bob.
General
Posts: 540
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:56 pm

(BOR) Strangling Rome in its cradle: Pyrrhic War

Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:46 pm

Hello everyone, and welcome (back) to my series of AAR's where I play the enemies of Rome in the Birth of Rome expansion!
Last time, I strangled Rome in its cradle with the Senones and this week it is time for one of the most able generals of his time to shine: King Pyrrhus of Epirus!

Note: when talking about Generals, I might sometimes add their stats in this form: 1-2-3. The first value is the strategic rating, the second value the offensive rating and the third the defensive rating.

A look at the map reveals that Pyrrhus is not the only one who hates the Romans:
Image

Epirotes:
This faction holds no territory in Greater Greece but has a sizeable army in Italy under the command of – who else! - Pyrrhus. He also has elephants! WAR ELEPHANTS! Aww yeah! Unfortunately Pyrrhus ships moved into a storm and thus the army is understrength and low on cohesion right now.
Additionally, a smaller contingent of two generals (one of them is actually a diplomat, but he can lead troops) and two understrength hoplite formations is in Tarentum, but these will also have to stay back because the hoplites are missing several elements.
And a squadron of transport ships, just so we have this list complete!
Image

Gracia Magna (Greater Greece):
This faction was the one that called Pyrrhus to Italy in the first place. The city state of Tarentum to be more precise. Their leader Philonides (2-0-0) prefers to stay in Tarentum with his army, though. Not that I want Philonides, he has to be the worst leader in the game witht hese stats, but a few more troops wouldn't be so bad. Either way, I'll have to live with it. I will propably be able to unlock their army later.
They have a big fleet that is at mostly unlocked. I have a big advantage in naval forces over the Romans which means a landing somewhere along the Roman coast might be a possibility!
Image

Etruria:
And as mentioned, the Etruscans are back! Their army seems to be exactly the same as in the war against the Senones. Led by the Lucumon (3-1-1) it's not very strong and easily defeated. But it is a second front against the Romans and that's great! Nobody likes two front wars (ask Germany)!
Image

Samnites:
And another old friend, the Samnites! Their army is a shadow of the powerful forces that I lead during the third Samnite war, however! Two meagre units led by Tuticus Meddix (4-1-1). Well, better than nothing. Also, they are right now kind of "in exile". If I manage to retake former Samnite territory I will be able to recruit more Samnite units.
Image

Syracuse [didn't join the war yet]:
The Syracusaens have to share Sicily with the Carthaginians. They don't like doing so. Pyrrhus historically joined them later with the intent of driving the Carthaginians from Sicily (and declaring himself King of Sicily I guess). The Carthaginians didn't like that and interestingly, neither did the Sicilian people. Anyway, let's see what they have in game: two smaller armies led by terrible generals: for one, the tyrant of Syracuse, Sosistratus (3-1-1) and Thynion (2-1-2). Don't let their mediocre stats fool you, these leaders both have traits that make them really terrible! But I'll detail that if they actually join the war :)
Their navy is even better than the navy of the Greek city states but since these fleets only become available when the Carthaginians can release their fleets as well I fear that once these fleets become available naval superiority will be nothing but a dream (depends on how well the AI uses the Carthaginian fleets).
Image


I think everyone who reads this knows who Pyrrhus was. But how are his abilities represented in the game? Let's have a look:
Image
With a 4-4-5 rating he is propably better than any consul of the Romans but that's not all: he also has some great traits:
  • Admired Commander: + 25 % fatigue recovery for all units
  • Gifted Commander: + 2 Command Points
  • Superior Tactitian: + 1 initiative for all units
  • Fast Mover: + 15 % movement speed
He also has some not-so-great traits but nothing that really hampers his command ability.
  • Hated Occupant: I think this causes cities/regions with a low population loyalty to become pillaged but I am not sure
  • Hotheaded: No retreat orders during first 2 hours of battle (as if I wanted to retreat anyway)


After this long introduction it's time to finally go to war!
The actual AAR will start in a few days because I don't want Jim to know my plans in advance :wacko:

User avatar
El Nino
Posts: 508
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:46 pm
Location: Rhône-Alpes France

Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:05 pm

Excellent ! I think you know that all the BOR leaders (except generic) have a little biography who appear when you place the mouse on the leader's head ?

