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Thread: How does the EBII community rate Pyrrhos Aikidas?

  1. #1

    Default How does the EBII community rate Pyrrhos Aikidas?

    The title says it all. What do you think of Pyrrhos, Basileus Apeirotan? He's not well known nowadays outside of the common phrase Pyrrhic Victory. Though he's much better than that factoid would suggest, I don't think he lives up to the ancient notion of being superior to, equal to, or being second only to Alexandros Megas. He had too many botched maneuvers in Italy and accomplished too little with the time he had for me to consider him superior to Phillip II, Cyrus the Great, the best of the Diadochi, Darius the Great, or Hannibal Barca and Scipio Africanus. I would say that his skills as a king are underrated, judging from EBII's biography of one of his sons, he left behind an Epirote kingdom powerful enough to threaten Makedonia for generations.

  2. #2

    Default Re: How does the EBII community rate Pyrrhos Aikidas?

    What botched maneuvers in Italy, though?

    Pyrrhos entire life story is struggling with the lack of resources for his ambition, his Italian war too. Apeiros was quite an unruly "kingdom" (just see how his father ended), Pyrrhos was fighting with partly borrowed army and had to somehow secure enough spoils for his own troops - which wasn't exactly a case in his war with Rome. Looting of the Locroi temple was probably dictated by this. Lilybaion was virtually impossible to take with the siegecraft of the era, not when its crew could be resupplied from the sea.

    And when he finally got a workable plan going, he's got himself killed in a fairly accidental way.


    TBH, as of patch 3.35, Apeirotan player is in a situation absolutely luxurious compared to what Pyrrhos was facing in reality.
    Last edited by Satapatiš; July 13, 2020 at 01:21 PM.
    Furthermore, I believe that Rome must be destroyed.


  3. #3

    Default Re: How does the EBII community rate Pyrrhos Aikidas?

    The Battle of Male/Beneventum is the biggest one, where he split his forces into two to engage the Roman forces. He arrived at the site of battle in poor shape and was routed (or whatever account you read, none of them says he won). When the Battle of Heraclea started he attempted to oppose a Roman river crossing, but his cavalry were driven back (though not routed). At Asculum he was either forced into a position where he could not use his elephants or cavalry, attempted a nighttime attack on the Roman position but lost camp, or he had to quit the field and withdrew to Taras/Tarentum to recover his losses.

    I'm well aware that Pyrrhus had a relative lack of resources compared to some of the greatest conquerors like Alexander, but his situation was not remotely the worst a Hellenistic general had faced. Phillip II had a comparative lack of resources and built Makedon into a dominant power. Eumenes did not have a royal lineage to lean on like Pyrrhus did, he wasn't even Makedonian, but successfully managed to lead a coalition against Antigonos. Hannibal was able to keep a desperate war going in Italy for over a decade, despite being cut off from his Iberian holdings or aid from Qarthadast. Even Gonatas was able to bounce back from all of his losses, though fortune had a heavy hand in that one. Assuming Pyrrhos did take Lilybaion, in between Syracusan unrest with his rule and continued resistance from Qarthadast and Roma there's no guarantee he'd have created a great power. His plan to conquer Qarthadast while Roma was continually pressing Pyrrhos' Italian holdings sounds ridiculously optimistic on the best of days.

    Pyrrhos wasn't remotely alone in ruling an unstable kingdom. Phillip II essentially made Makedon from a bit player into the biggest power in Europe, but he was still assassinated by a Makedonian. Treachery was so rife in Pyrrhos' time that Monophthalmos flexed on some visitors by letting his son approach him with a weapon in hand.


    If we're going to talk about an EBII player being in a luxurious position, let's not forget we're playing a video game that was originally designed for fun and gratification.

    Anyways, my position is that Pyrrhos was good but not great as a military commander. Where do you think he ranks?

  4. #4

    Default Re: How does the EBII community rate Pyrrhos Aikidas?

