The Crisis of 100 BC and the Lollian Revolt - an AAR using a Tides of Conquest campaign

Nijis
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The Crisis of 100 BC and the Lollian Revolt - an AAR using a Tides of Conquest campaign

Post by Nijis » Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:09 pm

So, the goal of this AAR is a demonstration of the new version (v 0.5) of Tides of Conquest, a campaign tool for Fields of Glory. The last update was over a year ago and there's been a fair number of changes, and I hope it makes for a faster moving, more dramatic game. The big changes: turns represent four years, you don't need to worry about building armies, and there are lots of new decisions representing internal politics.

I'm including lots of screenshots of the basic mechanics, hoping this can serve as an example of play. The idea of ToC is somewhat midway between the FoG's campaign system and FoG:Empires: a somewhat more detailed map and world than the in-game system, but more focused on well-balanced battles than FoG:E.

***

The link for the verison used:
https://www.mediafire.com/file/s4ky79gf ... 0.rar/file

See this thread for general help on installing and playing
viewtopic.php?f=477&t=85060&p=719282#p719282


***

I'm going to play in the 100 BC scenario, when the Roman Republic is on the verge of conquering the entire Mediterranean but is sewing the seeds of its own collapse through inequality, corruption and factionalism. The game does not use historical characters per se, so I'm choosing to play as a version of Sertorius, a Roman general and populist partisan of Marius who rebelled against the aristocratic regime of Sulla and tried to set up a parallel republic in Spain.
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Players get to do one decision per turn. If they start the game without a capital, then that decision involves choosing a new realm. One option is to found a new kingdom, but another is to bite off a piece of an existing larger realm through Sertorian-style secession. In this case my populist rebel, Lollius Candidianus, is given the option of Roman-held Ionia. So, our populist rebellion begins there.

Now, Tides of Conquest lets you choose the difficulty level that you want to fight the game in Fields of Glory. Choosing a harder difficulty - which represents striking hard and fast with a smaller army - costs less and yields greater results. A secession's first battle, however, always begins at an evenly matched level 2, which suits me fine because I want to be sure I can win it so that the game can proceed.
Last edited by Nijis on Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:24 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: The Crisis of 100 BC and the Lollian Revolt - a ToC AAR

Post by Nijis » Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:31 pm

"Romans! Our mother city is in the hands of our enemies. Those that stood up for the plebs have been persecuted and proscribed. But though we are far from Rome, we will never forget her. Today, we free this far-flung corner of Roman soil. Tomorrow, we free our mother from the shackles that the nobility bound her with."
So Lollius Candidianus, rebellious governor of Asia, addresses his legions. Against him stands an equal force of Romans loyal to Laelius Catonius, scion of the Optimates and foe of the Populares.

I am fighting this battle at level 2 to start out easily, and I've given the Lollians some Bithynian allies, as that seems appropriate.

It's a fairly straightforward line up of two legionary-based armies.
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The AI Optimates commander allows me to envelope his flanks, and the Lollians triumph, 46 to 5, although there are a few nail-biting moments in the middle as some of his veterans fight through my main line.
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Now we enter in the score, and move on to the next turn.
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Re: The Crisis of 100 BC and the Lollian Revolt - a ToC AAR

Post by Nijis » Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:45 pm

So at the beginning of the next turn, I'm given a decision - how shall I characterize the new regime? I choose the most populist line, of course...
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Now I decide what to do next... Ideally I'd like to move on to liberating other Optimates-held lands, but I don't have the resources to Conquer at a difficulty level that I'm guaranteed to win (and I want to take things cautiously, starting out.) So, I opt instead to Pacify Roman-allied Phrygia, where my initial success has caused a local rival to contest the throne. Pacifying is an intervention in a dynastic dispute which leaves you directly controlling the province - like what Pompey did in Judea. So Lollius is being a bit cynical here, but we need to expand. I'm choosing to fight at difficulty level 3 in Field of Glory.
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The Optimates are facing another revolt in eastern Cisalpina, which means that we hopefully won't feel the full force of the their counterblow just yet.

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Re: The Crisis of 100 BC and the Lollian Revolt - a ToC AAR

Post by Nijis » Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:51 pm

And here we face off against the slightly superior forces of the Phrygian king, who is using the Pontic army list.
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Re: The Crisis of 100 BC and the Lollian Revolt - an AAR using a Tides of Conquest campaign

Post by Nijis » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:46 am

Our elephants break through on the Phrygian right against their lancers as the legionaries square off against their medium infantry and phalanxes.
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The final score is 11 to 45.

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Re: The Crisis of 100 BC and the Lollian Revolt - an AAR using a Tides of Conquest campaign

Post by Nijis » Wed Feb 05, 2020 4:19 am

So... We intervened on behalf of a young Phrygian noble against his wicked Optimates-allied uncle, but then our legions stayed to claim it as the first province of our new Asian republic. Our client gets a small pension and a seat in our new Ephesus-based Senate.

