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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

PerciXal

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Return of the Spartiates!

Salutations! Before I continue on this project of mine, I want to explain what has happened and what led up to this point. I originally started this game not expecting to do an AAR but as I continuously grew successful after each battle and blessed with great luck and timing I decided to begin recording my success. This AAR will start right after my conquest of the Achaean League and southern Makedonian provinces and the beginning of Spartan incursions into Celtic/Illyrian controlled Makedonia.


Table of Contents:
Chapter 1: Men of Ares, Sparta's Rise
Chapter 2: Glory Breeds Jealousy
Chapter 3: A Father-Son Quarrel
Chapter 4: Between A Rock and A Hard Place... For Our Enemies
Chapter 5: Eudamidas Eurypontid, Son of God (Mini Update)
Chapter 6: Taming the Mediterranean
 
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PerciXal

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Chapter I: Men of Ares, Sparta's Rise

27, Maimakterion 275 BC/479 AUC
With the provinces of Euboea and Argolis cut-off from the Makedonian heartland and the capital itself now under foreign domination, the Spartan king Archidamus took it upon himself to lay claim on these last vestiges of the Makedonian kingdom. A contingent of hoplites led by Sophronius Zosimid were recruited in the newly subjugated villages of the former Achaean League and were sent to the hopeless provinces. An army of 3,000 militiamen were defeated outside a town in Argolis, and the siege of the region capital Korinthos ended with quick success. With Argolis now tamed, Sophronius had his eyes set on the island territories of Euboea, but with pirates roaming in the Aegean and no navy to fend them off, Sophronius had to find a new safer route to the islands; the Thessalian province now governed by the Kingdom of Tylis. Without any warning, Thessaly was invaded with no resistance and Euboea was now open to Spartan incursion, thus ending Makedonian rule in Greece once and for all.


With every territory south of Thessaly annexed into the Spartan realm, conscription was not uncommon in these newly acquired lands. Another army of 10,000 was trained and ready to fight under the guidance of Sosthenes Antipatros. With no navy to transport troops to Thrace, the Spartan war machine had to find other ways to defeat the Celtic armies of Tylis, this led to another unprovoked invasion of foreign territory. The former Makedonian capital, Pella now governed by the barbaric tribes of Illyria quickly and happily surrendered to their Spartan overlords, but before Sosthenes and his men could celebrate, the scouts he sent had reported an Tylian attack force of 12,000 coming right towards his position. Outnumbered, he managed to bait the eager Celtic army towards Thessaly where Sophronius could help bolster Sosthenes forces. Unlike the rest of the Greeks the Spartans had not adopted the Celtic thureos shield, noticing its lack in maneuverablity they instead stuck to its traditional hoplite form which allowed the Spartans to dominate in close combat with its Greek brethren and the ferocious Celts.


The defeated Tylian Celts retreated to the province of Makedonia where they were again pushed back.

29, Thargelion 270 BC/484 AUC
For the first time the Celtic invaders had been repulsed with such crushing results that they offered peace before the Spartan armies could invade the Tylian heartland. Had the Illyrians made peace earlier, the Celtic kingdom of Tylis would've been crushed and incorporated into the Spartan realm.


Now bringing in riches from Thessalian towns and cities, the Spartans were able to fund construction of a navy large enough to deal with the pesky Aegean pirates, Sophronius was relieved of his leadership of the 1st Stratos to lead the navy and was replaced with general Acrotatus Agiad. The sudden rise of power intimidated the neighboring Epirotes which allowed Spartan armies access through their territory as long as the Spartans kept a blind eye. With this advantage, the Spartans led a huge joint attack of 20,000 against the Illyrian capital, luckily Sosthenes sent a scouting party ahead to check for any resistance but instead had learned of the main Illyrian army of the same size heading through Tylian land towards the occupied city of Pella. To gain an upper hand Sosthenes had forced marched his men all the way back to Pella to encounter the Illyrian menace at a river. Though the sacrifice of near a thousand men might not have been worth the early arrival.


The city of Pella, once the Makedonian capital.

Although the Spartans had made their way to Pella first, they could not stop the enemy from crossing the river in time. Now outnumbered by 1,000 men they had to rely on their rigorous training and the leading ability of their leaders to fend off the quick and ferocious Illyrians. Unlike the Celts, the Illyrians were more advanced and less of a barbarian race, their men were skilled skirmishers, pirates and were also influenced by Greek warfare which led to a somewhat copycat version of non-Greek hoplites.


