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Thread: [RS AAR] A Pyrrhic Victory (Epirote AAR)

  1. #1
    Selahedīn's Avatar Biarchus
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    Default [RS AAR] A Pyrrhic Victory (Epirote AAR)

    A Pyrrhic Victory

    An Epirote After-Action Report, by Selahedīn

    AAR main objectives:
    - Destroy our Roman enemies from the West.
    - Unify all of the Italic peninsula under Epirote rule.
    - If possible, maintain an alliance with our Macedonian neighbours.
    - Preserve the borders, keeping the barbaric tribes from the North at bay.


    Settings:
    - Campaign difficulty set to Hard.
    - Battle difficulty set to Hard.
    - Unit recruitment time set to 1 turn.
    - Fog of War turned on.
    - Manage all settings option turned on.
    - Ab Urbe Condita year calculation system.

    House rules:
    - No bribes of any kind.
    - No Auto-Resolved Sieges.
    - No cheats.

    Introduction:

    It is the year 473 from the founding of the western plague that is Rome, and my name is... not important. What is important, however, is that the story of my brave Epirote brothers echoes throughout eternity.
    That is why I am writing these words, so that they may be remembered for countless generations, as the men who changed this barbaric world.

    But first, let me tell you a little about our current situation:
    - To the North, the Illyrians threaten our borders, a mere nuisance is what I call them. Nothing more.
    - To the East, live our Macedonian brothers. While they may have lost their once great Kingdom, they have not lost their fighting spirit! We salute them, as the true examples of Greek might that they are.
    - To the South, one can find the arrogant Athenians, as well as some other Greek city states. Rats, all of them. They dare call us "barbarians", but they know nothing of our culture or our people!
    - And finally, from the West, comes the greatest threat to our people. The Romans, or the Western plague as I like to call them. Their only objective is to subjugate the entire world, and they will stop at nothing before doing just that.

    Well, I say it is our responsability, as descendants of Achilles himself, to destroy these Roman dogs, thus putting an end to their plans of world domination! For the first time in hundreds of years, the people of this peninsula shall know peace, under the fair rule of our king.

    However, do not confuse us with your current leaders, as we are not tempted by the ultimate power, all we care about is stability and respect, and that is exactly what we shall grant you.

    Now, it is time to let you know how this dream came true...

    473 Ab Urbe Condita (Summer)

    Our wise king, Pyrrhus of Epirus, knew full well the necessity to fortify our position in the Italic peninsula, as it would not be long before the cursed Romans would try to remove Tarentum from our hands.


    (An ancient scroll with information about Pyrrhus, as seen at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli)

    While Tarentum was obviously of great importance to us, being our only province on the western border of the Adriatic Sea, there was another land further to the South, which would greatly increase our staying power in the peninsula. I am, of course, speaking of Croton.

    We did not have much time, as the Romans would surely attempt to add this province to their own empire soon enough, and with that in mind, our fair king raised an army of 1002 and marched south, to the gates of Croton.

    As he got there, he was forced to face an army of 607, led by Captain Voteporix, a brave man indeed.


    (An ancient scroll with information about the battle of Croton, as seen at the Galleria Nazionale di Palazzo Spinola)

    It was obvious that our king had the upper hand, seeing as he had an army almost two times larger than our enemies'.

    As we approached the city gates, we made sure to place our intimidating war elephants at the front, in an attempt to scare off the enemy. However, at this point it became rather clear that Captain Voteporix had no intention of giving up that easily.


    (The painting: "Enemy at the gates", as seen at the Museo Morandi)

    After our troops were formed and ready for the coming assault, we sent our war elephants to destroy the main gates. A task they performed quite easily.

    Once that was done, we merely had to unleash the large animals into the streets and let them create panic in the enemy ranks. Men could be seen flying ten meters into the air, as our elite pikemen ran up to support the, now surrounded, beasts.


    (The painting: "Beasts of war", as seen at the
    Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli)

    Once our brave pikemen reached the front, there was nothing else the enemy could do but despair. The animals had damaged their ranks too much, and they were now unable to hold the line, as we sent wave after wave of motivated soldiers, into the fray.

    From there, it was a matter of minutes before the enemy started fleeing to the main square, where they (foolishly) hoped to make a decisive last stand.


    (The painting: "The Last Stand", as seen at the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister)

    The cowardly dogs did not last long after that, as we met them head on with our countless sarissas. We did not even need to use our cavalry, which remained quietly at the back, as if enjoying the, rather gruesome, scenery.

    Victory was ours, but many good men perished for us to take that city. I only hope we will not simply lose it to the Romans after all this trouble.


    (A scroll containing detailed information about the casualties of Croton, as seen at the Museo Morandi)

    473 Ab Urbe Condita (Winter)

    Several months had passed since our victory at Croton, and so far, our people had enjoyed a very refreshing period of peace. Were the Romans too busy dealing with the barbarian tribes of the North to notice our plans?

    Of course they were not, they were simply raising two full armies to come after us, one at Cannae and the other at Neapolis. How I wished to be wrong, for once...

    During the Winter, they came in full force, and their target was the city of Tarentum, as I had predicted.

    As the two legions crossed the border, our brave king moved to intercept them, before they had the chance to reach our gates. We obviously wanted our innocent people to stay as far away from this conflict as possible.

    This time however, the numbers were not as favorable, as 783 of our men were forced to face the armies of Captain Nero and Captain Secundus, each leading 401 men.


    (A scroll containing information about the battle of Tarentum, as seen at the Galleria di Palazzo Rosso)

    Their forces were, indeed, famous for their courage as well as their determination, but our wise king was counting on them to make the first move and had a plan to counter their advance.


    (Initial arrangement of the Epirote forces, at the Battle of Tarentum)

    Our king knew full well that they would attempt to shower us with their javelins before proceding to a full frontal attack. In order to counter that, he placed our own skirmishers at the front, ready to constantly return fire and thin their lines.

    This process worked quite well, as they wasted their medium range ammunition on our skirmishers and some of our auxiliaries, while our elite pikemen, simply waited patiently at the back.

    When our enemies finally decided to charge, we promptly called back our remaining peltasts, and moved forward our main phalanxes. This caused them to collide with an enormous wall of spears.

    After that, and since they had almost no cavalry of their own to counter our move, all we needed to do was move our heavy cavalry around both flanks and charge them from the rear. Oh, what a spectacle it was...


    (The painting: "Wall of Death", as seen at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek)

    That was the end of Captain Nero, but we still needed to pursue and destroy them, before they had a chance to regroup.

    To that effect, we decided it was time to send in our powerful elephants. Let beasts take care of beasts...


    (The painting: "A Gruesome Spectacle", as seen at the Galleria degli Uffizi)

    After that, all we needed to do was hold the line against the incoming forces of Captain Segundus, but this proved to be much harder than expected.

    Their infantry came at us from all sides, and our cavalry, as well as our elephants, were now busy chasing the remainders of
    Nero's forces, so we could not easily surprise them as we had done before.

    Our king sent his Elite pikemen to the front, in an attempt to aid our auxiliaries, but much to our surprise, these legionaries really could fight! We shall not underestimate them again...

    In a natural attempt to flank them, we promptly called back our cavalry , and ultimately that is what won us the battle, but too many men were lost in the process. That we did not foresee.


    (The painting: "A Pyrrhic Victory", as seen at the Guggenheim Museum)

    From this day on, people shall always think of a "Pyrrhic victory", as something obtained through incredible sacrifice. How many more must we lose in order to defeat this terror from the West?


    (A scroll containing information about the battle of Tarentum, as seen at the Galleria degli Uffizi)

    I only hope we can replenish our forces fast enough, or the people of Tarentum will be in a world of trouble.

    To be continued...
    Last edited by Selahedīn; January 15, 2008 at 10:10 PM.

  2. #2
    Nellup's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: A Pyrrhic Victory (Epirote AAR)

    Hmm...not often you see an Epirus AAR or even campaign for that matter, I look forward to seeing how this turns out.
    Also I'm likin' the borders.
    "A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something" - Plato


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    Selahedīn's Avatar Biarchus
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    Default Re: A Pyrrhic Victory (Epirote AAR)

    Thanks Nellup, glad you like it.

    I've just added a new part (473 AUC Winter), feel free to scroll up and check it out. All feedback is welcome!

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    Tiro
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    Default Re: A Pyrrhic Victory (Epirote AAR)

    Great AAR although I would prefer it if you would just add new posts instead of editing the first one so it is easier for everyone to keep track with the AAR.

  5. #5
    Selahedīn's Avatar Biarchus
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    Default Re: A Pyrrhic Victory (Epirote AAR)

    Quote Originally Posted by Matse View Post
    Great AAR although I would prefer it if you would just add new posts instead of editing the first one so it is easier for everyone to keep track with the AAR.
    Thanks for the feedback Matse. I will begin adding new posts to make it easier to follow, then.

  6. #6

    Default Re: A Pyrrhic Victory (Epirote AAR)

    I am very interested in the next episode...COME ON EPIRUS!!! (said in a football fan kind of way)

    Enjoyable reading, good job

  7. #7
    Selahedīn's Avatar Biarchus
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    Default Re: A Pyrrhic Victory (Epirote AAR)

    Thank you General Store, a new episode will be up shortly. Time to teach those Roman dogs another lesson!

  8. #8
    Selahedīn's Avatar Biarchus
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    Default Re: A Pyrrhic Victory (Epirote AAR)

    475 Ab Urbe Condita (Winter)


    Two years had passed since our victory at Tarentum, and the preparations for our counter-attack were nowhere near complete. I suppose raising an army that could match the Roman legions was a lot harder than expected.

    No matter, for there was still a great man stationed at Apollonia, to the East, who could cross the Adriatic Sea and come to our aid. His name was Dicaeus.

    At this point, it had become rather clear that we would not stand a chance without the aid of our greatest General, therefore, we had no choice but to weaken our position at the East, in order to reinforce our Western front. Dicaeus was summoned.


    (Dicaeus' fleet crosses the Adriatic Sea)

    As soon as he arrived at Tarentum, he joined the forces of Kreon of Epirus, and marched forward to conquer Cannae. It would not be long before the Romans called for additional reinforcements...

    And so it was, a few months after our siege had begun, Numerius Papinianus and Arnulius Maxentius arrived with their legions, in an attempt to rescue the forces of Captain Gnaeus, who was still hiding inside the city gates.

    854 of our men, against 782 of theirs. Oh what a brutal and messy battle this would turn out to be.


    (A scroll containing information about the battle of Cannae, as seen at the Bargello)

    As soon as the battle begun, the Romans tried to split their forces and attack the merged Epirote army from both flanks and the front, simultaneously.

    Even though the enemy was attacking from all sides, it became clear that they were giving our right flank, where Dicaeus was, some "special attention". He tried to hold the line as best as he could, but their numbers were simply too great to be held!


    (The painting: "The Wall Crumbles", as seen at the Palazzo Pitti)

    And so, our right flank crumbled, Dicaeus had failed, and all that remained of his force was his cavalry. But not all had been lost, as once again, they did not have many cavalry of their own. We could still turn this around if we used ours wisely!

    From that point on, Dicaeus focused solely on charging the engaged legionaires from the flanks. I must admit he was far more successful than I had expected, as our hasty enemies started routing like little girls!

    In one such beautiful charge, our Greek cavalry even managed to kill the foolish Captain Gnaeus. That will teach them not to leave their flanks wide open!


    (The painting: "Ante Mortem", as seen at the Museo del Prado)

    They had underestimasted our cavalry once again, and once again they had lost the battle. I am glad we recruited more of these Aetolians, as they seemed to be the greatest weapon in our arsenal.

    Now that the three rats were dealt with, we could finally march into the streets of Cannae. For a while at least, we could drink the fine wine and enjoy the beautiful women, but now that we had one of their eagles, I was quite sure the Romans would not wait long before trying to take it back.

    To be continued...
    Last edited by Selahedīn; January 15, 2008 at 10:01 PM.

  9. #9
    Tankbuster's Avatar Analogy Nazi
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    Default Re: A Pyrrhic Victory (Epirote AAR)

    Another excellent RS AAR? Is there no end to the creative minds RS attracts?
    I'm quite sure that they are being bred by Fuzz
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  10. #10

    Default Re: A Pyrrhic Victory (Epirote AAR)

    how are you coming up with these captions for the screenshots? they are very nice. i also like the editing and the writing. keep it up.
    although you have to explain to me the basis for your unit formation and tactics.

  11. #11
    Selahedīn's Avatar Biarchus
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    Default Re: A Pyrrhic Victory (Epirote AAR)

    Thanks again guys, I'm really glad you all like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snuggans View Post
    how are you coming up with these captions for the screenshots? they are very nice.
    I use FRAPS to take a LOT of screenshots during battles, then I go through all of them and delete all but the very best (this usually leaves me with only 5 or 6 to post here).

    After that I just edit them with Paint Shop Pro. I add some lighting here and there to increase visual impact, plus some artistic effects when needed, and it's done.

    Oh, and of course, in the end I have to add a frame to make it look like a real painting at a museum.

    You have to explain to me the basis for your unit formation and tactics.
    Well, the basis is pretty simple, really. Since the Romans are my main concern, I always take the following into consideration:
    • Peltasts at the front are a necessity when fighting the Romans. There is no real counter to their pilum attacks, other than doing the same thing to them. Also, peltasts are cheap and easily replaced, unlike the troops behind them, so they serve well as "javelin fodder". Once they have done their job, they can pull back to the rear and stay there.
    • Auxiliary Pikemen make good front line troops, to absorb their initial charge. Their morale is not the best, but then again their function is simply to hold the enemy line while I flank it with my heavy cavalry. I suppose you can say I apply "Hammer and Anvil" tactics quite often, and they seem to work. These Pikemen are also cheap and easy to replace, so they make the bulk of my armies when I'm short on funds (which happens often as Epeiros).
    • Elite Pikemen are both the best and most expensive troops at my service, and I guess they would be my equivalent of the Triarii. If it makes it to their line, something is wrong, and my front has already crumbled. These troops are very hard to replace, and are only meant to be used in times of desperation. When others are already tired and weak from heavy fighting, they step in to save the day.
    • Aetolian heavy cavalry is the most important weapon I have. A single charge from these cavalrymen can break an entire enemy line. However, they too must be used wisely, as they are extremely expensive to recruit. They normally stay at the back or at the flanks, waiting for the right time to charge. They are also quite capable of dealing with any enemy cavalry present. Good use of this unit will often mean the difference between an easy victory and a heavy loss against the Romans.
    • War Elephants are brutal if used correctly, as they can be even more effective than heavy cavalry when trying to break the enemy lines. However, these should only be used if there is no other choice, as they are very hard to recruit, and so their numbers end up being extremely limited. They normally stay at the back and come into action only after the enemy is tired, as one of their charges will then send them all running back to their mothers.
    • You may consider the use of archers, as there are many skilled ones to be recruited around the Greek City States, but they are not a real necessity against the heavy armored Romans. Against unruly barbarian tribes, things would obviously be very different.
    Those are the main points to take into consideration when forming your initial Epirote armies, I believe. The battle tactic itself, as I've said before, is pretty simple, as I often apply the same "Hammer and Anvil" tactics that Alexander III used.


    (You can see some similarities between our formations here)

    Tie them up with your phalanx, charge them with your superior heavy cavalry, it's as simple as can be. Of course, don't expect the Romans to rout quickly, as they have excellent discipline and their infantry is far superior to that of the Epirotes. In the end, like I've said before, you will have to make good use of your heavy cavalry, because if you don't, you will surely lose... :hmmm:
    Last edited by Selahedīn; January 23, 2008 at 09:56 AM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: A Pyrrhic Victory (Epirote AAR)

    Quote Originally Posted by Selahedīn View Post


    I use FRAPS to take a LOT of screenshots during battles, then I go through all of them and delete all but the very best (this usually leaves me with only 5 or 6 to post here).

