• Victoria 3 - Sign up now!

    The journey begins, sign up now and get a special in-game item when the game is released.


  • 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
  • Crusader Kings II Expansion Subscription

    Subscribe to the CK II Expansion and enjoy unlimited access to 13 major expansions and more!


Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
7.308
3.892
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Me too actually.

You know, you just know, that the middle guy had an awful, truly awful, adolescence.
:D Yes. But made up for it once he grew up!
 
  • 1
Reactions:

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
7.308
3.892
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne

I think I found where these came from. I have to say, that's really cool!
I agree! I recently finished listening to Mike Duncan’s History of Rome podcast in its entirety (which I really liked and would recommend) and it‘s nice to put some estimated faces to some of the names. Even if the terms of many of the 3rd Century Crisis guys were shorter than Consuls got and tended to end violently.

Note to all: BTW, this AAR is now next on my list to update and give a cover photo/banner to. :)
 

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
7.308
3.892
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Fascinating update and a definite shift with the end of the war but the thing that shocks me most is that Macedonia is a republic! How did that happen? :eek:
Before I get into writing up the new episode, I did some (quick) digging on this and think I've worked out what happened. Here are screen shots from two save game pages dating from 492-93 AUC (yes, way back then).

0a2QLQ.jpg

Readers with good memories may recall that way back then the Macedonians had a nasty rebellion that led to them losing Sparta (that was how the Seleucids later came to be able to conquer it, where it remains today in game time).

This terrible loss (of territory, prestige and presumably stability) must have caused some kind of oligarchic revolution that overthrew the monarchy.
 
  • 1Like
Reactions:

RossN

Commandant
54 Badges
Feb 22, 2004
2.916
357
revengeofthekillersequel.blogspot.com
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria 2
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
Before I get into writing up the new episode, I did some (quick) digging on this and think I've worked out what happened. Here are screen shots from two save game pages dating from 492-93 AUC (yes, way back then).

0a2QLQ.jpg

Readers with good memories may recall that way back then the Macedonians had a nasty rebellion that led to them losing Sparta (that was how the Seleucids later came to be able to conquer it, where it remains today in game time).

This terrible loss (of territory, prestige and presumably stability) must have caused some kind of oligarchic revolution that overthrew the monarchy.

Ah, very interesting work thanks! :)
 
  • 1Like
Reactions:
Chapter LXXXIII: The Consulship of Titus Fabius Gurges (31 July 546/208 BC to 2 August 548/206 BC)

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
7.308
3.892
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Chapter LXXXIII: The Consulship of Titus Fabius Gurges
(31 July 546/208 BC to 2 August 548/206 BC)


2K5tXo.jpg

Foreword. Rome was finally at peace, finishing the bloody but largely successful Great Eastern War. But peace was a relative term: it did not prevent barbarian invasions or rebellions. And the expansionists in Rome managed to launch two wars of annexation in the West, against Helvetii and Cantabri. Both appeared to be drawing to a successful end.

As the new Consul began his term, Legio XI had encountered and defeated the Tarbelli tribe in Helvetii, but the defeated barbarians were now heading to the very recently colony of Vindelicia. Legio III had fought the first few engagements of the Vadiniensi campaign in southern Gaul (Aquitani and Cadurci) and were waiting for their inevitable return.

§§§§§§§

Part I – The Consular Election of 546

Titus Fabius Gurges was elected Consul on 31 July 546 – bringing the Civic Faction back into power. Which seemed logical in a time of comparative peace and rebuilding. His father Quintus Fabius had been elected Consul for the Civics just over 44 years before and had gone on to have a prominent and colourful career. This Gurges was also an experienced and formidable general as well as being a formidable administrator – with a mixed bag of personal traits.

9vN0ba.jpg

“We’d best be careful around our new master, Bernardius,” said Humphronius into his young colleagues ear as they approached the new Consul’s tablinum for the incoming chief magistrate’s brief. “He is energetic, competent, proud, suspicious and aggressive, among other things.”

“Energetic and competent – that’s good isn’t it, Humphronius Obscurus?” gushed a naively enthusiastic Bernardius Lanatus Reverens.

“Oh, my dear young fellow, you really do have much to learn. Follow me, say nothing unless asked. Watch and learn.”

§§§§§§§

Part II – The East

With the eastern legions now on garrison duty, any fighting was expected to be in the newly acquired Greek and Thracian provinces taken from Macedon and Pontus in the war, or from barbarian incursions from the north.

So it proved in February 547, after seven months of peace and quiet in the east or the Republic. Paeonia rose in revolt on 3 February, but they were wiped out to a man by H. Geroldid’s Legio II for the loss of only 53 Romans, with 2,000 slaves taken.

A message came from Parthia on 16 March 547, the permanent Roman ambassador there Davidius Brentatius Officialis confirming the reunited Seleucids had savagely put down Parthia’s poorly timed attempt to get some of their previous lands back. They were now reduced to their capital province and forced into tributary status.

nYy39j.jpg

The next revolt was more serious, with 14,000 revolting malcontents rebelling in the Argolis on 1 November 547. As that time, Consul Gurges had returned to command Legio VIII stationed next door in Achaea, but he had only seven cohorts under command. Reinforcements would be needed from the homeland before he could tackle them safely. Fortunately, four cohorts had already been trained in Italia and were converging on Samnium for shipment to him anyway as part of the continuing rebuilding of the eastern army’s strength after the heavy losses of the recent war.

As troops were being marshalled to deal with that threat, 6,000 Iapodes barbarians rose in the border province of Maezaei on 11 December. A.C. Caudex himself, betting bored with garrison duty in Taulanti, was the nearest and responded with the 16,000 troops of Legio I ‘Syracusae’.

Gurges received his 4,000 new troops on 13 January 548, but decided 11,000 men were a little too few for a comfortable victory against the rebels in Argolis, so with the city holding out well [now at 18% siege progress], he decided to wait for another round of troops (already trained or about to complete it in Italia) to arrive before setting off.

Caudex had no such issues, engaging the Iapodes in Maezaei on 4 March 548 and defeating them by the 10th, losing 420 of his men and killing 2,903 of the 6,000 tribesmen.

Two weeks later, another four cohorts were taking ship in Samnium bound for Legio VIII in Achaea, while the siege in Argolis was starting to bite [38%]. On 6 May the new troops had joined Legio VIII, bringing it to 15,000: Gurges marched on Argolis [siege 75%] that day, now a little worried about its safety.

To the north, Caudex had chased the Iapodes to Breuci, where he slaughtered the remaining 2,977 tribesmen on 15 May 548 for the loss of just 148 legionaries, taking 0.75 in gold and 6,000 slaves as booty.

Gurges arrived in Argolis on 30 May, starting a somewhat low-key and prolonged battle that was not won until 16 June. He had lost 1,026 of his own men, killed 5,055 of the rebels and dispersed the rest. Given its restiveness, Legio VIII would now remain in Argolis as its new garrison duty.

The East remained quiet for the next few weeks leading up to the new Consular elections of 31 July 548. By then, the rebuilding and reorganisation of the five legions of the Eastern Army was well under way. Steady recruitment of regular troops over the last two years had seen Legio II and VI grow in particular: they had the main border duties against Macedon and Pontus in particular. More reinforcements were on their way. Legio I was returning from its short campaign against the Iapodes, while Legio IV, which had been called over to fight (more on that in Section III below) in the northern Alps was on its way back.

550zwB.jpg

By then, Macedon’s main army stationed in Epirus had rebuilt to be 30 regiments strong. In Bythinia, the dangerous General Zagreid had command of the Pontic 2nd Stratos, with 27 regiments. And the risk of revolt in the new provinces remained high, while the rest of the Greek and Illyrian provinces were peaceful, though barbarian threats remained.

§§§§§§§

Part III – The West

The heaviest action during Gurges’ term came in the West, most from barbarian invasions but also a some local or barbarian rebellions in border provinces. Hispania saw the completion of the war of annexation against the Cantabri and the persistent invasion by the Vadiniensi of southern Gaul. But most dangerous action happened on the border with Germany, in the vicinity of the Alps, especially with the Tarbelli. And the Roman siege of Helvetii continued.

§§§§§§§

Hispania and Southern Gaul

The siege of Cantabri finished on 25 September 546 AUC and with it the war. The two provinces were annexed into the Republic, with Rome’s reputation further damaged [up to 4.4 ‘badboy’ following the previous annexation of Helvetii, see below] but not dangerously so. The next objective would be to try to settle Vettones, to link with the provinces already held on the western coast and thereby shut off a possible Egyptian colonisation from Turduli. Hispania would remain quiet for the rest of the Consular term.

5YaF3B.jpg

While Legio III (H. Magoid, 13 cohorts) waited in Cadurci for the return of the Vadiniensi (who had earlier been defeated in Aquitani and Cardurci), a new cohort (destined for Helvetii) that had just finished training in Ruteni was ambushed by some raiding barbarian remnants. The small force of 833 Lusones warriors beat the leaderless cohort from 2-11 October 546, killing 221 Romans while losing only 42 themselves.