Amazingly, the Spartan hoplites narrowly defeated the more mobile Illyrian force, but at a cost of 5,000 men. The Illyrians, determined, led another attack but because of Sosthene's proximity to Spartan territory, he could easily reinforce his troops quick enough to now outnumber the Illyrian force. Again the Illyrians were humiliated in battle and had to retreat back into the safe haven of the Tylian borders. With the Illyrian army crushed and Spartan manpower at an all time low, King Archidamus had to end all hostilities and demand peace from the Illyrian tribes before any other enemy of his could exploit the current manpower weakness.



17, Mounichion 267 BC/487 AUC
War was finally over, the Spartans had been at war for 12 consecutive years with 4 different enemies. The Epirotes were diplomatically allied with the powerful Spartan kingdom, guaranteeing their independence and allowing full military access into their own kingdom, though for some reason they were reluctant to accept an alliance proposal. With all his enemies defeated, Archidamus had one thing left to do. Repel the pirates blockading the capitol port.



Admiral Sophronius easily defeated the pirates, now allowing trade from the capital city.



Ancient World in 487 AUC
 
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Fernan

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Nice! It looks like those Illyrians still have some fight left in them. Does the game let you enact the Agis IV reforms? Not that you are starving for manpower right now, I imagine.
 

PerciXal

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Nice! It looks like those Illyrians still have some fight left in them. Does the game let you enact the Agis IV reforms? Not that you are starving for manpower right now, I imagine.
Actually I had 0 manpower, so I couldn't risk prolonging a war with an enemy that doesn't even border me. As for the Agis reforms, I don't think there are any.

Chapter II: Glory Breeds Jealousy

1, Anthesterion 266 BC/488 AUC
Only one year has passed since king Archidamus's recent expeditions further north from the safe city of Sparta. The low manpower reserves could be felt all across the nation. Farms were empty, sons were fatherless, fathers buried their sons and natives caught on of lack of Spartan men. To deal with the lack of reinforcement, Archidamus spent later years to reform the military. The first of his reforms would help solve the lack of reinforcements and lack of Spartan citizens; any man recruited in the military who served longer than fifteen years would be given citizenship.


16, Elaphebolion 265 BC/489 AUC
War between the Pannonian tribe of Vendelici and Sparta were inevitable. The tribe was paying tribute to the enemy, and its army was disbanded. Luckily a truce between their overlords and Sparta had made the tribe extremely vulnerable. War was declared on the 16th, and 146 days later the tribes were incorporated into the Spartan realm with no casualties received.



Everything seemed to go well until one general let the success get to his head, Sosthenes was caught red handed speaking of rebellion. He was quickly discharged and Archidamus took it upon himself to lead Sosthenes's men. Although not too many were elated with this change and many even spoke out against their king.


Spartans were feared for their military prowess in battle, many dared not to attack the Spartans which was a wise decision. Spartan influence was at an all time high, independent Greek city-states were compelled to ask Sparta for protection, some even accepted Spartan demands for tribute. One of these city-states, Gortyn, based on the island of Crete was brought under Spartan protection in return for a monthly payment of talents and a defensive alliance.


14, Pyanepsion 260 BC/494 AUC
Archidamus had setup an invasion of Tylis and its Illyrian allies and had planned to carry it out if it were not for one problem. A small revolt from his Grand Vizier and heir Eudamidas Eurypontid changed into a full blown civil war.


The remaining courtiers were shocked at the sudden unexpected revolt.


Ancient World in 494 AUC. (Red boxes represent revolting areas.)
 
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Chapter III: A Father-Son Quarrel

14, Pyanepsion 260 BC/494 AUC
Both provinces of Paeonia and Euboea had risen in revolt against Archidamus, Eudamidas was only able to conscript 5,000 Panonnian militia in Paeonia. Hearing of his fathers Spartan army of 10,000 approaching, he quickly fled and left the Panonnians to fight for themselves. Although the Pannonians were leaderless, outnumbered, out-trained and ill equipped they still were as ferocious as their Daco and Celtic neighbors. Both armies had met each other in an open field exchanging war cries and insults. Finally the Pannonians advanced with an unorganized charge.

