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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Incubux

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Chapter I:
Political Gamble

Marius was alone in the Curia that night. All the other senators had left the building earlier, after the days intense discussions about the starvation problems in the African colonies. It was, indeed a big problem. But not by far as big as the problems Rome would be facing soon. Marius knew that it was partially his fault, the fact that his beloved city would soon be engulfed in a full-scale civil war.

Marius was thinking back at the events of the last years, and could not hold back the shedding of a single tear. The Social War had been bloody, but even that he and Sulla were able to turn in their favour. Even that. But this time it was different, the events forcing Sulla to go to Greece and face King Mithridates had been complex. But now in after, in was all very simple. He could honestly say that he would not have changed anything in the complex political web he had snared for both himself and his old friend.
Mithridates was dead. And Sulla was marching for Rome. Primigenia was ready, the generals were ready. Yet, anything could go wrong. Sulla had managed to gain the loyalty of Greece, the Anatolian Provinces, Hispania and Northernmost Italy. And if that wasn't enough, he was, by Rome's allies considered the righteous ruler of Rome, and thus the allies of Rome would support him, seeing Marius' men as no more than Rebels. Italy, the Surrounding Islands and the North African provinces was what Marius had to oppose the mighty force set against him.

Scaevola walked into the Curia holding a lit candle. "What are you doing here by this time, young friend?" Marius smirked quietly at the old man, the daughter of whom he had married. "I am thinking. Thinking of the Coming conflict. Do you think we will win?" Scaevola put down the candle and sat down on the bench beside Marius and sighed. "I hope we will. Not for my own sake, of course. I have lived long enough to take pleasure just out of the excitement. But if we do not win, I believe we will all be executed." Scaevola looked down into the floor, "I hope so" he repeated in a whisper.

That night Marius slept for the first time in what seemed like months. He felt rested, and more energetic than ever before in his life. Primigenia was standing before him. 16.000 fully armed soldiers, waiting to do his bidding whatever be the cost.
"Rome is Threatened!" he roared at the soldiers, and they suddenly went silent. "Lucius Cornelius Sulla stands at our gates, and he is bashing at them. The longer we wait, the closer he gets. Shall we let him in?" There was not a single man standing on Forum Romanum who did not hear Marius' words, and all who heard it shouted a distinct 'no' that filled the streets of the city. Marius smiled.
"So let us march to the north! Let us defeat Sulla where he is vulnerable. Let us chase the beast out of Italy, and when his armies are weakened we will charge into Greece! When we are done the heads of all who opposed our Senate, our Country and our People shall hang off crosses around the Empire, statuating examples for whoever would wish to oppose the glory of Rome again!"

Offensive would really be the only way, but for some months atleast, it would come as a second priority, the agenda dominated by recruitment, and the rebuilding of an army worthy of Gaius Marius, Consulary of Rome.​
 

comagoosie

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Good start I am looking forward to this. I am not familiar with the scenario so I have no clue what is around the corner.
 

Incubux

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comagoosie: Yeah. It was hard finding it, but this is the time of Roman history I am most interested in, so taking the time was neccesary to meet my own perverted goals. <Insert Evil Laughter>

Lord Robertus: Gaius Marius was, as a matter of fact, assasinated by agents of Sulla about the same time as he set his foot upon the harbor of Brundisium after succesfully defeating Mithridates of Pontus. For this scenario, I am assuming Sulla's agent(s?) failed/was never sent.
 

Incubux

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Chapter II

Turn of Tides

It was the 21st of December, 673. Northern Italy secured. The route wide open into Spain. Gnaeus Antonius Albinus in Dalmatae with 22.000 men. Still, the thoughts dominating the mind of Quintus Mucius Scaevola were not pleasant. Marius had been captured and was held hostage by Sulla's forces somewhere in Spain, his Primigenia legion exterminated in a battle where they had been outnumbered 5:1.
Of course, this had meant Scaevola's appointment as the new Consul of Rome and the leader of Marius' old army. But Scaevola could, without shame, admit that he would not be a ruler of the same power and energy as Gaius Marius had. Only administrating an empire in a Civil War fought on attrition, would drain him empty on all of his life-force, also having to consolidate his daughter from the loss of her husband and actually finding a way to turn back the tide of this huge battle would be near impossible.

The problems were many, and the solutions few if any. However, Scaevola would do his best, no matter the cost, to protect his home and his people. Rome mattered more to him than fame, glory, wealth or even his own life. He had pledged his life to the city and the Senate, and now was the time to repay the favor of raising him into the man he was.