    Excuse me, but all your examples ended well for Pyrrhus except for Beneventum where he probably had to oppose two consular armies at the same time. This year saw two thriumphs for Roman consuls, presumably for the same engagement with Pyrrhus. And that battle wasn't possible for him to win, besides by then he was on his way out of Italy and only checking if he can't get the last chance of maybe winning a decisive battle against Rome. He didn't, but at the same time Romans failed at ending his threat... The entire resistance against the Republic only ended after the news of his death reached Italy.

    There's a lot of effort on the Roman side to somehow soften the blow of writing about their inability to get rid of a one general from a Balkan backwater.

    Pyrrhus situation wasn't the same as other Hellenic monarchs, mostly because Epirus barely counted as a kingdom. Compared to Macedon with tradition of being an actual kingdom, Epirus had kings in the same capacity as, for an example, Sparta. It's good to not look at Epirus as anything similar to their neighbours. Pyrrhus is sort of an exception coming from a Doric tribal federation where locals were used to having Aiakidai kings as hereditary generals and heads of the federation, but not to obeying them too hard. The position of kings there was so weak, the entire league could be existing even without them. The tribal assembly in Dodona was perfectly capable of acting without any royal family.
    But in the game Epirus is more stable than Macedon (!).

    On top of this... Pyrrhus wasn't even very popular in Italy. Italian Greeks had a very ambivalent stance towards him, his ambition of forging a hegemony there was fairly obvious. Samnites stuck with him to the end, but Samnites were always willing to stick with anyone giving them a shot at defeating Rome.

    Good general, perhaps the best in his generation. But even the Ancients rated him high mostly as a general, not necessarily as a politician.


    Probably he shouldn't be going to Italy in the first place, instead focusing on securing himself in Epirus...


    ...but we don't even know everything behind his decision of going to Italy and Epirus had interests across the sea even before his reign.
    Last edited by Satapatiš; July 13, 2020 at 03:53 PM.
    Furthermore, I believe that Rome must be destroyed.


  5. #5

    Default Re: How does the EBII community rate Pyrrhos Aikidas?

    Auto-resolve galore, can pull out some really victories. 10/10 if I am playing Epeiros, avoid like the plague as anyone else.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How does the EBII community rate Pyrrhos Aikidas?

    Pyrrhus could never finish what he started, opting to abandon a tough campaign in favor of anything remotely looking like greener pastures. If he could have just committed to one project he could've accomplished far more with the limited resources he had.

  7. #7

    Default Re: How does the EBII community rate Pyrrhos Aikidas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shoebopp View Post
    Pyrrhus could never finish what he started, opting to abandon a tough campaign in favor of anything remotely looking like greener pastures. If he could have just committed to one project he could've accomplished far more with the limited resources he had.
    The moral of his death is...


    ... watch those KH sphendonetai getting too close to your general's unit.
    Furthermore, I believe that Rome must be destroyed.


  8. #8

    Default Re: How does the EBII community rate Pyrrhos Aikidas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Satapatiš View Post
    Excuse me, but all your examples ended well for Pyrrhus except for Beneventum where he probably had to oppose two consular armies at the same time. This year saw two thriumphs for Roman consuls, presumably for the same engagement with Pyrrhus. And that battle wasn't possible for him to win, besides by then he was on his way out of Italy and only checking if he can't get the last chance of maybe winning a decisive battle against Rome. He didn't, but at the same time Romans failed at ending his threat... The entire resistance against the Republic only ended after the news of his death reached Italy.

    There's a lot of effort on the Roman side to somehow soften the blow of writing about their inability to get rid of a one general from a Balkan backwater.

    Pyrrhus situation wasn't the same as other Hellenic monarchs, mostly because Epirus barely counted as a kingdom. Compared to Macedon with tradition of being an actual kingdom, Epirus had kings in the same capacity as, for an example, Sparta. It's good to not look at Epirus as anything similar to their neighbours. Pyrrhus is sort of an exception coming from a Doric tribal federation where locals were used to having Aiakidai kings as hereditary generals and heads of the federation, but not to obeying them too hard. The position of kings there was so weak, the entire league could be existing even without them. The tribal assembly in Dodona was perfectly capable of acting without any royal family.
    But in the game Epirus is more stable than Macedon (!).

