Yes, read turn 30, there I explain why. But I'll be back later
Long turns with much happening right now, although I am propably a bit too detailed.
Turn 43: 277 BC, September
The 9th of March, 277 BC will forever be remember in history as the day of the Battle of Tauromenium, one of the greatest defeats in Carthaginian history! And Pyrrhus can be proud of his son, that's for sure.
Yes, if you just look at the casualty list it may not seem so great: "only" a bit less than 5000 Carthaginian men were killed. But look at the encircled number: 34. That means 34 * 500 men were captured in the battle. That's 17.000 prisoners! Wait, what, more prisoners than men at start?!? Ah, who cares about the details, as long as it's a great victory! I have now 22.000 Carthaginian prisoners in total and the Carthaginian Africa army is no more, completely routed. My morale went up by 6 points to 111 and Ptolemeos levelled up again and is now (3-5-4). He rivals his father, at least in offensive skill!
Unfortunately I also just noticed that the "brave" trait of Ptolemeos seems to have no effect in the game. In the description it also says "(disabled)". That makes Ptolemeos a bit less great, but since he is still way better than Milon I will of course continue using him.
Ptolemeos will now prepare an attack on the Carthaginians besieging Acragas by moving into the province next to it.
Unfortunately the leader of the Syracusaens, Thynion, has the "slow mover" trait which makes my whole army 25 % slower. As I don't want that, I will split up Thynion and one hoplite unit from the main army so that the rest of the army can arrive in the destination earlier and thus take less movement attrition. I can't leave Thynion at home because I need his Command Points. And leaving a whole unit out of the army is out of the question!
Meanwhile in Italy, the Romans have attacked Venusia and – the garrison held out?!? Look at these battle results:
The garrison actually held out, and still has a remaining 1400 men + a newly spawned garrison unit. What is very surprising to me is that they actually killed two Roman legion element, one of them even the #1 princeps element, the best fighters of a legion. It's not that important, but it certainly shows that a legion is not invulnerable!
To emphasize the vulnerability of the puny Roman army, Pyrrhus will immediately relieve the Venusia garrison. Unfortunately Pyrrhus is unactivated this turn, but I just can't let this opportunity go to waste! This is propably the biggest chance for me to defeat the Romans yet. Let me explain you why I think that this is the case:
If the Romans decide to continue the assault on Venusia then they will be in "assault" posture which means they will not be able to defend. As not only their troops are a lot weaker on the defensive but also their leader is a (3-3-4) and thus better on the defensive, this would be a great advantage for me.
On the other hand, the Romans could also decide to just stay in the province in "defensive" posture, leaving the garrison alone. It's propably what I would do. Still, I hope to be able to defeat them in "wooded hills" terrain and clear weather.
The third possibility would be of course if they just move away. If they do that, I actually still have the hope that I would be able to catch them as I need only 3 days to reach Venusia.
Turn 44: 277 BC, October
It seems I have celebrated the demise of the Carthaginian army too early. 7500 men remained and there was another battle in Syracuse. Curiously, it is counted as a loss. I don't really know why, I guess because I ordered the army to move out of Syracuse, unknowing that the Carthaginians were still present and only hidden.
Meanwhile the other Carthaginian army forced the Acragas garrison to surrender. I had hoped they would hold out another turn but it seems I was too late. This also means that now I can take my time with the counter-attack since I can't save the garrison anyway and will have to siege it myself once I decide to attack.
So instead, Ptolemeos will move back to Syracuse to engage the Carthaginian army yet again. It's actually a great opportunity for me to gain national morale, so I won't complain! I am currently at 104.
Now to the important theater, Italy! The Romans have done what I had hoped, they overran the garrison of Venusia (am I a bad person for having hoped they would be attacked and subsequently slaughtered?)
and subsequently were attacked by Pyrrhus himself:
Very unfortunately, as you can see, Brutus cleverly decided to retreat instead, using some Socii troops as rearguard. Yep, that's how the Romans roll for you: use their own troops to sacrifice as a rearguard? No, the despicable Romans just use their allies for it! It's a real shame, I would have love to inflict some real casualties on the Romans! Regardless, I showed the superiority of my army and gained 1 national morale – thereby annulling the loss from the garrison assault a few days earlier - so that's good.
For now, Pyrrhus and his army will stay in Venusia. He is not activated so I can't order an assault on Maleventum.