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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

VILenin

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Hey everyone! The hardest part of being a writer for me is finding the resolve to stick with a project and not get pulled away by the new ideas that are constantly popping up. I've achieved varying degrees of success with that goal; I've stuck by my Byzantine AAR for months and months yet here I am starting a new one. :rolleyes: But enough rambling, here's the rundown.

The Basics:

Using the 476 Mod, playing the 476 scenario as the Western Roman Empire. Settings N/N, format of the AAR will be gameplay with a moderate to high number of pics.

As an EU2 player I probably fall somewhere between fair and poor. At this point I think I do a decent job with the economics but I'm not so bright when it comes to military matters. So don't expect great things. In fact, it's possible that the Empire won't hang around long. With that in mind, goals will be modest and set periodically.

Alright, that about covers it, so let's get started.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

By 476 the city of Rome had been in existence for over a thousand years. For the last four centuries the might of Roman arms have dominated the known world. All that is changing, however. The empire has been split in two, East and West, and while the Emperor's in Constantinople are reasonably secure their counterparts in Ravenna are not so lucky. Most of the provinces have been stripped away by the barbarian tribes, leaving only Italia itself.

WRE476.jpg


Manpower's low, the treasury's bare, and inflation is rampant (20%). The biggest threats right now are the Visigoths in southern Gual and Iberia(grey), the Ostrogoths in the northern Balkans(white), and the Vandals in North Africa(light green). All of our neigbors hate us, and most have a permanent CB.

diplo476.jpg


As if that weren't bad enough, our current "Emperor" is a half-wit child, Romulus Augustus (stats are 2-2-2). He is the puppet of his father Orestes, our first, best, and only general for the entire game. He's not long for this world, however, as he's fated to be assassinated later in the year. He's commanding the army in Ravenna while a nameless officer commands the 6,000 men in Rome.

army476.jpg


The only good news about our pitifully small army is that the upkeep is meagre enough when set to 50%, fortunate as it corresponds to our meagre income. Looking at the budget screen I see that I am decades away at best from an improvement in land tech or infra tech and those are the only two I care about right now. Rome's too poor for trading or building a navy so those sliders get locked at zero. With maitenance set to minimum I lose less than a ducat a month. I spend 60 from my initial treasury promoting a tax collector in Mediolanum, the largest and wealthiest city in Italia. With all that done, it's time to unpause.

Most of the year passes quietly until, as expected, Orestes is killed.

orestesdeath.jpg


That sets in motion a chain of events putting Odoacer in power and forces me to decide the fate of the Roman Empire.

keepromulus.jpg


I keep Romulus as a puppet (+1 stab). Deposing him switches to the Italy tag, gives a bonus to centralization and a stab hit. But since this is a Roman AAR, that option doesn't matter. Rome needs an Emperor and right now Romulus is it.

I wait until after the census tax comes in, a whopping 26 ducats, and then look to my sliders. I decide on a move towards Land, figuring there will be plenty of fighting in the future. The morale and mp bonuses are just as important as the cost reduction for infantry; given the tight straits I'm in I need every last edge I can get.

Later on in the year I get a choice about the Emperor; either keep Romulus or restore Julius Nepos to the throne. Since Romulus is a worthless git, I go with Nepos.

choosenepos.jpg


To my pleasant surprise I discover that going with Nepos let's me inherit Dalmatia and I get Illyrian as a culture. All for the cost of one move towards decentralization. The state's already horribly decentralized, however, so it doesn't really matter. I celebrate my successful addition of new lands.

Later on in the year I get presented with another easy choice.

nobledemands.jpg


Since the other options increase revolt risk and cost 100 ducats respectively, I quickly decide that Rome needs more Aristocratic guidance. The Dip bonus and lower cavalry costs make it an easy pill to swallow.

The next event is not so nice, however.

heresystabhit.jpg


Heresy springs up in Italia and I'm too desperately poor to fight it. Determined to avoid loans which I'm certain I won't be able to pay back, I swallow the stab hit. If the damned thing had come three days later I would've collected my higher census tax and it wouldn't have hurt so much. Clearly fortune does not favor me.

So, at the end of my second year (ignore the date in the pic, it was taken earlier but the border hasn't changed), this is where the empire in the west stands. Note the stats for Nepos, a clear step-up over our prepubescent ex-liege.
WRE477.jpg
 

unmerged(63836)

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Good luck - I guess that playing as dying Roman Empire could be hard. I`m still catching with 'History of Byzantium', but i`ll be following this one. :)
 

germanpeon

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This is interesting. I dont think I've seen this scenario before. So whats the short term plan? Based on my horribly inadequate knowledge of EU2 I would say that you should lay low and keep promoting tax collecters until you can fund a large enough army to come back on the international scene.

I am sure that events will throw a monkey wrench into whatever plan you come up with. :p
 

dublish

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Looks to me like you need Remus Macrinus helping you.
 

