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Thread: The War Council is hereby convened - Invasion: Britannia

  1. #1
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    Default The War Council is hereby convened - Invasion: Britannia

    Winter of 80 B.C.

    It has all been leading up to this.

    Spoiler for Ends of the Earth

    Twenty years after the military enfranchisement of vast swaths of Greek citizenry, and corresponding military reforms which saw the implementation of standing professional armies for the first time - used to great effect soon thereafter to conquer Sicily, Iberia, and Afrika within a decade - we stand at the precipice of immortality.

    Years of training and battle experience, mustering and maneuvering, negotiating and politicking, has resulted in the greatest invading force the world has ever seen. 320,000 Hellenic soldiers: Makedonians, Thessalians and Epirotes - Aetolians, Athenians, Korinthians and Spartans - Thrakians, Illyrians, Bosporans and Kretans.

    Spoiler for The Invasion Force

    Along with the most powerful naval fleets the seas have ever known, numbering in the thousands, our forces are divided into five field armies of 64,000 men each, further divided into light and heavy corps of 32,000. Each is led by an able commander, many having proven themselves just a few years prior in the Carthaginian war, others through crushing internal dissents over the years after completing mandatory rigorous Spartan training.

    1st Army
    Spoiler for I - Heavy Corps
    Spoiler for I - Light Corps

    2nd Army
    Spoiler for II - Heavy Corps
    Spoiler for II - Light Corps

    3rd Army
    Spoiler for III - Heavy Corps
    Spoiler for III - Light Corps

    4th Army
    Spoiler for IV - Heavy Corps
    Spoiler for IV - Light Corps

    5th Army
    Spoiler for V = Heavy Corps
    Spoiler for V - Light Corps

    Now, to the matter at hand.

    Despite our titanic strength being brought to bear, our enemies number in the millions. The sheer numerosity of our foe has made planning for the invasion not an easy task. With springtime fast approaching and set as our timetable for landing troops, we must discuss various approaches and decide on the optimal course of action to see our warriors victorious and the last remaining barbarians on earth destroyed.

    Two strategies are being considered in particular:

    The conservative approach sees all our forces landing in the north, taking what settlements may lay in our wake, and packing our reinforcements tightly at choke points to discourage attack from the local tribes. This should allow us to pick and choose offensives with detachments using naval support to get around, attacking weakened points behind their front when opportune or just brute forcing forward by moving south with everything we've got.
    Spoiler for Operation: Zeus' Hammer

    The aggressive approach sees our forces landing simultaneously all across the coastlines, taking as many settlements as quickly as possible to reduce the tribes' capabilities of raising even more reinforcements, hopefully making the isolated campaign more manageable in the long run. The risk is in becoming completely encircled and outnumbered to an unmanageable degree with individual armies being forced to take on much greater numbers and more open areas of attack.
    Spoiler for Operation: Athena's Embrace

    These are not the only options that will be considered, and the esteemed Council is encouraged to offer their wisdom from years of experience.

    The main concern and goal is to be able to use one corps. (fullstack) at a time per battle, ideally as the defender, against as few enemy armies at a time as possible, using choke points and terrain advantages, in order to avoid self-reinforcement battles (terrified of leaving any of these precious armies/commanders to AI, even in defensive stance). Our spies have reconnoitered the landscape, and there are few positions where we can achieve this cleanly. Most locations will leave room for encirclement eventually, unless adjacent reinforcements are used to cut them off.

    Another great concern is endless, repeated attacks in a given season against a single position. Is that a potential eventuality given any of your experiences? Would it be likely or possible that these savages send 20 armies, one after the other as they are defeated, keep sending more after each battle before the season is over? It is difficult to predict how these wild beasts will behave in order to tailor our approach to their tendencies.

    Time runs short. The snows are melting. The men grow anxious. Having survived two vicious storms over the past two years on their journey from the southern Peloponnese by sea, the promise of great battles, fame, and plunder beyond all imagination calls to the warrior spirit of our fearsome troops. All able-minded Strategoi are now called upon to put their experience and expertise to good use in offering perspectives for how to bring these brave men back home after a total and complete victory in the furthest corner of the world.

