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Thread: Zalmoxis's Lightning: a Getae AAR (Completed)

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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Zalmoxis's Lightning: a Getae AAR (Completed)

    Author's note: This is my second AAR with the Getae (or Getai, if you followed my Europa Barbarorum AAR almost six years ago). Since Im basically unemployed for the next month with not much to do, I should have plenty of time to work on this AAR and I hope it will be as good as my Suebi AAR! Enjoy!


    Introduction

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    My name is Tarbus, and I hate the Greeks. They came into my village a moon ago, a band of Greek raiders. We tried to hold them off, but their numbers were too many for our tiny village, and we were soon overwhelmed. But we stood and fought, defending our homes from these heathens who call themselves men. I stood at the entrance to my home, protecting my wife and two sons. I killed two Greek whores before one of them stabbed me with a spear. I fell, and I watched my sons murdered in front of my eyes and my wife dragged away into slavery. I fell into darkness, awaking to the sight of my friends, the twins Varga and Charnabon, tending to my wounds. Varga told me that most of the village was murdered or carried off into slavery. They managed to fight off a few of the Greeks and hide in their cellar until the raiders left. They were a cunning pair, but now all three of us were utterly lost.


    So we picked up whatever what was left of our lives and joined the warband of our tribe’s war cheif, Dadas.





    We headed to the capital, Malva, where Dadas was assembling an army. We signed up as humble spearmen, the arrow fodder for our great tribe.





    That is me in the middle, looking all regal. And that’s Varga and Charnabon beside me.


    We do not know where we are headed; we do not know what will become of us, but as long as I can kill some Greeks I will be happy. And should I die in battle, I am sure that I will join Zalmoxis in the afterlife, and until then, he will help me bring pain upon those who have caused me, my village, and my tribe so much suffering.










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    ChapLoo's Gold Unit Compilation, 4TPY, Rome 1 music mod, Radious Total War mod (encompasses all his R2 mods), Splenyi better campaign camera, and the Zoom down all the way mod for battles.
    Reunification: a Marcomanni AAR (on permanent hiatus)
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    On the Path to the Streets of Gold: a Suebi AAR
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  2. #2
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR

    Great, looking forward to this. What difficulty are you playing on?

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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR

    Hard.
    Reunification: a Marcomanni AAR (on permanent hiatus)
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    On the Path to the Streets of Gold: a Suebi AAR
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    Default Re: Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR

    Chapter One

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    We had only been training for two months when Dadas marshaled the army together. We were going to war!
    The problem was with whom. We weren’t heading south; we were heading north, to the Biephi tribe. We were going to take their town, Zarmizegetusa, or as we just call it, Zarmiz. We had been lacking a major fortified city for a long time, and we could not call ourselves a major power in the area if we do not have this town in our possession. Once we have this town in our possession we can start assaulting south. At least that is what my captain told us. Another war chief, Daizus, would be joining us with his hardened troops. His army had been out defending our borders for a while now so we needed his experienced troops helping us in the assault.

    So we marched in the early autumn, and we somehow snuck up on the city. Our scouts reported that the main Biephi army was away from the city, so we had to plan our assault carefully to avoid having to deal with too many defenders at once.



    A small army was on the outskirts of the town, so we gave battle. The defenders of the city rushed out to help their comrades. We were about to fight our first real battle!



    It was a dark and hazy day, as we waited uneasily for our warlord to give the order to advance.



    I could see Daizus’s troops arriving to our west in good order. They had many hardened men and I was eager to fight alongside them.



    Across the field, we could see the enemy warriors standing there and milling about. They must be terrified of what is to come, and the pain that we are about to deliver upon them!



    Our line advanced, and as we pressed forward, they began to move towards us as well. We closed the distance. One hundred and fifty meters between us. Then one hundred. Then only fifty. Then our lines charged.

    We were not at the front, our warlord decided to keep the green troops behind the more experienced ones, so the swordsmen and falxmen (warriors with long, curved blades that could easily tear through armor) were the ones to make first contact. But in the first frantic moments of the battle, our captain received word that the second that an enemy unit opens up their flank to us, we charge. And the minute we received that order, we saw our opening, and we gave a loud cheer, and ran into the fray.



    It was hell. I never expected large-scale fighting to be this frantic. I have fought enemies before, but it was always on a much smaller scale, maybe a dozen against a dozen. But this, this was thousands! I was near the front so I was confronted with the enemy very quickly. His back was turned, so I thrust my spear into him. I saw the crimson of his blood spill out as I yanked my spear out of him. He twisted around as he collapsed, his eyes empty of any emotion but one of pain. He writhed on the ground for a second, then he was still, his face in the dirt as blood seeped out of his wound. My first kill in my career as a soldier. I didn’t have time to ponder this, there were enemies all around who meant to kill me, so I had to keep moving and stay alive. We pressed against the flanks hard, but then we heard a rumble from our right.

    “Enemy cavalry!”

    We spun in that direction, and we saw a group of shock cavalry bearing down on us. We hurriedly got into a counter-cavalry formation, but it wasn’t enough. The thundering charge tore through our formation. But by the grace of the Gods, our losses were less than half a dozen! I lost sight of the twins during the fierce melee, but I'm sure they will be alright. The cavalry made a mistake, they did not pull back as soon as they finished the charge, and they got bogged down among us. Our spears began to dispatch the enemy riders from their mounts with ease.



