Soderini
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A different kind of Rome - an AJE Sertorius beta AAR

Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:06 pm

Part I: Introduction

Quintus Sertorius was one of the leaders of the Populares during the war between them and the Optimates, in the aftermath of the First Mithridatic War. After the collapse of the Populares cause, Sertorius got himself a command in Hispania, one which was never acknowledged as such by the Optimates. Apart from a military campaign in North Africa, Sertorius would remain in Hispania in the years that followed, slowly gaining influence with the local tribes until he finally was accepted as their leader. Sertorius set out to turn Hispania into a second Rome, a republic build upon Roman principles and culture, upon the Roman immigrants, but also on the support and military prowess of the Iberian, Lusitanian and Celtic tribes that were to be found in Hispania. After all, if the Barcids had turned Hispania in their private empire - and a powerful at that! - why couldn't a resourceful and determined Roman do the same.

The year is 72 BC, Sertorius has been in power for several years and the Roman Republic is in trouble. It has not only to deal with a rogue Roman in Hispania, Mithridates, king of Pontus, might very soon declare war once more, and in the south, the slaves appear restless. Still, there is hope, for although Sulla is death, Pompeius Magnus seems to be his equal and is a staunch supporter of the rightful order and of the Senate. Perhaps it is time Pompeius went to Hispania to restore order...

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Blue is the territory under control of Sertorius. Note that the Roman still cling on to the south of the peninsula.

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The objectives are clear: take control of all important cities in Hispania, and Massilia. That should break the Roman will to resist Serorius of either forming his own state or of either granting him and the other proscibed mercy.
As the forces we have at our disposal to accomplish this:

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The Sertorian forces are a mix of local tribal units and some Roman legions. Sertorius himself has two legions at his disposal, while Perrenna, another outlaw that has been forced by his soldiers to join Sertorius, has another two. Hirtuleius and Hispaniensis command a sizeable force of local forces. They will come in play later on. As for now, the main target is Metellus Pius, appointed by the Senate as proconsul. With more Romans on the march in our direction, it is imperative to take him and his legions out as soon as possible. Sertorius therefore will march south to Oretania, while Perpenna will march on Carthago Nova and then join Sertorius.

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Laruku
General of the Army
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Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:32 pm

What about Pompeius? He's knocking at your doors!

Boomer
Lieutenant Colonel
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Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:02 pm

This one will be interesting to watch. I'm curious to see how well Sertorius can do in this scenario.

Soderini
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:45 am

Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:07 pm

Part II: Beginnings

As Pompeius and multiple legions are on their way to Hispania, the best way of action was deemed to deal with Metellus Pius as quickly as possible, hopefully eliminating his four legions before the infotainments would arrive. First step was to send Perpenna and his two legions to Sertorius. However, that meant passing by Cartago Nova, the capital Barcid Hispania and strongly fortified (in game terms, it is a level 3 fortress). Furthermore, one of Metellus' legions was in the area. Sertorius would march with his army to Oretania, blocking, hopefully, an advance of Metellus into Sertorian territory, while Perpenna is marching.

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Perpenna's advanced was checked by Thorius and his legion. The battle went well and Thorius retreated. The way for Perpenna to join with Sertorius was now open, or he could choose to siege Carthago Nova. While the first appraoch would enable Sertorius to attack with four legions, the second option might eventually give the renegades a strategic very important city, a strong fortress and control over one of important roads.

Units:
As is clear from my ponderings above, the legion is the building block of Roman armies in AJE and is as such somewhat comparable to brigades or divisions in other Ageod-games. A legion has multiple cohorts, but also cavalry and the very core which makes them into a very versatile unit: the legatus legionis. This element gives it the ability to construct ballistae, speeding up sieges considerably. To represent their importance, losing a legatus legionis costs you national moral.

Other eye-catchers in the army of Sertorius are his Numidic cavalery, a very experienced unit with the skirmisher ability, and the Iberian warriors, the only unit that comes close to the legions in terms of combat power.

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Soderini
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Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:45 am

Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:11 pm

Part III Perpenna's dilemma

With victory in the battle of Carthago Nova, the two rogue commanders could now join their forces. This would, however, take time, and Sertoius was afraid that Metellus would slip away. Thus he attacked Metellus Pius with two legions and some Iberian allies. On paper, this meant that his opponent was at advantage, being on the defensife and have an extra legion. But Sertorius had proven to be an outstanding commander:

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Not only are Sertoius' stats very high, his traits, surpriser, and Hispannian commander are also an asset in any battle he wages.

