jimwinsor2
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Pyrrhic Victories AAR (jimwinsor2 vs bob.)

Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:37 pm

OK, here the rematch AAR between myself and Alex (aka bob.). This time we are playing the Pyrrhic Victories scenario, with me as Rome trying to fend off bob. as the Greeks under Pyrrhus.

As with the last game I’m posting these AAR moves with a turn delay, which in this case will be about 12 months. So, both players are free to enter each other’s AAR threads this way, and even comment if they like. [I see now bob. is way ahead of me, with only a 6 month delay. Maybe I will follow suit ...]

Here’s the F7 screen for this scenario:

[ATTACH]22166[/ATTACH]

As you can see, we actually begin the game with most objectives under our control, except for two in Etruria and the southern Greek stronghold of Taras. A few other cities in Samnium of dubious loyalty are listed as uncontrolled, merely because I don’t have a non-militia in garrison there. Hopefully as the game progresses Roman loyalty there will improve past the 50% mark.

Here’s the starting map:

[ATTACH]22167[/ATTACH]

I’m using a new unit description method this AAR [which I get tired of later]. Rather than list each army’s power rating (which honestly, doesn’t really tell you much … last AAR if you notice I went in to battle with large power advantages and lost badly most every time), I’m using a one-letter code system for indicating the composition of each force on the map:

L: Legion
A: Allied legion
c: Cavalry
w: Wagon
H: Heavy infantry (or Hoplite)
P: Phalanx
J: Javelin throwers
s: Slingers
a: Archers
e: Elephants
i: Irregulars

A capital letter indicates a unit is large (5+ elements), while a small letter indicates a small unit (1-4 elements). The color of the letter will indicate its current readiness, based on hits and fatigue losses:

Green: 91-100% of max power
Yellow: 76-90% “ “ “
Orange: 51-75% “ “ “
Red: 50% or below “ “ “

Rome starts with three armies at game start: 2 consular armies in Rome and Naples, and one smaller proconsular army in Spoletum.

My starting leaders are 1) Consul Tiberius Coruncanius in Rome, a 3-2-2 leader with Hated Occupier and Infantryman traits; 2) Consul Publius Valerius Laevinus, a 3-3-2 leader leading the southern army at Naples. He is also a Good Commander (+1 CP) and a Fast Move (+15%); 3) Proconsul Lucius Aemilius Barbela, a 3-2-1 general with the Occupier trait. His army at Spoletium has only one legion each of Romans and allies, but he does have a large elite cavalry contingent merged under a cavalry leader.

Opposing me at start are two enemies, the Greeks (including Pyrrhus and Epirans) in the far south, and the Etruscans in the north. Pyrrhus is a fairly awesome 4-4-5 leader with a whole bunch of nice traits, so, I don’t expect I’ll win too many battles versus him. I do have one key advantage over him though, and that is in replacement costs. Roman heavy infantry replacements cost only 3, while Epiran ones cost 20(!). This means that practically every large battle should be a “Pyrrhic” one for him.

Strategically, my plan at the outset is to deal with the Etruscans first, and rapidly; then turn my combined army south to deal with Pyrrhus and his rather colorful army (made up of Greek phalanxes, mercenaries, slingers, Cretan archers, elepahnts, etc.) So, Barbela will use his Fast Mover trait to move north into Etruria as fast as possible (which is tough, because the weather in Italy is Rain this turn). I will let Pyrrhus do his worst in the south for now.

I also build another Trireme to begin building up my navy (which is no match for the Tarantines). Hopefully I can make a nuisance with what I have; in furtherance of that, we will send our starting triremes on a commerce raiding mission …

We also build three new cavalry units, and supply wagons in Capua and Bovanium to help them resist sieges.

(Incidentally, I’ve noticed a database error in this scenario. Rome begins with a Liburnae unit staffed completely with trireme elements. And I believe the Tarantine navy has similar errors … a Trireme unit comprised entirely of quinqueremes, and vice-versa. This won’t have any impact on play, and is merely a cosmetic problem.)
Attachments
AAR0.jpg
AAR0a.jpg

jimwinsor2
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Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:40 pm

Turn 1 – March 280

We move our forces quickly into Etruria, and lay siege to both Volsinii and Voltarrae. The Etruscans more their army to Populonia, while there is no land movement from the Greeks in the south (as far as I can tell).

