Field of Glory: Empires - Multiplayer AAR

Field of Glory: Empires is a grand strategy game in which you will have to move in an intricate and living tapestry of nations and tribes, each one with their distinctive culture.
Set in Europe and in the Mediterranean Area during the Classical Age, experience what truly means to manage an Empire.

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SteveLohr
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Field of Glory: Empires - Multiplayer AAR

Post by SteveLohr » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:58 am

The following is a revised version of the "AAR- "XXX Delenda Est" (the original)" AAR for Slitherine to transfer to the public forums. Enjoy the reading!

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Re: Field of Glory-Empires AAR (Final Version)

Post by SteveLohr » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:04 am

Welcome to this AAR of a multiplayer game of Field of Glory II: Empires. I'm SteveLohr, and I will be playing Rome. My five other human opponents are:

ajarnlance-Antigonos
jimwinger-Arverni
Loki100 Carthage
Typhoon-Lysimakos
ToussaintLouverture-Ptolemaios

We are all beta testers of Field of Glory II: Empires (hereinafter “Empires”), and played this game using 0.9.2 and subsequent versions of the beta. Occasionally during the AAR, these other players will provide comments on their strategies or thoughts at the time. These comments are identified by being prefaced as follows: “Note: Comment from the XXX Player”. Although I have edited these comments for brevity, I have tried to keep their meaning. Any errors in the editing of these comments are mine.

This AAR was written after the game was completed, but it is based on notes taken during the game. I wrote the entry for each turn based on what I believed to be true at the time the turn was played, and not in light of subsequent information or insight I received later in the game. During the AAR, I will try give my reasons for why I make my decisions.

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In Empires, a side wins by having three times the legacy of its nearest rival. Legacy is increased by owning regions, particularly your objectives, having certain types of buildings, the longevity of your government and having highly cultured regions. Accordingly, as Rome I need to pay attention to the objectives assigned to me, as well as take every opportunity to increase culture.

Heretofore, I have only played against computer opponents, which haven’t seriously threatened my territorial integrity. I have to assume that human players are both more interested and more capable of strangling Rome while still in the crib. My major concerns are with Carthage and the Arverni, as both can potentially threaten the territorial integrity of Rome early in the game. Carthage has a navy and a foothold in Sicily that allows it to invade the Italian peninsula by the sea or across the straits of Sicily. The Arverni can invade through Northern Italy. Either working alone or together, they represent a threat to the infant Roman republic.

Because of the importance of Legacy in Empires, Rome is not necessarily required to expand. It can win by developing a highly cultured society. However, to do so will require a population and economy that is sufficiently large to support such high culture. It also requires sufficient national security to provide the stability that such an economically and culturally vibrant society requires. Hence, the legions are going to have to break a few eggs in the Italian peninsula to create the conditions necessary for this particular omelet.

I estimate that to achieve the resources and security necessary to build game-winning levels of legacy, Rome must, as a minimum, have domination over the entire Italian peninsula, from the Alps to the toe of Italy. Further, it will need a navy capable of defending the Italian coast against seaborne invasion, and projecting power in the central Mediterranean, thereby making aggression against Rome cost prohibitive. By unifying the peninsula, Rome may have both defensible borders, and sufficient economic power to maintain the military and building legacy-generating projects.

Unifying the Italian peninsula under Rome will also provide significant benefits in the mid-game. A unified Italy, combined with a strong military will allow Rome to play a spoiler role, allowing it to create alliances among the human players against any player. Since Rome occupies a central position in the Mediterranean, by achieving a predominant land and naval power, it can leverage this central position against other Mediterranean powers, while seizing opportunities for expansion either west, towards the mineral wealth of Spain, or east, towards the gold and legacy buildings of Greece and the Levant.

The central position occupied by Rome gives it flexibility in how to get legacy. Once the peninsula is conquered, Rome can pursue conquest, or conquest tempered with development to meet the victory conditions. However, this strategy of unifying the peninsula must be completed quickly. I estimate that Rome should unify the peninsula within thirty years, by 280 BC. This quick conquest may dissuade Carthage and the Arverni from attacking, while giving me time to fortify and develop Italy and establish the outlines of my strategy for the remainder of the game.

Regarding the most likely threats to Rome. I am particularly concerned that the human-led Arverni and Carthage factions, being closest to Italy may attempt to seize the Italian borderlands that are currently occupied by Italic tribes. Because I need a unified Italian peninsula, such a move would result in a war with these powers that I don’t want (at least not yet). Consequentially, I must seize these areas quickly, before the Arverni and Carthage do. Of the two nations, Carthage by virtue of its economic strength and sea power is the more dangerous opponent. Therefore, I will have to preempt such a Carthaginian move by quickly capturing the southern portion of the peninsula.

Based on this estimate, my strategic goals for the first thirty years of the game are as follows:

1. Unify Italy from the northern border along the Alps, to the southern extremities of the Peninsula.
a. Depending on geopolitical developments, Rome may expand to include Sicily and Syracuse
b. May be achieved by conquest or alternatively, by conquest and establishing client states
2. Establish a naval superiority over any single human led Mediterranean power
3. Establish friendly or neutral relations with Arverni and Carthage
4. Fortify cities along the northern border
5. Economically develop Italy to match in income and metal the leading human player nation, and be at less than 50% behind in manpower from the leading human player nation.



Image 1. The Mediterranean 310 BC
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The Campaign Plan for Unifying Italy

At the start of the game in 310 BC, Rome has three provinces. The remainder of the Italian peninsula is occupied by the following computer controlled nations: Samnium and Tarentum, both stable city states; Etrusci, a stable monarchy; and the Senones and Celticii, stable tribal chiefdoms. There are also several independent Italic and Celtic tribes that require Rome’s guiding hand.

Image 2. Italian Political Geography 310 BC

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Being Rome, I start at war with the Senones, a stable tribal horde, located along the northwestern Adriatic coast. Although small, one of their two provinces is predominately marshland, which will negate much of the Roman advantages in numbers. If I had my druthers, I would not want a war with the Senones. My immediate goals are to neutralize any Carthaginian threat to the south by taking Tarentum and the toe of Italy. However, since I begin the game already at war with the Senones, I must deal with them first. I will do that by building my army and then moving on Picenum, the main province of Senones. It also is a Roman objective, so its capture will net Rome some legacy.

