• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Selzro

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How is the cultural map at this point? Are you hellenizing the world?
Most of the regions I've been taking were either Greek to begin with or colonies, that got Greek culture once they were set up. I'll take a look at the culture map when I get back to the game (is there even such a mapmode? I've noticed one for religions, but not for cultures).

Now take Rome before game ends, How many years are there even left?
I think the game ends in 727AVC, which would mean the Achaean Empire has another 68 years left to become the dominant world power. I doubt that's anywhere nearly enough to take Rome, with all those Roman provinces in Gaul...
 

BBBD316

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Awesome revival of the Greeks!

Hail the Emperor! Now outmatch Alexander's empire.
 

Polish Eagle

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Great AAR, good to see some love for Rome, a great game.
 

Selzro

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Great AAR, good to see some love for Rome, a great game.
Thanks! It's odd, I had grown accustomed to hearing of EU Rome as one of Paradox's less successful games, and the demo didn't appeal to me much when I first played it, but now that I finally got the full game (plus the expansion) I'm loving it.

Awesome revival of the Greeks!

Hail the Emperor! Now outmatch Alexander's empire.
I may try! But war exhaustion is high, so it might be prudent not to. Sorry for the lack of updates, work has been unusually tough lately and right now I'm in Belgium for a conference, so I won't be able to play again until I get back home, in about a week.
 

Poor Student84

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Selzro, this is a gripping AAR, thank you for keeping it going, it's well written and an enthralling campaign in its own right. I really feared for you when the Seleucids got that foothold to your North and started setting up colonies. Later on it looked as though the delicate balance of power between the Seleucids and Egypt had shifted dangerously in favour of Egypt but you're beginning to match them. The collapse of Rome's empire during the Second Punic War has been fascinating. Now that you've drawn yourself into direct conflict with their interests you must hover up as much of the breakaway parts as you can.

Those provinces in North Africa leave you very vulnerable. Carthage are in a great position once they recover their manpower. They've kept everything and have free reign to expand their empire in Iberia and your provinces there put you in their line of fire. Between Egypt, Rome and Carthage you've got your hands full. Can't wait to see how this plays out.
 

Dr.Livingstone

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Selzro, this is a gripping AAR, thank you for keeping it going, it's well written and an enthralling campaign in its own right. I really feared for you when the Seleucids got that foothold to your North and started setting up colonies. Later on it looked as though the delicate balance of power between the Seleucids and Egypt had shifted dangerously in favour of Egypt but you're beginning to match them. The collapse of Rome's empire during the Second Punic War has been fascinating. Now that you've drawn yourself into direct conflict with their interests you must hover up as much of the breakaway parts as you can.

Those provinces in North Africa leave you very vulnerable. Carthage are in a great position once they recover their manpower. They've kept everything and have free reign to expand their empire in Iberia and your provinces there put you in their line of fire. Between Egypt, Rome and Carthage you've got your hands full. Can't wait to see how this plays out.
I agree, this is one of the better AARs that I've seen for awhile. Keep up the good work.
 

tnick0225

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Just read through this tonight, and it was quite enjoyable Selzro! One of the first I've stumbled upon that was enjoyable and easy to get into.

Can't wait to see how things conclude...too bad Rome didn't disintegrate a little bit more though.
 

alxeu

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I'm reading.
 

Selzro

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Selzro, this is a gripping AAR, thank you for keeping it going, it's well written and an enthralling campaign in its own right. I really feared for you when the Seleucids got that foothold to your North and started setting up colonies. Later on it looked as though the delicate balance of power between the Seleucids and Egypt had shifted dangerously in favour of Egypt but you're beginning to match them. The collapse of Rome's empire during the Second Punic War has been fascinating. Now that you've drawn yourself into direct conflict with their interests you must hover up as much of the breakaway parts as you can.

