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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

phargle

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Lucius Aemilius Barbula


barbula_1.jpg


A man of moderate capability, the 51-year-old Barbula found himself Consul of Rome at the beginning of war against the Greek city-states of Magna Graecia. Although a member of the mercantile faction in the senate, Barbula had aspirations to become a Legate, and so he welcomed the opportunity to lead an army in the field. Declaring that it was the civic duty of Roman citizens to defend their homeland, he took command of the Legio I Italia and prepared to march on Tarentum. Prior to leaving Rome, Barbula made a few important decisions to maintain his authority during his absence. First, he ensured the election of a key ally, former consul Gaius Junius Bubulcus, to the position of Censor. To the other Censor position, he arranged the election of his cousin, Quintus Aemilius Papus. Urged by the senate to conquer the Greek cities in the south once and for all, Barbula departed Rome.

The battle went well for Barbula. After routing the ill-prepared Greeks, he seized Tarentum on 12 March 474 AVC, and rested his army for only a few weeks before advancing on Ager Bruttius. His disciplined siege of the city continued to demonstrate his military prowess. In the meantime, Barbula received word concerning developments in the senate. His mercantile faction continued to face stiff opposition from the other factions, and political adversary Gaius Fabius Licinus was preventing any pro-mercantile senator from gaining enough support to succeed Barbula as Consul. Unable to back his closest allies, Barbula instead chose to favor the career of Papus. He instructed the senate to create Legio II Roma with Papus as the Legate, and to dispatch Papus to the northern borders of Italia, where it was hoped he would gain enough acclaim against the barbarians there to improve his prospects of becoming the next Consul.

barbula_3.jpg


barbula_2.jpg

When Ager Bruttius was secured in 7 October 474 AVC, the city fathers of Tarentum agreed to turn the province over to Barbula and pay tribute to Rome. Barbula, acclaimed by his soldiers as a conquerer, declined a triumph, but there were still concerns that the popular and successful Consul might seek dictatorship powers from the senate. Barbula ignored these political developments and instead focused on the need to force a peace upon King Pyrrhus of Epirus. Unable to cross into Sicilia while Pyrrhus's fleet of triremes was patrolling the straits, Barbula began a vigorous project of ship-building, putting him into direct rivalry with faction ally Publius Sempronius Sophus, who as Navy Quaestor favored a smaller fleet. This decision may have weakened Barbula's position in the senate, but it also opened up opportunities for others. When Barbula's term as Consul ended on 2 May 474 AVC, Papus had not improved his standing enough to win the support of the senate, but Licinus was unable as civic faction leader to win the Consulship for himself. After a difficult debate, a compromise candidate emerged: Quintus Fabius Gurges, a middle-aged, civic-minded senator who was allied to Licinus but offended no-one. The senate swiftly confirmed Gurges as Consul, and sent word to Barbula concerning the new state of affairs in Rome.

barbula_4.jpg

Just prior to the end of his term as Consul, Barbula married a very young Greek girl, no doubt someone he met while on campaign, named Artemisia Proctid. After becoming proconsul, Barbula remained with his wife and army in Ager Bruttius, awaiting the instructions of the new Consul. He was still in command of the powerful Legio I Italia, which was becoming increasingly loyal to him personally, and he remained eager to cross into Sicilia on behalf of Rome.

barbula_5.jpg
 
Last edited:

coz1

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What's this? A new phargle AAR? As Monty Burns is known to say..."Excellent!" :cool:
 

Stuyvesant

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Looks good. I might follow this as a tutorial to Vae Victis (bought it some time ago, but still haven't actually played it yet). :)

Do you have any goals for the game, or are you just waiting to see where it'll take you?
 

JDMS

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Looks good. An interesting way of writing an AAR. Good luck. :)
 

phargle

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re: JDMS. Thank you for reading.

re: Stuyvesant. No real goals. I've played through about twenty Consuls already, but decided to start over and AAR it. I'll sort of play the Consuls as their traits suggest, but try to build up Rome and make it strong too. I just got the game a few days ago, so I am not sure what I'm doing, either.

re: coz1. I'm happy to make you happy!


