From the beginning This is a multi part series, which transferred from Vassal play to live play for the final 4 or 5 years.
The year opens with a Numdian Revolt, and the siege that has been going on for several years now still failing to break the Punic mercs stationed there. Each year the Carthagiians sneak forces in, and each year attrition, wipes them out.
Now however the internal defense number or IDS is low enough to allow for a potential assault.
What will Carthage do? What can they do to stem the tide? What is their strategy for victory?
Rome wipes out enemy forces in Corsica. This was a a dumb move. If we had left forces there then the Carthaginians would not have received an upcoming modifier that places them in Aggressive mode politically. This is potentially horrible for the Romans.
Depending on what Cartho does with that advantage. As Rome we shall need to keep them on the back foot the entire time until Phase two of the plan secures Corsica and Sardinia in total. The good news is with the modifier the Punic side is unlikely to want to land troops in either Island!
Numidian Revolt causes minor annoyance for Carthage.
Rome hacks at the Defenses, and places navies in the port area to reduce the DRM for siege attrition. Two Punic Armies are trapped in Lilybaeum. The Field consul has a relatively weakened army from siege attrition, and the inability to raise reinforcements. But Carthage does not attack or sally.
The Punic Armies lose 8 steps to siege attrition. Their combined armies are down to 6 SP. It might be time to risk an assault.
Hiero and Rome attempt to keep the large fleet in Lipara bottled up as best we can.
Chit sequence really makes a huge impact and is a nail biter as you roll thru turns.
This foils most efforts to ‘plan, your siege then assault’ timetable.
In 252 BC,
Carthage sends 12 more SP to the besieged town, Rome manages to get a whopping 4 SP reinfrocements. The Sentators are assholes.
The Romans finally man up and go for the assault open with an assault and take a hard loss, but succeed in the assault. Lilybaeum falls on a 4:1 attack.
Now is where we realize we can secure the win.
Which is also when we realize we cannot due to some dumb moves. # 1 we need control of Lipara and Melita, and we need military control. Plus all the work done in the North requires us to have troops garrison not just political control. We realize this AFTER disbanding the army in Sardinia.
A fleet and a 2 SP land unopposed in Melita. This locks up that isolated location.
Carthage is made aware of its troubles. They immediately sail for Agrigentum and storm the city.
That siege has to hold long enough for Rome to secure the military locations and capture Lipara. Now it’s a race against time!
While not expecting a win the Field Consul launches an attack, the likely best thing would be a major defeat as it would boost troop raising chances, as weird as that sounds…. The attack is brutal, with 30% losses and 20% for Carthage. This is not bad enough to warrant the DRM on troop raising. Damn it!
Agrigentum falls to Carthage assault and Rome responds with movement to that area hoping to invest the city again.
Aemilius, is a man among women. He sails for Lipara with troops, storming the beaches. No Cartho troops there mean he easily takes control. He will quickly set sail after leaving a garrison and sail for Tyndaris to lock up more cities with troops to prevent the Punic Army scattering forces everywhere.
It is however not all beer and skittles. The Fifth Consular Army sets sail , scatters and is lost at sea with a full consular army on board. Romes seamanship is lacking….
The Carthage navy attacks Hieros fleet inflicting 25% loss for a 15% loss of their own.
Rome raises 2 legions and places the AL force in Sardinia securing one of the cities.
Both sides pause to recover from prior battles.
249 BC Rome sieges Agrigentum.
M. Atlius and his brother Claudius siege Agrigentum, under strict orders not to fail!
Rome disbands a broken CA, but cannot raise more troops!
249 BC, the turns run rapidly now as all is focussed upon Sicily.
Amelius attacks with his naval force around Lipara killing 1 Punic squadron in exchange for 2 of their own.
In 249 BC the Romans assault Agrigentum and take 40% losses, and lose the assault. This weakens the Punic Army, but they hold on!
In 248 BC
They lick their wounds, and plan another attack after taking a modest amount of reinforcement. Siege attrition however finishes the job for Rome who was preparing for another final assault in the new year.
Thus an auto victory for Rome.
Rome accepts Carthage’s gracious surrender. I think I can speak for Tony as well as myself and say we thoroughly enjoyed this experience. It clocked in at about 30 hours. I think if we turned around and played again right away it would be more like 25 hours tops. Until one side sees a clear path to victory there is a lot of bet hedging going on. It is really not until you can get inside the other players Operational decision making cadence that you can drive the game to a conclusion. The game system also has some curve balls that bear thinking about in terms of timing of success for both sides.
Look for a video discussion about this game play and the system in general. I have some follow up thoughts now that I’ve played 4 campaigns or more.