Those provinces in North Africa leave you very vulnerable. Carthage are in a great position once they recover their manpower. They've kept everything and have free reign to expand their empire in Iberia and your provinces there put you in their line of fire. Between Egypt, Rome and Carthage you've got your hands full. Can't wait to see how this plays out.
Thanks! My situation in Cyrenaica is less vulnerable than it looks. I only border a single Carthaginian province, and the Carthaginians have no claims on me. Also, my navy is supreme and can easily ferry troops from Europe to Africa, with no risk of the Carthagians attacking me in Europe. Rome, now, has naturally taken to disliking me, but it will take a long time for it to regain its strength, and it doesn't seem likely to ally with either Carthage or Egypt. The only significant risk is if it attacks me while I'm busy fighting Egypt, but that hasn't happened yet.

I agree, this is one of the better AARs that I've seen for awhile. Keep up the good work.
Thank you for your praise!

Wait, what? A Paradox title I have not heard of? Fantastic... now I will lose more real life and my marriage will decline yet more. This is all your fault for introducing me to it, Selzro lol.
Oh no, what have I done?! It's not as fun as I make it out to be. It's really, ah... boring. Yeah, boring and tedious. You don't want to get involved with it.

Just read through this tonight, and it was quite enjoyable Selzro! One of the first I've stumbled upon that was enjoyable and easy to get into.

Can't wait to see how things conclude...too bad Rome didn't disintegrate a little bit more though.
Thank you! Rome pretty much lost its potential to be the number one power due to the Second Punic War. It will regain its strength, eventually, but in the meantime the Achaean League is consolidating its power, while making sure Egypt is kept from dominating the east.

I'm reading.
And I'm writing!
 

Selzro

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XII. The Early Reign of Aratus II

It would seem that the gods had a strange design planned out for the Peneid family, since fate always conspired to make grandsons inherit the throne from their grandparents, always at a young age.



The succession was not uniformly accepted. Ikesios Timolid, archon of Magna Graecia, was an independent-minded governor who disdained Aratus. Thus he made an ill-planned bid for independence, which was quickly suppressed.



Aratus had inherited a war with Parthia over some Seleucid territories, which he was loathe to continue. Therefore, he negotiated a peace treaty, which saw the Achaeans pay a paltry sum of talents to the Parthians. War exhaustion was high in the Achaean Empire, after Ephron’s many wars in the east, and young Aratus had resolved to bring peace to his expansive realm. He could not, however, allow the Romans to expand in the border provinces unchecked. Thus, when the latter declared war on the Raetians, an Achaean army rushed to Raetia and secured its submission before the Romans could claim their prize. This caused considerable upheaval in the empire, since there was no casus belli for such behaviour, but Aratus felt that sending a message to the Roman Senate this way superseded the rules of diplomatic conduct. Three years later, the Romans made their next move, declaring war on the Magna Graecian League. Although they were within their rights to reclaim those culturally Roman lands, Aratus still sent the Achaean armies on an unjustified war on the Magna Graecians. This checked Roman designs, since they restricted their conquests to Samnium.



But with Achaean forces busy in Italy, Egypt once again brought war to the hapless Seleucids, prompting Rhodes to come to its allies’ aid and to call the Achaean Empire into the conflict.



The war lasted five years, far longer than the peace-minded Aratus would have preferred, but the Achaean armies proved their mettle by decisively defeating the Egyptian military on land and sea.



This forced the Pharaoh to cede large parts of Libya to the Achaean Empire.



After that, Aratus’ dream of peace was finally realized. Many Egyptian generals who had been captured during the war were graciously released, as part of an orchestrated effort to improve relations with Egypt and create stability in the eastern Mediterranean. For what greater goal could an emperor as renowned for his righteousness as Aratus pursue? The gods rewarded his efforts by inspiring the Pharaoh to see things his way.



While a new power structure was being set up in the east, civil war wracked the west.



