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Thread: Stuck with Rome

  1. #1

    Default Stuck with Rome

    I've seen various threads about tips for how to deal with the mid-game problems but I am kinda looking for advice. Right now I am on turn 70ish and have Latium, Italia, Makedon, Sicily fully under my control as well as Patavium and Genua. The Greeks, Thracians, Illyrians and Insubres all agreed to trade / non-aggression.

    I'm playing on Hard/Normal. My current strategy is to turn Sicily into a fortress with small army's of romanized pike units in each city (1 infantry general unit + 3 pikes each) and then one 20 stack in the sweet spot between the two towns on Sicily. That left me with two full stack armies to conquer Massalia, then once I could get more than 6 armies explode down the Spanish coast. Unfortunately two things happened. Turns out Massalia has FOUR full stack armies and one full stack navy to defend itself, and not even levies, mostly tarantine calvary and hoplites. Then Carthage landed two full stack armies in Italia and besieged Taras and took the southern town before I could reinforce it.

    So my question is what did I do wrong? Did I need to move faster than I did to take Massalia before they got so strong or was turning Sicily into a fortress like I did overkill? Should I have weakened my forces in Sicily to encourage Carthage to attack there instead of hitting the peninsula? Should I re-start with Normal/Normal settings? (This is my second campaign on DEI, I painted the map with Seleucia on my first campaign).

    Or feel free to tell me to stop crying and slog it out but I'm hoping someone else agrees it's ridiculous that Massalia has 5 full stacks and a full garrison.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Stuck with Rome

    The only realistic defense against carthage is a decent navy. A 15 or so unit navy will obliterate any unescorted armies at sea and can avoid hostile navies (who generally can't take a city alone). Using this and one stack to react to any armies that slip through can hold the mediterranean, like you planned. Its a slog, and takes constant awareness, but you have to do it to keep carthage off your flank and give you time to hit massalia and spain. So basically I think your plan was sound.

    Turtling and developing is usually the best strategy as a civilized faction; you can't outbuild a hard AI anyhow.

    I think the only adjustments you need to make are getting a good navy to help repulse invasions from the sea and get ready for a royal rumble against that greek blob.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Stuck with Rome

    I rarely go against Massalia as they usually make for good allies. I usually secure trade and access through them and just storm through spain right away.
    and yeah, as the Romans found out IRL, you do need a navy to fight carthage, otherwise the stream of naval invasions will never leave you enough room to develop and push on land.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Stuck with Rome

    Sounds like I need to move one of my Sicilian armies up north to assist the invasion and use a navy in it's place to defend Syracuse and attack transports. As for Massalia I tried pretty hard to get military access and got nothing. Maybe I'll just take the diplomatic hit and go straight for Narbo. Right after I throw these Carthaginian dogs off my peninsula.

    I also need to figure out how to pay for a decent navy given my lack of funds. But that's a problem for another thread. Thanks for the advice.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Stuck with Rome

    Massalia and Carthage are the powerhouses at that time. If possible, fight one and trade with the other. Someone mentioned it already but it's best to use navies to intercept armies from carthage. I won a lot of navy battle's this way and admittedly lost a lot of navies when they hit mine with 3 stacks of fleets, but it is worth it. Eventually, as their navies conquer territories sometimes, you can use your one main army in Sicily to keep retaking the cities and in this way you defeat their fleets. I tried a costly invasion of Africa with little success so I sent two full stacks via ship along the northern coast to Spain. I took some cities and liberated others (this helped create some new trade partners.

    Good Luck!

  6. #6
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Stuck with Rome

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandalore Augustus View Post
    I'm playing on Hard/Normal ... Massalia has FOUR full stack armies and one full stack navy to defend itself
    I think the issue is that you're playing on Hard. In my experience, even very small faction gets many stacks at this difficulty easily. You may have a look at this entry, it concernes KAM's submod, but the mechanics is the same.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Stuck with Rome

    I think the 3 small armies in Sicily are the prob. I last time had just 1 full legion between the 2 unfortified ones ( can defend both ) + 1 legion in southern Italy for reinforcement and relieve incase of casualties. Fortified Syracuse should hold it's own in most cases.. I think I had admiral there or fleet nearby anyways. Just for historical reasons I try keep Massalia alive as far as possible but some culling on it's expansion is sometimes needed.

    / oh yea I do remember having to defend against Massalia with pre-polybian legions.. now that was pain. I think they had thorax hoplites from the start
    Last edited by H-Khan; February 28, 2019 at 09:11 AM.

  8. #8
    ♔Greek Strategos♔'s Avatar BEARDED MODERATION
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    Default Re: Stuck with Rome

    How is your campaign going?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Stuck with Rome

    This was months ago but if memory serves me I had the rough equivalent of 3 Punic Wars (a historical role-playing dream come true). By the end of the long and brutal 2nd Punic War (their invasion of southern Italy as detailed in my first post), I was able to secure military access through Massalia, conquer the Mediterranean coast of Spain and marched my superior experienced land forces straight to Carthage and looted / enslaved the city. As a history lover, the fact that the first war was about control of Sicily, the second war was fought primarily in Italy, and the third was punitive as much as anything was awesome. I was pissed IRL that the 2nd war took so much effort and started ending every speech with Carthago delenda est. (Look it up)

    Then I spent time finishing the conquest of Spain and Africa's smaller tribes, was well on my way to conquering Egypt and Asia Minor but kinda lost interest as I was simply too powerful to be challenged anymore.

    That said, it was by far the most rewarding and challenging campaign I have ever played in a TW game. The historical parallel's were the icing on the cake. I'm looking forward to starting a new campaign soon.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Stuck with Rome

    Ugh, I'm also just about stuck with Rome. It's been a long war with Carthage/Massyli/Masaesyli; but after systematically, slowly purging them for Corsica and Iberia (frequently being slowed by the need to defend from the ever-opportunistic Carthaginian fleets), landing an invasion force next to Egypt, and burning through a 100,000 denarii war chest, my legions will soon complete the pincer and descend on Carthage for a final extinguishing strike.

    But the empire maintenance is brutal, and if I'm being honest it's sorta sapping my will to carry on the campaign. I'd love to reach Imperium V so I can do the legionary reforms but it seems like if you don't direct every possible resource into reducing empire maintenance in the early game it suddenly swells up to monstrous, crippling levels sometime between Imperium III and V. Seriously, I don't know exactly when it happened by it feels like my EM jumped to 90% overnight. I was in pretty dire financial straits for a couple years - that's where most of my war chest went, and while things have stabilized I'm not making a lot. Would love some direction/advice. At minimum I'm going to finish the war with Carthage and bring all my stacks back to Rome for a celebratory festival, but if I can't get the EM under control I worry I'm just not going to have the motivation to play much longer even if I do reach the Marian reforms.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Stuck with Rome

    You might already be doing this but the key to lowering Empire Maintenance is the character traits. The first couple of ranks I earn with generals I put into the diplomacy tree (I think) where you can lower EM by 3 percent for every general. Then every diplomat / governor has two character traits that allow you to lower EM by another 6 or 7 percent for every diplomat/governor you have. So if you have 5 diplomats and 5 generals maxed out on those traits you can lower it by 40 to 50 percent. This means you lose out on some of the other beneficial character traits but it's more than worth it IMO.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Stuck with Rome

    Yeah, actually things have turned around quicker than I expected. Last night I was despairing but today I've limped through the end of the war in Africa, securing some key promotions for my generals to get the anti-EM skills. I dismissed a bunch of troops after we took Carthage to jumpstart my economy again, and dismissed my governors so I could hire new young blood (five total now, since Carthage just tipped me over into Imperium V) and start speccing them into EM-prevention. I've beelined a couple of Philosophy techs to reduce it still further, and now, around turn 200, am sitting on a much more manageable 70% EM that continues to drop. Making almost 20,000 a turn, even with four full legions. It's a relief.

    I still couldn't resist marching all my legions back to Rome, of course, rather than doing maybe the more sensible thing and disbanding them in Africa. But I imagine none of those troops would want to quit before they'd received homage in Latium, so they all made the journey to visit the great city itself. RP'd it as two years of feasts, festivals, games (turned on Bread & Games for the duration, of course), and recruitment/training while I rebuilt the armies into Marian legions. Five stacks encamped outside of Rome must have been quite a sight.

    Since you're here, I might as well ask - I'm thinking hard now about the next phase of the game. Carthage has so heavily dominated my strategy and resources that I find myself almost unprepared for the level of freedom I have now to go where I please. I've done a decent job of managing my party's political power (playing as the Nobiles, for reference) but the looming possibility of a civil war has me uneasy. I've never played a DEI campaign long enough, or mismanaged my politics badly enough, to get one, and I'm having a surprisingly difficult time finding information on the subject that relates to DEI specifically and not vanilla R2. What should I expect? How can I prepare? How should I negotiate the switch to an Empire (and should I switch?)

  13. #13

    Default Re: Stuck with Rome

    Personally I like to provoke a civil war with my least loyal faction. Just make sure they aren't commanding any armies, find out which provinces they have influence over, move your loyal armies to be close to those provinces and then use the provoke function. Once the rebellion starts they'll auto spawn a pretty tough but small army and you should have no problem taking back the lost provinces. Once you do and the civil war is won you get a large Public Order and Loyalty boost (+30 for each, decaying by 3 every turn if I remember correctly). This is the perfect opportunity to switch from Republic to Empire, which increases the loyalty of the parties, preventing further civil wars in the future until you reach Imperium VI or VII.

    That said like with most TW campaigns, Vanilla or DEI, now that you are out of the mid-game you will likely find it too easy to conquer your neighbors. RP is the best way to keep it interesting, plus finally upgrading to those Imperial Legionnaires is quite satisfying, especially watching them on the battlefield. Me personally I would head east and turn the Mediterranean into a Roman lake. Plus fighting phalanx armies is an interesting challenge, much harder than steam rolling through Gaul or the Balkans.

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