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Subject: Heraclius and the Last Persian War rss

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James O'Grady
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The Persians have invaded the Byzantine Empire! Central Asia Minor is in ruins. Egypt and Syria are occupied. The Emperor Heraclius has raised an army and is waiting in Nicomedia to strike! On the steppes, the Avars, Slavs and Khazars wait, while in Italia and Cisalpina, the Lombards are quietly plaiting their beards.

Turn 1: April 622
Diplomacy Phase
The Lombards will activate and attack the Byzantines on a 6 or less on 2d6, with a modifier of +1 for every 6 strength points the Byzantines have in Italia and Cisalpina. This is currently a +4 modifier. The Lombards roll a 7 so stay inactive.

Random Events Phase
Both players roll a 3 so nothing unusual happens.

Activation Phase

Red 1 (Byzantines)
Heraclius himself is activated, and rolls a 5 for movement, which ends up as being 8 movement points, less 2 for having 2 supply wagons. He marches his whole army NE one space into the hills.

Red 0 (Byzantines)
Heraclius activates himself again. It was unusual for a Byzantine Emperor to lead his armies personally, but as a "2" leader he's their best hope of victory. He marches SE one space.

Green 0 (Persians)
The Persian army in Antiochus is activated. They roll a 6 for movement, add 1 for their leader, subtract 1 for poor co-ordination, ending up with 9 movement points, less 2 for their wagons. They leave 2 Light Infantry behind as a garrison and march NW towards Cilica.

Green 0 (Persians)
The same army activated again, and they again roll a 6. They march south into Persian-held Tarsus.

Supply Phase
Heraclius's army is in Clear terrain, which supports 4 units. He is 10 units over capacity, so spends 2 and a half wagons.

Purchase Phase
The Byzantines have no money and no force pool.

The Persians start constructing 2 Light Galleys which will be ready in August.

Turn 2: May 622
Diplomacy Phase
Lombards roll a 5 and start putting their armour on... but then look at the Byzantine stack in Ravenna and think better of it.

Random Event Phase
Fortune smiles on Byzantium and Persia, as they throw 4,3 and nothing nasty happens.

Activation Phase
Red 0 (Byzantines)
Heraclius activates himself and rolls a 3, +2 for leadership is 8 MPs. Not enough wagons to slow him down, so attack! He marches NE twice, then SE to the ruins of Tyana. The Persians in Tarsus have a chance at Interception but prefer not to, thank you for asking.

Green 1 (Persians)
The army in Tarsus decides to run for cover. They roll a 6, which ends up after all calculations (+1 leadership, -1 for Persia, -2 for wagons) being 7MP, enough to march N and then SE. Heraclius attempts to intercept, but only rolls a 2. Even with his +2 leadership, that's 2 short of an interception.

Red 1 (Byzantines)
Heraclius again marches NE and then SE and besieges Antiochus. A swift victory here will silence the muttering crowds in Constantinople, and relieve his supply situation.

Red 0 (Byzantines)
The army and fleet in Carthago! They have no supply wagons, so cannot end a turn on the open sea. They roll a 1 for movement, so end up with 6MP. They embark for 2 and then sail SE once, NE three times to Syracusae, staying on the ships.

Supply Phase
The Byzantines in Syracusae are OK.

The besieged Persians in Antiochus receive 4 supply points from the port, and then consume 3 supply points from the city, leaving 1 for next turn. They also have 4 supply wagons so are not worried about running out of food.

Heraclius's army in Clear terrain have 4 supply points, and so are 10 and a half units over supply. They consume 1 and a half supply wagons, boiling the leather and eating the horses, but it still is not enough. 5 Light Infantry starve and 4 Light Cavalry ride off into the sunset to become bandits.

Purchase Phase
The Persians purchase 2 Light Galleys which will be ready in September.

State of play at the end of May 622.


Turn 3: June 622
Diplomacy Phase
The Lombards are getting very restless! They roll a 3, which is nearly enough to send them to war even against the massive Byzantine army... but not quite. 3+4 is 7, one above their activation score. They are now braiding beads into their beards.

Random Event Phase
Rumours of a terrible pestilence reach the Emperor outside Antioch, but are happily proven false (threw a 6, drew the plague chit. On a 1-5 it is no effect, as plague is like a neutron bomb).

Nothing interesting disturbs the rest of Chosroes II in Ctesiphon.

Siege Resolution Phase
Heraclius builds earthworks to help capture Antiochus. This cancels out the fortification penalty of Antiochus, so he needs a 5 or a 6 to storm the city! He rolls a 1, which is useless.

Activation Phase
Green 0 (Persians)
The Persians activate their army in Alexandria. It rolls a 3, which ends up being 7MPs, -2 for wagons. The army crosses the Nile on a good Roman bridge, and marches NE twice to Pelusium, where Pompey the Great was murdered 700 years previously.