However, even with the gods’ best plans for this earth, men’s intentions will often turn to baser impulses. The desire for wealth, power or revenge will poison even friends’ minds against their benefactors, and that was what prompted the Pharaoh to break off the alliance and declare war on the Achaean Empire in 682AVC. Or perhaps that was his devious intent all along. But the Achaean armies were stronger than ever, and up to the task of handling the perfidious Egyptians.



Many wars fought against Egypt in the past were hampered by manpower shortages, since the Achaean League often had little opportunity to replenish its losses in its short years of peace. But the new imperial army could count on hundreds of thousands of fresh recruits, and so several new armies were formed, while the Egyptians attacked in vain. Soon, Achaean forces were on the offensive in both Asia and Egypt, and within three years most of Egypt had fallen, including the capital, Alexandria. There were those at Aratus’ court who proposed a grand offensive in Asia, in order to crush Egyptian power for the next generation and take multiple provinces away from the Pharaoh. But Aratus reminded them that the gods favour those who show restraint, not greed. Thus, the war was ended with the ceding of a single Libyan province to the Achaean Empire, as well as the dropping of all Egyptian claims on Achaean lands.



Aratus’ handling of the peace negotiations had a polarizing effect on the Achaean nobility. Many were content to see their emperor pursue the path of reason and peace, but others, who had been winning glory for themselves on the field of battle, thought this was a way to clip their wings. And indeed, in the months after the end of the war there were sweeping reforms in the army’s leadership, which forced many popular generals into an early retirement. The disgruntled nobles started circulating disparaging rumours against Aratus, which was not helped by Aratus getting a divorce from his wife of many years, Athenais, and his marriage, the very next month, to a 16-year old named Hypatia.



Be that as it may, 25 years into Aratus’ reign, the Achaean Empire towered over the other states of the Mediterranean in almost every sense conceivable, its power unassailable, its knowledge supreme, its wealth immense, its stability unshakeable.



Its size, no less, would have been impressive enough on its own, even if the empire lacked all its other qualities.



Many felt that the Aratus was becoming complacent, but he had little inclination to make the effort to prove them wrong.
 

Selzro

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Next target, exponential growth.
Hm, that might be achievable if it weren't for the limited amount of provinces you can get out of each peace deal and the limited number of hostile factions...
 

Selzro

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XIII. The Great War of Aratus II

Aratus had been emperor for a quarter of a century, and a successful emperor at that, but his popularity was waning. His attempts to create a power structure that would ensure lasting peace had failed spectacularly and, while the east was turbulent, Rome and Carthage slowly recovered from their long war in the west. It was then that, as had happened so many times in the past, Parthia declared war on the Seleucid Empire, which called in its ally, Rhodes, which called in its ally, the Achaean Empire.



The Parthians were a constant headache for the Seleucids, who could do little to counter them directly because their movements were restricted by the Egyptian ownership of Babylon, but they were far weaker, militarily and technologically, than the Achaean Empire. So Aratus negotiated military access through the Egyptian territories and dispatched four armies from Libya, which sailed to Phoenice and then marched to the Seleucid-Parthian border. The Achaean soldiers were well trained and equipped, but not equally well led. The reforms Aratus had recently instated in the army’s leadership had left many armies without notable generals, and those four were no exception. In their opening clashes with Parthian forces, this led to a high toll in Achaean blood, and significant political backlash for Aratus at home. Left with little choice in the matter, Aratus recalled from retirement Lysander Proctid, an excellent general but also eminently disloyal, and showered him with money and promises of future riches, to ensure his cooperation. Under his leadership, the Achaean expeditionary force managed to regroup and push into Parthia itself, where it overcame the Parthians’ attempts to repel it.



Battles raged around the border for another year, until the Parthians made a white peace with the Seleucids. But they remained at war with the Achaean Empire, so the fight continued. A desperate Parthian attempt to move a strong army through Egypt and threaten Achaean holdings in Libya failed spectacularly when the Achaean navy moved fresh forces into that region.