The city of Ruteni was not a big one, but as it looked a the moment, it was packed overfull with Roman Soldiers, as Scaevola looked out on it from the watchtower in the center of town. He grabbed the speech horn from the man beside him and roared with a voice that all the more than 45.000 men gathered in the city, and beyond could hear.
"Yes! Sulla's forces are more numerous than ours. Yes! Sulla's forces have defeated Mithridates in Greece, destroyed Primigenia and captured Marius. Yes! A majority of the citizens of Rome have taken Sulla's sides in this conflict. But is this really the time to despair? I think not! I think, this is the time to rejoice. The sun is shining, an army of at least 80.000 traitor soldiers are awaiting us beyond the border. Does this mean the end? Some hours ago, I thought so. But when I gaze upon the vast might of this army; I understand why Carthage stood no chance! I understand why Greece and Spain are nowadays states under the control of Rome. Our glorious Empire have endured times harsher than these. Our soldiers have endured harsher times than these! For you, my friends, are not only Romans. You are Rome!"
Scaevola paused to hear the roaring answer of the men in the city below him. He understand then why Marius loved his trade so deeply. This was living; to hear the joint force of almost fifty thousand fully armed soldiers in a unison of shield bashing, foot stomping and shouting "for rome", "ma-ri-us" and "scae-vo-la" at the top of their lungs.
Tomorrow, they would march. And when they reached Spain; they would die. Not many would survive. But they would take a hefty lot of traitor Romans with them. Atleast that is what Scaevola thought when he gazed upon the vast force of screaming men...​
 

Eber

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Great start! Looking forward to more.
 

Incubux

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Eber: Good to hear that. So am I. ;)

comagoosie: Oh, thanks! You'll probably see far more speeches than conversations in this AAR. I suck at conversations. :(

Btw, I'm considering changing the difficulty to Normal or Easy (playing on hard atm) because my manpower just hit 0 and Rome still has 50k and I'm not THAT good at this game, I just figured out. :wacko:
 

Enewald

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a new romaar!
and comagoosie is already here, what a surprise. :p

And a interesting beginning.
But wasn't Married to Caesars aunt?

And didn't he die in Africa in exile? :confused:

But I shall follow.
 

Incubux

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Chapter III

Death or Glory


The flag high. The ranks tightly closed. Primigenia marches with a calm, firm pace.

It was the 13th of April, 678. Five years had passed since Scaevola became Marius successor of the consulship, and much had changed. The barbarian invasion coming from the north had been repelled, and replaced with an increased problem of civil unrest because of Marius' capture which had, in turn, led to revolts throughout Italy. However, when Sulla's regime was, two years ago, overthrown by his own comrades led by Gaius Aurelius Cotta, the people had started regaining some of their hope. However, Cotta was just as unwilling to settle on any peace terms not declaring him as Praetor Maximus Perpetuus as Sulla had been, and so the fall of Sulla only lead to that the civil unrest moved from loyal Italy, to enemy Spain.

Legio Primigenia Nova and Legio Magna stood behind him, awaiting the charge. It was not the first time their three-year-old fortification at the spanish border was assaulted, and the men did not need many orders when the assailing started. When the fortified camp at the foot of the pyrenees, in the province of Volcae was established, there had been 65.000 roman soldiers in the legions there. Now, five years later, the garrison consisted of 26.000 men, and still stood upright. When the camp was established, the enemy garrison in Spain had totally outnumbered Scaevolas forces by 6:1, now, it was believed that, including the losses from Primigenia Nova and Magna, that Scaevola was outnumbered by 2:1. This was a war of attrition, and the strategy was simple:

Thousands of peasants were rising up in southern Spain, but Cotta's forces would easily be able to repel these. Therefore, it was important to establish an even greater threat in the north, which was accomplished through putting a force that, if not guarded, would break through, but is not strong enough to actually break through, but still fortified enough in the mountains to be impossible to take out with the current spanish garrison. Scaevola had also let his fleet cut off any supply routes between Spain and greece, through the control of North Africa and Sicily. The reason behind putting an inferior force in norhtern Spain, was also simple. Sulla had, in the beginning of the war, seen the fact that Marius was aiming his main attention to Spain and therefore himself sent greater forces there, than were left in Greece to face the enemy in an all-out war rather than getting weakened before a war of attrition. Thus, the forces guarding Greece were inferior, and the strategy could not be re-done as any transport of troops back to Greece would be impossible with Scaevola's blockade. So, Scaevola aimed a vast main force at Greece, trying to bash the moral of the spanish troops down by taking out half of their territory.

At the 13th of April 678, the provinces of Epirus and Thessaly had been conquered and occupied under the command of General Rufus, one of the most powerful men loyal to - and most feared by - Scaevola. The island-province of Euboea had been occupied by peasants loyal to Scaevola a year earlier, and roughly 2.000 fully armed peasants were still stationed there...