Barbula’s army at Volterrae is greatly fatigued after the long mud march from Spoletium, hopefully it will be left alone this turn. Both that army and Laevinus’ army from Naples had to travel separately from their supply wagons to make their moves this turn; they will catch up later.

Did the Tarantine navy leave port? I don’t see any more little blue dots there, so maybe … and to where I’m not sure. I’m guessing Brundisium, which is out of my LOS. This means part of Pyrrhus’ now rested army could perhaps move by sea practically anywhere in range along the Italian coast, something I will have to keep in mind.

For my part, my one Roman navy unit sailed in Passive posture into the Ionian Sea box, to see if it could harass some enemy merchant vessels. Periscopes up! We will go to Attack mode this turn, see what we can find …

[ATTACH]22168[/ATTACH]
Attachments
AAR1.jpg

jimwinsor2
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Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:21 pm

Turn 2 – April 280

We set our fleet in the Ionian sea to Attack posture, but darn it, I forget to uncheck the Avoid Battle setting. So, we’ll try that again next turn.

Laevinius, the active consul for this turn, takes the bulk of the Roman forces at Volsinii and gives the Etruscans at Populonia a good wallop:

[ATTACH]22169[/ATTACH]

The Etruscans rout in disorder to Volterrae, where hopefully Barbula’s smaller force sieging the town can deal with them successfully next turn. In the meantime, Volsinii rather meekly surrenders after one turn of siege.

This is cancelled out by Pyrrhus, who is finally on the move in the south, where he storms my level 1 fort town of Venusia. So, we basically trade victory cities this turn.

Big question now is what to do about Populonia. It’s an port + level 2 fort, so if I try to siege it without a naval blockade I could be here quite a while (I’ve tried this numerous times in solitaire play and it seems you almost never make siege progress in this situation). And any attempt by me to blockade up there will be sunk in no time by the Greek navy. Even though it’s not a victory city, I am worried leaving it in my rear would invite him to send a naval expedition into port there, and land an army. This would defeat the whole purpose of clearing out Etruria first, and avoiding a two-front war. Fortunately, I do have a Siege Engine chit I can play, to knock it down to a level 1 fort, which should solve the problem.

In any case, I can’t dither to long here up north, eventually I will have to try to stop Pyrrhus in the south. I’m purposely avoiding him for now, but I can’t let him rampage forever …

[ATTACH]22170[/ATTACH]
Attachments
AAR2.jpg
AAR2a.jpg

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loki100
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Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:32 am

always great to read a MP AAR from both sides.

Seems sensible to concentrate on one front first and hope to get that under control but as you say it seems that Populonia maybe a permanent threat unless you get lucky with the siege progress
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jimwinsor2
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Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:26 pm

Turn 3 – May 280

Our commerce raiders in the Ionian Sea fail to find the enemy merchants this turn, unfortunately.

Barbula’s proconsular army manages to defeat the retreating Etruscans at Volterrae, routing them further north to their last unbesieged town, Faesulae. Afterwards he’s joined by Coruncanius with his one Allied legion moving north from Volsinii:

[ATTACH]22177[/ATTACH]

Laevinus with the main army plays the Siege Engines chit (which, unfortunately, I think is a one-use-only) on Populonia, getting an oh-so-important breach down to a level 1 fort. He’s not activated this turn, however, so to Assault I will have to detach him and have the army storm the city leaderless.

Pyrrhus marches one space north and storms Maleventium, taking another VP city (and wrecking the walls in the process). This is quite worrisome. I had be hoping he’d concentrate on other southern VP cities like Locri, giving me some time to deal with the north, but it doesn’t look like he’s going to be so obliging. A lunge at Rome is now a possibility, and even though a siege will take a while I’ll have to turn south and deal with it eventually, probably before I’m ready to do so.

He’ll trigger a Dictator most certainly if he does this, however, so that is a major plus for me if he does go further north. Even still, with his leadership and his unbloodied army, he’ll be tough to beat.

I’m running a bit low on funds, so I’ll Requisition money from Rhegium next turn (which I’m probably going to lose soon to an event).

[ATTACH]22178[/ATTACH]
Attachments
AAR3.jpg
AAR3a.jpg

dans221
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Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:11 pm

It's great to read an AAR on both sides. Keep up the great work!

A question: what is this siege engine chit that allows you to knock down Populonia from level 2 to level 1? Is this a permanent effect? And once it's level 1, you can just assault it -- is that right?

jimwinsor2
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Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:31 am

dans221 wrote:It's great to read an AAR on both sides. Keep up the great work!

A question: what is this siege engine chit that allows you to knock down Populonia from level 2 to level 1? Is this a permanent effect? And once it's level 1, you can just assault it -- is that right?


It's not necessarily permanent, no. It just gives a breach, which can then be repaired as per the game's siege resolution system.

Which as we will see, is sadly what will happen in this case ...

jimwinsor2
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Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:33 am

Turn 4 – June 280

A bad turn. Populonia repaired the breach, so, no assault. And probably not ever; a waste of a good siege engine token (which I’m not even sure I get back).

Meanwhile, Pyrrhus stormed Luceria, on the coast to the east. Seems he does not want to close in on Rome (and hence trigger a Dictator).

I’m going to give up on Populonia; like I said before, without a fleet I could be sitting here for years and nothing is likely to happen. Plan is now, to just finish off the Etruscans (except stupid Populonia), then march my combined force against Pyrrhus, and give him a few Pyrrhic victories (and hopefully even a Pyrrhic defeat).

[ATTACH]22193[/ATTACH]
Attachments
AAR4.jpg

jimwinsor2
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Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:36 am

Turn 5 – July 280

The Etruscans evacuated by sea, sneaky sneaky. It also cancelled my move on Faesulae, unfortunately, as I had targeted the Etruscan army as a movement target, instead of the region. As a result, I only moved one province before my move got suspended due to the target being out of reach.

Pyrrhus meanwhile moved south and stormed Croton. It’s clear he wants to move nowhere near Rome so as to avoid a Dictator. As a side result, my hungry raiding fleet had its movement towards there stopped prematurely as well.

All I can do now is finish taking Etruria except for Populonia. By the way, I discovered something fun: My cavalry leader Obsidius begins the game merged with two Italian cavalry units. This turn the force was joined by three newly built cavalry units, and it turns out they can merge with Obsidius as well. In essence, I’ve managed to create a huge “cavalry legion” of 18 elements, all under Obsidius and sharing bonuses. Could come in handy!

[ATTACH]22194[/ATTACH]
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AAR5.jpg

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loki100
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Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:09 pm

jimwinsor2 wrote: By the way, I discovered something fun: My cavalry leader Obsidius begins the game merged with two Italian cavalry units. This turn the force was joined by three newly built cavalry units, and it turns out they can merge with Obsidius as well. In essence, I’ve managed to create a huge “cavalry legion” of 18 elements, all under Obsidius and sharing bonuses. Could come in handy!


in some way, the idea of a Roman general in this era having a clue what to do with cavalry just seems so wrong ... but could well help you with Pyrrhus - not least if you lose should minimise losses on retreat
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jimwinsor2
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Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:15 pm


jimwinsor2
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Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:18 pm

Turn 6 – August 280

There was not too much change from last turn, so I dispensed with the force compositions on this map. They would be the same as last turn.

Faesulae was stormed, and we finally got a breach on Volaterrae. Pyrrhus took Hipontum, and the Greek fleet carrying off the Etruscans escaped to the south somewhere.

We are running low on funds, so will have to Requisition next turn.

[ATTACH]22219[/ATTACH]
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AAR6.jpg

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loki100
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Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:54 pm

this promises to be rather tense, presume you both need to push into the others territory and there isn't a lot of room for manouver
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jimwinsor2
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Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:57 pm

Turn 7 – September 280

A couple of “finallys”: Volaterrae surrenders finally, giving me a morale boost. And my Roman privateers in the Ionian Sea finally sink a merchantman (one EP gained).

It’s time to march south and try to recapture some of my cities in the south. Maybe.

Here’s the deal: Right now I have twice the VPs as the Epirans have, 100 vs 50 exactly. On top of that, I am projected to gain 16 VP a turn vs his 8 a turn. So, should I even bother moving on him, when the strategic situation demands that he try to come at me?

[ATTACH]22235[/ATTACH]

Perhaps my best strategy would be to simply park my army within two zones of Rome*, so he’ll trigger a Dictator if he attacks me. Hmmm …

[*This was clarified after I wrote this in a recent post on the main thread; there are actually some cities beyond two spaces (ie, Maleventum, Neapolis) that are in the Dictator triggering zone, which is good to know]

[ATTACH]22234[/ATTACH]
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AAR7a.jpg
AAR7.jpg

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loki100
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Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:16 pm

does sound as if, in terms of VPs, you are in control. I'd suggest a more aggressive approach but exploit the reality that you do not need to attack so you can force battle when on the defensive?
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jimwinsor2
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Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:50 pm

Turn 8 – October 280

Now that the north is subdued (except for Populonia) the entire Roman army is concentrated at Rome. Everyone is at full strength except for 3 Legio, who are missing their cavalry elements (I have to Requisition in Rhegium for more funds for that; money will be tight until taxes come rolling in next March).

So, this map shows where everyone stands at the start of the southern campaign.

The Epirans are being exceedingly unaggressive, as Pyrrhus simply moves back to Metapontum, leaving his son with a small force ineffectively sieging Paestum. I suspect this is bait to tempt me south. Also, the Etruscans under Lucumon reappears, and along with some Bruttian forces storm Locri.

[ATTACH]22263[/ATTACH]
Attachments
AAR8.jpg

jimwinsor2
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Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:52 pm

Turn 9 – November 280

Paestum, a level 2 fort port, inexplicably surrendered to a tiny besieging force under Alexandros. As you can see in the image for last turn, it was not blockaded.

Oh well. The entire Roman army moved to Capua, as you can see. I think I’ll tempt fate and attack Maleventum. He has a strong garrison there of three units I can eliminate pretty easily, as the walls were demolished when he stormed it himself.

Pyrrhus could correctly guess that’s where I’m headed and meet me there, but that’s fine. I’ll probably lose such a battle, due to his leadership advantage, but I’m close enough to Rome that I can limp back and lick my wounds (where, if he sticks to his game plan, he will not follow). He’ll take casualties too, and Rome has a clear advantage in any war of attrition (his replacements are absurdly expensive).

Both Roman Liburnae are operating as commerce raiders out of Sena Gallica, into the Adriatic Sea oval. It’s unlikely I’ll be interfered with there for a while, as the winter storms off Brindusium have kicked up.

[ATTACH]22264[/ATTACH]
Attachments
AAR9.jpg

jimwinsor2
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Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:25 pm

Turn 10 – December 280

My gamble pays off, Pyrrhus sits at Metapontum and does nothing. Which means, the legions of Rome storm into Maleventum and bag a fairly nice force of Epirans, including what looks like a unit of mercenary hoplites and some light troops:

[ATTACH]22266[/ATTACH]

Time for some trickery! I sent a message with the last move, “On to Tarantum!” in order to give the impression I was gung ho and following up my victory with a further march south. Nothing could be further from the truth. Laevinus will head back to Capua; if Pyrrhus drops his army onto mine in order to “follow” we will lead him within the Dictator triggering zone. Let’s see if this works …

Oh and we get this event, which is MOST welcome. Now we can spend EP to pacify the Boii in the north:

[ATTACH]22265[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH]22267[/ATTACH]
Attachments
AAR10.jpg
AAR10b.jpg
AAR10a.jpg

bob.
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Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:35 pm

Sorry Jim, rule # 1 in this game: NEVER drop your army on an enemy army :thumbsup:

Although, good idea!

jimwinsor2
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Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:14 pm

Turn 11 – January 279

My luring attempt failed, Pyrrhus went as far as Venusia and stopped. Eventually he’ll realize he’ll have to come after me, as I still lead in VP. Unless he tires of this cat and mouse game and heads to Sicily (which I would also welcome).

In other news: my liburnae in the Adriatic Sea scored a few hits on his merchants, and Rhegium revolted from me, as per scripted event.

(I forgot to take a screen shot this turn).

jimwinsor2
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Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:34 pm

Turn 12 – February 279

I forgot to take a screenshot last turn, but guess what? It doesn’t matter. Absolutely no one moved last turn, so this screenshot is just as good:

[ATTACH]22268[/ATTACH]

In other news: a ridiculous amount of taxes come rolling in (1800+!) which means my Requisitioning days are over for a while, I’d say. And we get new Consuls: Publius Decius Mus, a 3-3-1 Hotheaded Strong Disciplinarian, and Sulpicius, a 4-2-3 Reckless, Strong Morale guy. And I begin to bring the benefits of the Pax Romana to the Etruscan city of Volaterrae.
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AAR12.jpg

jimwinsor2
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Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:47 am

Turn 13 – March 279

Another turn of watchful inactivity on both sides.