    Spoiler for Target: Britannia

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    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Gatorade, is it in you?
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    Default Re: The War Council is hereby convened - Invasion: Britannia

    Well, I repped you for your post in the screenshots thread about conquering Carthage in 94 BC, so it's a shame I can't rep you for this!

    Excellent work and a truly entertaining rundown of the situation you are in. Consider amending your post here to add a map of your current empire, which you provided in the screenshots thread, but would be nice here as well for a little context. Judging from your map in the other thread, your claim that the Pritanoi are truly the last barbaroi outside of Hellenistic influence rings true, with the exception of the Sabaean Arabians, I guess, but they are at least urbane, civilized city-dwellers.

    I shudder at the thought of you breaking your alliance with the equally large West Asiatic and Northeast African empire of Pergamon in the eastern half of your map!

    Whatever your strategy, I would suggest concentrating your forces in two areas to make a pincer move like you suggested. Alternatively, you could settle for a slow conquest by taking and holding one region for a while, with all your armies concentrated on one province. That would allow the hordes of Pritanoi to assault it until they are diminished enough for you to make another assault to capture a second region. If they shy away from fighting you could provoke them to a fight with constant raids into adjacent provinces.

  3. #3

    Default Re: The War Council is hereby convened - Invasion: Britannia

    I'm surprised, no artillery support? I tend to use it a lot, I find it invaluable in long slugfests, like those you're heading into...

    In any case, I suggest picking one town that's next to coast and is not considered core by the extra unrest script for pritanoi, landing your strongest army or two, lay siege to it but not assault, wait for them to attack you. Make sure to let some of them escape to maintain the town garrison, rotate sieging armies after each enemy assault and this way, using the town's location as chokepoint to limit the number of stack you face in each battle to 3-4, wear them out.

  4. #4

    Default Re: The War Council is hereby convened - Invasion: Britannia

    I did something similar in Warcraft total war, it took a month. You have it worse, though - the British Isles are a lot smaller than Northrend.

    I'm not sure you have enough troops, honestly. Looks like you're outnumbered 5 to 1. Get more troops if possible. You will need a lot of spies. Land an army where the enemy isn't present, besiege a city to draw them out. Choke points are your friends.

    Besieging northern Ireland seems like a good start - the great blue blob will thin itself out while marching there Keep your other armies in the boats waiting to pick off individual stacks. Don't get stuck on the island for any reason until they only have a slight numerical advantage. Just don't.

    Edit: You could destroy the Pritanoi spy-storming all their cities at once, but where's the fun in that?
    Last edited by Rad; May 26, 2019 at 12:34 PM.
    I recommend a pugio rather than a spear, because in close quarters combat, a dagger will serve you better than a spear.

    Rad, 2016.

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    Lusitanio's Avatar Content Staff
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    Default Re: The War Council is hereby convened - Invasion: Britannia

    Go for Huge battles and have a lot of fun with it. Dissembark your troops on Britain and try to attack all the armies you are able on the same turn, then retreat to a more defensible position. Wait for them to attack, destroy them and repeat next turn.

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    Razor's Avatar Licenced to insult
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    Default Re: The War Council is hereby convened - Invasion: Britannia

    And then suddenly a storm blew the Armada away...

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    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: The War Council is hereby convened - Invasion: Britannia

    i'm actually disappointed, I hoped that such AI huge military built-up wouldn't happen in the EBII. I've played TLK and this was something that made me not playing that mod...



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    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Gatorade, is it in you?
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    Default Re: The War Council is hereby convened - Invasion: Britannia

    Quote Originally Posted by Sar1n View Post
    I'm surprised, no artillery support? I tend to use it a lot, I find it invaluable in long slugfests, like those you're heading into...
    Yeah, good point. I would at least bring some Oxybeles ballista bolt throwers for attacking troops skulking around the walls during sieges, if not some Lithoboloi for tearing down wall sections for easier access than using just towers and ladders.

