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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

loki100

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What the...? I see what you mean now about CK1 madness, Lentulus' sudden passing (a competent assassin? hah!) and then Piso's inexplicable rise to Consulship. How did he gain power? I have to confess I never played a great deal of EU:Rome but, again, how? Remarkable stuff. Well, Piso's term as Consul certainly promises to be interesting one anyway.
Aye it has that CK randomness which was fantastic for building a narrative and utterly bemusing if all you were doing was playing the game ...

To be fair, the next consul was going to be picked from the Civic faction, which has 5 supporters, so that instead someone from the single largest block was picked should perhaps not come as a total surprise. That said, Piso is certainly a fool (but perhaps substitute a 't' for the 'f', for a more accurate description). I do like the description of his ascension: I'm so used to seeing a glib statement about one of the barely-acceptable attributes, that it's quite refreshing to see a curt "We're cursed!!" instead. :)

So if I read this right, then all that's needed to subjugate Scotland is to ply the Easterners with the trappings of a representative body, whilst plying the Westerners with enough spirits to keep them in a constant stupor, thus ensuring that they'll direct their aggression inwards (or at their eastern brethren). Good God, what took England so long, then? Must've been Mel Gibson's inspirational leadership. :p

Anyway, the Populists are back in charge, albeit it with a leader who's less likely to pass the 'complex form of life' test than a moldy potato... This should prove to make for an 'interesting' Consulate.
I think you more or less summed up 1000 years of Scottish history there ... oh and give us enough space so we put all our efforts into fighting each other - that is quite important.

Yep, I reckon Piso is the worst ruler I have ever had in a Paradox game, even worse that Mstislav - well maybe not.

actually what follows is low level tedium. Lots of disconnected revolts and fortunately I am rich enough I could bribe my way out of civil war.

Really? That is a horrible ruler for any standard: besides his stats, he is a Populist ( with the random change of NI and all that jazz ), for heavens sake ... this is the kind of ruler that makes those 3/3/3 EU III rulers look not so bad at all ;)

Let's just hope that he forgets to breathe for some minutes ( with his stats he probably has a slave to remember him of inhale ;) ) to give place for ... anything better. Really, even another populist would suffice :p
yes while the more, shall we say, Imperial romans needed a slave to remind them they were mortal, Piso needed one to remind him to stay mortal by remembering to breathe.
 

loki100

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Piso's Consulship 701-704 AUC

Piso’s near coup d’etat threw the Republic into chaos. The problem was he lacked both legitimacy and competence, but his opponents were unwilling to make the final step into revolt against a state they saw as basically representing their interests. The result was a constant series of crises, none quite breaking out into a full civil war.



Piso had to resort to constant use of bribery in an attempt to pacify governors and legates. In turn, this led to the a massive expansion of the bribery already eating into the Republic’s fabric



The resulting constant stream of bribes, led to a loss of investments in key provinces [1].



Equally he proved incapable of preventing the commencement of what was to be a long running and disastrous war in the British Isles. The temporary success of the campaign in the north [2] meant that Piso was easily manipulated by the generals keen for more military adventures.



Even if the temporary success in Scotland gave him some increased support. Emboldened by this, he agreed to a new campaign designed to destroy the strong tribal state in the middle of the country.



Even with the consulship, he was unable to build up any wider support for the Populist faction



At the same time, the legal investigation into the circumstances of Lentulus’ death continued. Several members of his own faction were accused, and Piso did nothing to protect them from imprisonment



The madness of his period in office [3] finally ended with the accession of Marcus Lepidus



Competent, able, well connected in the Senate he was all that Piso was not.

His first acts were to banish Creticus and try to arrest Piso on the charge of Lentulus’ murder.



However, dealing with the problems created by Piso consumed most of Lepidus’ time. Numidia revolted, notionally as a bid for independence by the governor, in reality an attempt to refound the old kingdom.



However, good news arrived from Britain where it even appeared as if the long running war might soon end.



Equally, despite all this turmoil, the Republic continued to develop, both domestically



And internationally as the Republic’s borders stretched from the frozen wastes of Ultima Thule to the deserts of Syria.



[1] – I had to bribe some legates and rather overspent
[2] – I forgot the completing a mission gives more senators to the Consul’s own faction. I should have held off making peace for a year or so.
[3] – constant revolts, threats of revolts, I even ended up with 4 provinces with no governors due to a lack of loyal candidates.
 