Magoid marched to avenge them from neighbouring Cardurci, which he would do in a single day on 25 October, killing all 791 of them for no loss and taking 2,000 slaves into captivity. He waited there, as that was where the Vadiniensi had decided to attack next. They arrive on 9 November and were soundly thrashed after a fierce four day battle.

gISSk9.jpg

The barbarians returned on 28 January 547 only to be defeated again (227 Roman and 2,969 barbarian casualties). But the Vadiniensi were not yet eliminated, meaning Magoid could not easily divert to assist Legio XI, who by that time had their hands full with rebels and barbarians in and around Helvetii (more below).

The final reckoning with the Vadiniensi came in Ruteni on 24 April 547, around eleven months since the first battle of the campaign triggered when Legio III was passing back from Hispania through Aquitani. The last 2,271 warriors were wiped out for 245 Roman casualties, with another 9,000 slaves taken. Since the campaign had started, 1,880 Romans had lost their lives, with 18,580 barbarians dying in combat. They had started with 9,000 but had other bands of 10,000 and then 2,000 join them along the way.

Magoid would have a far shorter campaign in Ruteni from July-September 547, wiping out a rising of 6,000 Autrigoni barbarians in two battles, losing 402 legionaries and taking 6,000 slaves. Magoid’s command of Legio III had been exemplary, earning him much popularity along the way.

§§§§§§§

Helvetii and the Tarbelli Invasion: July-October 546

After being beaten in Helvetii by S.S. Paterculus (Legio XI) the Tarbelli had retreated towards Vindelicia, whose garrison was not yet fully established and the stockade incomplete. With his attention split by maintaining the siege of Helvetii, Paterculus left a smaller force to keep it going while taking over 9,000 troops to chase the enemy.

Alas, Roman risk-management was exposed when the Tarbelli picked up 10,000 reinforcements during their march to Vindelicia, where they promptly launched an assault, which succeeded after six days on 24 August 546. The nascent colony was destroyed – another frontier disaster in a region prone to them.

vMW4sc.jpg

Instead of pulling back, on 2 September Paterculus struck boldly with 9,411 men against a Tarbelli horde now numbering almost 18,000. But the Tarbelli chief Drappes Marganid was a formidable leader [9 Martial] and Paterculus found himself attacking over a river. Marganid got the jump on the outnumbered Romans, whose initially superior morale was soon badly weakened. Paterculus was only marginally able to improve the position on 11 September.

RyAUjM.jpg

Two days after this battle began, Helvetii had fallen after a long siege, with the tribe capitulating two days later, which at least ended the Helvetii siege of Sequani, which they had slipped into earlier.

JTo9W1.jpg

But this was of no assistance to Paterculus, though he was able to improve his tactical dispositions by 13 September. This proved to be too little, too late, however. The legate bravely commanded the rearguard at the remains of his legion escaped, but he was captured by the Tarbelli as this second disaster of Vindelicia ended.

RBmsIX.jpg

Other than reports of him being forced under the yoke in shame, the barbarians made no move to ransom him and did not respond to Roman approaches. It was thought they might have to be fully defeated for Paterculus to be freed.

With Legio XI now badly reduced and leaderless and a large barbarian tribe loose and heading towards northern Italia, Rome scrambled to address the situation. Legio IV (G.F. Licinus, 16 cohorts) was at that time on garrison duty in Maezaei. He was ordered to march over to Raetia, where the Tarbelli were now headed. A new cohort of principes began training in Vocontii on 15 September and another in Etruria a week later.

At this time, insult was heaped in injury when the barely-secured Helvetii erupted in a revolt on 2 October. The Roman detachment that had been left there had only 2,585 troops and no legate. The 3,000 locals made mincemeat of them: by 15 October the Roman cohorts had been defeated, losing 1,264 men to only 142 rebels in a shameful capitulation. The same day, the Tarbelli arrived in Raetia and began besieging it (electing not to assault) and Legio III were simultaneously fighting the Vadiniensi in Ruteni.

With no ability to appoint a new commander for Legio XI, as it was in rout in now barbarian territory with the sacking of Vindelicia, that hapless outfit straggled into Helvetii on 21 October only to find it occupied by the rebels. After five days of hopeless fighting as they tried to attack over a river, the acting commander ordered the retreat on 26 October when it became clear victory was not possible, despite the Romans having outnumbered the rebels. It was yet another humiliation, with the Romans losing men at the rate of 10-1 against a bunch of poorly armed local yokels.

5QTd26.jpg

So ended the first phase of the Tarbelli invasion, with Rome struggling to contain a suddenly abysmal situation.

§§§§§§§

Helvetii and the Tarbelli Invasion: November 546 – March 547

At the beginning of November 546, the Tarbelli were besieging Raetia; rebels were investing Helvetii; the remnant components of Legio XI were retreating to Sequani; and the Helvetii tribe (now bound by a five-year treaty with Rome) had managed to conquer and resettle in Lingones. Into this mix, the tributary Parisii were fighting (and badly outnumbered by) a Salluvii warband who had just risen in Remi.

VR9zRl.jpg

On 11 November, M.C. Dentatus loaded up four cohorts from Contestani in Hispania, to be ferried over to Liguria and eventually reinforce the devastated Legio XI. On 7 December, the redoubtable (and apparently quite 'mad') old general Q.F. Flaccus [age 72, Martial 7] was transferred from Legio V to take over Legio XI, which had just arrived in Sequani. His new legion had 14 cohorts but only 5,406 soldiers: there was significant rebuilding to do before the legion would be ready for combat again. Legio IV was in unsettled Histri (and thus suffering some attrition in transit) and approaching Raetia. In the south, Legio III was still engaged with the Vadiniensi, who would attack twice more in 547 before being destroyed at Ruteni in late in April.

D8G5fm.jpg

Early in January 547, with Legio IV approaching, the Tarbelli had assaulted the stockade of Raetia, but had fallen well short. By 7 January, their morale was virtually non-existent and the Raetian garrison still had 1,300 men [siege 13% progress]. This proved costly for the Tarbelli when Licinus attacked on 14 January, with 15,264 fresh troops against 12,980 Tarbelli. Marganid had an initial tactical advantage [Rome 1 v (2)2.5 Barbarian die roll], But Licinus countered strongly [Rome 7 v (2)2.5 Barbarian]. The Tarbelli fled on 21 January, losing 1,537 men compared to 344 from Legio IV.

Over in Gaul, Flaccus had gained both new cohorts and some replacements in the depleted cohorts of Legio XI. By 14 February he decided he had enough men to now relieve Helvetii, where the siege was starting to take hold. The Salluvii were besieging the Parisii and the Tarbelli were on their way back to attack Raetia, where Licinus waited for them.

b5uWXW.jpg

In Raetia, the wily Drappes Marganid, though still outnumbered, had managed to completely outmanoeuvre Licinus in the opening rounds of the rematch in Raetia which began on 8 March [Rome 0 v (6)6.5 Barbarian], while the morale of his troops had partially recovered. But again, Licinus managed to recover [Rome 5 v (2)2.5 Barbarian] on 13 March and by the 18th had won again, though this time at greater cost: 1,807 of Legio IV’s 15,904 troops were lost, while the Tarbelli had 3,078 of their 11,023 warriors killed.

Helvetii had been looking shaky by 5 March [siege progress 88%] with Legio XI not due to arrive until the end of the month. But the Roman garrison had managed to hold out until the arrival of Flaccus on 31 March, when Legio XI avenged its two previous defeats to them by killing all 3,000 rebels in just four days, for the loss of just 196 troops.

§§§§§§§

The Tarbelli and Salluvii Invasions, Pax Restored: April 547 – July 548

The Tarbelli proved to be more resilient than expected, with yet another see-sawing battle breaking out in Raetia on 5 May 547. Repeating a familiar pattern Marganid yet again got the jump on his opponent in the opening exchanges and Licinus responded. This time, Marganid made a last desperate attempt to win before finally retreating on 12 May after another tough battle. Their invasion may be on its last legs, but was not yet over.

rebUtZ.jpg

The next act in Raetia came in July 547, when this time Licinus got the initial jump but then Marganid came back strongly, dragging the battle out from 4-19 July, costing the live of another 718 Romans around 2,000 Tarbelli – half their remaining warband. But still they would not surrender. Then all this activity must have stirred up the local Leuci tribe, 2,000 of whom rose in rebellion in Raetia on 1 August, while the Tarbelli were still routing back to Vindelicia. The almost full-strength Legio IV wiped them all out in six days, for the loss of only 13 legionaries, taking 2,000 camp followers into slavery.

The final victory against the Tarbelli was sealed between 5-8 September, their final 1,915 warriors wiped out for the loss of just 24 Romans. A search of their camp afterwards failed to turn up any sign of poor Paterculus, though 7.41 in gold and 10,000 slaves were taken. This dangerous episode was now over.

