From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
Part 5: Keep Your Daggers Sharp
The war in the east quickly became a war of agents. Where I took a city, I would quickly find insurrections, destroyed buildings, and dead patrols. This was making progress impossible, and making being outflanked a real danger.
A spy and a champion took the field for the Seleucids and quickly began assassinating every enemy agent they could lay eyes on, with the spy poisoning enemy army provisions for good measure.
Armenia fell quickly, giving the Seleucids a new province to control and a border with the Cimmerians who, it turns out, have quite a few troops of their own. Any thoughts of moving the army that conquered Armenia south to take on Media Atrapotene were soon dashed by the sight of Cimmerian horsemen galloping into view.
Still, for the first time I felt I had the initiative. One big push and the east would fall. Maybe.
Or maybe not. The push came from the east first, a joint attack by Parthava and Persia over a wide front, rolling me back to Mesopotamia. Parthava then pushed into Mesopotamia and wiped out my loyal satapy of Media.
Some forced marches and fast recruitments let me form a campaign of my own. A few turns later I controlled all of Mesopotamia and Media Atrapotene were gone, turned into a satrapy by me and then overrun by Parthava the next turn. On the bright side Nabatea(!) took a town from Drangiana, so the satrapy thing was still working out.
The constant assaults by enemy agents were making it impossible to build anything in towns east of Mesopotamia, but better they destroy towns on the front line than those within my borders I suppose. This meant that new Seleucid banners were being raised in Syria, increasing the time it was taking to get them to the front. It also meant that food was becoming an issue in the empire as I was gaining only ruined towns with hungry mouths to feed.
My banners began pairing up to take on the superior forces of Persia and Parthava, with initially good results, especially against Persia.
I was winning the agent wars by timely application of the blades. My agents were spending almost every turn on assassination runs (assassinate some sense into ‘em!) but it was proving difficult to hold onto captured provinces. Even Armenia was now a hotbed of slave rebellions and required its own garrison to hold onto.
Pairing up the banners was working nicely, and the dominoes started to tumble. Drangiana (satrapy), Persia (destroyed), Sagartia (peace treaty), Parthava (last city taken, lone army wandering the map). My banners had finally reached the eastern edge of the map, and I had seen but not fought my first Parthian banner. It was all looking good.
Something interesting happened on the battlefield after my ultimate clash with Persia. I took a screenshot of my troops standing victorious on the field where the Persian lines broke:
I caught him in the act, so now I feel like David Attenborough. There is one recurring danger with the battles in Total War: Rome 2. The game looks so good you get caught up as spectator and forget to actually control your own forces. The campaign map is just as bad, with my turns taking about 10 minutes longer than they should due to all the gawking.