- - - - -

Quintus Fabius Gurges


gurges_1.jpg


At 43 years old, Quintus Fabius Gurges was significantly younger than his predecessor Barbula. Consul was not an office Gurges sought; he would have preferred an appointment as Aedile. Instead, the member of Gaius Fabius Licinus's civic faction was faced with trying to find a way to resolve the war with Epirus. In the first of many decisions that would demonstrate that Gurges was generally incapable, he focused more on the enemy without than the enemy within. Fearing that Barbula would grow too strong if left in command of Legio I Italia, Gurges dismissed the powerful general and appointed proconsul Publius Cornelius Rufinus as Legate. Rufinus, an original thinker, was generally regarded as a better commander than Barbula had been, but was unproven in battle against the Greeks.

gurges_2.jpg

In the north, Papus finally earned his opportunity to prove himself in battle. While marching through Liguria, he provoked a conflict with the Cadurci and their leader Indutiomarus Elitovid. The outnumbered barbarians were outmatched by the forces of Legio I Roma. Despite success in Liguria, Gurges' decision to leave Papus in Liguria to earn his reputation left the border open, and another tribe, the Sugamnbri, took advantage of the situation. Twenty five thousand barbarians under the command of Mannus Gelimerid sacked Umbria and marched on Rome before Gurges responded. On 13 October 465 AVC, two months after Mannus Gelimerid had crossed the border, Gurges finally dispatched Rufinus and the Legio I Italia to the north. Thinking the situation resolved, Gurges then dedicated himself to domestic affairs. He successfully passed the Lex Gellia Et Cornelia, giving governors more power to grant citizenship to freedmen. Meanwhile, barbarians would soon be at the gates, and Epirus was taking advantage of Gurges's decision to leave the south undefended.

gurges_3.jpg

Rufinus arrived at Rome at the beginning of 476 AVC, and he routed Mannus Gelimerid. Gurges quickly ordered the Legate to continue on to Umbria. News of the success Papus had enjoyed in Liguria, where a colony had been founded and a Roman governor appointed, reached Gurges at this time as well. Rather than give Papus a well-deserved triumph, he instead made a political calculation that the Legate might be elected Consul if his popularity endured. For that reason, Gurges smeared Papus by blaming him for the loss of Umbria. With his reputation in tatters and Rufinius getting the credit for driving the barbarians back across the Po river, Papus was no longer in favor with the senate. In the political disarray, Licinus, the senator who had been stymied in the last consular election, began preparing for the next one.

gurges_4.jpg

For his own part, Gurges could no longer ignore the situation in southern Italia. He divided Legio I Italia, creating the Legio III Italia. Taking command of the new legion himself, Gurges marched south to confront Pyrrhus. On 22 July 476 AVC, his army was badly defeated at Lucania and Gurges was nearly killed. Despite the bungling, Gurges earned a reputation for bravery, and managed to keep his army intact until Rufinus could bring the Legio I Italia south. While Gurges was losing in the south, Rufinus had crushed the Sugamnbri. He arrived in southern Italia in October, and the two generals united to drive Pyrrhus off Roman soil.

gurges_5.jpg

At the Battle of Lucania, Gurges lost over five thousand men, inflicting half that many casualties on the Greeks. Nevertheless, Pyrrhus was defeated, retreating into Sicilia. Gurges was able to secure the towns of Ager Bruttius by 4 March 477 AVC, just two months before his consulship was due to end. In May, the unfortunate Gurges stepped down as Consul, and was replaced by Licinus. At this point, the northern border was being kept secure by Papus, and Rome had two legions keeping Pyrrhus trapped in Sicilia. The continuing challenge the new Consul would face would be to find a way to bring the war to a successful conclusion.​
 
Last edited:

JDMS

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Good work, though what difficulty are you playing on?
 

Stuyvesant

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Seems like decent progress, although freeing all those men from the Pyrrhic war would be good. What's more appealing: the Greek provinces to the south, or those wide-open barbarian expanses to the north?
 

phargle

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re: JDMS. Normal.

re: Stuyvesant. I'd really like to win the Pyrrhic war and get a foothold in Sicily, but that isn't really happening as I would have hoped.

- - - - -

Gaius Fabius Licinus


licinus_1.jpg

Gaius Fabius Licinus, the suspicious and powerful leader of the senatorial civic faction, took power at the height of his success at the age of forty-eight, having finished a career as Quaestor that left him with a reputation for exceptional finesse. His term as Consul, from 477 AVC to 479 AVC, would come to be regarded as a disaster. After appointing his ally Gaius Genucius Clespina to replace him as Quaestor, he dispatched Rufinus and the Legio I Italia to Syracuse. Rufinus was defeated by Pyrrhus within a month. A fleet of Epirusian triremes cut off his retreat, and the entire legion was captured by the Greeks, leaving Rome with only one legion in the south.

