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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

knul

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Introduction

A man was sitting in a grass field on a nice spring day, relaxing and listening to the bird sounds around him. Suddenly a unrecognizable bright white silhouette appeared, accompanied by a screeching sound. A bang, a flash and then a strange machine stood on the grass.

The man, flabbergasted by all of this, looked at the machine in amazement. Even more bewildering was that he could read a word on the machine.

“Chronodyne”, the man thought, “in Latin letters! Is this Roman trickery?”

Two men stepped out of the machine. One was a short, agitated man in a labcoat and wearing weird goggles. The other was large and muscular but somehow looking very servile. The smaller man started to laugh.

“I did it! They said I was mad, that it would never work, those incompetent FOOLS locked in their ivory towers! But here I am, in the past! Ready to take over the world!”

The larger man nervously looked around. “Dr. Ferro, are you sure we're at the right place? This doesn't look like Rome...”

“Silence! Do you doubt my calculations? Do you doubt my plan? It's pure brilliance in its simplicity: taking over the world right at the moment Augustus becomes Princeps of the Roman Empire. We take over his mind using my Persuadatron and we will rule the Roman Empire.”

“But Doctor, we might have drifted off-course...”

“Everyone tries to take over the world in the current time, at which so much opposition exists, no wonder no one has managed it. Only a genius such as I could make the creative leap and try another way: go into the past, take over the leading empire of the time and then take over the world. So let us enter the Eternal city and...”

The man in the labcoat fell silent as he looked at the nearby city. While large and well-built, even to the most ignorant eye it didn't look like Rome.

“Mmmhh, perhaps you are right, my faithful servant. Go and ask that native where we are.”

The larger of the two strangers walked to the man sitting in the grass, who was still trying to grasp what was happening. In perfect Latin, he said: “Hello, my name is Red. Could you tell us where we are?”

The man in the grass looked at Red with big eyes. “We are near Paris, Gaul's capital. You Romans sure have strange machines.”

Dr. Ferro angrily kicked at a stone, then regained his calm. “Okay, okay, we have missed our target a bit. We just contact the local Roman governor and get an audience with the Emperor of the Roman Empire...”

The native man interrupted him. “Look, I don't know what you Romans are up to, but Gaul is quite independent from Rome, thank you very much, and last time I heard you Romans still had a republic, so I don't see the sense of calling your holdings in Italy the 'Roman Empire'.

A terrible thought began to dawn on Dr. Ferro. “What year is it?

“I could give you the year on the Gallic calendar, but that wouldn't tell you Romans a thing. In your calendar, it is the year 490 from the founding of your city. Look, it seems you are greatly confused. Do you need...?

“That's not 26 B.C., Doctor, it's 264 B.C. Looks like you misplaced a comma...”

264-04theGallicNation.png

“Do'h!”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nation: Parisii, converted into Gaul.
Start date: 474 AUC (280 B.C.)
Hard Difficulty.
Version: EU: Rome Vae Victis, Beta Patch 2.35.
Modification: some changes in title requirements: what and why I changed will be explained later on.
Goal: To have fun, perhaps even TAKE OVER THE WORLD.

I have played EU:Rome VV now for about 20-30 hours and this will be my first long-term campaign. Don't worry if you are not familiar with the game, I will explain the mechanics as part of the AAR.

As you can see, I will write from the viewpoint of the time-travelling Dr. Ferro as he controls the fate of Gaul. Will he succeed in taking over the world or were they right to call him mad?
 
Last edited:

Omen

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Yay! A new knul AAR for a game I have never been able to get into. I doubt I be able to drag myself away from CK2 to play Rome, but I'm looking forward to the story.

Nice intro, by the way. Mad scientists are awesome.
 

Arakhor

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I managed to create a Gaulish kingdom by starting as the Aedui. I also played the obligatory Roman game. :)
 

Wave

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EU:Rome and mad time traveling doctor combined into an AAR.. Can't be bad!
 

knul

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Yay! A new knul AAR for a game I have never been able to get into. I doubt I be able to drag myself away from CK2 to play Rome, but I'm looking forward to the story.