Back in Gaul, the Salluvii had seized Parisii and by 13 August were heading south to plunder Roman Carnutes. Flaccus headed off with Legio XI from Helvetii to deal with them. The Salluvii arrived in Carnutes (which had no stockade and thus only a 1,000 local garrison) on 15 September, but had neither the numbers nor morale for an assault, so a siege was set.

Battle was joined on 8 December 547, with Flaccus making quick and efficient work of the invading Salluvii, who were soundly defeated. They never returned – the Parisii must have dealt with the remnants when they retreated north.

wEFsF1.jpg

There would be no more revolts of barbarian invasions along this part of the frontier until the next Consular election in July 548. Consul Gurges decided to re-launch the colonisation attempt in Vindelicia on 23 January 548, which would be re-founded on 23 May.

Very courageous, Consul!” was Humphronius’ acerbic comment on this.

“Oh, do stop being such an overly-cautious stick-in-the-mud, Humphronius,” the Consul replied, knowing exactly what his adviser was implying.

“Yes, Consul,” came the diffident and unconvinced reply. Gurges was asking the impossible!

In mid-May 548, Legio IV was ordered back to the east, with now recovered Legio XI in Helvetii and making for Vindelicia by then, to ensure it would be adequately guarded until it was fully established. It was in Vindelicia that Flaccus, after a life of military service all over the Republic and beyond, died quietly on 13 July 548. The key command was taken up by another of the new commanders recently graduated from the cursus honorem, T.J. Bubulcus.

ut41pg.jpg

As the new Consul began his new term, the West was once again peaceful. Legio XI was being further grown given the turbulent history of the area, while the pacification of most of Africa meant Legio IX in Thapsus may be withdrawn, perhaps to the East.

MnWPjn.jpg


§§§§§§§

The West had proven a busy theatre of operations over the two years of Gurges’ Consular term. Cantabri and Helvetii had been defeated and annexed, Vindelicia lost and regained and one of Rome’s brightest generals captured by the barbarians.

xBd8ZL.jpg

Campaigns in the West: August 546 to July 548.

§§§§§§§

Part IV – Other Issues

Piracy

Five pirate fleets were destroyed over the two-year period, with 20 pirate galleys sunk and two captured and pressed into Roman service.

§§§§§§§

Settlement and Construction

On 22 December 546, Gallia Cisalpina was fully absorbed and a new temple commenced. Oretani in Hispania was also absorbed, on 25 February 547. Cadurci in Gaul was the next to be fully incorporated and a new temple started there on 24 March 547, with Syracusae’s religion changing to Roman the same day.

Consul Gurges was very happy to see four new temples completed on 10 May 547 in Raetia, Carpetani, Contestani and Belli. This was part of a concerted effort to boost Roman religious power and thus make the success of omens more likely.

Vocontii was the next to be absorbed and become a full province on 8 September 547, while the new temple in Gallia Cisalpina was finished ten days later and that in Cadurci on 18 December. The governor of Sequani built a new temple with local funds on 8 June 548. Finally, Maezaei was fully absorbed on 26 June 548 and yet another new temple was started.

Gurges felt he was handing over a peaceful and well-run Republic as he finished his term on 31 July.

§§§§§§§

Manpower and Recruiting

When Gurges had taken over in July 546, the manpower reserve was at 28,921, with 138,489 troops in the legions. As described above, new cohorts in this period were all ‘regulars’, meaning manpower reserves were run down from both casualties and new recruiting over this latest two-year period.

In September 546 the monthly recruiting gain was 1,100. This gradually increased over the next few years as all those new provinces were absorbed, meaning with Roman culture their freemen became liable for military service. By 1 August 548, reserve manpower was 9,838 but army strength had risen to over 168,000 with one more cohort in training (which would make army strength 170 almost full strength cohorts).

This represented net growth in total manpower of about 11,500 men over the two year period after casualties from battle and attrition were factored in. Monthly recruiting had risen (from provincial absorption and population growth) appreciably, up to 1,270. The theoretical troop support limit had increased to 254 – still a very distant goal, especially if mercenary recruiting was not resumed at some future point in the lead-up to another major war, given manpower reserves were now so low.

gXsLlw.jpg


§§§§§§§

Politics, Religion and Other Events

An omen was due in September 546, but with Roman religious power having slumped [to 9.7 from earlier highs of around 12, for reasons not entirely clear to me] had made calling one particularly risky [49.7%]. Gurges therefore delayed it, even though this fed into Populist propaganda. Religious power had declined slightly a year later, but with the Populists growing in influence, a new omen was risked on something 'harmless' – as it happened, successfully.

qmaJGU.jpg

By late June 548, religious power had recovered somewhat, presumably as a result of the new temple building spree [up to 10.4, which translates into a +10.4% chance for omen success].

More good news came in January 548, when the Aedile S.V. Laevinus came up with a proposal that would advance the important area of construction research significantly, for a 30 gold talent investment. Gurges willingly gave him the funds.

TLAx5o.jpg

2 May 548 brought news that the Gallic provinces of Lemovices, Carnutes and Aedui had all become ‘core’ territory of the Roman patrimony. At this time, in the lead-up to the next election, the Populists had staged a major comeback in the Senate, now second only to the Religious faction and more than twice as strong as the next largest faction.

ks7gDp.jpg

The Military faction had shrunk to a mere handful of Senators. But recent victories meant that G.F. Licinus had edged ahead in the Consular stakes, with Laevinus (his popularity significantly buffed by his research breakthrough) of the Mercantiles just behind, followed by G.C. Centho, there simply on the power of his Religious factional support.

When election day came, there were no great surprises with the greatly popular Licinus winning, despite his small factional base: he clearly attracted significant cross-party appeal.

obCwLE.jpg

After Humphronius and Bernardius gave him his initial brief, Licinus informed them he had already decided on his first policy initiative.

“Oh, ah, excellent, Consul,” said Humphronius, with a sickly smile and perspiration starting to bead on his forehead. This could mean trouble.

“I am going to send the first major law change in the Republic in the modern era to the Senate,” said Licinus with a beaming grin. Humphronius’s face went whiter than a freshly bleached toga. “Here is my Lex Civitias Deses which will be tabled and voted on this very day!”

lOpfRk.jpg

This illustration shows the statistics of a sample principes cohort – the 5th Agrianes – as a post-reform example.

“But this will destabilise the whole Republic, Consul,” said Humphronius, desperately clutching at straws given the determined look on Licinus’ face.

“Bah! It will strengthen discipline in the legions and ensure our base of freemen able to serve in the army is expanded gradually over time. We can wear the disruption to stability – they are nothing but superstitious fools. Get it done, Humphronius. Now!”

“Yes, Consul,” said Humphronius resignedly as he slumped out of the tablinum.

Licinus turned to Bernardius, who had remained, watching wide-eyed as his disconsolate mentor wandered off.

“Bernardius, I believe you have that report I asked for about the fate of my comrade Paterculus. Is there any chance he can be found and ransomed?”

“I’m afraid not, Consul,” said his Principle Private Secretary, handing the Consul a scroll.

NkPlej.jpg

Note: nor did he appear on the character list – he’s gone. A great pity – he was only 43.

“So, his whereabouts remain unknown and his family considers him dead to them?”

“Sadly yes, Consul.”

§§§§§§§

GlKyzl.jpg

A gold coin from Republican Rome, c. 210-11 BC. Mars on one side, the Republican eagle on the other. I believe this is a gold stater, struck around the time of the OTL Second Punic War.

§§§§§§§

Finis
 
  • 2Like
Reactions:

diskoerekto

ferocious native
33 Badges
Feb 17, 2005
2.157
1.107
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Nice episode, there's finally peace. At times, EU:R feels like whackamole but it seems the worst is over, for now :)

Sorry for Paterculus :(

This Gurges was also an experienced and formidable general as well as being a formidable administrator
He'll serve well as a general after his term as well, good choice by the senate :)

Alas, Roman risk-management was exposed when the Tarbelli picked up 10,000 reinforcements during their march to Vindelicia, where they promptly launched an assault, which succeeded after six days on 24 August 546. The nascent colony was destroyed – another frontier disaster in a region prone to them.
I hate it when this happens :/ well at least Helvetii is now finished.

It was yet another humiliation, with the Romans losing men at the rate of 10-1 against a bunch of poorly armed local yokels.
what are those rebels using, rifles?

and the Helvetii tribe (now bound by a five-year treaty with Rome) had managed to conquer and resettle in Lingones
I think this is good, free colonized province to take 5 years later

A search of their camp afterwards failed to turn up any sign of poor Paterculus
MIA :(

When election day came, there were no great surprises with the greatly popular Licinus winning, despite his small factional base: he clearly attracted significant cross-party appeal.
Another good general

“Here is my Lex Civitias Deses which will be tabled and voted on this very day!”
Good idea, in fact there's supposed to be another law which speeds up slave to freedmen conversion if I'm not mistaken, maybe you can go for that one as well
 
  • 1Like
  • 1
Reactions:

GulMacet

Colonel
37 Badges
Sep 24, 2010
1.073
270
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • BATTLETECH
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Cities: Skylines - Campus
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
Stability shmability, the important thing is to get men into uniform! Or, in Rome's case, get young and muscular men in very short skirts. Such is civilization.
 
