Manlius Vulso took the vestment of office from the hands of Aquilius. Cornelius Scipio did the same with his new role as Praetor Urbanus. They had ensured that strong men would lead this year. Servilius Gemius Took charge of the First consular Army and immediately sought to raise the Fifth Legion.
War rumors raced thru Rome. The grain dispensation was suspended, and the Second Consular Army was reformed in Rome. Soon for sure everyone guessed they would head for Rhegium to fulfill the destiny of Rome.
The Council members ended the debate. With Gisgo absent they pressed for pacification not war. Surely they clamoured we are now safe from Rome? It has been 2 years. Do they not see our peaceful ways? The medicore Hilico is sent to be overall commander of the Carthaginian forces in Massana.
Gisgo rode down the ramp to the bustling port.
Another year had gone by without Rome attacking. The combined might of Hilico and Hiero’s armies prevented an outright landing to attack Massana.
Squadrons of ships were now in place around the Seas the influenced all trade for Rome. Slowly as the prices for goods went up, and the hunger increased in the poor the Senate could ignore it no longer.
Emissary’s were sent to meet with Gisgo.
Knowing Romes threat of violence to be as empty as the Summer sea breeze, Gisgo entertained and lavished the Emissary. Would Carthage cease hostilities and re open ports and trade routes? Of course!
Would Rome assent to stronger ties economically? Of course! Will the Romans plan any expansions North of Rome not South, and Carthage stay South of Rhegium? Why not!
It would be Peace then, brought about economically, with little loss of life. A win for the people.
The stiff penalties on both sides that hinder military growth with the Fall of Massana into Carthages hands are brutal. It tends to keep the Punic Army small, and the mood cautious. While simultaneously preventing Legions from being easily raised.
At one point Rome only had one Consular Army and struggled to raise that.
The assessment of Rome not to press even a poorly placed attack upon a weaker city such as Panormous or Depranum was a major contributing factor to the Naval Auto Victory. This Auto Victory condition is important as it forces the Roman player to not attempt to hunker down in the Boot of Italy and build armies. They must engage and take a port to prevent the win, most easily achieved in Sicily. The Carthage player made sure that 2 or more fleets sat ready to intercept at all times to mkae the perceived cost of running the gauntlet to one of the two ports high.
As time advanced and it was clear that the Magonids were not going anywhere or endorsing any aggressive stances, the ONLY chance was a Naval win. IF the Carthage Army left Massana, in 260, then either it or Syracuse would be at risk from invasion by the Romans. But with the bulk of his army roaming the fields of Massana Carthage did not have much to fear from a landing via the straights. I had hoped to take an army to Corsica and ‘militarily control’ the Island and drive a win that way. Similary at one point Capua was left weak;y defended and was craving a savaging. But the risks were too high. If Massana fell then Hieros forces would be lost to the Magonids.
We made some mistakes along the way, but managed to pick many of them up, and rectify the situations in general or at least not that for next time we would be aware. There are a dizzying number of layers of rules and manner of conducting business that need to be kept straight, for Siege attrition, Inertia attrition, Battles, City Assaults, moving across Straits etc etc. A very interesting experience.
How good is it?
Well we reset the board and round 2 is under way!