Green 1 (Persians)
Chosroes II himself gets off his throne and heads to war! Slowly. He rolls a 1, gets 8MP (-2 for his supply wagons and harem) and marches one space SW to Seleucia. It's important not to rush things, and Babylonia does not have roads so the Shahanshah gets tired easily.

Red 0 (Byzantines)
The army in Syracusae, still on the boards, rolls a 6 which gives them 9MPs. I'm not sure if Supply Wagons affect naval movement, I'm saying no. They sail to Cyrene, which is 7MPs. They roll for naval attrition with +1, needed 1-5 to be safe.

They roll a 6. A1 attrition. Each unit needs to roll, and drowns on a 1. They lose a Declining Legion, a Light Infantry, a Heavy Cavalry and their leader. And this is on calm seas in the summer...

Red 0 (Byzantines)
The Cyrene army rolls a 3, and gets 6MPs. They take it safe and hop across to Cnossus in Creta.

Supply Phase
The Persians in Antiochus receive more supplies by sea, and eat the remaining food in the city granaries. They spend half a wagon to stay well fed and in fighting form.

The poor Byzantines outside are racked with dysentery and hunger, and 2 Light Cavalry and 5 Declining Legions perish in misery and despair.

Purchase Phase
The Persians purchase 2 supply wagons in Hatra.

Turn 4: July 622
Diplomacy Phase
The Lombards tie ribbons in their beards, and consider changing their inheritance laws to be fairer to women. They roll a 7, and stay inactive.

Random Events Phase
Rolls of 4,1 mean that chaos is averted this turn.

Siege Resolution Phase
Heraclius builds earthworks, and then rolls a 5! 5 + 1 (earthworks) - 1 (siege strength) means he can attack! His men storm the walls, desperate for victory and something to eat!

The Byzantines have 12 Strength Points versus 22 SP of the Persians. (Cavalry is half strength in sieges, but not for losses).

The Persians inflict 1 casualty, which Heraclius has to take as a step loss for his Heavy Cavalry. The Byzantines kill 1 SP of Persians, as a unit of Light Infantry is crushed under a collapsing building.

The Persians then manage to trap some Cataphracts in an alley and stone them to death (5 SPs, taken as a full Heavy Cavalry). The Byzantines in turn manage to shoot some Light Infantry (2 SP damage).

The Persians then shoot some more Cataphracts (more Heavy Cavalry dead), while in a final push the Byzantines manage to kill 5 SPs, taken as 2 Light Infantry and a Light Cavalry.

It's not enough. Byzantium can take no more and Heraclius calls off the attack while he has an army left.

Activation Phase
Red 2 (Byzantines)
Heraclius activates himself. His army cannot move as they built earthworks, so the Emperor leaves them to go seek reinforcements. He rolls a 5 for movement, and has 9MPs. He gallops North twice into the mountains of Cappadocia.

Red 0 (Byzantines)
The army in Cnossus is activated, rolls a 2 and sails to Rhodus.

Green 0 (Persians)
The Persians in Antiochus open the gates and attack!

The Byzantines have 1 and a half Heavy Cavalry.

The Persians have a Light Infantry, 3 Light Cavalry, 2 Heavy Cavalry and a "1" Leader. They have +1 on the casualty table for better leadership.

Emulating the Rohirrim, the Byzantines choose Charge! The Persians choose Envelope.

All cavalry (on both sides) are doubled in this battle of manoeuvre.

18 Byzantine SPs versus 38 Persian.

The Byzantines cause 3 SPs of casualties, the Persians cause 5. The Persians lose the Light Infantry and a Light Cavalry. The Byzantines take a Heavy Cavalry.

Pursuit, where all surviving hostile cavalry is treble strength... 66 SPs of Persians cause 17 SPs of damage... to a half strength Heavy Cavalry. It's a re-run of Carrhae. Fortunately the Emperor escaped on the previous turn.

Red 1 (Byzantines
Heraclius and his bodyguard roll a 2 and ride north to hide in the ruins of Melitene.

Supply Phase
Everyone is supplied.

Purchase Phase
The Byzantines have no money, but do have a "1" Leader in the Force Pool. They roll a 6, and place their new leader in Rhodus.

The Persians buy nothing.

State of play at the end of July.

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James O'Grady
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Turn 5: August 622

Diplomacy Phase
Lombards roll a 6, but the Byzantine forces in Cisalpina and Italia are enough to push this to a 10. Lombards stay inactive.

Random Events Phase
4,1 mean that nothing zany happens this turn.

Activation Phase

Red 0 (Byzantines)
Heraclius is activated, rolls a 3 which gives him 8 MPs. He marches NW twice to Amisus on the Pontus Euxinus shoreline.

Green 0 (Persians)
The army in Antiochus is activated, rolls a 3 which ends up being 7MPs, -1 for wagons. The army heads NW into the hills of Cilicia.

Red 1 (Byzantines)
The fleet and army in Rhodus are activated, and roll a 2. This ends up being 7MP so they sail to Salamis on Cyprus.

Green 1 (Persians)
The army in Cilicia rolls a 1, so ends with 5MPs after all the calculations. They march SW to the ruins of Tyana.

Supply Phase
The Persians in ruined Tyana are 2 units over supply, so they use half a supply wagon.

Purchase Phase
Persian colonists resettle Tyana, and two Light Galleys slide down the slipways into the sea at Sidon.

End of August 622


Turn 6: September 66
Diplomacy Phase
Lombards roll 11, so they are busy in a "Best Beard" contest in Mediolanum this turn.

Random Events Phase
4,1, so no plagues, revolts, storms or muttering.

Activation Phase
Green 0 (Persians)
The Persians in Tyana are activated, roll a 4 and get 6MPs. They march North twice to the ruins of Caeserea in Cappadocia.

Red 0 (Byzantines)
Heraclius rolls a 4, so ends up with 6MP. He embarks (which I incorrectly charged him 2 MPs for; leaders travelling alone do not pay for embarkation and unloading) and then sails along the coast to Heraclea.

Green 0 (Persians)
The Persians in Cappadocia roll a 4, and march back to Tyana.

Green 1 (Persians)
The Persian shahansha Chosroes II is activated, rolls a 5 and manages to march his army and supply wagon one space NW to place him between Hatra and Seleucia.

Supply Phase
Chosroes II needs to spend a wagon.

Purchase Phase
Persian colonists rebuild Caesarea in Cappadocia.

Two Light Galleys are completed in Caesarea in Iudea.

End of September 622.



Turn 7: October 622
Diplomacy Phase
Heraclius's forces keep the piece in Italia, as the Lombards roll an 8 and stay inactive.

Random Events Phase
3,4 mean no events this turn.

Activation Phase
Red 2 (Byzantines)
Heraclius himself is activated, rolls a 2 and disembarks in Constantinople. His army now consists of a Declining Legion, 4 Light Infantry and 4 wagons, and the navy of 2 Heavy Galleys.

Red 0 (Byzantines)
Heraclius rolls a 6, so embarks his army, leaves the galleys behind, and sails NE along the Pontus Euxinus shoreline.

Green 0 (Persians)
The army in Tyana rolls a 4, and marches NW twice to the ruins of Ancyra in Galatia.

Green 1 (Persians)
The army in Galatia rolls a 2 and marches back to Tyana.

Supply Phase
Heraclius's force at sea needs to spend a wagon.
(Chosroes's force needs to spend a wagon too, but I forgot).

Purchase Phase
Persian colonists rebuild Ancyra in Galatia. The Persians build 2 wagons and 2 Light Infantry in Tyana.

End of October 622.



Turn 8: November 622: Winter
Diplomacy Phase
Lombards roll a 10, so look out of their huts and decide it looks like rain.

Repayment Phase
The repayment phase of November 622 is ignored (as otherwise all Byzantine forces would desert!).

Random Events Phase
Byzantines roll a 4, Persians a 5... they draw Barbarian Incursion, which is a 50% chance of activating the Avars+Slavs on a 4-6. They roll a 2 though.

Activation Phase
Red 0 (Byzantines)
Heraclius himself. Sea travel in winter is dangerous. He rolls a 6 for movement, and then sails 4 hexes to Trapezus at the far end of the Pontus Euxinus where he disembarks. He has to roll for naval attrition, adding 3 because it is winter. He rolls a 1 so is safe. Phew!

Red 0 (Byzantines)
Heraclius rolls a 6 again so marches NE into Armenia! This activates the Khazar alliance!

Red 1 (Byzantines and Khazars)
As allies of Byzantium, the Khazars do not get their own activation chits but have to share. They are activated and roll a 5. This ends up being 8MP. Moving in clear terrain, in winter, without roads costs 8MP, so they march SE into the foothills of the Caucasus mountains.

Green 1 (Persians)
Chosroes II is activated, rolls a 2, and manages to drag himself into Hatra where he stops for a nap. Moving out of Babylonia is hard because there are no roads, but at least it isn't winter.

Supply Phase
Heraclius's army is in Rough terrain in winter. They spend half a wagon.

The Khazars are in Clear terrain in winter (2), in a barbarian province (-2), so they all starve to death and the Khazars dissolve!

[I thought that this was an odd rule, and in reading the rules about the Khazars drawing supplies from Byzantine cities, I completely forgot rule 12.7. Barbarian armies in barbarian provinces are automatically fully in supply (and something else I forget later). Whoops. shakeshakeshake]

Purchase Phase
No purchases.

End of November 622. The souls of the Khazars cry out for justice.



Turn 9: December 622: Winter
Diplomacy Phase
The Lombards roll a 10, so are too busy eating Panettone to trouble the Byzantines.

Random Events Phase
3,1 mean that the Three Wise Men bring no gifts to either side.

Activation Phase
Red 0 (Byzantines)
Puzzled by the Khazars' refusal to eat, Heraclius decides against wintering in the hills and wants to return to Trapezus. He rolls a 2 though, which ends up only being 6MP. Moving out of Armenia in winter will cost 16MP though. An "ACTIVATED" marker is placed on his forces.

Green 0 (Persians)
The shahansha Chosroes II in Hatra rolls a 2, and with his 4 MPs moves one space SW to Zaitha.

Red 2 (Byzantines)
Heraclius uses his second activation to move his army into Trapezus.

Supply Phase
Heraclius' army, in a city, port, rough terrain in winter is still in supply.

Chosroes needs to spend a wagon though, as even a city/clear is not enough to feed his horde.

The army in Tyana spends half a wagon.

Purchase Phase
No purchases are made.

End of December 622. The Byzantine treasury is empty, their force pool is full...

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James O'Grady
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Turn 10: January 623: Winter
Diplomacy Phase
The Lombards roll a 5, +4 is 9 so stay inactive.

Random Events Phase
The Byzantines throw a 6, and draw Persia/Parthia Active, which has no effect (they are already active as a major power, and Heraclius has not managed to conquer any of their starting provinces).

The Persians throw a 5 and draw Barbarian Incursion, which will activate the Avars & Slaves on a 4-6. They throw a 2.

Activation Phase
Red 2 (Byzantines)
The Byzantines pass.

Green 0 (Persians)
Chosroes II rolls a 4, and ends up with 5MP, enough to move one space NW into Mesopotamia Romana. At least here there are roads!

Red 0 (Byzantines)
Pass.

Red 0 (Byzantines)
Pass.

Supply Phase
Chosroes II spends a supply wagon.

Purchase Phase

The Persians buy nothing.

Turn 11: February 623: Winter

Diplomacy Phase
Lombards throw a 9+4 is way higher than 6, so stay inactive, probably having a nice Valentine's Day with their beards.

Random Events Phase
Rolls of 4 and 2 mean that nothing random happens.

Activation Phase
Red 1 (Byzantines)
Pass.

Green 1 (Persians)
Chosroes II throws a 2, and ends up with 4MPs. He marches NW 1 space.

Green 0 (Persians)
Chosroes II throws a 1, and ends up with 4MPs. He marches SW 1 space to end his turn in the fortress city of Edessa.

Red 0 (Byzantines)
Pass.

Supply Phase
Chosroes II has entered a winter province, so clear terrain in a major city isn't enough to feed all his troops. He spends half a wagon.

The army in Tyana spends half a wagon (and probably should have last turn too).

Purchase Phase
Nothing.

Turn 12: March 623: Summer
Taxation Phase
The Byzantines receive 118 gold from their provinces.
The Persians receive 120 gold in taxation.

Diplomacy Phase
The Lombards roll a 10+4=14, so nothing happens in Lombardy.

Random Events Phase
3,3 mean nothing random happens this turn.

Activation Phase
Green 1 (Persians)
Chosroes II has a burst of energy and rolls a 6. This ends up being 7 MPs, and he whips his army NW twice and then over the river to the looted city of Melitene in Cappadocia.

Green 0 (Persians)
Chosroes keeps his momentum going, and rolls a 3 which gives him enough MPs to march NW one space into Byzantine Pontus.

Green 0 (Persians)
The army in Tyana rolls a 3, so ends up with 5MPs, and marches SW twice to the ruins of Iconium. Central Anatolia is being restored to give a logistical backbone to the Persian conquest.

Red 2 (Byzantines)
Alarmed by the rapid advance of the Shahanshah, Heraclius rolls a 3 which gives his army 8 MPs. They get back on their ships and then sail west along the cost to Sinope.

Supply Phase
The Persian army in ruined Iconium spend a wagon. Chosroes's army spends 1 and a half wagons.

Purchase Phase
The Persians restore Iconium and Melitene.
In Ancyra, they build 4 supply wagons and a Light Infantry.
In Caesarea in Cappadocia they build 4 supply wagons and 2 light infantry.
They build 2 Heavy Cavalry in Antiochus.

The Byzantines finally have some money! One Declining Legion, 1 Light Infantry and 2 supply wagons in Sinope. A Heavy Cavalry and a Declining Legion in Constantinople. A Light Infantry in Salamis. A Light Infantry in Heraclea and in Nicomedia.

End of March 623


Turn 13: April 623: Summer
Diplomacy Phase
The Lombards roll a 9 so are too busy looking for Easter Eggs to go to war.

Random Events Phase
2,3 mean that fortune smiles on Heraclius and Chosroes evenly.

Activation Phase
Green 1 (Persians)
Chosroes marches NW to Amisus, and places it under siege.

Green 0 (Persians)
The army in Iconium rolls a 6, and with its 7MP marches NW twice to end in the hex just NE of Nicomedia.

Red 0 (Byzantines)
Heraclius rolls a 4, embarks his army (leaving the navy behind) and sails to Heraclea.

Red 2 (Byzantines)
Heraclius picks up the army in Heraclea and sails back to Constantinpolis.

His army now consists of 7 Light Infantry, 3 Declining Legions and a Heavy Cavalry, and 4.5 supply wagons.

Supply Phase
The Persian army in western Galatia, near Nicomedia, can support 2 units from the rough terrain, so spends a wagon to stay in supply. It has 2 wagons left.

Chosroes II spends a wagon to stay in support, but still loses 3 Light Cavalry to the biting winds from the mountains.

Purchase Phase
The Persians purchase 4 supply wagons in Melitene.

End of April 623


Turn 14: May 623: Summer
Diplomacy Phase
The Lombards roll a 9, so stay inactive.

Random Events Phase
The Byzantines roll a 4, but the Persians roll a 5! Barbarian Incursioon! They roll a 2 so it's a false alarm.

Siege Resolution Phase
The siege of Amisus! Chosroes's army builds earthworks, and then throws a 6 +1 (earthworks) -1 (port is unblocked) +1 city is undefended so can assault the city. It only has a token garrison so falls to the Persians!

Activation Phase
Green 0 (Persians)
The Persian army NE of Nicomedia rolls a 1, and then marches to Nicomedia which it immediately besieges.

Red 1 (Byzantines)
Heraclius rolls a 2, boards ships, sails to Cyzicus and disembarks. He leaves the Heavy Galleys in Constantinopolis! [This prevents the Persians crossing to Europe or Byzantine Africa].

Red 0 (Byzantines
Heraclius throws a 1, leaving him with 7 MPs. He leaves 2.5 supply wagons behind in Cyzicus, and marches to attack the Persians besieging Nicomedia!

Battle of Nicomedia!
The Byzantines choose Envelope, as do the Persians.

The Byzantines have 29 SPs, the Persians have 26.

The Byzantines, with +1 on the casualty table, manage to kill 5 SPs of Persians, which are taken as a 1/2 Heavy Cavalry and a Light Infantry. [Heraclius rolled 1,1 for his 10s casualties, which is really bad luck].

The Persians managed to kill 6 SPs of Byzantines, which are taken as 3 Light Infantry.

The Persians are victorious, and pursue the fleeing Byzantines. They inflict 7 SPs of damage, riding down a Declining Legion and 2 Light Infantry.

2 Light Infantry, 2 Declining Legions and a Heavy Cavalry retreat NW. Some say this is God's judgement on Heraclius for marrying his niece.

Red 2 (Byzantines)
Heraclius has already moved twice so must pass.

Supply Phase
The Persians besieging Nicomedia spend half a wagon, and have 1.5 wagons left.

Chosroes II can supply 2 units from the countryside, and 2 from the city. He cannot use the port for supply as he has neither the majority of taxation in the province, nor a friendly port within range. He loses 2 Light Infantry and 2 Light Cavalry.

Purchase Phase
The Persians buy a supply wagon in Amisus!

Heraclius buys a Heavy Cavalry and a Declining Legion in Cyzicus.

End of May 623.
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James O'Grady
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Turn 15: June 623
Diplomacy Phase
Lombards roll 11. Lombards stay inactive and enjoy the start of summer.

Random Events Phase
Byzantines roll a 5 and draw Muttering In The Troops. Unhappy with the rather large casualties taken under Heraclius's leadership, no force apart from Heraclius himself or ships at sea may move this turn.

The Persians roll a 6 and draw Revolt. Mesopotamia Persica rises up against the oppressive taxes and endless war. 2 Light Infantry each are place in Nineveh, Zaitha and Hatra.

Siege Resolution Phase
Nicomedia is under siege from the Persians, who build Earthworks. They throw a 2 so cannot assault the city this turn.

Activation Phase
Green 1 (Persians)
Chosroes II rolls a 6 and gets 8 MPs, marches to Caesarea in Cappadocia and adds the 2 Light Infantry and 4 Supply Wagons to his army.

Red 0
Muttering in the troops prevents movement.

Green 0 (Persians)
The Light Infantry and Supply Wagons in Ancyra (built in March) roll a 4, and end up with 7 MPs. They have a 2MP penalty because there are 4 wagons, and march SW one space. They intend to reinforce and resupply the army outside Nicomedia.

Supply Phase
The army besieging Nicomedia spends half a supply wagon.

Purchase Phase
The Persians build 2 Light Infantry in Seleucia and 1 in Ctesiphon.

End of June 623


Turn 16: July 623
Diplomacy Phase
Lombards roll a 7. Heraclius is looking longingly at his stack in Ravenna so they may well make a move sooner or later.

Random Events Phase
Rolls of 3,1 mean a quiet turn... not like June!

Siege Resolution Phase
The Persians outside Nicomedia build earthworks again... and then roll a 1. The siege continues, and the Byzantine Light Infantry inside shouts insults from the battlements.