licinus_2.jpg

In September 477 AVC, Licinus tried to restore the situation by sending the navy under the command of Barbula to secure the straits. He replaced the unexceptional proconsul Gurges, still the Legate of Legio III Italia, with the much more capable Gaius Fabricus Luscinus, and sent Luscinus into Sicilia to salvage the situation. At Syracuse, Pyrrhus charged the Roman line with elephants, smashing Luscinus's legion and sending him fleeing back into Italia. Luscinus barely escaped across the waters, getting Legio III Italia to safety only a day before the Epirusian fleet arrived to cut off his retreat. Rome had nearly lost another entire legion in its war with Epirus.

licinus_3.jpg

In a panic, Licinus worked to rebuild the lost legion by raising cohorts all over Italia. The situation, already bad, finally reached rock bottom on 27 December 477 AVC, when a storm swept the Roman fleet from the seas. Rome was now left with no fleet, which meant it could not control the straits to prevent a crossing. Its legions were battered, one had been lost entirely in Sicilia, and Pyrrhus was free to advance into Ager Bruttius. On 6 March 478 AVC, Luscinus repulsed an attack by Pyrrhus, losing a third of his army in the process, but the situation remained grim. The arrival of the new Legio IV Campania under the command of Legate Publius Cornelius Rufinus alleviated the situation somewhat, but only just. In October, Rufinus lost another four thousand soldiers repulsing Pyrrhus's second attempt to invade Italia.

As this was going on, barbarians rose up in the north. Papus, still Legate of Legio II Roma in Liguria, defeated a small barbarian warband and marched to Umbria to destroy the barbarians there. His reputation for stubbornness from refusing to accept a relief army improved his reputation, but the election for Consul was already a forgone conclusion. His reputation undamaged by the debacles in the south, Papus became Consul, replacing the man who (with Gurges's slander) had defeated him in the election two years prior. Papus promised to end the war with Epirus, but with no fleet and the legions in disarray, it was unclear what the new Consul intended to do.​
 
Last edited:

Achab

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Try to appoint only high martial characters as your army commanders.

Leave armies of 5 cohorts without a commander and with a little luck senate will find you a competent general or admiral.

Fight the armies of Pyrrhos only when in advantage, let them come to you, preferably crossing straits or a river in the process, so they get extra penalties. Spice your armies with some archer units.
 

Qorten

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Ow, that 'Storm'-event looks really nasty. Never had it before myself. How many ships were in that fleet? They're the most expensive to build units in the game at 10 gold/ship. You're really going to need a big and well led navy if you want to go against the Hellenic states and most importantly, Carthage.
 

phargle

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I've played through Papus and his two successors, so I have an idea what's about to happen. Nevertheless, the're consuls, so that's only a few years. If there is redirection, requests, or information and screenshots you'd like to see, I'm only a few years ahead of the most recent updates. Just lemme know.

re: Qorten. My entire fleet was destroyed with that one event. I had fourteen or fifteen triremes, enough to keep Epirus at bay and let me land in Syracusa. Gone. Just like that. It was pretty crippling for my war effort, which comes through in the AAR quite nicely, I think.

re: Achab. That's going to have to be how I fight Pyrrhus, yeah. Crossing the straits made me get slaughtered, but I got him to do the same thing and beat him twice. Archers. I forget about archers. I'll try to add some to my armies. Also, I tend to appoint people who are supportive of the Consul as my generals, so I'll have a civic Consul appoint his allies - especially ones who have a chance to succeed him - as generals. Barbula is a great general, but he was in the wrong faction and was too powerful, so I canned him (and later gave him the fleet to command, which, uh, he lost in a storm.) In a crisis, such as this one, I'll appoint people of any faction. That's how Papus, Liscinus, and Rufinus ended up as generals despite none of them being in the civic faction. But they all had 7 martial, and Rome needed them.

Thanks for the advice.
 