After capturing Picenum, instead of completing the conquest of the Senones, I will then move south down the Adriatic side of the Peninsula, taking the Italic provinces there. This will also give my legions combat experience. While I will remain at war with the Senones, I am hoping that they will be sufficiently weakened to prevent any incursions into Picenum, while I move south to secure that flank against Carthage. I will do this by first declaring war on Tarentum before they have a chance to form an alliance with Carthage or seizing the toe of the Peninsula. The actual city may be difficult to take by siege, as their navy will prevent by starving it out, so I will likely need a large, well trained army to make an assault. Once I take the city, I will move north and finish off Senones and then move onto the conquest of the Celticii and the northern Italian tribes, establishing the northern borders against incursions by the Arverni. Finally, I will complete the conquest of Italy by eliminating or reducing to client status Etrusci and Samnium.

The Roman economic, social and political situation

In 310 BC, Rome is a stable aristocratic republic governed by an aristocratic elite (Image 3A). The republican government gives Rome a small bonus in commerce and in military experience of newly raised military formations. National characteristics include being capable builders, giving Rome the ability to both build more buildings more quickly than other nations. Rome also has the “Cursus Honorum” which gives it a larger pool of military leaders and the “Pax Romana” characteristic, which will allow Rome to more quickly assimilate non-Roman population.

The ruling Populares Party is superior administrators and diplomats, and also capable military administrators, giving Rome advantages in these areas.

However, Roman culture also has a dark side. In Empires, as in real life, Rome is particularly vulnerable to Civil Wars once it progresses to “Empire” status (Civilization Level III).

Image 3A. Political Overview, 310 BC

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Image 3B. Cultural and Economic Overview, 310 BC

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The Roman Military Situation

Initially, Rome has a small military of only 2 legions and 2 Alae (allied heavy infantry), with a total strength of 42. The Roman legions are very good heavy infantry in the open, as well as expert besiegers. While the legions are somewhat weaker in rough terrain, the Alae, manned by Roman allies are somewhat more capable than the legions in these areas, mitigating this Roman vulnerability. Roman cavalry, the weakest arm of the army, will not be as much of a factor in the rough terrain of the Italian peninsula.

Initially, the Roman navy is non-existent. Against the Senones and the Italic tribes, this won’t be a problem. However, a navy will be helpful to blockade and besiege to the port cities of Cosa, currently held by the Etruscans, and the city-state of Tarentum. A navy will also be vital in protecting Rome against Carthage by both defending the Roman coast and by giving Rome the capability of threatening Carthage’s vital overseas interests. Because of this, laying the groundwork for building a credible fleet is high on my list of priorities.

While the initial Roman army is formidable when compared on paper to its neighbors, in reality it is barely capable of going on the offensive against the Senones because the Roman legions are unsuited for attacking in the hilly and marsh homeland of the Senones. Further, this starting force is wholly insufficient for the constant warfare required to conquer the peninsula. I estimate that it will take an army at least 120 points in size to conquer Italy. This does not include additional forces to garrison Italy. Additionally, Rome will need to build a navy. To build this military, Rome needs money, metal, and manpower.

(A brief note on terminology-Because of the way that the Empires combat system works, the strength of an army is greatly affected by both the combat values of the units and the number of units. This is because a larger force can generally outflank a smaller force, which greatly increases its combat potential. Because of this, I will be describing my stacks using the notation “X-Y” where X is the raw combat power of the stack, and Y is the number of units. For instance, a stack of 13 units with a combat strength of 90 will be denoted as “90-13”).

Note: Comment from the Carthage player (Loki100): My analysis was almost the reverse of the Romans. For me, I want peace to make some serious money and to lock down control of North Africa, the islands in the Western Med and Spain. Spain will be difficult as the Spanish are somewhat unruly so any conquest will be slow till I can pacify my gains but I wanted Sicily-Sardinia at the very least early on. The siege of Syracuse is difficult, but Carthage has the advantage of controlling Malta allowing you to properly blockade the port. It is harder if you don't hold Malta as resupply is trickier and the various siege engines in the city tends to make this worse by damaging your fleet.

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Re: Field of Glory-Empires AAR (Final Version)

Post by SteveLohr » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:07 am

310 BC

One of the first choices I have to make as Rome is whether to institute a land tax. Doing so will provide some cash that I badly need to expand my military, although at a small hit to loyalty in my three regions. I opt to go with a minor tax which minimizes unrest, while giving me a little extra cash for my military.

Image 4. Land Tax decision

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Next I review my economy. Although I have 500 units of gold at start, building even a modest sized army will quickly burn through that. Additionally, my metal resources are insufficient for building the army Rome needs. Because of this, I opt to build two blacksmith buildings to generate both money and metal in two regions. I also build a ranch to increase food, thereby increasing population growth in the third region.

Finally, I have to consider manpower. In the short term, Rome starts with sufficient manpower resources to moderately grow her army, and will run out of metal and gold before manpower. I hope to gain additional manpower resources through conquest and building of ports and herbalist buildings. Also, I will be able eventually to trade some metal or gold for manpower. Because of these factors, increasing manpower is less of a concern to building up gold and metal. Because of these factors, I take Scarlett O’Hara’s advice on manpower, deciding that I can't think about it right now, lest I go crazy. I'll think about it tomorrow.

Image 5. Production, 310 BC

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Finally, I review my military and diplomatic options. Strategically, Rome needs a quick decisive victory over the Senones to both preserve the legions while freeing them to move south. My current military is insufficient for such a quick victory. Accordingly, I will keep the army in Rome and reinforce it with two new legions to be raised the first turn. I also appoint a general to lead the army. In Empires, an army must be commanded by a leader at the beginning of the turn benefit from his leadership. By delaying my offensive for a turn, I hope to quickly route the Senones with my enlarged and well led army with minimal losses.

