Campaign Report - Rome (Legendary)
Firstly, I want to preface this almighty wall of text which stinks of tl;dr by saying three things.
1. I am not sure if this is the right forum for this, so if it is in the wrong place please send myself and/or a moderator a message for its moving to the correct area. Thank you!
2. In regards to the prementioned wall of text, I have tried [spoiler][/spoiler], [spoil][/spoil] and [sp][/sp] with no success. It's always been that in other forums I've been in. Any advice on doing spoilers would be great. I would love to split each chapter of the story in spoilers, and then each battle report and/or large segment into further spoilers making it easy on the eye and easy to find a certain thing.
3. Yes, this is basically a written Let's Play. The reason I won't do a video one is because I have a baby which I am sure is a reincarnation of Boudica and hosts an 8 hour screaming session every 15 minutes. Anyway, let's begin!
I have always had lots of fun reading about other people's campaigns and watching Let's Plays. They not only help me with my own games, but they are a LOT of fun too! Or at least I think so. For those of you who do not enjoy reading then I would not advise this for you. There is, in total, over 5000 words here and that's a bit much for most people.
What inspired me to make this thread is that I have just had such an amazingly fun campaign so far (for me anyway, you might find it bores you to tears!) that I wanted to share it. Starting at 'The Thracian War' and 'Barbarian Invasion' I was writing it as I was doing the campaign, whereas the chapters before that are all from memory and the records of dates on my legion history/the campaign map swords. That is why Unification, which I made just to quickly introduce people to the campaign since the early stages go by very fast, and the Greek Campaign (my invasion of Greece) are not very detailed, but later sections involve step-by-step descriptions of actions and tactics.
Mainly, in a forum where many of the posts are flaming and negative, I just want us to share our stories with each other. They don't have to be the length of war and peace with pictures and such like mine is, they can just be a couple sentences about your most epic battle or favourite war. Sometime when the campaign was so epic you couldn't leave the chair!
Anyway, here is my campaign so far as Rome on Legendary Difficulty. I am playing vanilla with no mods. I felt it was special because a World War kicked off very early into the game which is unusual and also because I am not a pro player. Im pretty mediocre. So every settlement take and every battle is really something special for me, and not just a chore like it is for many of you pro players. Feel free to offer tips, advice and requests because the campaign is still early and it might be fun to take it in a certain direction.
P.S - Still editing for grammar and such. Please mail me any mistakes. Thank you :)
The unification of the Italian Peninsula was a relatively straightforward affair for Lucius Libo Julius. In command of Legio II Italica he gained fame and notoriety with several lightning strikes against the Estruscan League, costing them the settlements of Velathri, Ariminum, Karalis and Lilybaeum in the space of only 15 years. Through the use of very few high quality troops deployed in tactical formations, victory after victory had come to the Legio II Italica. By the end of the Etruscan Campaign only Rome's loyal ally the Syracuse remained in control of an Italian city – their home settlement of Syracuse. It was to remain that way, for they had taken Carthage at my request after Carthage joined the Etruscans in their war against me. Rome remembers its allies. With Italy unified and Carthage gone, I could cast my eyes outward. As I was rebuilding my armies and constructing towns, Rome's ambitions were brewing. But who would be the target? In the end it was a volunteer who stepped forward.
The Greek Campaign
Near the end of the rebuilding process from the Etruscan Wars, in 250BC the City-State of Athens declared war on Rome – apparently so it could raid the valuable trade routes between Italy and the Ardiaei. I had to respond to such an action and so my elite legion, the Legio II Italica (hereby referred to as the 2nd Legion) boarded their ships and headed for Greece. In 247BC the 2nd Legion landed near Larissa in the south of Greece and were attacked by an Athenian army. Fighting against a different style of war was a shock to the system, as my method of fighting the Etruscans was no use against the Greeks. In battle with the Etruscan League I would send in my Hastati to punch a hole through the Italian Spearman line and pour into the ranged units behind. I tried this in my first Athenian battle and received quite a bloody nose from it – hoplites can stand up to battle far longer than meagre spearmen, especially when lead by a competent and experienced general who could reinforce them with abilities. An urgent flank with some cavalry was repulsed as hoplites moved into place to defend, so they wheeled away and I used my own Velites to rout the Greek peltasts. Lessons learned. As the defeated army retreated into the hills, the 2nd Legion turned and marched to Larissa. It fell without much bother.
By the time came to move on Athens itself, I felt very confident about my abilities and my armies. The 1st Legion was amassing armies in Italy ready for campaign up north and the 2nd Legion were going from strength to strength. Amassing newly invented Praetorians and Legionaries imported from Roma and with an ever growing list of battle honours and unit ranks, the 2nd Legion feared no foe. As if this was not enough, Rome's newest ally the Ardiaei were forging an empire throughout Greece and punching up into Macedonia. A trial by fire for the new Praetorian units came in the siege of Athens which was taken with relatively few losses. One Praetorian unit was cut off and surrounded by several garrison units, falling to 37 men before reinforcements arrived just in time and saw off the attackers, but that was about it. After Athens, Sparta fell soon after and the whole of southern mainland Greece was in Rome's hands. Nothing and no-one could touch me. I was invincible!
Unlike my allies. In the space of a few short years, the Ardiaei were invaded by an alliance of several Macedonian and Thracian factions. Smashed by multiple stacks and hit on all fronts their time was limited. Naturally, I rushed to their defense. By this time the 1st Legion in northern Italy was ready to take the fight to the barbarian primates and so began to head north. Seeing the tiny, insignificant Liguria tribe sitting all alone the 1st Legion had no trouble putting them to the sword and taking Genua for Rome. Victory in the air and in their hearts, the Home Guard moved up to secure Genua and keep the peace while the 1st Legion attacked and took Patavium. And that's when everything went horribly, sickeningly wrong for Rome. That's when the Mediterranean exploded.
Changes in the balance of power:
These two maps show what happened in a few short turns between the end of the Greek Campaign and the beginning of the simultaneous Thracian War and Barbarian Invasion. It is a map of alliances, not factions, which I made with CA's Campaign Map Planner.
Red – Rome
Yellow – Allies
Red – Rome
Yellow – Allies
Blue – Thracians
Green – Barbarians
The Thracian War
War may not be the right word. Frantic, bloody defense and fighting not for victory but for my very survival is a bit long winded, though. Plunging into the Ardiaei and pushing my allies right down against me in southern Greece, an alliance of the factions in Thrace, Illyria, Dacia and Pannonia banded together and brought the party to Rome. Hereby referred to as “the Thracians”, these enemies were like none I had ever encountered. Instead of one faction who I could quickly subdue in a string of blitzkrieg-style battles, I was facing a highly mobile and highly motivated alliance of factions against which there was no quick victory. Up until that point, my entire 2nd Legion – in fact my entire empire – had been built specifically to excel at lightning wars. Yet here I was stuck abroad against wave after wave of Thracian troops. First my far-out and indefensible settlement of Iader fell with little resistance against the Celtic Confederation who had joined in due to events elsewhere in my territories. Then Epi****os which I had reclaimed from those who took it from the Ardiaei fell to the Thracians.