As the nude farmers had descended upon the Spartan hoplites the hoplites began to form into a shield wall like formation and then lowered their spears awaiting the enemy charge. Archidamus ordered his well placed archers to fire down upon the militia, 2,000 arrows softened up their charge but had not dazed them as they would not surrender their freedom once again. Finally the barbarians had collided into the Spartan shields and began to hack away at the ordered lines. Archidamus, unwilling to give the enemy a chance to get away, led his cavalrymen behind the enemy and charged into their backs. The Pannonians, now surrounded, fought till their last man until the rabble was annihilated.


This victory had effectively ended the revolt, Eudamidas had no men to stop the Spartan armies from sieging the fortified positions of Euboea and Paeonia. During the war Archidamus had reformed the army again, this time focusing on equipment and training for his cavalry men and skirmishers. The new equipment had lowered the casualties during the sieges and had improved the Spartan fighting efficiency. Almost every soldier was equipped with chainmail and a large circular wooden shield coated in bronze (much like a hoplon) excluding skirmishing troops to save resources and money. Archidamus had seen the effectiveness of shield walls and wanted as much protection for his men against his enemies.



14, Gamelion 258 BC/496 AUC
Although the war was over, Eudamidas was spared and continued to be the heir to the Spartan throne, though he was dismissed from his position as Grand Vizier. Peace was brought back into the realm and every non-Spartan citizen thought twice before speaking against Archidamus. Assimilation was at an all time high within the kingdom; the remaining Pannonian men and women were sold into slavery and the children were effectively Hellenized for the most part.




Not much happened in two years.

________________________________

I apologize for the late update, I got caught up in Christmas shopping and finals. This update is a bit short but next week I'll try to make it up to any readers.
 
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PerciXal

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Nice job.

Subscribes
Following. :)
Happy Holidays to you two and thank you. :happy: It's good to know I'm gaining readers.

Chapter IV: Between A Rock In A Hard Place... For Our Enemies

20, Elaphebolion 258 BC/496 AUC
With increasing Spartan aggression and never ending growth of influence the other Balkan kingdoms became a little uneasy with their militaristic neighbor. The triple alliance between the Celtic kingdom of Tylis, the Pirateering tribes of Illyria and the Daci kingdom of the north had made clear to Archidamus that they would not play games and would do everything in their power to crush the Spartans. As Archidamus had said while putting down a revolt in Argolis, "It's as though every time we achieve something great, a greater force comes in between our new ambitions.". To the Eurypontid's, this alliance was nothing but an agreement of barbarians bent on destroying Sparta but in reality it was a pact to keep their people from enslavement and pillage which the Spartans themselves relished. Archidamus's quick wars of conquest had brought the majority of Greek people together under one banner, but the people were still divided and unhappy about Spartan rule; the other Greeks believed that Spartan dominance would end just as quickly as it rose exactly as had happened after the Peloponnesian War, but to prove the people wrong Archidamus had to show them that Sparta would never die, that Sparta itself was graced by the gods.

Relations with the barbarians of the north were tense, raids increased year by year on Spartan villages and had became so bad that an army was marched towards Paeonia. There, a raid was intercepted and pushed back into Tylian territory, though this did not stop general Acrotatus's advance. Acrotatus and his men were 10 miles deep in foreign territory where they stumbled upon a farm. Marching through the quiet farm had made Acrotatus uneasy but before he could turn back a sudden rush of Celtic warriors arose out of the grain fields shouting with fearsome anger, they quickly charged upon the unsuspecting Spartan ranks. Unready and a bit startled, Acrotatus ordered his men into position not knowing of the Celtic force coming from the rear, by the time he heard their war cries it was too late, most of his fighting men were already in combat within the grain fields. With no hoplites available, Acrotatus ordered a cavalry charge to hold the rear. Overwhelmed, Acrotatus had no choice but to retreat or risk heavy casualties which was not an option. Acrotatus had to sacrifice his hoplites to save the rest of his army from encirclement. 5,000 men had perished that day, Acrotatus had been reprimanded from his position for at least a month until given back his position. The news of Spartan failure on the battlefield had spread all over the nation, this encouraged an increase in rebellion among the local populace.

20, Thargelion 258 BC/496 AUC
War between Tylis and Sparta had commenced a few weeks after the battle and days later both the Illyrian tribes and their Daci allies had joined against the Spartan side. Archidamus had deduced that even though Sparta was outnumbered ally-wise, the Spartans still had the advantage in military strength, in sea and land. Over-all Archidamus had 30,000 men at his whim and another 18,000 as reserves (manpower), his focus on increasing the naval strength of Sparta had produced 30 triremes. It was estimated that the combined forces of Illyria, Tylis and Dacia would amount near 45,000-50,000 men and 10 triremes. The first battle of the war would take place at the same area where Acrotatus was ambushed, again Acrotatus led the Spartan force but this time with 20,000 men under his command.

Both armies met up near the farm, the area was a bit hilly and the Tylian force led by Bolgios Marganid numbered 16,000. This time the Celts could not use the art of surprise and were forced to fight a pitched battle against the Spartans. At first it had seemed that Acrotatus had the upper-hand, but Acrotatus had underestimated his enemy. The Tylian Celts had adapted better equipment and had a great general at their helm, although the Celts were outnumbered by 4,000, the less armoured Celts used the terrain to their advantage and pushed back the Spartan army, but at the cost of 5,000 men. The Spartans at full route abandoned the Paeonian province which quickly fell to Tylis. A combined force of Illyrians and Daci had began assaulting towns all over the Makedonia province but were quickly repulsed.


The war quickly turned toward the triple-alliance's favor but Archidamus would not easily surrender to the uncouth barbarians. Another army of 10,000 had combined with Acrotatus's and was now on the move towards the main Tylian force led by the powerful and tactful Bolgios Marganid. During the time Archidamus used to lick the wounds inflicted by Bolgios, Bolgios had assembled a larger force which included a contingent of professional Daci champions, his army now numbered 19,000. The main Spartan army was split in two, 10,000 led by Archelaus Antipatros to relieve Paeonia and 20,000 led by both Archidamus and Acrotatus to conquer the Maedi province. When Archidamus had arrived in Maedi and began his assaults on fortified positions, his scouts reported the main Tylian army approaching his position. Once the combined army of the Celts and Daci arrived, Archidamus's force began skirmishing with Bolgios and Acrotatus had tried a flanking action on the right of Bolgios's flank, though Bolgios's quick thinking and troops had prevented a successful flank. Bolgios's army held off the Spartans for days when finally Archelaus's force had came to relieve Archidamus's army. Outnumbered and exhausted, Bolgios was forced to retreat as the Illyrians armies were caught up in a civil war and continuous barbarian invasions from the north. Literally almost half of Tylis's forces were annihilated in the battle of Maedi including all of the Daci champions. Weeks later Achelaus was captured after losing a battle against Bolgios, his head was later sent back to Archidamus.



It's believed that the head came with a note written in Greek, possibly a personal insult towards Archidamus.

13, Maimakterion 257 BC/497 AUC
On the outskirts of the Tylian capital of Byzantium, Archidamus had trapped Bolgios in between the city itself and his own army. Unwilling to die in the walls of a foreign city, Bolgios and his men fought head on against the Spartans and failed miserably. Bolgios was captured and as punishment was blinded and tied to the front of a trireme until he starved.


16, Hekatombaion 255 BC/500 AUC
With the Illyrians distracted with civil strife and invasions, they were forced to make peace with Archidamus. The Daci now aware of their doom, decided to abandon their Celtic allies. The kingdom of Tylis now without an army, a navy, allies nor the spirit to fight had no option but to surrender. The once powerful Celts of Thrace made great land concessions and also became a tributary client state of Sparta. Every month Sparta would now be supplied with talents and slaves from the region of Thrace. With Sparta's main rival now under their control, the Spartans had nothing to fear, the peaceful assimilation of the Tylian lands had brought prosperity to the Greeks and as Archidamus had predicted brought the skeptical Greeks into the enlightenment which was Spartan dominance. Sadly Archidamus died nine years later and would forever be etched into history not as plain old Archidamus Eurypontid but as Archidamus the Great Spartan King or simply, Archidamus the Great.





Eudamidas Eurypontid, instigator of the first civil war is now king of Sparta.




__________________________________________________

Wow.. Seleucids kicking Carthaginian butt. Hopefully this won't interrupt my plans of expansion.
 
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PerciXal

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Damn. Was the loss of the strategos a painful one though? I hope he can be replaced easily.
No, but it was a nuisance, luckily I have an abundance of high martial characters. :)
 

PerciXal

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Awesome update, man.