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Dipping into this AAR again after some time off of reading AARs altogether. I see you got embroiled a bit in the East finally, which is good. On the other hand Egypt does look rather menacing now that it has conquered all remaining Carthaginian or Numidian land that was left since I last read an update apparently.
 

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Nice change or rulers there. Here's hoping that the problem's Piso caused won't bring the Republic down to her knees!
 

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Piso the Consul was so incompetent that even one of his own family members - Marcus Calpurnius Piso, Governor in Iberia - decided it was smarter to try to strike out on his own? That must've stung. :)

I noticed your valiant military continued its fine tradition of proving its manliness by incurring heavier casualties than the opposition - regardless of whether the battle is won or lost. :p Do you know why you're almost always losing more men? Aren't you supposed to be wielding the Roman Legions, unsurpassed in their discipline, tactics and technology?

Fitting that Marcus Creticus fled to Crete, when you tried to apprehend him.

This wasn't quite the apocalyptic tale of decline and fall that I was expecting from Piso's turn as Consul - as strong an argument in favor of term limits as I've ever seen. :) Now, to repair the still not inconsiderable amount of damage done.
 

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Indeed, somehow even Piso could not throw the Republic into chaos ( atleast for the moment ). I assume that rivers of gold flowed into those governors pockets to keep them quiet ...

Now you atleast have a decent ruler, but still you have a lot of stuff to repair ( starting by your coffers, that most likely already seen better days ). Atleast it was just Numidia that rebelled ( in spite of the simultaneous war in Britannia ) or otherwise it would had been ugly ...
 

morningSIDEr

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I do love that like all good villains Piso made good his escape at the end, doubtless promising a return at some point in the future! Lepidus seems a most able ruler, a pity he is hampered in having to deal with the mess left by Piso though. Still, some progress is being made nonetheless, Rome's hold on Britain growing ever stronger.
 

loki100

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Dipping into this AAR again after some time off of reading AARs altogether. I see you got embroiled a bit in the East finally, which is good. On the other hand Egypt does look rather menacing now that it has conquered all remaining Carthaginian or Numidian land that was left since I last read an update apparently.
I think my problem now is time. I've never actually played a game of Rome to conclusion but I believe the world ends in 727 (& in-game I'm up to 712). Even if by some miracle, I won a major victory over the Egyptians, it will do little but force them to give up some relatively meaningless provinces. You are right that they took those chunks of Numidia I couldn't manage to grab - fortunately I secured most of the valuable provinces.

As it is, my domestic problems are really limiting my ability to think of expansion, but I would like a couple more bites out of the Seleucids it I can manage it.

Nice change or rulers there. Here's hoping that the problem's Piso caused won't bring the Republic down to her knees!
Piso is indicative of a secondary problem. I have done a good job culling the Populist characters (in part to reduce their Senate numbers), but the few left are utter muppets. So not only do they keep getting elected, admittedly in rotation around other factions, but when they do they indicate that claims of human evolution may well have been overstated.

Piso the Consul was so incompetent that even one of his own family members - Marcus Calpurnius Piso, Governor in Iberia - decided it was smarter to try to strike out on his own? That must've stung. :)

I noticed your valiant military continued its fine tradition of proving its manliness by incurring heavier casualties than the opposition - regardless of whether the battle is won or lost. :p Do you know why you're almost always losing more men? Aren't you supposed to be wielding the Roman Legions, unsurpassed in their discipline, tactics and technology?

Fitting that Marcus Creticus fled to Crete, when you tried to apprehend him.

This wasn't quite the apocalyptic tale of decline and fall that I was expecting from Piso's turn as Consul - as strong an argument in favor of term limits as I've ever seen. :) Now, to repair the still not inconsiderable amount of damage done.
I loved it that even Piso's family fled his rule & yes Mark the Cretan ran back to Crete (should be some sort of language learning rhyme?).

The main military problem is I am not very good at managing characters through the Republican system, so often have only a few who can take commands. Add on to that, I tend to look at loyalty first and competence second (I am paying enough bribes as it is). So most often I have commanders who are 4/5 up against barbarians who tend to 8/9. So the in-built advantage of the legion gives me the win, the brainless incompetence of the ruling classes gives me the losses.