We're trying with Le Ricain to finish the same things with the AJE leaders (in french and in english actually).

bob.
General
Posts: 540
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:56 pm

Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:40 pm

Yes I do! The biographies are really interesting, I love them! I always try to incorporate it a bit in the AAR's (like here when I say that the Tarentum leader is the one who called Pyrrhus to Italy, I have all that from the biographies ;) )

bob.
General
Posts: 540
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:56 pm

Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:35 pm

280 BC

Turn 1: 280 BC, March

Image
Not much to do for me this turn. Pyrrhus has to stay in Brundusium to recover from the crossing from Epirus to Italy, the army of Tarentium is locked – I placed it outside of Taras so it will be unlocked in the case of an attack – and the Samnites army is locked as well.
Image
I expect that the Romans try to get the Etruscans out of the war first of all, so I move the Etruscan army back to Populonia. This province has a harbour which is good in case I have to retreat into the fort.
Apart from that I'm just buying replacements right now. Replacements for my Epirote heavy cavalry (= my guard cavalry and Elephants) do not only cost a small fortune but also national morale! At least the scenario kind of gives you "1 purchase for free": you start with 103 national morale instead of 100.

User avatar
loki100
AGEod Guard of Honor
Posts: 2004
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:15 pm
Location: Glasgow
Contact: Website Twitter

Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:53 pm

great stuff, and an incredibly useful approach to setting out the scenario options
AJE The Hero, The Traitor and The Barbarian
PoN Manufacturing Italy; A clear bright sun
RoP The Mightiest Empires Fall
WIA Burning down the Houses; Wars in America; The Tea Wars

Stuyvesant
Lieutenant
Posts: 144
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:06 am
Location: Wilmington, NC

Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:27 pm

Nice set-up and it should be interesting to follow along. Who knows, it might be enough to finally make me play my copy of AJE (and then perhaps save up enough pennies to buy BOR). :)

dans221
Sergeant
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:52 am

Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:59 am

Subscribed. Really enjoyed the intro to the scenario.

bob.
General
Posts: 540
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:56 pm

Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:56 pm

I really enjoy just marveling at all the different units of all the different factions so I thought I'd show non-owners of BOR especially just how diverse the armies are!

Stuyvesant, I think that BOR is a lot more fun for PBEM than the AJE scenarios. This if of course entirely subjective, but I enjoy these small, focused wars more. You still have enough choices for it to be very unpredictable but if both sides want a battle they will find each other at least :)

Dans, looking forward to your AAR if you are still planning to write it!

Next turn without pictures, but for all the turns afterwards I will have an overview picture so you can easily see how the war is going!

------------

Turn 2: 280 BC, April

The Romans seem to move against the Etruscans first: three Roman legions and three Socii legions are split between Volsinii and Volaterrae. I can't move against either of them, the Etruscans are just too weak and even a single defending Roman legion could inflict very heavy casualties. The offensive has to be left to Pyrrhus, the Etruscans will just try to survive – and in the process keep as many Roman forces as possible busy!
With the losses from the crossing replaced, Pyrrhus is ready for the attack! His army is very strong with a combat rating 1597 but if I attack entrenched Roman legions, I will suffer heavy losses so my goal has to be to get in a position where I can defend and the Romans have to attack.
Pyrrhus first goal is Venusia. I don't see any Roman defenders nearby, so even if they enter Venusia before Pyrrhus arrives they won't have time to entrench. Afterwards, I will try to capture Maleventum – and prevent it from being renamed to Beneventum! (It was renamed after the Romans defeated Pyrrhus there.)
Just a quick heads-up on the Roman strength: they have two consular armies with two Roman and two Socii legions each. Additionally, they have a Proconsular army with one Roman and one Socii legion and some cavalry. That means that with one Consular and the Proconsular army busy with the Etruscans, only one Consular army can oppose Pyrrhus – no match for Pyrrhus elite warriors! I have to use that numbers advantage until the Romans dealt with the Etruscans.
Apart from that, I am sending the Greater Greek Quinqueremes squadron to blockade Neapolis. The Greater Greek leaders won't give me an army... alright, I'll take their navy! Better than nothing! However, I am scared to send the whole navy at once because they might encounter a storm. Since this is my most powerful squadron it won't have any problems with the Roman fleet anyway: they also have only one squadron, but of weaker ships.