  • 2Like
  • 1
Reactions:

Le Jones

Protect and Survive
72 Badges
Sep 3, 2008
1.263
408
  • Rome Gold
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Semper Fi
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Cities in Motion
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Pride of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
Firstly the banner image at the top (or whatever in God's name it is called) is marvellous.

“Energetic and competent – that’s good isn’t it, Humphronius Obscurus?” gushed a naively enthusiastic Bernardius Lanatus Reverens.

“Oh, my dear young fellow, you really do have much to learn. Follow me, say nothing unless asked. Watch and learn.”

I happened to watch the episode where Hacker wins the party vote to be PM, and the lovingly written anteroom chats between Humpy and Bernard. This matches that perfectly, and as ever made me smile.

Again one cannot but feel that the achievements are of containment rather than glorious conquest, @diskoerekto is right that it has a "whackamole" vibe.
 
  • 1Like
Reactions:

HistoryDude

Emperor of Greece and Rome and Holy Roman Emperor
39 Badges
Mar 19, 2018
2.309
1.095
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Rome Gold
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Crusader Kings III: Royal Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
The good news is that there is finally (relative) peace.

Gaul and Hispania still need to be fully subdued, of course, and there’s always the required subjugation of the Hellenic Powers...

Actually, what’s stopping the “Great Eastern War 2” from having Rome finish taking Greece and (most of) Pontus and then forcing the Seleucids to release a bunch of states?
 
  • 1Like
Reactions:

stnylan

Compulsive CommentatAAR
123 Badges
Aug 1, 2002
36.965
3.620
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Deus Vult
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
Poor Humphronius. A far too proactive Consul for his tastes. Indeed, a Consul with ideas!

Quite quite dreadful.
 
  • 2
Reactions:

El Pip

Lord of Slower-than-real-time
40 Badges
Dec 13, 2005
7.790
1.794
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Sengoku
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Semper Fi
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Prison Architect
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Divine Wind
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
As others have observed the stream of small unthreatening barbarians is some repetitive, however the larger hordes are more interesting. Is it possible to mode the game to have fewer, but larger, barbarian hordes?

In other news I am pleased to see the Republic survived a proactive Consul and that his idea was not too damaging (fortunately he was not one of the very rare Consuls with two ideas!) Let us hope for Humphronius' sake that the next Consul is not such a stressful experience.
 
  • 1Like
Reactions:

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
7.308
3.892
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
First, a big thank you to all those who voted for this AAR that saw it win the ‘Other’ Category in the recently revived ACAs. :) I suspect that is the first time in a long time that an EU Rome AAR has done anything like that! :D

Anyway, here follow comment responses as the next session has been played through and the associated chapter is now being put together.

Nice episode, there's finally peace. At times, EU:R feels like whackamole but it seems the worst is over, for now :)

Sorry for Paterculus :(


He'll serve well as a general after his term as well, good choice by the senate :)


I hate it when this happens :/ well at least Helvetii is now finished.


what are those rebels using, rifles?


I think this is good, free colonized province to take 5 years later


MIA :(


Another good general


Good idea, in fact there's supposed to be another law which speeds up slave to freedmen conversion if I'm not mistaken, maybe you can go for that one as well
Thanks. This has so far been a relatively active ‘peace’ (if one doesn’t count small wars against tribal kingdoms, anyway ;) ). The captured and disappeared event for Paterculus was not something I remembered could happen - I had hoped I might be able to bet him back somehow, but it didn’t work out. A sad but interesting outcome. The Vindelicia episode was a nasty little sequence, all in all, but at least the game was keeping me on my toes!

I’ve been considering the other law, but need to wait until stability has rebuilt - and sacrificing to increase to L3 has now become very expensive - I’ll mention it in the next chapter.
Stability shmability, the important thing is to get men into uniform! Or, in Rome's case, get young and muscular men in very short skirts. Such is civilization.
Quite. This was a necessary sacrifice of stability. I don’t want it going down to L1 though, so another law is going to have to wait for a while (and see how necessary it is - the laws are zero sum games. ‘Civis Romanus Zero Sum’ :D
Firstly the banner image at the top (or whatever in God's name it is called) is marvellous.

I happened to watch the episode where Hacker wins the party vote to be PM, and the lovingly written anteroom chats between Humpy and Bernard. This matches that perfectly, and as ever made me smile.

Again one cannot but feel that the achievements are of containment rather than glorious conquest, @diskoerekto is right that it has a "whackamole" vibe.
Glad you like the cover image! I thought I’d better get with the young folk and put one up. ;)

It has struck me that given that generation of Oxford (in particular) Civil Service grandees was so imbued with the Classics that they were likely to have absorbed much of the political and administrative vibe while they were at it. With a dash of later Byzantine technique on the side!

Yes, that period presented many a poor mole’s head to be whacked mercilessly with a club - and a few of them proved to have quite sharp teeth! It was almost like this was one of those ‘barbarian waves’, though I suspect it was just random rather than some clever game mechanic. The next chapter will prove an interesting comparison...
The good news is that there is finally (relative) peace.

Gaul and Hispania still need to be fully subdued, of course, and there’s always the required subjugation of the Hellenic Powers...

Actually, what’s stopping the “Great Eastern War 2” from having Rome finish taking Greece and (most of) Pontus and then forcing the Seleucids to release a bunch of states?
Yes, after the bloodletting of that first Eastern War, Rome needed time to rebuild, while gaining almost as many new western provinces as were gained in the east from that war (though they are of course not as settled or valuable in the short term). Another eastern war needs to wait for truce expiration, manpower rebuild and unit construction, but it will surely come eventually. Gaul and Hispania are well on their way to either colonisation or tributary status, but the settlement mechanic does mean it takes time to achieve it for barbarian lands.

The Hellenic powers of the east (not including Egypt for now - I still need them as allies) definitely need taking down some more. I’m hoping to whittle Macedon down to a nubbin next time, grab some more/the rest of Thrace from Pontus and maybe get a small lodgement on Asia Minor to start expanding from. The Seleucid Empire though is huge, and we never really engaged them much last time. I’m not sure whether the Seleucids can be forced to release states in the EU Rome mechanics, other than through random independence revolts. But take them on we will have to, I suspect many times (Given the limits placed on how much you can demand in peace settlements).
Poor Humphronius. A far too proactive Consul for his tastes. Indeed, a Consul with ideas!

Quite quite dreadful.
Very unsettling. Still, he has his ways of ameliorating such disturbing effects! ;)
As others have observed the stream of small unthreatening barbarians is some repetitive, however the larger hordes are more interesting. Is it possible to mode the game to have fewer, but larger, barbarian hordes?

In other news I am pleased to see the Republic survived a proactive Consul and that his idea was not too damaging (fortunately he was not one of the very rare Consuls with two ideas!) Let us hope for Humphronius' sake that the next Consul is not such a stressful experience.
It could be possible, but not something I’ve delved into. If I do play another game of this era again, it will probably be Imperator. What I would like to see is Paradox extend it so it can encompass the Fall as well as the Rise part. Gibbon was able to (and some other game titles, such as Annals of Rome - an old old game) - can’t see why it couldn’t be done.

Like Populists (pass the smelling salts), even activist Consuls can be survived. Innovation - shudder! As Humphronius would say:

James Hacker:​
You mean that if we do the right thing this time, we might have to do the right thing again next time. It seems on that philosophy, nothing would ever get done at all.​
Sir Humphrey Appleby:​
On the contrary, many, many things must be done...​
Sir Humphrey Appleby, James Hacker:​
[together] but nothing must be done for the first time.​
Sir Humphrey Appleby:​
No, no, Minister. What I mean is that I am fully seized of your aims and of course I will do my utmost to see that they are put into practice.​
 
  • 1Like
  • 1Haha
Reactions:

diskoerekto

ferocious native
33 Badges
Feb 17, 2005
2.157
1.107
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
I’ve been considering the other law, but need to wait until stability has rebuilt - and sacrificing to increase to L3 has now become very expensive - I’ll mention it in the next chapter.
If you've already hit L3, maybe wait for the other law for another stability hit. If my memory serves me right stability 2 to 3 is more expensive than all other stability increases.

Quite. This was a necessary sacrifice of stability. I don’t want it going down to L1 though, so another law is going to have to wait for a while (and see how necessary it is - the laws are zero sum games. ‘Civis Romanus Zero Sum’ :D
although Rome has a lot of money so maybe paying the L2-L3 twice is better than dropping to L1, I was always broke when I was playing :)
 

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
7.308
3.892
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
If you've already hit L3, maybe wait for the other law for another stability hit. If my memory serves me right stability 2 to 3 is more expensive than all other stability increases.

although Rome has a lot of money so maybe paying the L2-L3 twice is better than dropping to L1, I was always broke when I was playing :)
You’re right, each level is more expensive than the last, while the cost for all also increases the bigger you get. Level 2 right now, and while we have a lot of gold, wait till you see how much buying L3 costs! :eek:
 
  • 1
Reactions:
Chapter LXXXIV: Peace is Boring (2 August 548/206 BC to 30 July 552/202 BC)

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
7.308
3.892
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Chapter LXXXIV: Peace is Boring
(2 August 548/206 BC to 30 July 552/202 BC)

rNbQpR.jpg

Foreword. This update covers two full Consulships, with an unaccustomed period of peace casting a soporific torpor over the usually bloodthirsty glory-seekers that constitute the ruling classes of Rome. How will they endure it? Will they endure it?

