View Full Version : Rome: Total War – Tactical Defeat Brings Strategic Victory!

July 24th, 2008, 03:58 AM

That's me on my horse that is!

I wanted Athens but the Macedonians had a strong garrison in place and 2 full armies in the field outside the walls. I had an army on board ship just to the south of Athens, 1 army in the field to the north near Larissa and 1 army close to Corinth led by a family member.

I offered the latter up as bait but the Macedonians just would not bite. In a rash act I attacked the nearest Macedonian army who accepted battle, bringing their other army and the city garrison along for the fun!

Okay, I had 1,500 men and they had a combined field force of 4,500, what to do? Fight of course! I deployed 4 units of archers in a 2 wide, 2 deep formation with a reserve of 4 hoplite units to their rear. The rest of the hoplites formed a close shield wall in front. My general and 1 cavalry unit I put way out on the flank; there wasn’t going to be much for them to do against the enemies’ numbers.

The Macedonian armies approached in a column formation but with some distance between the first and third army, which was to prove important. The first army had more missile troops than heavy infantry. They marched straight towards me and my brave lads had to suffer the onslaught of missiles but once in range a volley of arrows from my archers scattered their peltasts, if only temporarily. The phalanxes marched on but they could not cover the width of my shield wall so when they hit I advanced the flanks and turned in on the Macedonians, which also forced their missile troops back. After a few moments the Macedonian infantry broke. I was merciless and quite literally stabbed them in the back as they ran!

However, the second Macedonian army was approaching at the trot. They had more heavy infantry and cavalry than the first army. They were also bolstered by the first army’s missile troops who had reformed behind them. I quickly reformed my lines and awaited the onslaught – they did not disappoint!

Up the hill they came in good order and, almost within striking distance, stopped! I did not understand it but took full advantage, targeting arrows at their largest phalanxes. Provoked by this attack one of them marched forward and engaged my hoplites – alone! I quickly moved 2 units up on either side of the bigger Macedonian formation and then attacked their flanks; the result was inevitable!

And so it went on. The Macedonians were in disarray and their attacks were uncoordinated. My troops paid a heavy price, 3 units eventually routed but I destroyed several enemy phalanxes and most of their cavalry, and even managed to exact some revenge on their annoying missile troops when I brought my general back in from the cold and charged several units from behind. His supporting cavalry routed because they got caught by Macedonian militia hoplites.

In a last push I charged the Macedonians and caused total panic. They fled before me. It was a moment of sweet victory, but only fleeting. The third Macedonian army was closing!

I reformed ranks once again but things were not looking good. I had lost several units by now and all of those remaining had suffered casualties. My archers were out of arrows and everyone was exhausted. Fortunately, the edge of the battlefield was close-by; it was time to retire from the field.

The computer recorded the battle as a defeat, even though I had killed 2 Macedonian generals and over 2,000 of their troops for a loss of approximately 700 of mine. My army withdrew in good order to Corinth where it was replenished.

The Macedonians returned to Athens with the remnants of the 2 defeated armies disappearing towards Thesalonica. I landed my second army to the south of Athens and laid siege. The army from Corinth moved to the north of Athens and joined the siege from that side of the city. The assault was launched and the outcome never in doubt. The Macedonians never recovered from their victory, their last family member fell in the defence of Athens and their faction was destroyed. I snapped up Athens, Larissa and Theselonica to add to my empire and then celebrated my victory with a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit!

Against The Tide
July 24th, 2008, 05:48 AM
Well written :)

July 24th, 2008, 06:36 AM
What you've just described is a perfect example of what is known as a "Phyrric Victory". From Wikipedia:

A Pyrrhic victory (IPA: /ˈpɪrɪk/) is a victory with devastating cost to the victor. The phrase is an allusion to King Pyrrhus of Epirus, whose army suffered irreplaceable casualties in defeating the Romans at Heraclea in 280 BC and Asculum in 279 BC during the Pyrrhic War. After the latter battle, Plutarch relates in a report by Dionysius:

The armies separated; and, it is said, Pyrrhus replied to one that gave him joy of his victory that one more such victory would utterly undo him. For he had lost a great part of the forces he brought with him, and almost all his particular friends and principal commanders; there were no others there to make recruits, and he found the confederates in Italy backward. On the other hand, as from a fountain continually flowing out of the city, the Roman camp was quickly and plentifully filled up with fresh men, not at all abating in courage for the loss they sustained, but even from their very anger gaining new force and resolution to go on with the war.[1]

And good job on that. :thumbsup:

July 24th, 2008, 06:45 AM
Oh yes, I remember King Pyrrhus now!

Ha, that was the fate of the Macedonians in my campaign; serves them right for siding with the bloody Romans!

Rome: Total War is getting on a bit now but the gameplay is so addictive that I keep returning to it more than any other game I've bought.

I wonder if they'll be bringing out an updated version?

July 24th, 2008, 07:06 AM
I never played Roman Total War, but they also have Medieval Total war, which is basically the same game but just set in the middle ages. They also have Shogun total war, which is set in feudal Japan.

Against The Tide
July 24th, 2008, 03:28 PM
I left Rome and Medieval 2 in the UK, brought Shogun (mongol expansion) with me though :)

July 25th, 2008, 04:00 AM
I left Rome and Medieval 2 in the UK, brought Shogun (mongol expansion) with me though :)

Is it as good as Rome?

Against The Tide
July 25th, 2008, 06:46 AM
I'd say better as I like the era it is set, you get more peices on the political map (princesses, merchants, inquistors, priests and that), religion is a bigger theme in the game... BUT you do lose that ancient times feel that I love and also some of the games mechanics I disagree with - your generals staying in towns with inns have x% chance of picking up vices (remember those?) related to the drink, well that % is too high, and it seems that any generals staying in a garison will become inbred raving alcoholics by the end of the week :s
Lots of custom modding going on by fans to improve that though.

July 25th, 2008, 07:11 AM
Total War seems to be one of the most popular games series when it comes to fans developing their own modifications. From what I have seen there are some very talented people out there who are taking a good game and making it better.

I'm hoping to download the Persian Wars mod for Rome this weekend. I'm fascinated by Ancient Greece and getting the chance to play at being Leonidas certainly helps me deal with the stress of modern living!