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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

El Pip

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It will be back to Rome next and the next phase of the Egyptian War. Remaining comment feedback follows.
Sounds an awful lot like my last direct commander during my military service, are you sure he isn't called Gürcan?
Hehe! You get them. Had a CO once (who happened to be pretty bald) whose nickname with the soldiers was 'Mudguard': "Shiny on top, shit underneath!" And another officer who we nicknamed 'the ASP': A Smiling Penis. :D Such a forgiving profession :p
I was planning my first shot at homemade shrimp pad thai, but chicken works just as well :D
:D
all the pieces falling into places before the war
Yes, the set-up got there in the end - even if not everything ended up going quite to plan: it never does.
The empire is mostly contiguous now! Only the area around Gibraltar left to make it fully so, I guess?
Yes, bringing southern Hispania and Carthage under Roman control is now a strategic priority.
Probably dodged a bullet there. Letting a former enemy described as "Incapable and Vengful" command a major fleet did seem a very courageous decision as Humphronius would say.
Oh, very! Had there been any other alternative, it would have been taken.

Don't you mean dodged the pilum?
Well he was a naval commander so it would technically be dodging the Ballista.
Jolly japes. :D Bernardius would be proud.
Well at this point the Socrates/Plato/Aristotle generation have been dead for about 200 years (if I've got the dates right) so they would be classic from the 'modern' Roman perspective. A more 'modern' philosophy would be Stocism, which is at least a century younger and was seen to be a better match for Roman virtues, or at least the virtues the Romans liked to imagine they had.
It's all Greek to me! :rolleyes:;)
 
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Le Jones

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Finally caught up and as ever @Bullfilter "she's a beaut" (other Australasian terms are, I believe, available). My favourite bit of the last update was the Battle of Mare Aegyptiacum , although a small battle it is nice to see an ancient AAR with some naval action - it is often overlooked (particularly in I:R).
Hehe! You get them. Had a CO once (who happened to be pretty bald) whose nickname with the soldiers was 'Mudguard': "Shiny on top, shit underneath!" And another officer who we nicknamed 'the ASP': A Smiling Penis. :D Such a forgiving profession :p
This reminds of the judge that we nicknamed "M25" - he goes round and round and never gets anywhere...
 
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El Pip

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This reminds of the judge that we nicknamed "M25" - he goes round and round and never gets anywhere...
This is a top tip for finding a good Highways Engineer; if they can see the joke they will be good working with, if they don't it will be grim and if they point out that 'actually the M25 isn't a circle because the Dartford crossings are not technically under motorway regulations' then they will require careful handling but their pedantry can be weaponised to defeat the client.
 
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This is a top tip for finding a good Highways Engineer; if they can see the joke they will be good working with, if they don't it will be grim and if they point out that 'actually the M25 isn't a circle because the Dartford crossings are not technically under motorway regulations' then they will require careful handling but their pedantry can be weaponised to defeat the client.

And there we have it. Good, sage advice there - next week on @Bullfilter and @El Pip's guide to choosing the right professional: "Grouting: is it good for you?"
 
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Bullfilter

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Finally caught up and as ever @Bullfilter "she's a beaut" (other Australasian terms are, I believe, available). My favourite bit of the last update was the Battle of Mare Aegyptiacum , although a small battle it is nice to see an ancient AAR with some naval action - it is often overlooked (particularly in I:R).
Fantastic! Thanks for the kind words too. There will be more naval action in the subsequent episodes, rest assured. And not all one-way traffic, either.
This reminds of the judge that we nicknamed "M25" - he goes round and round and never gets anywhere...
This is a top tip for finding a good Highways Engineer; if they can see the joke they will be good working with, if they don't it will be grim and if they point out that 'actually the M25 isn't a circle because the Dartford crossings are not technically under motorway regulations' then they will require careful handling but their pedantry can be weaponised to defeat the client.
And there we have it. Good, sage advice there - next week on @Bullfilter and @El Pip's guide to choosing the right professional: "Grouting: is it good for you?"
We can be so cruel - but it's justified! :D

Grouting, like an extra lick of paint, is always good for you! ;)
 

Bullfilter

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Chapter XCIX: A Busy Year
(1 January to 31 December 593/160 BC)

4gsru4.jpg

Introduction

Numerius Fabius Pictor – a Religious faction Senator – was elected Consul on 18 April 592 AUC (161 BC) and by 24 September had led Rome into its first war against mighty Egypt. The recently remade alliance with the Seleucids had broken down again when they refused to Rome's call to arms.