    Also, why are there no Agema Phalangitai? I know I made a silly thread praising them earlier, but they are by far the heaviest and most elite phalanx pikeman unit available to the Makedonia faction. There are plenty of Deuteroi Phalangitai in the "light corps" and regular phalangitai in the "heavy corps", but no Agema. At least he brought a lot of Greek Thorakitai heavy spearmen and Thracian Katoikoi heavy swordsmen. Those units will be very reliable in smashing the generally much lighter Pritanoi infantry. I did a Roman invasion of the British Isles recently and my heavy Marian-period legionaries numbering 200 men each, with 240 men for the Prima Cohors, cut through the Pritanoi pretty easily.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: The War Council is hereby convened - Invasion: Britannia

    @Roma_Victrix
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Consider amending your post here to add a map of your current empire, which you provided in the screenshots thread, but would be nice here as well for a little context. Judging from your map in the other thread, your claim that the Pritanoi are truly the last barbaroi outside of Hellenistic influence rings true, with the exception of the Sabaean Arabians, I guess, but they are at least urbane, civilized city-dwellers.
    Saving that for the screenshots thread, where I plan to keep adding more years of that war with their own posts and map updates, leading up to this point essentially.

    I shudder at the thought of you breaking your alliance with the equally large West Asiatic and Northeast African empire of Pergamon in the eastern half of your map!
    I think it's game over for me once/if I conquer Britannia. I don't plan on taking on my Hellenic allies, as the entire underlying roleplay rationale and driving force of this campaign has been eliminating all barbarian threats and spreading Hellenism. And wanting to see my units against varied ones from different culture types. Though there are plenty of eastern type units I haven't tangled with, I've gotten a taste with some excursions and far-east holdings (including I believe my only major battle loss in Anatolia against an upstart Pontus, where a conquering hero of the germanic wars lost a leg and plenty more before hobbling his way out of there into retirement on Krete).

    Also, why are there no Agema Phalangitai? I know I made a silly thread praising them earlier, but they are by far the heaviest and most elite phalanx pikeman unit available to the Makedonia faction. There are plenty of Deuteroi Phalangitai in the "light corps" and regular phalangitai in the "heavy corps", but no Agema.
    Honestly, they are one of my favorite units as well. I've used them throughout the campaign, but the recent military reforms left me wanting to standardize, and I made the tough choice to leave Agema as the king's personal units, along with Peltaste Makedones and Hypaspistai. I have an elite 25,000 royal guard ready to recruit with basically elite variants of the standard armies here. But my last couple kings haven't exactly been... proactive in the field. More bookish types, preferring to send hardened men with experience to get the job done.

    Whatever your strategy, I would suggest concentrating your forces in two areas to make a pincer move like you suggested. Alternatively, you could settle for a slow conquest by taking and holding one region for a while, with all your armies concentrated on one province. That would allow the hordes of Pritanoi to assault it until they are diminished enough for you to make another assault to capture a second region. If they shy away from fighting you could provoke them to a fight with constant raids into adjacent provinces.
    Hm, a two-pronged divided attack instead of five-pronged like I laid out might be worth considering. Kind of combines the two approaches, keeping strength in numbers, but also allowing for more tactical maneuvering. I've literally been stuck for days trying to figure out this campaign, this will be another thing added to the list of considerations I can't decide between.

    @Sar1n
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    I'm surprised, no artillery support? I tend to use it a lot, I find it invaluable in long slugfests, like those you're heading into...
    I must confess, I haven't been a big artillery user. In fact, I think I only extensively employed them in my campaign against Rome, which was mostly to facilitate immediate siege assaults during the initial landings in Italy. Also, I agonized for many long days and nights figuring out my standardized armies, taking things like demographics into account, and having finally landed on the composition I did and being happy with it, there just isn't room. ALSO, particularly for this upcoming campaign, I didn't estimate siege equipment being as important as sheer number of bodies and shields (even though I recognize they can be used in field battles, and I have, but my Bosporan and Kretan archers should be able to provide enough missile support.)