Even with elite-ranked Praetorian and Legionary units, the 2nd Legion were conducting a fighting retreat down towards Larissa, but the Thracians had other ideas. Another, faster Thracian army arrived at Larissa before the 2nd Legion and attacked it. The Greek Guard were residing there ready to defend but the enemy were too much. Defending down to the last man, the Greek Guard made their final stand here against thousands of murderous Thracian troops. Taking down far more than they lost and even killing the enemy general in a last act to give the rest of the empire a chance they were a true credit to Rome.
While my attention was focused on Greece, a Thracian armed force landed in the south of Italy, assaulting Neapolis before I even knew what was happening. In a valiant yet futile defense of the city, my plebs and leves were slaughtered. A city inside Italy itself had fallen to invaders. Fortunately, the Home Guard were stationed in Roma and marched to the rescue – retaking Neapolis and throwing back the Thracian invaders.
Managing to fight its way back to the bottom of Greece, the battered and bruised 2nd Legion took refuge in Athens as Greece burned. What had but a decade ago been a completely safe front was now a sea of Thracian towns pumping out more troops to throw against me. A sudden and very violent barbarian insurgency had erupted in Cisapline and tied up any reinforcements that could have come to the rescue (details to be found in the 'Barbarian Invasion Campaign!) and so it was the 2nd Legion on its own. Spending two years hiding in Athens, the 2nd Legion managed to recruit and refill enough men to replace losses and took back Larissa – swiftly building up the walls to provide greater levies against the Thracian menace. Fortunately for Rome, the Thracians had instead thrown all of their might against the Daorsi, who also had fallen from a collection of settlements to defending their last capital against far greater forces. The 2nd Legion marched north and relieved Delminium, capital of the Daorsi, from the Thracian forces. Allying with Knossos who picked the lesser of two evils in having me as a neighbour instead of the Thracians, the 'Greek Alliance' began to fight back. The Ardiaei, the Daorsi, Knossos and Rome against the Odryssian Kingdom, Tylis, Getae and even the Veneti (fallout from the Barbarian Invasion Campaign). It was a truly epic war. I selected Pella as an alliance war target, and 2 years later Knossos succeeded in taking it, with the Daorsi swooping in to destroy another stack of Thracian troops that were on their way to lift the siege. Seeing such co-operation from allies of convenience was awe-inspiring. A Thracian counter-attack resulted in the destruction of the Ardiaei – my oldest and most treasured ally. Spurred on by grief and hatred, the 2nd Legion marched north and wreaked a terrible vengeance on the Thracian forces, concentrating especially on the Odryssian Kingdom who had struck the killing blow against the Ardiaei. With massive losses, both military and financial, on both sides and with barbarian hordes spilling into mainland Italy I had to end the war quick. I opted for the pen, rather than the sword, and paid heavy fines in order to end the war. Although I had lost my holdings in Illyria and Macedonia, I still retained Larissa, Athens and Sparta which provided me with a lot of tax money. Money which I would sorely need - for Rome itself was in dire peril.
Above: The situation when I made peace with the Thracian alliance. You can clearly see my loss of territory and the annexation of my allies in mainland Greece (technically Macedonia, but I have the nasty habit of calling everything there Greece), and that island of red in southern Greece is what I have left.
The Barbarian Invasion
The Horde Arrives
In taking Patavium, the 1st Legion had lit the fuse on a gunpowder barrel of epic scale. Enraged by my belligerency and fearful for their individual safety, a large confederation of tribes in Cisalpina, Raetia et Noricum, Illyria and Pannonia joined together to create the Celtic Confederation. And boy, were they mad. Army upon army came forth as barbarians poured from the alps in their many thousands. Every time the 1st Legion defeated a four thousand man strong invasion, a six thousand strong invasion force turned up behind it. Until this invasion, the 1st Legion had been a small legion of lower ranked and auxiliary troops more suited to mopping up after the 2nd Legion than taking any individual actions. Fighting the barbarians was meant to have been a training exercise, a fledgling general's dream. But this dream had turned into a nightmare.
Frantically recruiting anything with two legs and a pair of eyes to try and bolster numbers as fast as they were dying, a fourth legion – Legio IV Fretensis – was created in Rome with the aim of recruiting high-quality units and shipping them north to where this massive barbarian horde had the 1st Legion and Home Guard bogged down in constant battles. Because the Thracian Campaign was at its height in Greece, no relief was coming from the elite 2nd Legion or even from the relatively small Greek Guard. Such was the violence and aggression of this mass of tribes, it made the Thracian Campaign look like two children fighting over a tube of smarties.
With things looking dire for Rome, and the barbarians having zero interest in peace talks, the 1st Legion and the Home Guard settled in for a gruelling war of attrition, waiting for something, anything to happen. And it did. In fact, something happened that I would never have even expected was possible, let alone hoped for.
Barbarian Invasion 2.0
Massalia, an expanding tribal nation occupying Provincia west of the Alps, declared war on and invaded the Celtic Confederation. Clearly not giving a single iota of a fudge that the Celtic Confederation was A) Their own culture and B) currently Europe's number 1 superpower, beating the snot out of Europe's now number 2 superpower (me!), Massalia just went ahead and invaded anyway. And even more amazing – they started winning. With the Celtic Confederation smashing their armies against me, they had nothing to stop Massalia from going behind and snapping up some of their territory. They were not doing this for my benefit which I know due to the fact they happily walked past one of my towns being under siege without helping or even making the effort to look like they care, but I was happy with them anyway. A violent, aggressive, opportunistic accidental ally is still an ally! As the Celtic Confederation marched north to deal with this aggressive (and no doubt confusing) attack on their rear, it freed me up to fully recover the 1st Legion and send the Home Guard out to Iader which was being closed in on by a Celtic Confederation army. Upon the arrival of the six unit strong Praetorian Home Guard who now, thanks to the barbarian battles and their veteran, were gold-ranked and more elite than even the 2nd Legion, the Celtic Confederation withdrew their intended invasion force north through the forest towards Segestica which they owned. In a moment of foolish hubris which I still feel angry at myself about to this day, I decided to chase them with my Home Guard. My Home Guard were small and specially-made just to defend towns. They were really good at fighting in small streets where numbers meant nothing and against enemies far away from their general. And here I was sending them to what I was sure was a smashing victory against this army. I even planned to take Segestica with them afterwards. What I actually got was my very own Teutoburg Forest.
Disaster at Segestica
I first knew something had gone horribly wrong when I was marching through the forest and the battle screen came up announcing I had been ambushed. Assuming it was that small army, I felt relief. Then I looked at the balance of power bar and noticed it was entirely red. Then I saw the mega-force that had been hiding in the forested pass like some kind of spider in a web. Oh ****.
Like always, I fought the battle manually. The surprisingly cinematic and immersive cutscene put me into the mind of one of the soldiers as we walked along. As we marched, as we talked, as we made our way to Segestica.....and as we were taken completely by suprise by thousands upon thousands of screaming axemen and spearmen, pouring out of the forest around us like something from a nightmare. Taking command, I immediately formed my elite Praetorians into a tight square in the path as best I could and then watched helplessly as every barbarian that went down was replaced by two more. They just kept coming. Fatigue starting to creep in and the units fell to one hundred men, then seventy five, then fifty. Then my general died and everything collapsed. Seeing the day was lost, one of my units tried to flee. Just one, but that's all it took. In the gap that was left, the barbarians poured in like an almighty flood. Bravely, the remainder of the Home Guard fought back to back until the last man. My most elite and prestigious unit was utterly wiped out by the Celtic Confederation whom they had fought for so long.