User avatar
loki100
AGEod Guard of Honor
Posts: 2004
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:15 pm
Location: Glasgow
Contact: Website Twitter

Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:18 pm

good to see the importance of being on the defense carries back into BoR (I've bought it but not really had time to play), however, one assumes its not enough just to beat the Roman consular army that faces you but to effectively destroy it while keeping your own losses down? Presume this scenario has the 'Dictator' army that can spawn if you get too close to Rome?
AJE The Hero, The Traitor and The Barbarian
PoN Manufacturing Italy; A clear bright sun
RoP The Mightiest Empires Fall
WIA Burning down the Houses; Wars in America; The Tea Wars

bob.
General
Posts: 540
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:56 pm

Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:04 pm

From my experience, defender bonus is maybe even a bit too high. My knowledge of Roman history is very limited, but just intuitively I would say that there is a big difference between modern times (powerful guns) and ancient times (mostly melee weapons) regarding the advantage of a defender compared to attacker.
Now I know that the Romans built nice camps and all but I would say that these camps are better represented by the fact that an army can just stay inside a city because in reality those camps were often just besieged weren't they? Which is obviously not possible in game - you can't besiege entrenched forces.

I am not quite sure on the exact requirements of calling in a dictator, but I think the limits are: Neapolis, Spoletium, Capua, Perusia. This is my first Pyrrhus game (except AI) so I do not know exactly.
I am very careful to stay out of dictator range unless I decisively beat the Romans first. And basically, you don't want to besiege Neapolis, Spoletium etc. but try to directly head for Rome because otherwise the Romans can call in a dictator, mass all their troops in Rome and defend indefinitely or counter-attack with overwhelming troops.

Also, first of all Pyrrhus has to amass a large army before he can really attack as the initial Epirote-only army is just too small and it's mostly just Pyrrhus who makes it seem so great because of his great traits and stats ;)

bob.
General
Posts: 540
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:56 pm

Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:08 pm

Turn 3: 280 BC, May

Venusia has been captured without any problems, next stop Maleventum! I suppose the Roman army is in Capua but I can't be sure because it is in the fog of war. I am sending another Greek navy squadron to the coast off Capua to lift it.
Image
The situation for the Etruscans is dire, Volsinii has already surrendered and the army has been beaten decisively. I don't know if it is even possible to sneak past the besieging legion in Volaterrae into Populonia since it is in the red area* – but it is worth a try because I don't really have another chance! Inside Populonia, one of the defenders spawned is a mercenary hoplite unit (it seems the game doesn't differentiate between the factions when determining spawning garrisons) with a strength of 124. If I could combine that one with the city militia and the remnants of the Etruscan army I might hold out for a while in Populonia. A 1-star leader from Pyrrhus' army will also try to get into Populonia (to eliminate the command penalty of the spawned hoplite unit).

*The red area shows which provinces cannot be entered because an enemy army or fort is blocking passage - in this case, since I am under siege in Volaterrae the only province I can go to is Populae as it is the only surrounding province controlled by me. I do not know if there are any exceptions to this "red = no go" rule for armies with orders to retreat when engaged. Certainly worth a try I guess!