    In any case, I suggest picking one town that's next to coast and is not considered core by the extra unrest script for pritanoi, landing your strongest army or two, lay siege to it but not assault, wait for them to attack you. Make sure to let some of them escape to maintain the town garrison, rotate sieging armies after each enemy assault and this way, using the town's location as chokepoint to limit the number of stack you face in each battle to 3-4, wear them out.
    Hmm, interesting strategy. Not sure I'll want to "game" the game that much with rotating "fake" sieges to entice attackers, but I might just have to if it comes down to it. I'm very scared.

    @Rad
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    I did something similar in Warcraft total war, it took a month. You have it worse, though - the British Isles are a lot smaller than Northrend.

    I'm not sure you have enough troops, honestly. Looks like you're outnumbered 5 to 1. Get more troops if possible. You will need a lot of spies. Land an army where the enemy isn't present, besiege a city to draw them out. Choke points are your friends.

    Edit: You could destroy the Pritanoi spy-storming all their cities at once, but where's the fun in that?
    I expect it will take months... the war with Carthage took over a month, and I think there were many 20 stacks max I ended up having to battle. I estimated Pritanoi as having 50 stacks here as well initially, but did my best effort to count yesterday and looks like closer to 70 (translating to an estimated 1.7-2.2 million tribals )... and that's not counting any hidden stacks in the forests, which almost certainly there are (I don't think toggle_fow makes those visible). And I really am concerned about not having enough armies. I think I can bring in two more corps relatively soon, though two years journey, plus recruit mustering, would take around three years. Probably will end up doing so as the war progresses. Probably will have to. Also, I had a detachment of a spy and an assassin embedded with each army. Most of them died in a storm on the way. I haven't used spies to infiltrate in this campaign, I'm not planning on it here.

    Besieging northern Ireland seems like a good start - the great blue blob will thin itself out while marching there Keep your other armies in the boats waiting to pick off individual stacks. Don't get stuck on the island for any reason until they only have a slight numerical advantage. Just don't.
    I wondered whether I should make Ireland a sort of home base, instead of just quickly taking the settlement with one army and concentrating on the main island. I'll have to give it more thought. The single land route between it and Britan makes for a nice zone of safety, at least to where I can fall back if things start falling apart. Can either block enemy infantry from crossing over with a fleet, or park an army and hope for battles there.

    @Lusitanio
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Go for Huge battles and have a lot of fun with it. Dissembark your troops on Britain and try to attack all the armies you are able on the same turn, then retreat to a more defensible position. Wait for them to attack, destroy them and repeat next turn.
    Ah, a devotee of Athena's Embrace. Honestly, I'm most leaning in this direction. This is the endgame for me, and why play it safe? Even if I end up with reinforcement battles, might be fun to have a full army of heavy corps up front and light coming in behind as reserves on defense stance, or vice versa, versus untold numbers of barbarians. Should make for the most epic screenshots as well...

    @Razor
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    And then suddenly a storm blew the Armada away...


    You can't imagine my horror when I saw this message pop up...


    Thank Zeus, the only casualties of consequence were agents sent by the Emperor to keep a royal eye on the invading generals, make sure they don't get any lofty ideas of striking out for themselves so far away from home...


    Makes you wonder if it was really the storm that killed those men, or used as a convenient excuse to get rid of oversight.... remains to be seen what happens, most of these commanders are not exactly brimming with loyalty. And the ruler is not the most established leader with unquestioned authority... part of why he's launched the war is to establish himself, every king before has had a campaign against a peoples and period of growth to their names. He's just trying to catch up.

    Incidentally, there was another storm as the fleets pulled closer to Britan and I was sure that would spell the end for this expedition....


    Turns out, maybe just another opportune moment for mutinous men to overthrow an authority figure?


    @Jurand of Cracow
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    i'm actually disappointed, I hoped that such AI huge military built-up wouldn't happen in the EBII. I've played TLK and this was something that made me not playing that mod...
    Worth mentioning, this is 2.2b. I'm pretty sure I've read over the years since I started this campaign that there have been updates to AI-stack control. I'm not a fan of stack spam myself, and is one of the great deterring factors in abandoning campaigns. This one just happened to be something that took this long to build up to while I was otherwise thoroughly engaged in the campaign, and I'm kind of looking forward to taking them on now. Also, they've been isolated and building up for nearly 200 years now. Other than a period of a few years where they had landed and taken basically the entire northern coast of Europe before being driven back by gaulic and sweboz forces. That itself was over a hundred years ago I think, so nothing but time for these folks.

