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Rome: Total War AAR

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CSL
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Rome: Total War AAR

Post by CSL » Thu Oct 14, 2004 11:54 pm

The Greek City States

In 270 BCE the Greek City states are fragmented. The legacy of Alexander weighs heavily upon every Greek leader, and fifty years have passed since his death. The empire he crafted - the largest in the world - stretching from the Adriatic to the Indus river would fall quickly into disarray as his generals, the Diodochi began fighting amongst themselves. It would take less then two years for the first cracks to appear in this empire as the elected regent Perdiccas fell into conflict with Ptolemy who was the governor of Egypt at the time. He would die in the attempt to bring Ptolemy back in line and within a matter of years the empire had totally disintegrated.

In Egypt, Ptolemy initially the satrap or "protector of the country" would found his own dynasty. An invasion force by the late Perdiccas would be beaten back and over the next few decade the Egyptian king would endeavor to firstly hold onto his Egyptian possessions and secondly to expand outwards towards Palestine and Cyprus. With the murders of Alexander's only legitimate heirs Ptolemy was left without any real outside threats to his dynasty. Later campaigns would expand the countries influence with troops battling in Greece itself. He would die however at the age of 84 in 283 BCE. His dynasty would continue however with his son - Ptolemy II.

To the north of Egypt the partition of Alexander's empire would continue as well. The catalyst of this would be Seleucis I Nicator. Given the satrap for Babylon he would craft his empire with the help of Ptolemy. By the time of Seleucis's death his empire would encompass most of the Fertile Crescent and much of Anatolia. In Persia too the Seleucids would rule, but their holdings in the Indus valley would be lost within decades.

In Greece the Macedonian empire would continue its domination but within the next few decades much of the cohesiveness of that area would unravel leaving Macedon with little of its former possessions. This left the few remaining Greek City States were we shall conduct our examination.

Considerably weaker then the other Greek states in Egypt and Southwest Asia these free Greek cities were scattered. From Sicalia to Greece and the shores of Anatolia this cities would hold a loose association under the rule of Kleomenes of Sparta. Yet while these city states would have been a powerful force together they were separated by the sea left vulnerable to local strongmen. It was clear something had to be done.

Syracuse was the most untenable of these cities. While it did have a strong defense and a robust economy Kleomenes knew that with the Romans to the north and the Carthaginians to the west the city was due to fall to either of these powers. The garrison of the area was several thousand men strong, needed to increase the local defenses in Greece or the Anatolian areas of the confederacy.

Kleomenes was proven right the next spring in 269 BCE as the Romans attacked and occupied Syracuse, yet the leader of the Greeks had predicted this act of vile treachery and avoided its stinging bite. But now where would the previous garrison of Syracuse go? News from Thermon in the northern part of Greece had alluded to another Roman attack on settlements along the Adriatic. It was here that the garrison would go to scout out any Roman forces and attack them before they could strike at Thermon.

Landing north of Thermon the forces under the command of Kleomenes son - Dionysius would indeed find the Roman forces. Centered around the small settlement of Apollonia they had annexed the area and even now several hundred troops were setting up defenses. Beginning his campaign Dionysius and his men, supported by Cretan archers and Peltasts from Thermon would destroy local crops and pillage the countryside while bottling up the Romans in the settlement itself. The siege would become more serious in the summer of 268 BCE and Dionysius would begin the construction of several battering rams.

Unknown to him a second force of Romans nearly half his size would attack his flank in late September 268. Still outnumbering the Romans but with surprise on their side the Battle of the Siege of Apollonia was about to begin. The fate would Thermon and Greek bid to check the Roman expansion in the Balkans was set to hang in the balance.

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Post by CSL » Fri Oct 15, 2004 12:48 am

The Battle of Apollonia

While possessing an advantage in numbers it was plain to see that the Romans held the real advantage. Attacking from two sides they had an element of surprise. Secondly their troops, though lacking the precise and rigid formality of the phalanx's used by Dionysius's troops were of better quality. The Hastatii and other Roman units were easily the equal of any Greek soldier, the Greek would win however unless the Roman somehow managed to flank or otherwise get past his spears.

The battle would begin win the Greeks facing the sea, the right flank too would be covered by a large rock outcropping leaving only the left flank to be worried about. The enemy however possessed the high ground something that Dionysius was not excited about, the prospects that afforded if the Romans had a sizeable number of archers was not worth thinking about. Facing this threat would be the Hoplites, two of professional grade and a third less trained militia unit. It was in the center were those militia men would be placed while the better trained Hoplites covered the flanks. Behind them were arrayed a large number of Peltasts and several dozen Cretan Archers renowned for their distance and killing power.

The Romans however were not inclined to merely sit upon their hill and wait for reinforcements that were already in view only a few kilometers away. The commander, probably a rash and young man would instead advance his units, Hastatii, Velites and around a hundred horsemen into the range of those aforementioned Cretan's. They would regret that decision, as many do, after meeting a Cretan arrow. Running now the Romans would reach the bottom of the hill and without regard formation they would rush towards the assembled Greek spears.

Image
Cretan Arrows land amongst Roman soldiers.

Now the Peltasts threw their javelins, the front rank of the nearest unit of Hastatii would be decimated and they turned back for a few seconds before charging ever forward. The commander of the Romans now most undoubtedly seeking glory whether alive or dead would spurn his horse upon the center of the Greek line were the militia were holding steady. With javelins and arrows in the air and the sounds of men dying a cry of "CHARGE" would echo across the battlefield and the horsemen would spurn their beasts on towards the line of spears.