Happy New Year and I look forward to more!
I'm a bit late but happy new years to you too. ^.^

Chapter V: Eudamidas Eurypontid, Son of God (Mini Update)


Many had believed Archidamus had ascended as a God upon death.

29, Maimakterion 245 BC/509 AUC
The death of Archidamus was felt all across the peninsula, the neighboring Diadochi kingdoms sent their best regards and the barbarians sent their best champions. With a new king came new generals like Philon Eurypontid and many more, he quickly dealt with the invading barbarians and setup at the border, further discouraging un-wanted visitors. Eudamidas wasn't greatly appreciated as his father was, for he was the instigator of the first civil war. Although this did not discourage him from carrying on his fathers goals, he increased naval fighting efficiency by training "marines" which were technically hoplites or less armoured men trained to board other naval vessels during battle. He also mobilized his forces foreshadowing a war with the northern Illyrian and Daci tribes, but first on the menu was to assimilate the last vestiges of the Celtic kingdom of Tylis. Before doing this, citizenship was granted to many Makedonian free men to appease the populace residing in the city of Pella and assuring that the Makedon region would stay loyal to Eudamidas.

22, Hekatombaion 232 BC/522 AUC
The province of Thracia was incorporated into the kingdom but this was more of a conquest rather than a peaceful annexation of a vassal kingdom. With the Celts now under Eudamidas's reign, he focused his armies on the borders of the Daci tribes. He was awfully aware of their alliance with their Illyrian neighbors but the Illyrians power had been diluted by constant civil wars and barbarian raids. War was declared in Metageitnion and the Daci were quickly subjugated in the following year. The Illyrians now without an ally had to face their impending doom alone. Their combined army wasn't too much of a threat and had retreated into the wild lands of the north leaving much of the Illyrian populace open to the dangers of Spartan warfare. In the year of 230 BC Eudamidas had successfully ended the Dacian War with great success, the Daci were now slaves and were distributed throughout the country and the Illyrian tribes were tributary vassals of Sparta. Most of the Balkan peninsula was peaceful now, the only remaining independent civilization was the seafaring Epirus which had recently ended its prolonged war with Rome. The enemies of Archidamus and Sparta itself were now reduced to helots and puppets, once a strong and united people(s) turned into the lowest of the low in the Spartan world, which can get pretty low.



Illyria is a tributary state of Sparta. Note for some strange reason the Seleucids white peace'd with Carthage even though they had 100% warscore.

_________________________

Well there goes the challenge, I'm not sure why I didn't just combine this update with the last but I guess I wasn't expecting it to be this short. Now I must decide whether to cut Rome down or incorporate the Greeks of Epirus or maybe finish off what the Seleucids couldn't, Carthage. Usually an interactive AAR would help solve this problem but this isn't an interactive AAR. But I think I've made up my mind so get ready for a juicy update. :)
 
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Buckingham

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I would vote for the complete unification of the Balkan regions under Spartan rule, for you will certainly need the manpower to go up against the Roman War Machine.
 

unmerged(58610)

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T%he Romans have conquered Magna Graecia lead by Tarentum. Just because the Romans have beaten bastard offcast Spartans shouldn't let them believe they can beat real Spartans. Put Rome in its place. Epirus isn't going anywhere.
 

PerciXal

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Rome is a bit too strong as of now but I think you should be satisfied with my choice. Also I can't take any mapshots as the f12 button doesn't work (I got a new windows 8 laptop) is there another way of taking mapshots? The f12 button only activates and deactivates my internet connection.



War with Rome would be very difficult as I have no border with them and even if I had access through Massillia I doubt that would help much. The Romans could annihilate me in a attrition war and their mp allows them to recruit endless armies while I'm limited with only 19k mp. The only way I would win is if I somehow render their main army useless, which I did once until my game crashed right when I was about to save (I took out half their army :p). Although even if I continued I doubt I'd win as I had a very limited mp pool, only luck and plenty of save-scumming could ensure victory against Rome. I checked their coasts with my navies and they had one army of 40k and I suspect they have more. So I'm just going to save them for later.

Also I might need advice on research as I really don't understand it, I make sure my researchers have high finesse but I'm still lagging behind everyone else. I never really understood the research aspect of this game. :/
 
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Buckingham

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Wow, yeah.

Continuing to expand power in the Balkans and to the North would be a good way to increase the MP issues.
 

Enewald

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Ah Rome, the most confusing Paradox game. :p

Will follow.