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Hmm. I take it we can expect Pontus to be mean-spirited, spiteful, and just generally contrary in this game.
 

Olaus Petrus

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Eris brings the game to entirely new level. It's nice to see that Apollo will get a good challenger.
 

LlywelynII

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"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."
[size=+1]All hail Eris! All hail Discordia![/size] :D

jmberry said:
Hmm, I wonder which nation Zeus would back?
Pretty much by definition, the winner.
 

LlywelynII

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This game looks very interesting - is it still ongoing?
Oh, sorry if it isn't. Won a forum AAR award lately, so I was checking it out. Didn't pay attention to the dates.
 

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Pontus-in-Europe & Greater Macedonia, April 541 AVC


Part Five: The Pontic War (541 - 542 AVC)

Over the decades Macedonia had expanded enormously to the north, pushing deeper into barbarian territory with every year. It had not come without cost - rampaging tribesmen had become an all too frequent sight in the borderlands of the kingdom - but it had left the Macedonians richer and stronger. Wealth and strength that provoked jealousy. Enter the kingdom of Pontus.

The heartland of Pontus lay in Asia on the southern bank of the Euxine Sea. A mysterious land of old Greek colonies and cruel mountains it had remained aloof from the great struggles that tore apart the Diadochi. Aloof, but hardly passive. The royal line of Pontus, called Mithridates, was warlike and cunning and they forged an Anatolian kingdom beyond the control of the Seleucids. Ironically it was partially the fault of the Macedonians that the Pontic empire had spread into Europe; the collapse of the Illyrians and the Dacians had given King Nicocrates of Pontus his chance to seize weakly defended land.

Shrewd, arrogant old Nicocrates was well into his sixth decade and knew every inch of his kingdom. He knew that if Pontus was to expand it would surely be in Europe. The Seleucid Empire, troubled as always by the Egyptians was still far too strong to be faced openly so any expansion in that direction would have to wait. Bithynia was allied to the Seleucid's so that tempting prize was frustratingly out of reach. So Europe, and a bloated Macedonia worn out by her own wars and caught in the middle of reorganisation. Perfect.

When Xanthos heard that Nicorates had declared war he had flown into a terrible rage. Frightened, great nobles and lowly servants alike fled to their chambers as Xanthos raged about his palace. The unfortunate Pontic envoy was executed at once, as was a luckless slave who had foolishly asked whether the king intended to lead the army himself.

At least part of the king's uncharacteristic rage was fear. Everyone recalled from the last war that had seriously threatened Macedonia that the king was no great general. Everyone included Xanthos, who everyday was confronted with the multitude of statues and busts and frescoes and mosaics dedicated to Alexander the Great. The city of Pella was a monument to war and warriors. The King, nearly fifty and gaining around the waistline almost as rapidly as he was losing around the hairline did not cut a very dynamic figure. Nevertheless he decided he would lead the army himself - what choice did he have? He was not going to risk the Antipatrid throne on some general with his own ideas.

The first great battle was at Suci where Xanthos defeated a small Pontic advance force. Flush with success he moved into the northern Pontic holdings proper from the east while Nicodemus (the general Xanthos distrusted least) invaded from the west. Nicodemus won a bloody victory at Agrianes, at the cost of over a third of his men, and began to besiege the city. Meanwhile Xanthos moved into Moesi. As autumn began it looked like the war would settle into a series of sieges, much to the relief of Xanthos. The Macedonian King was good at sieges.

Unluckily for him Pontus had far from reached the end of their resources. Regrouping in Daci the Pontic armies struck south, driving the battered army of Nicomedus out of Agrianes and suddenly isolating Xanthos. The Macedonian King still had a formidable intact army in Moesi, but could he stand his ground if Pontus attempted to relieve the city?


The Battle of Moesi, 19 January 542 AVC

Guess not.

As Xanthos retreated he received news that Sucidava was in danger of falling to Pontus. The one bright spot in this Iliad of woes was that Nicodemus was also in retreat. Pontus was merely an enemy; it was the members of one's court that was truly dangerous.

As he arrived back in Pella, stonily avoiding the eyes of his court, the King was faced with some difficult choices. Thankfully his war fleet (now based in the port of Byzantion) was in control of the Hellespont, so there was little chance of an invasion from Pontus proper. Unfortunately it appeared that they might not need to. Macedonia was doing quite poorly enough without any additional assistance.

In truth Macedonia had the resources that she probably would win in the end. Only the most pessimistic doubted that. What Xanthos was uneasily aware of was how fragile his own position was; the Antipatrid's were not so long in their thrones that he could rely on the loyalty of the people.

He needed a victory and he needed it fast.

 

RossN

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OutsiderSubtype: So just like everyone else in other words? ;)

Enewald: Yep. As usual. :)

comagoosie: True enough, but they are mostly behaving themselves. For now.

Olaus Petrus: Well I think you sell Athena a little short, but I'm sure Apollo will get his hands full. :)

jmberry: See Llywelyn's answer. ;)

Llywelyn & TonyJoe: Ah, good to have you guys aboard. Yes this game is still ongoing, even if I haven't updated in a while.
 

comagoosie

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Ouch, the king has fallen and he can either die or rise again. Let us hope for the sake of him and the country that he rises again. :D
 

Darkwind3.0

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I just read through this AAR. It seems Macedonia is doomed to a bloody cycle of expansion, disloyalty, and dynastic change. But who knows, maybe some day Apollo will get a lucky break and manage to stabilize Macedonia! And maybe pigs will fly :D
 

aussieboy

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Well, looks like Xanthos is in some deep s**t with a capital S...
 

Olaus Petrus

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Xanthos seems to be in deep trouble, I hope that you won't get rebellions during the Pontic war.
 

Lord Blekinge

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I enjoyed your AAR a lot, it makes me with that I had my EU:Rome with me in Korea. Good luck with your new king.
 

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General Menon

Part Six: Barbarians All Over The Place (542 - 547 AVC)

The First Pontic War was a bloody, confusing brawl that raged across the Balkans for six years. It drew in the Bosporans (on the side of Pontus) and Sparta and Epirus (on the side of Macedonia). Countless battles were fought, cities sacked again and again and two dynasties were both to the brink.

To add insult to injury it ended in stalemate.

At first the war seemed to run much in the Pontic favour. The Macedonian army was not the veteran force it had been and the green soldiery at Xanthos's command faded away before the disciplined might of Pontus. Still, capable as the Pontic phalanx certainly was, it was not the main reason for the early flush of Pontic victories. Disdaining to take the field himself, King Nicorates had left command of the armies of Pontus to Menon of Sinope. Perhaps the most gifted general of the age, Menon was to prove more than a match for Xanthos and his tame commanders Nicodemus and Pytheos. For the first half of the war the Macedonians were simply incapable of defeating Menon in the field, even when they held the numbers. His greatest victory was perhaps the devastating Battle of Ditiones in April 542 which nearly wiped out Pytheos and his army and left the whole Dalmatian coast open to Menon.


The Battle of Ditiones, 23 April 542 AVC

After Ditiones Xanthos promised the island of Crete to the man who brought him the head of Menon. The war ended with the reward still unclaimed.

The greatest Macedonian general of the war was Aenias, appointed to replace the hapless Pytheos. In the few months between taking command and his capture by the enemy at Scodra he poured his heart into rebuilding the shattered Macedonian armies. He harried the foe where they least expected, avoiding direct confrontation (especially with the dreaded Menon) and liberated Macedonian towns under Pontic control since the early months of the war. In Pella they hailed him a second Phocas, and even what happened at Scodra did little to dampen his legend.

Popular opinion to the contrary, there is not one shred of proof that Xanthos double crossed his own general. However strange the circumstances of the Battle of Scodra (and there are questions enough about that battle) no serious historian entertains the outlandish conspiracy theories that Xanthos paid a slave to betray Aenias to Pontus. Perhaps it is a little unusual that Aenias inflicted twice as many casualties on his opponenent before vanishing from his command tent to be paraded week later in chains through the streets of Sinope but... well unusual things happen in war.

In any case the painfully rebuilt Macedonian armies had won a breathing space, and over the next few years the war stabilised into one of siege and counter siege with a handful of inconclusive (if often bloody) pitched battles. By 546 the Macedonians had captured much of Pontus-in-Europe and seemed close to achieving victory. It was not to be, but not due to anything Pontu did - at least not directly.

In Achaea & Aetolia time had not fully erased the bitterness over the Macedonian conquest. Especially among the local slaves (many of them the sons of the former ruling elite) Xanthos was loathed. In 545 resentment boiled over and the Aetolian slaves revolted. Unable to spare troops Xanthos could only watch in frustration as they marauded through the countryside. In late 546 they sacked the local capital of Thermon, before turning south to meet up with their Achaean cousins who had now taken up arms. The entire of Macedonian controlled Hellas was facing danger.

Still the slaves were not the only threat. The constant warfare in the Danubuian basin had disturbed the barbarians. In 546 the Frisii king Nithard assembled a huge host of warriors - perhaps 380,000 at their peak, and marched into the fray. Both Pontic and Macedonian armies fell before him and Xanthos was defeated before the walls of Suci, which fell under siege. In such circumstances the Macedonian ruler had little choice: he agreed to a white peace with Pontus.

The war may have ended but the fighting had not and Xanthos was left with the unhappy choice of which foe to face first.


Greater Macedonia, February 547 AVC
 

RossN

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comagoosie: Well he made it through the war but his problems aren't over yet.

Darkwind3.0: Heh, I'll have the soothsayers scan the skies forarbone pork. Can't hurt. :D

Enewald: Well not quite a revolution, but certainly a revolt.

Darthvegeta800: Thank you. :)

aussieboy: So no change then. ;)

Olaus Petrus: Well... I guess I was lucky it's only slaves. :)

Lord Blekinge: Thank you. :)
 

Enewald

Enewald Enewald Enewald
58 Badges
Oct 17, 2007
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white peace?
Outrage!:eek:
Wars are fought so that they can be won!:eek: