Title: Gaul Short Campaign Speed Run
Author: Genius of the Restoration



Gaul Short Campaign Speed Run Hi all, I've decided to attempt another speed run, this time doing the short campaign in as few turns as I can. Like before I will be playing on VH/VH difficulty settings, with large scale units, battle timer turned off and I will manage my own settlements.

I'm thinking about playing Gaul because they've got a spread of provinces for quick victories, they start with quite a few (six IIRC) and only need to defeat Julii and SPQR which is 3 settlements. I'm setting myself a goal of nine turns for the campaign. What do you think of that and faction choice? I might be able to do it faster with Greece but I want to choose another faction

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The Campaign!

A sort of overview of my plan

The Gauls start off with seven (not six as I thought) provinces that are spread out, offering the possibility of a quick multi-fronted blitz. With this in mind, I picked the territories I wanted to control by the end of the short campaign, eight in total. Rome and the Julii settlements are a precondition for victory and will be the hardest to take, so that's three. The other five I chose would be Segesta, Lugdunum, Massilia, Osca and Scallabis. This would only take me into war with one faction more than I needed to by attacking Spain. I chose Spain because their early roster is rubbish and their Round Shields and Iberian Infantry can be easily defeated by Warbands and Barbarian Cav. I'll be mentioning provinces and regions a bit so here's a map of the game just in case you've forgotten some of them
Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


First Turn (270)

My diplomat near the Julii territory immediately sold Trade Routes and Map Information for around 1500dn, after which he declared war! I'm sure that was a lovely surprise for them. I did this because as MortenJessen reminded me, the Julii usually head for Caralis very early and I wanted them to concentrate on me first without having to worry about building ships to take them out once they got a foothold in Sardinia. I emptied Patavium and Mediolanium and the combined army crossed the river, heading for the Julii settlements. I built two buildings this turn, the only ones I built all game. Roads in Patavium and Mediolanium. I figured they were the only settlements that I needed reinforcements from. My army in Narbo Martius began to march towards Osca, while Alesia was emptied as troops poured towards Lugdunum, who I intended to then move on to Massilia. The isolated Gallic outpost in Numantia waited a turn for the general to build a fort by the bridge to the south just in case the Spanish came from that direction while the army was heading west.

Second Turn

I must have thrown the Julii off their usual game plan because they didn't attack Segesta in the first turn like they usually seem to do. Luckily for me, they left a captain-led army outside Arretium, so I attacked it with my rather large stack, forcing the city defenders to battle in the open field where my cavalry could be used to keep losses to a minimum.


I declared war on the Spanish as they had an army blocking my way into Iberia from the north. They retreated and I didn't have enough movement to follow them. I also saw something that worried me a bit. I noticed that a Briton army was just outside Armorica in the north-west, so I brought my faction leader back towards Alesia anticipating that I'd have to defend it and knowing that Warbands really need the morale bonus to stand up to the chariots that Britannia possesses. He had been heading towards Lugdunum but I felt that it would fall without him.

Third Turn (269)

The army led by the faction heir in Italy moved on to Ariminum. The infantry had just enough movement points to make it to the tile adjacent to the settlement but not enough to lay siege, so I split the army up and used the cavalry to lay siege. The infantry then moved onto the same tile. A nifty trick if the target settlement is that one tile out of range. The spy that I started with failed to open the gates. Ah well, it was only a 30% or so chance. My army from Alesia made it to Lugdunum and besieged while in Spain the army in the north besieged Osca, while the southerners left Numantia and attacked some dastardly Spaniards that were too close to the border.


I saw a large Briton army appear inside my north-western border, and thought I might lose Condate Redonum. If I did, I might take Rome and only have 14 settlements, so I decided to launch a counter-offensive, and sent my faction leader north to attack the Britons at Samarobriva while their army was away in my territory.

After my turn had finished the Julii mustered what I assume to have been all their remaining forces and attacked the army besieging Ariminum. They were wiped out without fanfare.


Fourth Turn

The army that had been besieging Ariminum strolled into the empty settlement and the Julii were eliminated. Lugdunum was taken after a small fight. Two units of reinforcements coming from Mediolanium and Patavium joined another Warband an attacked Segesta, so that fell this turn too. Osca too fell to the onslaught.

