Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rome Scipii Campaign update: The Bitter Taste of Victory

Scipii Campaign part 1
Scipii Campaign Part 2
Scipii Campaign part 3
Scipii Campaign Part 4
This is Scipii Campaign Part 5 (Final Part)


Carthage was the first to fall to my legions but Spain, Numidia, Gaul and Britain all fell in their turn. The Germanic savages faced their own annihilation as my legions marched towards their last few towns and the once mighty Egyptian Empire still clung to life only because I couldn't be bothered to make the trek across the Arabian desert to root out their last few hovels. With a blue swathe right across Europe and Northern Africa I had 45 regions under my control. Just as important as the military victories was the micromanagement of my domain to ensure that all of these towns were contented (but not too contented) and contributing positively to our cause.

This had been a slow drawn out campaign with every step analysed and re-analysed but now  the greatest prize of all was ripe for the taking. My military victories had won me the adoration of the Roman mob while careful political manoeuvring had managed to keep just enough Senators on-side to prevent the Senate from denouncing me. I had consented to each of the Senate's increasingly outrageous demands and I had tutored my governors in the arts of patronage and politics securing several high offices in the Senate itself. With SPQR's political influence thus neutered I had secretly built a massive military force on the Italian peninsula and strong fleets of my navy patrolled the Tyrrhenian, Ionian and Adriatic to ensure that no help would come from overseas when I made my bid for power. All that remained was for me to capture four more provinces and march on Rome itself. Coming as they would from the Southern city of Capua my legions would not actually have to cross the Rubicon but the impact would be the same: The end of the old Republic with its system of fragile alliances and the beginning of a new glorious era for Rome with Scipii firmly at the helm.


A month of dedicated gaming was coming to fruition: Four more cities and the assault on Rome itself. Rome was not undefended of course and I would need to vanquish several powerful armies in the final assault as well as holding off the expected retaliation from Julii and Brutii. Nevertheless my long and careful planning ensured that all of the odds were stacked in my favour. Indeed the only serious enemy that remained between me and the achievement of my goal was myself.

By this stage after a solid month of serious gaming I had just about had enough. Gathering together the motivation to launch my final push was proving very difficult. Travelling to and capturing those last few regions would take a few more hours and playing out the battles between my forces and those huge armies defending Rome would take a few more even though the outcome was a foregone conclusion in my favour. I just couldn't face it. I wanted the game to be over and I wanted it to be over now.

In the end I went for a blitz approach. After weeks of carefully fighting every battle myself I flung my huge armies at the defenders and pressed the auto-resolve button. My losses were horrific but I captured Rome. Then I took every army that was in reach of a foreign settlement and flung them at it in order to get those last few territories. Alliances were broken with wild abandon, town and city management was completely ignored. No attempt was made to defend towns that had came under siege from my growing list of enemies. Auto-resolve, autoresolve, auto resolve. I lost battles I should have won but still I pressed on trusting my overwhelming military advantage and the random number generator to eventually grind out the 50 regions I needed to win the game.

Within a few short turns many of my cities were rioting and several others were under siege. The armies I had meticulously built up over time were decimated and my economy had run out of control. I didn't care I held Rome and the number of regions I controlled crept up. Autoresolve, autoresolve, autoresolve 46, 47, 48, 49.....and finally 50. The last conquest was a miserable village in northern Germany. I had beaten the game.

Not a particularly sweet victory but victory none the less. I did make a save game just before my mad rush to the finish just in case I ever feel like going back and doing it properly but for the moment I need to take a break from this game.

By the way the video you get for beating the game is a little unimpressive. After conquering most of the known world and overturning the republic I had hoped for a little more than a triumphal procession. If those fat senators think they can return to business as usual once this has all settled down they have another thing coming.

Scipii Campaign part 1
Scipii Campaign Part 2
Scipii Campaign part 3
Scipii Campaign Part 4
This is Scipii Campaign Part 5 (Final Part)

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