The Year of Four Emperors - 68 AD

Turn 1 - Military unit construction along what I am dubbing the Pyranean Line.  Spain is controlled by Otho, the current Emperor and I need to maintain a defensive line along the mountains to protect my flank, while I move the Germania legions under Vitellius into Northern Italy.
I am playing the 25 turn "Year of Four Emperors 68 AD" scenario for AGEOD's Alea Jacta Est.  One of my gaming resolutions for 2017 was to learn the AGEOD system and play this game.  It is clear to me early on, that AGEOD offers great insight into the Roman period with this strategic, operational game and it's various DLC.

This is my second attempt at this particular scenario (which comes with the main game).  I originally tried the scenario not knowing about unit construction, blockades, etc.  Basically I knew how to move my units and read the map and so I attempted unsuccessfuly to lead the German legions under Vitellius against Otho and the other pretenders clamoring for the throne after the assasination of Emperor Galba by the Praetorians.

Treachery to begin this scenario!

This second time though, I am using the various layers within the game to hone in on important information like strategic locations, supply and where I can construct/recruit troops from.  I am also learning how important commanders can be to your success during the campaign.

I have to say I really like this game.  There are just the right amount of political, diplomatic decisions to make.

Below are some of the things I am considering as I kick things off...

Developing Vitellius' Plan
The challenge for Vitellius is to concentrate his forces and advance into Italy quickly to defeat Otho before the new Emperor can organize his forces.  Complicating this challenge is that the scenario begins during the winter and that Vitellius must also maintain control over the very challenging regions of Germania, Gaul and Britannia while he does this.

Turn 1 - A bidding war is underway for the support of Macer in Carthage, Africa.  I am playing as Vitellius and I am already stretched thin over Britain, Germania and Gaul.  Having to worry about Africa, seems like a headache I can't afford.

Political considerations: 

Maybe the most important early political decision you will have to make is whether to invest in and support Macer in Carthage.  Because I am playing as Vitellius and my forces aren't as concentrated as Otho's or the Danube legions to the East, I am going to take a pass on supporting Macer and getting involved in Africa.

Strategic considerations:
If you play as Vitellius, you need to make an early decision about how you are going to seize Rome and defeat Otho the current Emperor while protecting yourself from attack by Otho's forces in Spain.

The Pyrenean Line of Praesidium, Auxillia and Impendimenta that I am investing my treasury in is my answer. There are other strategic issues, like how I am going to garrison Britannia and still support the effort to take Italy and how strong must my force along the German frontier be.

If you haven't tried this game yet, or have wondered about the AGEOD system, I encourage you to follow this blog.  Previously, I have blogged about the Cantabrian War DLC for this game and I plan to blog more about Alea Jacta Est in the weeks ahead.


Zardoz said…
Excellent. I've picked up this game as well and am keen to improve my playing skills. I've just "finished" *cough*defeated*cough* the Pompey v Caesar scenario. Pompey held his own for a long time but Casar's "stack of doom" managed to cover too much ground and I never quite got a handle on how to respond to that strategy. Too late, I searched AGEOD's excellent forum and found a potential solution:

The game is somewhat under-documented but the forum is first class and (unlike a lot of game forums) well worth reading from start to end.
Chris said…
Thank you Zardoz for the comment! I wasn't aware of the forum and will check it out. So far I am really enjoying the game.

Marco Diaz said…
The key in AJE is always Rome, the second objetive depends on the strength of your fleet, if you can ferry troops with ease you could see other places, otherwise you should keep to your land frontiers.
Chris said…
Hi Marco! Thanks for the tip. During my first play-through I learned about ferrying operations late in the game and began to move two legions from Britannia around the Iberian peninsula and into the Mediterranean. They arrived too late to make much of an impact, by then Otho had driven Vitellius out of Northern Italy. I almost never read the rules for these games (which is a failing of mine) and so I am always learning on the go.

One of the things I have been wondering about is how best to use cavalry. I've not used them particularly well. Any thoughts?

Marco Diaz said…
You can use it as recon and to precide the movement of your armies, as the cavalvry can give you military control over empty space(minor but still some) that facilitate the movement of the main armies. They are also very important in the battles as when the enemy army begin to rout in the last phases, the cav in the army is going to do the greatest losses to them and even prevent retreats to force more phases in the battle and make the damage worse.

Good groups of cavalry can lunch raids to enemy territory to limit the supplies, raize the countryside and make the enemy move troops around, but I have not use it much in this way.
Chris said…
Thanks Marco! Can't wait to try this.