The opening exchanges had seen mixed results, with Egyptian numerical disadvantages in the various theatres being somewhat offset by excellent leadership and more advanced military technology. The campaign in Hispania had begun with a heavy Roman defeat at Olissippo on 18 November. In Africa, an expensive victory had been scored at Corniclanum on 13 November, while Legio VII still chased the Egyptian 3rd Army around the Carthage sector.

In the East, an easy battle against the small Egyptian 18th Army in Caria on 3 December had sent them running to Lycia, with both provinces of Egypt’s Asia Minor enclave under Roman siege by year’s end. The only sea battle of the war so far had also come in the East, where L.A. Barbula’s large Classis I had ambushed and defeated the smaller Egyptian 2nd Navy in Mare Aegyptiacum on 1 November.

§§§§§§§

Part I: The West

January-April 593 AUC (160 BC)

Legio X (M.J. Bubulcus) was in Lusitani on 2 January 593, having retreated there form the earlier defeat in Olissippo. They were now marching south-east to rendezvous in Vettones with a detachment of seven fresh cohorts marching south from Brigantia. The Egyptian 9th Army remained in Olissippo, while Legio XII was marching north from Cynetes towards them, intent on revenge for their colleagues’ loss.

In Western Africa, Legio XIII (S.C. Maximus) [Martial 8] caught up with the Egyptian 13th Army in Mauretania on 10 January, to again find the opposition even better led than the Romans (Naravas Senuid) [Martial 9] in the opening engagement of that sector. But the Egyptians had suffered from attrition and assaulting the fortifications earlier, retreating by 18 January after taking heavy losses (Rome 2,771/20,372; Egypt 3,591/14,007 killed). Maximus pursued the retreating Senuid back north to Tingis.

As that battle ended, M.C Rufinus attacked Philotheos Proctid in Olissippo and seemed to be improving his initial advantage in morale, despite a disadvantage in numbers (in part from attrition during their travels in hostile territory). But the battle turned as January was drawing to a close and both sides became exhausted, with the Egyptians just outlasting the Romans for a narrow and bloody victory. Proctid was proving a very difficult opponent to deal with.

WBH56t.jpg

After the battle, Legio XII followed Legio X’s earlier retreat north to Lusitani, while Proctid made for Egyptian Turduli.

When Legio X joined with the other column in Vettones on 9 February, the cohorts were consolidated from 31 to 25 in total (22,284 men) and united under the command of Bubulcus. He then took the reinforced Legio X south towards Turduli to confront his nemesis Proctid. But Proctid halted in Olissippo the next day when his scouts spotted the Roman move, so Bubulcus marched on Olissippo instead.

In Tingis, the decisive battle in that sector was fought from 9 February to 6 March. It ebbed to and fro for four weeks, despite Rome outnumbering their opponents two-to-one and maintaining the tactical edge for most of it. But by the end, the Egyptian 13th Army was broken and would never again be able to provide credible opposition to Legio XIII.

LmOznw.jpg

The denouement in Western Africa came in Tingis on 31 March, when Maximus wiped out the 13th Army in a single day, with no opposition given (Rome 0/17,390; Egypt 5,527/5,527 killed). Legio XIII settled in for the siege.

By early April, a sizeable Massilian army (2nd Stratos, 21 regiments) was in southern Gaul and heading to Volcae in Hispania, with other individual regiments also on their way. The Romans would welcome any help they might be able to provide against their ‘bogeyman’ Proctid.

Consul Pictor (as the only qualified Naval Prefect available) had taken command of the 121 ships of Classis IV, then based in southern Hispania at Bastetani, in late 592. He now took them into battle against the Egyptian 3rd Navy when they sortied from Gadira in mid-April. Unfortunately, not only were the winds against the Roman sailors, but the Egyptian admiral Ankhmachis Philonid was of Pyrrhic prowess! Despite a healthy advantage in numbers, Pictor had lost eleven ships (two of them captured) in just five days and beat an abject retreat as soon as he could get away.

OEq3PS.jpg

Seventeen new triremes were laid down as soon as word of the defeat was passed back to Rome. Classis IV would need more ships and a better commander if they hoped to control the Pillars of Hercules.

The small Legio III ‘Nova’ (A.I.Dives, 9,000 men) had made it from northern to Carpetani by 23 April and headed towards Turduli. By then, Legio X was in Olissippo, having failed to catch Proctid’s 9th Army, which had moved onto Egyptian Cynetes.

§§§§§§§

May-December 593 AUC (160 BC)

This time, Proctid was too slow to get to Turdetani and was attacked by Bubulcus in Cynetes on 29 April. Legio X was reinforced, refreshed and had a clear advantage in numbers. Bubulcus got the early tactical edge, but Proctid began to claw back the tide of battle.

gLgfTa.jpg

The fighting intensified on 9 May and Egyptian casualties mounted: by 14 May Bubulcus had his revenge after inflicting very heavy losses on the previously undefeated 9th Army. Legio X stayed in Cynetes to conduct a siege, while III and XII moved to follow up and continue the pursuit into southern Hispania.

XMfT6z.jpg

By late May, Dives and Rufinus were closing in and planned to join together in Turduli, while Bubulcus stayed in Cynetes.

qfglPx.jpg

The Roman presence led to recruit massacres in Cynetes (15 June) and Turduli (18 June). On 25 June, Legio III and XII were consolidated, Dives taking the bulk (17,000 men in 18 cohorts) in Legio III south towards Turdetani, where Proctid had just arrived and was now headed further south to Gadira, but would be struck by Dives before he made it to safety. Rufinus (Legio XII, 6,000 men in seven cohorts) stayed to besiege Turduli.

Dives duly attacked Proctid on 31 July, full of confidence, with a healthy advantage in numbers and morale and a good opening to the battle, despite having to ford a river to get at the Egyptians. But despite the Romans inflicting heavy casualties on the 9th and outnumbering the Egyptians by almost three-to-one by 10 August, Proctid ‘the Magician’ somehow managed to conjure a bloody victory, with Dives forced to flee east to Oretani to recover.

H8ybfi.jpg

The Romans now sat back to recover and consolidate, having suffered a third defeat at Proctid’s hands. In mid-September, the main Massilian 2nd Stratos (now 26 regiments) was in central Hispania and would arrive in Belli on 14 September.

The siege of Tingis was won on 5 November (197 days) and Cynetes fell to Rome on the 27th (also 197 days). By early December, the Massilians had begun a siege of Turdetani and had contained the 9th Army in Gadira to the north – a task Rome was happy to leave to their allies – while Legio XIII stood guard to the south in Tingis. The siege of Turduli continued.

QdTNoT.jpg

The year ended with sad news of the death of the old warhorse Dives, who died just as Legio III was approaching Bastetani, while Legio X was headed to Turduli.

9sh3GM.jpg

The summary below includes the action in the Western Theatre from the start of the war in late 592 (previous chapter, battle in green, above the red line in the table), on land and at sea. The Romans had had a difficult time in Hispania but had managed to advance their positions, despite some hard losses against Proctid. This had been balanced by a far simpler campaign in Western Africa.

aA9zNC.jpg


§§§§§§§

Part II: Africa

January-June 593 AUC (160 BC)

As a large Egyptian force was seen approaching Legio I in Corniclanum from the east in early January, Legio XI broke its siege of Nassamones and headed north to reinforce them: the victory there the year before had been a very expensive one and the Egyptians were known to have reserve armies in the interior.

Meanwhile, 12 January saw the Egyptian 3rd Army (39 regiments) besieging Theveste. Legio VII (S.S. Caepio, 43 cohorts) made it to Thapsus on 18 January and struck west to continue their chase, where they were due to attack the Egyptians on 10 February, just one day before they could escape to Carthage (having broken their siege of Theveste on the Roman approach).

To the east, the decision to bring Legio XI north proved a prudent one: the Egyptians attacked M.C. Maximus (Legio I) on 29 January. Though the Roman was a slightly superior commander, his troops’ morale was fragile and the Egyptian 7th Army was due to be reinforced by the 8th on 10 February. Crassus’ arrival on 31 January gave the Romans a three-to-one numerical advantage for a while, but the enemy then had the numbers after the 8th arrived.

