he ended up back in Sena Gallica after the fight (the solid green arrow is his move before the battle, and the dotted green arrows his after-battle moves ... and as a reminder of the convention I'm using here, a dashed arrow means a planned move for next turn).

(and darn it, I forgot to save a screen shot of the battle)

And he finally activated the Etruscans. Hmmm. The sounds at first bad, but if I take the Etruscan capital, I can pick up 5 Morale, plus if I can beat this vastly inferior army a few times that’s more Morale too, maybe. So perhaps this is a blessing in disguise … now I just need an army and a leader to go fight the Etruscans. I don’t dare leave Arretium unguarded.

Fortunately Calvinus has recovered. He’s a better defender so he’ll take command at Arretium. Then let’s see what we can do to these Etruscans …

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jimwinsor2
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Posts: 105
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Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:35 am

Turn 16 – August 283

Dolabella easily beat off an attack by the Etruscans at Volterrae, where we are laying siege. The Preator is sieging the village to the north (Faesulae) with cavalry. And Calvinus is sitting with a now very large army at Arretium.

I think we will move Calvinus back and forth between Arretium and Perusia, to cover both, just in case Britomaris tries to move through Perusia to interfere with operations in Etruria.

The game is now exactly half over. We still have a long way to go …

(No image this turn, I forgot! But if I had it would almost exactly look like the image for next turn, Turn 17 ...)

jimwinsor2
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Posts: 105
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Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:48 pm

Turn 17 – September 283

Dolabella got a breach on Volterrae, the Praetor and his besieging cavalry beat off a minor attack by the garrison of Faesulae to the north, and Britomaris stayed in Sena Gallica. His army has now recovered to full strength too, on par with Calvinus’ army. I don’t think my attrition campaign is working.

We will storm Volterrae this turn (if the breach holds up), and then finish up the Etruscans as quickly as possible. Calvinus’ army is plotting another march between Arretium and Perusia and back, and we are out of money so it’s time for another round of Requisitions in the south.

I also build a militia in Naples, for an amphibious adventure I am planning …

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jimwinsor2
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Posts: 105
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Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:19 am

Turn 18 – October 283

This new Etruscan campaign is a pleasant change from the Gallic one. Faesulae surrenders to my Praetor and his two cavalry units, Dolabella storms Volaterrae, and a late relief attempt by the Etruscans under Lucamon is easily beaten off:

[ATTACH]21651[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH]21652[/ATTACH]

As a result of these captures, my Morale soars up 6 points. To 76. Yes I know, sad.

Populonia is the only Etruscan city left. However, it is a level 2 fortress with a PORT so I will have a station my navy there for a few turns in order to properly siege it.

Britomaris hasn’t moved. Calvinus army in Arretium roughly matches him in strength.

OK, for next turn: Calvinus did not activate, so I am leery of moving him out of Arretium this turn on another patrol. So he will stay put.

Dolabella will trade his 3 victorious but tired Roman legions at Volterrae for 3 fresh ones from Arretium, and march on Populonia. Who knows, if I get a big victory over the beaten Etruscans maybe I can get my Morale back into the 80’s …

Speaking of Morale, since we have a fair amount of cash and EP we will do the Vestals option again. But at 100 money and 5EP, this is an expensive way to get Morale back.

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jimwinsor2
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Posts: 105
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Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:29 am

Turn 19 – November 283

We battle our way into Populonia, beat (but did not rout) the Etruscans again, and gain a Morale point from the battle. Along with the Vestals option, that brings Roman Morale up to 79. The Gauls are at 137.

[ATTACH]21654[/ATTACH]

This turn we will try to rout the Etruscans out of Populonia so I can begin to siege it (I guess that’s how things work in BOR, if the beaten army retreats but not routs from a battle, they stay in the province, in Defensive posture; if they rout from a battle, then they get retreated out … correct? That seems to how it’s been working this game).

Meanwhile the Preator and two cavalry will take the open Etruscan province south of Populonia, so as to surround it. And the Roman navy gets into the game this turn, moving into blockade formation outside Populonia, and even launching a marine invasion of the nearby island of Elbe. There is actually a cityless port there, which might be useful supporting my navy during the blockade.

Rome is organizing another Triumph, this one for the Urban Praetor (I did not know he could support a Triumph … you learn something new every game!)

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jimwinsor2
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Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:07 am

Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:52 pm

Turn 20 – December 283

We had another battle versus the Etruscans at Populonia, but this time only got a stalemate. We did kill 7 elements however, so we are wearing him down. We need to retreat him into the city (or eliminate him), however.