I was enraged. I was actually heartbroken. My Home Guard, who had defended the Italian peninsula against the Thracians and stopped the barbarian hordes from swarming into upper Italy, who had saved many a town from a gruesome fate and liberated any that fell to enemy hands......gone. I immediately paid huge fines to end the Thracian campaign and marched the 2nd Legion up towards Segestica. Like an angry, waking dragon they snaked their way through the now peaceful Greece. Except the Daorsi lands which were still getting mauled by pretty much all of Eastern Europe. Sorry Daorsi!
The 2nd Legion arrived to a scene of tranquility. Not a Celtic Confederation army, agent or pet cat in sight. All was quiet. With great worry and trepidition, I marched the 2nd Legion into the same forest in which the Home Guard fell. Suddenly, the battle screen pops up again. I have been ambushed by the same Celtic Confederation army. But this time, the spider had caught a dragon in its web. Gotcha!
The same cinematic screen greeted me and yet the appearance of the Celtic Confederation troops swarming through the forest filled me with glee, not fear. For now I was ready, I was prepared, and this was the 2nd Legion! Putting my Velites into the centre of a huge box of very heavy infantry, I proceeded with the same plan as last time – except with three times the numbers. Without their numerical advantage, the Celtic Confederation troops were massacred and driven off. Vengeance was mine! Or it would be, when I took Segestica. Yes – their second last settlement would fall to me now and that would pay for the Home Guard, for all the dead Romans littering the Cisalpine region, for Iader, for the fallen of the 1st Legion, for everyone who suffered from these hairy, unhygeinic plebs on steroids. I moved up to the outskirts of Segestica with the 2nd Legion and brought the smaller, auxilliary 4th Legion behing me as a rearguard. Once more, my hubris would bring me suffering. I had assumed I had cleared the forest with the 2nd Legion. Assumption is the mother of all mess-ups. Yet another ambush screen, yet another red bar – the 4th were vastly outnumbered by yet more barbarians. This was not going to be pretty.
The barbarians fell upon the unprepared and lower ranked Legionary force with all their might. After a brief battle, the Legion's morale broke and they fled. The barbarians pushed on and another battle commenced in which no Roman soldier survived. Slaughtered in the forest to the last man with nowhere to run.
In retaliation the 2nd Legion assaulted Segestica, to where the ambushers had fled for protection and smashed their way through the feeble garrison to get at the ambusher force led by a vile little man called Bitos, the same general and force who had wiped out the 4th Legion. The enemy were massacred almost to a man, and Bitos was hacked to death by Praetorians as he attempted to flee the field of battle. The entire settlement was razed to the ground and all captives were executed. Losing only 11 men and claiming 614 enemy lives, it was a glorious victory for the 2nd Legion and allowed the souls of the 4th Legion and Home Guard to rest easy knowing that they had been avenged.
Last edited by Piffo; 10-26-2013 at 12:40 AM.
Crunchtime in the Alps
While Massalia were away far north of the Alps causing trouble to my enemies, there still remained a great many barbarian factions putting huge amounts of pressure onto the Cisalpine regions. Deciding that something had to happen now while the Celtic Confederation were distracted, I placed the 1st Legion in the main mountain pass used by the invaders and fortified them. Something had to give in the stalemate and it gave in 189BC when the barbarians from the Helvetii tribe surged forth to assault the mountain fort of the 1st Legion. Two armies comprising almost 4000 barbarian troops poured towards the Legion's fort which contained just half as many Romans. It was a true test of quality vs quantity. So the enemy's numerical advantage would be near useless, the 1st Legion pulled back into the fort. Waiting to see where the enemy was coming from, the 7 Praetorian regiments arranged in a special formation ready for the coming plan. Unlike other past enemies of Rome in this campaign such as the Thracians and Greeks, the Barbarian tribes are not ones to wait and carefully plan. Whereas the Thracians had poured as much ammo into forts as they could before hitting all 3 entrances at once in previous battles, the barbarians were renowned for acting first and thinking second. For this reason, the plan was concocted to take advantage of that fact. My most elite units hid behind the walls near the gates and allowed a large amount of Helvetii warriors into the fort to charge a unit of Legionaries several metres back from the gate entrance. Once most of the enemy's melee troops were inside, the Praetorians all charged into the flanks so that the huge bubble of enemies were fighting on three sides. It was now that the Velites sprung into action pouring javelins into the wavering ranks of the enemy. As a mass rout began, the legionaries and Praetorians surged forth and pushed the advance, cutting down many hundreds of fleeing warriors. The enemy's ranged units were cut down as well as they tried to run.
The other Helvetii army, acting as reinforcements, were now nearly reaching the opposite gate. The legion pulled back inside the fort and repeated the process. In what could be the greatest victory attained in the campaign thus far, the Helvetii lost just over 3000 men compared to the 236 Roman casualties. 444 additional Helvetii were taken prisoner and executed on site.
Buoyed by their success and doubting that they would get another chance like this, the 1st Legion marched down the pass and into the belly of the beast. Attacking the remains of the shattered 'Howling Wolves' Helvetii army, the numbers were 1919 men of the 1st Legion against 5044 Helvetii warriors. If they succeeded, the Cisalpine region would be secured and Italy would know security and peace for the forseeable future. If they failed, the barbarians would swarm down into Italy with only a half-strength resurrected Home Guard to try and stop them. This was it. This battle would decide the future of the Alpine regions. All of Rome held their breath.
Massacre in the Alps - 189BC
At the opening of the battle a speech was given by the legate Servius Drussus reminding the soldiers of Roman values and honour to the gods. After the speech was over, the frozen forest was still of all sound and life. The 1st Legion positioned themselves in a clearing and waited. They did not have to wait long. The forest began to hurl and heave as if it had come alive, but as the bustling got closer it became apparent that a green sea of men, not trees, was flowing like an unstoppable tide towards the Legion's position. The two Helvetii armies had combined and marched into the clearing together. Though low ranked and missing a portion of their men from the previous battle, the Legion stood its ground bravely and watched the approach. Suddenly, the army melted back into the treeline and stayed there – some of them visible just in front of the treeline but the vast majority of their horde hidden within the forest. It looked like it was Rome's turn to do the marching. The Legion were more than happy to oblige.
With two lines of Praetorians in the centre, each comprising of six units, and 3 units of Legionary Cohort on each flank with the Velites behind the Praetorians, the Romans marched into the forest. By this time 10 minutes had passed and no blood had been shed. That was all about to change.
First blood went to the Helvetii, who hurled wave upon wave of javelins and slingshot into the ranks of the advancing Praetorians. At the last moment, the Praetorians charged forward hoping to catch the ranged units off guard, but most of them made it behind the warbands protecting them. Thousands of barbarians armed with spear, sword and axe along with a variety of armour (but mostly almost naked) answered the charge with a charge and the two armies clashed together. Alea Iacta Est. The die is cast. Almost immediately, the 1st Legion got a ray of good luck in the form of an over-rash Helvetii general who decided to charge into the fray. One of the first to smash into the Praetorian lines, he was also one of the first to be cut down. Undeterred, the Helvetii fought on and sent a cavalry detatchment around my flanks in an attempt to run off my Velites. Intercepted by one of my Legionary Cohorts from the right flank, their plan was foiled. Or was it? Using the hole that my Legionary Cohorts had made when they moved, three units of Short Swords leapt out of stealth from the forest and flanked my other two Cohorts. Caught off guard, morale plummeted. With most of the Praetorian central frontline units down to half their strength, the second line charged in.
