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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Stuckenschmidt

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Rome - January 1, 477 AUC

First day in the term of Consul Gaius Fabricius Luscinus, who enters his office pretty relaxed and orders a cup of wine for second breakfast (he always drinks a cup of wine in the morning before he starts doing anything else despite the advice of his doctor, but somehow he is pretty huffy if he doesn`t). Suddenly Legate Quintus Aemilius Papus, commander of the 1st Legion enters the room.

Q: "Hail Consul."
G: "Hi there. What`s the issue?"
Q: "I just come to report, that Croton has been conquered and the Province of Ager Bruttius is now part of the Republic."
G: "Well...fine. Anything else?"
Q: "Have you got further orders?"
G: "Pfff. I`d say, business as usual."
Q: "You mean we will expand, conquer, pillage and plunder?"
G: "Exactly, except for the conquer-pillage-and-plunder-part."
Q: *confused* "But how shall we expand without it?"
G: "Well, we could spread our culture, our laws and our way of life to all the uncivilized tribes in the north, couldn`t we?"
Q: "Blech, how unamusing reasonable."

A messenger enters the room.

M: "Consul, a message from the Senate."
G: *reads aloud* "The Greeks in Magna Graecia are a pain in the arse. Let`s show them."
Q: "Yes! I`m off to my Legions and teach these guys a lesson."
G: "Nah, not necessary."
Q: "Ehm...what?"
G: "Quintus, don`t be so harsh. I mean, the Greeks are nice people. No need for violence here."
Q: "But...but...the Senate..."
G: "Probably they didn`t reflect about it enough. Guess what. I`ll send a messenger to Tarentum and ask them to take part in a new project of cultural exchange. Just imagine: Our kids will read all this great stuff from Homer, Hesiod and the other guys. What do you think about it?
Q: *barf*
G: *sighs* "I see, there is a long way to go."

(Will Gaius Fabricius Luscinus successfully start the "War on illiteracy"? Will the Greeks and Romans be best pals after the pretty recent slaying of thousands of Greeks in and around Croton? Will the Senate approve such an innovative strategy of de-escalation? Find out in the next chapter.)

(Hello folks. I finally bought EU:Rome. After a first game I decided to start an AAR. As you can see, I want to forge an Empire by all peaceful means necessary and as little war as possible. Quite unroman, but let`s see what will happen. I will write about it every now and then.)
 
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Stuckenschmidt

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Rome - 5th November 485 AUC

Consul Appius Claudius Caudex (he received this epithet due to the corporality of a certain part of his body) is sitting at his desk and reading some messages, when the Pontifex Maximus, Quintus Caedicius, enters the room with a big grin in his face.

Q: "Hail Consul."
A: "Hi Quintus. You look happy. Did you receive a blessing from Venus."
Q: "Far better, Appius. I`m glad to inform you, that we now can build temples."
A: *looks confused out of the window*



A: "Say, Quintus, what`s that on the other side of the square?"
Q: "The Temple for Iuno. Why?"
A: "So, since we already own temples, how come we are only now able to build some?"
Q: *turns red* "Well...ehm...you remember that mess with the Celts in 367?"
A: "Yes."
Q: "And...when...we cleaned up the mess after they had plundered the town, the cleaning lady must have trashed the construction manual."
A: "And it took 120 years to make a new one? Let`s hope, she didn`t trash anything else valuable."

Suddenly Aedile Lucius Papirius Cursor enters the room.

L: "Great news, Consul. We can now build Fora."
A: *looks outside the window*



A: *facepalm*
L: "Ehm...are you fine?"
A: "How on earth are we ever supposed to expand our influence with nutjobs like you?"

Finally Publius Cornelius Rufus, Commander of the 2nd Legion (based in Bononia right now), appears on the scene, carrying a large bag.

A: "Right on cue, Publius. Any news from the north?"
P: "Yes, Consul. Bononia and Liguria are ours and have adopted our religion. The people in Genoa even dress as we do."
A: "That`s great, so everyone is happy."
P: "Almost. Some guys, who thought, that wearing a Toga is womanish, called some friends from beyond the Alps."
A: "Some?"
P: "Around 13.000."
A: "But you gloriously defeated them?"
P: "Yes...I mean...okay, we had some difficulties with the deployment of our troops...and we had to send some cohorts from Croton to the north...and the Garrison in Bononia was reduced to 200 men...but besides that our victory over the enemy Commander was glorious."
A: "Hah. I`d like to see his face now."
P: "Oh, you can." *grabs in the bag and whips out a head* "Here he is."
A: *turns pale*
P: "Look, when I pull his scalp to the back, he smiles." *grins*
A: *BARF*

(Will Appius recover from this shock? Will he send Publius to a psychotherapist? Will the northern border stay calm now? Find out in the next chapter.)
 
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Stuckenschmidt

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Rome - 11th August 497 AUC

Consul Lucius Cornelius is sitting at his desk and reading a book (he also writes books, and his last opus called `An Inquiry into the nature and causes of the flight of birds influencing pregnancy but not rhetoric` was very well received by the public), when Pontifex Maximus Gaius Sulpicius Gallus drops by.

G: "Hail Consul."
L: "Oh, hi Gaius. Good to meet you. Say, what does this V mean?"
G: "Pardon?"
L: "Here, the V in AVC."
G: "That`s a U. And it means ab urbe condita."
L: "So we`re in the year 497 ab urbe condita?"
G: "Yes."
L: "How do we know that?"
G: "What?"
L: "I mean, do we have a document that says `Hey people, we`re founding Rome and it`s 497 years before you read this right now`?"
G: "Our fathers told us so. And their fathers. And their forefathers. And their forefore..."
L: "I get it. But you do know, how they say that oral history is buggy, do you?"
G: *nervous* "We simply know it, alright?"

L: "Okayokay. Next question. Why is the August called August?"
G: "WHAT?"
L: "I mean, we have a September, October, November, December. See, 7 - 8 - 9 -10. So the August is 6. Why don`t we call it Sextember?"
G: "You mean, besides the obvious?"
L: *thinks* "You got a point. But the July. Honestly, July? How come, a family with only three namable members has its own month while my family has none, although there are 14 important Cornelii out there. Why don`t we rename the July to Corny?"
G: *facepalm* "Because it would be exactly that?"

L: "Alright. But you get my point. We need a new calendar. Are there no other systems out there?"
G: "Pffft. According to the Greeks it is the third year of the 130th Olympiad."
L: "Olympiad? The thing linked to the Olympic Games. The very same Games we never get invited to because of their `Hey, we might be too stupid to found a proper state but at least we have cool philosophers, you retards`-attitude. Never! We`ll never adopt anything from them."
G: *whispers* "Besides their gods and alphabet."
L: "What?"
G: "Ehm...you`re absolutely right, they`ve got nothing of interest.

L: "Okay, other ideas?"
G: "A Jew told me, they are in the year 3.504 now."
L: "Wow. What do they count?"
G: "From the creation of the world."
L: *laughs out loud* "LOOOOL. 3.504? The world can never be that old. Gods, how stupid of them. No, we can`t adopt that without being the laughing-stock of the whole Mediterranean. Next?"

G: "Well, there is a small group, who thinks, we`re in the year 257 BC."
L: "BC?"
G: "Before Christ."
L: "Who is that Christ?"
G: "Beats me, some kind of savior to guide the people into a kingdom of their god."
L: "And how come they know, that it is exactly 257 years until his birth? What is this group called."
G: "They call themselves pre-christians."
L: "Why on earth pre-christians?"
G: "Before Christ, remember?"
L: "So we`ve got a group of insane subversives, working to create a kingdom for their Christ? And they have only one god? I`ll show them. Go and arrest all these pre-christians. And also arrest Publius Claudius Pulcher. He is one of them too."
G: "What? He is not a pre-christian, he is a populist."
L: "So maybe a pre-populist. Even worse."
G: "But the jail is not the proper place for them."
L: "You`re absolutely right." *writes a note* "Build...Arena...and...buy...lions. Ha, these pres and populists will get to know me."
G: *double facepalm*

(Will Lucius Cornelius feed his Lions with a bunch of fresh Populists? Will he adopt the chinese calendar? Will something serious happen to stop him? Find out in the next chapter.)
 
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Stuckenschmidt

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quite right prison doesn't work (or at least doesn't work half as well as the prospect of being scoffed by a lion)
I really had a populist Consul in this game so far and they are simply annoying. But they don`t hold any other Office and in the Senate they are down to 9 seats, so the populist menace is under control.

But between 498 and 503 there was a lot of ruckus in the North (a 27k-Hord from Iberia) and South (two rebellions with about 30k). Maybe I write an entry about it, but let`s see.
 

Alfredian

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This conquest by peaceful dialogue is a novel approach. Should we expect the Romans to start a twinning movement?
 

Stuckenschmidt

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Rome - 2nd June 511 AUC

Consul Manlius Valerius Maximus is memorizing the roman penal code, when Army Quaestor Gaius Mamilius Turrinus knocks at the doorframe.

G: "Hail Consul."
M: "Look, who`s there. Long time no see, Gaius. Any news?"
G: *shuffles with his feet* "Ehm...yes...do you remember our colony in Paleoveneti?"
M: "Of course, nice spot. I have...wait...why: `remember`? Did anything happen?"
G: "Well...apart from the 34.000 barbarians dropping by who burned the town to the ground, killed all inhabitants, repeatedly defeated our 2nd Legion, conquered Bononia and marched right through to Umbria before being stopped and massacred: No."
M: *appalled* "And our new colony in Gallia Cisalpina?"
G: "Oh, is still absolutely fine."
M: "Whee, at least some good news."
G: "Say, Manlius, don`t you think, we should stop this `Violence is no solution`- thing? I mean, the whole thing is advancing too slow."
M: "But Gaius, what`s the alternative?"

Suddenly Quintus Caedicius, one of the Censors, rushes in with a message.

Q: "Hail Consul. News arrived, that Carthage experiences a civil war. Sardinia and Panormus have joined the rebels."
G: "YES. That`s our chance."
M: "Pardon?"
G: "Look, they are rebels now, so Carthage wouldn`t mind if we beat them."
M: "But it is still their country."
G: "De jure: Yes. De facto: No. So it`s kind of not Carthaginian anymore, technically speaking."
Q: "And if someone asks, we could say, that we have been accidentally in the vicinity and decided to help."
G: "To help?"
Q: "Restoring order and stuff. Of course we`d have to leave a garrison there so this will never never never happen again."

M: "Look, pals. I guess, you`re trying to be neat. But we can`t do that. That would be like backstabbing a helpless neighbor."
Q: "Correct."
G: "So?"
M: "What would the gods say to it?"
Q: "Let`s ask them."

Two days later, all Officials, accompanied by a few thousand polite, but nevertheless desperately bloodthirsty citizens, gather in front of the Temple of Mars. The Pontifex Maximus, Gaius Sulpicius Gallus, holds a ritual.

Ga: "...and so, beloved but underemployed God of War, we bow before your might and ask for a sign in order to determine, if we should con...liberate Sardinia from its misery and restore order."

In the next moment, a dove with golden feathering seems to come right out of the sun. After having circled two times above the square, it descends and lands on the arm of the Pontifex. It is carrying a written message, and the Pontifex reads aloud:

"You`ve got a Go. Sincerely, Mars."

The people begin to cheer, volunteers are lining up to be recruited for the invasion force. All Tribunes and Praetors are facing the Consul to receive orders. Finally, the Pontifex addresses him.

Ga: "Consul, you`ve heard the will of the Gods. What do you say."
M: *thinks* "We`ve got a Go. But for what? Don`t you think this message might be vulnerable to interpretations?"

One second later, a deadly silence spreads out across the whole square, with the people being shocked. But just a few seconds later, one of the vestal virgins does brisk up to the Consul, seizes him by the collar and slaps him left and right:

V: "JUST DO IT! DO IT, DO IT, DO IT, YOU EFFING MORON! FOR THE LOVE OF THE GODS MOVE YOUR FRICKING ASS OR..."

(Will Consul Valerius Maximus obey to the will of the people, the Senate and the Gods and apply a policy of "police operations"? Will the vestal virgin be buried alive or, even worse, forced into marriage? Will Carthage coincide with roman semantics? Find out in the next chapter.)
 

Stuckenschmidt

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nice to see that your deities are so clear in their war goals ... this is a whole new aspect to the Casus Bellus (ah see my Latin agrees!) system
To be perfectly frank: I don`t know, if I should do it. It is still Carthage`s core, so they have a CB (if I understood the CB-system correct). On the other hand, Carthage got screwd by Egypt lately and lost three provinces. So maybe better be a bit aggressive now, before Egypt takes it all. :)
 

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To be perfectly frank: I don`t know, if I should do it. It is still Carthage`s core, so they have a CB (if I understood the CB-system correct). On the other hand, Carthage got screwd by Egypt lately and lost three provinces. So maybe better be a bit aggressive now, before Egypt takes it all. :)
yes you should - I used the 'save them from someone else's imperialist plans' CB in my CK game when I saved Finland from the Swedes - by incorporating it into the Rus Kingdom. It is, after all, a key piece to the logic of building a proper self-serving empire.

I then developed the 'because they are Hungarians CB' - one that could be useful for future pacifist actions against the Punic scourge.
 
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Stuckenschmidt

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yes you should - I used the 'save them from someone else's imperialist plans' CB in my CK game when I saved Finland from the Swedes - by incorporating it into the Rus Kingdom. It is, after all, a key piece to the logic of building a proper self-serving empire.

I then developed the 'because they are Hungarians CB' - one that could be useful for future pacifist actions against the Punic scourge.
Okay, so be it. This is going to be the very first roman conquest-by-non-violence-campaign. :D
 

Alfredian

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But just a few seconds later, one of the vestal virgins does brisk up to the Consul, seizes him by the collar and slaps him left and right
I think there is a special diplomatic rule whereby you are allowed to invade Carthage every time a Consul is attacked by an angry, frustrated virgin.
 

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Rome - 25th July 511 AUC

Letter from Consul Manlius Valerius Maximus to Himilco Adonibaalid, Dictator of the Carthaginian Rebels.

Dear Dictator,

I have noticed that there seems to be a little bit unrest on Carthaginian soil, and as good neighbors that we are, we`ve decided to help a little bit restoring order in Sardinia, so you don`t have to take care of things there. Although this is a little bit surprising, I can assure you, that we come in...well...maybe not peace, but something between peace and the state of relations, where countries don`t like each other that much, you know. And I`m writing you to let you know, that the latter state of relations is hereby declared, if you don`t like our actions that much.
Sardinia - 6th August 511 AUC

Order of the day from Legate Caelius Sempronius Sophus to the Quick Response Force.

Soldiers!

We are now disembarking on the Sardinian shores as the first peacekeeping force in history. Remember: We are not at war. Oh, and the Consul says to remind you to sign the form 4-R, wherein you agree, that the Republic cannot be held responsible, should you be involved in any not-at-war-crimes. Thank you and good luck.
Sardinia - 24th December 511 AUC

Letter from Legate Caelius Sempronius Sophus to Consul Manlius Valerius Maximus.

Dear Manlius,

Got it.
Rome - 6th January 512 AUC

Letter from Consul Manlius Valerius Maximus to Legate Caelius Sempronius Sophus.

Dear Caelius,

that`s great news. On a side note, we have not been able to celebrate properly yet, since we`re preparing for the arrival of a tour group from Iberia of about 50.000 right now. It would be appreciated, if you could return home to help organize the welcome. Like, maybe, NOW!
Rome - 10th October 513 AUC

Letter from Consul Marcus Sempronius Tuditanus to Legate Marcus Fabius Buteo

Dear Marcus,

since our Iberian guests have disappeared, we should deal with our Carthaginian affairs again. Unfortunately the Dictator hasn`t answered my last letter yet, so I guess the post office has lost it. I`d like you to deliver the next one personally to him at Panormos.
Panormos - 15th January 514 AUC

Letter from Legate Marcus Fabius Buteo to Consul Marcus Sempronius Tuditanus.

Dear Consul,

unfortunately the city gates were locked upon our arrival, so I couldn`t deliver the message yet. Right yesterday happened something strange, when out of a sudden parts of the city wall right in front of our camp collapsed. May I go in?
Rome - 22nd February 514 AUC

Letter from Consul Marcus Sempronius Tuditanus to Legate Marcus Fabius Buteo.

Dear Marcus,

entering the city without their permission might be considered an impolite act. On the other hand we have to communicate somehow. What about a compromise? Go in if you can make sure, that there is no witness...left.
Panormos - 9th May 514 AUC

Letter from Legate Marcus Fabius Buteo to Consul Marcus Sempronius Tuditanus.

Dear Consul,

finally spoke to the Dictator. Boy, what a grouch. But when he saw your letter, he accepted to leave Sardinia under our wise administration, if we leave. Fast. On my way home now.
(Will the people of Sardinia acknowledge their new roman...caretakers? Will Carthage finally be eaten by Egypt? Will there be more demand for peacekeeping missions? Find out in the next chapter.)
 

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this makes so much sooo clear -- so the Roman Empire was in fact founded by a bunch of frustrated postal delivery workers who just had to work particularly hard to deliver the mail?
 

Stuckenschmidt

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this makes so much sooo clear -- so the Roman Empire was in fact founded by a bunch of frustrated postal delivery workers who just had to work particularly hard to deliver the mail?
This plus the roman "mission" to be the world police in all areas experiencing civil unrest, so the population may enjoy peace and order again (they don`t really like this role, but they somehow have a bias toward voluntary social work). As a result, the grasp of the Romans being ruthless aggressors has to be re-evaluated desperately.
 

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Rome - 5th August 533 AUC

Consul Caelus Sempronius Sophus, accompanied by Army Quaestor Gaius Mamilius Turrinus, flips through the latest issue of "Imago", the most popular tabloid throughout the Republic (hated by leftist Romans, its founder made a fortune publishing it, although nobody admits to read it).

C: "Gaius, take a look at this headline. Hilarious. `Carthage raped by dirty old Ptolemy. Misunderstanding or rough game among men?`. I really don`t know what Ptolemy sees in these Punic."
G: "Well, Caelus, rumor has it, that Egypt is extending its influence in whole northern Africa."
C: "Aw, you know how people are. They always make a mountain out of a molehill."
G: "That`s what I thought too, until I saw this picture from Thapsus.



C: "Ehm...how exactly is our standing towards them?"
G: "Let me put it this way: the last Envoy we send to him returned alive and didn`t say a bad word about his stay there."
C: "So he was treated friendly?"
G: "If cutting out one`s tongue is supposed to be a friendly act: Yes."
C: *gulp*

G: "Any other news?"
C: "There is an article from Paleoveneti, that...wait...`Orgy of violence in Paleoveneti. Harmless barbarian farmers slain by ruthless Roman rascals`? Gaius, what on earth is happening there?"
G: "Well, that tends to happen when conquering territory."
C: "Who said something about conquest? I was talking about colonization."
G: "Of course, but maybe, and I just want to think aloud, the natives were a little bit confused about our scouts."
C: "Confused? What`s so darn confusing about ten thousand armed men making a trip through the landscape? They were travellers, explorers..."
G: *ironic* "Tourists."
C: "Great, Tourists. Let`s write a counter statement...ehm...group of innocent and trusting roman voyagers survive infamous ambush by unwashed barbarians through display of skill and virtue. Something like that. Give it to the new guy in the secretariat to elaborate it."
G: "You mean Livius?"
C: "Correct. He`s got talent for that stuff."

G: "Alright. Any else interesting stories? Ah, the lonely hearts column. Hm. `Ruler of Greek kingdom (m/69/175/ns) searches partner for late period of life. Interested persons with martial skills will be favored. Answer to chiffre 333-PELLA`. Boy, that reminds me of the Macedon King. See, I did send him a small gift lately just for kicks to improve relations. And since then he harasses me with weird alliance offers. He can`t even remember my name. I`m Caelus. Caelus! But no, he always addresses me as `My little Hephaestion...`"
C: *laughs loud*
G: "What?!"
C: *whispers something to the Consul*



(Will Livius tell the true story about the Paleovenetian encounter? Will Caelus remain faithful in his refusal of Macedonian`s offers? Will the Macedon King find a...friend before Egypt faces north? Find out in the next chapter.)