[ATTACH]21659[/ATTACH]

So, I’ve got big plans to finish off them off this turn. Calvinus powerful army will move to Perusia, so if Britomaris decides to get aggressive and move there this turn (be it to attack Arretium, or into Etruria), there will be a battle there blocking him. If not, Calvinus will move on through to Populonia and crush the battered Etruscans. He’s plotted to move back to Perusia as well.

One thing that could go wrong in this plan is if Britomaris gets tricky and decides to attack Arretium from Ariminium. However, there is a steep mountain border between those two provinces, and in winter attrition will cause quite a hit. So, I don’t expect this.

The Preator’s small cavalry force in Cosa will launch a raid into Ariminium, just to annoy the Gauls. He’s set to Defensive plus “Hell-yes-we-want-to retreat-ASAP” posture.

The marine force which conquered Elbe will reboard the fleet. It will be useful in helping besiege Populonia later.

An interesting option popped up this turn, proving that not all Gauls are bad:

[ATTACH]21660[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH]21661[/ATTACH]
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jimwinsor2
Lieutenant
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:07 am

Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:20 am

OK, bob. and I have finished our game just a few minutes ago in real time. So, get ready to see the rest of the turns of this delayed-posting AAR posted in rapid succession, all the way to game end ...

jimwinsor2
Lieutenant
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:07 am

Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:25 am

Turn 21 – January 282

This was quite an odd turn.

First, there was movement execution foul-up. Calvinus army moved from Arretium to Perusia, and STOPPED. On Day 4. He moved no further.

I know that I had CLEARLY had him plot to move: Arretium -> Perusia -> Clusium -> Populonia -> Clusium -> Perusia. See the map image on Turn 20. Yet somehow the game system lopped off the last 4 of my 6 movement orders. If any designer/playtesters are reading this, can any of you explain what went wrong? I KNOW I plotted the moves correctly; the whole move was projected on the map to take 20 days.

As a result, no big smash up of the Etruscans took place. Instead, Dolabella attacked and inflicted a small smash-up on them (which got rated a Stalemate because we lost some damaged elements too):

[ATTACH]21669[/ATTACH]

Meanwhile, Britomaris marched on Rome with his entire army. Yep you heard correct! Oddly, a Dictoator option is not triggered (not that I’d be able to activate it anyways, as I only have 4EP).

Is this a real siege or just an attempt at diversion? Probably the latter, I would guess; Rome’s a level 3 fort with a supply depot inside, and and Urban Preator who’s a Siege Defender. Britomaris will probably run out of food there before I do, and I would be flabbergasted if he manages to get one breach, let alone two.

What this does give me is the opportunity to march on Sena Gallica with Calvinus, and conduct a real siege. It is only level two, and you saw how quickly Volterrae fell in Etruria just a few turns back to Romans and their siegecraft. And for once I won’t have to worry about leaving Arretium uncovered … he can’t get there. No way. It’s February coming up, and all of Italy is covered in either mud or snow. It’s raining in Rome, Sena Gallica, snowing in Arretium, bad weather everywhere. It’s taking me 16 days just to move one province from Perusia to Sena Gallica, so there no chance of Britomaris moving very far from Rome this turn. If the march on Rome was intended as a diversion, this weather certainly messes up this intent.

So, that’s what will happen this turn, in addition to Dolabella attacking the Etrurians again (I get the feeling they are almost dead), and the militia aboard the fleet reinforcing Dolabella (every little bit helps).

[ATTACH]21668[/ATTACH]
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jimwinsor2
Lieutenant
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:07 am

Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:29 am

Turn 22 – February 282

More good news this turn. Ariminium surrendered (again) in just one turn to the Preator's cavalry raiders. That's +6 morale for Rome. Granted it was a level 0 fort (the walls were destroyed when the Gauls reconquered it) but the cavalry were technically less powerful than the militia which surrendered to it.

We've laid siege to Sena Gallica for the first time in the game, and even have one ballista built already. I'm very optimistic here.

Populonia, wow. 3 battles in which we practically annihilated the Etruscans ... and the game system only rated them "stalemates":

[ATTACH]21670[/ATTACH]
[ATTACH]21671[/ATTACH]
[ATTACH]21672[/ATTACH]

Had those been considered Roman victories the Morale gains (which tend to be based on element elimination) would have been huge! I was robbed here, IMO. Still, thanks to Ariminium I'm up to 85, which is only bad; much better then the completely awful 70 it was just a few turns ago.