User avatar
loki100
AGEod Guard of Honor
Posts: 2004
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:15 pm
Location: Glasgow
Contact: Website Twitter

Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:53 pm

one solution to red provinces is sometimes to break your cavalry into a separate stack and send them ahead, they often can enter a province a force with infantry can't (at least that is a trick I use in other AGE games)

but it does indeed look grim 'up north'
AJE The Hero, The Traitor and The Barbarian
PoN Manufacturing Italy; A clear bright sun
RoP The Mightiest Empires Fall
WIA Burning down the Houses; Wars in America; The Tea Wars

bob.
General
Posts: 540
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:56 pm

Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:35 pm

It turned out very fine for the Etruscans in the end but I don't want to spoil anything :thumbsup:

Gen. Monkey-Bear
Lieutenant Colonel
Posts: 262
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:35 am
Location: The San Francisco Bay Area

Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:42 pm

Good luck with those Etruscans. Out of curiosity, what trait does their leader have?

bob.
General
Posts: 540
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:56 pm

Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:05 pm

He has the trait "weak morale" which supposedly "gives a -5 maximum cohesion penalty [and] applies to all elements of the unit that this element is in".
I really never noticed it work actually, though. If you put the army without the Lucumon, its cohesion doesn't change... If you combine the Lucumon with a unit that units cohesion doesn't get worse either as far as I can tell... even better, it actually gets MORE cohesion. So maybe some dev can tell us what this trait really does?

---------------------

Turn 4: 280 BC, June

Turns out that it really is not possible to move past the legions besieging Volaterrae. Apparently the Etruscan army "is blocked by enemy positions in Volaterrae countryside". The attempt was still a good choice though because now the Etruscans retreated to Populae which means if the Romans attack it is over a river. Alright then, change of plans!
Image
Since I do have a powerful fleet, why not use it? I just hope the Romans won't attack the Etruscan army next turn... even entrenched and behind a river it is still no match for the legions!
In other news, the Bruttians want to join forces:
Image
Pyrrhus, after having freed Venusia and Maleventum from Roman yoke, now marches to assault Luceria. Maybe this will finally unlock the Samnite forces and additional units in the build pool.
I should also mention that assaulting Maleventum gave Pyrrhus enough experience to advance one level. He is now a 4-4-6 general. Elite hoplites under a genius defensive leader – I doubt that the Romans would have any chance to defeat Pyrrhus when he is on the defensive!

User avatar
loki100
AGEod Guard of Honor
Posts: 2004
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:15 pm
Location: Glasgow
Contact: Website Twitter

Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:57 am

neat move with the Etruscans, but is there any danger they will simply surrender if the Romans capture all their cities?
AJE The Hero, The Traitor and The Barbarian
PoN Manufacturing Italy; A clear bright sun
RoP The Mightiest Empires Fall
WIA Burning down the Houses; Wars in America; The Tea Wars

bob.
General
Posts: 540
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:56 pm

Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:30 am

I think the troops stay regardless but right now in this game, there is still one Etruscan city so I can't tell you for sure.

----------

Turn 5: 280 BC, July

Pyrrhus takes Luceria with minor casualties only. The Samnites are still not unlocked.
Instead of advancing closer to Rome – and perhaps allowing the Romans to call in a dictator, Pyrrhus will take the part of Northern Italy that still belongs to Rome. It will allow me to recruit more Bruttian units and three of the cities have level 1 forts only, allowing immediate assault without besieging.
Image
As you can see there is a (grey) Bruttian infantry unit in Locri. These troops are really capable fighters, they have about the same combat strength as one of the Epirote hoplites!
The Romans are still busy besieging the Etruscan capital Volaterrae and the Etruscan troops will board the Tarentine ships this turn and then later join with Pyrrhus army – led by a great general like Pyrrhus, even the Etruscans should hopefully be useful!

bob.
General
Posts: 540
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:56 pm

Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:27 pm

Turn 6: 280 BC, August

Only good news this turn! Pyrrhus took Croton without problems and is now marching towards Hipontum which should fall as well next turn. He also levelled up again from the assault and is not a 4-5-6 general! The more time the Romans give me until our first big pitched battle, the better Pyrrhus gets and the more troops from Southern Italian tribes I can incorporate into his army, so I am very happy that the Romans all marched against the Etruscans first! Even better, soon his army will be bolstered by ~18.000 Etruscans:
Image
The Etruscan troops have boarded the Greek ships and will now move to Croton to then join Pyrrhus' army.
Remarkably, none of the Etruscan towns apart from Volsinii have fallen yet! However, the defenders of Volaterrae, the capital and most important town, are out of supplies and will propably surrender next turn. On the other hand, Populonia and Faesulae are unbesieged. I doubt Faesulae will hold out for long because it is only a level 1 fort and the Romans can just assault it but Populonia on the other hand is a strategically very useful fort because it is level 2 and has a port. Since the Romans have no navy to speak of, unless the Romans breach it this fort should hold out for a long time. I bolstered the garrison with some militia to make breaches harder. If the Romans start to besiege it (again) I can ship in more troops from Southern Italy.

Turn 7: 280 BC, September

An uneventful turn but good news again: the Etruscans have arrived safely in Southern Italy. Pyrrhus has successfully assaulted Hipontum. Here are my plans for the next turn:
Image
My hope is that I will be able to take both Rhegium (the southmost city in Italy) and Paestum before February-March next year, allowing me to bolster Pyrrhus army with troops from all his allies and start my first big offensive towards Rome.

User avatar
loki100
AGEod Guard of Honor
Posts: 2004
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:15 pm
Location: Glasgow
Contact: Website Twitter

Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:29 am

like the feedback routine you have set up in the south, easy victories = Pyrrhus gets better and more (& decent) troops for you. Hope the Etruscans are up to the task you have set them.

So next campaign season this all gets a lot more tense ....
AJE The Hero, The Traitor and The Barbarian
PoN Manufacturing Italy; A clear bright sun
RoP The Mightiest Empires Fall
WIA Burning down the Houses; Wars in America; The Tea Wars

bob.
General
Posts: 540
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:56 pm

Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:17 pm

Unfortunately it won't be as eventful as you may think as both sides are too scared to assault into enemy territory ;) (Well, the Romans don't need to anway as they get more VP, it should be my turn to attack!)
Both because of the fact that the defender is always at an advantage but also simply because supply is too low to sustain any siege for more than 3 turns or so...

----------

Turn 8: 280 BC, October

Let's start with the bad news first: Volaterrae – the Etruscan capital – falls. Although since the Etruscan army is safely in Southern Italy it doesn't matter all that much for now. Populonia is the only city still controlled by the Etruscans. As I previously said it is a level 2 fort with a harbour that the Romans will have a hard time taking. The question is: will the Romans besiege Populonia – and thus draw forces away that could move against Pyrrhus – or will they ignore it and go looking for a fight with Pyrrhus now? I would doubt that they want to attack now in October – Winter is coming! - but it is still a possibility.
So let's look at the situation in Southern Italy now – this will be the only "front" in the war for a while now!
Image
As you can see in the overview, the Brutii have risen up in Locri! Three units of tough Brutii warriors (with a strength of 129 and 116 depending on their experience level) and the Brutii Princeps (4-2-2), a not-too-shabby 1-star general with a trait that reduces the chance of pillaging by 50 %. That should be a useful trait to preserve supply lines. He also has a "School of the Defense" trait that would make him better when defending and worse when attacking, but it won't make any difference because this trait only applies when he is the commander of the stack and since he is only a 1-star general that will propably never be the case anyway. They will join with the Etruscans. Together they form a pretty decent, 841-strength army! They should have no problem assaulting Locri. I hope that I will then be able to besiege and take Rhegium over the winter, thus effectively liberating all Roman-allied cities in Southern Italy.
Pyrrhus won't be able to besiege Paestum with his whole army because of supply issues. His army will take winter quarters back in Metapontum while a small detachment of one hoplite, one Peltast and one Rhodos slingers (not 2 hoplites, the image is wrong) unit led by Alexandros (2-2-3) will continue the siege. The Rhodos slingers get a 25 % bonus in hilly terrain – which is the terrain in Paestum, that is why I included them. It won't make a big difference, but even a small one can't hurt!
Now finally, about the Roman ships that are attacking my trade ships: the Greek navy will take care of them – if they aren't clever and run away while they still can!