Suddenly, disaster on the right flank! My remaining two Legionary Cohorts received massive casualties and were wavering. With all of my Praetorian centre committed, a collapsed right flank would be devastating to the battle and would probably cause us a crushing defeat. The centurions of the Cohorts whipped them into shape and obedience, increasing their attack, while reinforcements rushed to the scene – trying to get there before the whipping wore off and fatigue set in, surely resulting in a defeat-causing rout. On the left flank, fortunes were reversed. The enemy troops began to flee, since the Helvetii had rushed many of them to deal with the Praetorians. Rolling up like a carpet, the left flank began to work their way down behind enemy lines, routing one more unit at a time. A second enemy general fell.
Collapses all around. Their right flank and my right flank collapsed at the same time, turning the line vs line into a mosh pit of screaming and blood. Through the dense trees very little could be seen. The Legion's casualties became apparent as units reached quarter strength, and more began to waver. Suddenly, the Helvetii line collapsed into a rout as thousands of enemy troops fell back through the forest, pursued eagerly by the mauled Roman units they had been fighting. Victory was in the air! The Legion split up to hunt the enemy through the forests. Too buoyed by the smell of victory to notice that the battle had not yet been won, I ran into a trap.
A third army had arrived from the western edge. Comprised mainly of javelin units and guarded by a few Short Sword units, they punched into several units of Praetorians who had been pursuing a broken enemy. Suddenly vastly outnumbered and pinned in place by the swordsmen, great swathes began to fall to the javelins. The rest of the Legion reformed and came to the rescue. Eventually, the third army were driven off at large cost to Roman lives. The day was won – but at what cost? I had underestimated the Helvetii from the previous fight and they had either learned lessons or just performed better in their native forests. Constantly probing my defenses and taking advantage of any weaknesses in the line they found, as well as successful hit-and-run attacks from the trees had almost won them the day. In the end, the victory was Roman not because of superior troops or tactics, but because of the early stupidity of one Helvetii general. Even so, one Legionary Cohort was completely wiped out, with several more (along with half of my Praetorian units) down to just a couple of men.
After the bodies were counted, the Helvetii lost 3326 men in that forest compared to my 678. But that 678 cost me dearly. As both an army and a Faction, I depend on quality over quantity and that 678 made up over a third of my force and caused half of my units to be no use for the next few turns. The Helvetii have more where that came from, but the 1st Legion are my only northern Legion after the loss of the IV Fretensis and are suffering from attrition due to the mountainous terrain. It was a stunning victory to be sure, but hard won and costly. The 1st Legion may yet be eradicated.
It was imperative that I capitalise on that victory as soon as possible. Even with the 1st Legion mauled and battered, I had to take the settlement. I would not get a second chance while the Celtic Federation, where most of the barbarian power was held, were distracted with the Massalia in the west and the 2nd Legion in the far east at Segestica. With both armies on their knees, a desperate battle for Octuduron was about to begin.
Once more the battle was to take place in a forest. The enemy had obviously sallied out or chosen to fight where they had the advantage. And they did have the advantage. I could see nothing in the trees. As I marched the Legion into the treeline, I knew the combat would start suddenly and brutally. It did.
Suddenly the air was thick with javelins. Wave after wave after wave plunged into my ranks and they seemed to have about 11 ranged units with quite a large reach. What proceeded was like the opening 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan. The entire Legion surged forward as one, sprinting towards the source of the deluge. Even with shields up and running as fast as they could, my units were taking many casualties. As soon as they collided with the enemy, several units of Celtic Cavalry Mercenaries came charging around the flank and bee-lined for my vulnerable general. Losing my general with my units as such low strength would be a horrifying turn of events. Luckily, my velites were in range and one volley from both of them wiped out 75% of the cavalry charge. Horses littered the field and any that remained bolted in all directions – most being cut down as they fled by passing units. Another unit appeared, merely 20 cavalry but enough to get the job done. This volley took down only two and the cavalry plunged into the ranks of my Velites. In desperation, I sent my General to help. Smashing into the mercenaries, he saw them off but just as the enemy routed another unit of Short Swords came out of hiding nearby and charged my General. Bodyguards fell all around. I suddenly became aware that the Helvetii plan was to assassinate my general on the battlefield and cause my army to rout. A smart tactic that I use regularly – all the more worrying that it was being used against me. My general managed to escape as several of my extremely deplated reserve Legionaries came to his rescue. With the death of the Helvetii general came the death of the Helvetii will to fight. They routed and once more the day was Rome's. Glory was Rome's. Octuduron was Rome's.
Below: The campaign map at this point alliance-wise. At peace with the Thracians, but the place is a tinderbox of hate ready to kick off at any moment.
Red – Rome
Blue – Thracians
Green – Celtic Confederation + Barbarian Alliance
Grey – Massalia
Yellow – Syracuse (Allied)
White – Knossos (Allied)
Stemming the Tide
With most of the barbarian nations now suing for peace with Rome and turning on each other for easier spoils, the Barbarian Invasion is quieting down. Accepting the peace in return for financial compensation (and a break!), I am now only at war with the Celtic Confederation. Their last settlement is Koria which lies to the north, just over the alps. The 1st Legion moves into the valley there facing the last great massed army of the barbarians and fortifies. This had to be a slow, calculated action to pay off. Obviously, Massilia didn't get the memo as they charged in and pulled the 1st Legion into an offensive action. With 2002 Romans, 2130 Massilia troops and 4810 Celtic Federation troops, amounting to 4132 vs 4810 it was going to be a pretty intense battle but a relatively easy one, given that the numeric balance is even.
My Massilian “allies” and I walk onto the map together. I begin setting up formations. Massilia begins hurtling towards the enemy as fast as their barbarian feet can carry them. In typical barbarian style, both my allies and enemies are charging towards each other as fast as they can. Which is exactly what I want. I plan to let them slaughter each other, for Massilia (since they are not my allies) to get wiped out, and then for my Legion to wipe out the tired, battered Celtic Federation army. Brutal, but it is important to remember that Massilia are not my friends and after the Celtic Federation die we will share a border and they are warlike raiders. This way, I know this army isn't going to stroll into Italy in two years time.
Unusually, I notice that Massilia has half of their army as hoplites which are not mercenaries (I assume from some sort of auxilliary system) and half celtic warriors/ranged units. I watch them run into battle, following closely behind but no engaging. The armies collide and turn into a writhing, stabbing mess. No composed lines like civilised nations. Almost enough to make a gentleman sick. Ugh, barbarians.
The first Celtic Federation army is almost entirely put to flight less than a minute into the melee. As they flee, the second Celtic Federation army appears and ambushes the remainder of Massilia's army, putting that to flight and getting hurt in the process. Wonderful. As barbarians mill about on piles of corpses stabbing each other, thousands of Praetorians and Evocati Cohorts appear and roll over everybody. The snow stained red with the blood of savages, the 1st Legion escape relatively unscathed and destroy three barbarian armies in one go.