Anyways, the Etruscan army outside the walls has now been reduced to a single element of javelin throwers and a supply wagon unit. So, they will either run in the walls, or die next turn for certain.

My big fear is that the Gauls will come to their senses and give up the siege of Rome, where I think they have no chance, and attack somewhere useful like Populonia, Arretium or Sena Gallica. Oh well we will see. In the meantime, an empty supply wagon will try to evasively run past the siege lines around Rome at night, and hopefully escape to Capua for refilling ...

BTW, we got new consuls this turn, and generally, they are a disappointment. Taking over for Dolabella at Populonia (who worked his way up to an awesome 4-4-3 leader after his many battles with Etruscans) will be Quintus Aemilius Papus, a 3-1-3 leader who's Overcautious. And assuming command at Sena Gallica will be Gaius Fabricius Luscinus, a 3-1-4 who is Loyal and a Godd Army Administrator. Not bad defensively I'd say, but if there comes a point where I'd need to go on the offense versus Britomaris, that's going to be trouble ...

City income came in too this turn, refilling my coffers to 359.

Time is running short too, only 9 turns left ...

[ATTACH]21673[/ATTACH]
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jimwinsor2
Lieutenant
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:07 am

Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:35 am

Turn 23 – March 282

The game is now all about three sieges.

Rome is still at level 3 but is about to run out of food. My stock is 58, and my usage is 69. But remember that empty supply wagon I sent out of the city? It escaped. It's now restocking in Capua. And since what can go out can probably go in as well, we will try to run a full supply wagon from Perusia into Rome!

We got a breach in Sena Gallica! That means it's now level 1 and we can assault ... except for the fact Luscinius is inactive. Hmmm. I could create a leaderless army there and tell it to assault, or do nothing and hope for another good siege roll this turn. My fear is Britomaris will quit the siege of Rome and attack me here. If that happens I want to be in Defensive posture.

The Etruscans beyond the walls of Populonia fled (to where I'm not sure) so we now have a real siege here too. A problem, however, is that my Roman blockade fleet is almost out of food. I think I'll build a transport fleet in Neapolis ...

Again, my biggest fear is that Britomaris will leave Rome. The weather has cleared up, so nothing is stopping him from moving to crush me somewhere else. Sieging is not a very productive use for the Gauls, IMO … but we’ll see.

On the diplomatic front, I sent another embassy to the Cenomani this turn.

[ATTACH]21674[/ATTACH]
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jimwinsor2
Lieutenant
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:07 am

Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:42 am

Turn 24 – April 282

A very eventful turn!

First, Sena Gallica surrenders:

[ATTACH]21675[/ATTACH]

This is big. As a result Rome gained 50 (!) morale and 50 (!) EP. The Gauls lose 50 morale. So, the morale situation has been completely reversed: Rome stands at 135, while the now dispirited Gauls are at 72:

[ATTACH]21676[/ATTACH]

Unfortunately, the walls were damaged, so Sena Gallica is now only a level 1 fort. This could be bad, as I don't want it recaptured (it's necessary for a Roman victory).

Second, the Boii declare war on me, with a large army ready for action at Felsina (just north of Ariminium):

[ATTACH]21677[/ATTACH]

Needless to say, this is a most unwelcome development. I'm guessing this may have been triggered by the fall of Sena Gallica.

Third, we make a horrific discovery this turn: Populonia is not being blockaded properly. It turns out the port has two egresses, Igilium Insula (where my fleet currently is) and Mare Etruscum to the north:

[ATTACH]21678[/ATTACH]

This is bad. My victory conditions are to control all of Ager Gallicus (which I think I've done, by taking all the Senones cities) and "keeping all of Samnium and Etruria":

[ATTACH]21679[/ATTACH]

To be on the safe side, I've been playing under the assumption that I needed to take all of Etruria. Although truth be told, the victory conditions are a bit vague here. Rome controls one city in Etruria at game start, Volsinii. Maybe I only have to hold on to that?

I'm not sure. In any case, to siege Populonia we will need another ship unit; a transport is scheduled to be completed next turn but I don't think it is eligible to blockade (must be combat ships ... right?). I can build another trireme, but it will take about 4 turns. There are only 9 turns left in this scenario.

It's possible that I could get a breach on an unblockaded port, the assault, but that would require a bit of luck.

I think what I'm going to do is forget about Populonia for now, and concentrate on destroying the two Gallic armies facing. And the morale shift should make my troops fight better.

For now we'll concentrate our forces at Ariminium. Both consuls are inactive, otherwise I'd actually consider attacking.

(to be contuned ...)
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