Nice intro, by the way. Mad scientists are awesome.
Good to see you again, Omen. Also, good to see that the concept and intro are well received (so far). You know, I was thinking of doing a Gaul EU:R AAR for some time but only recently I decided to go for the mad scientist approach.

fascinating opening ... & always good to see a new Rome AAR

Thanks loki100. Good to have another old reader with us!

I managed to create a Gaulish kingdom by starting as the Aedui. I also played the obligatory Roman game. :)
Aedui sounds much more difficult than Parisii. The horse trade good really gives the Parisii a big edge.

EU:Rome and mad time traveling doctor combined into an AAR.. Can't be bad!

I certainly hope so! Anyway, welcome to the AAR, Wave.
 

TonyJoe

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I love this period of history so this will be great. Also, a primer on how to play will be very helpful so I can do it myself :)
 

Arilou

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I expect Asterix jokes. And plenty of them.
 

knul

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I love this period of history so this will be great. Also, a primer on how to play will be very helpful so I can do it myself :)

The next update will tell how I got Gaul united, the post after that will deal with republic politics. Also, thereafter I will focus on strategy. That I use a narrative structure will not mean that I will not give major attention to gameplay.

I expect Asterix jokes. And plenty of them.
I will try. However, I'm not that funny as a writer, so please do not get to high expectations.
 

knul

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A short history lesson

A quick glance at the Chronodyne time machine was enough for Dr. Ferro to see it would never twist time again: they were stuck here. After wiping the memory of the man witnessing their arrival, Dr. Ferro and Red entered Paris.

Dr. Ferro said: “According to my histo-analyzer, the point of historical diversion from our timeline happened 16 years ago. I need to know what has happened since.”

“We may find some information at a tavern, Doctor.”, Red said.

They did indeed find what they wanted in a nearby tavern: the address of a renowned Greek historian. Soon they arrive at the house of Prepolybius.

“Great Prepolybius, I heard you are the foremost historian of the Gauls, gaining their respect even as a Greek. I would like to know more about the Gallic nation of the last sixteen years.”, Dr. Ferro said.

“The sixteen last years?”, Prepolybius asked. “You mean that you want to know how Brucetius Iacid united the Gallic tribes and founded the new Gallic Republic?”

“Uhm, yes, sure.”

“Well, sit down, take some wine and listen to this very exciting story! Sixteen years ago, the Gauls were divided into many warring tribes, with the Parisii at the centre.”

280-03initialsituation.png

“At that time, Brucetius of the Iacid clan was just elected Clan Chief. Even then, people acknowledged that Brucetius was a bit of a maniac.”

280-01BrucetiusIacidrulerofParisii.png

“He even looked the part. Nevertheless, he was (and still is!) a great military leader with a great deal of Finesse. As the Parissi were natural horsemen and had the only cavalry cohort in Gaul, Brucetius adopted the National Idea Horse Lords, increasing the discipline of all cavalry by 10%. He also enacted the law “Retreat is dishonour”, which increased the Parisii morale by 0.5.” Prepolybius took a sip from his wine.

“His first non-judicial action was raising a Horse Archer cohort. A wise decision, as the northern neigbours, the Artebates, declared war on the Parisii for no reason! However, Brucetius took command of the cavalry and horse archers and defeated the Artebates. The tribe was annexed, a great victory for the chief of the Parisii who wasn't yet a year into his reign.”

“Why horse archers?” Red asked.

“As the Parisii were the only cavalry tribe in the region, they would only encounter militia or some heavy infantry from the southern Gallic tribes. Brucetius correctly saw that horse archers would be the optimal choice against such enemies” Prepolybius answered.

“Anyway, the Carnutes and the Aedui started a fight with each other. Brucetius, growing bold from his victory, declared war on both the Carnutes and the Aedui. The casus belli for this was provided by the imprisonment of two Parisii nobles by the two rival tribes. This was a pattern that repeated itself throughout Brucetius's reign: he would send some worthless noble to assassinate an enemy ruler, who would get captured or even executed, which would provide Brucetius with a nice casus belli. This way he could declare war on any tribe he desired.”

“Clever strategy, I'm starting to like the man already” Dr. Ferro said.

“Well, he did change greatly after this. He became gluttonous, lustful, confident, blunt and corrupt, making him an even complexer character.” Prepolybius continued.

279-06Brucetiushaschanged.jpg

“He's not the only blunt guy around...” Red mumbled.

Prepolybius didn't hear Red's comment. “As both the Aedui and the Carnutes were weakened by battling each other, Brucetius could easily mop up their forces and annexed both tribes during the second year of his reign. However, an enormous barbarian army invaded the Parisii nation, eight cohorts strong. Brucetius raised another horse archer cohort but could prevent the fall of the Artebates provinces, which lost 4.6 civilization due to the sack.”

“What do you mean, 4.6 civilization?” Dr. Ferro asked.

“We Greeks grade every province in the world at a 0-100% scale on how civilized they are. Most civilized capitals are about 70%, but the Gallic cities were at 35% at that time. So a loss of 4.6 was quite major.” Prepolybius said.

“But back to the barbarians. They assaulted the walls of Paris itself, but failed to take the city. Brucetius attacked when they were still recovering from the attack and defeated them, his largest victory yet. In his third year, Brucetius wiped out the barbarian invasion, looting 11 Gold from the defeated army. He used this money to recruit yet another Horse Archer cohort. With the Parisii's army now numbering four cohorts, he outnumbered every Gallic tribe two-to-one with superior troops.” Prepolybius poured some more wine in his guests' goblets.

“So Brucetius went on a conquest spree. In the fourth and fifth years of his reign, he attacked and annexed the Arverni and the Sequiani tribes. However, he claimed that always he was provoked, something he believed very much, So much so, that his character changed dramatically, becoming more abrasive, arbitrary, cruel and vengeful.”

275-05stopmakingmeangry.png

“His vengefulness was a great boon in the long run, as he wouldn't otherwise be able to found the republic, as that required much Finesse. His newfound aggressiveness would mean that he continued the conquest of Gaul. In a mere three years, he conquered the Lemovices, Helvetica, the Nervii, the Eburones and the Aulerci. After eleven years, Brucetius has conquered all the Gallic tribes!

“Tragically, at that time Brucetius' character changed dramatically for the third time. Now he became less decisive, preferring to leave decisions to others.”

274-11theyknowbest.png

Red chuckled. “That guy changes character more often than I change underwear.“

Dr. Ferro and Prepolybius looked at him, saying nothing. Then Prepolybius continued his story. “This change in Brucetius might explain his next move. He declared war on Macedonia, claiming that he was a greater general than Alexander's successors and that he wanted to prove that. This turned out to be a strange war, as both nations had no means to reach each other. In fact, Macedonia was too busy to care about the Parisii, as it was embroiled in wars with other Greeks.”

268-08macedonia.png

“The recruitment of ten Heavy Infantry was dictated more by the threat of barbarians than any perceived need of protection against an Macedonian invasion. Still, after two years without any battles with Macedonia, Brucetius surrendered and agreed to pay 0.8 Gold per month as tribute to Macedonia, totaling almost 60% of the Parisii's income.”

Dr. Ferro frowned. “What a strange move of this Brucetius. What would he gain with this?”

Prepolybius shrugged. “I do not know. However, it turned out to be very beneficial to the Parisii. With such a cultured and civilized overlord, Paris quickly adopted and imported Greek culture.”

265-06culture.png

Author note: the culture increase is per month.

“Perhaps Brucetius knew that this would happen and therefore planned this tribute thing?” Dr. Ferro asked.

