Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

A mix of deep gameplay and rich historical flavor, Aggressors: Ancient Rome lets you relive history as the ruler of one of the mighty civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean. Choose one of twenty available factions and conquer the world.
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Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:16 pm

Carthage is one of the bigger countries in the game at start, perhaps big and powerful enough for me as a relative beginner to take on the Romans in the Punic Wars. Maybe.

I have gained permission from Slitherine to post this AAR. Please note that I sometimes use jpg screenshots, at 80% quality, due to file size limitations in the forum. The game's actual graphics are MUCH better than that.

The start screen:
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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:42 pm

Carthagenian territory is so vast, and its cities so scattered that when zoomed in, I'll have to show it segments.

The capitol is Carthago, and that is where the most developed part of the empire exists. Elsewhere, it is clear that the country was settled in piecemeal, with trading cities dotted along the coasts of the Western Mediterranean Sea.
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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:54 pm

Sicily, where Carthage is in contention with the Epirans/Greek city states like Syracuse. Note on all the map screens that Carthage knows about all of the Mediterranean and Black Sea coastal geography, due to its wide-ranging commercial exploits, but the only parts of the map where details are shown for other countries is where Carthage has its naval or land forces.

The second screenshot shows the same area with fog ON. I prefer fog OFF.
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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:00 pm

[don'tcknow why some screenshots are appearing twice; probably pilot error]

Western African and southern Spain possessions (zoomed out), Numidia is not one of the game factions, but it represents local peoples who have not been assimilated yet within the empire:
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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:37 pm

South of the capitol area is the mostly unsettled region of Syrtes.
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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:57 pm

Throughout the game I'll consult the State Window. Some of the sub-screens here have their own hot-buttons on the main map window. And there are F-keys also for some of them.

A quick glance proves that Carthage is indeed a large country with a big population, and it has already achieved 60% of its winning conditions, with respect to possible territorial expansion, technological advances, and development.

The birth rate 'subsidy' is currently low, meaning that the government is not granting much from stored hordes of grain, not sponsoring much in the way of public projects to support a larger populace, and any other means of encouraging population growth through resource expenditures. It is critically important for me to keep a watch on such expenditures of gold, wood, coal, and stones especially.
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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:15 pm

A classy feature of the game is it's graphical access to detailed info on the empire as opposed to using spreadsheets. The only list in the game that I can recall offhand is the trades window, showing all current trades.

The Strategic Map is an example of how I can get all kinds of info on the Carthagenian Empire. Here's the city view on the strategic map.
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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:22 pm

Where are my troops?

I can find them easily on the strat map, and I can use the filters to determine which are trained for city raiding, which have extra defense training, etc.

I see my best trained forces, trained and equipped mercenary swordsmen are located in Sicily, where war with Epirus is ongoing.
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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:37 pm

Unit info; the trireme fleets represent many ships, sailors, and marine boarding units. They can also transport a land unit.
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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:00 pm

Back to the State Window, I check the current Political Map.

War is ongoing with Massilia, a rival commercial city state in the western Med. And with Epirus, whose king has unwisely come to the aid of the Greek city states in Sicily and southern Italy. That puts Epirus at odds with both Rome and Carthage.
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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:10 pm

On obvious objective in the early moves for Carthage is to kick the Epirans out of Sicily and bring those Greek city states there under Carthagenian soveriegnty.

I go back to the State Window and select the Objectives window. Lo and behold, conquering Sicily is a suggested objective. 'Suggested' is the keyword, as the game does not require the player to follow any objectives. However, there may be rewards for achieving them. A critical point - in most cases, both the objective conditions and the rewards are NOT STATED. This is a game of recreating a plausible history, or a fantasy history, not checking off a list of specific goals.

An objective like building a wall around Carthago is indeed objective, but what does it take to complete the 'populate Syrtes' objective? I have to find out, if I wish to pursue that.

There are actually two ways to look at my objectives - from the state window I get a textual overview; from the main map, if I click on the objectives icon, I get a graphic representation of a geographical goal. Here I've combined the two.
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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:33 pm

266 BC

Ten years in, and it's been a struggle. Primarily a struggle against hubris.

Carthage is great, it is huge, it is bold - and we just lost all our Sicilian holdings because we thought we were powerful and could crush the Epirans. Early battles were successful as we marched across the island, but then Epiran forces emerged from their fortifications in Messena and Syracuse, and proceeded to march us right off the island.

At sea our triremes sailed far away to the Epiran homeland, hoping to destroy the enemy's fleet - only to be destroyed by storms.

In a panic at the news of these disasters, the Council of Elders looked to the treasury to raise more troops, build another fleet - and it was bare.