Activation Phase
Green 1 (Persians)
The army in Pelusium (that has been sitting there for a year) rolls a 3, and gets 7MP, -2 for wagons. It marches 2 hexes NE to end up in Iudea.

Red 2 (Byzantines)[u]
Heraclius marches into Cyzicus.

[u]Red 0 (Byzantines)

Taking advantage of the absence of the Persian army, the army in Salamis lands on the coast off Alexandria and places the city under siege!

Red 0 (Byzantines)
Heraclius rolls a 1, and marches S and then SE towards Ephesus.

Supply Phase
The army besieging Nicomedia spends another half wagon.

The army in Iudea spends a half wagon.

The army besieging Alexandria is ok. The galleys outside it pick up an "At Sea" marker, and must return to a friendly port next turn or face an automatic A3 attrition roll.

Heraclius's army spends half a wagon.

Purchase Phase
The Byzantines raise a Light Infantry in Ephesus, a Declining Legion and a Light Infantry in Thessalonica.

End of July 623

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Turn 17: August 623
Diplomacy Phase
The Lombards roll a 9 so stay inactive.

Random Events Phase
Byzantines roll a 1, but the Persians roll a 6. What fresh misery is this? Storms at Sea!

Siege Resolution Phase
The Persians besieging Nicomedia build earthworks, but then roll a 2. Even with +1 that's still not enough to assault.

The Byzantines besieging Alexandria build earthworks and currently have the port blocked. They roll a 3 so that's not enough to assault the mighty walls of Alexander's City.

Activation Phase
Red 0 (Byzantines)
The Byzantines activate the Heavy Galley off the Alexandria shoreline. It rolls a 2 and ends up with 6 Movement Points, which it uses to row desperately through crashing waves to Salamis. Will it survive Naval Attrition? There's a +2 to the roll because of the storm, but they throw a 2 so reach harbour safely.

Green 0 (Persians)
The Light Infantry and Wagons NE of Nicomedia, roll a 3, and then join the besiegers of Nicomedia.

Red 2 (Byzantines)
Heraclius himself rolls a 4 so ends up with 8 MPs, less 2 for wagons. He marches to Ephesus, then North two spaces to end up just SW of Nicomedia.

Green 1 (Persians)
The army in Iudea is activated. They throw a 6, and in a surprising burst of energy get 9 Movement Points, less 1 for the wagons.

They rapidly march back to Alexandria and attack the besieging Byzantines!

Battle of Alexandria
The Byzantines have a Declining Legion, 3 Light Infantry and 2 Light Cavalry. They choose to Refuse Their Flank.

The Persians have 4 Light Infantry, 5 Light Cavalry and 2 Heavy Cavalry. They choose to Envelope their foe.

Refusing The Flank is super-effective! All Byzantine troops count double (but not for losses).

The Byzantines had 26 SPs versus 30 SPs of Persians.

The Byzantines kill 3 SPs of Persians. The Persians take this as a Light Infantry and a Light Cavalry.

The Persians kill 9 (they throw three sixes!). The Byzantines take this as a Declining Legion, two Light Infantry and a Light Cavalry.

In the pursuit phase the Persian cavalry counts for treble, and they ride down the surviving Light Infantry and Light Cavalry, wiping out the Byzantines completely.

Supply Phase
Heraclius spends half a wagon.
The Nicomedia besiegers spend half a wagon.

Purchase Phase
The Persians buy a Light Cavalry and a Light Infantry in Alexandria.

End of August 623


Turn 18: September 623
Diplomacy Phase
The Lombards roll a 4, but as Heraclius hasn't depleted his garrisons, decide to wait and see.

Random Events Phase
The Byzantines roll a 5, and draw Barbarian Incursion. The Avars will be activated on a 4-6... and they throw a 5. Ouch!

The Persians roll a 2 so they are quite happy with how things are going.

Siege Resolution Phase
The Nicomedia besiegers build earthworks, and then throw a 4. With the earthworks this is enough to assault the city. The Light Infantry defenders try to put up a fight, but the Persians take the city without loss.

Activation Phase
Green 0 (Persians and Avars/Slavs)
The Avar Khan rolls a 2 for movement, so ends up with 7 MP. He marches his whole people SW one space, as Dacia does not have roads.

Red 0 (Byzantines)
Heraclius activates himself, rolls a 5 and ends up with 9 MPs, less 1 for 2 wagons. He marches NE to Nicomedia, too late to relieve the siege, but places the victorious Persians under siege himself.

Green 0 (Persians and Avars/Slavs)
Determined not to make the same mistake as the Khazars, the khan rolls a 5 so gets 9 Movement Points. He crosses the Danube and immediately besieges Singidunum. Some of his cavalry, 4 Light and 2 Heavy, ride on 2 spaces South East.

Red 1 (Byzantines)
Pass.

Supply Phase
The Persians in Nicomedia eat most of what is in the city granary, leaving one point for next turn.

Heraclius' army eats a supply wagon.