    On top of this... Pyrrhus wasn't even very popular in Italy. Italian Greeks had a very ambivalent stance towards him, his ambition of forging a hegemony there was fairly obvious. Samnites stuck with him to the end, but Samnites were always willing to stick with anyone giving them a shot at defeating Rome.

    Good general, perhaps the best in his generation. But even the Ancients rated him high mostly as a general, not necessarily as a politician.


    Probably he shouldn't be going to Italy in the first place, instead focusing on securing himself in Epirus...


    ...but we don't even know everything behind his decision of going to Italy and Epirus had interests across the sea even before his reign.
    Ended well? Pyrrhos would disagree with you. He drove the Romans from the field, but none of the histories listed Roman casualties as devastating. They don't compare to Hannibal's triumphs, or the Roman defeats at the hands of the Kembrozez(Cimbri). Both of which saw the Romans bring two consular armies and more to the fight and lose. I haven't faulted Pyrrhos for being unaware of how formidable Roma would be, and that's generous considering Hellenic presence and previous Epeirote operations in Italy; but marching against two consular armies when he had mostly given up on his western ambitions would be risking everything for no gain. Kineas should have observed and reported on Roman manpower at that point. If Pyrrhos thought that a victory at Maleventum would have ended the war, that's a failing. Both as a politician and general.

    Your hyperbole in downplaying Pyrrhos' position does your argument no credit. With the benefit of hindsight, we (and Polybius) can say that Pyrrhos is great for defeating the Romans, but by the time he entered Italy he would have been the more internationally recognized figure. He was a blood relative of Alexandros Megas, whom the Romans had sent embassies to. He fought in the great Battle of Ipsus, and fought rival kings in Hellas while ruling from the site of the Dodonian Oracle.

    Once Pyrrhos assassinated Neoptolemus there was no indication of Epeirote unrest or resistance to his rule. There were Greek poleis that had oligarkhia or demokratia give way to autokratia, Syrakousai is one such example. His royal blood was a boon regardless of any Epeirote constitution. The infant Pyrrhos found refuge with the Illyrian king Glaukias, and after being driven from the throne at the age of seventeen sought refuge with Demetrios Antigonides. Neither of these men would have given a peasant boy, or even a citizen youth, the time of day. Nor were the supposedly more entrenched Basileu all that secure in their positions. Antigonid Makedon collapsed after the defeat at Pydna, while Perseus was still alive and Pella stood strong. Arche Seleukeia constantly faced issues with the revolts of entire provinces, thanks to separatists and usurpers. The Attalides conceded all their holdings to Roma despite the long standing alliance between the two. All of this is politics anyways, at best it's related to strategy and operations, but this does not prove Pyrrhos' excellence as a commander.

    Phillip II and Alexander III was hardly beloved by the cities of old Hellas. For all the unrest that Taras and Syrakousai gave Pyrrhos, they did not celebrate his death like Athenai did for the Argeads.

    I don't think we have received a truly comprehensive analysis from the ancients as to why Pyrrhos merits greater than Hannibal, Scipio, or the Diadochi. Polybius refers readers to the book Pyrrhos wrote, which is now lost, and writing military literature is clearly a different skill from military command. The only other reason I've seen is a vague "valor."


    As someone who's recently taken it upon himself to exposit on Chinese generals, I can assure you that I'm painfully aware that information on the important details and decision making process of generals is very rarely given out. Still, I see no reason to budge on my position and reasoning.


    As for the EBII, the Total War engine it currently uses isn't capable of simulating dynastic politics or ideological conflict on even a superficial level. The closest it's come to is probably the Seleukeia Court System or the vanilla Papal Elections (which is bogged down by terrible M2TW Diplomacy). I've said this before, but you can neutralize a talented but disloyal general by parking him in a settlement until he dies. That's the exact opposite of what you want to do in reality, because an actual disloyal general would work to build his own connections and turn the settlement into his personal power base.

    Fortunately that might change soon. Have you heard of the M2TW Engine Overhaul Project? We might get actual dynastic politics in the future.
    Quote Originally Posted by RodriguesSting View Post
    Auto-resolve galore, can pull out some really victories. 10/10 if I am playing Epeiros, avoid like the plague as anyone else.
    Hah. I've never used Pyrrhos' autoresolve power unless the battle was a foregone conclusion, didn't see much point in playing as Pyrrhos if I couldn't exercise his skills on the field.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shoebopp View Post
    Pyrrhus could never finish what he started, opting to abandon a tough campaign in favor of anything remotely looking like greener pastures. If he could have just committed to one project he could've accomplished far more with the limited resources he had.
    Sometimes it looks like he jumped from the frying pan and into the fire for the sheer thrill of it.

  9. #9

    Default Re: How does the EBII community rate Pyrrhos Aikidas?

    Very good general, I'd say literally the best in the game. Over all my playthroughs I haven't ever seen any single one of mine reach as many command stars as he does, the most was 7. Not that you even need a general to be that good as a player, I've managed to defeat him in battle engaging his starting army multiple times as the inferior whelp Antigonos Gonatas, and that's even before he actually gets himself killed during battle.

  10. #10

    Default Re: How does the EBII community rate Pyrrhos Aikidas?

    Quote Originally Posted by BailianSteel View Post
    Ended well? Pyrrhos would disagree with you. He drove the Romans from the field, but none of the histories listed Roman casualties as devastating. They don't compare to Hannibal's triumphs, or the Roman defeats at the hands of the Kembrozez(Cimbri). Both of which saw the Romans bring two consular armies and more to the fight and lose. I haven't faulted Pyrrhos for being unaware of how formidable Roma would be, and that's generous considering Hellenic presence and previous Epeirote operations in Italy; but marching against two consular armies when he had mostly given up on his western ambitions would be risking everything for no gain. Kineas should have observed and reported on Roman manpower at that point. If Pyrrhos thought that a victory at Maleventum would have ended the war, that's a failing. Both as a politician and general.
    The sources we have for his campaigns also mentioned Pyrrhus suffering horrific casualties, and yet he managed a few years of the campaign. Same sources also came up with anti-elephant wagons and flaming pigs... Unlike the Second Punic War, Romans couldn't even claim a decisive victory achieved on their own. He just went back home because an opportunity of claiming the Macedonian throne happened. Plenty of reasons for the Roman and Romanized writers to downplay Pyrrhus. It wasn't an affair very glorious for them.

    Pyrrhus entire plan for war with the Republic sort of hints at him not fully realizing whom he's fighting. The idea that he could get Romans to sign a peace on his terms by winning battles and bleeding out their armies, as if he was at war with another Hellenic monarch. Probably his grasp of the regional politics wasn't very good to begin with.

    You need to compare Pyrrhus with Philip II instead of the others. Epirus was at the crossroads under his rule. If he lived and managed to at least secure Macedon, they it could've been a fully fledged Hellenic kingdom. But he died and it stayed the Epirote League with the assembly in Dodona having as much say as had their kings.

    On the other hand, he had no way of knowing that the Macedonian throne will be for the taking at the moment. Keraunos's death was unexpected.

    Probably he shouldn't be abandoning his mainland Italian allies for Sicily too. But that depends how badly he needed a decisive victory and how short he was on resources. Pyrrhus father ended dethroned and possibly lynched by his own troops and Sicily did look easier than Rome.

    Philip II was much better politician than Pyrrhus. But then, Pyrrhus never had a reputation of a very good politician.
    Last edited by Satapatiš; July 14, 2020 at 09:13 AM.
    Furthermore, I believe that Rome must be destroyed.


  11. #11

    Default Re: How does the EBII community rate Pyrrhos Aikidas?

    Quote Originally Posted by nvm View Post
    Very good general, I'd say literally the best in the game. Over all my playthroughs I haven't ever seen any single one of mine reach as many command stars as he does, the most was 7. Not that you even need a general to be that good as a player, I've managed to defeat him in battle engaging his starting army multiple times as the inferior whelp Antigonos Gonatas, and that's even before he actually gets himself killed during battle.
    Keltoi and Nomadic generals get bonuses to command that makes it easier to reach the highest command ranks, but it's very hard to get a Hellenic general to that level. I think I might have pulled that off around three times considering my collective playthroughs as Hellenic factions. It's way too easy to march Gonatas' starting army down to the Peloponnese and defeat Pyrrhos, the AI just can't handle having Phalangitai and elephants in the same army.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satapatiš View Post
    The sources we have for his campaigns also mentioned Pyrrhus suffering horrific casualties, and yet he managed a few years of the campaign. Same sources also came up with anti-elephant wagons and flaming pigs... Unlike the Second Punic War, Romans couldn't even claim a decisive victory achieved on their own. He just went back home because an opportunity of claiming the Macedonian throne happened. Plenty of reasons for the Roman and Romanized writers to downplay Pyrrhus. It wasn't an affair very glorious for them.

    Pyrrhus entire plan for war with the Republic sort of hints at him not fully realizing whom he's fighting. The idea that he could get Romans to sign a peace on his terms by winning battles and bleeding out their armies, as if he was at war with another Hellenic monarch. Probably his grasp of the regional politics wasn't very good to begin with.

    You need to compare Pyrrhus with Philip II instead of the others. Epirus was at the crossroads under his rule. If he lived and managed to at least secure Macedon, they it could've been a fully fledged Hellenic kingdom. But he died and it stayed the Epirote League with the assembly in Dodona having as much say as had their kings.

    On the other hand, he had no way of knowing that the Macedonian throne will be for the taking at the moment. Keraunos's death was unexpected.

    Probably he shouldn't be abandoning his mainland Italian allies for Sicily too. But that depends how badly he needed a decisive victory and how short he was on resources. Pyrrhus father ended dethroned and possibly lynched by his own troops and Sicily did look easier than Rome.

    Philip II was much better politician than Pyrrhus. But then, Pyrrhus never had a reputation of a very good politician.
    If we're going that route, then I should point out the Romans (or pro-Roman historians) crafted a narrative of the Greeks deteriorating over time, making it natural for the Romans to replace them as masters of the known world. When covering the Third Macedonian War, Livy claimed the old kings of Makedon would have put up a better fight than Perseus. When making his internet forum post on Alexander vs Rome, Livy did not compare Alexandros Megas at the start of his reign but rather at the end of it, with a clear theme of deterioration and good ol' orientalism. It's thanks to the Romans that fetishism for the Spartan Agoge and Athens at the center of intellectual activity really took off, both being fueled by evidence from the Classical Age. In one of the Jewish Wars, Roman domination of Athenai was used as an example of their might, which was laughably trite in comparison to all that they've accomplished. In this framework it makes perfect sense to instead talk up Pyrrhos as one of the greatest Greek generals, the closest thing in the world you could come to fighting Alexandros Megas in his Hellenic prime. The narrative surrounding Pyrrhos also makes sure to talk up his virtue in comparison to his fellow Basileu, and then proceeds to claim that his virtue is lesser than that of the Romans.

    From my readings, the proponents of Pyrrhos' fame is based on historians that explicitly wrote pro-Roman history, or lived in a Roman world. Questioning the sources speaks against Pyrrhos' military skill, not for it. And this doesn't change the fact that his maneuvers were not nearly as successful as those of the greats.

    Reconnaissance and understanding the politics of a region is part of a general's skillset. Greeks have been trading with Romans for hundreds of years, and have even pursued military operations in Italy from time to time. Pyrrhos isn't incompetent for not realizing just how difficult his fight would be, nobody could predict the fierceness of the Punic Wars; but that he failed to realize fighting in Italy would be much more difficult than fighting the Diadochi is not a sign of a great general.

    I have been comparing Pyrrhos to Phillip II since the start of the thread. That is a big reason as to why I think he falls short of the lofty seat the ancients set up for him.

  12. #12

    Default Re: How does the EBII community rate Pyrrhos Aikidas?

    Quote Originally Posted by BailianSteel View Post
    I have been comparing Pyrrhos to Phillip II since the start of the thread. That is a big reason as to why I think he falls short of the lofty seat the ancients set up for him.

    And I think I prefer to refer to the Ancients for the general opinion about his tactical abilities than to you for a few simple reasons:

    1 - They had more sources for this than we have. Pyrrhic writings about strategy were preserved at least to Cicero's times. In comparison, details of Hannibal victories are better known.