With their final gasping breaths, the Celtic Federation make one last attempt at driving the Roman and Massilian forces from their last mountain holding. In a cold, foggy forest and with snow falling about them, they made their last stand. Although they succeeded in wiping out the remainder of the Massilia army, they fell to Roman blades. With so few men left to defend their last remaining town it fell without much bother. The war was over. The barbarians were tamed. For now.
Keeping the peace for several years to retrain men and amass money, Rome gazed across to Greece to asses the situation there. It could hardly have been better news. The Thracians, without a common enemy, had turned on each other. The Dacian and Pannonian factions had declared war on the Thracian factions which still owned Macedonia. With internal strife tearing apart Greece the time was perfect for a re-invasion. The time was right for revenge.
The Second Thracian War
Deciding to take out the least powerful and most hated Thracian faction first, the 2nd Legion marched south from Segestica and at the borders of the Daorsi faction offered to declare war on the Odrysian Kingdom in return for military access. They gratefully accepted and allowed the 2nd Legion to march through their lands and onwards towards the enemy. While marching into the Odrysian Kingdom, more and more of the surrounding area became uncovered and I began to worry. The Tylis, who had been a minor Thracian faction during the last war, now owned an empire almost as large as my own stretching through all of Thracia and Macedonia as well as half of Illyria, Dacia and a sizable chunk of Pannonia. Luckily, I witnessed them fighting the Nori which are another very large faction holding lands north of the Alps. Having cancelled trade treaties with me a decade ago I kept a close eye on them. Suprisingly they did not join the barbarian invasion (if they had, things may have gone differently!) but I am still wary. It appears lucky that they are fighting the Tylis though, as it means this large faction cannot concentrate solely on me when the time comes to invade them.
Approaching my current target, the Odrysian Kingdom, I found their last province defended by units of men numbering barely in the double digits. Upon assaulting their town with all of their remaining armies nearby, the count still only came to 2100 Roman vs 652 Odrysian troops. The settlement quickly fell.
Above: The victorious 2nd Italica at Naissos
With the fall of the Odrysian Kingdom, Rome could turn on their main rival. Tylis, the Thracian superpower, owned much territory and mighty armies with highly ranked generals. No doubt this would be a campaign of great bloodshed. While the 2nd Italica had been marching south, the 6th Alaudae Legion was created in Athens and consisted of a balanced range of units, including Evocati, Velites and Legionary Cavalry. For the first time in Rome's history the 6th Alaudae took the unusual step of recruiting 180 gladiators into their ranks. With the 1st Italica and Home Guard positioned in the Cisalpine region in case the huge Nori barbarian tribe attempted to repeat history while Rome was fighting in Thracia, it fell to the elite 2nd Italica and the newly forged 6th Alaudae to defeat the entire Thracian Empire.
The date is 178BC when the Second Thracian War finally begins in full. The 2nd Italica leave Navissos and attack the nearby settlement capital of Pulpudeva, choosing to surround it and build siege equipment. The 6th Alaudae march north from Larissa and lay siege to Pella, also choosing to construct siege equipment. Creating a new legion named the '7th Moesica' in Navissos with the intention of using it as backup anywhere I get bogged down, I decide to wait for the Thracians to make the next move.
In the south, the 6th Alaudae see a Thracian army hurrying to lift the siege on Pella and so decide their best chance is to assault the capital before the reinforcements arrive and push the legion back into Larissa. This new, unblooded legion is about to fight its first battle – the siege of a capital while outnumbered. There is no greater trial by fire.
The Battle for Pella
On the opening of the battle, I realise that Pella is quite small for a capital settlement. Unfortunately, this goes in the favour of my enemies as I cannot split their large numbers up. They can bring their thousands of warriors to bear on any one point in a short space of time. For this reason, I choose to concentrate my full attack on the south side. I aim a ram at the gates and two ladders at the south wall, all of which staffed by Evocati Cohorts as they are far less likely than gladiators to flee when the going gets tough. And it will.
Flaming javelins and other missiles pour down onto my Evocati. Casualties are substantial. To my horror, one of the ladders catches fire and burns up rapidly. The other, although glowing with embers in some spots, reaches the Thracian walls. Evocati climb up successfully and begin cutting down ranged troops. The missile-throwers pull back and fix my Evocati in place by charging one unit into melee and using the rest to rain javelins down on my units. The units approaching the wall in testudo formation do okay, but the cohort fighting in melee takes massive casualties from the javelins. Down to just 40 men and wavering, I begin to fear that my first wave has been repulsed, but suddenly the other Evocati Cohort climbs up the ladder behind them. Glory and honour! This sudden reinforcement bolsters their morale and they fight on. My ram reaches the gates with plumes of black smoke billowing from inside it. Almost fully aflame it still manages to begin smashing the gate. Hundreds of Thracian warriors holding huge two-handed swords amass behind it. As the gates burst open, my gladiators get another ladder to the walls and run up it. The Evocati drop te ram and rush through the gate, pulling the hundreds of two-handed sword-wielding warriors into one huge desperate fight. Elsewhere in Pella my remaining Evocati and gladiators rush to the gate through the inside of the settlement, hurrying to slam into the back of these mighty Thracian swordsmen and rout them. Evocati smash into the right side of the Thracians as the gladiators smash into the left side. The onslaught of the gladiators is brutal and effective. Carving their way into the centre of the Thracian mass, one particular gladiator can be heard shouting 'Die! Die! Die!'. Others are too busy hacking apart the enemy to be able to shout anything. Unsurprisingly, the Thracians break off and rout, pursued eagerly by the gladiators who kill over a hundred fleeing men – seemingly for sport.
Pella falls. Any who run from the gates are chased down and slaughtered by the Legionary Cavalry waiting outside. Only a single Thracian escapes to tell the tale. Tell it he better – Rome has returned and is very, very upset.
A year passes and the siege of Pulpudeva rolls on. For some reason, another Roman family murders the leader of the elite 2nd Italica who are laying siege. Losing all his bonuses and having to recruit a novice in his place is a sore blow to progress.
With the Alps under roman control and forts there all having a good garrison due to buildings, as well as the Home Guard being there should anything happen, the 1st Italica begin their swift march to Thracia. With four legions in Thracia the war should go a lot smoother.
As another year rolls by, disaster strikes the 2nd Italica once more. A Thracian army arrives to lift the siege of Pulpudeva comprised of Oathsworn and many siege weapons. Those ballista would tear the legion apart before we even closed with the enemy and so a retreat was in order to link up with the 7th Moesica as to even the balance and allow an assault on the settlement.
In the south, a Thracian army lands south of Larissa and fortifies. Left to its own devices, it threatens my my rich holdings of Athens, Sparta and Larissa and could ambush a passing weaker legion later on. It had to be dealt with now. The only nearby legion was the 6th Alaudae and so it fell to them to push back the fortified invaders. A small legion and against dug-in forces who had great defensive troops as well as a lot of ranged units – this was going to be difficult.
Last edited by Piffo; 10-27-2013 at 02:46 AM.
Battle of Larissa – 173BC
It is a clear day and the Thracians have fallen back to their fort. Each entrance is blocked with huge amounts of spearmen in a defensive formation. Behind those sat upwards of a thousand ranged units all crammed together. Any unit trying to burst through a gate would have to fight mid-ranked spearmen all the while having a deadly barrage of missiles falling among their ranks.