The Avar cavalry is in clear terrain and is fine.

[This is irrelevant! Barbarians operate by different supply rules. Basically, if you have either looted a city, or you are a great big horde you are ok. You have to outnumber any Romans by 2-1, and everyone else by simple majority, then your units are treated as living off the land].

The Avar force outside Singidunum can support 4 units off the land, and therefore 4 Light Cavalry and 18 Barbarian Infantry die. This is enough for the Avars/Slavs to dissolve.

[Again, I got the rules wrong. Barbarian supply does not work that way. As long as they are the Big Man in the Province, they are in supply.]

Purchase Phase
Alarmed by the Avars and fearful of their ghosts, the Byzantines raise 2 Declining Legions in Oescus and 2 Declining Legions in Dyrrhachium.

End of September 623



Turn 19: October 623 (last month of summer)
Diplomacy Phase
Cowed by the miraculous slaughter of the Avars by the Heavenly Host, the Lombards stay quiet, rolling a 6,+4 = 10.

Random Events Phase
The Byzantines roll a 6, and again hear rumours of a terrible plague spread by the rotting corpses of the Avars, slain unjustly by a misreading of the rules. Fortunately it is a false alarm.

The Persians roll a 3.

Siege Resolution Phase
Heraclius outside Nicomedia, where he started in April 622, builds earthworks. He then rolls a 6 which is enough to storm the city!

The Persian garrison consists of 2.5 Heavy Cavalry, 2 Light Cavalry and a Light Infantry. Cavalry counts for half in assaults.

The Byzantine assault force is 3 Declining Legions, 2 Heavy Cavalry and 3 Light Infantry.

The first assault is made at dawn. Ladders are placed against the walls while Byzantine archers shoot at the defenders. Boiling oil is poured onto the attackers. Each side inflicts 5 casualties. The Persians lose the half HC and a Light Cavalry, the Byzantines lose a Declining Legion and a Light Infantry, as Heraclius wishes to preserve his Heavy Cavalry.

The attackers regroup and try again. Each side kills 5 SPs, the Persians losing a Heavy Cavalry unit, flattened by rocks from an onager, while the Byzantines lose a Declining Legion and a Light Infantry as the tower they had captured collapses in flames.

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!" cries Heraclius, as again heavy losses wrack both sides, losing 5 SPs each. The Byzantines lose a Declining Legion and a Light Infantry, the Persians lose a Heavy Cavalry.

"Attack! Attack!! Attack!!!" as again the Persians beat off the assault, with heavy losses on both sides, the Persians losing their last Heavy Cavalry, and Heraclius losing another Declining Legion and a Light Infantry.

"Give 'em a taste of cold steel, boys!" cries the heroic Heraclius, as his final assault slaughters the remaining 2 Light Cavalry, who inflict 1 SP in return. This has to be taken as a step loss for the Heavy Cavalry.

Heraclius takes the city, and manages to capture 1 supply wagon too.

Activation Phase
Green 0 (Persians)
Chosroes II activates himself, rolls a 1, and marches S and then SW into the clear terrain in the heart of Asia Minor.

Red 2 (Byzantines)
Heraclius activates himself, but his army are exhausted from building earthworks and refuse to move. He rides alone to Cyzicus.

Red 1 (Byzantines)
Heraclius embarks and sails to Constantinopolis to get reinforcements from elsewhere in the empire/

Green 0 (Persians)
Chosroes II rolls a 3, and is able to march his army into Persian Iconium.

Supply Phase
Everyone is in supply.

Purchase Phase
No-one buys anything as most provinces are exhausted. The Persians have a "1" leader in their force pool and roll a 6. He is placed in Ctesiphon where he will be responsible for subduing Mesopotamia Persica.

End of October 623


Turn 20: November 623 (Winter)
Diplomacy Phase
The Lombards roll a 7, so stay inactive. Heraclius is glad he didn't attack them just for fun.

Repayment Phase
The Byzantines have to pay their troops! Ravenna costs them 16 and Roma costs them 4, but those armies kept the Lombards quiet.

The army in Dyracchium costs them 4, Thessalonica 3, the fleet in Salamis costs them 2, the army in Oescus cots them 4, and the force in Constantinopolis costs them 10.

In total they pay out 43 gold, and have 40 left until March.

The Persian army in Alexandria costs 17 (Heavy Cavalry is not cheap!), their light galleys cost them 4, the armies in Babylonia cost them 3, the army in Antiochus costs 9 and Chosroes II Royal Army costs 17. This is 50 in total, leaving them 16 gold left until March.

Random Events Phase
Rolls of 4,3 mean that it is all quiet.

Activation Phase
Red 1 (Byzantines)
Pass.

Red 0 (Byzantines)
The army in Oescus is activated, rolls a 4 and gets 7MP. In summer this would be enough to get them to Constantinople, but it is winter and travel is harder. They march one space NE.