Days later, the Parthian High Priest accepted Aratus’ peace offer, where the Parthians gave up their claims to all Seleucid lands and paid a small, symbolic indemnity to the Achaean treasury.



But while the Achaean army was busy with its Parthian adventure, the Egyptians moved rapidly and ruthlessly against Pontus. In 692AVC they forced the Pontics to give up three strategic provinces, which fundamentally altered Achaean defensive plans.



Until then, Pontus and the Seleucid Empire could be counted upon as buffer states that restricted the front with the Egyptians to one small region in Asia, between Lydia and Lycia, and to the border between Libya and Egypt itself. Now the Egyptians had gained two more points of contact, via Trapezus and Paphlagonia, while they also gained a common border with Albania, which had gained its independence from Pontus a few decades before. Moreover, this crippled what remained of a Pontic state, since there would be no connection between the capital and its eastern provinces.

This sudden Egyptian expansion causes an outrage in Achaea. The people demanded that the Greeks of Trapezus be liberated from the heathen Egyptians. To allay people’s doubts that he was not taking the situation seriously, Aratus took personal command of the army on the Paphlagonian border, and ordered a redistribution of forces to better defend the Empire in the event of a new war with Egypt.



Aratus also guaranteed Pontus, Albania and the Seleucid Empire against Egyptian aggression. So it came to be that when, on the 14th of February 698AVC, the Pharaoh declared war on Pontus once again, the Achaean Empire had a casus belli to intervene. After a month of careful preparations, Achaean forces moved across all border provinces in a concentrated assault.



The opening moves of the war went fortuitously for Achaean arms, and even the Pharaoh himself was forced to do battle in Mesketi.



Although he eluded death or capture, he was nevertheless forced to an ignominious retreat.

One month later, the Seleucid Empire declared its own, opportunistic war on the Achaean Empire. Thus it became the Seleucids attacking the Achaeans who were attacking the Egyptians who were attacking Pontus.



Meanwhile, Aratus kept sending gifts to Rome and Carthage, out of fear that they too might decide to attack the overstretched Achaeans. Many Achaean forces were kept in Italy, to dissuade any Roman designs (and indeed, the Romans had given many causes of concern for their intentions, as their agents had been caught inciting popular unrest in Marmarica on multiple occasions).

But Achaean forces were mostly victorious on land, and dominant at sea, when after nary half a year of war a disgruntled Celtic general incited a civil war in Egypt.



This would make things easier for the Achaeans, but had an unexpected side-effect. Carthage declared war on the Egyptian rebels and proceeded to land a large force on Cyprus, which had declared for the rebels. An Achaean force was been assembled for its own invasion of Cyprus, but the Carthaginian senate outmaneuvered the Achaeans, much to Aratus’ chagrin. But it would have been pointless to antagonize Carthage, so Aratus accepted their siege as a fait accompli. Instead, he proposed an alliance with Carthage, in the face of a common foe, which the Carthaginian senate happily accepted.



This did not go down well with Rome, which felt increasingly isolated and worried about the effects of Carthage and the Achaean Empire getting fat on the spoils of Egypt. Thus, the Roman senate surprised Aratus with a declaration of war.



Carthage answered Aratus’ call to arms, and so all the great powers of the Mediterranean were now at war with each other; the Achaean Empire and Carthage versus Egypt, Rome and the Seleucid Empire. The two sides, however, were far from equal. The war thus far had exhausted both Egypt and the Seleucids, while Carthage had recovered a lot better from the Second Punic War than had Rome. The Achaeans and Carthaginians were the only powers with large manpower reserves, as well as large battle fleets.



The first battle on the Italian front took place at Lucania, where Achaean forces had been reduced to a bare minimum, due to the needs of operations against the Egyptians. Left to face the over 74,000 Romans were a mere 26,000 Achaeans, under the command of Aratus’ uncle. But the Roman army proved to be a giant with clay feet. The dire state of Rome’s economy had left its army chronically underfunded, while its leadership was almost universally dismal. As a result, the first battle was a resounding Achaean victory.



