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RossN

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comagoosie: Thanks. :) Well the rebels did have me quite hard pressed at times; Damasias defecting and taking half my army with him was not really something I had planned for... :eek:

OutsiderSubtype: He is still there (as of 508). At least the Ptolemies have held onto one kingdom... :wacko:

Enewald: Well, I'm not sure I'd hold up Aphrodite as the standard for Olympian intelligence. ;)

Darthvegeta800: THank you, keep reading and commenting. Always great to get feedback. :)

Olaus Petrus: I know! :eek: I wonder what other suprises this game will turn up...
 

Olaus Petrus

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That was very tough civil war, luckily loyalist cause did win.

End of the Ptolemaic dynasty and restoration of Antipatrids was yet another interesting turn of the events. Damasias could have had it all without his betrayal. Even a unmarked grave is too good for such man.
 

unmerged(58610)

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At least the Ptolemies have held onto one kingdom...
I'm holding out for a Ptolemeaic return to power. A boy on the throne of macedon. It should be child's play for a wily intriguer like Keraunos.
 
Last edited:

comagoosie

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That looked like one wicked civil war! For sure I thought you were going to lose after your capital had been sacked and your best general betrayed you. How were you able to do it?

Even though the Ptolemies have pretty much died off, I think it was for the good.
 

RossN

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Xanthos I


Part Three: Enemies Within & Without (508 - 520 AVC)

Macedonia was at peace - but at what price! A royal dynasty swept away along with countless lesser men and a kingdom's worth of gold. The throne now belonged to a boy who was the virtual prisoner of the arrogant and ambitious men who made up the court and watched each other with flinty eyes, like rival sharks circling a wounded seal. Not a very hopeful situation for the young king.

Yet Xanthos was made of sterner stuff than he appeared. He was the son of Sosthenes and if he lacked the greatness of his father he possessed much of his steel. While he could be naïve but he was no fool; Xanthos never surrendered himself to being a mere pawn in his own kingdom. During the long years of the regency he supported his mother, not because Queen Aristomache was some towering intellect (she wasn’t), but because she had just as strong an interest in his well being as he did. Also she was his mother and while neither the Antipatrids nor the Ptolemies were warm families, blood did count for something. When he came of age Xanthos gently yet firmly informed his mother that while her advice was always welcome he intended to rule.

The young king had inherited a troubled realm. While there was no return to the open civil war of Meleager's time it was a rare year that no revolt was not taking place somewhere in Greater Macedonia. An exhausted an overtaxed peasantry, frequently at odds with their alien Macedonian overlords would seek any opportunity to rise. None of these rebellions were very serious by themselves, but together they were chronic irritant, at times of war a genuine danger.

Worse than the peasants though were the barbarians. A generation of expansion to the north had left tracts of thinly colonised and civilised land. From time to time warbands rose under some honey voiced warlord with dreams of kingship and pillaged the countryside. Crobobizi, Tribali and Dardania had all been colonised just after the Civil War and on more than one occasion the former two had to be re-conquered. The trouble here was as nothing compared to Ditones where forty years of Macedonian rule could crumble in a moment. Not only did the local Archon have to face the barbarians but he also had to deal with the remaining Illyrians who had settled there.

In such circumstances any people might have longed for a few decades of peace and isolationism.

Well... any people other than the Macedonians anyway.


The Kingdom of Greater Macedonia, 515 AVC

At this time what we now think of as mainland Greece was divided up between five different powers. The largest, Macedonia should need no introduction. Next in power came the Macedonian allies of Epirus and Sparta, proud kingdoms whose own glory days had passed. The rest of the mainland consisted of dozens of Greek city states organized into two great alliances; the Aetolian League (led by Thermon) and the Achaean League (led by Patras) who had resisted Macedonian hegemony. Several attempts to win them over by peaceful means had achieved nothing.

Upon reaching the age of sixteen and assuming is full responsibilities Xanthos had quickly decided that the city states had been thorns in Macedonian side long enough. In 516 he assembled his armies and prepared for war. The target was the Aetolian League. At the end of May 516 Xanthos led a huge army, some 25,000 strong into Aetolian territory.

For their part the city states had long suspected war was coming and were not caught idly; the Aetolians had allied themselves with the Achaean League and also Crete so that Macedonia now found herself at war on several sides. Even as Xathos marched on Thermon the Achaeans had launched their own campaign into Macedonian controlled Argolis while the Cretans were preparing their own attack on undefended Thracia.