Image
Roman cavalry charges into the militia phalanx set on breaking the center of the Greek line!

Like a wave over the shoreline those Roman cavalry would smash over the Greek lines and within an instant the center was decimated, with pressure mounted via Hastatii in the front and now cavalry on its flank the Phalanx covering the right flank would break only a minute later. Seeing disaster unfolding Dionysius himself would charge into action attacking the cavalry head on.

Unknown to him the Roman reinforcements had arrived and even now the Phalanx which had previously been guarding the left flank was under attack by another unit of Hastatii backed up by Velite skirmishers. That Phalanx too would be broken as the combined assault decimated it, the long spears being no protection against javelins. The lines now disintegrated as all three Phalanx's were destroyed and now the Peltasts and Cretan Archers were vulnerable.

Dionysius, now down to less then forty cavalry had by now broken the Roman cavalry and they had fled back to the rear leaving him able to spurn off and charge into the Romans yet again. Several dozen Hastatii would fall to that charge and he would break through the Roman lines. Sensing this would be the only chance to retrieve the battle he ordered what few men he had left to attack the rear of several Roman units breaking another unit and killing dozens of the attackers.

The Roman general however had arrived and was bearing down on what remained of the third Phalanx, its total decimation would signal the end to any possible Greek victory and barely escaping with his life Dionysius and less then a quarter of the men he began with would retreat south towards Thermon.

The Greeks had lost and Thermon was now at the mercy of Rome.

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Post by Eduardo X » Fri Oct 15, 2004 3:24 am

Fuck the Romans!

Their horsemen are no match for 3 or 4 phalanxs! I'm telling you, spearmen and archers, spearmen and archers!

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Post by Ronin » Fri Oct 15, 2004 10:02 am

Rome pwnz j00!
Ronin


"The Die is Cast"
-Gauis Julius Caesar prior to crossing the Rubicon River against Rome 49 BC

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Post by $iljanus » Fri Oct 15, 2004 10:37 am

Image

ROMA VICTOR MOTHERFUCKER!

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Post by CSL » Fri Oct 15, 2004 1:50 pm

Eduardo X wrote:Fuck the Romans!

Their horsemen are no match for 3 or 4 phalanxs! I'm telling you, spearmen and archers, spearmen and archers!
Indeed, next battle i'll strive to bring at least five units of phalanx and have a second row with militia in the front and the veteran better units in the rear.

I made the monumental mistake of placing my weakest men in the center and my flanks collapsed as a result. I'm very lucky that Dionysis made it out, about 700 of my 1000 men got killed.

:oops:

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Post by CSL » Fri Oct 15, 2004 5:39 pm

Retreat to Thermon

With Dionysius routed and the siege upon Apollonia broken it was the Romans who held advantage on the Adriatic coast. Greek might in the area was at a low and any enemy force was sure to lay waste to the city. Little more then a quarter of the attacking men had returned alive to Thermon yet these units for all intents were smashed and broken, Dionysius himself would sail back to Sparta upon the summons of his farther and the defense of Thermon was left to Antigonos, a reputed heavy drinker he was never the less well liked by his men.

News of the grave defeat had reached Sparta within days. When told of the loss, Kleomenes was said to have dismissed his entire staff and was not seen again for over a week. He would devise he next move within that time. First his son, Dionysius would return to Sparta for consultation, the loss of Syracuse and now the defeat near Apollonia did little to improve his image with his father. Secondly a stronger militia was too be raised in Thermon consisting of three Phalanx's and a two units of Peltasts. In Sparta newly recruited Hoplites would be given the best armor the city states could make and would be guided by the Priests of Nike the goddess of victory. Finally the island of Crete lay to the south, his agents on the island reported that the lone city state was relatively weak and vulnerable to siege, with the loss of Syracuse it was felt by many that a loss such as that should be made up somewhere else. Thus the forces of Greece would act.

For several years these plans would be put into motion. Thermon especially would gear up for war and a regular sally out of the city would place the garrison into direct battle with a smaller Roman force. Under Antigonos the forces of Greece would succeed admirably in combat, driving back the Romans with little lose, the enemy however would pay dearly for their efforts with over three hundred dead. Antigonos would succeed where he predecessor had failed; the results for this were obvious to any trained commander. In this battle the phalanx had resisted the enemies charge and they were smashed upon the spears of the Greek militia. The Peltasts as well were used more effectively, being forward of the line and then drawing the enemy in when the opportunity arised. An entire century of Hastatii and another of Velites would be totally destroyed, the few cavalry the Romans had would also be destroyed and only a few men would escape from the Greek spears. Returning to Thermon Antigonos would become a hero praised for his brilliant generalship and heroic defense of the city.

Image
Greek cavalry begins the chase to hunt down a century of Hastatii

Preparations for an assault upon Crete were by now done and by 265 BCE a massive invasion force totaling over 1,500 men and over a dozen ships would sail for the island. On board would be the finest troops Sparta had to offer as well as several hundred mercenaries recruited from central Greece. Only when Dionysius had landed on the island would news reach him that his father Kleomenes of Sparta was dead and now he - Dionysius of Sparta was the leader of all the free Greek cities.

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Post by Eduardo X » Sat Oct 16, 2004 12:00 am

Oh no! Dionisis, the leader of Greece?
Godspeed, young emperor!

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