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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Strength in Diversity, Many but One

Recently I have completed my Roman campaign in the game Rome 2 Total War.  The Romans are interesting in that they allow you to recruit basic troops from other cultures as auxilliaries.  With this feature, I imposed a few rules to make interesting Roman legions

1)  There are two main types of legions.  Roman legions and Auxiliary legions.  Roman legions are build based on the Roman-Alae principle in the republician roman army.  This meant that Roman and Italian troops are represented in equal measure.  One problem is that with the general, there are often an odd number of units.  This "odd slot" can be filled in by non-region specific auxiliary units such as auxiliary cavalry, levees, auxilia, dogs and gladiators

2) Auxiliary legions can only be formed with units from specific cultures.  There will be a Hispanic legion, an African legion and so on.  Initially I allow auxiliary legions to recruits the non region specific auxiliary units but early in the campaign i decide to drop this.  Only legions that have already recruit such units, such as legio Illyria is allowed to keep its existing non cultural specific auxiliaires.

3)  All legions are allowed to recruit mercenaries.  This is to allow the legions to be reinforced when they are far from their home region.  

4) At midgame when I had Marius reforms, I found out that I will not be able to enjoy the new units well if I stick to the existing rules.  So I created two legions, Legion Primigenia and Legion Aegyptia.  This are my "cheesy" legions.  They have no restrictions.  However in the course of the game half Legion Aegyptia is composed of auxiliaries still

5) Also I realised I had more cultural regions conquered than I had legions.  So in the end I tweak the auxiliary legions.  Instead of being limited to a culture per legion, each auxiliary legion draws troops from two cultures.  The only exceptions are Legion Hispania as they are very garang and Legion Greece as its "two regions" are effectively one.

So now let me introduce my Roman legions.  A Roman army of many cultures

My African legion.  Originally I thought that they are quite weak as they only consisted of Numidian cavalry and javelinman so I supplemented them with mercenaries and had Legion Italia babysitting them.  Turn out they handle themselves really well, I realise that shooting is really powerful via this legion.  This legion is further supplemented by Ethopians in late game, kept on losing the elephants in battle though and as a result the legion often have to sail back to Ethopia to replenish.

My Greek legion.  They are well armed so they can handle themselves really well.

My Gaulish legion.  Later supplemented by Germans

My Spanish legion.  It's commander at one point is Gauis Marius himself.  This legion conducts itself very well and hardly needs help.  I think it loses only 1 unit in the entire game.  I had several close calls with this unit in the late game when I invaded Germany but the legion pulled through with no units lost.

Legion Illyria.  Comprises of non culture specific auxiliaries and Illyrians at first, the legion was destroyed in  a bad auto resolve battle (it was a mass battle and I did not realise the legion was badly mauled.  I saved the game and in the next turn the legion was destroyed).  The legion was rebuilt and did very well, its prowess very further improved by the addition of Thracian units.

My Celtic Legion (these are French Gauls while legion Gallica are from the Alps and Northern Italy), they are ok I guess.  They had British joining them after the conquest of Britain but the Brits are so weak that they weaken the army.

Lybian legion.  Quite ok.  I added Arabians later.

This is legion Augusta, my Syrian legion.  I did not rename it as Augusta is a nice name.  So I used this legion to recruit my favourite Auxiliaries- the Syrians.  Note that I did not particular like the Syrians, it is just that this legion is built at Palmyra...the seat of the Duke of the Orient.  This legion has Persian auxiliaries too.  The legion is build late in the game so it only experienced one battle.

I actually had a Sarmatian legions.  But it was build so late in the game that it had no troops when I won.  So I discounted it.

Below are my Roman legions.  I thought I could have kept Legion Italia and Legion Apollinaries alive throughout the game but both were destroy once.  (Apollinaires was destroyed by an event which allow the British barbarians to reunite and fight as 1 faction.  Suddenly the tribe that I was abusing had fresh reinforcements and I was swarmed.  Legion Italia had a glorius defeat too.  Two enemy factions band together and swarm me).  In the end legion Alpina was the only senior legion to last throughout the game, to honor it I made it the only legion to be upgraded all the way to tier 3 (approximately mid imperial Roman legions)