VILenin

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dublish said:
Looks to me like you need Remus Macrinus helping you.
:D Despite the temptation I won't be editing in new generals to the leader file.

I forgot to put this in the update, but my first goal is survival.

Goal #1: Survive the Fifth Century

If I make it that far than I'll think of a new one.
 

Saulta

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Now this looks interesting, looking forward to see where you take the Roman Empire. Good luck!
 

VILenin

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chefkoch: The germanic tribes don't need any extra luck, they've practically won already. They've taken most of the empire, now they want what's left. But they shall not have it! Roma Invictus Est! (hopefully)

thrashingmad: Glad to have you onboard. And there are actually a couple new updates over in "History..." so check it out when you get a chance. The start situation is far from impossible, but I'm no Peter Ebbesson; it's a big question mark in my mind whether I can pull off a revival.

Olav: Thanks! :) It's a fun mod, more to my taste than RTW:BI which is set in the same time period. If you're interested in the late Roman Empire and a revitalized Western Empire check out Mettrmrck's "Eagles of Avalon," a real magnum opus.

germanpeon: Orignially that was my thought as well, build up the economy before getting into any foreign adventures. But, well, you'll see. ;)

TC Pilot: I don't think you'll be disappointed. :cool:

Saulta: Thanks! I'll take all the luck I can get. :)

Samorim: Enjoy the ride.
 

VILenin

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Now, originally my plan was to stay quiet while I slowly put Italia back together and set the empire on sounder footing. But after a couple years, with my stability at +2 and the manpower pool filled at 20k, I started getting dangerous thoughts. The cause? Take a look at my barbarian neighbor to the east.

dalmatia478.jpg


With the addition of Nepos' dalmatian troops I now outnumber the Ostrogoths. And if you notics on the edge of the screen you can see that they're stability is none too great (-1 or -2, not sure which). Now I know that historically the Ostrogoths moved west and invaded Italia, toppliing Odoacer. Anxious to avoid this fate, and sensing a moment of weakness in my enemy, I decide to move towards war.

I am further spurred on by the defeat of Hispania by the Visigoths, expanding their control of the Iberian peninsula. Ideally I'd like to recruit Hispania and Gallia as potential allies in the future - they're both the remnants of roman provinces and have hispano-roman and gallo-roman cultures respectively - to aid me against the german tribes, in particular the Visigoths. But the goths are making good work of eliminating the vestiges of Roman rule.

Iberia478.jpg


Visigoth gains are outlined in black. The only good news is that they didn't force vassalize Hispania, so they've got at least one more war before they're gone.

I move my northern army of 12k to Steiermark and reinforce it with an additional 2k infantry and 1k cavalry. The army in Rome is shipped across the Adriatic to Dalmatia. Then, when everything's in place, I attack.

ostrogothdow.jpg


All three armies advance into gothic territory; my goal is a quick knock-out punch, defeating their armies in the field to ensure my numeric advantage and then rapidly siege their cities.

1stostgothwar-1.jpg


The plan, however, does not survive contact with the enemy. My northern army moving into Odenburg runs into fierce resistance. I outnumber the goths 15:9, including over 2k cavalry to their zero. So you can imagine my surprise when my army is defeated and thrown back with heavy losses.

1stostgothwar-2.jpg


Not an auspicious start to the campaign. Things go better in the south; Bosnia and Croatia are quickly put under siege and counter-attacks in the area are repelled. But the main Ostrogoth army in the north remains intact and will vex me for the rest of the war. As I'm thinking about what to do with my northern army while it reorganizes, disaster strikes.

lombardiarevolt.jpg


Out of the blue a massive revolt happens and puts Mediolanum, my most valuable city, under siege.
 

Nikolai

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For the glory of Rome!:)
 

Samorim

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If your relations aren't bad, see if you can form an alliance with Eastern Roman Empire. With them you could easily beat the Ostrogoths.
 

Rensslaer

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A fascinating scenario, VI!

And he comes out fighting, just like I would! :D

Most excellent that I happened to stumble by, just as you're starting this.

Rensslaer
 

Mettermrck

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Just spotted this! Be nice to see 476 from a game perspective, a tough order indeed. Sounds like you're holding your own against the Ostrogoths. I know in the early parts of my AAR, the game drove a big part of the events, especially the Ostrogoths and Burgundians. Should be a fun filled first few decades for you! :) I can't wait to read more...
 

Emperor_krk

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So there's two Western Roman AARs in here already. I'll follow, as it looks very nice :).
 

likk9922

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Interesting start!
I have to keep my eye on this AAr. :)
 

yourworstnightm

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Well, doing something about the Ostrogoths when you have the chance is the first lesson in surviving as WRE, the second is to not get involved in multiple wars at the same time (make sure you have taken precautions to not be attacked by the vandals, burgundians and visigoths while you are at wat with the ostrogoths).