I also reach out to the human-led nations and most of the computer-led nations that are nearby to seek cooperation agreements. In the game, cooperation agreements will generally increase trade and relationships. I am primarily interested in avoiding war with the human players to give Rome time to secure the peninsula. But the extra trade with my neighbors is a nice additional benefit.
Last edited by SteveLohr on Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Field of Glory-Empires AAR (Final Version)

Post by SteveLohr » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:10 am

309-08 BC

In 309 BC, I receive the new legions. However, I decide to delay the offensive against the Senones for one more turn, primarily to provide some skirmishers for the battle against them. In the hilly terrain where Rome will fight the Senones, skirmishers are a useful force multiplier by adding to the fatigue of enemy forces and providing support in combat. Additionally, I want to give the maximum number of Roman troops some combat experience against the Senones before moving south against Tarentum. Having a larger army now will translate into a larger and more experienced army to wield against Tarentum.

At the beginning of 308, Rome achieves its immediate diplomatic goal of reducing tensions with the human-led nations, with all the players agreeing to cooperate with Rome. Although I would like to have cooperation with the Etrusci, Tarentum and Samnium before embarking on war against the Senones, my overtures to them are unsuccessful.



Image 6. Diplomatic Relations in Italy, 308 BC


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Despite being officially neutral, the Samnites try to raid Rome. In Empires, some nations (including Samnium) or leaders can raid regions.
If a raid is successful, then the region’s productivity will be badly affected. Fortunately, this time raid is repulsed. Unfortunately for future generations of Samnites, Rome has a long memory…..

Diplomatically, the groundwork is laid for the war against the Senones. Rome is officially neutral with the other nations in the peninsula, as well as having cooperation agreements with Carthage. This sufficiently frees Rome to deal with the Senones. With Rome’s diplomatic relations in order, the legions march….



Image 7. Marching against the Senones, 308 BC

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The Senones army looks intimidating. However, my strategy of delay to build more skirmishers appears to have worked. Here, my legions are getting a support bonus against the Senones' heavy infantry. (Note: I failed to take a screen shot of this particular battle. Because I wanted to include an image of this battle in this AAR, I recreated it in a different test game).

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Rome decisively wins the battle, losing only a light cavalry unit which can be easily replaced.


Image 8. Victory over Senones

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Note: Comment from the Carthaginian Player (loki100): At this stage of the game, Numidia offered an alliance to Carthage, which I took. This allowed Carthage to focus on making money invading Syracuse. After completing these initial steps, I intended to bring Punic civilization to the backward peoples of Corsica and Sardinia. In the meantime, at the invitation of our ally, Antigonos, the mighty Carthaginian fleet sailed to the Aegean, culminating in a dispute with some Byzantines."

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Re: Field of Glory-Empires AAR (Final Version)

Post by SteveLohr » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:13 am

307 BC- The Legions Turn South

The capture of Picenum creates a bit of a dilemma for Rome. On the one hand, the Senones are on the ropes, with their capital captured and their army crippled. I should pursue them north into their one remaining province and destroy them. However, Rome has a schedule to keep. While finishing off the Senones would be wise in the short term, Rome must secure southern Italy before Carthage crosses from Sicily into the peninsula. The delay in building my army has cost me time. While destroying the Senones is important, securing the peninsula against my human opponents is crucial.

Another reason for Rome to move south is provincial boundaries. The province of Italia Superior consists of seven regions. Rome controls three, Etrusci controls three. The last of the seven regions, Aternus, is controlled unaffiliated Italic tribes (Image 9A).


Image 9A. Provincial Boundaries

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The creation of any province allows the pooling of resources between the regions and the creation of regional units. Provinces also slow the rate that decadence is accumulated. This issue is of particular importance to Rome, as it has a nasty little habit of quickly accumulating decadence.

This decadence is used in calculating the ration of culture to decadence (called the CDR), which in turn is determines whether a nation progress or will falls to a less advanced form of government.

Image 9C. Romans increasing Decadence

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In contrast, should Rome continue the offensive north against the Senones, it would require conquering Aemilia, a region in the Cisalpina province. This would lead to an increase in decadence; at least until the remaining half of Cisalpina was conquered. Therefore, moving south and seizing, I mean, liberating Aternus becomes an attractive move.

Thus, Rome turns south towards the Italic tribes along the Adriatic coast, who clearly need our wisdom in managing their affairs. And just over the horizon is Tarentum, a Greek colony that has somehow found itself on territory that rightfully belongs to Rome…..

While my army of liberation moves south into Aternus, Rome begins building a nucleus of a navy. This will be needed against Tarentum, as it is a city state that also happens to be a port. In Empires, blockaded ports are reduced quicker, as their garrison starves. A small fleet will also help when I go to war against Etrusci, as its capital city Cosa is also a port. With this in mind, I order my first four light warships (Image 9). The Carthaginians would rightfully laugh at such a small fleet. But from such small acorns mighty oaks will grow…..

Image 9. Towards Warmer Climes, 307 BC
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Re: Field of Glory-Empires AAR (Final Version)

Post by SteveLohr » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:13 am

306 BC

The Roman army quickly routs the Italic tribes in Aternus. Although Roman losses over the past two turns are light, the army needs to be reinforced before moving further south. This is because the Roman army will first invade the region Aufidus. The terrain in Aufidus is classified as “Plains” meaning that battles here will be fought with a 12-unit frontage. In Empires, an army that can cover the entire frontage with units has a better chance of either flanking a smaller opponent, or of avoided being flanked. An army that flanks an opponent significantly improves its chance of winning a battle. The invading Roman army in Aternus is only 14 units in size, and 7 of these are skirmishers or light cavalry-not the type of force I want to fight over this wide frontage (Image 10). Accordingly, I move the occupying force in Picenum south to merge with the force in Aternus. The combined force will be ready to invade in 305 BC. Although this leaves Picenum vulnerable to invasion by the remaining Senones, I gamble that they have been sufficiently chastised, (also known as “attrited”) by Rome to not do something so foolish.

Image 10. The Pre-invasion Roman Army, 306 BC

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Because Rome controls four of the seven regions in the province, I create the province of Italia Superior (Image 11). This will help reduce the rate Rome gains decadence.

Image 11. Creating the Province of Italia Superior, 306 BC

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I also declare war on Tarentum (Image 11B). In Empires there is a one turn delay between declaring war and the declaration becoming effective. This means that my declaration of war becomes effective in 305 BC, just as my newly joined forces are ready to march.


