Well I think I have got a little cocky, overstretched myself and have suffered the consequences. Not a terrible turn for Rome but probably the worst since the war started. The Carthaginians will get a morale boost from it. It wasn't all bad!
It started off ok. Camarina surrendered to us and Mami assaulted Aleria successfully. He took a few hits but nothing drastic. I gained 1 EP as a result of the victory. He is going to stay put for moment. I will get him to build a depot with one of his carts. More on this later.
It started to go downhill after that. Hanno surprisingly (For me anyway) assaulted into Agrigentum and managed to evict Mega (Max would never have given up so easily
). I lost plenty of elements during the battle and also lost 42 hits on the retreat. Not nice.
The lone Triremis unit I sent to Ostia from Neapolis was intercepted and annihilated by a Carthage fleet. Not good.
The army that had laid siege to Messana, led by Hannibal Acrigas Manus, marched into Tauromenium and assaulted the fort. Lucomon and his remaining force is by his side!! The garrison was destroyed but the Cart managed to hold on and keep the fort in Roman hands. (They must have dressed it up like a raging bull or something).
White smoke has been seen and a new high priest has been elected. Some strange reports have come in about the old one having fallen down his stairs and managed to impale himself on his guards sword! Anyway we have finally received some good omens. Just as we have suffered the worst series of defeats. Typical!
In the North my plan has kinda worked. The Carthage fleet arrived off Aleria after my two fleets had combined but there was no engagement. I suspect because the Carthage fleet had intercepted the single Trireme unit on its way to Ostia so that when it got to Aleria it had reverted to a defensive or passive stance.
I am beginning to think that it might have been a bad idea to lure him in. Particularly seen how my Trireme was decimated earlier. I also had a look at the relative stats between light and heavy warships. The heavy warships offensive and defensive fire is double that of a light warship.
Looking at the dots under the counters would lead you lead you to think that I have a significant advantage but I am not so sure. The Carthage fleet appears to be weaker but it is composed mostly of heavy warships and it is lead by a better Admiral. His units probable lack supply, cohesion and may be down a few hits from previous storms but qualitatively I think he has an edge over me. How big I can't be sure. If I was the Carthage player I would probably want to get out of there fast so that would entail putting it on defend and retreat, evade combat, and heading south. But on closer inspection you can see that the Carthage admiral has a better offensive stat than defensive one. So it might be better to fight his way out. SO MANY VARIABLES!!!!
On the balance of it I think I will go for a standard attack. I will leave intercept off. (Have yet to discuss that house rule with opponent). I think my weight of numbers will hopefully pay off. I have 182 full elements, all light warships. To 140 damaged (Hopefully!!!) Carthage elements. 60 of those are Heavy warships the rest are light warships. Both fleets have 30 transports on top of that. I was able to work this out from the battle report. I did consider going for a conservative attack but then thought that my greater numbers might not prove effective that way. (Image of Cannae flashed through my mind!!) I am not confident. But when is anything certain in war! Neptune be good.
I have two Ala units and two Cav units in Neapolis which I am going to force march to Rhegium. It will take 25 days. From their i Hope i will be able to get them across to Messana. It is currently free of blockaders.
I hope to slip out the cart that was fooling Hannibal Acrigas in Tauromenium and have it join up with Hiero in Henna.
Hiero will see out the siege of Henna. The forts pwr value is down to 18 so should fall next month. He will then head to Messana. If I can get that small force to cross the straits next turn he will merge with them. I plan on using him to hunt Hannibal out of Catania if he still lurks there.
I am going to give up Camarina. Mega is fairly weak after the last battle. If Hanno and Hannibal (That name makes me Shudder) assault into Camarina I think I may be defeated again. The Carthage force looks to be a walking shambles but they still outnumber me two or three to one. Carthage got a big VP and NM hit from their victories last turn. And i dont want to gift them more. Anyway they will have to siege Camarina again. Roman loyalty is at 60% so it should spawn a garrison. It will take Mega 6 days to get to Syracusae. If Hannibal decides to go to Syracusae instead I fear that Hiero might flip flop on me if I don't get there before him.
I have selected the Massilian option. I am one ep short but I hope by the end of the turn processing i will have enough and it will activate. I started buying roman heavy warship replacements and more Syracusan. At the moment I have plenty of Romans replacements.