User avatar
loki100
AGEod Guard of Honor
Posts: 2004
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:15 pm
Location: Glasgow
Contact: Website Twitter

Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:08 pm

I think what you are (both) doing is giving a good view of the slightly claustrophobic nature of BoR but that this doesn't diminish from the subtlety of play or the range of options to juggle.

Good also to see that the seasonal nature of warfare is now a feature again. My feeling with the early versions of AJE was that was rather missing (except for the risk of storms)
AJE The Hero, The Traitor and The Barbarian
PoN Manufacturing Italy; A clear bright sun
RoP The Mightiest Empires Fall
WIA Burning down the Houses; Wars in America; The Tea Wars

Stuyvesant
Lieutenant
Posts: 144
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:06 am
Location: Wilmington, NC

Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:34 pm

Nice progress with creating Pyrrhus, the Super Soldier[sup]TM[/sup]. ;) So, I understand that sooner or later, you'll have to take the fight to the Romans, which will trigger a Dictator (and a near-endless supply of extra Roman troops?). It must be a difficult decision to figure out when is the best time for that.

How would you fare if the Romans return en masse from Etruria and faced Pyrrhus as he is now? Could you handle them, or would you still be in serious trouble?

bob.
General
Posts: 540
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:56 pm

Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:45 pm

I could easily handle them on the defensive even with less troops. The problem right now are not the Romans but the supply issues when besieging those damn level 2 forts!
I will propably concentrate on Sicily instead of the Romans. More enemies sound like a great plan, no? :D
Sorry for the slow progress, have few time right now. Keep tuned for a big update soon!

bob.
General
Posts: 540
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:56 pm

Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:08 pm

As promised, big update is here!

-------------------------

Turn 9: 280 BC, November

Locri has fallen without much trouble, although the assaults cost the lifes of over 4000 of my men, mostly Etruscans. They really aren't the toughest fighters aren't they... although, in all honesty: I really, really look up to the Etruscans: they fought in the Samnite wars – and were destroyed by Roman legions. They fought in the Senone wars – and were destroyed by Roman legions. Now they are fighting against Roman legions again?!? You really got to admire them for their determination! Even more now: they have no home anymore! Their towns have been taken and pillaged by the Romans! But do they give up? No, they fight on! They are now bolstering Pyrrhus' forces in Southern Italy! Respect!
Also, the Lucumon has gained experience from the assaults and is now (3-1-2). Still nothing to be proud of, though.
The Brutii forces now split from the Etruscans again: I can't assault Rhegium for now anyway as it is a level 2 fort so the Etruscans will be able keep up the siege themselves. I need the Brutii warriors to bolster Pyrrhus in case the Romans are finally deciding to attack. So while the Etruscans now march towards Rhegium, the Brutii move to Metapontum to join Pyrrhus.
Last but not least, the Roman ships attacking my traders... got away. Damn cowards! My ships will now move to blockade the port of Rhegium. Let's just hope I won't encounter a storm!
No overview map this time, because this turn absolutely nothing changed apart from me assaulting Locri.

Turn 10: 280 BC, December

Great news this turn! Paestum already surrendered, which means Alexandros' siege detachment can join Pyrrhus in Metapontum again. The Lucanians also offered Pyrrhus their support – and I duly accept!
Image
But alas, the time might have come for a decisive battle! Our scouts spotted a huge Roman army in Capua:
Image
I count 10 enemy "regulars" and 1 enemy "cavalry". This is, without overexagerration the entirety of the Roman military. I mean, not "most" of it. These are all five Socii Alae and all five Roman legions the Romans posess. If they decide to counter-attack I might be in serious trouble. If they decide to take back Maleventum, there is nothing I could do. I don't want to risk the heavy losses that an attack against Roman legions causes, I need to be the defender! In case you were wondering already why Pyrrhus is so far back in Metapontum: it is very simple, the Greek cities are the only provinces with enough supply to keep the troops fed!
In other news, the Etruscans started their siege of Rhegium. Will the Romans surrender as quickly in Rhegium as they did in Paestum?
And last but not least, thanks to my strong strategic position I can send my diplomat Cineas to the Romans for peace talks:
Image
The decision really tells you all I know about it! So let's see if it will do any good! According to his description, Cineas tried to dissuade Pyrrhus from going to war with Rome and attempted peace talks twice – although very unsurprisingly the Romans didn't accept. Since Cineas (5-0-0) is a rather worthless general anyway (currently located in the smaller army defending Tarentum) I won't really miss him on the battlefield.

Turn 11: 279 BC, January

Happy new year! It's not really happy, though...
the Romans are advancing – Winter doesn't really seem to stop them. First of all though, let's take a look at my current troops!
There is only one army that can take the fight to the Romans, which is obviously Pyrrhus.
Image
Bolstered by the Brutii, Pyrrhus army has now more or less exactly 60.000 men and a combat strength of 2483.
Defending Tarentum is still the Tarentime army, although bolstered by one additional hoplite unit and lead by Milon (3-2-4), a way more capable general than Philonides (2-0-0) although still only a "decent" one.
Image
Let's be frank though, I still will have no chance in an open battle. At least Milon has the "fort defender" trait which gives a siege bonus when defending in a fort (less chance for breaches and/or bad events I think). That's good, because if the Romans attack Tarentum this small army won't have any chance but to retreat to the fort.
Last but not least (OK, actually it IS least. But don't tell them!) the Etruscan army. No need for a screen as it is still the same as at the game start except for the fact that one of their infantry unit lost some elements.

Now, let's get to the situation right now: the Romans, confident as ever, advanced and assaulted Maleventum.
Image
As you can see I had some "Italic devoted" troops and Mercenary hoplites stationed in there. They weren't actually meant as defenders, though, I simply needed to have some troops in there in order to gain the Victory Points for holding it. (You only gain Victory Points for an objective when you either have regular troops as garrison or over 50 % loyalty) Since it is not possible for me to buy mercenary troop replacements and the starting mercenariy unit already had only five elements out of ten the loss is not really that painful. And in case you are wondering about the Italic devoted: they are cheap, easy-to-re-recruit skirmishers so their loss is... acceptable.
Image
So this is the situation right now. I would assume that the Romans will try to continue their advance regardless of winter... we will see, we will see! But even if they will advance only in spring, it won't change their possibilities:
there are four paths they could take. The one I suppose is most logical is the red one. Why most logical? Well, for one that province (Venusia) is the only objective province of the four and also, it is the quickest way to the Greek cities. If they were to advance into Venusia, I am very confident I can stop them provided that I arrive first. I think I do because Pyrrhus has the "fast mover" trait which gives him 25 % more marching speed. I also left my general Alexandros (you may remember him from such feats as the quick siege of Paestum) in Metapontum as he in turn has the "slow mover" trait reducing marching speed by 25 % (if he is not activated, which he is not this turn). Marching time would be 9 days with Alexandros, 7 days without him. To that I can only say: bye, bye!
Will we have a big battle next turn or just the two armies staring menacingly at each other?

Turn 12: 279 BC, February

Rhegium fell! Well, don't celebrate too early...
Image
As long as the Romans don't have it I'm fine for now, let these mercenaries have it! I will take care of them soon enough, but for now I could really use the Etruscans in Pyrrhus' army! It will take some time before they arrive, for now they will move to Croton (also in case the "exiled" Roman garrison from Rhegium tries anything funny, although I think they will be automatically disbanded next turn as they were only created because of my siege).
Otherwise, all quiet on the Northern front. The Romans seem to have retreated from Maleventum but I don't want to counter-attack yet.