Image 11B. Declaration of War, 306 BC

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Re: Field of Glory-Empires AAR (Final Version)

Post by SteveLohr » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:21 am

305 BC


While Rome has diligently been bringing the light of civilization to various Italic tribes, my fellow players have been ruthlessly crushing the voices of liberty in diverse corners of the known world. (Image 12).


Image 12. The Geopolitical Situation in the Mediterranean, 305 BC

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The corner that concerns me most right now is Sicily, just opposite of the region of Bruttium in the toe of Italy. I intend to enlighten the population of this piece of real estate in the near future. It seems that Carthaginians have captured both central Sicily and Etna, the region opposite of Italy. Only Syracuse is still holding out against Carthage. The rapid Carthaginian advance through Sicily, combined with their loss of Dianum, a region in south eastern Spain indicates to me that someone (other than me) is casting a covetous eye towards the unwashed Italic tribes of Bruttium., and has pulled forces from Spain to do onto me before I do unto him. Doubtless, my Carthaginian friends will claim that I am paranoid. I prefer to believe that I have a heightened state of awareness.


The good news is that the Arverni in Gaul appear to be expanding north, away from Italy. That buys me a bit of breathing space before I have to take normalize my relations with the Celticii in the cisalpine region. Further good news comes from the news that in 306 BC, Tarentum declared war on Samnium, and invaded Samnium with their army in Aufidus (Image 12B). This clears Aufidus, and allows the Roman army to attack both Aufidus, and Lucania.


The enlarged Roman army of sixteen units moves south, first into the now unoccupied Aufidus, and then into Lucania, routing the seventeen unit strong Tarentum army stationed there (Image 12B).

Image 12B. The Roman Invasion of Tarentum

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However, despite the huge Roman advantage in combat strength, the defenders were more competent than the tribes Rome has faced earlier, managing to damage three heavy infantry units. (Image 13). Although this damage can be repaired by resting in a province with a 50 or greater loyalty, the Roman forces will not have the opportunity to rest until southern Italy is secured.

I finish up the year of 305 by building some legions in Rome in preparation for the occupation of southern Italy as well as assisting in besieging Tarentum.


Image 13 305 BC The battle of Lucania

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Re: Field of Glory-Empires AAR (Final Version)

Post by SteveLohr » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:24 am

304 BC We’re going to need a bigger boat

After seizing Aufidus and Lucania, the legions continue to march to Tarentum. Alternatively, I could move into Bruttium to seal off the Peninsula from invasion by Carthage from Sicily. I decide against this, as I want to finish off Tarentum before they make an alliance with another power, and make my inevitable conquest less inevitable. However, like any ruler with a well-developed sense of hypocrisy, I note that Syracuse is still holding out against Carthage. So I propose an alliance with Syracuse. While this proposed alliance is unlikely to stop Carthage, it might give them pause.

Sun Tzu wrote “There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.” I’m proving his point right now. The small reinforcement Rome built last year have exhausted my treasury. While Rome’s metal stockpile is at 294 and growing, Rome’s pool of manpower is no longer growing, although there is a reserve of 310 units. What is concerning is that Rome’s treasury is empty (see the top row of Image 14). Rome needs to quickly finish the war with Tarentum before one of the human led powers takes advantage of its weakness.


Image 14. Roman Resources and the Movement to Tarentum

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I next ready my siege of Tarentum. The Army in Lucania will move east to initiate the siege. It will be reinforced by a newly-raised force from Rome. Simultaneously, the Roman fleet sails through the straits of Sicily to blockade the port (Image 14). For the past several turns, I’ve been keeping a weather eye out for the Tarentum navy. Thus far, there has been no sign of them. Not surprising, as how big of a fleet can a second-rate city-state afford?

Answer: About three times the size of the Roman fleet (Image 15) .


Image 15. We have Met the Enemy, and We are His.[/b

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Thus ends the Roman navy’s first foray into combat operations. My whole fleet, small as it is, is lost. And, given Rome’s finances, it will be awhile before it can be rebuilt. The other problem is that currently Rome can only build light warships. The medium warships of Tarentum (or just about anyone else) will make flotsam out of anything that Rome can put to sea.

Despite this setback, Rome is doing fairly well compared to the other players. It is ranked 32 in the Culture to Decadence ration (CDR), and has 2 tokens, meaning that it is slowly advancing, and will soon enter the top third of nations in CDR. Being in the top trier will allow it to advance more quickly (Image 16).


Image 16. Culture to Decadence Ratio, 304 BC

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At the end of 304 BC, Rome ranks 31st in legacy with 16 points. Ptolemaic Egypt leads with 48, followed by Antigonos (43), the Arverni (24) and Carthage (19). However, these other nations began the game with more legacy. I’m not unhappy with the Roman legacy production at this stage of the game.

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Re: Field of Glory-Empires AAR (Final Version)

Post by SteveLohr » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:25 am

303 BC

The year 303 BC begins with Samnium asking for some cooperation with Rome. Well, bless their black little hearts. For eight turns I’ve sent entreaties to them, and have gotten Samnite raiders in return. Now that I’ve chased the Tarentum army out of Samnium, they want to be friends. With that said, I can’t look a gift horse in the mouth. The game allows me to peacefully convert Samnium and Etrusci into Roman provinces, if I can make them both client states. Frankly, this is a difficult achievement to accomplish within the thirty years I’ve given Rome to subdue the peninsula. In particular, any delay in conquering Etrusci could allow them to make an alliance with a human player while I was wooing them. In such an event, I could suddenly find an unfriendly army debarking in an Etruscan port. That would not be good. Nevertheless, I have nothing to lose in the short term by cooperating with Samnium. My army is currently fully engaged in reducing Tarentum, and a cooperation agreement with Samnium will increase trade, and may lead to establishing them as a client state. It also is one less potential enemy to handle while I rebuild my treasury and move north against the Celticii (Image 17).

Image 17. Cooperation Agreement with Samnium.