The link to the British Empire and its taste for appointing screaming idiots as long they had the right family tree is not incidental here.

Indeed, somehow even Piso could not throw the Republic into chaos ( atleast for the moment ). I assume that rivers of gold flowed into those governors pockets to keep them quiet ...

Now you atleast have a decent ruler, but still you have a lot of stuff to repair ( starting by your coffers, that most likely already seen better days ). Atleast it was just Numidia that rebelled ( in spite of the simultaneous war in Britannia ) or otherwise it would had been ugly ...
I am rich. Even with about 50% of my provinces with no governor (=no revolt risk) I am raking in 70-80 per month, but most of that goes on bribes and raising a few more mercenary cohorts to fill out my worst damaged legions.

These small wars are no threat, but they increasingly tie my army down which in turn makes tangling with the few large external powers something I cannot really risk.

I do love that like all good villains Piso made good his escape at the end, doubtless promising a return at some point in the future! Lepidus seems a most able ruler, a pity he is hampered in having to deal with the mess left by Piso though. Still, some progress is being made nonetheless, Rome's hold on Britain growing ever stronger.
Piso fortunately doesn't return, but the idea that Populist=complete numptie is now well entrenched (ok this is not helped as I have killed or exiled all their competent characters).

I'm afraid the British campaign is up next. The best that can be said is the Picts remain loyal to what was to become known as the 'auld alliance' in later years.

In terms of reporting style, I am going to revert to a more thematic than temporal approach, that will work better to capture the sweep of events in the West rather than fragment it by consul.
 
Last edited:

loki100

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The British Campaign 704-711 AUC

The eight years from 704 to 712 AUC saw a profound change in the fortunes and the focus of the Republic. Attention switched away from expansion in the East to deal with the mounting chaos in the West. Equally the consequences of domestic politics led to immediate consequences in terms of external events and the conduct of wars. It appeared as if the Republic was on the point of, if not collapse, then paralysis both in terms of domestic politics and international relations.

In many ways the growing disaster in Britain exemplified these trends. The continual allocation of fresh legions meant the armies in the East were weakened. A politically inspired murder led to a critical defeat in battle and the final acceptance that the campaign was lost undermined the Religious Faction at a key stage.

The entire campaign was marked by ill-chance. Disaster seemed to be added to disaster. So the defeat of the III Legion and the subsequent loss of Ordovices was also marked by the death of Quintus Metellus. His loss added to the confusion and delayed any Roman response.



In consequence the XIV legion was caught isolated at Trinovantes in mid-April



The Senate had little choice but to recall both and send fresh Legions in an attempt to subdue the British. The battered III Legion was ordered to retreat to the relative safety of Rome’s Pictish provinces only to suffer further defeats at the hands of barbarian tribes poring across the Irish Sea.



The III Legion was wiped out in the subsequent battles as was the small freshly raised mercenary units in the north.

By spring 705, the XIV legion had reinforced in Northern Gaul and prepared to cross back into Britain




Only again for the legate to die in battle, but this time the Legion stood firm and was reinforced by the V Legion. Together they pushed on to Trinovantes by the end of July



By mid-Summer 706, the British capital was in Roman hands



Leading to celebrations and a renewed determination to prosecute the war.

This time the fresh V Legion led the assault



However, victory was short lived. Sextus Longinus died in strange circumstances but almost all suspected his rival Marcus Lepidus.



The result was another military disaster as the leaderless legion was overwhelmed



Further defeats followed as the war came to a stalemate. The two legions could hold Trinovantes but it was clear that even more units were needed if the British campaign was to end in victory.



By early 710, the threat of a renewed incursion from Ireland undermined even this partial control.



The Pictish lands were lost again, the V Legion had been withdrawn to deal with revolts elsewhere and then the VI Legion was beaten in battle



The Senate had had enough. Peace was arranged on apparently favourable terms



However, this did not mask the reality that for the first time Rome had lost a war. A small tribute did not make up for failing to take provinces defended by local barbarian tribes.

Scipio’s ruling Religious Faction took the brunt of the political dispute and was critically weakened in the ongoing domestic struggle with the Populists



The VI Legion was withdrawn to Gaul. There, partially inspired by the success of the British tribes, a full scale revolt had broken out.
 