  10. #10

    Default Re: The War Council is hereby convened - Invasion: Britannia

    Quote Originally Posted by Dooz View Post
    This one just happened to be something that took this long to build up to while I was otherwise thoroughly engaged in the campaign, and I'm kind of looking forward to taking them on now. Also, they've been isolated and building up for nearly 200 years now.
    Wow, that is one impressive scenario. Thank you for starting such an interesting thread. How can they afford the upkeep of an army that big? There are only so many productive regions yet they have the army of an empire.

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    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: The War Council is hereby convened - Invasion: Britannia

    Quote Originally Posted by Dooz View Post
    @Jurand of Cracow
    Worth mentioning, this is 2.2b. I'm pretty sure I've read over the years since I started this campaign that there have been updates to AI-stack control. I'm not a fan of stack spam myself, and is one of the great deterring factors in abandoning campaigns. This one just happened to be something that took this long to build up to while I was otherwise thoroughly engaged in the campaign, and I'm kind of looking forward to taking them on now. Also, they've been isolated and building up for nearly 200 years now. Other than a period of a few years where they had landed and taken basically the entire northern coast of Europe before being driven back by gaulic and sweboz forces. That itself was over a hundred years ago I think, so nothing but time for these folks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Septentrionalis View Post
    How can they afford the upkeep of an army that big? There are only so many productive regions yet they have the army of an empire.
    I've played Pritanoi and I know that there's flood of money from their provinces. combined with the low upkeep of units - it's not surprising they can afford it.
    I'm more disappointed by the fact that the AI doesn't perform amphibious landings, than that it amasses troops.
    More thoughts on Pritanoi in this thread.

  12. #12
    Lusitanio's Avatar Content Staff
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    Default Re: The War Council is hereby convened - Invasion: Britannia

    Quote Originally Posted by Jurand of Cracow View Post
    I've played Pritanoi and I know that there's flood of money from their provinces. combined with the low upkeep of units - it's not surprising they can afford it.
    I'm more disappointed by the fact that the AI doesn't perform amphibious landings, than that it amasses troops.
    More thoughts on Pritanoi in this thread.
    What? I have seen plenty of Pritanoi amphibious landings on my campaigns, once they even attacked the Iberian Peninsula.

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    Default Re: The War Council is hereby convened - Invasion: Britannia

    @Septentrionalis
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Wow, that is one impressive scenario. Thank you for starting such an interesting thread. How can they afford the upkeep of an army that big? There are only so many productive regions yet they have the army of an empire.
    I think the economy script at the time would just give AI factions some amount of money when they were below a certain threshold. So never truly broke, can almost always recruit something, and one bit at a time, over a long time, adds up...

    @Jurand of Cracow
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    I'm more disappointed by the fact that the AI doesn't perform amphibious landings, than that it amasses troops.
    It definitely does. I've seen it often throughout my campaign, including against me when Rome brought in reinforcements to southern Italy during my invasion and attacked me (resulting in a huge battle and Heroic victory I might add). Also, Carthage had almost ten armies aboard fleets when war broke out between us. Made for an easier time to sink those than have to fight them, but they'd also been moving forces around between their holdings in Iberia and Afrika in the meantime.

    Also, the Pritanoi must have used them pretty effectively as well over the course of at least part of the around 100 years they had a presence on the mainland. I looked around and they had fleets and armies. They don't happen to have any fleets now, and probably since more expensive than other units they don't get recruited anymore. I'm imagining them as having become fiercely isolationist after their ouster from the mainland.

    Pritanoi on the mainland for approximately one hundred years.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    245 B.C.

    230 B.C.

    215 B.C.

    200 B.C.

    185 B.C.

    170 B.C.

    155 B.C.

    The height of Pritanoi power on the continent was between 214 - 204 B.C., though they would maintain a presence for much longer.
    Spoiler for 214 B.C.

    Spoiler for 204 B.C.