With the Tarbelli tribe finally defeated after the disaster of Vindelicia, the Republic finds itself at peace, with no barbarian invasions or rebellions in progress. The new Consul Gaius Fabius Licinus, a veteran and gifted commander and member of the Military faction, has just enacted the Lex Civitas Deses. It will gradually improve military recruiting by lowering the progression of freemen to citizens and also significantly improves discipline among the principes (heavy infantry). At the cost of a drop in national stability and research speed (which is generated via the citizens).


§§§§§§§

Part I – Pax

August – December 548

“So, Humphronius, what would it cost to boost stability back to its previous levels?” asked the Consul on 2 August 548 AUC (206 BC), as he smiled smugly after seeing his new military-friendly law approved by the Senate. “Some good old bread and circuses for the masses?”

“Well, Consul, the answer to that question might be described as being on the up-side of a not inconsiderable sum that may, to be completely clear, cause the keepers of the Aerarium to look askance at the proposer of such a measure who may, or may not, be so bold as to suggest it to them,” said Humphronius, with the air of explaining something simple, to a simpleton.

“That is no answer, Obscurus, it’s a bunch of opaque Hellenistic waffle,” Humphronius looked rather surprised and hurt, his own smug smile gone. “That young chap Cato would probably strike you for uttering it his presence. Verbally, if not physically. Give it to me straight.”

llaBoi.jpg

Marcus Porcius Cato (234 – 149 BC), also known as Cato the Censor (Latin: Cato Censorius), the Elder (Major) and the Wise (Sapiens).

Per Wikipedia: Cato was a Roman soldier, senator and historian known for his conservatism and opposition to Hellenisation. He was the first to write history in Latin. He followed the cursus honorum: successively military tribune (214 BC), quaestor (204 BC), aedile (199 BC), praetor (198 BC), consul (195 BC) together with great friend Lucius Valerius Flaccus, and censor (184 BC). As praetor, he expelled usurers from Sardinia. As censor, he tried to save Rome's ancestral customs and combat "degenerate" Hellenistic influences.
“Yes, Consul,” said Humphronius with frosty formality and then glancing at a scroll he was carrying. “The proper ritual would cost 947 and a half talents of gold. The Aerarium currently holds 689.”

“Er, I see,” said Licinus, who was now the one looking somewhat disconcerted and a little embarrassed. “That will be all, Humphronius.”

“Yes, Consul.” The civil servant walked from the tablinum, back stiff with offended dignity, his head (and dudgeon) high.

§§§§§§§

The national mood was not improved when the next omen was invoked on the ante diem quintum Idus (the 5th day before the Ides) of September 548.

6r1otW.jpg

Licinus was also very interested in sponsoring young men with military potential on the cursus honorum. There were some excellent prospects now in their early 20s, approaching the key age of 25, when they could be appointed Pontifex Maximus, the quickest path [in this game, anyway] to being appointed Censor and thus eligible for military command.

DU2Q1a.jpg

That month, the first of two convoys of four cohorts each set sail from the formerly restive but now long-quiet Thapsus for Argolis, to join Legio VIII. Legio IX in Thapsus would eventually be reduced from 16 to eight cohorts in the coming months.

In October 548, Macedonia remained allied with Pontus and the Seleucids, with a vast treasury (1,240 gold) and high stability [+3] but no manpower reserve. Everything they generated was being used to create new regiments straight away, it seemed. It was no surprise they had a national mission of ‘build up a manpower reserve’! The Senate continued to agitate for an invasion to enforce the ‘core claim’ on Macedonia, though was still allowing a decade or more to complete it.

On 1 December 548, a revolt broke out in Maedi (Thrace). The 6,000 rebels were wiped out by H. Geroldid’s Legio II by 6 January, after they marched across from nearby Paeonia. Only 123 Romans were lost.

§§§§§§§

January – December 549

Legio IV, still commanded by Consul Licinus, took a detour on their return from the Tarbelli campaign in the West to wipe out 2,000 rebels who had been besieging Apuli, in the lands of Rome's Dacian tributary. In five days to 31 January 549 all were killed for the loss of 39 legionaries. Licinus continued to his new station bordering the Pontic provinces of northern Thrace.

The year progressed in remarkably peaceful fashion, the main activities being a consistent military building and infrastructure development (more details below). And so it came to ante diem quartum Nonas (the 4th day before the Nones) of October 549, when yet again the chickens proved fickle and uncooperative.

JkBgrU.jpg

The end of October brought news that the truces with Pontus and the Seleucids would soon be ending, marking five years since the end of the Great Eastern War.

In the West, Rome’s Parisii tributary declared war on the Aulerci – a development Rome was happy with. The buffer they provided was useful and the diplomatic relationship was now quite positive.

ejX9iY.jpg

“Ah, Consul,” interrupted Bernardius one cold November morning, as he attended Licinus in his command tent in Thrace. “There is good news and bad news.”

“Oh, just give me both scrolls at once, would you?”

“Yes, Consul.”

Y4quuU.jpg

Old Geroldid had finally died after years of active and loyal military service to the Republic. Sad as it was, this was more than balanced by news that was almost literally worth a 1,000 talents of gold: a bumper harvest had raised the Republic’s stability [back to +3] without him having to lift a finger – or spend a denarius!

As Legio II was a key frontline command in Paeonia, Geroldid needed to be replaced, the even older Aulus Postumius Albinus [also Martial 8, like Geroldid] was transferred from his command of Classis III and made legate of Legio II.

§§§§§§§

January – December 550

The first news of interest in 550 AUC came in February: and this really interested the Romans, who sensed an opportunity.

rCssRc.jpg

Rome had no great desire to rescue Colchis, but if the Pact members all joined in, it could place a large proportion of their forces far away from Macedon and Bithynia. And indeed, by 21 February the large (30-plus regiments) of Zagreid’s Pontic stratos in Bithynia was spotted heading east.

News of a different sort came a few days later: a temple fire had provided an opportunity to use state funds to renovate the temple. This could turn a potential problem into a great benefit, for ‘only’ 40 gold talents. With a bulging treasury, the outlay was soon approved.

odL11z.jpg

In late March 550, the Aulerci were fighting the Parisii in Parisii. Each side had just three regiments: but the Parisii would eventually win the battle.

Meanwhile, a keen eye was kept on Macedon. And on 15 May spies reported that a Macedonian army of 18 regiments had just embarked on a fleet of 18 ships and was sailing towards the south of Sparta, presumably to take part in the Eastern Pact war on Colchis (which they and the Seleucids had since joined). This was starting to look promising.

In early July 550, Licinus’ term was coming to an end. But he was able to promote the first of the new young men along the cursus honorum: Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio [Martial 8] had turned 25 and was made Pontifex Maximus, replacing Arviargus Vodenosid [Martial 7] who was made a Censor, freeing up another new man [whose name is temporarily lost to history, but is a Martial 8 leader] for future military command.

The Consular Election of 550 AUC brought the Mercantile faction to power. The Aedile, Sextus Valerius Laevinus, was successful. A fine administrator but not a great military mind, he was a good choice from Humphronius’ perspective.

pPBL9Z.jpg

“A reputation as a cautious, generous, proud, crafty and suspicious man, eh,” he remarked to Bernardius. “I think we can work with him, even though we’ll need to be on our toes.”

“Oh yes, I suppose you are almost like peas in a pod, Humphronius Obscurus,” he gushed, without fully thinking his remarks through.

“Bernardius, would you like to be posted to Thrace permanently? No? Then be quiet and go away!” Being correct was no defence for the younger official, who too often said out loud what might have been more prudently kept to himself.

Another old commander died on 17 August 550 – Appius Aurelius Cotta, aged 68, commanding the reduced Legio IX in Thapsus. The post was left open to see if the Senate would appoint anyone halfway acceptable to it.

There was finally some good news on the omen front. Special Gallic poultry had been brought in to try something different, in addition to the temple renovation which had increased the chances of a good omen [to 60.6%]. On the Nones of October, they pecked appropriately, allowing Roman research to make up some of the ground lost in the last two years.

2zLFEU.jpg

A revolt by the barbarian Taurisci broke out in Breuci, on the Danube border in Illyria, on 21 October 550. The Proconsul Licinus – considered a specialist in such things – was sent from Triballi with Legio IV back the way he had come from the West, to deal with the 7,000 angry tribesmen now investing the fort there. On the same day, a herald sent from the Parisii announced they had won their war for Aulerci, which had been absorbed into their realm. Laevinus had Bernardius draft a message of congratulations.