In other news: Samnite brigands under a certain Lollius pop up in central Italy, as per event. Gives me something to do now, I guess …

[ATTACH]22275[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH]22276[/ATTACH]
Attachments
AAR13.jpg
AAR13a.jpg

jimwinsor2
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Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:26 pm

Turn 14 – April 279

Those brigands seek shelter at Populonia. See, I knew that city was going to be a thorn in my side …

On the bright side, this option pops up. I guess the brigands must have triggered it! [late edit: but probably not, we now know that Maleventum and Neapolis are Dictator triggering zones] Too bad I don’t currently have the EP for it (I spent them on Pax Romanas, which seemed like a good idea at the time):

[ATTACH]22291[/ATTACH]

And Pyrrhus cautiously retakes Maleventum:

[ATTACH]22290[/ATTACH]
Attachments
AAR14a.jpg
AAR14.jpg

jimwinsor2
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Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:06 am

Turn 15 – May 279

I pursue the brigands and they duck behind the walls of Populonia, as expected. I’m sieging here with no expectation of results (although who knows, if he was able to take Paestum ̷) . But I do want to keep Lollius bottled up until my Pax Romanas in Volaterrae (2 turns) and even Volsinii (4 turns) mature. I spent good EP on those and I don’t want them interfered with.

Pyrrhus heads back to Metapontum. If he knew I already had the Dictator option available, I’m sure his move would have been different. Although eventually I think he’ll come to the conclusion the VP situation does not afford him the luxury of such caution.

I’m up to 4 EP of the 10 I need for the Dictator, which means at most three more turns, as I generate them at a 2 per turn. Funny thing is, I’m actually seriously debating NOT calling for one. The option also costs 20 VP, which is something I’m not sure I want to give up if I don’t have to.

[ATTACH]22293[/ATTACH]
Attachments
AAR15.jpg

dans221
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Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:10 am

If the dictator option gets triggered and you don't have enough EPs to select it, does the option still remain available as he retreats from the dictator-triggering zone?

jimwinsor2
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Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:13 am

Good question. As I discover during this game, the answer is no (although confusingly, the graphic remains on the military option screen ... you can select it, but if the conditions are not there, nothing happens).

Gen. Monkey-Bear
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Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:56 am

Then it sounds like bob. really dodged a bullet!

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loki100
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Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:00 am

playing, or not playing the Dictator option seems a pretty subtle choice in this scenario ... especially with you both operationally looking to fight battles as the player on the defense.
AJE The Hero, The Traitor and The Barbarian
PoN Manufacturing Italy; A clear bright sun
RoP The Mightiest Empires Fall
WIA Burning down the Houses; Wars in America; The Tea Wars

jimwinsor2
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Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:02 pm

Turn 16 – June 279

Oh wow, we get a breach on Populonia! We are activated, so we’ll try to assault now … it would be nice to bag both Lollius and the last Etruscan city at the same time …

We just finished building a new trireme at Sena Gallica, so we are going to launch our largest naval mission yet: a 3-unit raid into the Adriatic commerce oval. Rough seas around Brindusium again should act to deter any opposition.

Pyrrhus is actually engaged now in civil engineering projects in the south. Anything to get VPs, I guess! The 6 turn turnaround for Public Works won’t be of substantial help to him though, I’m afraid.

His last message to me mentioned supply problems as his reason for not heading north, and that he was thinking about heading to Sicily. Hmmm, we’ll see if either of those come to pass …

[ATTACH]22298[/ATTACH]
Attachments
AAR16.jpg

jimwinsor2
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Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:04 pm

Turn 17 – June 279

Breach repaired, assault cancelled, bah. And our raiders in the Adriatic do nothing. Kind of a disappointing turn, really.

[ATTACH]22300[/ATTACH]

But we do get this event. Which is nice, I think I’ll go for option A (I don’t feel like I’m lucky or desperate enough to need to hope for a 5% chance, which are the odds of the other alternative succeeding):

[ATTACH]22299[/ATTACH]
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AAR17.jpg
AAR17a.jpg

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