Aratus pursued the retreating Romans, while the other two Achaean armies stationed at the border had similar successes, with the exception of a battle in Raetia, where the only good Roman general was in command of the enemy army. Achaean fleets promptly transported some armies from the east, and within months the Roman military structure was collapsing all along the border.

In November 702AVC the Seleucid Empire was brought to the negotiating table, where it ceded Panticapeum to the Achaean Empire. After 142 years of Seleucid rule, the province would once again be Achaean.



By 704, Egypt had been thoroughly defeated as well, and was forced to part with most of its recent Pontic conquests, as well as a couple of provinces in the south of Asia Minor.



Carthage, happy to be on the winning side in the war against Rome but weary of the possibility that Aratus might not have their best interests in mind when it came to signing a peace treaty, made a separate peace with Rome, annexing Trinovantes, a strategic province in the middle of Britain, from which Carthage could challenge Roman ownership of the island.



But the Achaeans fought on, and Aratus himself led an army that reached the gates of Massilia, that distant Greek city which had suffered so much hardship in the hands of the Romans. Aratus vowed to liberate it.



When the Roman Senate accepted its total defeat, it made large territorial concessions to the Achaean Empire. Besides Massilia, five border provinces were transferred to Achaean control.



And so the Great War ended, with the Achaean Empire gaining 12 provinces in total from its three enemies.



Aratus was then in his 60s, and at the peak of his power. He was able to persuade the Carthaginians to trade elephants with his empire, which would increase the tactical flexibility of the Achaean armies. The Achaean Empire was becoming the arbiter of international affairs, its wealth surpassing Egypt’s and its people increasing in both number and prosperity. But great men are not free of enemies. In fact, the greater one’s position of power, the more it is observed to attract sycophants and conspirators alike, making an emperor’s life as dangerous in the palace as it is on the battlefield. So it came to be that, while Aratus was busy organizing a punitive expedition against Pontus, which had ignored an Achaean guarantee on Albania, Neoptolemus Peneid, one of Aratus’ kinsmen and governor of Dacia, plotted his demise.



Although Neoptolemus’ participation in the plot was never proven, there was little doubt that he was behind the assassination. Aratus II, emperor of Achaea, died under mysterious circumstances in 8 October 710AVC. The throne passed to his nephew, Ephron III.

 

Enewald

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If you control 50% of Egypts provinces, and their rebels the rest, would the civil war not end with you gaining the provinces you control during the war as Egyptian rebels become the real Egypt? Or have they fixed this over the past years?
 

Selzro

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Much as I tried to help out the rebels, they had maybe fewer than 50% of the unoccupied provinces when their time ran out and the rebellion failed. I think they also have to control the capital, which they didn't do. But I was really rooting for them. Their leader had Celtic culture, and that would have really messed up Egypt's manpower generation.
 

Poor Student84

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All remaining colonies on the continent are yours now. That alliance with Carthage is useful for going back at another swipe at Rome.

What's the civilization level of the Picts' province? Now that you're gaining control in the North Sea it wouldn't be unreasonable to expand into Scotland and spread Greek civilization.
 

Selzro

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Hm, that's a pretty good idea. I'll have to check the Picts' civ level, once I get back to my game. There's a chance they're no longer tribal, in which case there would be a stability penalty for attacking them, but I can probably withstand that. I've already played 5 years ahead, but I've still got 20 years until the game ends.
 

DKM

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How many years do you have left?
 

Selzro

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The game ends on 1st January 731AVC. I left the last update off at 710AVC, but I've played up to almost 720AVC so far, so I've got about ten years left. Sorry for the confusion in my last post - I was counting from 705 instead of 710 for some reason. I probably took a look at the world map before typing and messed up the emperor's succession date.

The next update will in all likelihood be the last, since there are only 20 years to cover.
 
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