The army that had just finished off the Julii took a turn to replenish its troops as they hadn't yet paused for it. Those who took Lugdunum were not so lucky and immediately marched onwards towards Massilia. In northern Spain, the army that took Osca began to march towards Carthago Nova, but wouldn't get to take the settlement before the game would end, while the army in the west of Spain besieged Scallabis. My faction leader and his cavalry companions continued on their way towards Samarobriva. I wanted to take some infantry to Samarobriva because they are needed to use siege equipment, but taking them from Alesia would have slowed down the faction leader's speed on the campaign map. I thought it would be close as to whether he would make it to Samarobriva by the next turn so I only hired the Barbarian Mercenaries after he had completed his moves. The Mercenaries then moved ahead a little bit and hid in the forest so that the Britons would not see them and destroy the isolated unit of infantry.

Fifth Turn (268)

My spy in Italy revealed that the SPQR had split their main stack up a bit by having three of their generals hiding in a forest within range of my freshly retrained army in Ariminum. Not wanting them to run from the battle, I took only three generals and two Warbands to fight them. It was to no avail however, as they all managed to escape the battle after I routed them. Very frustrating. The main SPQR stack was nearby, but I didn't have enough movement points to attack it, so I did what every good general does when he knows the enemy will attack him; ran for the hills . Both Massilia and Samarobriva were besieged this turn. Luckily for me, I'd timed my attack on the Britons well, and another unit of Barbarian Mercenaries had just become available to hire, so my faction leader recruited them and lay siege to Britannia's foothold in continental Europe. Scallabis fell after an uneventful battle.


After my turn had finished, the real fun began. In the same end of turn, the two most challenging battles of the campaign occurred. The SPQR stack attacked my army that I thought was in the hills. It looked like they were just behind it on the campaign map anyway, and I thought I'd be able to setup there. Apparently not, and the fight was instead in the plains of Latium. The SPQR stack had experience and an armour upgrade, but thanks to me attacking their generals the turn before, the leader of their stack had no command ability compared to the ten stars my faction heir now possessed. That's a whole heap of combat ability. I'll spoiler this battle in case anybody else wants to play it first by downloading the save.
Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
My army setup at the beginning of the battle was rather ordinary as it usually is when fighting the SPQR stack and consisted of a double line of infantry with cav on either side and the general in the middle for morale and a backup charge. This often happens against the SPQR because there are plenty of pila that really hurt when they hit you and can rout an early unit quite easily if it gets hit twice, this happened to one of my Warbands. Poor unit lost half its men.
Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



I moved my cavalry in and began harassing the enemy Velites, using one unit of cav to drive the skirmishing units out towards the open where another unit would attack them, causing them to rout. I managed to destroy one unit and set another one fleeing before the battle proper commenced.


I managed to isolate a unit of Hastati by luring them to throw their pila at a general's cav unit before running out of the way and then charging at the cav, who quickly ran behind the waiting Warbands who'd just finished their warcry. The general then swung back behind the unit and routed it. You can also see where I was directing the units to march to. I made sure that most of my Warbands were on the wings. When they attacked, I tried to have one unit charge the front and another run up alongside the charging unit. When the charger hit, the second group would advance a little further before charging into the flank from the outside. A unit of cavalry would strike back to rout them in a classic hammer and anvil style.


Here you can see the wings have begun to give in and my Warbands and rolling in, with cav units beginning to move behind the army battle line in preparation for the rout in which I want to catch the enemy general if he doesn't fall while fighting.


And here, the rout. Cavalry units are prepared behind the old enemy lines to catch the general as he makes for his retreat point.

Unfortunately this one got away too. Not my lucky campaign apparently!


A heroic victory nonetheless and the threat of the Senate wiped out. This battle is usually harder because SPQR often has four or five generals in its stack giving it a much bigger cavalry component to worry about. They also usually have a reasonably-starred general of six or so command, but I forced these back to Rome in the earlier battle.


Straight after this victory, the Britons attacked my faction leader who was besieging Samarobriva.


This was a fun battle, with plenty of cav play and running around trying to avoid the chariots from cutting down all the horses.


Sixth Turn

I took an empty Samarobriva this turn and auto-resolved the siege against Massilia, I already had 14 settlements, all that was left to do was take Rome! After my faction heir had defeated the SPQR stack Rome was ripe for the taking! And luckily for me, I had some good fortune...


Yep, my spy opened the gates for me!
After an outrageously costly auto-resolve, I took Rome and the campaign was over.


The final screens:



Hope you've enjoyed reading this, it's been as entertaining as always for me.