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The political situation in the Mediterranean remains stable. Carthage appears to be temporarily stuck outside the walls of Syracuse and the Arverni are not making any progress towards northern Italy (Image 18). That is good news for Rome, because without control of the sea, I don’t appear to be making much progress against Tarentum. I send some additional minor reinforcements to quicken the siege, but with only 77 gold in the treasury, Rome is almost at the end of its financial rope. The good news is that Rome moves from 31st to 29th in CDR, jumping slightly ahead of Carthage. This will translate into government and legacy advancement in the near future.


Image 18. The Geopolitical Situation in the Mediterranean, 303 BC

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Re: Field of Glory-Empires AAR (Final Version)

Post by SteveLohr » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:28 am

302 BC

The year 302 BC starts with the welcome news that Syracuse is still holding out against Carthage (Image 19). However, Tarentum continues to hold out against Rome. With no money in the treasury, the Roman army cannot expand, nor can it take losses and still move against the Celticii. This makes an assault on the walls a very unattractive option, but one I may be forced to make in the event that Syracuse falls. When that happens, the Carthaginian forces would be freed to possibly invade Italy. In that event, I would have to gamble on a direct assault on Tarentum, followed by an invasion of Bruttium in the toe of Italy to forestall a Carthaginian move on the peninsula. I begin gathering a small force just north of Bruttium in case a quick invasion is necessary to seal off the toe of Italy.

Image 19. The Geopolitical Situation in the Mediterranean, 302 BC

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Re: Field of Glory-Empires AAR (Final Version)

Post by SteveLohr » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:29 am

301 BC

The year begins with the good news that Tarentum has fallen without an assault. This gives Rome a large city with an established port. With a bit of luck, I will be able to build a shipyard capable of building the heavy warships that will be needed in any wars against my human opponents, especially against Carthage. Also, with the capture of Tarentum, Rome can create the Italia Inferior province, gaining some economic efficiency and decreasing decadence.


It is not all good news, though. While Rome was preoccupied with Tarentum, Etrusci finished off the Senones by taking Aemilia, on the east coast of Italy (Image 20). The land route into Cisalpina (Northern Italy) is now closed by Etruscan provinces that stretch across the norther part of the peninsula.

Image 20. The Geopolitical Situation in the Mediterranean, 301 BC

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The Etruscan move surprised me. In my previous games as Rome against the AI, I’ve executed a “Northern Italy First” strategy, capturing Aemilia early. In this game, I assumed that Etrusci would sit idly by as I moved south. That was a bad assumption. I could easily take Aemilia from Etruscans and reopen the invasion route into Cisalpina. However, I don’t want a war with Etrusci until I finish securing the Cisalpina frontier from the Arverni. Because of this, I’m going to have to do an end run and seize one of the northern provinces on the west coast of Italy from the sea. I move a 60-11 strong force to Rome, in preparation for boarding ships for Cisalpina. Because the hilly terrain in the area is conducive to using skirmishers, this force will be joined by some additional skirmishers that I will build this turn in Rome. Meanwhile, the 90-13 army under Lucretius that just took Tarentum will finish the conquest of southern Italy by taking Bruttium, at the toe of the peninsula. The commander of this invasion force, Lucretius, has bonuses for combat in wilderness warfare, making him well-suited for operations in the hilly terrain there.

Geopolitically, Carthage is about to take Syracuse, whose walls have been reduced from 3 to 1. Thus, my move to Bruttium is coming none too soon, as with the fall of Syracuse, southern Italy is open to a Carthaginian invasion. Of particular concern is intelligence that Carthage is operating 100 points of naval and 160 points of armies just in Sicily. The entire Roman army currently stands at only 143 points and its navy is non-existent.


My economic strategy up to this point has been to support my conquest of the peninsula. As such, it has concentrated on developing revenue-enhancing buildings and infrastructure at the expense of enhancing manpower, metal or culture. I did this because I evaluated that the Roman treasury would run out of money before it would run out of metal or manpower. And while I would like to improve Roman culture, the positive effects of cultural advancement would not be felt for several years. However, with the conquest of Tarentum, Rome can begin concentrating on a more balanced economic policy. First, I begin increasing my infrastructure capacity by building a wood cutting facility in Rome. This will both increase the Italia Superior’s industrial capacity by increasing the Latium region’s building capacity while providing an infrastructure bonus to the wheel maker being constructed in nearby Picenum.

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Re: Field of Glory-Empires AAR (Final Version)

Post by SteveLohr » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:32 am

300 BC

The army under Lucretius easily defeats the Italic tribes in Bruttium, completing the conquest of the southern portion of peninsula. While this does not secure the peninsula from a Carthaginian incursion, it makes it more difficult and potentially dangerous for Carthage. This is because Carthage must declare war on Rome, seize part of Cisalpina or get an alliance with Etrusci to get a foothold in the peninsula. Once I seize coastal Cisalpina, Carthaginian options will be reduced to an alliance with Etrusci or declaring war on Rome.

Image 21. The Geopolitical Situation in the Mediterranean, 300 BC

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To further limit Carthaginian options, I request an alliance with Etrusci, which should make them less likely to accept any similar offers from Carthage (or the other players). My proposal has a 30% chance of acceptance (Image 22). Even if it is enacted, I do not expect this alliance to last long. Its chief utility to me is that it secures the Roman flank while I seize and subdue the Celtic tribes in Cisalpina thereby blocking the Arverni from crossing into northern Italy. The alliance also minimizes the odds of another player leveraging an alliance with Etrusci to get a foothold in Italy. Rome will address our soon-to-be outstanding border issues with Etrusci once the Cisalpina region is secured. Hopefully, this will be done peacefully, using an event that allows Rome to give citizenship and absorb Etrusci and Samnium if they are client states. This would be my preference, as Rome acquires legacy from this method. But in any case, I will not delay the conquest of Etrusci and Samnites beyond approximately 290 BC, as I need to secure the Italian peninsula against the other human players.

The other noteworthy news is that Carthage is still stuck outside of Syracuse. That buys Rome a bit of time to start the conquest of northern Italy. But it does not buy much time as Syracuse will soon fall, releasing the Carthaginian forces there for adventures elsewhere.

Image 22. Requesting an alliance with the Etrusci

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Before Rome can redeploy its forces for the liberation of Cisalpina, I need to check to make sure that none of the recently liberated regions in southern Italy are approaching rebellion. Keeping an army in a region with lower loyalty helps prevent it from rebelling. The loyalty overlay shows that most of Roman Italy is loyal, with only the Tarentum region in a low state of unrest. (Image 23). Because of this, I concentrate a medium sized force to Neapolis to rest and act as a fire brigade for any contingency operations in the province. As Neapolis is also a major port, this force can quickly move by sea to Cisalpina if needed.

Image 23 Loyalty Overlay and the Redeployment of Forces

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To begin the conquest of Cisalpina, I send a force from Rome via sea to Liguria, in the northwest crook of the peninsula (Image 23). It will take two turns for this force to make the journey, but as I am not at war with either Etrusci or Carthage, it is unlikely that that this force will be intercepted. Since Liguria is occupied by unaffiliated tribes, there should be little resistance to their landing. Once captured, the small port in Liguria will provide a beachhead to expand into Cisalpina.

End of the Decade Review

At the end of the first decade of the game, the Populares Party is still ruling Rome. The government remains a stable aristocratic republic, with a status age of only 18. (Image 24). Because Rome is a stable republic, this government age does not contribute to its decadence score. However, with four progress tokens, Rome is only one token short of becoming a glorious republic. When this occurs, the age will be added to its current decadence score of 17, significantly lowering its CDR.

Economically, with only 71 gold in the treasury Rome needs to build up its fiscal reserves before embarking on another war. Because of the low risk of rebellion, I impose a minor land tax, raising a small amount of additional funds without significantly increasing the risk of unrest.


Image 24. Ten Year Review Government

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In terms of Legacy, Rome is advancing nicely. Currently, it has 30 legacy points, behind Carthage (35) , Arverni (55), Antigonos (79) and Ptolemaic Egypt (90). But it is gaining legacy fast, and should soon pass Carthage. Its CDR is 24, just behind Carthage at 22. This places Rome in the top tier, giving it a 30% chance of gaining a token each turn.

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Re: Field of Glory-Empires AAR (Final Version)

Post by SteveLohr » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:34 am

299 BC

Rome’s strategic situation is at the turn of the decade is slowly improving. The Arverni appear to be slowly expanding both north and south in Gaul. Most concerning is their slow advance towards Massilia and the borders of Cisalpina. Fortunately, recent events have given Rome some leverage to dissuade Arverni from moving towards Cisalpina. Several turns ago, I had requested an alliance with Massilia. I did this not as a springboard to attack Arverni, but instead as a way to keep the Arverni relatively weak by denying them a developed port city. Critically, an alliance with Massilia potentially gave Rome a base to flank any Arverni offensive into Cisalpina, thereby encouraging them to not take such a course. Massilia also offers a base to support a move into Hispania, should I decide to either block a potential Carthaginian expansion there, or attempt to seize the iron, silver and gold mines for my own use. Thus, I sent a diplomatic mission to try to get an alliance with Massilia.

This diplomatic effort bore fruit this turn, and Rome and Massilia are now allied (Image 25). With southern Italy secured and Syracuse still holding out against Carthage, Rome is now free to settle all outstanding issues with the tribes in Cisalpina. Although I can’t think of any outstanding issues with these tribes at the moment, I’m sure I’ll come up with some before next turn when my invasion fleet drops anchor off of Liguria.

Image 25. Alliance with Massilia

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Despite my alliance with Massilia interfering with the Arverni, I really don’t intend it to be a threat to them. My concept is that the alliance is primarily a defensive precaution against a threat to Cisalpina. Long term, I would like to remain on good terms with the Arverni, as 1) they really don’t have much in Gaul that is worth going to war over; 2) having good relations with them will secure my north western flank and 3) they may be useful in a war against Carthage in Hispania. In addition to these completely Machiavellian and self-interested objectives, I sincerely want to foster justice and peace with all humankind. All except Carthage. Accordingly, I send a personal message to the Arverni, asking them what their intentions are regarding the Cisalpina region, and notifying them of the alliance with Massilia. I also suggest that heading towards Hispania (and Carthaginian holdings there) might be easier pickings. Just trying to be neighborly…..

The Geopolitical Situation in the Mediterranean, 299 BC

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Re: Field of Glory-Empires AAR (Final Version)

Post by SteveLohr » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:35 am

298 BC

My invasion force lands in Liguria, quickly overwhelms the Italian tribes defending it and giving Rome a foothold from which to launch the conquest of Cisalpina. Simultaneously, my diplomatic overtures to the Etrusci bear fruit, and I have an alliance with them. I hope to parley this into a client status with both them and Samnium, which I may be able to subsequently convert into peacefully incorporating both into the Roman Empire, err, Republic. In any case, my Cisalpina invasion force no longer has to worry about any interference from the Etrusci, freeing me up to immediately declare war on the Celticii, which I do (Image 27). Because declarations of war take a turn to become effective, this means I can invade them in 297 BC.

Image 26. The Geopolitical Situation in the Mediterranean, 298 BC

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Image 27. Declaration of War against the Celticii

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At the end of 298 BC, the Roman position is relatively secure. Southern Italy is secure, and the conquest of Northern Italy begun. Rome has alliances with the two most powerful nations in the Italian Peninsula, and is about to embark on the conquest of the third. I estimate that securing the border regions against the Arverni and conquering the Celticii should take about 5-6 turns. I have 237 gold, and am increasing that by 157 this next turn. My manpower stands at 254 units, and is slowly increasing at 15 units a turn. Rome has metal reserves of 461 units, and increasing at 32 a turn.

Given the projected growth rates, these reserves are sufficient for a modest buildup of my forces. The biggest problems I face are if Carthage should take the opportunity to invade Italy. I have no naval power that is capable of contesting such a move, although my alliances with the Etrusci and Samnium might be able to slow down any force. My short term economic and infrastructure goals are to increase my shipyard capacity so I can build a fleet capable of protecting Rome against Carthage, while preserving or increasing my manpower, metal and treasury reserves. Until I complete the conquest of Cisalpina, I will also maintain the alliances with Samnites and Etrusci, so I can use their military in the event of an invasion.