Zagreid managed to maintain a tactical edge for much of the early battle, except for a short period of Roman ascendancy from 8-13 February. By the 18th, things were in balance but the battle was starting to tip towards the Egyptians.

73zKJD.jpg

As the battle in Corniclanum was heating up, another great battle broke out in Theveste, as the two armies finally clashed. Attrition and fortification assaults had badly reduced Egyptian numbers, though Caepio was attacking across a river. And the Egyptian commander Isocrates Penamid was yet another Egyptian military genius. This battle proved to be a very tactically even affair throughout, inching in favour of one side and then the other. Despite a Roman rally on 25 February and a continued numerical advantage, Egypt prevailed, handing the Romans one of their bloodiest defeats in the last century of conflicts.

XXR5Q6.jpg

The Egyptians had also taken heavy casualties in the battle, even if it had served to even things up somewhat. Coupled with the difficulties in Hispania and the tough fight in Corniclanum at that time, Rome was starting to get worried about the string of losses or expensive victories and the consequent drain on manpower in the intense first months of 593.

In Corniclanum, the fight dragged on all the way through March and into early April, with both sides losing morale and the casualties being suffered decreasing to small amounts by the time the battle was drawing to a close. Once more, the battle remained even as both sides reached the end of their tether. As all seemed lost for the Romans, Maximus managed a final rally on 30 March which he hoped would carry the day.

q0Wv0C.jpg

But it was too late and the effort could not be maintained, Zagreid taking the honours on 5 April. The effusion of Roman life blood significantly eclipsed that of Theveste. The Egyptian 17th Army gave chase as Maximus and Crassus routed with their eviscerated legions back to Leptis Magna.

In central Africa, Legio VII completed its rout to Numidia on 7 April and immediately headed back east to Theveste (due 9 May) while the Egyptian 3rd Army made its way back to Thapsus (due 9 April). As Caepio pulled into Theveste, he heard news that Penamid had assaulted the walls of Thapsus, losing more men and devastating the morale of his troops when they were beaten back. Not deterred, Caepio kept heading east, vowing revenge for his earlier humiliation.

2Y3Mlh.jpg

Just two days later, the Romans finished their retreat to Leptis Magna and the Egyptians attacked the next day. But the enemy had swapped their arrangements around, with the 8th Army advancing after all and arriving first, reinforced by the 17th a few days later. Egypt had the advantage in overall numbers but the battle was even – and intense. But this time, enemy morale faded more quickly and Maximus fought them off after a relatively short (and less bloody) battle than had been the norm to date. The situation remained precarious, but for now the Romans held.

ua0Zyd.jpg

The Egyptian 3rd Army was heading back to Carthage as Legio VII advanced from Theveste on 21 May, but Caepio would catch them five days before Penamid could escape to home territory, presumably to recover numbers and morale. Would Caepio be able to reverse the previous result, or would he end up regretting his bold pursuit – as others had before him?

He soon found out when he attacked on 5 June: an intense and fairly even battle was broken off by Penamid as soon as he could. He would have around three weeks to recuperate in Carthage before Caepio renewed the assault.

HkveKN.jpg

When Penamid arrived in Carthage, he immediately made for Theveste again, but would once more fail to escape by five days. Another reckoning loomed, this time on Egyptian territory.

§§§§§§§

July-December 593 AUC (160 BC)

Another short battle was fought between Caepio and Penamid, from 11-15 July in Carthage. This time Caepio [conceding a -1 die roll penalty for generalship and another -1 for a river crossing] managed to strike a heavy initial blow [+5 net die roll, despite the penalties] and the Egyptians were soon running again, for Theveste (Rome 1,159/37,563; Egypt 3,273/22,654 killed). Caepio pursued again, determined to run them to ground before they could recover.

Down in Leptis Magna, the Romans had been rebuilding their morale and numbers, when they were struck again by the Egyptian 8th and 17th Armies on 26 July. The enemy maintained a slight advantage in numbers and battlefield position and managed to inflict more casualties than they suffered, but again broke off the attack due to failing morale. They made for Nassamones this time.

cAiRW3.jpg

When Caepio met Penamid once more in Thapsus on 17 August, he again opened strongly – and this time the brilliant Penamid had no answers. His men were exhausted and the whole 3rd Army – still numbering over 17,000 men – was destroyed for little loss in just a couple of days!