    2 - Whilst Livy's Hannibal's speech is made up, he still considered it believable to his leaders to claim that Hannibal would rate Pyrrhus above himself. Or that he'd be studying Pyrrhus.

    3 - You're assuming that people living in the era with no modern communications and intelligence gathering must've had same level of knowledge about what's happening across the sea we have (based on what their travelers and traders could knew). Or that there was some level of common Greek knowledge and consciousness when the said Greeks could be more conflicted with each other than they were with their non-Greek neighbours. For all we know he might've been expecting just a war with Italian tribes from the Tarentine delegates giving him (or not) the full picture.

    4 - Ancients didn't claim Pyrrhus having really well thought out plans for his wars. They only had high opinion about his ability in the field.

    5 - He was considerably less lucky than Philip. He died mid-way instead of closer to the finish.
    Last edited by Satapatiš; July 14, 2020 at 11:30 AM.
    Furthermore, I believe that Rome must be destroyed.


  13. #13

    Default Re: How does the EBII community rate Pyrrhos Aikidas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Satapatiš View Post
    And I think I prefer to refer to the Ancients for the general opinion about his tactical abilities than to you for a few simple reasons:

    1 - They had more sources for this than we have. Pyrrhic writings about strategy were preserved at least to Cicero's times. In comparison, details of Hannibal victories are better known.

    2 - Whilst Livy's Hannibal's speech is made up, he still considered it believable to his leaders to claim that Hannibal would rate Pyrrhus above himself. Or that he'd be studying Pyrrhus.

    3 - You're assuming that people living in the era with no modern communications and intelligence gathering must've had same level of knowledge about what's happening across the sea we have (based on what their travelers and traders could knew). Or that there was some level of common Greek knowledge and consciousness when the said Greeks could be more conflicted with each other than they were with their non-Greek neighbours. For all we know he might've been expecting just a war with Italian tribes from the Tarentine delegates giving him (or not) the full picture.

    4 - Ancients didn't claim Pyrrhus having really well thought out plans for his wars. They only had high opinion about his ability in the field.

    5 - He was considerably less lucky than Philip. He died mid-way instead of closer to the finish.
    Well, it's a shame we can't talk to the ancients. We can only talk to each other, and that's a funny thing to say considering that claimed that the Romans downplayed Pyrrhos' achievements. Did you concede on that?

    Like I said before, military technical writing and military command are different skills. We have no evidence that being a good writer and being a good commander are closely linked. On the other hand, we have plenty of evidence that theoretical knowledge is not equal to one's abilities on the field. What you've said doesn't change the fact that there is a difference in the outcome between Hannibal's victories and Pyrrhos' victories. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, without the proof we can dismiss the claim.

    It's not just Livy, there are plenty of anecdotes that attest to Pyrrhos' quality, including one from Antigonos Monophthalmos. Funny how we didn't get anything from the Ptolemaioi, which Pyrrhos was much closer to and lived in an intellectual center of the world. Livy also thought it believable that Alexandros Megas would have been beaten by contemporary Roma. Not Punic War Roma, Roma of the 4th Century BCE. Not to mention you just claimed that the ancients made up entire speeches.

    Reconnaissance and spycraft was not invented by the modern age, and ancient states do not change as rapidly as modern states can. The ancients had geographical treatises, analysis of political structures, analysis of available manpower, and even technical literature discussing espionage. No matter what the time period is, better intelligence about your enemies is always preferable to worse intelligence. If the Tarentine delegates didn't give Pyrrhos the full picture, then that would have been mentioned in the histories, as they don't speak highly of the Tarentines. To my knowledge the Tarentines did lie about the forces they had available for the war, but for Pyrrhos to continue the war despite being lied to does not do him credit.

    The ancients claimed that Pyrrhos was the greatest commander after Alexandros. There's one claim that he is the greatest commander, period. Having a well thought out plan is a part of that. Not having a well thought out plan is a failing as a great commander, let alone one who is also a king.

    Phillip II's death was far more unlucky than Pyrrhos'. While Pyrrhos' death was indeed an accident, his army was already in a dire situation by the time he was crippled. And Phillip II did not remotely die close to his finish line. He formed a unified Hellas under the mission of fighting the Hakhmanishiya. He died right before he could personally cross into Asia, and who knows what he could have achieved there?

  14. #14

    Default Re: How does the EBII community rate Pyrrhos Aikidas?

    Pyrrhus achieved a lot before EB2 starts, he transformed the backwater Epirus into a fledling hellenistic kingdom and created his own powerbase in Ambrakia, which didn't exist before. He collaborated with Lysimachus to deny Macedon to Demetrius, and annexed half of Macedon and Thessaly. His italian campaign is the first time when he started to struggle, and that was mainly due to manpower.

    The battles versus the romans were a manpower grind and he didn't have support of the local greeks for his empire building project, in the same fashion that the macedonians deal constantly with controlling the greeks in mainland greece. His italian army was punching far above the capabilities of Epirus as a kingdom, the elephants and other resources were a loan from Ptolemy. It was only Pyrrhus' tactical genius that allowed this petty hellenistic kingdom to compete with the big powers, he engaged in a foreign policy reminiscing that of Manuel Komnennos, he was trying to improve his state by gambling his resources playing on the big league.

    He had to deal with Rome, which was far more resilient that he could have imagined and that campaign depleted the fragile support he was built around - it was about winning, and making those investments pay off for everyone who joined him. He was basically a condottieri who came from the balcans to try to carve his own kingdom in italy, promising stuff to those who would support him. His later campaigns in greece look like the acts of a desperate man who is running out of resources and keeps coming with more and more dangerous gambits in order that one will pay off, and keep him afloat. Those defeats in italy and later his tragic death in Argos led to the decline of the legitimacy of the monarchy in Epirus.

    He was historically of the few generals of the age who kept innovating on the battefield, in an age where the hellenistic rulers were settling down on defensive/offensive flank and the rigid phalanx. He made excellent use of his limited resources, and put enough pressure to Carthage and Rome that he was close to winning both wars, he simply couldn't afford all the losses and had to give up. IMO he was the best general of the epigonoi, one of the few who attempted to introduce improvements to the traditional alexandrian battle order, realising it's limitations way before hellenistic generals of the period did. Most of them just kept doing the same thing that had worked in the past, and hellenistic warfare became stuck. He was a sort of failed Napoleon, in the sense of the changes that the later introduced the the formal and standarized 18th century warfare. Pyrrhus' legacy is one of military innovation and tactical excellence, and he wasn't a terrible ruler either, he was just playing iin the big leagues far above the capabilities of his country - his ambition and tactical prowess was such that he nearly succeeded in pulling a "Philip II" and transforming a petty hellenic kingdom into a great hellenistic power.
    Last edited by Hellenikon; July 14, 2020 at 12:34 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: How does the EBII community rate Pyrrhos Aikidas?

    Quote Originally Posted by BailianSteel View Post
    Reconnaissance and spycraft was not invented by the modern age, and ancient states do not change as rapidly as modern states can. The ancients had geographical treatises, analysis of political structures, analysis of available manpower, and even technical literature discussing espionage. No matter what the time period is, better intelligence about your enemies is always preferable to worse intelligence. If the Tarentine delegates didn't give Pyrrhos the full picture, then that would have been mentioned in the histories, as they don't speak highly of the Tarentines. To my knowledge the Tarentines did lie about the forces they had available for the war, but for Pyrrhos to continue the war despite being lied to does not do him credit.

    The ancients claimed that Pyrrhos was the greatest commander after Alexandros. There's one claim that he is the greatest commander, period. Having a well thought out plan is a part of that. Not having a well thought out plan is a failing as a great commander, let alone one who is also a king.

    You're still making assumptions based on modern knowledge and the understanding we have after the centuries of knowing what Rome was.


    By the beginning of the Pyrrhic War Rome wasn't even in control of the Italy, just the central part of it and a number of people technically subjugated but still possible to turn against the Republic. By the knowledge of the period, it wasn't looking more powerful than a particularly persistent league of cities, like the Greek ones. At best, they'd be considered on pair with Macedon in Greece. A local power. Hard, but doable - looking from the outside. Pyrrhus was accustomed to a Hellenic kind of war - get battles, defeat the opponent, observe the customs of war and they will ask for peace on your terms. That's what he knew as a man of his ethnicity and his era.

    How much Rome can throw into the war and how long they can keep going couldn't be known to him and probably not to Tarentines. By this era you could only get a very rough estimate of the population you can count on by doing the census and that's only in a region in your control. Anyone from the outside could only say that the land is populous.

    That they can keep going might've been not known even to the Romans themselves - after all they were considering peace on Pyrrhus's terms just before Carthage offered them support.


    Therefore - I think you're wrong.


    The same you're saying about Pyrrhus you have to say about Hannibal and Philip V. None of these three could realistically expect how much the Republic can take from her enemies.


    Heck, Romans themselves had no idea of what they're getting into with Arsacids and that it will take this long. In spite of having diplomatic treaties with Parthia and Romans usually taking care of knowing their potential enemies.
    Last edited by Satapatiš; July 14, 2020 at 01:08 PM.
    Furthermore, I believe that Rome must be destroyed.


  16. #16

    Default Re: How does the EBII community rate Pyrrhos Aikidas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Satapatiš View Post
    Therefore - I think you're wrong.
    And by all means, you're free to think so. But at this point I'm far from being convinced, you're far from being convinced, and it seems this'll be the case no matter how long we drag this out.

    Curious that you bring up Phillip V. I don't know anyone that would put him on their top 10 lists.

  17. #17

    Default Re: How does the EBII community rate Pyrrhos Aikidas?

    Quote Originally Posted by BailianSteel View Post
    I don't know anyone that would put him on their top 10 lists.
    Probably no one would. But he's a good example of having no way of knowing that the Republic was capable of handling two wars at the same time. I doubt that anyone was realizing this before the end of the Second Punic War. So you can't judge rulers of the era based on modern knowledge of how it all ended.
    Furthermore, I believe that Rome must be destroyed.


  18. #18

    Default Re: How does the EBII community rate Pyrrhos Aikidas?

    I'm pretty sure he's rated 10 stars...

  19. #19

    Default Re: How does the EBII community rate Pyrrhos Aikidas?

    Good enough tactician but terrible strategist. In that regard I consider him fairly close to Hannibal, but Hannibal was even better at winning battles.

    EDIT: As far as command stars go I see no problem with him having the most stars at start since in game it doesn't really affect generalship if your playing the battle as him, but it does affect auto-resolve which I suppose is also fair enough.
    Last edited by Slaytaninc; July 14, 2020 at 09:39 PM.
    ORANGE MAN BAD

  20. #20

    Default Re: How does the EBII community rate Pyrrhos Aikidas?

    Personally i rate Pyrrhus higher than Alexander. However that doesnt means i think he's the greatest of all time. Its just that, generally, i find the diadochi (pyrrhus included) much more impressive than Alexander.

    Pyrrhus id say is lower in rank than Antigonos Monophthalmus, Seleucos and Eumenes. He possibly stands in comparison with Demetrius Poliorcetes. Both of them had their own share of bad luck and wrong political decisions, but they were also great generals with impressive victories under their belt, Demetrius specially with his victory in the aftermath of the battle of gaza and salamis. After Ipsus Demetrius still faced a coalition of ptolemy, lysimachus and seleucos (and Pyrrhus), and when he finally took control of Macedon his grasp wasnt tight. His situation was probably way direr than that of Pyrrhus. I guess it all comes down to how did these generals face the opposition given to them, and not gauging merely by their success or not. Thus one could have lost but done a more impressive effort than the victor.

    In regards to Alexander, i find his opposition to be less impressive (specially in terms of the quality of the armies fielded) than the opposition faced by the diadochi, as in, the others diadochi.
    Then, as throngs of his enemies bore down upon him and one of his followers said, "They are making at thee, O King," "Who else, pray," said Antigonus, "should be their mark? But Demetrius will come to my aid." This was his hope to the last, and to the last he kept watching eagerly for his son; then a whole cloud of javelins were let fly at him and he fell.

    -Plutarch, life of Demetrius.

    Arche Aiakidae-Epeiros EB2 AAR

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