The Hero, The Traitor and The Barbarian - an AJE PBEM Beginner AAR

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Thandros

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Finish the AAR without beginner corner. If no one knows how it works is it really that important to explain it to us.
 

Soulstrider

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Well it depends on how important it is, can't really judge it without knowing it.

Anyway I would say finish the game without it and then once you get it reply make an extra post just explain it, if you deem it valuable.
 

Matnjord

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Well it depends on how important it is, can't really judge it without knowing it.

Anyway I would say finish the game without it and then once you get it reply make an extra post just explain it, if you deem it valuable.

I second that, I really want to now how the story ended ;)
 

Stuyvesant

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I agree with the others: finish the AAR (I suspect loki will not triumph, but it's nice to see it in writing - that's facts, instead of conjecture) and possibly update it at a later time if you can put that Beginner's Corner together. Anyway, if you need to venture into code terra incognita to answer your questions for the Beginner's Corner, then I wonder if that means that anything could change, if there's a patch (or the update/add-on you mentioned). So might be best for things to settle down before you put that Beginner's Corner together, which would be even more reason to finish the AAR first. :)
 

loki100

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I tend to agree with the finish first, fill in the mechanics later approach. By my reckoning we played 7 turns beyond the last pair of posts, in effect I am left with one last chance, which is to clear out Narwhal's forces in N Italy, group together my legions in training and my scattered legions, and one last lunge for Rome. If I can retake that, then I at least in a position where i will have EPs to spend again.

its worth reminding all this is with the beta version (ok the beta version that was very close to the release version), I've since played in SP with the latest patch and won with Marius. Its very tricky, but that patch weakens the Sullans and the Spanish so gives you the basis of a chance to secure the west.

Anyway:

Well this turn opens with news of a great success



The importance of this is it improves my control of North Italy and thus my ability to concentrate my legions. My primary strategy now is to build up for one huge strike at Rome. Retake that and maybe I can shift the balance back in my favour.

In the meantime Ephesus joins in being revolting, unfortunately not on my side



And the evil Optimates invade North Africa, thus spreading the war across the Mediterranean.



Unless I win soon, nowhere is going to be safe from them
 

Stuyvesant

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The situation looks, to put it mildy, rather grim for you. But what ho, it's always darkest before dawn, fighting the good fight, stiff upper lip, tea and crumpets and all that lark. I'm sure you'll be just fine. Even if indeed there is no place safe from the wrath of the Optimates.

Well, you could always consider a comfy exile to the steppes of Scythia, or the damp forests of Germania, or the verdant lushness of the British Isles (only slightly spoiled by the presence of hostile native wildlife).
 

Narwhal

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OK, this was delayed.
As a reminder for those who forget, this game was done in the beta version of the game, when OPTIMATES were completely overpowered, PONTICS were wimps, and storms extremely powerful.

This is going going to be important

April 86 - Finally rid on the Pontics

As you probably don't remember, the plan was to get rid of the Pontics ASAP to move back to Italy proper. After one year of ducking it out, I had not advanced on my plan from that point of view. Until that turn...

On its way to Amphipolis, my army meets two Pontic armies :

AprilFinalRout.jpg


The first one at Pharsalos :

April87VictoryofPharsalos.jpg


With 12 000 Pontics dead and 77 hits in retreat, that's one force I won't need more than one legion to check in any future engagement. For me, it is as good as destroyed. OK, destroyed would be better.

The second one at Amphipolis. And, oh boy...

AprilBattle2.jpg


Turns out the army was within the city when I arrived, and I gave the order to assault. Quite simple, this army is - totally - destroyed, and 3 of its leaders, at least, died.

Turns out Mithridates ran out of luck - the Greeks know who is going to win :

AprilRevolt.jpg



Given that there is no significant Pontic forces in Greece now, my next target is obvious : Byzantium itself :

AprilFinalMarch.jpg


Once Byzantium will be mine, one legion will be enough to protect Greece from any further Greek instruction, and my completely overpowered veteran legions will be able to be shipped to Italy to chase the Populares.

Speaking of them, they have been busy :

AprilSurrender.jpg


One city surrendered, all the North of Italy is their, now.

Roma being the next logical target, I send 2 new legions in reinforcements.

April87Reinforcements.jpg



Finally, you may remember I had prepared a landing in Africa for months. Well, I finally landed,but I had an horrible surprise :

April87DisastrousLanding.jpg


Yep. My force encountered a storm, and is now half-strength, and frankly about to collapse. Nothing better than to wait and hope the Populares do not attempt a sortie...



Beginner's Corner : Combat V - Morale & Retreat

Pending :)
 
Last edited:

Narwhal

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Hmm... Comparing Narwhal's plan (storm across Thrace until you conquer Byzantium, leave one legion behind on guard duty and then send the whole mob of veteran legions back to Italy) to loki's (create one - or two? - green-as-springtime-grass legions in Sicily and then invade the Italian mainland), I'm tempted to give a slight edge to Narwhal.

If you take into account how horribly overpowered are the OPT, you should give me a massive edge. Actually, the OPT are so unbalanced that when I betaed against AI, turns out I had played only PON and POP, and I told the dev that the AI was checking me and was absolutely outstanding. Well, actually tha AI had weaknesses, but the OPT power made up for that :)

From what I can tell (which is very little) Narwhal seems to have the upper hand right now. Loki is going for a long term strategy but do you have the time to make it work? Only time will tell!
Well, my long term strategy was "take all of Italy if you want as long as I have Rome !

Finish the AAR without beginner corner. If no one knows how it works is it really that important to explain it to us.


Well it depends on how important it is, can't really judge it without knowing it.

Anyway I would say finish the game without it and then once you get it reply make an extra post just explain it, if you deem it valuable.

I second that, I really want to now how the story ended ;)

Granted !


The situation looks, to put it mildy, rather grim for you. But what ho, it's always darkest before dawn, fighting the good fight, stiff upper lip, tea and crumpets and all that lark. I'm sure you'll be just fine. Even if indeed there is no place safe from the wrath of the Optimates.

Well, you could always consider a comfy exile to the steppes of Scythia, or the damp forests of Germania, or the verdant lushness of the British Isles (only slightly spoiled by the presence of hostile native wildlife).

Well, someone told me about a tabletop wargame with the Romans,which claimed in the Rules "almost no scenario is balanced, but the weaker player should suffer his defeat in dignity, like a Roman would !

Cinna was not exactly all in dignity, though.
 

Powloon

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Looks like the Pontics are a spent force. It will be interesting to see where you go after Byzantium as Stuyvesant mentioned it looks like the final confrontation is not to far off.

Out of interest what sort or rebalancing was done between the beta and the release version?
 

Stuyvesant

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Two devastating victories over the Pontics in a single turn - that man Sulla seems to know a thing or two about warfare. :)

I expect a fair amount of blood is still to be shed, but the eventual outcome no longer seems in doubt.
 

loki100

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Looks like the Pontics are a spent force. It will be interesting to see where you go after Byzantium as Stuyvesant mentioned it looks like the final confrontation is not to far off.

Out of interest what sort or rebalancing was done between the beta and the release version?

I think its just taken Sulla down a few pegs (his own stats and the relative power of his legions) and sorted out some of the weaknesses with the Pontics (which were very fragile). Not sure as I've deleted the beta version I had on my laptop.

as to Stuyvesant, you of all people should now I have a tendency not to go out quietely. Now all I need to do is to find back the screenshots I took and hope they make sense.
 

Narwhal

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May 86 - The Great Whack-A-Greek War

Well - the nacht Byzantium march went unopposed. Unopposed by anything serious, anyway :

May86Lastoff.jpg


On the way to Byzantium, I meet Mithridates marching in the other direction. Remember the Optimates were overpowered ? Well, it showed :

May86MithridateHUmiliated.jpg


Not sure Mithridates personal credit will ever recover.

I then arrived in Byzantium. There is an army around the city. Did not last :

May86Reinforcementcrushed.jpg


And finally, the city is assaulted :

May86Morekilled.jpg



Try to do this at RUS with even your best army. For that matter, try to do this with the patched version of AJE :)


Meanwhile, the Pontics are trying to take Ephesus. And you will see how life if unfair (for them). That's their first assault :

May86RevoltCrushed.jpg


And that's about 15 assaults later :

May86ThelastofEphesus.jpg


Yes, I lost 15 000 men, but Ephesus is still mine for the time being.

Now I reached Byzantium, I am not afraid of enemy infiltration any more. Well, the only issue is that small force that appeared AGAIN in my back. Not an issue.

I decide to split my force in two :

- This force will protect Byzantium, and thus all Greece :

May86Defenders.jpg


- This force will escort Sulla to Italy, where I will Sullaify the Populares :

May86Offense.jpg


On the way, I will beat to a pulp that Pontic force ONCE AGAIN :

May86Back.jpg



As for the other news, they are less interesting.

My force in Africa can feed off the land :

May86Wealth.jpg


Yes, I hold almost no territory, but still I managed to feed my army of the province around the enemy city (very wealthy province, thoughà. This is due to supplies in AJE being too generous, a fact that as far as I know did not change in new patches. It is not too bad, but "rich" provinces with Roman roads have such a bonus to supply production that supply is not an issue. Other provinces, for instance Spain, arenot that rich, so you will have problems there.

I am still going to scout around for undefended cities :

May86Lookingforfood.jpg



Finally, those legions I had trapped on an island are going to be set free, as my fleet is in a rough shape due to attrition and the presence of a Pirate fleet :

May86Endofblockade.jpg


Hopefully, I'll be able to resume the blockade before the Populares can bring a fleet.
 

Narwhal

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Looks like the Pontics are a spent force. It will be interesting to see where you go after Byzantium as Stuyvesant mentioned it looks like the final confrontation is not to far off.

Out of interest what sort or rebalancing was done between the beta and the release version?

A lot. Both general (AJE wide) and specific to the scenario. From the top of my mind :
- Sulla has been weakened in a noticeable way
- The bonus brought to their army by skilled leader went from 10% to 5%
- Legions strength has been toned down significantely (they have a bit less chance to hit, and deal MUCH less damage).
- The "veteran legion" model used by some legions has been toned down even more.
- The Spaniards have less forces, so the Populares have an easier time holding Spain.
- Maximum Frontage have been increased overall, so the Pontics can bring their numerical superiority to better use.
- In combat, each "round" of melee cost more cohesion, so when in inferior number the Romans will exhaust as the battle carries on round after round while the Pontics will be able to field "fresh" troops.
- Marching is slower and cost more cohesion.

The issue with the beta and even 1.00 were that :
- Legions destroyed absolutely everything else, except one sort of Gallic unit, and
- Cohesion cost of movement / combat was so low that armies were always at 100% cohesion.
As you can see, Sulla spent his time fighting and marching around, but his force is still at 100% cohesion and almost 100% health. Not good.
Those are mostly solved, even though I believed that replacements are a bit too easy to have (I have not tried 1.02 yet, though, so it may have changed).


Overall, the Optimates are still more powerful than either the Populares or the Pontics, but not anymore more powerful than both combined.
 
Last edited:

loki100

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Turn 16: The March on Rome

Well this turn started with more bad news from Spain



I’m still waiting for the legion in Syracuse to finish training, then I’ll send it north to join up with my main armies. At that stage Mithradates can have Sicily for his new kingdom.



My fleet in Tarentum is off to rescue my Legions from their sunny vacation in Corcyra



And my main army has gathered at Pisa. Now ideally I wanted to wait for the Sicilian and the Greek vacation legions to be available. But as you can see, I have a supply problem so this army is only going weaken rather than strengthen. Also its clear the Pontics have lost big time in Greece. So its time for the glorious march on Rome. After this, no-one, ever, will march on Rome again.



Looks good really, ok, apart from Spain, North Africa and that the Pontics are running around like men in beards.

So next turn … victory.
 

Powloon

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I'd forgot there were still men with beards running around outside Greece. If you capture Rome will this turn around the supply situation?

Looks like this will be a glorius swan song!
 

Stuyvesant

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So its time for the glorious march on Rome. After this, no-one, ever, will march on Rome again.

That's an impressive army you're fielding, especially when compared to Sulla's roughly 800 power. So maybe you will take Rome by storm, just as Sulla has taken Byzantium by storm (after slaughtering endless hordes of Pontics).

Still... Your emphatic declaration that after this 'no-one, ever, will march on Rome again' - does that extend to the Optimates, or are you strictly referring to your own Populares? ;)
 

Narwhal

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June 86 - The second battle of Roma

[We optimates do not count the defeat, so that's the second only]

As the title implies, the Populares marched on Roma.


JnBattleofRome_zpsc3ff8089.jpg


The result was unexpected... for the Populares at least :

Battleofrome_zps62a4d0d0.jpg


That's a significant rout !

It turns out the Populares were not more than the Optimates (thank God I sent those reinforcements 2 turns ago), so with the defensive bonus and the superior experience of my troops, that was a clear victory for my arms.

The Populares stayed in the Roma area, so another battle is probable next turn.

Meanwhile, nothing new in Africa :

Jn86Stillgood_zps214ae6d0.jpg


Finally, against Pontus, not much event. Archelaos, aka the sea serpent due to his habit of appearing and disappeareing, fails to assault Pharsalos and retreats...

Jn86Pharsalos_zps4921f41e.jpg


... which means he does not get to meet Sulla who was on his way :

Jn86EasternMoves_zpsc33c2634.jpg


Finally, I lost Ephesus - I am not going to show pictures of my defeats, though.

My troops are now going to catch some transport for a triumphal military march in Italy...

Jn86Moves_zpsb5a37684.jpg
 
Last edited:

loki100

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I'd forgot there were still men with beards running around outside Greece. If you capture Rome will this turn around the supply situation?

Looks like this will be a glorius swan song!

swan song? ... pah, this is going to be positively operatic

That's an impressive army you're fielding, especially when compared to Sulla's roughly 800 power. So maybe you will take Rome by storm, just as Sulla has taken Byzantium by storm (after slaughtering endless hordes of Pontics).

Still... Your emphatic declaration that after this 'no-one, ever, will march on Rome again' - does that extend to the Optimates, or are you strictly referring to your own Populares? ;)

Well it is actually a reference to Mussolini, ...

I think we treat Sulla as a whimp who only gets one over men in beards ... he will flee before true Romans ... (maybe)
 

loki100

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Turn 17: Drama in Rome, strange events in the East

So we left the last update with Cinna’s noble forces marching to liberate Rome from but one of the many brutes who will enslave the great city in the coming centuries



The real people of the city await for news of our great victory with growing concern as the Optimates’ rule becomes more oppressive



In the meantime, some Armenian person gets all prudish



The Greek vacation Legions head back to Italy



The Sicilian legions march north



There is but one minor problem



News of which is greeted with despair in the city



But never fear, for Cinna will try again. Despite the Optimates’ propaganda claims, let us be clear, a stalemate is merely a stepping stone on the road to victory.

And bonus points for recognising (a) the actress; (b) the film the images are from and (c) who is the bloke with the candle sticks
 
Last edited:

Powloon

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Looks like everybody bar the kitchen sink is marching towards Rome (and I'm not discounting the possibility of a kitchen sink as it is probably just off screenshot). Those Greek Vacation legions should be in a mean mood after someone so rudely interupted their holiday. Woe betide anyone who gets in there way.

Good luck for Rome the return!