I decide to attack in all three directions, hoping they'll concentrate all missile fire in decimating an attack at one gate instead of sharing it among all three. The gladiators run in first to act as shock troops and strike the two side gates with Evocati waiting behind along with the Velites who are pouring javelins into the enemy spearmen. In the main gate I send three Evocati cohorts backed up by Legionary cavalry waiting outside and a few more Evocati as backup, waiting with (and guarding) the Velites at this gate as well. This way each gate had Evocati as an iron fist and Velites for support, but the main gate had no gladiators. The Evocati were holding their own at the main gate with the line not moving much at all. It was a slugfest against some Oathsworn who had also rushed in to aid their spearmen. On the sides there was a glass cannon scenario in which the gladiators were cutting their way deep into the enemy ranks but taking massive casualties from the enemy ranged units. Losing half of their unit in approximately 10 seconds, the gladiators began to waver. Several more seconds and a chunk of dead enemies later, the gladiators fled. Few made it out alive – but it had been enough. They had pushed deep enough inside to allow in the first wave of Evocati cohorts in the side. Now it was less of a slug-fest than it was on the front gate as we could have more troops in the fight at once but the Evocati were losing many men to the Thracian swordsmen. At both side gates the first wave of Evocati began to waver due to the ranged units racking up huge amounts of kills. The second wave were sent in which luckily stayed the resolve of the first wave. For now. Success at the side gates was met with disaster at the main one in the form of my Evocati units there beginning to flee. Routing spread like a plague among the nearby units and soon all fled the field of battle whilst being pursued by over-eager Thracians. My cavalry answered with a charge into the Thracians chasing my routing men and rode down a large amount of swordsmen. With the tables suddenly turned it was the Thracian's time to flee and so my cavalry made sure they did not get a chance to turn. Having a change of heart due to this new fortune and my general's intervention, the Evocati rallied and surged through the empty gateway before the enemy had a chance to block it with another unit of spearmen. The Thracians had to divert men away from the side gates to deal with this new threat which allowed the very close fights there to swing in my favour. Soon most of my army were inside the enemy fort and fighting had turned from line against line to a crazed free-for-all in which it was impossible to tell who was winning. Both Roman and Thracian units were pouring out of every gate and running away from the battlefield. Those that remained were each force's most morale-bolstered men. My Evocati against their Oathsworn; both of us down to very few men. My general rode in to keep order and was soon locked in a desperate melee. Suddenly the enemy general fell and the rest of his men lost heart. Almost destroyed, the 6th Alaudae rounded up the prisoners and sold them into slavery. Only the legion's second battle, it had won by a hairs breadth. These rookies were soon becoming honourable heroes of Rome.
Soon after the Battle of Larissa, the 1st Italica landed at Apollonia and stormed it. Defended only by Thracian levy units it fell with little trouble. All that remained of the Thracians now was Thrace itself. Utilising my agents I discovered that the last three Thracian bastions were guarded by three veteran armies. Each had very experienced units – many of which were Oathsworn. With a settlement guarded by towers and walls these posed a serious threat even to the warriors of the 2nd Italica. Seeing one of the armies leave the settlement, the 2nd Italica pounced on what they were certain to be an easy kill but the Thracians fought tooth and claw – repeatedly flanking and feinting to inflict maximum casualties on to their Roman invaders. At one point during the battle, it seemed as if a Thracian victory was certain. By grace of Jupiter it was not so! A well-timed charge by my general earned some Praetorians a bit of breathing space and allowed them to rush to the aid of a collapsing flank. ******ing victory from the jaws of defeat, the 2nd Italica severely bloodied one of the veteran Thracian armies but at a huge cost. It was named a costly victory but in relation to how far away the Legion were from high-quality reinforcements it was a Phyrric one at best. The gold-ranked Legionary Cavalry and several units of gold-ranked Legionaries and Praetorians had been completely wiped out, along with several siege weapons newly constructed for the planned assault on Pulpudeva – the Thracian capital. The air of invincibility the 2nd Italica had owned since the rise of Rome had been shattered.
After securing Macedonia, the 6th Alaudae, having mostly recovered from its assault on the entrenched Thracians, risked a forced march deep into Thracia around Pulpudeva to attack Antheia which was undefended due to its defending army taking to the sea and heading around behind my Legions – probably with the same plan in mind. Antheia fell with ease.
Above: A garrison defends Athens from a Thracian assault during the Second Thracian War
At the worst possible moment a Thracian rebellion erupted at Naissos which had to be put down by the 7th Moesica who were about to lay siege to Pulpudeva. Once more it was spared by a strike of luck. After only a single year of replacing losses for the 2nd Italica they took advantage of a gap in the Thracian defense by striking at the now unprotected Pulpudeva. Guarded by only six small, untrained units the previously insurmountable Thracian capital fell to the might of Rome. The army that was stationed there fell upon the Roman city of Brundisium but were repulsed by the prepared and forewarned defenders. The enemy general was last seen alone in the middle of an angry mob, swinging his sword to try and keep the enraged plebs back. He did not succeed and was instead stabbed to death by over 180 furious citizens in the middle of the street.
Above: The Thracians land at Brundisium
Above: The enemy general seconds before succumbing to mob justice.
Ironically, the last Thracian settlement did not fall into the hands of Rome, but into the hands of their ex-allies the Getae. Hammered on all sides and betrayed by its allies, the Thracians had succumbed to the fate that Rome almost did such a short time ago. With this act the Second Thracian War came to a decisive close. Now came the period of peace and rebuilding – Thracia and Macedonia had been devastated by the fighting and had to be completely rebuilt. Double so for the legions. With Africa and Asia being secured by strong allies growing ever outward, Rome had a choice – to conquer northwards and bring the shining light of civilisation to the crippling darkness that is the barbarian lands, or push west into the Iberian Peninsula? With Massilia acting as a cork, cutting off the Iberian Peninsula it seemed an easy decision – destroy the barbarian menace. But first, there was a new threat to Rome to deal with. While distracted with the fighting in Thracia and Macedonia, Rome had not been looking north. The Nori tribe had grown yet bigger and was becoming an empire in its own right. With large, experienced armies conquering yet more territory it is time for Rome to nip this in the bud lest they get ideas of challenging Roman power.
Above: How the power is balanced now.
Red – Rome
Yellow – Allies
Brown – Nori
Green – Barbarians
Purple – Massilia (who are an ally but one I in no way trust and aim to put to the sword one day, hence the colour change!)
The One-Year War
Dubbed the One-Year War by its participants, the 365-day long conflict ended as abruptly as it began. With several Roman legions ready to fall upon key Nori cities waiting only for the declaration of war, the Borii tribe from north of the Nori sent an emissary to Rome. Offering a small fortune they requested that Rome help them fight the Nori in return. Rome was more than happy to oblige since it was their plan to move on the Nori almost immediately. As soon as they heard the news, the Boii marched their armies into the Nori lands and defeated several key Nori armies before besieging or taking 4 of their 6 cities. Rome marched in soon after and took the remaining 2 Nori settlements which were not under siege. Within one year all Nori settlements had fallen or were about to fall. What had been a huge empire had fallen in the blink of an eye. What should have been a cause of celebration would soon be a cause for alarm. Rome saw a power as great as their own erased by the machinations of their neighbours. The same could happen to themselves. Trust in their neighbours was knocked. Rome broke their alliance with Syracuse with plans to remove someone so close to Roma and so increase security. Unfortunately, as future events would show, it did exactly the opposite.