Turn 13: 279 BC, March

Nothing happened. Nothing at all. Etruscans will join up with Pyrrhus next turn.

dans221
Sergeant
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:52 am

Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:31 pm

So why is it that the Etruscans are not good fighters? The line infantry in Etruria exercitus has 110 or 106 combat power for 6000 men. Compare that to the line infantry in Taras exercitus 95 or 76 for 6000 men -- they seem better to me, although not as good as the Samnites -- those are 193 for 6000 men <-- getting close to legion strength. Am I missing something?

bob.
General
Posts: 540
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:56 pm

Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:56 pm

Looking at the stats of the Etruscans they really aren't much worse than Pyrrhus hoplites. I only know that the Etruscans always perform very bad in combat for me. Might mostly have something to do with the rather bad leader and the fact that if they get attacked then they get attacked by vastly superior forces that outnumber them and are lead by better generals. No chance in that case obviously. So you are right, they aren't that bad. But you need someone to make fun of, no? :D

Also, you are right that the Tarentine infantry is even worse.

Solemnace
Corporal
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:31 pm

Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:07 pm

Maybe if you'd taken Bovianum you'd have been able to recruit and unlock those Samnites. Wasn't that the Samnite Capital in the Third Samnite war

Stuyvesant
Lieutenant
Posts: 144
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:06 am
Location: Wilmington, NC

Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:02 pm

That's, ah, a bit of a juggernaught the Romans are getting ready to hurl at you. Except that it seems that they backed out of the hurling part, for now at least.

What will you do if the Romans continue to refuse to move? Will you risk creating some smaller forces to move forward, thereby weakening Pyrrhus, or will you just continue to keep everything concentrated in his big ol' army?

bob.
General
Posts: 540
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:56 pm

Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:18 pm

Solemnace, that makes sense. Should have thought of that earlier!

Stuyvesant, don't be disappointed :neener: I'm mostly just waiting for the war to expand to Sicily. I am propably a bit too careful, but I just don't see an advance working out for me.

-----------

Turn 14: 279 BC, April

With the Etruscan army now joined with Pyrrhus army, the strength of this 90.000-man stack is 3386! Compare this to "only" 1600 strength Pyrrhus army had at the start! Over double the combat strength! Now, I did say I planned a summer offensive this year, but there is a problem: supply! Pyrrhus army can sustain exactly 2 turns without supplies. A siege of Rome or even just Capua is certainly not a possibility. Especially considering that I will propably need the whole army or at least most of it to survive a Roman counter-attack!
However, it would be a shame to let this huge fighting power go to waste so I will at least assault Maleventum next turn. This really shouldn't be a problem, I doubt that even if the whole Roman army counter-attacked it would have much of a chance. (Overconfidence never hurts, right?)
Also some nice news, a Samnite fellow named Lollus has escaped from Roman captivity. He did what any decent man would do, collected a group of outlaws and adventurers and is currently located in Spoletium.
Image
For in-game purposes, it's a free (3-2-1) general with two Samnite infantry units of 160 (!) combat strength each (compare this to Pyrrhus most elite hoplite unit having only 140 combat strength) and some irregular skirmishers. Not bad, not bad at all! Well, maybe it is bad: this might allow the Romans to call in a dictator... that is the last thing I want and thus I will quickly retreat from Spoletium to Populonia, which is still in Etruscan hands! Having a strong garrison will certainly not hurt.
Image

Turn 15: 279 BC, May

So, since the summer offensive is not a possibility, what will I do you may ask. Good question! Well, there's only one more enemy I can beat...
Image
Next turn, the Brutii warriors can show what they are made of. By standing outside of a fort for a few months and starving the people inside. That's how heroes are made!

Turn 16: 279 BC, June

Nothing significant to report. The Romans are besieging the Populonia garrison (mostly comprised of Lollus' brigands as you may remember from about 5 lines ago). It seems the "bait" worked. A siege of Populonia should take quite some time. It seems the Romans do not like brigands in their back!
I am also as mentioned sending the Brutii warriors to besiege Rhegium (Southernmost city in Italy). The mercenaries are no threat, but Rhegium is a victory province and I really need the victory points!

Solemnace
Corporal
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:31 pm

Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:59 pm

I think you can take Bovianum without triggering a dictator. Which would likely help you a lot if the theory about the Sammites is right.

Return to “AJE: Alea Jacta Est AARs”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests