Roma rediviva


A Rome Total War, Barbarian Invasion AAR

AAR (after action report) e un gen de literatura ce se bazeaza pe experienta personala din timpul unui joc si e o .. dramatizare a mersului jocului. Daca cineva nu intelege regulile jocului … ma poate intreba 😀

 Jocul simulează lumea mediteraneeană după moartea lui Iulian Apostatul și împărțirea Imperiului în Vest și Est. Am ales să merg cu partea Vestică (cea mai dificilă, la nivelul maxim de dificultate). Imaginile sunt din joc, regulile sint ale jocului. Fără a cunoaște detaliile jocului e un pic mai dificil de a înțelege unele mișcări sau greutatea unor decizii dar…rămâne parfumul de istorie recreată. O mare parte din personaje sunt istorice (Valentinianus, Gratianus, etc). E în engleză pentru că a fost postat pe un forum specific, în limba engleză. Cu roșu intens sunt provinciile pe care le am în stăpânire. Cu violet su

Sper să vă placă 😀

House rules: Settings VH/VH, no lifting FOW, Vanilla, no settlements ceded and recapturing those lost is a priority, center town and bridge battles allowed, religion isn’t an issue except for better governing, sometimes I will use English, sometimes Latin words for the same name (like duke and dux).

Favorite layout for armies – long line of heavy infantry, beside them archers, the third line is made up of cavalry (I used it to countercharge in the middle, breakthrough the advancing line of enemy and push hard to the enemy general). I try to have uniform troops (only comitatenses or only plumbatarii) and retrain them as quick as possible. One of my biggest concern is to spare my army and to use crack troops. Sometimes you will notice glitches, surviving generals. That is due to CTD’s . There aren’t many but they are. Most of the time settlements are auto managed (except for recruitments and when I need to focus the building plans). I do not care too much for my generals, they tend to get many stars because they fight a lot and I try to keep the field armies to a minimal size, using strategic strikes to cripple enemies.

It is my first AAR so bear with me….

So, it begins…

After the death of Julian, our beloved emperor, the army asked for the empire to be halved, in order to be better governed…

Bad decision… Almost everywhere discontent and religious warfare break loose…

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I, Iulius Flavius, a remote kin of Julian, start today a new history… that of the western part of the empire… At least it isn’t called roman for nothing, our emperor, Valentinian, moved the capital to Rome… and… nominated me for his private secretary. Not a bad job, because I am in the heart of the empire…. and what news we get….

Rebellions everywhere… We loose money like a drunken legionary… Speaking of… A lot of unuseful foederati. Costly and ineffective. I suggested to be disbanded. The emperor accepted in a blink of an eye. And added: the strength of Rome stays in its citizens, in its legions, not in foederati or other barbarians….So, I started sending letters everywhere…. Those barbarians can use a plough, not a sword. We, romans, have to wield swords and spears… But getting rid of them it isn’t a easy job. Most of them swell the cities and do nothing, except rebel…

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I haven’t even sealed some of the scrolls when messages came about rebellions… all over the country. The count Felix (a nephew of the great finance comes of Julian with the same name) came in hurry: Imperator, if we do not cut our expenses we will have nothing to pay for legions and to maintain public order… In the same second came a messenger from the bishop of Rome: Imperator, Julian thought of us, Christians, to be the lowest of the lowest. You, as a Christian Emperor, should give us priority!

I watched the emperor face. He was a wrathful man. But he stopped himself and said nothing. Then answered: in my reign there will be no prosecution for religion. Everyone should be free to chose what and who to worship. No religion is my priority! My only priority are MY LEGIONS! and he shouted: Count Felix, from now on no more pay for provincial barracks, stables and so on. Disband the navy, those marines we can use in armor on land and keep a very tight leash on the expenses. Every one must be approved by me. As for the empire, we will start investing in two things – army and trade. Count Felix, I count on you!

And count Felix started to cut those leaks of the treasury…..

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Half a year has passed… The emperor orders were obeyed…. But with a harsh price…. Thousands of citizens are killed by soldiers. Even soldiers die… But they do not die in vane…

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At least the treasury is on the good side (I suspect Valentinian appropriated some of the fortunes of those killed… Nobody dared to complain). Yet he spared some denarii to construction. I do not know on what he did spent those denarii. He do trust me but not that much.

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And, which is more important, we do what good romans do! Kill barbarians…

Marcus, a good general and a kin to the emperor, was trusted with some legionaries and some border guards to advance deep in Alemanni forests. We didn’t forgot how they reacted when Julian died. They must be punished for that. So, Marcus started quick (and took some of Gratian’s army… Oh, what a loss Gratian. An excellent but so melancholic general….) and laid siege to Vicus Alemanni. He was told to be cautious but… a gambler is always a gambler… He is trying to break the power of alemanni with one single blow… Oh, Julian, where are you?

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-Domine, domine!! A slave comes to me in hurry. Domine, veni! The emperor is feeling very bad….

I rushed to the Emperor Palace…There I saw the full tragedy….

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Four of the best provinces were in full revolt and nobody could do a thing. The wrath of the emperor was so great and didn’t let him to utter no words and he couldn’t move his left side…. A lot of doctors where tending him but to no use. With his final efforts he pointed to his heir and then we all mourned him… Even if he was almost every time angry, he was a good emperor.

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364. Spring. The loss of the emperor is big loss for the republic. Four of our big and fertile provinces are lost in hand of traitors and so called emperors… At least they have no armies, the new emperor, Servius, is holding the army with a tight grip. And, which is best, he entrusted Marcus to keep the offensive on the Alemanni. Oh, I forgot to mention. Our new emperor is already in Spain, to recapture those provinces and to behead the traitors… And I am here, as a count for Italy and a private secretary to him. I asked him for a bargain: we could give Salona to our eastern brothers (we have no troops and no money – the rebels have bled our treasury and snatched all the denarii from every treasury, including from temples and churches… Our pagan brothers care less but the Christians utter many foul words. They say that bones of their sacred men were dug out, cut in pieces and sold in auctions, just to raise money… It is a good suggestion. We will try to do the same but in a quieter mode.. We need money too…).

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Count Felix come with dire news… Even if our eastern brothers send us 5000 denarii for Salona… we loose money. The Emperor will not be pleased…

So, in summer he ordered a full assault on the Alemanni. Marcus, aided by Gratian, mounted a final blow on the citadel of the Germans…

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He had with him three comitatenses and four archer cohorts.. That is because every foederati has been disbanded. He asked them to stay home in order, we will rise again but… Eh, at least they got home with no equipment…

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He has to face the leader of the alemanni and some heavy cavalry commanded by a noble tribesman but at least just 2 cohorts of spearmen levies and some 3 cohorts of archers. It appears that the late emperor caught the barbarians unguarded and a final blow to their power might be inflicted now…

Marcus harangues his troops than orders a brutal onslaught. No mercy is to be given and, frankly, no mercy is asked. Those barbarians do not know how to fight but they know how to die…

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They broke through the wooden walls and started killing every German they meet in the way. The end is clear. But with heavy losses. Suomar, with his bodyguards, put up a fierce resistance. Our legionaries seems to forget how their ancestors fought with Caesar… Never mind, we will teach them again.

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At least the alemanni will trouble us no more… We killed them until we could not kill them more… The rest were happy to be relocated in Italy and some in Britain… Speaking of… In spite of my cautioness, the emperor ordered to the dux Britannia, Placus, to lead an offensive in the north. To clear the country of ravaging Celts.
Placus happily obeyed, even if he had just one cohort of comitatenses and one alae of sarmatians. He gathered some more border guards and some archers and to north he marched! At least his limitanei are quite experienced, having served along the Hadrian wall…

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He was met by two armies, one just landed from a far away island and the other from their stronghold Dal Raida, led by one of their top nobles…

But it was a bad day for them…

Due to fog their lord simply lost his way…

Our men laughed at it and simply slaughtered the Celts who charged them uphill. There were no history to tell, just hacking and slashing Celts… Their remnants were crushed under the hooves of our cavalry…

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In the mean time Servius wasn’t staying. He managed to have a truce with Berber tribes. A good news, we have too many enemies. And he started to recover Corduba. A very good news indeed.

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He also managed to stop the rebellions. Like a miracle, he choose to give games wherever he could  (poor ones but … games. Christians were really shocked. They said it was a barbaric show but… they watched it. And for them there were some churches raised. Their priests, wisely, told to their flock to be quiet. The emperor is not a very kind one). There is peace in the cities of empire.

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Seeing their capital being invested with a siege the rebels, portraying themselves as roman rulers, proposed a … peace!

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Servius, hearing such nonsense, just beheaded the envoys. This started a nickname for him – Servius the Executioner. Good. We need a strong emperor. I send, with emperor’s approval, a young men, Spurius Flavius, to Aquincum. The emperor wants to use Pannonia as a fortress against the barbarians. I walked with him on his leaving few steps outside the walls of Rome. I pointed to those walls and tell him to remember: when Rome had no wall nobody dared to enter in Italy… Hard legions were Rome walls, legions lead by true Romans. He smiled at me: I am young but I am learned. And I have listened to your father’s stories about Julian and his prowess in war. I will not fail to do my duty. It is a remote province and around it lurks so many barbarians… Trust me, I will rather die than abandoning it. Seeing him so determined I almost saw a consul of the old… But I added: Rome doesn’t need dead heroes. She needs live and victorious ones. Please remember that!

The good news is that vandals and Huns have started to kill each other. The bad news is that they are still coming towards us… And there are rumors that the sarmatians are running from them. They even placed under  Roxolani rule. But I doubt that this will help them….

Since we have no source (and our eastern brother are quite quiet, I do not know why) I can send not even a report to the emperor. Just rumors. I still do not know how to handle Italy. Half is Christian, half is pagan. The Christian half is quieter but has no warriors. The other half is full of martial prowess but…I have no money to raise even a legion. I kept only a shadow of our navy (some in Sicily, to convey to Carthage the three comitatenses cohorts left there – I fear the worst and Sicily isn’t on any danger and that’s it). Pirates started to roam on western shores. At least they aren’t blocking our ports. Yet. Besides, the brothers from east maintain a big navy so at least Mare Nostrum is clear of piracy.

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Count Felix, despite being in his thirties, is already with grey hair. The treasury, despite the rich prey from Allemanni, is still in debt. Severus ordered to not melt old denarii and mint new ones, with less gold in them. He said: An emperor must be above such a dirty trick. If we ask our taxes in good denarii we must pay in good denarii too! So we cannot pay new troops or fond commerce. At least our men fight well, the emperor is leading them well.

366. A bad spring. Now I know why we had no news from Constantinople….

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Their emperor, Valens, brother to our late Valentinian, started the war with us in order to restore Gratian, his nephew. His is utterly unaware that Gratian doesn’t want to be emperor!! We send the best diplomats to him to appease him. It is no use (I think he just tries to be the only emperor, like Julian…)

However, Servius is confident. He trusts his generals and he hopes that the easterners will not fight that hard… Why we fight against us always? Brothers should not kill brothers… They are richer, they have no rebels and they fight only with Sapor, the leader of sassanids. They can recruit legions from nowhere and throw against us. I learned from a rich merchant that they are trying to match Sassanid’s heavy armored horsemen… That is bad news. My father fought alongside Julian in Persia. Those cataphractarii and clibanarii are deadly in full charge and almost unstoppable. Only our auxilia palatina are able to withstand such a charge….

Meanwhile, in northern Britannia, Placus is killing many more Celts…

His Celtic rival, the noble Drest, has a problem. Even if his brothers mounted a new offensive… he lost again his path through fog and … never came to battle.

In every villa in Britannia his story is told and retold. Placus himself is unable to to resist to the joke the legionaries tell at the dawn of each battle: “Oh, it is fog? Quick, let’s send a guide to Drest, maybe now he will met us on battlefield…!” There is no need for a battle cry, our laughter are enough to drive the Celts crazy….

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Nevertheless, the feeble reinforcements they sent are merciless slaughtered…

In the mean time Servius captured Corduba. Those rebels regretted the day when they thought that the empire is a cake for everybody. The river of blood and the corpses dragged through it streets were a brutal example how the emperor is handling rebels… Curiously, that prompted even a fierce resistance everywhere.

But no new cities rebelled. Those who are in our hands are firmly kept.

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However few money were found here… Servius smelled something and ordered all the other rebel provinces to be well sieged.

It seems that the eastern emperor had something to do with it. But we have no money to pay for investigations….

The good news is that our commerce is improving day by day. We still have no money (Felix is now white….. a strange man…white in his thirties….) but he, somehow, pulled a great trick. We have left in treasury 91 denarii at the end of the year… And, which is more important, he invested around 12 thousands denarii in ports, repairing roads, building markets and forums…. For him a merchant is worth more than a cohort.

He is a financial genius… The best part it is that he staunchly denied any of his beloved denarii to be spent on new troops. The emperor was a little upset but he understood well that legions costs and without an empire to support them, they will disband… However in year 367 there are more stories to tell….

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