We still don't have the resources we need to expand, so we're going to stay on the defensive this turn.
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We issue two Defend orders, which are Raids that will only launch if we get attacked. These can reduce the score of any offensive that an enemy launches against us. The first will be fought by a non-player general if our neighbors the Mithradatids invade. We're also reaching out to the Mithradatids for a truce. The second Defend order is issued against Roman territory. It will be led by Lollius himself, but due to the shortage of resources, we can only afford the highest (lvl 5) difficulty.

Luckily, our domestic politics have given us a chance to go over our accounts, which will give us a few more resources next turn. Domestic politics can give you small advantages, or the opportunity to make far-reaching decisions, or it can offer you an unpleasant dilemma. Our enemy, the Roman Optimates dictator Laelius Catonius, apparently had to deal with rioting or some other unrest last turn and chose to crack down harshly, earning him the monicker "Laelius the Pitiless."

Just to see where we stand, I'm going to have a look at our realm's Politics screen.

As we're a new realm, most of our domestic politics scores are pretty healthy. The Instability factor, a combination of the realm's Inequality, Corruption and Factionalism that indicates its long-term viability, is still pretty low. The most important number to watch meanwhile is the leader's Vitality. This drops with time, but goes a lot faster if there is hard campaigning.

When it reaches zero, the leader dies and the game fast-forwards a few generations - the player only represents leaders with political vision and military talent. So, you need to set your realm up to withstand a bit of less competent AI leadership. This is a way of balancing things to prevent an player leader from blobbing the map, and also putting the player in a variety of interesting situations that might not occur if you got to play every leader back-to-back.

With 80% vitality, however, Lollius will probably last seven to eight more turns, at least.
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Re: The Crisis of 100 BC and the Lollian Revolt - an AAR using a Tides of Conquest campaign

Post by Nijis » Wed Feb 05, 2020 4:37 am

The Mithridatids leave us alone, but the Romans don't, so it looks like we will be fighting a battle at level 5. We opt for quality legionaries, which with 855 points sure does not leave us much left over for quantity.
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Re: The Crisis of 100 BC and the Lollian Revolt - an AAR using a Tides of Conquest campaign

Post by Nijis » Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:09 am

Our raid on Thrace, triggered by a Roman attempt to restore their Phrygian ally to power, has turned into quite a slugfest. Being heavily outnumbered, I hoped to get an open flank against the AI but it doesn't look good.
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Re: The Crisis of 100 BC and the Lollian Revolt - an AAR using a Tides of Conquest campaign

Post by Nijis » Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:46 am

It's a bloodbath but we go down, 73 to 58. The hard-fought campaign takes a toll on Lollius's health (Vitality now 59%). Our garrison in Phrygia does better, however, repulsing the Roman invasion, and the next turn we finally have enough resources to go on the offensive.

To emphasize our dedication to the well-being of the populate, we dedicate a shrine to the fertility goddess Cybele (a domestic politics decision) and then stage a Difficulty 4 Conquer attempt (the best we can afford), again aimed at Thrace.

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Re: The Crisis of 100 BC and the Lollian Revolt - an AAR using a Tides of Conquest campaign

Post by NikiforosFokas » Wed Feb 05, 2020 6:06 pm

Very very nice...
For Byzantium!!

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Re: The Crisis of 100 BC and the Lollian Revolt - an AAR using a Tides of Conquest campaign

Post by Nijis » Wed Feb 05, 2020 6:40 pm

Thanks!

Again, we engage the armies of the Optimates in Thrace. We're still outnumbered (though at Dif 4, not as badly as before) but this time we have a hill to anchor our left flank, while we'll try to get around them on the right.
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Re: The Crisis of 100 BC and the Lollian Revolt - an AAR using a Tides of Conquest campaign

Post by Nijis » Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:32 am

The plan worked... Our hilltop stand delays their strong right wing and the Optimates fall into the trap in the center. Rout score is 14 to 53, although most of our units were quite battered at the end of it.
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Re: The Crisis of 100 BC and the Lollian Revolt - an AAR using a Tides of Conquest campaign

Post by Nijis » Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:24 am

So post-battle. You gain victory points for each battle, with the rough score being vp = (60 - your rout level). Fighting at a higher difficulty however multiplies this. The game then "buys" results with the outcome, which in some cases can lead to the fall of more than one enemy province. In this case, the victory in Thrace netted us most of Greece.

Meanwhile, in Rome, the Optimates general Laelius Catonius has grown tired of the grumblings of old men in the Senate and tried to seize total power, and was assassinated for his pains. This won't end the war but further destabilizes the Romans a bit.
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RIP Catonius.
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The situation in 84 BC now looks like this. A Berber migration in North Africa has turned to us for guidance, but that won't affect play much. The Mithridatids have at last responded to our truce overtures.

We choose to Defend, hoping the Romans won't attack and we can accumulate resources again. But they do attack and we fight another Difficulty 4 battle, this time in the mountains of Illyria.

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Re: The Crisis of 100 BC and the Lollian Revolt - an AAR using a Tides of Conquest campaign

Post by Nijis » Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:54 am

The counterattack into Illyria is a success, 53 to 7, and helps keep the Romans from rolling back any of our gains.

If there's no enemy skirmishers around, sometimes an elephant can hold a whole flank all by itself, against the AI anyway.
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Re: The Crisis of 100 BC and the Lollian Revolt - an AAR using a Tides of Conquest campaign

Post by Nijis » Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:05 am

Year of hard campaigning have taken their toll, and Lollius Candidianus - though only in his middle 40s - realizes his time as leader of the Ionian Republic is limited. His victories however have raised his Stature to the point that he is being offered the chance to adopt far-reaching reforms. Every civilization in the game has a repertoire of institutions known to its historians, but sometimes you can attempt to implement new ideas, or ideas from another culture, and thus expand your own civilization's repertoire. In this way, even a short-lived realm can leave its mark on history.

Here, Lollius is given the option of passing laws that limit debt. As he is a populist, he'll usually get the chance to implement populist ideas, known as Institutions. Monarchs and aristocrats have their own sets of Institutions. Adopting a Institution can be controversial and cause various political complications, but we'll take the risk.
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Below are the existing institutions of the Ionian Republic, and the bonuses they bring. We inherited a number of the Institutions of the Roman Republic, but we're a simpler society still and have fewer active maluses from Instability - Factionalism, Inequality and Corruption. However, we also have much less inequality. Keeping a realm afloat is often a race between adopting new Institutions and rising Instability.
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Re: The Crisis of 100 BC and the Lollian Revolt - an AAR using a Tides of Conquest campaign

Post by Nijis » Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:12 am

A new state has emerged next to us, the Mermnads, reviving the legacy of old Lydia. (They'll use the Kappadokian army, if we fight.) The Mithridatids, meanwhile, are not keeping their truce. Moesia, a former Roman ally that has aligned with us, is tasked to keep an eye (Defend order) on the Mithridatids. Meanwhile, we're going for broke against the Romans, launching a Difficulty 5 Conquer attempt against Epirus. Lollius Candidianus probably only has a few years of campaigning left, and we want to grab what we can.
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Re: The Crisis of 100 BC and the Lollian Revolt - an AAR using a Tides of Conquest campaign

Post by Nijis » Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:23 am

The map generator graced me with a nice steep hill, and at Difficulty level 5, I have no compunctions about turtling and trying to goad the AI into an attack.
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Re: The Crisis of 100 BC and the Lollian Revolt - an AAR using a Tides of Conquest campaign

Post by Nijis » Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:37 pm

With the lake and the hill anchoring our flank, we were able to channel the bulk of the enemy into a half-circle where we take advantage of the occasional flanking opportunities to win the legionary slugfest. The main fight is going on at the top of the screen and you can't see the pond, but here's our right flank holding tough. Final score 53-22. Hopefully the spoils of victory will get us a foothold in Italy.
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Re: The Crisis of 100 BC and the Lollian Revolt - an AAR using a Tides of Conquest campaign

Post by SteveD64 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:44 pm

Looks nice!

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Re: The Crisis of 100 BC and the Lollian Revolt - an AAR using a Tides of Conquest campaign

Post by Nijis » Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:01 am

Thanks! How's the 30 Years War campaign game coming along?

***

It was a great victory in Epirus, but the Romans launched attacks into Macedonia and Phrygia, defeating Lollius's subordinate generals. Ultimately Epirus fell to the Ionian Republic, but it was much less than could be expected.

Lollius Candidianus is only 48 but is beginning to feel the effects of a lifetime of campaigning. He walks stiffly, slowed by old wounds that never fully healed (vitality 22). What will become of his dream of a more equitable republic when he dies? When he marched triumphantly into Athens a few years back, he could not help but think back on the fate of that democracy, its rise, its transformation into an empire, its betrayal of its ideals, and its ultimate fall. Now, returning from the Epirus campaign, he sits beneath the Parthenon and wonders whether he did right 20 years ago to raise the standard of revolt against the Senate.
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But he cannot wait too long. The Optimates and their armies are on the march. Lollius launches another Difficulty 5 attack, this time on the Senatorial hold out in the Peloponnese, while our new Moesian allies are ordered to keep an eye on the Mithridatids and other armies watch the new Lydian kingdom.
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