    After that I just edit them with Paint Shop Pro. I add some lighting here and there to increase visual impact, plus some artistic effects when needed, and it's done.
    no i mean the captions for the screenshots (that are sometimes in another language) how are you coming up with those?
    • Auxiliary Pikemen make good front line troops, to absorb their initial charge. Their morale is not the best, but then again their function is simply to hold the enemy line while I flank it with my heavy cavalry. I suppose you can say I apply "Hammer and Anvil" tactics quite often, and they seem to work. These Pikemen are also cheap and easy to replace, so they make the bulk of my armies when I'm short on funds (which happens often as Epeiros).
    ah ok this is mostly what i was confused about, why would you use so much auxiliary pikemen as a first line, i totally forgot about FUNDS.

  13. #13
    Xavier Dragnesi's Avatar Esse quam videre
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    Default Re: A Pyrrhic Victory (Epirote AAR)

    Quote Originally Posted by Snuggans View Post
    no i mean the captions for the screenshots (that are sometimes in another language) how are you coming up with those?
    Well, if you look at the parts in a different language, they are just the names of museums or galleries. So all you need to do is go look up some famous foreign museums and stuff, then put their name here. If this is wrong Selahedin, please correct me.

    As for the AAR itself, it's pretty awesome. Nice screenshots plus the effects on those, and a wonderful story plan. Keep it up.

  14. #14
    Selahedīn's Avatar Biarchus
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    Default Re: A Pyrrhic Victory (Epirote AAR)

    Oh sorry, thought you were talking about screen captures, my bad!

    But yeah, Xavier is right, I always use the names of actual museums. A little research is all that's needed.

    Thanks again for the support, I'll try to update this asap.

  15. #15

    Default Re: A Pyrrhic Victory (Epirote AAR)

    Selahedīn,

    Great AAR, an inspiration to underdog factions everywhere! I've struggled whenever i've played with the Epirots, as I'm usually attacked by Roma and the Macedonians at the same time. I like the idea of your main force consisting of the cheaper auxillary pikemen whom i had always feared would wilt before Roman infantry. I sacraficed my elephants to keep a mostly elite phalanx army in gear and recruits. You've inspired me to have another crack at the those latin devils!

  16. #16
    Blackshamrock.'s Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: A Pyrrhic Victory (Epirote AAR)

    Nice I mite add mine at alter date, but looking at yours I have a lot of work to do. Well done guys Its grate and thank you for shearing it with us.

  17. #17
    Ephialtes The Dog's Avatar Vicarius
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    Default Re: A Pyrrhic Victory (Epirote AAR)

    Beautiful!
    "So there I am, in Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, at about 3 o'clock in the morning, looking for one thousand brown M&Ms to fill a brandy glass, or Ozzy wouldn't go on stage that night. So, Jeff Beck pops his head 'round the door, and mentions there's a little sweets shop on the edge of town. So - we go. And - it's closed. So there's me, and Keith Moon, and David Crosby, breaking into that little sweets shop, eh. Well, instead of a guard dog, they've got this bloody great big Bengal tiger. I managed to take out the tiger with a can of mace, but the shopowner and his son... that's a different story altogether. I had to beat them to death with their own shoes. Nasty business, really. But, sure enough, I got the M&Ms, and Ozzy went on stage and did a great show."

    -Del Preston

  18. #18
    Jingles's Avatar Praefectus
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    Default Re: A Pyrrhic Victory (Epirote AAR)

    I really like this AAR, particularly the diagrams. It helps put the screenshots into perspective.

  19. #19
    NaptownKnight's Avatar Praeses
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    Default Re: A Pyrrhic Victory (Epirote AAR)

    I was browsing through this sub forum and noticed this.

    Is this still alive? This is such a wonderful AAR, you've really paid a lot of attention to detail, and I love the way your screenshots are presented. You also chose a faction nobody ever chooses, giving us something new and eventful. I would give you rep if I could.

  20. #20

    Icon1 Re: A Pyrrhic Victory (Epirote AAR)

    Quote Originally Posted by NaptownKnight View Post
    Is this still alive?
    No, it's dead for sure. I wonder why people keep gettin' to write an AAR with great verve, then drop it in the dustbin.

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