H177Nm.jpg

Caepio’s popularity surged at this wonderful reversal of early fortunes as he consolidated his cohorts (down from 43 to 37), taking the full-strength units on the long march to the Egyptian border while a smaller detachment of recovering troops headed back up to put Carthage under siege. This may well prove the decisive moment of the African campaign, though it would take time for these extra troops to arrive at the front.

A major Egyptian force (around 21,000 men) had slipped in to besiege Roman Laguatan by 3 October, as neither side had felt ready to commit to another major battle over the last few months. This time, both Roman legions (recovered to around 34,000 troops in total) marched to see if they could crush this isolated force.

The battle went form 31 October to 4 November, Rome getting a marginal tactical edge and the Egyptians (8th Army) choosing not to stay for an extended fight, retreating back to Nassamones (Rome 2,147/34,190; Egypt 3,218/20,965 killed). Maximus this time elected to pursue with both legions, hoping to keep the momentum going while the Egyptians were still weak.

In the end, another short battle eventuated in Nassamones from 12-16 December, with Egyptian morale and numbers proving inferior, but a tactical edge letting them kill more Romans than they lost before breaking off again and retreating to Corniclanum (Rome 2,209/36,721; Egypt 1,718/21, 847 killed).

Following this victory, Rome reorganised with Maximus taking the bulk of the troops (27,0000) in Legio I north to pursue the Egyptians while Crassus kept 7,485 men in Legio XI to invest Nassamones – which after all was the focus of the Senate’s current mission. A recruit massacre on 23 December saw 1,000 enemy killed for no loss in Nassamones.

Roman prospects improved further when Legio VII arrived in Laguatan on 27 December after their long march from Carthage, ordered up to Leptis Magana where an Egyptian siege force had slipped in.

As for the West earlier, the summary below includes the action in the African Theatre from the start of the war in late 592 (covered in the previous chapter, battles in green, above the red line in the table). The Romans had also had some initial difficulties in both sectors early on and massive casualties had been suffered, whether winning or losing. But their relative position had improved greatly with the total victory in Thapsus and now Rome hoped to take the battle forward again in the new year.

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§§§§§§§

Part III: The East – January-December 593 AUC (160 BC)

The commander of Legio IV, former Consul P.V. Laevinus, died in Lycia at a comparatively young age (46) on 2 January 593. Given his smaller force was co-located with Legio V at the time, the two were merged under the command of the militarily astute A.C. Caudex.

Just three days later, the remnants of the Egyptian 18th Army finished their retreat from Caria and were wiped out on arrival (Rome 0/24,560; Egypt 2,258/2,258 killed). This would be the only land action in the entire theatre between Rome and Egypt for the year, as the sieges wore on and proved very slow to progress.

However, the complexion of the conflict changed significantly on 2 April when the Seleucids decided to declare war on Egypt of their own volition, without any reference to or alliance with Rome. For Rome it was a pity they hadn't done this from the start, but it should prove a useful diversion for those Egyptian armies that might otherwise had been sent against Rome. And should help to bring down their huge manpower reserve. Despite this, the Senate was implacably opposed to any attempt to renew the alliance.

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S.A. Barbula, a relatively mediocre commander of the troops besieging Cyprus, certainly lived up to the family name when his loyalty became dubious in late May. Because of the number of units loyal to him (presumably inherited from his grasping father) and the dearth of decent generals, Consul Pictor wanted to ‘keep him sweet’. Even the urbane Humphronius was shocked but grudgingly admiring when it took 250 gold talents to finally raise his loyalty to a ‘safe’ level!

“By Jupiter, he is Bribula Maximus, surely!” exclaimed the worldly civil servant. Bernardius could only shake his head in tired bemusement.

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On 11 October, Classis I was on patrol in Mare Carpathicum when a mix of three Egyptian fleets, totalling over 80 ships and headed in three different directions, was spotted in Mare Aegyptiacum, while a Seleucid fleet was also headed towards Egypt from Mare Cyprium: L.A. Barbula moved to intercept the enemy.