At this point it was vital to step back and take stock. How could Carthage be so great and rich, and yet right now so weak and poor. The answer is how poorly the various parts of the empire connect - roads are few, sources of iron, stone, and gold are reachable only by cross-country caravans, the cities need to develope trade and industry. Unless the nation's infrastructure is built and the flow of commerce brings gold into the coffers, there will be further defeats.
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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:00 pm

The Romans have just made multiple landings near Carthage, they have destroyed my fleet, and have been raiding my trade caravans.

My empire is in a state of collapse, with rebellions throughout the land, unhappiness everywhere, gold and coal always in low supply, general malaise in the army - which refuse my orders more often than not.

The road to collapse started when the Council of Elders decided to address the general unhappiness of the people with a glorious war. Massiilia's Iberian lands seemed an easy target, as it was already under attack by Rome in Gaul. Massilia's capitol had even been moved to Spain. Landing three melee infantry directly from Africa onto the border of Massilia, we gave notice that our peace treaty was henceforth null and void, then the next year we invaded. Marching across their lands, we took their capitol and a second city. News of the victories started to raise morale across Carthage. The march continued to the gates of Massilia's new capitol, deep in the interior of Iberia ... only to be stymied by a river. We had no engineering capability and could not cross to attack the city, leaving our army in limbo. It could not go forward, it was deep in enemy territory, already at reduced strength, and it was announced that pay was to be reduced. The coffers of Carthage were again quite bare.

Not only did the army refuse to take orders, but so did the mighty fleet, which proceeded to rot on the Iberian coast. At that very point in time, Rome declared war on our staunch Brothers in Arms, the Galleici Tribes, and we were suddenly in a much bigger fight than we had bargained for.

Carthago is going to fall ....
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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:01 pm

202

Five years after the Romans entered Carthago, the site of the once proud city is once again in our hands. The Romans ruined the city. It's population fell from 6 to 1 over the four years of its captivity, and now in the final battle for its recapture the Romans vengeance is complete. Nothing but the foundations remain.

The Council of Elders now sits in Iberia, but has ordered the refounding of Carthago - if we can get enough settlers willing to return there in time, before the very foundations dissolve into dust.

The war goes on. Roman forces have taken Sardinia, have invaded the Balaeric Islands, and Corsica. But the Carthagenian people are rallying. Happiness has risen to before unseen heights because of our advances in Africa.
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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by Matto » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:43 pm

Looks like hard fighting ... how many units you had?

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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:50 pm

Matto wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:43 pm
Looks like hard fighting ... how many units you had?
Most were concentrated taking back Carthago, but have a few units in Spain, Numidia, and Syrtes. One of the elements of the game design I like most is that it has realistic limits on numbers of military units, based on the number of citizens in the cities and surrounding tiles, from which to draw up manpower. Building too many units takes too many citizens away from productive activities, and can lead to lower morale, unrest, even local rebellion.
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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by Matto » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:24 pm

Great, thanks ... and is possible disband some units back to cities when war is over?

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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:54 pm

Yes, they can be disbanded. I haven't actually tried to go back to the original city before disbanding to see if that immediately increases the pop of that city. I'll try at some point. To tell you the truth, so far in my play I've mostly found uses for whatever units I've built. Currently inactive troops are very useful as city guards on the borders, to maintain loyalty and general happiness. Or they can undergo training.

However I have on occasion, where I didn't manage the economy properly, had to downsize due to upkeep problems.

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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:59 am

164 BC political map

Athens has grown enormously, the Ptolemys have held strong, and Carthage has ... survived. Rome has taken all our island territories, with the exception of Sicily which is the home away from home for the Epirans.

It's been a 30 year tale of holding on 'by the hair of my chinny chin chin,' with constant Roman depredations into Africa. Well, the eastern part of my holdings, really. A plague devastated Tunisia and Syrtes also, depopulating about 7 cities. At that point the eastern-most city went over to the Ptolemies, through influence.

Carthago, my erstwhile capitol, is on its THIRD reincarnation. It was refounded in 195, only to be abandoned by its citizens when the Romans invaded nearby. Almost immediatey it was refounded for the 2nd time, and has begin to grow again. It has held on against subsequent waves of Roman attacks for almost 20 years now, with the rest of Carthage sending troops there constantly.

Through all the thirty years of crisis, Iberia and western Carthage have remained backwaters. Now, with the devastation in the east, the backwaters have actually become the very heart of the empire. (unfortunate mixed metaphors)

Gold and coal have remained scarce, and are the perennial object of trade schemes.
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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:03 am

137

The end is nigh. After a brief 4 year peace with Rome, in which I was pulling in 30 gold a year in trades with them, they declared war again.

They attack everywhere, in seemingly inexhaustible numbers. Unfortunately my two Brothers in Arms, the Iberian and Galleici Tribes, have not lifted a finger to help me. The Galleici made some warlike moves, but have never actually engaged in combat.

It is rumored that Rome has reached 92% of its victory conditions. Well that was really old news, from ten years ago, so maybe they're closer now.

With all my cities but one down to 1 population, I can't build any more troops.
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