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Subject: Early Italia Swing rss

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Philip Jelley
United Kingdom
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I played the game with two newcomers to the game, though they knew Britannia. I was Red (Romans and Greeks) and the others Blue (Etruscans, Carthaginians, Illyrians, Cimbri and Optimates) and Yellow (Celts, Samnites, Epirotes, Numidians and Populares)

Turn 1: Brennus and his Celtic hordes smashed their way to sack Rome, but the wily Etruscans retook Etrusca to cut off their retreat and the Celtic army was wiped when Rome was automatically reclaimed at the start of the Roman turn. Still they where ahead in VPs B2-Y9-R1.

Turn 2: The weak Celts recovering in the north and unable to attack, so Rome spread its influence into Capua and Etrusca and the Greeks took most of Sicily from the Carthaginians, who built up a big fleet to take control of the seas. The Samnites got frisky and raided two Etruscan cities, but the defenders rolled high and killed four Samnite armies. B2-Y9-R10

Turn 3: With the Yellows so weak the Romans were able to concentrate on the Etruscans, who were forced to submit along with the decimated Samnites. Cities and roads were build across the mountains and the Empire surged ahead in VPs. Their Greek sidekicks completing their conquest of Sicily and saw off a Carthaginian counter-attack even though Mago won a sea battle. B14.5-Y16-R56.5

Turn 4: With my Reds so much ahead Blue and Yellow agreed to a non-aggression pact, moving forced out of the way for each other and forgoing VP chances so they could fight the might of Rome. The Epirotes under Pyrrhus ignored Rome and thumped the Greeks in southern Italy and east Sicily, capturing five cities in his campaign. The Samnited revolted and raided successfully this time, but had to submit again when Rome retaliated. The Carthaginians took west Sicily, but otherwise kept quiet. B14.5-Y29-R58.5

Turn 5: The Celts had recovered by now, but declined to fight the Etruscans and Illyrians and could not reach the Romans. The Carthaginians just saved gold and armies for Hannibal's arrival next turn. The Epirotes still had four cities after the Romans marched south against them and Corsica was taken from the Carthaginians. B26.5-Y49-R74.5

Turn 6: Hannibal arrived in the Alpes and thumped the army of Flaminius and sacked Rome, but was defeated by Paulinus, who promptly forced the Etruscans and Samnites back into submission. The Yellows got nowhere, but the Epirotes held onto east Sicily. B48.5-Y49-R83

Turn 7: Scipio invaded Africa while other Romans took the toe of Italy from the Epirotes. Africanus took Carthage, but lost his army doing so and the Romans were left in poor shape, spread out across the board for VPs, but weak to counter-attack. The Carthaginians held onto most of their empire for a few VPs, but moved out of two areas in Africa to let the Numidians in and the last Greek was killed. B73-Y59-R97

Turn 8: There was some more manoeuvring to let the Blue Cimbri past the Yellow Celts and the Illyrians and Etuscans also moving aside. As a result they looted their way across Italy, sacking Rome and six other cities before finally dying to an army of Consular Legions in Bruttium. The damage was immense and Marius just spread out his Legions without trying to restore the cities, with -1 VP per ruined city Rome lost 18 VPs this turn. B123-Y59-R81.

Turn 9: With the tide definitely turned the Blue-Yellow pact ended and there was a flurry of late campaigning as this was the last scoring chance for most nations in the game. The Celts, Etruscans and Samnites all revolted. Marius defeated the Etruscans and Celts and forced them back into submission. Sulla won a pyhrric victory against the Samnites who did not submit and they spread out to rebuild cities in their second major invasion move. The Numidians took Carthage. B145-Y81-R95

Turn 10: Marius led the Populares to Rome, but was trounced by Pompeius who got six hits out of six and sent him packing. Sulla did worse, when he attacked Rome with his Optimates Pompeius wiped his army and executed the rebel. He then spread out the Romans and rebuilt some more cities, but the end result was a forgone conclusion. B148-Y83-125

Blue won a thumping victory almost solely due to the Cimbri Invasion of Turn 8 which garnered 46 VPs and cost the Romans 18 VPs. Until then my Reds had been so far ahead as to warrant the Blue-Yellow alliance. In the end the Romans failed to wipe Carthage, which bred a few more VPs for the Blues. The one-sided Civil war on Turn could not restore my initial advantage. The Yellows never recovered from the damage done to the Celts on Turn 1 and the Samnites on Turn 2, but in the end decided the issue by letting the Cimbri pass by the heavily stacked Celts, though he did not realise how devastating this would be.
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