In a pitched battle outside Thermon Xanthos defeated the Aetolian army on 21 June, though at heavy cost with both sides losing over a third of their forces. As the Aetolians retreated into Achaean territory and Xanthos began his siege he was left anxiously waiting for news of Argolis. Phocas Aratid, an old loyalist general had only 8,000 men under his command and according to rumour the Achaean League fielded almost thrice that. A week passed with no word and so anxious was the King that he considered splitting his forces to send aid when finally a message arrived from Phocas. He had not merely survived, not merely won, but won one of the greatest victories in Macedonian history.


The Battle of Argolis, 516 AVC

The Achaean army had been marching towards Kórinthos when they discovered Phocas had occupied the heights of Mount Geraneia near Megara. Disastrously they decided to attack then and there when a few days of waiting would have forced Phocas to come to them rather than risk starvation. The more lightly armoured Hypaspists who made up the great bulk of the Achaean army were cut to pieces by the more heavily armoured Macedonians. Unable to bring their great numbers into play the Achaean line broke in panic and in the stampede that followed thousands of their own comrades were killed, trodden underfoot by the retreating mob. Phocas sent his cavalry in to complete the rout. Very few men survived to return to Patras, and there to receive little respite as Phocas had taken the offensive himself and followed them, stopping only to destroy a poorly timed slave revolt in Argolis.

The weakened remnants of the Aetolian army and the skeletal remnants of the Achaean army met up at Patras in an attempt to save something from the disaster in Argolis. Ecdemus, the Achaean leader who now assumed command over the united armies still had almost 17,000 men under his control, though admittedly most of this was militia and he lacked archers. If he had had more time might have moulded a great fighting force out of them, but unfortunately for him he did not. Phocas caught the demoralised, confused force before Patras and annihilated them.


The Battle of Achaea, 516 AVC

The Battle of Achaea essentially ended the war in the field, though the sieges of Patras and Thermon would drag on until the middle of 518. What it did not do was bring peace; peasants in Scodra and barbarians in Tribali took advantage of Macedonian distractions to run wild sacking several cities. More seriously the Cretans used their command of the sea to sack Tylis (in Thrace) and Oescus (in Triballi) and were still at large when the war ended. As it was Northern Macedonia suffered grimly during these years and many locals claimed (not entirely unjustly) that Xanthos had been willing to throw them to the wolves to serve his own ambitions.

The Achaeans surrendered in December 517 and the Aetolians finally followed suit three months later, officially ending the war (Crete declined to fight on after the Aetolians were defeated). The old leagues were broken up and their territories incorporated into the Kingdom of Greater Macedonia.

For all the triumph Xanthos was not overjoyed at the result. Some hard lessons had been learnt: Macedonia was not so strong she could be strong everywhere during a major war. The Cretans had done a lot of damage and if the war in the south had taken longer things might have gone very badly indeed. Therefore, to help diminish the risk of such a thing happening Xanthos first decision after the war was to commission a navy.

His second was to dismiss Phocas. True he was a national hero but... actually that was precisely the problem. Xanthos had no intention of becoming a second Meleager.


The Kingdom of Greater Macedonia, 520 AVC
 

RossN

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Oh dear only three replies. Must have lost a lot of pro-Ptolemy fans... :( :D

Olaus Petrus: Well said. It certainly shocked me when he defected... another few months and he'd have been king! :wacko:

Perhaps one day the true story of why Damasias joined Niccoles will emerge...

Chief Ragusa: Heh, well luckily(?) Ptolemy Keraunos didn't last all that long; Pontus destroyed his kingdom about 510 AVC and that was the last that was heard of him. Currently the only Ptolemy outside Egypt is Queen Aristomache (Xanthos's mother).

comagoosie: Well the death of Meleager probably helped me survive. Sosthenes was a much better ruler and general. Also using a couple of big armies instead of several smaller ones like the rebels. I could defeat them one at a time. :)

I feel you might be right about the Ptolemies. I wonder how long the Antipatrids will last though.
 

Enewald

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Epirus and Sparta remain as sharp thorns, just waiting for a good moment to back stab you.:rolleyes:
 

OutsiderSubtype

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Ah yes, the perennial problem of ancient era despots. You want your generals to be good, but not too good.
 

Olaus Petrus

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Those were some great victories, Phocas really did some serious damage to the Greek cities. But it seems that you need to build garrison troops to your northern border to keep out the barbarians. Personally I hate it when huge amount of barbarians attack just when you're focused to war in other part of your empire.
 

comagoosie

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Those were absolutely brilliant victories. Though I don't see how the first one only got 3.6% popularity boost. Give the old guy some credit. I did find it funny how you suffered not even 1% (0.99003046247576848518415951260039%) of the casualties that the leagues did in the 2nd battle. That is truly amazing.
 

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The Macedonians go to war...

Part Four: The Wine Dark Sea (521 - 541 AVC)

Throughout its long and frequently bloody history Macedonia had never been a great sea power. Macedonian great strength was in her standing army made of stout Macedonian farming stock (with a few discrete if expensive mercenaries tucked in to make up in the numbers). Though they honoured Poseidon it was as patron of horses rather than sailors. Not for them the wild and treacherous ocean, home to sea serpents and worse that lurked in its murky depths. Surely honest Macedonians could have no future with such a thing?

To Xanthos this was so much bilge. He had seen all too clearly what not having war fleet meant when the Cretans had overrun Thracia with fire and sword and pillaged the northern Aegean freely. This was not something he wished to see repeated. Unfortunately, due to the traditional view noted above, few Macedonians were skilled at shipbuilding or sailing. Fortunately neither quality was lacking amongst the Greeks of Aetolia, Argolis and Thracia and in these three provinces readily supplied with local or imported timber, a mighty war fleet slowly but surely began to take shape.

The old Macedonian nobility was none too happy about this development. Their importance lay in the cavalry and thus the Army. While the Navy might have aristocratic leaders the rowers and ship masters were overwhelmingly Greek and lowborn - two unanswerable reasons to be suspicious to begin with. Worse, the Navy belonged entirely to the King, and the more paranoid aristocrats were alarmed at this move towards the despotic monarchy of the Egyptians or the Seleucids. Who cared if a few Thracian dirt farms got burnt when the very question of Macedonian freedom was at stake?

Xanthos's answer that question was to declare war on Rhodes on 1 July 531 AVC.

The Rhodians were in league with Crete and Pergamon and the three of them had carved out a space of their own in the Aegean while the great powers bickered and butted heads. They had fairly good relations with the Macedonians, but Xanthos was committed to war regardless. Control of Crete and Rhodes was essential if Macedonia was to rule the Aegean, and Xanthos was always willing to break a few heads to make an omelette.

The Macedonian 1st Nautikon (160 triremes) transported Xanthos and his army to Rhodes, while the 3rd Nautikon (140 triremes) landed troops on Crete before blockading the island. Easily achieving land superiority on both islands the Macedonians began besieging the enemy capitals.

The scene was set for the worst Macedonian defeat since the Battle of Scodra.


The scale of the disaster off Crete

Admiral Damasias (no relation) had taken refuge from a storm at Thera. Having weathered the night he was delayed in setting sail when several of his vessels had to stop and restock water. It was his misfortune that the Cretan fleet found them at noon, still at anchor and struck. With the bay blocked off at both ends and impossibly hindered by their own numbers the Macedonians were doomed.

The slaughter was terrible. Over a hundred Macedonian triremes were sunk, several more including the King's personal ship Euphoria. Only a handful of ships escaped, breaking through to bring word of the disaster back to Macedonia. Admiral Damasias, pulled alive but unconscious from the waters by one of the surviving triremes would never recover, his jet back hair turning fully white within the year. He had left behind almost half the entire Macedonian navy.

As catastrophic as it was the battle could not change the course of the war; Admiral Ephron arrived too late to save Damasias but succeeded in driving off the Cretans. On land the Macedonians had already captured the Cretan capital of Gortyn, and a few weeks later Rhodes itself would fall. On 26 November 532 the war came to an end; Crete and Rhodes joined Greater Macedonia while things returned to a suspicious status quo with Pergamon.

A victory then, but not a happy one. Xanthos had seen his beloved war fleet reduced to so much flotsam. The next decade would be taken up seeing it painfully rebuilt. Worse the aristocrats reached new heights of Olympian arrogance. The Army would remain the great source of strength for Macedonia. The King himself was reluctantly coming round to this view. Even as the fleet was being rebuilt he passed substantial reforms on the Army, ending the role of mercenaries and reorganising the garrison system. Plans were drawn up to avoid the chaos of earlier wars (and hopefully keep all the King's enemies in one place so he could keep an eye on them.)

He would get to see the results of his reforms far sooner than he would have liked. On 1 April 541 Pontus declared war on Macedonia.


Greater Macedonia
 

RossN

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Enewald: Perhaps, but I'm not sure Xanthos is quite bloodthirsty enough to backstab his own allies. Yet anyway. :)

OutsiderSubtype: Yeah. Trouble is Xanthos is the only male Antipatrid around so there are no useful family members to appoint generals.

Olaus Petrus: Barbarians are just one of those things I guess. Annoying, but so far just that. At least I can sell the slaves, unlike my rebellious peasants. :)

comagoosie: I know. :wacko: The Leagues had built up huge but lightly equipped armies and I guess that they didn't work so well against my phalangites. Hope no one inflicts it on my troops! :eek:
 

Specialist290

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Another RossN AAR! :D Just finished the first two chapters, but I hope to find the time to finish the rest later.

I can sympathize w/ the time crunch; having just started college last fall, I've been finding myself w/ a lot less free time of my own.

At any rate, here's to a Macedonian Empire that rivals Alexander's!

EDIT: Just finished what's written so far. Bad luck w/ the navy there, but still, the Macedonian Empire is coming along nicely. Now go whip those Pontic dogs! ;)
 
Last edited:

comagoosie

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Haha just when I think you are invincible, you are defeated handly. What was the Rhodian fleet comprised of. You have a 16 and 14 ship navy and if either one of them got attacked by a superior fleet, I assume you would have brought the other in for reinforcement, so that means that the Rhodian navy must have been ~ 30 :eek:

But your defeat didn't last long, you know how to get revenge. :D
 

Olaus Petrus

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Good thing that you had landed your troops before the Cretan fleet attacked, otherwise it would have been disaster of much greater magnitude.
 

Qorten

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Nice to see a real History Book style AAR here, I hope you continue to the bitter end! Well, I hope it will be glorious for the Macedonians of course.
 

Beamed

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I must confess I enjoy this AAR not just because of the way you conduct it, but also because of the difficulties you face. AARs are far more interesting when a player barely (or even doesn't!) triumphs.`
 

RossN

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Mount Olympus​


Apollo blinked, took a second look at the board to make sure, then glared daggers at his uncle.

"A hundred and ten Macedonian galleys? Did Xanthos accidently break wind in your temple or something?"

Poseidon looked shocked and apalled at the very notion that he was not behaving above board, which immidiately set off alarm bells in Apollo's head. No one ever looks that innocent without being outrageously guilty. He thought he saw Athena smirking out of the corner of his eye, but by the time he turned towards her her face was an impassive mask.

"Problems, brother?" asked the goddess of wisdom coolly.

"Not at all sis," said the god of light, letting out his third best smile, and causing a nearby nymph to swoon. "Simply wondering who is to play Pontus."

"I will," said a voice. As one the other deities turned.

"Oh," said Apollo.

"Oh," said Athena.

"Oh," said Helios.

"Oh," said Posiedon.

"What?," said Aphrodite who had been spending the last forty years or so (mortal time) fretting over a split end and thus not really paying attention. She turned to see the new arrival and went "oh."

"Well don't all look so pleased to see me," muttered Eris, sitting down across from Apollo between Aphrodite and Helios. "So, whose idea was it not to invite me to this game?"

"Helios's," squeaked Aphrodite, to which the outraged sun god replied by blaming Posiedon.

"I can't believe you dated her," said Athena with a shudder of disdain only a several thousand year old virgin can properly express.

Apollo shifted uncomfortably, aware that Eris was looking at him intently from across the board, ignoring the three way fight that was in full swing around her. "What can I say? She had some of the most interesting tattoos in the most interesting places."

There was a loud thud; the ongoing arguement had taken a turn for the worse and Aphrodite had just headbutted Posiedon.

Apollo and Athena exchanged glances. Trust the ex-from Tartarus to turn a simple game playing with the lives of mortals into something unpleasant.
 

RossN

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Enewald: Not so much, no. :eek:o

Specialist290: Well, I'll try. :)

comagoosie: In fairness, as annoying as it was it certainly seems in character for Rhodes to be a great seapower. :)

Olaus Petrus: Tell me about it! :eek:

Qorten: Of course. :)

Beamed: True, true (though I do want to win eventually of course ;)).