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The second naval battle in Mare Aegyptiacum began on 19 October. Naravas Senuid (4th Navy commander, returned from the destruction of his 13th Army in Tingis) led the Egyptians and was Barbula’s tactical match. The Romans were reinforced by the 24 ships of the Seleucid 2nd Nauticon on 24 October, handily joining in as co-belligerents under Roman command. The initial winds were with the enemy, but as the running battle went into November, Barbula began to gain the upper hand. By 8 November, Rome had lost one trireme, Egypt four.

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By that time, in a year of fighting the balance of the war was in Rome’s favour, but the lack of any occupied territory meant it was based on the balance of battle outcomes. The Seleucid entry was too recent for much to have altered the balance of their separate war.

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The great naval battle moved to its conclusion by 23 November: both sides started to lose more ships in the final five days of fighting before the Egyptians scurried for port in Alexandria.

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The whole of the Egyptian 4th Navy had been destroyed (the second such outcome Senuid had suffered that year) and two of their ships captured, though Rome also lost seven vessels (but gaining two, leaving them with 135) before they made for friendly seas and port for repairs.

An Egyptian offer for white peace was received on Saturnalia – and rejected, in the spirit of the season. The Senate would have vetoed had Consul Pictor been minded to accept – which he was not anyway. The manpower of both sides by this time had been significantly reduced.

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Of note, by this time the Military and Populist factions only commanded four Senators each, with the Religious group now in a majority, followed by the Mercantile faction.

The summary includes the action in the Eastern Theatre from the start of the war in late 592 (previous chapter, battles in green, above the red line in the table), on land and at sea. There had been relatively little action and all of it heavily in Rome’s favour. No provinces had been resolved in over a year of siege work in Lycia, Caria and Cyprus.

33iRSu.jpg


§§§§§§§

Part IV: The North – January-December 593 AUC (160 BC)

Fortunately for Rome, it was a quiet year for barbarian incursions and revolts in the rest of the Republic and its often fractious northern border lands. On 1 January, Legio VIII (19 cohorts) under ‘second stringer’ Publius Valerius Falto [Martial 6] intercepted the Sugamnbri besieging Hermunduri, commanded by warchief Gerold Geroldid [Martial 8]. The tough fight last for almost four weeks, but Falto emerged the victor (Rome 2,651/19,000; Sugamnbri 2,725/9,000 killed).

Q.F. Flaccus (another middling general commanding 8,000 garrison troops in northern Gaul) began showing signs of disloyalty in mid-February, requiring two bribes of 50 gold each to keep him quiet. With the war with Egypt raging and well over 8,000 gold in the Aerarium, the Consul just directed Bernardius to “throw money at the problem”.

“I wish I was that big a problem,” muttered a jealous Humphronius to himself.

“Did you say something Humphronius?”

“No, Consul. All is sweetness and light in our majestic and incorruptible Republic,” he replied with obviously mock sincerity.

With most attention on the Egyptian War, the Sugamnbri had managed to return from their retreat to Lugii south into Marcomanni on 8 June. Falto, who had expected them to return for a ritual destruction in Hermunduri, started marching south to eradicate the pests. Geroldid again put up stiff resistance, but was again defeated by 16 July.

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A large barbarian rising was reported in Veneti, a barbarian province at the north-western tip of Gaul, by 11,000 Allobroges warriors on 1 October. The well-bribed Flaccus with his detachment of 8,000 men moved from Bituriges to Pictones to shadow them, in case the war band decided to invade Roman territory.

But by mid-November Flaccus was in place in Pictones and the Allobroges were heading east to barbarian Aremorica and then (Flaccus hoped) further east to the lands of the Parisii, who were welcomed to deal with them (if they could).

The year-long story of the Sugamnbri invasion ended on 2 December with their annihilation at the hands of Legio VIII in Marcomanni, returning the whole frontier to peace again, from the Euxine Sea in the east to the Atlantic in the west.