phargle

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Quintus Aemilius Papus


papus_1.jpg

Quintus Aemilius Papus was, first and foremost, a general. At fifty years old, the assertive and aggressive Legate seemed to be an ideal choice to lead Rome in facing the threat from Epirus. Papus attempted immediately to seek a white peace with Epirus, but his negotiations with the emissary, Themistocles Aratid, ended inconclusively. Reluctantly, Papus continued his prosecution of the war. Construction of triremes in Apulia, a project initiated during Licinus's consulship, neared completion, and so Papus put his cousin Barbula in charge of the restored navy. Barbula was dispatched to clear the Adriatic of pirates and thus make it clear to Epirus that Rome's naval strength was being restored. As a secondary goal, Papus hoped the expedition would draw away the Epirusian fleet long enough that Roman triremes built in Ager Bruttius and Lucania could leave their ports. The distraction worked, and the ships raced to Rome to rally under Barbula's command. Meanwhile, good news came from the south: on 21 August 479 AVC, Rufinus and the Legio III Italia confronted Pyrrhus a third time at Ager Bruttius, destroying a third of the invading army while suffering only two hundred casualties. Themistocles Aratid returned to Rome, this time with an offer of white peace. This was unpopular in the senate, but Papus insisted on accepting the terms and ending the war. Although Rome had conquered Ager Bruttius, the war still felt like defeat. Nevertheless, Papus had accomplished what he set out to do. Rome was at peace, and could rebuild.

papus_2.jpg

Having ended the war in the first few months of his consulship, Papus wanted to ensure that the next Consul would be a capable man. He turned to Rufinus, first giving the popular Legate a triumph in Rome (and thus refusing one for himself), and then sending the Legio III Italia into Bononia to clear the region of barbarians. By the middle of 480 AVC, Rufinus was at the height of his popularity, the clear favorite of the military faction and with support from the rest of the senate as well. Rufus considered the succession well in hand.

papus_3.jpg

Summer proved to be difficult. In July, Publius Sempronius Sophus, the naval quaestor, was found to be stealing cargo. Papus angrily had Sophus tried and executed, blaming the man for the hardships Rome's navy had suffered in the Pyrrhic war. This move shifted the mood in the senate; Sophus was a personal enemy of Barbula, and some felt that Papus had been influenced by his cousin. Furthermore, although proconsul Licinus was the most qualified person for the job of navy quaestor, Papus instead supported the election of Publius Decius Mus, a much less capable man of rash disposition. Papus was determined to keep Licinus, who had so badly mishandled the war with Epirus, out of power, but also refused to support any senator allied to Licinus, and thus passed over several qualified men by supporting Mus for the quaestorship. Even so, Rufinus remained popular due to his defeat of the Nitobroges barbarians in Bononia, and appeared to be the clear favorite for the consulship. On 1 May 481 AVC, the day of the birth of his son Tertius Aemilius Papus, Papus was therefore surprised to learn that the election went against him. Rather than pass the consulship to his ally and friend, he was to surrender it to Numerius Fabius Pictor, one of Licinus's cousins and a member of the civic faction. Pictor was friendly with Marcus Fulvius Flaccus, the leader of the military faction in the senate, and Flaccus ended up giving only lukewarm support to Rufinus. The Aemilii were once again outmaneuvered by the Fabii.​
 

Stuyvesant

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Good job ending that war and a nice bit of politicking. I think I understand how the votes are appointed, but what determines how big each faction is?
 

JDMS

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Well the war could have gone better, but at least you didn't lose anything. Great updates. The politics are interesting. :)
 

Achab

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Looks like the evil populists are already gaining support, please share the senate factions attraction figures with us ;)
 

phargle

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re: Achab. Lots of support. They pass the civic faction under Pictor's consulship. I'll see if I can find a screenie for you. Here ya go, the faction attraction figures at the start of Numerius Fabius Pictor's term as consul:

481_attraction.jpg

re: JDMS. At least I won a province. I just wish I could have taken Syracusa. I don't have a casus belli now, so it'll be hard to rock out a war with Epirus.

re: Stuyvesant. Thanks. Each faction grows based on several factors. Popular officers helps, as do some decisions - no omens help the populists, but having omens helps the religious faction. Trade helps the mercantile faction, etc. You can also make decisions when in power that add senators to different factions, so you can build up your factions when in office.

Numerius Fabius Pictor


pictor_1.jpg

The 42-year-old propraetor Numerius Fabius Pictor ascended to the position of Consul with a reputation for being just and reckless. Although he attempted to run Rome ably and fairly, it could be said that his political recklessness would come to overshadow his civic-mindedness during his lengthy term as Consul. Pictor set out to accomplish three bold objectives. First, he would undo much of the political status quo that had been implemented by his predecessor Papus, and thus diminish the strength of Rome's military faction while strengthening his own civic faction. Second, he would complete the conquest of Magna Graecia. Third, he would reform the Republic's political institutions. Pictor envisioned a Rome with a peaceful but secure southern frontier, with a senate that avoided foreign adventures, and with a strong Consul that could keep politics at bay. With this goal in mind, he set out to implement his reforms.

pictor_2.jpg

On 5 July 481 AVC, proconsul Papus reported to Pictor that he had succeeded in founding a Roman colony at Bononia, pushing Rome's frontier north to the Po river. Pictor welcomed this news. Concluding that the northern border was secure so long as Papus remained there, and concluding as well that keeping Papus away from Rome would make the senate less likely to rally against his decisions, Pictor acted. He dismissed the rash and unpopular Publius Decius Mus from his post as quaestor, and supported the savvy and capable Gaius Fabius Licinus as his replacement. This undid one of the most unsavory political developments of Papus's consulship. Pictor then supported his cousin Quintus Fabius Gurges in becoming Pontifex Maximus. Not only did this shift the balance of power among the various offices from military dominance to near parity between the military and civic factions, but it also put Gurges and Licinus, both enemies of proconsul Papus, into positions of power. Papus was still a powerful Legate with a loyal army, making this move potentially dangerous. Fortunately, Papus was busy fighting barbarians in the north, first at Liguria, and later at Bononia, and could not return to Rome to respond to the insult.

On 12 January 482 AVC, Pictor sent an emissary to deliver an ultimatum to Nikomedes Zoticid, the holy leper who served as Archon of Tarentum. Zoticid refused to surrender the city to Rome, and so Pictor summoned Gurges to divine whether the omens were good or bad. When Gurges responded that Rome had the Blessing of Mars, Pictor ordered Rufinus to lead the Legio IV Campania against Tarentum. On 7 December 482 AVC, the city fell to Rome. Declaring to the senate, "Datum perficiemus munus," Pictor extended the rule of the Republic to all of Italia.

pictor_3.jpg

With his personal popularity high and a little over a year before his consulship was due to end, Pictor convinced the senate to implement his reforms. The notion of Rome as a military republic ended, and was replaced with a Republic Confederacy in which the Consul would rule for four years, not two. Pictor declared that Rome's citizens had a civic duty to defend the Republic, but that the Republic was no longer to submit to the whims of Legates and the military faction. The move passed without controversy, and, with his consulship extended by two years, Pictor continued to strengthen his position in the senate. The Aedile, Praetor, and Naval Quaestor were all replaced by senators from the civic faction. His ally Licinus meanwhile guided the faction to greater success, and when 1 May 483 AVC passed - that being the date Pictor ought to have stepped down under the old laws - the civic faction was the strongest in the senate, with thirty senators. A month later, Pictor and Licinus passed the Lex Vendito Pauper Sevitium, which gave the senate more power and more popularity with the plebes, both at the expense of traditional elites. The law was briefly opposed by a rebellion in Samnium, which Luscinus and the Legio III Italia crushed. Pictor also directed funds to the navy, restoring the fleet, still under the command of Barbula, to its pre-war strength.


pictor_4.jpg

As 484 AVC began, Pictor started to take the first preliminary steps to ensure the succession of a like-minded senator. His first acts were unjust and reckless; he sought to bring down his opponents. The popular Rufinus was dismissed as Legate of the Legio IV Campania, and his reputation was smeared with claims that he had been insufficiently diligent in protecting the border. This made Pictor's close friend Gnaeus Cornelius Blasio, a former Aedile, the leading candidate for consul.

pictor_5.jpg

Pictor's success was not to last. The political situation changed with the rise of populist senator Marcus Atilius Regulus, who managed to unite a faction of enough like-minded senators in opposition to Pictor. At the same time, Blasio's popularity faded. As 1 May 485 AVC loomed, it looked like Regulus would assuredly be elected Consul. In a startling upset, his elected was thwarted by a last-minute maneuver by Pictor. Supporting his cousin, Gauis Fabius Pictor, Pictor was able to keep the dangerous populist from power, but he had to back a senator from the religious faction in order to do it. The consulship nevertheless remained in the hands of the Fabii, who had restored their family's reputation as Rome's trusted and capable protectors. The Aemilii, for their part, appeared utterly defeated.​
 
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Achab

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Why the change to the republic confederacy? You have one idea slot less than the military republic and the tyranny also wears off slower ....
 

JDMS

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With populists in power, things usually go bad. . . :(
 

DeathAndDecay

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You need to reign in those populists.

The reason they are gaining so many seats in the senate is the charisma of their leader. That's why their attraction is so high.

As a rule of thumb, I tend to imprison any populist leader with a charisma of 5 or more, as they have a huge boost to attraction over the other factions.

I also try to give all budding populists with less than a 20-22 populist rating a title as soon as they hit the age of majority to sway their conviction away from the populist faction.

I tend to see as low as 5-10 populist seats in the senate that way.