General Calvus of the Legio Africanus walked into the room, disturbing Scaevola's thoughts.
"Ave, Consul." Calvus mumbled with a stressed tone, saluting quickly, as if only for the neccesity. Scaevola made a gesture with the hand to continue and the General sighed, seeming to have calmed down a bit from the lack of formalities.
"Ave, General. I surely do hope that you have anything more important to inform me about than the petty fact that we are soon going to be attacked for the... what is it, 60th time this year now? As you have been informing me ever fifteen minutes for the last four hours." Scaevola eyed his old brother in arms' surprised face and finally shaked his head swiftly, and smiled.
"Forgive me Gnaeus, my friend. I have not slept for the last two weeks, and it is tearing on me. Tell me, what is the news you have?" Calvus was silent for some seconds, before nodding suddenly, the look on his face reminding Scaevola of one who has been in a coma and just returned to reality.
"Oh, yes! It's good news, really. the enemy have exhausted themselves with the reckless charges, our scouts believe that if we repel this attack, we can make a countercharge and meet up with the peasant armies, taking this peninsula." Scaevola smiled at the news, his surprise covered by a mix of satisfaction and exhaustion from the insomnia.
"What about you, Gnaeus? Do you believe in this action?" Calvus was, and had always been superior in bost tactical knowledge and general intelligence. His problem was his almost infinite lack of charismatic abilities, which had always made Scaevola the more popular one with the soldiers and the people, after winning battles that were, in fact, lead by Calvus. Calvus never complained though, for he was the kind of man who did not care about personal glory and wealth, or prestige for his own family. Calvus was the kind of man who desired glory and wealth for the republic as a whole, and fought for his homeland and people, rather than for himself and his family as most men do. This made him the ideal general to have at your side, as the chances of being betrayed were so immensely small.
"I believe in it, Quintus. I have seen their encampments myself, one out of ten soldiers are deserting every day and has been for quite a while now, and, would we strike now they will be defenseless. Even officers are deserting because of the lack of food and logements. All the villages in the areas are rising against them. Where does soldiers get food, if the peasants rise against them?" Scaevola nodded, and walked out from the tent, letting one of the Cornicenes blow the horn to rally.

"Men! Before you, march an army composed of double our strength. But we have fought together, you men and me, long enough to know that this is does not even mean a challenge to us. Tomorrow; an enemy army of roughly 40.000 men will reach us, and I say when they are defeated, not if, we shall march into their land, no, our land! When we have passed this fake border, we shall prove it to them. Not only 'our side' of this border belongs to us! No, their side belongs to us! So let us go forward. Let us show them what Rome is all about. For it would seem, drinking from their mothers breasts that they have missed what our great empire stands for tomorrow, the last thing they will see before they face death shall be;"
"The flag high, the ranks tightly closed, and Primigenia marching with a calm, firm pace."

"LET US BRING THEM DEATH!"

 
Last edited:

Incubux

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Enewald said:
But wasn't Married to Caesars aunt?

Somebody has read Conn Iggulden's "The Emperor" I believe. :p
Conn actually notes in the book that the reason he made up the unhistorical statement that Marius would be married to Julius' aunt was only to make the story in the book easier to understand and more exciting better.

The actual bloods-bond relation between Marius and Ceasar was the fact that Gaius Julius Ceasar's father, was the brother of Gaius Marius' mother. Making Ceasar and Marius... Cousins, right?

Enewald said:
And didn't he die in Africa in exile? :confused:

Did some research on that, yeah. It's disputed whether he was killed in Rome by agents, or if he died of age during his exile in Africa.
 
Last edited:

Enewald

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argh, the red text hurts my eyes... :wacko:
But still a nice update.
Yes, I am some kind of Caesar fan... and is the fourth book of those series ready? :D
And then I've read some biography by Adrian Goldsworthy... but I think that too mentioned some bind between Marius and Julius family...

Marius was somehow mad at his late years... during the exile in Africa at his old veterans, where he then died naturally.

Go Primgenia!!! :p
I remember the first 'The Emperor' book was the most ahistorical... Marius didn't die on the walls of Rome...
 

Incubux

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Challenge to everyone
Below the Chapter III "Death or Glory" text, there are three sentences composing a citation. The person who figures out WHERE the citation comes from gets to choose whether Scaevola should become DICTATOR or if we should wait 'til the return of Marius.

If nobody figures it out, well... Then... eh... I guess I'll choose...

(Hint: The original text is in German, and it's not actually "primigenia" that should be the guys walking calmly)
 

comagoosie

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Great speech again!

A tip, don't use different colored text :)

and...ah...I don't speak German
 

stnylan

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Interesting...

A piece of presentational advice - use clear paragraph breaks with a clear line when a new person starts speaking, and generally avoid coloured text. I simply can't read the purply text you have there.
 

Enewald

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Diee Faaahne hooooch....
die reihen fest!

*tu tu tum*


:rofl:

I still can't believe you coudl use that!!! :D

SA marschiert mit ruhig, festem schritt!!! :rolleyes:

I have song that so many times, don't ask why.
And I can speak german... :)
 

Incubux

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Enewald you nazi! :eek:

But it's correct, it's the first 2 lines from the Horst-wessel-lied. So you get to decide.

Scaevola Dictator... Or Marius?
 

Enewald

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Incubux said:
Enewald you nazi! :eek:

But it's correct, it's the first 2 lines from the Horst-wessel-lied. So you get to decide.

Scaevola Dictator... Or Marius?

hmm, what effects would those options contain?
 

Incubux

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I can't be arsed to wait for you to decide!

In the next update you will see what I have chosen.

<Insert Evil Laughter Here>