§§§§§§§

Part V: Religion and Manpower – January-December 593 AUC (160 BC)

The annual omen saw the successful invocation of Minerva in early June: no birds were to be roasted this time. No succulent, tender and mildly spiced chicken for the hungry stomachs of the augurs this time around. They would have to be satisfied with barbecued leopard nipples with garum.

f8nW5W.jpg

As we have seen, the great battles of 593 AUC (160 BC) had seen some horrendous casualty counts for both Rome and Egypt, whether in victory or defeat. On 3 January, Rome had a reserve of 191,000, a replacement demand of a little over 40,000 and monthly recruitment of just under 2,600. Even with a series of cohort consolidations during the year, by December the reserve had sunk to 122,000 with 43,000 replacements needed.

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The Egyptians had started the war with a reported manpower reserve of well over 200,000. By 19 August it was estimated to be 201,000 (replacement requirement unknown). By October it was 186,000 and down to 160,000 by the time of their Saturnalia peace offer.

§§§§§§§

Finis
 
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Wraith11B

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Roman blood absolutely soaks the soils of all the nations that we fight against, and yet, eventually, we emerge victorious.

ROMA INVICTA!

That said, I have sincere questions about the RNG in this game, which seems so set against the player. Also, how does one religious power increase?! How can we have 51 provinces following the right religious beliefs of Jupiter Magnus and yet be fifth in power?!
 
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diskoerekto

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Dives duly attacked Proctid on 31 July, full of confidence, with a healthy advantage in numbers and morale and a good opening to the battle, despite having to ford a river to get at the Egyptians. But despite the Romans inflicting heavy casualties on the 9th and outnumbering the Egyptians by almost three-to-one by 10 August, Proctid ‘the Magician’ somehow managed to conjure a bloody victory, with Dives forced to flee east to Oretani to recover.
Every damn war we have guys like these on the enemy side! The admiral and Proctid, only in the Iberian sector of the war there are already 2 headaches!

handing the Romans one of their bloodiest defeats in the last century of conflicts.
But it was too late and the effort could not be maintained, Zagreid taking the honours on 5 April. The effusion of Roman life blood significantly eclipsed that of Theveste.
:eek: nearly 35000 dead in just 2 battles!

The situation remained precarious, but for now the Romans held.
Maybe a turning point in the general scheme of the war?

When Caepio met Penamid once more in Thapsus on 17 August, he again opened strongly – and this time the brilliant Penamid had no answers. His men were exhausted and the whole 3rd Army – still numbering over 17,000 men – was destroyed for little loss in just a couple of days!
Indeed, things seem to be turning for the better now!

The annual omen saw the successful invocation of Minerva in early June: no birds were to be roasted this time. No succulent, tender and mildly spiced chicken for the hungry stomachs of the augurs this time around. They would have to be satisfied with barbecued leopard nipples with garum.
I planned a vegetable week anyway :)

That said, I have sincere questions about the RNG in this game, which seems so set against the player. Also, how does one religious power increase?! How can we have 51 provinces following the right religious beliefs of Jupiter Magnus and yet be fifth in power?!
I'm starting to suspect that the die rolls game shows us aren't the raw die rolls but modified after military tech effects etc
 
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El Pip

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Given the Consul's struggles at Sea one can understand why the navy was always considered "un-Roman". Perhaps the historic solution of using non-Romans is the way forward here.

However, the complexion of the conflict changed significantly on 2 April when the Seleucids decided to declare war on Egypt of their own volition, without any reference to or alliance with Rome.
The mysteries of the East remain mysterious.

S.A. Barbula, a relatively mediocre commander of the troops besieging Cyprus, certainly lived up to the family name when his loyalty became dubious in late May. Because of the number of units loyal to him (presumably inherited from his grasping father) and the dearth of decent generals, Consul Pictor wanted to ‘keep him sweet’. Even the urbane Humphronius was shocked but grudgingly admiring when it took 250 gold talents to finally raise his loyalty to a ‘safe’ level!

“By Jupiter, he is Bribula Maximus, surely!” exclaimed the worldly civil servant. Bernardius could only shake his head in tired bemusement.
It is amusing the Barbula remains "Righteous" despite all this bribing, though one can see how the money might help him be "Confident". More surprising is that a man worth 14,000 gold can be swayed be a mere 250, though I suppose if he were to demand a level of bribery consistent with his wealth Humphronius may go beyond shock and into actual heart attack!
 
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