Aggressors: Ancient Rome

Try to take advantage of the location you have. Defensive walls (or forts) north of Athens can keep you save from the ground assault, patrol towers around peninsula would give you some protection against landing.
I am pretty curious how are your relations with Carthage now. This might be a key to get rid of Roman navy and keep you safe.
Good luck and share the development with us!:)

Too late I’m afraid for such measures, the Romans came in from land side and naval with probably 4 or 5 times as many units as I could field to defend, they landed in 184BC.

And by 176BC it was over for the pennisula:

On the diplomacy front I’ve worked on Carthage, they requested I drop treaties and go to war with the Ptolemaic Empire so I did, subsequent requests for any treaties, no matter how small have been declined.

Meanwhile Rome has literally taken over the entire map, so you would think it would occur to the Carthaginians that they’re facing an existential crisis here just like the rest of us but no, they just blindingly continue down the path to oblivion.

From a programming stand point, might it be a good feature for any Nation to be made REALLY happy at the prospect of allying with anyone else against someone who controls 75%+ of the map? That has already won a military superiority victory?! I mean I know this is old school Risk sensibilities I’m applying here, but dear god man, at what point does it dawn on Carthage that the enemy of my enemy is my friend? The same point apparently it dawned on Athens who federated with me one turn before getting removed off the map. ;)

Last picture is of where Sparta is now, we’ve effectively decamped to the mainland, we’re fighting Pontus and doing Ok, so I guess at this juncture this is our new base of operations from which to launch a future naval invasion to retake Greece!

I don’t know how this game handles it but in the TW series, potential allies look at your relative strength (they dislike weak potential allies) and they also look at the relative strength of potential enemies (they fear the strong) which means the AI is pretty much ass-hatted from a player perspective. If you are strong enough to make them ally or federate you are better off in most TW games just annexing their unreliable AI butt, and if the enemy is weak enough for the AI to want to join you in opposing them, you are better off just pwning the enemy your own damn self. Basically in TW games (with the exception of Shogun 2), diplomacy is useful for trade and mostly a waste in all other ways.

I wonder it that applies here?

I know there’s a fair amount of calculation going on behind the scenes and so I wouldn’t be surprised to hear relative strength is a factor and that Sparta’s relative strength to Carthage might convince them we’re not worthy of an alliance. I guess I’m just a bit disappointed they’re not smelling the coffee as it were as everyone on the map at this point faces an extinction level event if we don’t band together against Rome.

Btw, since you mentioned TW, you should check out Three Kingdoms, it’s the first game they’ve made where the diplomacy actually kind of works.

As much as I wanted to continue, I’m afraid the Roman position is insurmountable. I press on working to expand in the east and while Pontus wasn’t proving too much of a problem, other issues arose that proved more problematic.

I was hit by a plague that took down my population to dangerous lows. The Seleucid Empire proved more than the Ptolemaic Empire could handle and they offered me a confederation, but as everything else in this campaign it was a day late and a dollar short, because two years before the Romans assimilated Massilia meaning realistically the only horse left to ride was Carthage:

So while it was gratifying for Carthage to finally offer some treaties, they still had not gotten to the point of alliance. And we were fast running out of time.

Sparta threw in the towel and the bearded lady sang at the point Rome used their influence to instantly take a chunk off of the Spartan eastern empire:

The writing was on the wall, this beachhead would usher in the same horde of legions that had kicked us out of our own peninsula.

And with that, I resign this campaign and will start a new one, only as I mentioned above, I’ll head north immediately to work to contain Rome and also diplomatically work on establishing close relations with Carthage.

Thanks for reading this AAR and if you’ve not picked this one up yet, I can’t recommend it enough. Every campaign is an emergent tale of the rise and fall of empires.

AI is taking into consideration the statistics about relative power (similarly to human player) which you can see in the diplomacy window.
Of course if a player is weak, AI will not be keen to become a member of a confederation/federation however if players share the same enemies, relationships do improve and eventually can get even to a BiA.

The “enemy of my enemy is my friend” is indeed implemented in AI but it varies quite a lot how quickly the nations get closer to each other. It might be long lasting previous war, dishonorable military actions, inconsistency in foreign relations (one player is in great relation with another player and the second player hates that another player). etc.
I am sure that Carthage (if it is already threatened by Rome) would get eventually closer to all Roman enemies, but I think the bit problem was Ptolemaic empire in your case. It seems like they are actually fighting more them than Romans:)

I suspect my overtures to Carthage were too late and I was relatively speaking too small to be taken seriously. And up to that point they had not been threatened by Rome, just some skirmishes between their navies.

Sparta met an ignominious defeat due in no small part to the incompetence of their commander. ;)

Yes, I’m giving it another go, I won’t probably provide quite as much detail, but will summarize progress in the new campaign to see if the strategy of expansion north attempting initially to take out Epirus as a road towards containing Rome’s northern and eastern expansion is workable.

Here’s where things stand after the initial fireworks, this time I managed to keep Athens on side by attacking Antigonid who was attacking them:

We’ve got some trouble brewing with the Ptolmeaic empire, w/o much of a navy their sinking everything I’ve got and threatening landing troops. Amusingly while they’re busy worrying about us Greeks the Seleucid Empire is marching south taking over their entire empire. The map in the far east is turning pink while the latter day Egyptians futz about messing with me.

For the time being I’ll work to keep them at bay simply counter attacking till either it dawns on them they need to get home and defend themselves or the Seleucid Empire takes them out. This looks like a good start this time as I’ve fully absorbed Athens. And removed Epirus from the map with the help of the Romans who made a brief foray onto the map, I sat by while the two knocked each other senseless then took them both out (well, from that small section of the map, the Romans are of course still a powerhouse next door).