“People should know when they're conquered” - Quintus, Gladiator (2000)
While Rome's back was turned installing law and order to the barbaric Nori, a young Thracian named Diadumenus took the opportunity to rally his countrymen in the Dacian-owned province of Odessos. After falling upon a small Dacian army in the area and putting that to the sword, Diadumenus and his men stormed the settlement of Odessos and overpowered the defenders. He then reinstated the Odrysian Kingdom with himself as King. Having had quite enough of the Thracians, a young Roman general by the name of Lucius Verus took the legion and marched them up to Odessos.
Upon arrival, reports indicated that Diadumenus was a very experienced soldier and had a bodyguard of the very best warriors Thrace had to offer. Each a veteran of multiple wars and with considerable experience, his falx-wielding noble bodyguard were truly a force to be reckoned with. Less armoured but with just as devastating weaponry and extensive experience were the rest of the rebellious Thracians. Fearless and utterly undaunted by the Roman force that opposed them, the Thracian rebels roared, cheered and joked among each other on the subject of collecting Roman heads. Such can be expected of barbaric peoples.
A three-pronged attack commenced in which the Evocati assaulted the main gate, spearheaded by the ever bloodthirsty murderers, thieves and other assorted scum of the Gladiators. While the battle for the main gate was underway, the Legionary Cavalry charged the rear gate guarded by the Thracian Cavalry. The screams of both men and horse rent the air as the two clashed and casualties mounted on both sides. Eventually the Legionary Cavalry, being heavier armoured and accustomed to such melees, emerged victorious and pushed on inside the settlement. As they were riding on they were surprised by a group of roaring savages surging forth from a side street. It was Diadumenus and his men! Diadumenus himself scored the first kill – slicing a cavalryman almost clean in half with his mighty blade. Tactically withdrawing from a fight they could not hope to win, the Legionary Cavalry moved behind the Evocati cohorts who had broken through the middle gate where there were very few defenders. The Evocati charged. Once again Diadumenus scored the first kill – spearing an Evocati soldier straight through the face and out the back of his helmet. He cut down another Evocati seconds later, pushing forward as his nobles followed him. Carving their way through the Evocati, this elite band of Thracian bodyguards protecting their rebel King were on the brink of pushing the Roman forces right back through the middle gate. Suddenly, a band of semi-naked men with full helms and a variety of crude weapons appeared around behind the Diadumenus and his men. Not Thracians, no, but some of Rome's most unorthodox soldiers. The Gladiators slammed into the back of the bodyguards and went on a killing spree. It was at this point that even the most stalwart noble began to worry. Their worries came to fruition when Diadumenus, cutting down yet another Evocati soldier, was grabbed by a Gladiator and had a gladius rammed into his midsection. Sinking to his knees, Diadumenus gazed around at his fleeing forces and of the Romans cutting them down. Seeing his fledgling kingdom overcome by his old enemy he slowly tipped to the side and fell down. He did not rise again.
Above: Roman troops approach the Thracian gates
Above: Diadumenus and his bodyguard
Above: Diadumenus and his men fighting off an Evocati charge
The sense of elation and glory at having put down this uprising was short lived. A desperate messenger arrived from the Italian Peninsula with dire news. The senate had declared the House of Julia an enemy of the state and had raised ten full strength legions – together numbering approximately 25,000 men. 25,000 fully armed and armoured, battle trained, high rank, elite Roman troops. They intended to send them to capture and kill non-Senate generals and armies and to capture all true Roman settlements. There would be no peace, no surrender and no quarter. This would be Total War!
Last edited by Piffo; 10-28-2013 at 02:11 AM.
The Roman Civil War
The Fall of Italy
As soon as news arrived that the cowardly Senate had turned on their own people, the true sons of Rome called for revenge and justice. These heretical cowards had shown they could not be trusted. The only option the Julia had would be to defeat these vermin in battle and eradicate all traces of the senate. Rome could no longer be controlled by a group of clucking old roosters growing fat and bald on the hard work of other true Romans. Rome needed a single leader, a strong, glorious leader – perhaps a strong, glorious Julia leader? Yes, it would be so! But first this war needed to be won.
Straight away two new Loyalist legions were raised in Greece. The 7th Rapax Legion and the 9th Thracica. They began recruiting a resistance force immediately. The troops of the elite 2nd Italica, more outraged than most apparently, renamed themselves to the 2nd Augusta. The 1st Italica kept their name.
The heretical Senate wasted no time sitting in Roma and instantly spread out in all directions, taking the Italian Peninsula with little resistance. All settlements bravely resisted and remained true to their honour but were slaughtered by the elite Senatorial armies. The garrison force led by Faustus Tubero went down in particular glory by killing the most heretical Senatorial soldiers out of all the doomed resistances. He completely eradicated a whole unit of Legionaries and personally struck down a Praetorian standard-bearer.
Above: The last stand at Ariminum by Faustus Tubero. Here we see a loyal son of Rome striking down a traitor.
Having murdered thousands of their own countrymen and torn their empire in two, the Senate were truly less than insects. They had forgotten one thing, though. The Julia do not forgive and certainly never forget. Although Italy had fallen, a liberation force was already on its way from Greece. Gnaeus Scaeva led the Minerva Legion who had slaughtered most of the settlements. He was the Loyalists' #1 target. He would fall. Honour demanded it.
With the Senate surging up the Italian Peninsula, the 10th Veneria Legion were raised in Brundisium which had yet to be taken, and issued a call to arms to all past heroes of Rome. A great many Evocati who were outraged at the Senate joined up. The 1st Italica also sailed around the foot of Italy and garrisoned Neopolis which was a stone's throw from Rome. The 11th Pannonica were raised at Segestica and began recruiting barbarians from the local tribes. Offered citizenship and land – many joined up.
With the elite 2nd Augusta and the 7th Moesica guarding the only path into Greece, every legion within Greece, Macedonia and Thracia hurried to rally at that point. With 19,000 Praetorians and Legionaries of the Senate and 8,000 fortified Loyalists all within a year's march from each other this could prove to be a deciding battle in the future of not only Rome but all of Europe.
As most of the Senatorial armies march south to deal with the 1st Italica who are harassing their southern holdings they leave only one legion, the 9th Herculia, to defend recently conquered Patavium. Taking advantage of this weakness in the defense of the heretics I move the 2nd Augusta, 7th Moesica, 9th Pannonica and 6th Alaudae towards Patavium. This time it is I swarming down from the Alps to spill Roman blood – albeit reluctantly. The 1st Italica abandons the indefensible Neapolis as 3 senatorial legions approach, moving to the strongly walled Brundisium where it stands a chance. Only the 8th Rapax and 9th Thracica remain outside of the Italian Peninsula still gathering troops in Greece and Thrace. This is lucky, for several full Senatorial legions take to the waves and head for mainland Greece. This opened up an opportunity to take Patavium back which the Loyalist legions did not pass up. Proceeding into mainland Italy the Loyalist legions retook Ariminum and Neapolis which left only Rome to liberate. The Senate had moved all of their forces East to take Iader and Segestica – both minor and poor settlements. Many traitors began to desert their legions.
Up until now no large battles had been fought – only garrison armies defending settlements swapped from side to side. That was all about to change.
The Siege of Rome
The Senate. Those vile, disgusting, spineless worms. It all started here. Rome. Such a beautiful city corrupted by such filth. It had to be liberated. It was defended by the Senate's best soldiers, the 3rd Ferrata, and yet that changed nothing. The elite 2nd Augusta besieged the city, while the 6th Alaudae, 7th Moesica and the Home Guard moved in behind as support. At the order of Gnaeus Manlius Florus, Legate of the 2nd Augusta, the attack commenced. 7300 Loyalist men arrayed themselves for battle. 4000 heretics stood before them and cowered before the city walls. The 2nd Augusta did not wait for them to come out – they were going to bring the party to them.
The ballistae array in front of the mighty bridged gate and begin firing volleys. The gate is soon down which causes heretics to fall from the gatehouse to their deaths as an added bonus. Taking their time, the ballistae also destroy the two mighty towers overlooking the gateway. The way is clear.
Above: Knock knock! Who's there? The 2nd Augusta!
The Evocati cohorts charge into the fray. Utilising the staircase on the inside of the wall, the Evocati mount the walls of Rome and slaughter the leves they find there. Not a single man is spared. The fury of the 2nd Augusta has not so much been sent forth as it has been unleashed. Pouring into the city like a swarm of angry insects, the 2nd Augusta execute all in their path. In the centre of the city the Senate's elite 3rd Ferrata stand as still as stone – they may be heretics but they are at least professional about it. The Evocati of the 2nd Augusta walk slowly towards their blue-clad adversaries. Suddenly, the Senatorial troops charge and the Loyalist warriors return in kind. The lines clash with a roar and swords flash through the air. The Roman Empire's finest warriors cut each other apart in the streets which now run red with the blood of Loyalist and Traitor alike. The swords of the true Sons of Rome prevail and the traitors are sent reeling back up a long, sloping street. Yet more traitors come down, but the men of the 6th Alaudae have arrived and now pour into the city too. Pushed further and further back, the dogs of the Senate fall beneath our swords. Suddenly he appears – the enemy general. He dares show his face and inspire his men? Such audacity from one so corrupted! Taken by surprise from an Evocati charge, true Roman soldiers drag him from his horse and slaughter him like the animal he is right in the middle of the street. Not a bodyguard survives. Soldiers cheer and roar. Just one group of enemy remains – the plebs. A Roman citizen is sacred, but all true Roman citizens stayed in their homes and did not help the Senate. All of the dagger-wielding citizens are put to the sword. Rome is liberated.
The Battle of Delminium
The Senatorial 9th Herculia which are beseiging Delminium decide to assault the fortifications. Outnumbering the defenders 3 to 1 they are sure to capture the settlement – but the 8th Rapax there plan to bloody the nose of the traitors before their demise.
The Evocati form a hollow box around the gate, as to hit the enemy on three sides once they break through. Luckily, the 8th Rapax were in possession of a ballista which is deployed behind the gate and has been given strict orders to target the enemy general, Sextus Rullus, wherever possible. The traitors must pay for Delminium with their blood! And pay heavy!
The battle begins. Enemy ballistae ravage the defenders on the walls and almost kill the Rapax general with a rogue shot. The enemy ladders reach the walls and enemy Evocati begin to climb. Rapax Evocati rush there from the gate to greet them. Brother slays brother on the walls and some of the dead fall to the ground below. Loyalist troops get the better of the occasion and drive the invaders back. More enemy Evocati march towards the fortifications. Thousands of enemy troops swell outside the gates and throw torches to try and burn their way inside. The traitor general rides in range of loyalist ballistae in an attempt to inspire his troops but is forced to turn around as burning fireballs explode around him. For reasons known only to them, the enemy ballistae team abandons their weapons and decide to scale the walls and engage in hand-to-hand combat. Determined to out-crazy the enemy, one of my Evocati cohorts runs through the gates outside to engage the enemy, ignoring all orders to come back. Eventually they come to their senses and pour back inside the gates. The enemy ballistae team, however, remain without senses and complete their scaling of the ladders on the wall. Contrary to what they believed they were not capable of defeating the Evocati above.
The gates are down! Praetorian Guard in testudo formation slowly make their way inside whilst being harried by javelins and flaming arrows. The Rorarii hold the gate whilst the Evocati who still stand reform the box formation.
Above: Senatorial Praetorian Guard assault the main gate
It is not long before the Rorarii break. The elite enemy Praetorians pour inside. My Evocati hold for a while but eventually begin to perish. Two units of Auxilliary Citizen Cavalry charge and withdraw and charge again, repeating the action against the mass of enemies to encourage a rout. Some do, but most stay. The general joins in this action, risking his life.
Above: The last charge of the Citizen Cavalry
Eventually all but the general fall and so he rides back to the city centre and, with the rest of his bodyguard, dismounts. He commits to a final charge against the Praetorians, Evocati and Legionaries swarming up the main street. His last act was one of valour. Delminium falls, but at huge cost to the enemy. Losing 1083 men and killing 1278 of the enemy, it was a sore blow to the 9th Herculia. Even more so, since the 9th Thracica were on their way to take back the settlement right away.
Above: Delminium was costly for both sides
The Great Ambuscade
With the 9th Herculia otherwise engaged, a fleet arrives at Delminium containing the 2nd Augusta who swiftly storm the settlement and put the Senate's 1st Italica (not to be confused with my loyal 1st Italica) to the sword. With all but one settlement taken back and most settlements in marching range of their legions garrisoned, the Senate become desperate. Splitting their legions up, they beeline for unprotected settlements. However, many of my legions predict this and set up ambushes in mountain passes and forests. Time and again Senatorial legions such as the 2nd Rapax, 7th Equestris and 8th Liberatrix all enter forests and valleys and are never heard from again. The Senatorial legion of the 5th Victrix are wiped out by a force of barbarian mercenaries at the same location near Segestica in which two other Roman legions had been lost in a similar way. No captives from any traitor legion are set free or enslaved. It was a busy year for the executioner. It is not long before all of the Senate's troops are hunted down and eradicated.
To make sure that in future Rome can raise armies a lot faster to face new threats, the Julia decide not to instate an emperor. The love of the people is a more valuable tool than the fear of the people. Besides, the senate can always be....persuaded...to see our point of view.
THE NEXT INSTALLMENT IS LOCATED IN THE MIDDLE OF PAGE 5 DUE TO SPACE RESTRICTIONS )
THE INSTALLMENT AFTER THAT IS LOCATED ON PAGE 7
REPORT FINALE - PAGE 7 ALSO
Last edited by Piffo; 11-02-2013 at 08:55 PM.
Seems like a pretty fun and interesting campaign!
Originally Posted by Empire_Rule
That explains a lot!
Originally Posted by Caddius
Uh oh. I haven't declared war on them yet (that comes when I play tonight) but it sounds like they will be a difficult foe. Yay! I am very, very worried about triggering another barbarian alliance because if I am fighting the Nori in the North-East and the now rather sizable Arveni (not shown on my maps) in the North-West it's going to be like that Jerusalem scene out of World War Z for my Alps settlements.
Originally Posted by Caddius
to long didnt read not a chance
i prefer to play my own game ive never understood why anyone would watch another person play a video game o.O good read for some maybe i guess and fun to type out im open to receive suggestions and experience but yeah its like a novel !