Note: Comment from the Carthaginian Player (loki100): At this stage I had just ended the long siege of Syracuse. My choices were to improve my grip on the Western Med or deal with the sheep-herding Romans. I decided first to grab the rest of Sardinia and Corsica because they are objectives then take Baetis in Hispania, as it provides a lot of money which Carthage needs to hire mercenaries.

Because my putative Antigonid ally was busy with their own wars and not in a position to invade Greece, never mind Italy, I decided that Rome can wait.

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Re: Field of Glory-Empires AAR (Final Version)

Post by SteveLohr » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:38 am

297 BC

At the end of the previous turn (298 BC), an economic comparison between Rome and the other human players looks like this:

Gold (+/- turn) Manpower(+/- turn) Metal (+/- turn)
Egypt 400 +40 254 +15 50 +30
Rome 237 +157 254 +15 461 +32
Lysimakos 500 -30 0 0 400 +10
Arverni 400 +40 250 +20 175 +10
Carthage 500 +10 450 +30 100 0
Antigonos 250 +125 125 +20 1000 +100

This table shows that Rome is beginning to get its economic house in order. Although it has less gold on hand than any player, it is able to generate a surplus of 157 a turn, outstripping all but the Antigonos. Its manpower reserves are second only to Carthage, and its metal reserves are second only to Antigonos.

One of the available Roman decisions is increasing the rate of my infrastructure development by spending gold on foreign engineers and extra building materials (Image 28). The rapid development of the newly conquered areas of southern Italy and Cisalpina will greatly increase Rome’s economic competitiveness versus my human opponents. Accordingly, I execute this option. Although it will run my treasury dangerously low for a several turns, I believe that the risk of war against Carthage in the next five years is low, and I do not expect any serious reverses in my current war against the Celticii.

Image 28. Speeding Infrastructure Development

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Diplomatically, the human led nations have been quiet. Too quiet. There has been precious little talk on the public in-game chat, and I have received no replies to several PMs I have sent. I’ve been a bit concerned about this lack of chat over the recent turns. Sure enough, this turn the public in game chat indicates that Egypt, Antigonos and Lysimakos are working together to carve up the eastern Mediterranean (Image 29). Nothing wrong with that, except there was not similar conversations on how to carve up the western Mediterranean. At least not one that I was part of. I’m a bit concerned that in the near future, I’m going to receive a communication from the human players titled “How We will Serve Rome”, only to open it and find out it is a recipe……

Image 29. Communications regarding the Eastern Mediterranean

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Rome also receives word that the Carthaginians have taken Syracuse. While unfortunate, its fall is not unexpected. A bit of good news comes from our diplomats, who report that Rome and the Rhaeti are cooperating. This should prevent or at least minimize raiders from the north invading my soon to be incorporated province of Cisalpina.


Rome also reaches a cooperation agreement with the Dalmatia, which may in the future open up the door for some Roman expansion into the Balkans. As there are some mines in the region, including two silver mines, the agreement with the Dalmatia may be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Image 30. 297 BC Invasion of Celticii

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My 111 factor invasion force moves from my newly established base in Liguria to Padus (Image 30). I want to take Padus first, since it is an objective, it provides an advancement token for Rome. It also cuts my Etrusci allies off from participating in the war against the Celticii, and enjoying any of the spoils.

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Re: Field of Glory-Empires AAR (Final Version)

Post by SteveLohr » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:42 am

296 BC

The invasion of Padus goes well. Rome and its Etruscan allies defeat the Celticii and…. Wait a minute.... I specifically hit Padus first to cut off the Etrusci from this war and they stole a march on me? Yep, that’s exactly what they did (Image 31).

Image 31. Roman and Etruscan Defeat of Celticii

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While I appreciate their help in taking Padus, my concern is that they don’t beat me into taking the rest of Celticii territory. And they might do just that. With the capture of Padus, I immediately order the legions north to secure the Celticii capitol in Insurbia, before my Etruscan allies do so (Image 32).

Image 32. Roman Stealing a March into Insurbia

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In diplomatic news, the Helvetii are asking for Rome’s cooperation. Like the agreement with the Rhaeti, this might help shield Cisalpina from raiders from what is now modern-day Switzerland. It also offers the potential for an eventual alliance or client state status with them, which might be useful to crowd the Arverni. The Boii, in modern-day Venice are also asking for cooperation. I accept both proposals. The Roman alliance with Massilia has dragged us into a war with Aquitania, in the modern day Pyrenees. I don’t intend to prosecute that war, but it might offer a useful pathway into Hispania should that be necessary.

The capture of Padus also gives Rome its fifth token, and Rome advances into being a "Glorious Republic". As such, its age will now be added to the decadence score, so legacy will be gained more slowly.

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Re: Field of Glory-Empires AAR (Final Version)

Post by SteveLohr » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:44 am

295 BC

In the movie Patton, there is a scene where the British general Montgomery is having a triumphal parade through Messina. His units leading the parade turn a street corner and find….American general George Patton and the US 7th Army in formation and waiting, having won the race to Messina. I can identify with Montgomery now. My army reaches the gates of Insurbia, ready to receive its surrender only to find…..

My Etruscan allies sleeping off their post-conquest celebration, having stolen not just a march, but the entire region of Insurbia from Rome (Image 33).

Image 33. Etrusci stealing Insurbia

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Their conquest is going to cause me a bit of a problem in the near term in creating the Cisalpina province. Cisalpina consists of eight regions, meaning Rome needs to control five of them to create the province. Etrusci now controls two of the eight, and the Boii control one. That means that Rome has to seize the remaining five regions, or go to war with either Etrusci or Boii to seize the others. Two of these regions, Atesis and Carnia, are on the east, and one of these, Taurinia is to the west. To prevent my Etruscan allies from seizing these, I will first send the entire army on a march to the east, seizing both Atesis and Carnia in one turn. I will then return to the west and take Taurinia. This entire operation will take at least three turns to complete. I leave a small garrison in Padus to guard against the tiny Celtic tribal army in Taurinia. Having strength of only 15, it shouldn’t be a problem. I considered breaking up my large 138-17 army into two forces, one to move east and one to move west into Taurinia. I decided not to break up this force as the Atesis and Carnia regions are plains, with 10 and 12 unit frontages, thereby requiring a large army to cover this frontage. Additionally, this army will likely form the core of the Roman military that eventually has to face one of my human opponents. Accordingly, I want to maximize the combat experience of these troops, while minimizing their losses. Keeping the army together is the best way of meeting these goals. Because of these factors, I march the entire force east, leaving the small garrison in Padus.

Meanwhile, Massilia seems to be having a minor bit of difficulty with a small 13 strength tribal force that is besieging the even smaller 10 factor army defending the city. Ever helpful, I decide to send my ally my Roman reserve by sea from Neapolis to help chase away the tribal army and also discourage the Arverni from taking advantage of Massilia’s troubles (Image 34).

Image 34. Roman Deployments

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This strategy has its risks. With the majority of my army campaigning in Cisalpina and my reserve force moving to Massilia, Rome is left undefended from Carthage. However, I'm gambling that even if Carthage intends to invade Italy, right now Carthage is still digesting Syracuse, and that he doesn't realize Italia proper is largely undefended. However, I don't want to pull stunts like this for too long, as it could come back to bite me.

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Re: Field of Glory-Empires AAR (Final Version)

Post by SteveLohr » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:45 am

294 BC

The year starts off auspiciously, with the Roman army routing the Celtic Independent tribes in Atesis and Carnia, while suffering no losses. I have this army now countermarch west, to seize the remaining unseized regions of Cisalpina (Image 35). The Arverni appear to have greatly increased their rate of expansion, seizing four additional provinces in the last four years. My small expeditionary force will hopefully beat them to Massilia.

I briefly consider seizing Corsica and/or northern Sardinia. However these islands appear to be economic and strategic dead ends.

Diplomatically, the Aedui, a Gallic tribe residing west of the Helvetii, are asking for cooperation. I accept this offer, as there is a chance I can develop one or more of these Gallic tribes into alliances or possibly even client states which can be leveraged to crowd the Arverni expansion eastward, and instead guide it south toward Carthage-held Hispania.

Image 35. The Geopolitical Situation in the Mediterranean, 294 BC

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Economically, my chief preoccupation has been to develop shipyards capable of building heavy warships. Rome desperately needs to develop this capability to build a fleet that is capable defending against Carthage. Thus far, I have been unsuccessful developing this capability.

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Re: Field of Glory-Empires AAR (Final Version)

Post by SteveLohr » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:48 am

293 BC

When we last checked in on the Romans, there was a small force of skirmishers left in Padus, while the main army was occupied with making Atesis and Carnia safe for, well, not exactly democracy. I’ll just say the army was making Atesis and Carnia safe for Romans. Meanwhile, the force in Padus really didn’t expect much action. After all, they were nearly surrounded by their Etruscan allies. The only possible hostile force was a small disorganized mob of independent Celtic tribes. It was unlikely they would cross the border and risk the wrath of Rome. Next turn, when I unleash my planned invasion of Taurinia, only then would have a reason to invade. But not now. Naw, they’ll never invade….

Except they do, engaging my garrison in Padus, but only after first making a detour to seize Liguria, which I had left unoccupied. I must have missed an update to the AI aggressiveness in the latest change log…… However, the garrison in Padus are Romans. Roman discipline and training will win the day. Until it doesn’t. The entire garrison is wiped out (Image 36).


Image 36. Custerius’ Last Stand

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However, all is not lost. The victorious Roman army is fast approaching, fresh from its dual victories in Atesis and Carnia. It will wipe the floor with these Celtic upstarts. Unless my ever-helpful Etruscan allies do so first.

Which they do, seizing Padus in the process (Image 37). This means that I have lost the ability to create the Cisalpina province, at least until I take the additional regions I need through war with either Etruria or Boii. While my army is not isolated, because of the alliance with Etruria, it must first retake Liguria and then seize Taurinia before the Arverni decide to cross the Alps and enter Italy. Rome will simply have to cope with the increased decadence from these Cisalpina regions until a war can be arranged with the Etrusci.

Image 37. The Geopolitical Situation in the Mediterranean, 293 BC

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All is not bad news, though. The Roman force lands in Massilia, saving it from the besieging Celtic tribes. Arverni could attack, but to do so they would have to declare war on Rome. I don’t think they want to do that. However, if they did, I would likely have to sue for a quick peace, as I believe such a war would be an irresistible temptation for Carthage to attack Rome.

The loyalty of some of the recently conquered regions is lower than I would like. To help acclimate these new subjects, I mean “citizens" into their new roles, I add a new religious holiday to the calendar (Image 38). While the positive effects on loyalty are minor, the costs are also minor. I also institute some health regulations to speed up the construction of fresh water supplies. Rome also builds a reserve force totaling 75 factors to defend against any invasion of Italia Superior and Inferior. However, this significantly reduces my treasury, as well as starts to cut into Roman manpower reserves.

Image 38. A New Holiday

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Re: Field of Glory-Empires AAR (Final Version)

Post by SteveLohr » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:50 am

292 BC

The Roman troops got to Massilia just in time. At the end of 293 BC, the tribes attacked. After two rounds of combat, the Massilian army was destroyed. The Celtae then turned on the Romans. After three rounds of combat, the Roman army prevailed, destroying the invaders. Moreover, with the destruction of Massilia’s army, the city becomes a Roman city. I didn’t plan that, but I can’t say I’m upset by the result.

Image 39. A Near Run Thing- The Roman Accidental Conquest of Massilia

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The new reserve force that was built last turn appears this turn. I concentrate the force in Neapolis, because it is a fortified port within a one turn march of the regions most likely to be invaded from the sea. Also, being a port these forces can be redeployed by sea, if necessary. However, my treasury is now empty, and to only 89 gold at the start of next year. My manpower reserves are at 136, and only growing by 10 each year. My metal stockpiles are more substantial, at 588 and growing by 29 each year (Image 40). As these numbers are also visible to other players, I will have to increase them quickly to prevent other players from seeing Rome’s economic weakness and acting on it.

The Roman army in Cisalpina is directed to begin the re-invasion of Liguria, followed by Taurinia (Image 40). This is just in time, as the Arverni appear to be approaching the Cisalpina border.


Image 40. The Geopolitical Situation in the Mediterranean, 292 BC

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