“Could be, could be...Perhaps some hidden power behind the throne whispered such a plan in his ears. What I do know, is that without this Greek influence, the Gauls could never had transformed to the republican form of government, as that requires 50% culture in the capital. After six years, Paris has grown so much in culture that its rating was 45%. Brucetius then formally united the Gallic tribes as the Gallic Nation, which raised Paris' culture by 5%...“

“Wait a moment,” Red interrupted, “how does that make sense? It takes years to increase culture a bit and simply declaring a new nation raises culture in an instance?”

“Oh, but that's quite logical. If a couple of tribes, used to belching and farting and in general just letting it hang loose, become a nation, it changes people. Suddenly they feel the need to look like citizens, rather than tribesmen. So they tuck in their bellies, pay attention to their table manners and say 'thank you' and 'please'.” Prepolybius said. “It's quite straightforward that all this makes a nation more civilized.”

While Red was looking puzzled and confused, Prepolybius continued. “So with the culture of Paris high enough and with Brucetius Finesse at eight, he could turn the Military Tribe of the Parissi into the Military Republic of Gaul. he did so only some months ago. I hope this story satisfied you gentlemen.”

Dr. Ferro was looking thoughtfully at the floor. “It certainly did, thank you Prepolybius.”

While Prepolybius went to the kitchen to get more wine, Red whispered to Dr. Ferro “So we're stuck in a republic. Looks like we need to overthrow it and install you as dictator...”

Dr. Ferro smiled. “This might be even better. I could manipulate the elections with my Persuadatron and then mind-control the ruler. That way, I stay out of the spotlight and still have full control over the nation. Sssh, he's coming back.”

Prepolybius put down a decanter with red wine. Dr. Ferro turned to him. “My dear Prepolybius, I would like to know more about how the Gallic Republic works. Can you help me with that?”

“Well, of course! As a historian, my primary interest lies in constitutions and governments. The Gallic Republic is quite an interesting case, mainly based on the Roman example. The titles of officials and the general mechanics resemble the Roman and Carthaginian republics, but with some distinct Greek influences as well...”

Dr. Ferro poured himself a glass of wine. “Tell me all about it.”
 

Wave

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What's the top reputation count so far? With that conquering speed it must be rising pretty fast

Great to see Brucetius' personality change, I've never had that dramatical changes. Will you do any roleplaying or noting the ruler's traits in your gameplay or is it just numbers? :D
 

knul

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great stuff, Brucetius' original stats made me feel exhausted just reading them ... & random wars with far away nations should keep things busy for a while

Oooh, believe me, things get busy even without far away wars!

Opening as a Gallic tribe without a great leader like Brucetius is very difficult. The ruler of a nation has always 100% loyalty, so you can let him rule your troops without fear of your army rebelling against you.


Sneaky and very admirable.

Thanks, TonyJoe. In hindsight, the opening moves in the AAR are probably not optimal, but still, the AAR is off for a flying start.

What's the top reputation count so far? With that conquering speed it must be rising pretty fast

Great to see Brucetius' personality change, I've never had that dramatical changes. Will you do any roleplaying or noting the ruler's traits in your gameplay or is it just numbers? :D

My strategy and decisions will primarily determined by gameplay issues, with the narrative focussing on things like traits if it's entertaining to do so. It's not really my style to RP decisions if there is no ingame consequence connected to it.

My infamy is something in the low 20's, quite high indeed. However, from what I know, infamy in EU:R only increases stability costs (+1% per infamy point) and ruin diplomatic relations, so compared to say EU3, its effects are minor.
 

ironman3112

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quite entertaining, didn't know that tributing money to a civilized nation would help you increase your provinces civilized stat, might have to give the gauls a go now
 

knul

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quite entertaining, didn't know that tributing money to a civilized nation would help you increase your provinces civilized stat, might have to give the gauls a go now

I think it's the fastest way to get civilization in your capital. Tribes do have an event that increases capital civilization with 1 point per 2 years, but it has a lot of drawbacks and it is much slower than gaining civilization through tributing. Trade can also help with civilization but isn't an option for the Parisii as the capital is not reachable for foreign trade.