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Great AAR so far! :)

Just one question: Which tool do you use to make those world map images?
 

loki100

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Great AAR so far! :)

Just one question: Which tool do you use to make those world map images?
thank you ... and welcome to the forums

its the F12, press that and you get a complete map (this is common across most of the Paradox games), while F11 takes whatever you can see on the screeen (& of course you can crop and mix those to make the actual images you use).
 

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thank you ... and welcome to the forums

its the F12, press that and you get a complete map (this is common across most of the Paradox games), while F11 takes whatever you can see on the screeen (& of course you can crop and mix those to make the actual images you use).
Aaah, never knew about the F12 thing. Thanks!

And thanks for the welcome. :cool:
 

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<In my best ten-year-old voice>

"You were beaten by a girl! Nya-nya-nyaaa!"

Okay, back to normal. That was a disaster, considering the opposition. One shudders to think what would've happened if, say, the Seleucids or Egypt had decided to take a bite out of you?

You say time is running out - and I imagine some of those precious years left will be taken up beating back the French revolt and restoring your depleted legions. Perhaps have a last lunge at Dacia and call it done? After all, you can claim that Egypt and the Seleucids are somewhat civilized, so they can - for now - make do without the benign civilizing influence of the Roman Republic.
 

Stuyvesant

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actually it is even worse ... I was beaten up by two girls ... I tell you the teenagers in Birmingham, enough to give a seasoned legionary the shakes :unsure:
I stand corrected - I didn't notice that the particularly ugly portrait had different names in different screenshots. I could try to make a comment about their appearance, but then I fear they would come after me and beat me to a pulp.
 

Tapscott

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Huh. Beaten up by two women. That's gotta bruise the old ego. And the body, know that I think about it.
 

loki100

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I stand corrected - I didn't notice that the particularly ugly portrait had different names in different screenshots. I could try to make a comment about their appearance, but then I fear they would come after me and beat me to a pulp.
they probably reincarnated as road traffic policewomen in the Red Army

happy Saturnalia to all reader & commentators ... proper response and new update in the new year ... this one dealing with the evil Gauls
 

Stuyvesant

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they probably reincarnated as road traffic policewomen in the Red Army
Zing! Now I know why I can't beat you in RUS: it's the subconscious emotional scarring you've inflicted on me, which forever will terrify me of the Red Army. :p

Anyways, Happy Holidays and I look forward to learn how the evil Gauls are brought in line next year. And in the game.
 

morningSIDEr

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It seems your old luck with military commands in CK has transferred to Rome! Quite surprising how many of them are suffering whilst leading Roman forces. Well, slightly less surprising when you consider what happens to the average well-dressed person in Birmingham!

Wishing you a cracking Christmas and a booze filled Hogmanay.
 

loki100

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Okay, back to normal. That was a disaster, considering the opposition. One shudders to think what would've happened if, say, the Seleucids or Egypt had decided to take a bite out of you?

You say time is running out - and I imagine some of those precious years left will be taken up beating back the French revolt and restoring your depleted legions. Perhaps have a last lunge at Dacia and call it done? After all, you can claim that Egypt and the Seleucids are somewhat civilized, so they can - for now - make do without the benign civilizing influence of the Roman Republic.
The next post will make it pretty clear why I couldn't build up in Britain, at this stage if Egypt goes for me I am in trouble. I'm sure I have a larger navy so can keep Europe safe and hopefully they take a lot of attrition in N Africa, but it would be a case of grabbing the first peace on offer to be honest

Huh. Beaten up by two women. That's gotta bruise the old ego. And the body, know that I think about it.
ach, I'm used to living with tough women ... I do after all live in Glasgow :ninja:

It seems your old luck with military commands in CK has transferred to Rome! Quite surprising how many of them are suffering whilst leading Roman forces. Well, slightly less surprising when you consider what happens to the average well-dressed person in Birmingham!

Wishing you a cracking Christmas and a booze filled Hogmanay.
and to you ...

yes I was utterly delighted to see my generals manage to maintain that fine military tradition first introduced by the Rurikovich. Actually in the RuS PBEM I'm playing with Stuyvesent and Narwhal, the death rate among the Red Army's command is pretty awesome too - but then if you play with Narwhal you really should expect that sort of thing