LMAXhs.jpg


§§§§§§§

January – August 551

The year 551 continued quietly until 1 April, when Licinus fell upon the camp of the Taurisci in Breuci. He quickly relieved the siege, slaughtering all the warriors for no losses at all in a single day, taking 0.4 gold talents in booty and selling 7,000 tribes-people into slavery. He came, he saw, he conquered! And then headed back east again to Thrace.

The three Eastern Pact partners were winning their ‘9th War of Pontic Aggression’ against Colchis and their Rhoxolani allies, with substantial progress [45% warscore] made by 2 June 551.

“Time is running out if we want to use their distraction to our own ends in Macedonia,” mused Consul Laevinus aloud to Humphronius as he pondered this latest report. “How is our recruiting and unit building program going? We’ve been steadily increasing our recruiting rate and hiring auxiliaries for a few years of peace now. Please send me a report.”

“Yes, Consul.” The report he provided is summarised below.

§§§§§§§

Manpower and Recruiting - August 548 to August 551

On 1 August 548, reserve manpower had been only 9,838 with 170 almost full strength cohorts in the field or training (around 170, 000 men under arms). In the rest of 548 (mainly in October) a recruiting spree saw five cohorts of principes and two of archers put into training. All were auxiliaries and in the East (as all army recruiting would be in this three-year period).

Throughout 549, another seven cohorts of principes and two of archers began training, while four new triremes were laid down. In 550, the army increase was finished off with another four cohorts of principes and two more of archers, with another four triremes ordered. There was no new army recruiting in 551 up to the end of July, but two more ships were started.

This meant a total of 22 new cohorts had been raised in three years of real peace to further fill out the eastern legions, together with the eight cohorts shipped over from Africa to Greece. Ten new galleys had bolstered the Roman Navy to a total strength now of over 100 vessels.

Manpower – both the total reserve and the recruiting rate – had increased over the same period. The monthly induction had risen with both the Lex Civitas Deses and also whenever new provinces were absorbed and adopted Roman culture. In February 550 the reserve was 32,230 with 1,332 new recruits per month. By October of the same year it was 42,909 (witha theoretical maximum of 162,000) and 1,354 per month, growing a little after the absorption of Vindelicia as a full province (more on that below). As at 1 September 551, the reserve had grown to 57,797.

§§§§§§§

Infrastructure and Research - August 548 to August 551

Over the same three-year period, the usual gradual improvements had come along, though there was no intense building program: it was more haphazard in nature.

In Vindelicia, the previously ordered new stockade was finished in February 549, after which everyone breathed a little easier. As noted above, the province became fully Roman in religion and culture in September 550, at which time a new temple was commissioned.

Maezaei’s new temple was completed in March 549 and a new stockade begun in Carnutes in November 549 (as extra insurance against barbarian incursions that might again make it past the Parisii buffer) and finished a year later.

The Governor of Raetia complained about a lack of trade in November 550 and used local funds to immediately complete a new forum there, with the same happening in Saguntum (Hispania) in January 551. Though unfortunately, despite a few attempts, no new foreign trade routes could be found.

In January 551, the Gallic province of Lemovices converted to the Roman state religion – welcome news, especially as the province already had a functioning temple (all new projects costing around 50 gold around this period, some – like irrigation - taking longer to finish than others).

Then on 2 July 551, a once in a generation event occurred in civic technology research. It would take over 24 years to reach the next such milestone.

2xpo3Q.jpg

Cato will no doubt rail against the possible adoption of ‘classical Greek philosophy’. But Humphronius would warmly welcome the institution of ‘underhand diplomacy’.

§§§§§§§

Part II – Casus Belli

The Eastern Question – September 551

“Peace is boring, Humphronius,” lamented Consul Laevinus after having finished reading through the latest manpower reports. “The war in Colchis continues, but they look to be on their last legs. The Pact will soon be finished and their troops returning. What can you tell me of the diplomatic situation?”

“The Fetial priests have provided an annotated map to summarise the current status of the five key powers. Thank you Bernardius, just place on the table here.”

GmGC3i.jpg

“As has been the case for years now, Macedon is stable and flush with money, but have no manpower reserves, putting everything they have into raising new regiments,” Humphronius continued. “And fortunately for us, apparently not willing or able to hire vast amounts of mercenary troops.”

Laevinus nodded; Humphronius continued.

“Pontus remains unstable, virtually bankrupt, but with plenty of manpower in reserve. The Seleucids are in a similar state, though a little better off than Pontus. All three remain allied with each other and at war with Colchis and Rhoxolani.”

“And our Egyptian allies?”

“As well disposed as they can possibly be at this stage. The relationship has never been stronger. They have vast manpower reserves and a small but reasonable treasury. And as far as the Republic is concerned, we retain a valid casus belli against Macedon.”

“And our legions are all back in place now, with Legio IV back in Triballi, while the navy is concentrated in Argolis.”

“Yes, Consul.”

“So Humphronius, if I was to submit a declaration of war against Macedon to the Senate, would it pass?”

“Yes, Consul, but only just. It would cost you some political capital to get it approval.”

“Well, then do it! And then get the Senate to approve calls to arms to both Egypt and our old friends Massilia, for good measure.”

“A very courageous course of action, Consul, given manpower is only partly restored and we can’t be sure the Senate will approve those calls to arms after you are forced to push the war vote through. Or that, if called, our allies will respond.”

“Bah! Enough of this lily-livered dithering. It is time for me to seek glory. Ah, for the Republic you understand, not me personally. Perish the thought!”

“Yes, Consul,” replied Humphronius with a sceptically raised eyebrow. So the answer to the ‘Eastern Question’ would be war. Again. Typical, he thought as he left the tablinum.

H69oGW.jpg

And while the declaration was pushed through, the Senate [rather stupidly and obstinately :mad:] absolutely refused to sanction any calls to arms being sent! Laevinus’ popularity was a bit too low, and it turned out his own faction leader was a rival, so the increased votes he would have expected from his own factional colleagues were not forthcoming. And even so, they may not have been enough anyway. Rome would be facing the entire Pact (presuming Pontus and the Seleucids honoured their commitments to Macedon) alone for the time being.

This did not affect short term plans too badly though, as Thracia should be able to be held by the strong Legio VI (now 31,000 men strong) behind the Propontis if necessary, while many of the Pact’s forces were still presumably off in Colchis and there was no Zagreid in Bithynia. Legio IV was split in two, Licinus [Martial 8] keeping 8,000 men and Laevinus [Martial 3] taking the other 8,000 under his personal command. They would have the routine task of sieging down the unguarded provinces of Pontic Thrace, starting with Suci and Crobobzi. This fulifilled Laevinus ambition to become a legate, making him a little more confident in his command [+1 Martial, to 4]. This new outfit was designated as Legio XII.

The cursus honorum was not ignored either. Titus Aemilius Barbula [Martial 9] was the next young man made Pontifex Maximus on 9 September. G.C. Scipio [Martial 8] was promoted to Censor and another man in turn made available in the ‘command pool’.

§§§§§§§

The Land War – September to December 551

As neither Pontus nor the Seleucids declared war immediately, the 4th, 6th and 12th Legions on the Pontic border remained on standby. Legio VIII in Argolis was also split in two, with the perennial ‘ferryman’ M.C. Dentatus [Martial 5] given a revived Legio V (10 cohorts) and marching for Thessaly. Gurges held the other 15 cohorts in Argolis to keep an eye on the Seleucid garrison of eight regiments sitting in Sparta. The 1st (still A.C. Caudex, [Martial 9]) and 2nd (old A.P. Albinus, [Martial 8]) Legions had the main job of marching into Epirus and Macedonia respectively, to confront the main Macedonian army, commanded by their ruler, Archon Ptolemy Ptolemy.

SiVXDq.jpg

The first battle was an easy skirmish on Legio II’s arrival in Macedonia on 2 October 551, with the siege beginning straight away.

[See map note 1 in the campaign map further below. If viewing on a PC, you may wish to put the map – which has dates, numbers and casualties for all the battles and skirmishes - up in one window and follow the progress via the text.]

The same day, Pontus and the Seleucids declared war. Gurges marched with Legio VIII on Sparta, but the Seleucid 2nd Stratos headed north to Roman Achaea, which they would reach nine days before the Romans would catch them. Gurges decided to proceed, guessing Achaea should be a tough nut to crack.

In Thrace, the 4th and 12th marched north as planned, while it was decided to send Legio VI across the Propontis to Bithynia, in the hope it might be taken before Pontus could bring its main army back.

XNDbvI.jpg

Rather than staying in Epirus to confront Caudex’s Legio I, Ptolemy had marched to Macedonia to confront Albinus. Both sides started the battle on 5 October [map note 2] with 26,000 men each. The main differences were that Ptolemy had four light infantry regiments, but (due no doubt to their superior military technology and Rome’s Consul not being a strong military man) their morale was considerably stronger. The discipline of each side’s mainstay heavy infantry was similar: and seeing this, Laevinus was glad Licinus had passed the Lex Civitas Deses [which increased heavy infantry disciple by 20%].

Albinus was also the superior leader, though Ptolemy got the better of the opening round, then pressed hard after that with a devastating charge that saw Roman morale plummet and casualties mount at a horrendous rate. Things were already difficult by 11 October and would now get worse over the next five days.

9Led8T.jpg

During the battle, word came that Pontus had made a separate peace with Colchis: they clearly wanted to get back to deal with the Romans as quickly as possible.

TCJuIz.jpg

Back in Macedonia, old Albinus, crusty naval veteran of the First Eastern War, showed steely determination as the men of Legio II fought for their lives and – even more importantly – their honour. On 15 October, back against the metaphorical wall, he signalled the counter-charge. Even though Roman morale was still fragile by 18 October, it was now the Macedonians who were dying in droves. On 19 October, clearly fearing the destruction of his army – the only sizeable force Macedon currently in the country – Ptolemy withdrew.

rIzR0g.jpg

The casualties were dreadful on both sides; the death toll ended up being greater on the Macedonian side, but Roman morale was almost shot, as they resumed the siege and suffered attrition to boot. However, a close run and important battle had been won.

On 22 October, Dentatus and Legio V arrived in Thessaly, driving off three regiments in a two-day skirmish and setting up their siege lines [map note 3].

Just two days later, Colchis made their peace with the Seleucids: they had been devastated, losing half their remaining territory as the war concluded.

iQGHJK.jpg

Dentatus won another short skirmish in Thessaly – which would prove one of the focal points during the first months of the campaign – in early November [map note 4] and maintained the siege. This was followed by a bigger battle just a few days later, when Ptolemy brought a significantly larger force against Dentatus’ Legio V on 14 November [map note 5]. But the ‘journeyman’ legate, outnumbered as he was, saw off the half-hearted attack in just five days. Caudex, who had been chasing Ptolemy from Epirus with Legio I, was not even needed in the end.

Lji1G3.jpg

Caudex was in Thessaly five days after this victory and, with attrition set to continue and a large combined force at hand, the Romans made the rare (for them) decision to assault a full-strength garrison of a stockaded city. The assault ground on from 24 November to 2 December – but ended agonisingly short of victory when Roman morale failed at the last gasp.

MLB83Y.jpg

Caudex hoped this would not prove fatal.

§§§§§§§

The Land War – January to July 552

There was better news from Achaea, where – after making no progress yet in Sparta and scaring off a small but progressing Macedonian siege of Argolis, Gurges had launched an attack on the Seleucids on 9 January 555 AUC [map note 6], defeating them and breaking the siege, even while the Macedonians started theirs over again in Argolis.

In Thessaly, even though the siege had made little headway [0% progress], the city’s tiny remaining garrison of just 59 men surrendered on 10 January [map note 7]. The assault had not been completely fruitless after all. This would be the only enemy province actually seized by the end of July 552.

The very next day, the plucky (or foolhardy) Ptolemy made an attempt to retake Thessaly, attacking the 1st and 5th Legions’ 32,000 men on 11 January with around 20,000 troops [map note 8]. Despite poor starting morale, Rome’s superior numbers and a brilliant opening gambit by Caudex [Rome (7)8.5 v 1 Macedon die roll] turned this into one of the most one-sided bloodbaths against a major power Rome had won in decades. Just 170 legionaries were lost but over half of Ptolemy’s army was destroyed in five days of butchery. It would prove the turning point of the early campaign.

Then early the next month, news came from Gurges in Sparta: his Legio VIII had cornered and destroyed the Seleucid army in a single day [map note 9].

Meanwhile, two attempts by Legio VI to cross into Bithynia had been disrupted by small enemy fleets in the Propontis. At the cost of some additional seaborne attrition, the Roman Navy had been called in to clear the waterway and ferry them across instead, with Q.M. Vitulus [Martial 8] finally beginning his siege on 5 February. But five crucial months had been lost in getting there: it remained to be seen if this would prove significant.

The next major battle took place in Epirus between 9 and 13 March 552 [map note 10], where Caudex’s Legio I had chased the enemy down. He made short work of Ptolemy’s Macedonian army with yet another devastating opening gambit, despite attacking over a river [Rome (7)7.5 v 2 Macedon].

Caudex kept up the chase, pursuing Ptolemy to Thessaly, which was unoccupied with Legio V was now besieging Aetolia, where Dentatus won another skirmish, this time against Macedonian recruits on 18 March [map note 11]. Caudex found Ptolemy once more in Thessaly on 18 April, this time winning a closer fight [Rome (5)6.5 v 6 Macedon] against the now badly outnumbered Macedonian Archon [map note 12].

Meanwhile, more auxiliaries had been recruited in recent months (more detail later) and had begun to assemble in Paeonia, where one of the recent ex-Censors was given command of the newly raised Legio XIII. It started marching on 22 March with four cohorts and more on the way from the Illyrian hinterland. All were ordered to rendezvous in Epirus.

“Don’t be silly, nothing unlucky about that number,” said a confident new Legate, Servius Caecilius Metellus [Martial 8] to a dubious looking auxiliary centurion.

But Metellus was delayed in Paeonia for a few days by a small local barbarian uprising in early May, just before he was to leave the province. He lost just 22 men wiping out 1,000 Autariatae tribesmen, sending 1,000 camp followers into slavery.

Unfortunately, this short delay meant a couple of the reinforcement cohorts arrived in Epirus a few days before Metellus – leading to 2,000 auxiliary principes being wiped out by Ptolemy’s army (now less than 4,000 men) which arrived and ambushed them on 16 June [map note 13], before Metellus could arrive to rescue them. He marched on, due to arrive on 21 June and administer some Roman justice on the Archon.

Metellus opened strongly, slightly outnumbering the now small Macedonian remnant. But Ptolemy fought back on 26 June [not captured in a screenshot] and by 1 July was in the ascendant, with Roman morale (somewhat inexplicably) failing badly, even after having inflicted relatively massive casualties on the enemy while losing few of the auxiliary troops. Legio XIII, much to Metellus’ surprise and consternation, broke and ran on 2 July [map note 14]. The last two battles of the period had been Rome’s first defeats in the campaign so far.

m339ew.jpg

“Just a bit of bad luck,” Metellus remarked to the same centurion he had spoken to back up in Paeonia, as they trudged north back to Taulanti. All he received in reply was an ‘I told you so’ expression.

On 20 July, ominous news was reported: Zagreid was in Paphlagonia, marching on Bithynia with an army of 34 regiments, due to arrive on 24 August. Attrition had seen Legio VI whittled down to 25,100 men from their establishment strength of 31,000, and the siege only partly complete [38% progress]. They could either stand and fight, or try to evade battle – which could only be done in time through a naval evacuation.

By 30 July a small Pontic fleet blocked the Propontis, but a large Roman fleet in Mare Aegium could be quickly be sent to eject the Pontic ships and perhaps ferry Legio VI back to Thracia. But this decision would be left to the new Consul, with the election due that day.

LvrIYi.jpg

Across the front, six Roman sieges were in progress, three of them near completion. Legio XI was in Liburni, coming and despatching barbarian rebels along the way (more below). Legio XIII was almost back in Taulanti after their surprise defeat in Epirus, while Legio I was nearing Argolis, where it was flushing out the small Macedonian force besieging it (and explained why they had not been sent to Epirus). And of course, the returning Zagreid was still bearing down on Bithynia.

LdrYZ1.jpg

The Second Eastern War: summary of battles in the Macedonian Campaign, October 551 to July 552.

§§§§§§§

The Naval War – September 551 to July 552

The naval part of the war started well, with the massed Roman fleet in Argolis, around 100 ships in three fleets under the lead command of T.A. Cotta [Martial 8], sortieing out from Argolis as war was declared. G.S. Blaesus was too disloyal to be voluntarily removed from command of Classis I, which would also make it impossible to detach ships for repairs or to merge with other fleets.

vQzqGs.jpg

They ambushed and destroyed a fleet of ten Macedonian triremes in Mare Mrytoum before they could escape, sinking nine and capturing one by 17 September 551 [map note 1].

After the Roman fleets fanned out, on 2 October, Classis II under D.C. Scipio found and sank a small Pontic flotilla in Mare Icarium [map note 2]. Over in Mare Hadriaticum, Classis I (G.S. Blaesus) inconclusively skirmished with a smaller Macedonian fleet on 18 October [map note 3], but then caught up and decisively defeated them in Sinus Tarentinus between 28 October and 1 November [map note 4].

Then on 1 November, a large Seleucid fleet was spotted heading towards Mare Myrtoum, where the three Roman fleets were ordered to concentrate and give battle.

vCbinN.jpg

After some jockeying around and a change of direction by the Seleucids, the largest naval battle of this first phase of the war began on 24 November in Mare Icarium [map note 5], where 69 ships from Classis II and IV, led by the senior admiral T.A. Cotta, engaged 44 Seleucid triremes (some had peeled away in the interim). The fighting was tactically even at first, then on 6 December Classis I joined the fight with another 27 ships. The engagement finished on 17 December, with Rome victorious and the surviving Seleucids heading to port in Lydia for repairs.