Next phase is brief consolidation, infrastructure improvements and then continued expansion north.

Update from the front, here’s the latest aerial photo of the front lines, amazing they had such technology back then:

Bosporan = Green / Ardiaei = White / Rome = Orange / Sparta = Dark Red

Bosporan Kingdom has been peaceful despite the fact we share a long border now. I suspect that’s because they were busy to their north with the Odrysian Kingdom who they recently federated with creating a rather large green monster to my NE. I don’t anticipate a lasting peace as we have no alliances beyond shared maps (so I could keep an eye on them).

The Ardiaei (white on the map) have suffered the most, catching it from all sides as Sparta expanded north and Rome pushed in along with the Bosporan Kingdom. With that nations imminent demise I anticipate the conflict between Rome and Sparta plus Bosporan Kingdom and Sparta will begin in earnest.

Sparta was being relentlessly harassed by the Ptolmeaic navy, they sank every ship we had, even in port the moment they were completed, this kept not one but two Hoplite armies bottled up unable to join the fight. Fortunately the Seleucid Empire marching down on them finally got their attention and they offered a peace settlement which we readily agreed to. Nice to have that problem at least temporarily solved.

The map below shows current diplomatic status:

Here’s what jumps out from the above picture to me: Carthage. That sea of purple in the SW is marching north and that expansion has them already at 76% on a military superiority victory. Whereas last campaign I failed to contain Rome and lost, well, this time it’s a different powerhouse we’ll need to contain and unfortunately at present I’m in no real position to do anything about them as they’ve got a navy as strong or stronger than the Ptolemaic navy.

A thought occurs to me I need to get close to the Ptolemaic Empire if possible, they share a border with Carthage and I’m betting sooner or later the Carthaginians will seek to expand towards them as they won’t be content with just marching up the map thru Gaul.

If I were Rome this picture would concern me, knowing the Romans they probably just view it as a new opportunity to buff their Legions killing Carthaginians (either way it gives you some idea of the Carthage naval power):

What had been a confederated Bosporus neighbor had that federation collapse and the Odrysian Kingdom re-emerged and proceeded to declare on us, regardless the name, war was expected:

So war it is:

With this development Sparta requested peace with Rome to deal with this new threat and attempt to maintain a single front in this theater of battle, Rome accepted as they’ve got their own problems with Carthage.

The Ptolemaic Empire isn’t done causing mischief, they confederated with Bosporan Kingdom and then immediately declared on Sparta, so their navy will no doubt be prowling around Greek waters in the near future.

Here’s the current map, or at least part of it anyway, showing the Spartan expansion thus far:

I’m a sucker for strategy games set in this period of history so this one has my attention (as does the upcoming Field of Glory: Empires).

I know that Tom bounced hard off of this early on due to UI/information issues. Was any of that improved in subsequent updates? I know the developer has said on the Steam forums that they’re now working on another game and won’t be updating this one further. Is the current state of the game a good one?

The Steam Summer sale starts tomorrow so if this is on a good sale I just might pick it up. Otherwise I’ll probably wait for FOG:Empires.

I’m obviously enjoying it so my 2 cents would be give it a go. I find the core game loop is fun. While some of what you do is improve cities, work a research tree and manage a competent diplomacy / trade system, the main focus is warfare and conquest.

When you put that package in a campaign map that feels dynamic because the AI for the opposing nations feels like they’re doing things you’d expect them to do, it’s genuinely refreshing. I just don’t play that many strategy games where the AI isn’t one of two things: brain dead or cheating it’s balls off. This one doesn’t feel that way.

News from the Spartan front is good:

Expansion east by removing Odrysian Kingdom is progressing well, it’s a race between Sparta and Rome to see who can gobble up the most, so I’m putting in a full push.

The Seleucid Empire continue pushing south at the expense of the Ptolmeiacs who brokered peace with Sparta which prompted the Selecuids to declare on Sparta. We don’t at present share a border, but recent news is they confederated wiht Pergamons who are just off our coast to the east near our original greek starting home so that will necessitate keeping an eye on that, naval is posted off their coast for that purpose.

Current map as of 183BC:

Current diplomacy map:

Looks great easytarget! Keep going. Rome seems to be a powerful player but you seem to be strong enough to repel them!

Yes, Tom did not really like the UI (I saw that stream, too) :)

Since the vanilla release there have been seven major updates with many important changes:

Already in the first major update we tried to address Tom’s biggest concerns (because we saw that video one week later) :) so I would say, go for it:)

I look forward to hearing the subject of your next game.

Thank you @FinnegansFather to be such a fan! We really value players like you!

Aggressors: Ancient Rome is part of the Steam Sale. 40% off!

Don’t hesitate!

Yes, it was good getting Athens federated early. And it’s nice that Rome and Carthage are engaged with each other, hopefully that’ll help keep both in check a bit while I continue to work in scaling up so I can take them on directly.

I’ve been checking out the comments on the Steam forum and this game is pretty universally loved and praised there. Everyone says the AI is especially good which is a rarity in a 4X. Slitherine is not my most favorite company but apparently this was developed by a very small dev and Slitherine is just the publisher.

I like to support small devs doing excellent work like this so I’m going to be buying it. It seems they haven’t had much in the way of marketing and not a lot of people know about the game. That has to have hurt their sales (along with the Slitherine pricing policy). I wouldn’t have known about it myself if this thread hadn’t caught my eye recently. Thanks to @easytarget for the great AARs to get me interested in this.