  14. #14
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: The War Council is hereby convened - Invasion: Britannia

    Quote Originally Posted by Lusitanio View Post
    What? I have seen plenty of Pritanoi amphibious landings on my campaigns, once they even attacked the Iberian Peninsula.
    Yeah, now after having seen the Dooz pics, I'm much impressed! it seems to be indeed a great modded AI in the EBII.

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    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Gatorade, is it in you?
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    Default Re: The War Council is hereby convened - Invasion: Britannia

    Quote Originally Posted by Jurand of Cracow View Post
    Yeah, now after having seen the Dooz pics, I'm much impressed! it seems to be indeed a great modded AI in the EBII.
    Mind you, Dooz is playing with 2.2b, which is rather old by now. I played a 1000-turn Roman campaign for v. 2.35 where I invaded the British Isles in the 1st century BC. The Pritanoi, my longtime former ally, had also previously conquered parts of continental Europe like Belgium, Normandy and Brittany in France, even the Asturias region of northern Spain, but I controlled those regions as Rome well before I decided to break my alliance and conquer the Pritanoi. Their amount of stacks wasn't even a third of what Dooz had here and was far more reasonable, so I think Quintus or others have amended things in v. 2.35 to the point where stack spam is no longer a thing.

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    Razor's Avatar Licenced to insult
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    Default Re: The War Council is hereby convened - Invasion: Britannia

    Quote Originally Posted by Dooz View Post
    @Razor
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 




    You can't imagine my horror when I saw this message pop up...


    Thank Zeus, the only casualties of consequence were agents sent by the Emperor to keep a royal eye on the invading generals, make sure they don't get any lofty ideas of striking out for themselves so far away from home...


    Makes you wonder if it was really the storm that killed those men, or used as a convenient excuse to get rid of oversight.... remains to be seen what happens, most of these commanders are not exactly brimming with loyalty. And the ruler is not the most established leader with unquestioned authority... part of why he's launched the war is to establish himself, every king before has had a campaign against a peoples and period of growth to their names. He's just trying to catch up.

    Incidentally, there was another storm as the fleets pulled closer to Britan and I was sure that would spell the end for this expedition....


    Turns out, maybe just another opportune moment for mutinous men to overthrow an authority figure?

    Noice...

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    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Gatorade, is it in you?
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    Default Re: The War Council is hereby convened - Invasion: Britannia

    Quote Originally Posted by Razor View Post
    Noice...
    I've never seen the game behave like that to be honest. If it tried to pull this crap and even killed one family member I would punch the game in the nuts, at the very least just laugh and reload the turn to end the turn again with different results, as if it didn't happen. You know, because it's too ridiculous and obviously targeted, not random.

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    Razor's Avatar Licenced to insult
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    Default Re: The War Council is hereby convened - Invasion: Britannia

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    I've never seen the game behave like that to be honest. If it tried to pull this crap and even killed one family member I would punch the game in the nuts, at the very least just laugh and reload the turn to end the turn again with different results, as if it didn't happen. You know, because it's too ridiculous and obviously targeted, not random.
    It can be frustrating, but it does bring an element of surprise to the campaign. Depending on the consequences I'd either laugh and reload or just continue if the damage isn't too great.

  19. #19

    Default Re: The War Council is hereby convened - Invasion: Britannia

    Everyone's talking about the Pritanoi being able to invade but my Aedui playthroughs paint a very different story.

    While they did make an attempt to take over one of the Belgae settlements, they never did anything special after that.


    Even after 288 turns, the Pritanoi weren't even able to conquer all of the British Isles or Ireland and even when they declared war against me, they only did so because of their ships and none even attempted an invasion.

    This is during when the time the Kingdom of the Aedui is being bled dry of troops due to the Sweboz, the Boii and then the Romani declaring war against the dominant Celtic faction.

  20. #20

    Default Re: The War Council is hereby convened - Invasion: Britannia

    In my 2.35 campaigns, Gauls is a battleground for Rome, Sweboz, Pritanoi and the Celtiberians. Aedui and Arverni can't catch a break.
    I recommend a pugio rather than a spear, because in close quarters combat, a dagger will serve you better than a spear.

    Rad, 2016.

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