We Three Kings
- a Vae Victis multiplayer AAR -
It is written in the scrolls that mighty Egypt, eternal Egypt, ancient Egypt of the Pharaohs, modern Egypt of the Ptolemys conquered all the known world, extending its dominance from the Pillars of Heracles where in antiquity stood Atlas Telamon, to the borders of India where even great Alexander had halted.
Why is this written, the modern scholar might ask? Because the Egyptians were the ones doing most of the the writing, that's why, and they were never shy about interpreting their observations in ways their rulers preferred. That is why every minor setback is constantly proclaimed a truly horrific loss, only to be followed by completely unanticipated major victories, which could (obviously) only be ascribed to providence or their deified rulers. This may seem unusual to the initiate, but is essential to the understanding of the school of “Woe Is Me” literature, which long outlasted the Ptolemys – the hard work of portraying the richest, most advanced, and most powerful nation in the world as an underdog. If we had on hand one of the scribes responsible for such a miserable performance in this day and age, he would probably claim that “God made me do it” - fully justified, as was the case, due to the deification of their rulers.
The dearth of other sources of European history from those days has traditionally been explained by the regression of the Hellenistic world outside Egypt and the poor standards of record keeping in the Roman Republic, which, while it did share centre stage on the world scene for a century or two, ultimately came to nothing and left no worthy remains – proof positive that republicanism does not work in practice.
During the recent peace treaty, however, I have managed to gain access to the “Secret History of Pontus” - for long a state secret of Pontus and which document's very existence was only confirmed a decade ago, which hints at a deliberate regression to pre-literate status for most of the people under the sway of Pontus – and an intrepid adventuring archaeologist managed to obtain what appears to be an original unexpurgated copy of “Blasted Numidia” including the seven heretic chapters, the uncensored love instructions for the proper worship of Tanit, and all the denunciations by the clergy of Baal Hammon, which, if its mad ramblings can be considered in any way a trustworthy source (hardly likely), gives another view of the “Incidents Past The Sea” than any that has been proposed prior to this.
I will illustrate with a few chapters starting from the time that the respective narratives intersect, the year AUC 562. Pontus is a speck of dust, Egypt greedily eyes the failing Seleucid Empire, Numidia is poised to push the Carthaginian state into the sea, and across the sea Rome is strengthening its grip on Hispania.
And we are set to go. Vae Victis 2.1 with the unofficial Hotfixes 2.14b and egyptian missions fix on normal difficulty.
The set up is the AUC 562 bookmark, but due to excessive clicking back and forth between bookmarks when trying to decide what to play, some provinces have had their triple (cit, fre, slav) seriously messed up (most citizens turned to freemen, most freemen to slaves). This appears to have primarily affected Numidia – Pontus and Egypt appear to be entirely unaffected.
This is not a particularly cut-throat game, in fact, you could say that we are all incredibly peaceful and shy of conflict. In addition, with the exception of Jarkko, we are pretty incompetent at playing Rome with VV since we had only touched it for a week or three prior to starting this game, so don't expect any military campaigns to make you shiver with awe. Rather, expect stubbornness beyond sanity or reason as we try to outstubborn the AI without looking too frail in the eyes of the other two players.
Three players, each a king in his own right, means that any inter-player conflict will almost inevitably end up as a 2v1 war, and we will undoubtedly try to go very, very, far to avoid being the one triggering such a war.
We play one session per week (if nothing interferes), and will faithfully and almost entirely without any deliberate propaganda* describe the unfolding history as seen from our particular view.
- Eternal Egypt – Jarkko Suvinen
- Blasted Numidia – Peter Ebbesen
- Upstart Pontus – Wyvern
* Yes, I am lying here. Just wait for Jarkko “The Trumpet of Truth” Suvinen to start weeping about the mess he is in. Just like the old days of EU2 MP AARs.