By the evening, the Sertorians had every reason to be happy: Metellus' legions had been driven off the field, loosing multiple cohorts. The price for the Sertorians was one cavalry unit and two cohorts. But, while the republic could easily replenish it's forces, the same could not be said off the Sertorian, who, as we shall see, lack the money to do so.

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His victory over Thorius had left Perpenna before the gates of Carthago Nova. However, the real question was what to do now?

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Sertorius was determined to attack Metellus Pius again, even without Perpenn's two legion's. Still, the extra legion's might mean the difference between another victory and the complete destruction of the enemy. In the north, Roman reinforcements had arrived, while the capture of Carthago Nova would mean extra money and a stable base of operations.

And a base they would need, for Pompeius and two legions had arrived at the gates of Sertorius' capital Osca...

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Sir Garnet
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Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:39 am

Soderini wrote:And a base they would need, for Pompeius and two legions had arrived at the gates of Sertorius' capital Osca...

And thereby hangs this common tale - for loss of a capital is a devastating political blow that can undo many feats of military genius (be that capital magnificent Rome or humbler Osca town).

Soderini
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:45 am

Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:55 am

Not in the case of Osca apparently, as you lose some 3 or 4 NM when the Sertorians' capital gets taken.
As this AAR actually gets read, I'll continue the tale. Well, until the point when an update for the beta wiped my save games...

Soderini
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:45 am

Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:56 am

Part IV: Fortuna's Wheel

Having beaten Metellus' forces in open battle once, despite being outnumbered, Sertorius decided on risking another battle. This would hopefully mean the fall of Corduba, the end of Metellus' forces and give room to turn the army north against Pompeius. Meanwhile, Hispanniensis and Priscus would lead their troops against the remaining strongholds in the south, Italica, on the road between Corduba and Cadiz, being the main objective, cutting off the route of retreating republican forces.
Perpenna meanwhile, would continue to siege Cartago Nova. As a result, his forces would not be available in Sertorius' second battle. But given the talent of Sertorius as a commander, that should be no problem.

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However, Fortuna the wheel of fate and mortals have to accommodate to her caprices. As things turned out Sertorius did win the second battle of Corduba, but in such a manner that if the term Phyric victory didn't exist already, it could as well been labeled Sertorian victory:

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We've lost our experienced Numibian cavalry, with no option to replace to them, as well as most of our legionary cohorts. There's no way Sertorius can risk another battle and he will have to retreat to lick his wounds.
Hispanniensis on the other hand stumbled on the remains of Thorius' force and dealt with it, taking Italica in the process.

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Another pleasant surprise was the surrender of Carthago Nova, giving us a stable base on the coast and freeing Perpenna's two legions for actions either against Metellus or against Pompeius.

But, perhaps the most important event of this turn did not happen in Hispania, but on the other side of the Mediterrean: Mithridates has once again declared war on Rome. This means fewer troops in Hispannia and possibly an alliance with Pontus.

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Sir Garnet
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Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:13 am

Only 3-4 NM for loss of Osca seems cheap for an AGEOD game - thinking otherwise dominated my Hispanian strategy as Sertorius. The Numidians are understandably not replaceable if lost, but what of a lost legion? Or the various Galician, Lusitanian and other Iberian troops in the force pool?

Soderini
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:45 am

Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:33 pm

Legions are as far as I know not replaceable, which makes sense as Sertorius has no access to Italia, where the recruits came from. You can buy replacement cohorts though. Losing a legion therefor means a heavy blow. As for the barbarians and even Hispanian auxiliaries and cavalry, you can replace them. Also keep in mind that at the beginning of the scenario, you're at your strongest. Soon, Sertorius will start losing turns with throwing parties (inactive for that turn), and should he get assassinated or die in combat, than you're as good as defeated... Off-topic: that's why I don't think Sertorius is overpowered as things stand now. the roman player just needs to be patient, concentrate forces and exhaust the Sertorians.
Also: money is a serious problem so don't expect to be able to replenish your forces ad infinitum.

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