After this, a small detachment of six ships under the mediocre D.S. Caepio arrived in the Propontis to secure the crossing of Legio VI which, as noted earlier, had had a previous crossing to Bithynia interrupted by passing enemy ships.

But on 11 January 552, a twelve ship fleet under Pontic Admiral Orestes Pytheid attacked Caepio [map note 6], who fled as soon as he was able to and before he lost any ships. This also sent Legio VI back to its starting point in Thracia - again.

Cotta responded by leading Classis II and IV to sweep the Pontic fleet back out of the Propontis on 25 January [map note 7]. They then ferried Legio VI across to Bithynia directly. Sadly, instead of repairing in Thracia, Caepio’s small flotilla had headed for Argolis, but was ambushed along the way by that large Seleucid fleet at port in Lydia (an elementary mistake) and wiped out [map note 8].

Qu1HCH.jpg

The Second Eastern War: summary of battles in the Naval Campaign, September 551 to July 552. The numbers are fleet strength then (captured and sunk).

§§§§§§§

Manpower, Recruiting, Infrastructure and Research - September 551 to July 552

The new temple in Vindelicia was finished on 6 September 551, just before war was declared. Then local governors in Carnutes (6 October) and Taulanti (17 December) commissioned new temple on their own initiative, the only cost being a little loyalty.

Tracking the manpower reserve was crucial in this hopefully more limited war, as the risk had been taken to leap in from a starting point of only 57,797 as at 1 September 551. After the initial battles and attrition, by 21 November the reserve had increased to 59,381, but there were now 10,281 vacancies in the legions. The monthly recruiting rate had risen to 1,377.

By 2 March 552, the reserve was at 57,170, but now with 18,430 vacancies, with a monthly accrual rate of 1,400. As Laevinus' term as Consul ended on 30 July 552, it was 53,092 in reserve, with 15,195 vacancies (about 2,500 were trickling through as replacements each month) and the accrual rate steady at 1,400. For now, this was sustainable.

Unit raising had resumed when the war commenced and the Senate allowed neither Egypt or Massilia to be asked to join in. Up to the end of July, eight more cohorts of auxiliary principes and one of archers were set in training, two of which were destroyed in the ambush in Epirus. By this time, the costs of mercenaries had inflated again: principes were 18.4 gold each to hire, 9.2 for archers. Regulars were 2 and 1 gold each respectively. But with manpower at a premium and money plentiful, only auxiliaries were hired. Two more triremes were laid down and one enemy ship captured, while six had Roman vessels had been sunk.

And in June 552, a most welcome advance in military technology was made that should lead to some useful combat improvements in due course.

PL1pRz.jpg


§§§§§§§

Piracy - August 448 to July 552

In the four years of the Consular terms of Licinus and Laevinus, five pirate fleets were sunk: 23 were sunk and two captured and pressed into Roman service.

§§§§§§§

Other Events - September 551 to July 552

Despite the best chance of success in years, the next omen failed on the ante diem quartum decimum Kalendas (the 14th day before the Kalends) of October 551. There was a call for the now under-performing Gallic chickens to be turned into ‘chicken a la rex’ and eaten for dinner that evening.

9OuItP.jpg

On 17 March 552, as the war raged in Macedon, a barbarian revolt had broken out in Liburni. Bubulcus took a cut-down Legio XI east to deal with them, leaving seven cohorts behind in Helvetii that would be joined by and incorporated into Legio III ‘Nova’, under the experienced legate Hiram Magoid,. With Gaul and the German border so quiet in recent years, it was hoped one large legion would be sufficient for most emergencies. Magoid was in place by 11 June, with 20 cohorts under command.

GgNf1o.jpg

After taking some attrition on the way through Histrii, Legio XI arrived in Liburni on 25 July 552 and wiped out the whole barbarian force of 6,000 Pentri in one battle by 28 July, losing 295 of his 13,930 legionaries doing it; 0.58 gold and 6,000 slaves were taken. Bubulcus kept marching east: he may be needed to help stem the attacks of returning Pontic and Seleucid armies in coming weeks and months.

The next election was duly held on 30 July – marking over 20 years now of Consuls serving their full two-year terms. The winner was another Mercantile candidate, but this one – Manius Cornelius Scipio – was actually a strong military officer, which would help the morale of the troops at the front. His personal (and sometimes contradictory) traits might make him a bit of a handful for the civil servants, but they were used to such challenges.

7hwXVd.jpg

“Like all politicians, he craves popularity and has been lucky enough to achieve it,” observed Humphronius. “For now, anyway.”

“Oh, ah, is that bad then, Humphronius Obscurus?” asked an uncertain Bernardius.

“Normally yes, on principle … but in this case no, Bernardius. A popular Consul is more likely to be able to sway the Senate.”

“Ah, I see. The calls to arms.”

Yes, Bernardius. You’re learning. Let us now brief our new master and see what his wishes are. We might even let him pursue a few of them!”

In this case, the dearest wishes of both were in harmony.

“Humphronius, I will take these two motions to the Senate immediately – there is not a moment to waste. I have already sounded out our colleagues in the Religious faction, who are now very willing to back me on this.”

Seeing what the motions were, Humphronius smiled indulgently. For once, this was ‘action, now!’ he could support wholeheartedly.

Qk23nO.jpg

Yes, Consul. Let us hope the Egyptians answer the call.”

The answer to that particularly important question would have to await the efforts of the emissary.

Given the balance of power in the Senate, the cross-party support Scipio could count on from the Religious faction was a very useful bonus. Of interest, at this early stage, all three leading candidates for the next Consulship were from the religious faction. Whether that would still be the case by the time of the next election though was of course moot.

zA3pUR.jpg


§§§§§§§

Finis
 
  • 2Like
  • 1
Reactions:

stnylan

Compulsive CommentatAAR
123 Badges
Aug 1, 2002
36.965
3.620
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Deus Vult
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
So the fighting is not without its setbacks, but not without its successes either.

Humphronius should be happy - with a war to fight these politicians are much more manageable.
 
  • 1Like
  • 1
Reactions:

HistoryDude

Emperor of Greece and Rome and Holy Roman Emperor
39 Badges
Mar 19, 2018
2.309
1.095
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Rome Gold
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Crusader Kings III: Royal Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
Macedon seems about to fall, and Sparta can probably be taken here.

The Senate was being stupid, but that’s not new. This seems to have been resolved, though, so that’s good.

Cato the Elder exists now? That’s interesting, indeed?

Perhaps Pontus’s Thracian provinces can be taken, along with Bithynia?
 
  • 1
Reactions:

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
7.308
3.892
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
So the fighting is not without its setbacks, but not without its successes either.

Humphronius should be happy - with a war to fight these politicians are much more manageable.
The initial fighting went pretty well, even if the first big battle was close and expensive and there were the small losses at the end. Though the ‘loss’ by Legio XIII was really a crushing victory in terms of casualties - they just didn’t occupy the field of battle at the end of the day. ;) Of more concern is that approaching Pontic army, and any others they or the Seleucids may now send.

Now that he has a Consul with political clout in the Senate and a nice big war to fill his eyes with pictures of glory, Humpy should indeed be well-pleased!
Macedon seems about to fall, and Sparta can probably be taken here.

The Senate was being stupid, but that’s not new. This seems to have been resolved, though, so that’s good.

Cato the Elder exists now? That’s interesting, indeed?

Perhaps Pontus’s Thracian provinces can be taken, along with Bithynia?
Macedon is in big trouble - they presumably still have an army of 18 regiments somewhere between Colchis and home, but they have to make it past the Roman Navy, and may be short of replacements given their manpower woes.

The Senate’s silly decision to approve the war (under sufferance) but then block requests for allied assistance caused some consternation! Hopefully Egypt will respond positively, as we’ll need them to deal with the Seleucids in the longer term. Especially as they are not distracted by civil war this time. But their intervention is not certain, and I’ll find out their answer (which I don’t know yet) when I unpause.

In OTL, Cato would have been around 26 when the chapter started and well into the first stage of his career. It’d be nice if he was in the game, but I’ll use him as a bit of a side character in the narrative on and off. There will be a few pithy quotes deployed or paraphrased along the way. :D

The primary war objectives are 1) Taking as much of the remaining rich Macedonian Greek provinces as possible. 2) See if we can take Sparta from the Seleucids (it’s a bit of a dagger in the back), 3) the remainder of Pontic Thrace (a tidier map and another rear-area security problem diminished - though with barbarians instead of Pontus to worry about), 4) a foothold in Asia Minor, preferably Bithynia, as you say.
 
  • 1
Reactions:

GulMacet

Colonel
37 Badges
Sep 24, 2010
1.073
270
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • BATTLETECH
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Cities: Skylines - Campus
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
Those seem like sensible goals. Also, I love how you also use real history as a background, to flesh things out! It makes things feel more alive, and it's a nice refresher course for us readers.
 
  • 1
  • 1
Reactions: