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Narwhal

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May 87 - Losing the first Rome second

Well, more bad news for the Optimates. After a vicious Populares attack, I lost the first Rome as well :

Bfallofrome.jpg


The consequences are tremendous :

Bfallofrome2.jpg


Btough.jpg


Now the Populares mob runs rampant in the Eternal City.

In the heel of Italy, I am also going to lose one city to starvation :

BItaly.jpg


In Greece, the situation is not so much better. A skirmish between my force and a lone Greek unit allows me to have the composition of the Greek force in Athenae :

Bassaultunlikely.jpg


Almost twice as much Greeks as I have Romans, assault is out – I will have to siege Athenae, except of course I have no way to blockade the port.

Note that the AI can be surprising. In my first game in singleplayer, the AI had decided to abandon Athenae and try to regroup this force with the rest of the Pontic forces, hence my initial project to take Athenae in 3 – 4 turns. This new AI strategy makes my timetable unrealistic.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Pontic forces are getting closer :

Bmoves.jpg


The only good news come from Lucullus :

BLucullusinSirene.jpg


This brings me one unit of ships. Next destination : Selinus.

Finally, the fall of Rome had disastrous impact for my national morale and my treasury, and I am trying to answer to this problem

Bdecision.jpg


Beginner’s corner – Sieges, or how to take structures

Sometimes, your target is hidden behind high walls. There are several ways to take them.

- Assault


Assault is the fastest method, but also the messiest. The defenders will have a bonus of defense, and will fight with despair as they have no way out. Hence, it is to avoid if you don’t have numerical absolute superiority.You can give the order to your troops to assault the enemy structure, but there are conditions :

- It there is no fort, or a fort level 1 only, the structure can be assaulted at any time (except by cavalry)

BCDyrra.jpg


- If there is a fort level 2 or more, then

o Either the leader of the stack has the assaulter trait, or

BCAssaulter.jpg


o The fort has as many levels of breach as its level (2 for a level 2 fort,…)

But how do you make these breaches ? Well, that’s the second way to take a city : siege.

- Sieges


A siege has two objectives :
A. Starve the city,
B. Prepare for assault or even force the opponent to surrender

A. When you are sieging a city, the city does not receive supplies (except from its port if it is not blockaded). To see if the city is receiving supply, hover the mouse on it. For instance, this city does not receive any :
Generally speaking, if a player has less than 10% military control in an area, his structures will not receive any supply.

BCNosupply.jpg


B. In addition to starving the defenders, having a city under siege allows for a “siege roll” at the start of every turn.
OK. I lied, it is actually two rolls (12-faces dices), one for the attacker, one for the defender. The difference between those two rolls is then modified :

o By leader traits, if any (for attack or for defense),
o By the power of the artillery available for either side,
o By the level of the fort minus the number of breaches.
o By a massive additional malus if the structure is breached, the defender is out of supply and is weaker than the attacker.

The final result is the Siege Roll Value (SRV). Depending on the SRV (from worse to best), the following events can occur :
- The defenders close a breach
- The defenders receive hits
- The fort receives a breach – provided that the attacker has some artillery in his stacks

In addition, if the SRV is above the defending units average discipline, the defenders will directly surrender, except if they have not empty supply wagons (fixed or not – magazine units are enough), in which case they only have 10% of chance to surrender.

BCSu.jpg


- Blockade

You can siege without blockading, but if you want to starve your opponent efficiently, you have to blockade his port (if any). For this, you only need to drop enough combat ships in front of his port.

Blockade.jpg


- A last note about siege weapons

AJE is unlike any previous AGEOD game in that your armies do not typically bring artillery with them. Yet, you need them to do breaches, so they are extremely strategic. There are two “models” :

- Roman legions can build siege machines whenever they finish their turn on an enemy structure (up to one per legion at any time). Those machines will be destroyed when the legions move out.

Here is a Roman legion that just built its ballistae :

BCLegionbal.jpg


- Everyone else has to carry their siege machines the difficult way – from their home province. They slow their stacks, cannot go everywhere, and are generally a pain. Moving them by ships (the AI does it) can save a lot of time !

BCheavy.jpg


End of beginner’s corner
 

Bodhisattvas

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The AI can be a very surprising enemy. I remember how shocked I where when Howe took all his troops out of Boston and landed them at Charleston. Saved me Manhatten but cost me the South.
B2T, entertaining read :)
 

loki100

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The AI can be a very surprising enemy. I remember how shocked I where when Howe took all his troops out of Boston and landed them at Charleston. Saved me Manhatten but cost me the South.
B2T, entertaining read :)

as in my next post, the AI in AJE is really rather effective, I suspect a few players are in a shock when they start :(
 

loki100

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Turn 4 - Populares (May 87)

So, the war starts to escalate.

Rome is liberated



great news that lasts for all the time it takes me to scroll down to



My legion and its allied forces that had fallen back has been utterly destroyed. I think this may make a mess of my plans to hold onto Spain?

In the meantime, the Senate continues to make trouble in Rome



Anyway, Cinna's force is split up. One allied legion goes to Spoletum and Cinna to join up with Marius.



In the south Brundisium is still beseiged and Croton comes under siege. The only minor problem of an enemy legion suddenly appearing in the region



Anyway, time to escalate my advantage



and offer some bread so as to increase loyalty



In addition, I resort to requisitions in Spain so as to increase my income. I don't really care at the loss of loyalty given my recent defeat at Ilipa.

 

Merrick Chance'

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With the loss in Spain, I would suggest a withdrawal from the region so that you can focus your troops on the more strategically important areas of Italy and Greece.
 

Trashed

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Just started with my review copy and decided to try my hand at the exact same scenario after getting familiar with the tutorial and Spartacus one. The AI really is surprising. Playing as Marius I'm surprised to see Sula pull out of Asia minor nearly immediately and send his legions straight back to Italy. Those pirates and lusitanians meanwhile are also busy making my life hell. With Italy falling to Sulla and the rest of my economy in shambles due to hardheaded barbarians and pirates I think I'm bound for a disgracefull defeat. Perhaps there is a simpler scenario to learn the ropes?
 

Narwhal

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Narwhal, I see that the list of potentially friendly ports abruptly shrunk. Was there a set sequence that Lucullus had to follow?

Nope, that's just a display issue I reported. We are playing a beta version so this sort of things is bound to happen.

Just started with my review copy and decided to try my hand at the exact same scenario after getting familiar with the tutorial and Spartacus one. The AI really is surprising. Playing as Marius I'm surprised to see Sula pull out of Asia minor nearly immediately and send his legions straight back to Italy. Those pirates and lusitanians meanwhile are also busy making my life hell. With Italy falling to Sulla and the rest of my economy in shambles due to hardheaded barbarians and pirates I think I'm bound for a disgracefull defeat. Perhaps there is a simpler scenario to learn the ropes?

It is certainly not the "funniest" faction, but I believe Sertorius from the Great Mithridatic War is fairly easy for a beginner : only one front (Spain), not too many Romans if Mithridates keep them busy, home advantage, and a mix of crack legions and not so crack barbarians to play with.

Populares is definitly on the hard side - Optimates are easier, IMO. Don't play Mithridate in any scenario, he has major supply problems and you need to understand the supply thingie very well to play his forces.
 

germanpeon

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Wow, the new artillery system really changes the game. It appears to give the Romans (another?) huge advantage in conducting sieges and war generally. While barbarian factions are scrambling to get their war machines to enemy cities, safely but slowly by land, or aboard ships in potentially treacherous seas, the Romans can march their legions to and fro, generating their siege machinery at will. Beyond giving the Romans that obvious advantage in mobility, it seems to behoove the barbarian wishing to end sieges quickly to use naval transportation when possible. The smart Roman player can thus use a naval advantage, when present, to destroy enemy war machines in transit, or prevent their timely arrival by forcing an over land route to be found. Very interesting...

I notice that both players have had to give ground to advancing barbarians, the Roman siege advantage could make this less painful than it might otherwise be. While barbarian forces slowly march to their destinations, siege, and repeat, the inevitable Roman reconquest should not take nearly as long. As such, a strategy of giving ground while conserving and building strength seems viable for a Roman faction in any scenario where the opposing forces do not have the same siege advantage.

Long story short: another reason the Optimates must send the Mithradatic fleets to the bottom of the Pontic Sea! :cool:
 
Last edited:

Soulstrider

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Nice AAR, I may get this game since I love this time period.
 

Sathariel

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Just found this AAR, not the biggest fan of the Roman era, but I like some AGEOD's games, so will be watching closely. :)
 

loki100

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Just to answer a few from my own perspective

Servilus Albinovarus has to be made 'responsible' for this utterly defeat :mad:
With the loss in Spain, I would suggest a withdrawal from the region so that you can focus your troops on the more strategically important areas of Italy and Greece.

If I can find him, I will blame him. The only problem with the 'withdraw from Spain' is that after that defeat if we ignore my fixed units I have 1 cavalry cohort, 1 auxilary cohort and a legion in training (which doesn't live long enough to complete its training) - I have nothing to withdraw.

Wow, the new artillery system really changes the game. It appears to give the Romans (another?) huge advantage in conducting sieges and war generally. While barbarian factions are scrambling to get their war machines to enemy cities, safely but slowly by land, or aboard ships in potentially treacherous seas, the Romans can march their legions to and fro, generating their siege machinery at will. Beyond giving the Romans that obvious advantage in mobility, it seems to behoove the barbarian wishing to end sieges quickly to use naval transportation when possible. The smart Roman player can thus use a naval advantage, when present, to destroy enemy war machines in transit, or prevent their timely arrival by forcing an over land route to be found. Very interesting...

I notice that both players have had to give ground to advancing barbarians, the Roman siege advantage could make this less painful than it might otherwise be. While barbarian forces slowly march to their destinations, siege, and repeat, the inevitable Roman reconquest should not take nearly as long. As such, a strategy of giving ground while conserving and building strength seems viable for a Roman faction in any scenario where the opposing forces do not have the same siege advantage.

Long story short: another reason the Optimates must send the Mithradatic fleets to the bottom of the Pontic Sea! :cool:

Its a nice mechanic and I guess a neat representation of a major Roman advantage. Another as we will see soon enough is the ability to entrench and thus hand out a real beating if someone tries to dislodge you.

But since all the existing scenarios are civil wars it less an advantage than it appears. In effect, it probably keeps whatever non-Roman factions that are in a particular game from running amok - though in our game the damned Pontics have turned up in Sicily - I blame Narwhal, he clearly bribed them to bypass Greece. In revenge I am trying to tempt the Spanish onto ships so they can go and fight in Greece.

Nice AAR, I may get this game since I love this time period.

Aye, it is a great era. And its nice to see a set of scenarios spread over such a long time period (& I guess with expansion/DLC presumably able to cope with any scenario from Alexander to the end of western Empire)

Just found this AAR, not the biggest fan of the Roman era, but I like some AGEOD's games, so will be watching closely. :)

So far, I'd say this one has real potential, think of WiA meets RUS
 

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@ loki100: your defeat in Spain is one of the reasons I always advance very defensively, usually with the defensive posture for a unit until I know what I'm up against.

But thansk for a Great AAR and good luck!!
 
Last edited:

Thandros

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Can't you please post Updates faster. I've pre-ordered the game and it looks so awesome but since I can't process a turn yet this AAR is my only source of in game awesome. And there is plenty of In-game awesome from the looks of it.
 

Narwhal

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Damn you two! I was quite content to read the AAR but it looks so good I'm just going to have to buy the game.

*Wanders off to the AGEOD site with debit card clutched sweatily in hand

Tell them you come from me :)

Wow, the new artillery system really changes the game. It appears to give the Romans (another?) huge advantage in conducting sieges and war generally. While barbarian factions are scrambling to get their war machines to enemy cities, safely but slowly by land, or aboard ships in potentially treacherous seas, the Romans can march their legions to and fro, generating their siege machinery at will. Beyond giving the Romans that obvious advantage in mobility, it seems to behoove the barbarian wishing to end sieges quickly to use naval transportation when possible. The smart Roman player can thus use a naval advantage, when present, to destroy enemy war machines in transit, or prevent their timely arrival by forcing an over land route to be found. Very interesting...

I notice that both players have had to give ground to advancing barbarians, the Roman siege advantage could make this less painful than it might otherwise be. While barbarian forces slowly march to their destinations, siege, and repeat, the inevitable Roman reconquest should not take nearly as long. As such, a strategy of giving ground while conserving and building strength seems viable for a Roman faction in any scenario where the opposing forces do not have the same siege advantage.

Long story short: another reason the Optimates must send the Mithradatic fleets to the bottom of the Pontic Sea! :cool:

You nailed it. In addition to this, many Roman leader have the "assaulter" trait - so really the Romans in a couple turns what the opponent could have taken one year to take.

The Pontic fleet is about twice my fleet - maybe in cooperation with the Populares I could manage to sink the Pontic, but it is not going to happen.

Just found this AAR, not the biggest fan of the Roman era, but I like some AGEOD's games, so will be watching closely. :)

Actually, not a huge fan either - but the game is really good. I also learnt a LOT of history.

@ loki100: your defeat in Spain is one of the reasons I always advance very defensively, usually with the defensive posture for a unit until I know what I'm up against.

But thansk for a Great AAR and good luck!!

Thank you !

Can't you please post Updates faster. I've pre-ordered the game and it looks so awesome but since I can't process a turn yet this AAR is my only source of in game awesome. And there is plenty of In-game awesome from the looks of it.

There is plenty of awesome. The AAR itself is pretty quick, but the Beginner's Corner take 80% of my time...
 

Narwhal

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June 87 - The man of the situation

In june 87, Lucullus arrives in Pamphylia. Unfortunately, the Pamphylians don’t trust him, and Lucullus receives no support.

Cfailpamphylia.jpg


Unfortunately, the situation in Pamphylia in June 87 is quite complex.

Earlier this month, Pamphylia had been attacked by the Pontics :

Cundecisive.jpg


The battle was undecisive, but Mithridate pulled away. Unfortunately, a group of Pirates (Pontic allies, but plays “independently”) is still sieging the city.

Lucullus being a two-star leader – and the only one in the area - I put him in command of a makeshit force : garrison, slingers, bowmen – to repulse the Pirates :

CLeadingthedef.jpg


I hope to free the city from enemy presence.

In Greece, the Greek army tried to sortie from its city, bringing Sulla his first decisive victory :

CMajorvictory.jpg


About one third of the Greek army is destroyed, while Sulla had significant but tolerable losses.

To an extent, the Greek sortie is successful, though, as they recovered enough Military Control to “break” the siege (you can only recover Military Control by being on the offensive – so if I want to take it back and resume the siege I need to attack and forfeit my defensive bonus) :

CEast.jpg


Unfortunately for them, they are too weakened now to sustain an assault, which is what I am going to do. I am going to wipe the Pontic presence from Greece !

Cordergreece.jpg


Finally, Italy. More difficult.

CSituationITA.jpg


Most (but not all – rare case) of my garrison in Brundisium surrendered, but I could evacuate an handful of troops by ship to the North. It should fall next turn.

More to the South, though, my troops forced the Populares to lift the siege of Croton :

Cfirstvictory.jpg

That’s my first victory against the Populares.

For now, I have a wait-and-see strategy in Italy. As I see my opponent is preparing for an attack on Ancona, I am going to regroup everything I have.

COrderItaly.jpg


Beginner’s Corner – Leaders

As you know, leaders bring more or less command points. But apart from their number of “stars”, what is the difference between a good and a bad leader ?

Leaders have 4 characteristics (5 if you count their number of stars), 4 of which are important. Let’s take Lucculus as an example :

Lucullus-1.jpg


What makes a leader good ?

The most important information is the Command Rating. It is the serie of numbers (like 5-3-2) you see when you hover the mouse over a leader.

- The first number is the “Strategic” rating. It goes from 2 to 6 “naturally”, but can go even higher for leaders with experience. ‘Strategic” gives various bonus, but it mostly gives you how often a leader is "activated" (a non-activated units cannot attack and moves very slowly – see below) and how much troops a leader can engage in battle.

- The second number is the “offensive” rating. It can range from 0 to 6 “naturally”. It gives a bonus to the units under the command of the leader during an offensive (circa 10% by “point”, compared to 5% for other games, so good leaders can be decisive)

- The third number is the “defensive” rating. It is exactly like the “offensive” rating, except it is, well, used in defense.

These two later bonus applies BOTH for leaders in command of a stack and for leader “in command of a unit”, which I will explain just below.

What are abilities ?

Abilities, that my youth playing Fallout makes me call a “perk”, are special bonus, or malus, or a combination thereof. Note that perks are not exclusive to leaders, some troops can have perks (mountaineer, pillager, …), but most of the perks are for leaders.

It is important to check in the description of the perk whether this bonus applies :
- If and only if the leader is in command of the stack,
- To the stack in any case,
- Only to the unit the leader is attached too.

Also, before you call the bug report like I did in the beta, it is common that perks are “compacted” in the unit icon compared to the “complete” description. To take an obvious example :

HiempsalII.jpg

Longdescp.jpg


It is the same set of perks, except on the small icon it is merged so we can see the leader's face.

So who gets to lead

That’s where “seniority” plays a role. The leader who leads a stack is the leader with the most stars, and between them, the leader with the best seniority leads. Note that a leader with a low seniority number has “better” seniority, so a leader with seniority 2 will lead over a leader with seniority 4.

Leaders can gain or lose seniority when they win or lose battles. So most of the time you are stuck with poor leaders at the beginning, but as they get defeated, they get replaced with better leaders.

Edit : Contrarely to what I wrote earlier, a leader cannot change his rank. A one-star leader will always remain so.


How to attach leaders – and what does it do ?

Attaching leaders to one (and only one) unit by leader allows this unit to have :
- The offensive and defensive bonus of the leader (10% per point)
- Any special perk the leader has.

Here is both the method and an example of perk you want to have :

Howto.jpg


There is NO drawback in doing this, so do it. It is better to do it with the best units, in other words the legions (or phalanx if you are Greek).

Other notes on leaders

Type is important : Leaders can be land leaders or naval leaders. Naval leaders can be recognized because they have anchors instead of stars, for instance :

NavalLeader.jpg


Naval leaders leading armies have absolutely no effect ; land leaders leading fleets have absolutely no effect. An handful of leaders, like Lucullus, are both.

The “politics” rating from other AGEOD games has disappeared. Still, I liked it.
 
Last edited:

Thandros

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Well your legions smashing those phalanxs is to be expected.

The Legions have a 3 to 1 power advantage over them. Pontic Auxillaires are more punch for your money then there Phalanxs but they are more vulnerable I suppose. You should smash that Greek army next turn.

Come on Mithridates where are your legions of men to smash the Romans.
 

loki100

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Turn 5 - Populares (June 87)

Well in the south of Italy I gain a breach at Brundisium but my makeshift force is driven off from Croton. I decide to retreat to Sicily (not least a fresh legion is forming up at Syracusa), recover and see if I can return to the offensive.



This is a rather nice random event.



And Italy really appreciates my rule

So I celebrate by raising some more slaves



And share some more bread



Oh and it seems I looted the treasury. Well these things happen.

So as you can see I have quite a lot of troops being trained up and a reasonable reserve of replacements.



I decide to send the legion that was at Spoletum south to Neapolis. That is a more valuable town and it partly blocks the road to Rome for the legion that lifted the siege at Croton.



While Cinna and Marius join up. I'm going to give Cinna one turn to recover and send some wagons back to Pisae where there is plentiful supply.



And a single legion goes to Ariminum to start a siege there

In effect I am trying to secure northern and central Italy as a reasonably secure rear area. I'm also looting Spain for money, since I no longer need to worry about the impact on loyalty.