Red 0 (Byzantines)
The army in Moesia near Oescus is activated again, rolls a 3, and is able to cross the province border into Thracia.

Green 0 (Persians)
The army in Ctesiphon rolls a 5, and then marches to Seleucia and then on one more, aiming to get to besiege Hatra.

Supply Phase
Chosroes II spends half a wagon.

Purchase Phase
Nothing.

End of game as my wife wanted to eat on the board-game table, November 623.

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Paul Brown
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Great AAR. So who was victorious...or did family meal impose a truce on the factions? Inspiring me to get my copy back on the table

Can I humbly suggest including a few more strategy notes to indicate what each side is trying to do. Would help me put the sieges into context.

Oh and loving the concept of the Lombards eschewing warlike pursuits in favour of animal husbandry and womens rights!

//Paul
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James O'Grady
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I think it ended up a draw, due to the barbarians dying of hunger strike, although the Persians were running out of money. Heraclius had some really bad luck.

The Byzantine strategy was first of all a march to attack Antiochus. The siege bogged down and starvation set in, so the Emperor ran off into the mountains. He then returned to the capital. His next plan was to gather the army from Constantinople, sail across the Black Sea, enter Armenia and then let the Khazar hordes destroy the Persians. They all died though, so he returned to the capital. When he finally got some money (March 623) he built up his army ready to try again. The army from Africa was going to liberate Egypt, but they acted too quickly and the Persians wiped them out.

The Persian plan was to rebuild the cities in Central Asia Minor and so get a solid logistical base to their conquest. They had to leave one army in Egypt, and then had two armies, one in the mountains and Chosroes II along the coast. They built a fleet but weren't quite sure what to do with it!

When the Avars attacked they were very please, but again they went on hunger strike and died

It's a good game. There's never enough time to do everything you want to do, and you have to perform actions in the right order. You are never sure how many activations you'll get each turn. In this scenario, there are 4 activations a turn, but sometimes there'll be more of one side than another.

Supply is vital. Heraclius is hampered to start with, because he has no money. The army in Africa has no wagons so if it ends a turn on the sea it will die, so I had to hop from city to city. And the big empty space in Galatia was as good as a desert for poor Heraclius.

Heraclius also had some truly unlucky dice rolls! If he could have moved his army from Ravenna down, as he was likely to do in 624, then the Lombards would attack. He would have to prioritise on beating the Persians rather than holding Italy.
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Flavio Ezio
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toxtethogradyworlds wrote:
The Byzantine strategy was first of all a march to attack Antiochus.

Why not march to Armenia (by sea) asap instead ? This would activate the Khazars early in the game.

toxtethogradyworlds wrote:
They all died though, so he returned to the capital.

You did not apply rule 12.7

toxtethogradyworlds wrote:
They built a fleet but weren't quite sure what to do with it!

They need a fleet to capture Constantinopolis with Avars' help.

toxtethogradyworlds wrote:
It's a good game.

I’m happy you are playing it but next time use another table
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Flavio Ezio
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In Turn 10: January 623 Lombards were activated by the Persia/Parthia Active chit. See Lombards' note 1)
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Dean Zadiraka
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Thanks a lot for playing and then posting all of this for our benefit!
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James O'Grady
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Ahh! I see that now (the Persian chit and rule 1 for the Lombards!

Heraclius was thinking that he could capture Antiochus quickly and strike a knock-out blow, although he later realised that sailing along the coast was a lot quicker!
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James O'Grady
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A good way to learn the rules is to give it a go!

This one was more complicated as there were the barbarians, and I forgot their supply rules due to my incompetence. But there's also less of the board to worry about, and simplified victory rules... capture the capital! (In Caesar vs Pompey, it's kill the leader, or force dissolution. If Caesar or Pompey lose too many provinces, then they lose too!).

It moves quickly too, even with writing down what I was doing and taking photos! I still need to cut out the purchase markers, and probably do a sheet or two to put them on to avoid clutter.
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Paul Brown
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Absolutely! Great session report and, sure, playing, is the best way to learn the rules so don't worry about not clocking rule 12.7...I'm sure Heraclius would have had the same angst once he realised his army didn't have to die. At least you get another go ;-)

//Paul
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James O'Grady
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Yeah, and I know that next time the Lombards can arise on a chit-pull, and that Heraclius (or any leader) can embark and disembark for free.

My next Persian strategy will be to build a navy and to also get ports on the Aegean or Pontus Euxinus. Then they can at least start to blockade Constantinoplis.

If the Byzantines sally out, they might take losses. Losses that they cannot easily replace (no money to start with, then galleys take 4 months to build, and cannot be built in a city under siege). If there is no Byzantine navy in adjacent to Constantinople, then the Persians can cross over into Thracia!

Heraclius will try to get the Khazar alliance. It would be quicker to leave the strong army in Nicomedia and make a quick dash into Armenia before the weather sets in... and maybe bring the army from Africa into Italia first, and then into Greece.

Great game, so many possibilities
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