    To our right flank our heavier infantry were just slaughtering the enemy troops, who were not quite as well armed, and the enemy on the right flank began to rout.



    But the center and left flanks were not doing as well. Enemy melee cavalry had charged the center alongside heavy infantry, and they were tearing up our men, with the help of a lot of enemy skirmishers who rained spears down upon us.



    Our unit, fresh from repelling the cavalry on the right flank, was told to charge the skirmishers as they were harassing our men. They ran, but we eventually caught and slaughtered them, although we were quite exhausted after we caught them. Those skirmishers can run fast!



    We fought hard, bled hard, and it took a long time to break the enemy. I was almost was killed twice during this battle. A spear flew right by my face, killing the man behind me, but I fought on. Another man tried to stab me with a spear, but I blocked it with my shield. I blocked it, but the force of the thrust put the point of the spear clean through the shield, centimeters away from my chest. I threw my shield aside, tearing his spear away from him and I plunged my spear into his neck, killing him. I then grabbed an unbroken shield that was unbroken from the ground and continued to fight.



    Finally we broke them. Our cavalry had to chase down the fleeing enemy as us foot soldiers were simply too exhausted to pursue them ourselves.



    We had won. We stood there, bloodied and exhausted, but we had won. I found the twins. They were alive, though Varga had a deep cut on his leg and was limping.



    We had lost over 1,200 men. It was a tough loss, mostly for Daizus’s army who bore the brunt of the losses. We had captured over 650 enemy soldiers, who we put in prison for the time being, as we didn’t want them to flee and reinforce our enemies.



    With most of the enemy defenders dead or in prison, we set up to storm the gates of the city!


    Reunification: a Marcomanni AAR (on permanent hiatus)
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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR

    Chapter Two

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    We couldn't feast the night after the battle since we still had work to do. We rose in the morning, gathered our weapons and armor, assembled outside our siege camp, and we began our assault. I was very nervous as siege assaults are infamous for their high casualty rates for the attackers. While we would not be the first to be sent in, I was still a bit fearful that my life will end this day. The twins were not nearly as worried. In fact, Varga was excited for this battle.

    "Tarbus! Stop being so damn nervous! Just keep your shield up, spear pointing at the enemy, and you will be just fine!"

    We brought four large ladders to the assault so we can attack from two sides to prevent being bogged down in one area.





    We advanced under fire, with enemy archers launching fire arrows at our ladders, trying to burn them before they reach the walls.



    They only managed to burn one of the ladders, but they also inflicted heavy casualties on the unit pushing the ladder, and they had to fall back.



    But the other ladders made it to the walls, and our warriors flooded over the walls.



    Our men captured the southern gate first, and held it while waiting for the others to join them and take the city. They didn’t have much to hold though, the enemy held back since we outnumbered them six to one.



    On the other side of the town, our men began to engage the preliminary defenders and started pushing towards the eastern gate to let the rest of the army in.



    We rushed in, making a beeline for the town center.



    The defenders put up a stiff resistance, but we had them outnumbered far too much for them to hold us off.



    And no matter how valiantly they fought, they fell before our swords and spears.



    The town was ours! We had only sustained about 300 casualties, mostly due to their archers, so it was impressive that we were able to take the town with so few losses.

    But there were still Biephi armies out there, so after a few days of celebration, Daizus and his army set out to take them on. Our army stayed put to defend our newly taken town.



    But instead of our forces chasing around enemy armies, we dispatched assassins to take out enemy commanders. Our assassins killed two of their commanders, whose armies dissipated into the woods and over the border, and Daizus fought a minor skirmish with their final army, which resulted in the death of the Biephi faction leader. The Biephi were destroyed, ending the war with them.



    Now we could finally rest a bit as we built up our society and armies for our next conquests. But danger is always lurking. The Catiaroi, a violent tribe from the east, are right on the border, and they might lead us to war once again...



    Reunification: a Marcomanni AAR (on permanent hiatus)
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  6. #6
    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR

    Hooah, does the DLC change the map in any way? Any new settlements? Since Thrace is of great interest to me... Also, what are the top units for the Odryssian roster?
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    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR (updated 7/3/14)

    No new settlements, but I am annoyed that I can't change the capital, as the Getae start with a minor town and i would love a walled town for my capital. As for the Odryssians, I hear their falxmen are extremely deadly, but I'll have to check into this more tomorrow.
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    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR (updated 7/3/14)

    The flaxmen the Getae get aren't so great (if they're even the same). They die pretty quickly and they aren't the same as they are in R1. The Odryssian Kingdom gets some unit that isn't exactly the same but they have a somewhat bigger weapon and armour and just overall look more fancy. Those guys are really really dangerous, as in, you don't even want to leave legionaries in a melee with them =X

    It's annoying how you go up against them as a Greek faction pretty early on. They'll take hoplites and phalanx infantry apart without issue.

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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR (updated 7/3/14)

    Yeah I've noticed how if the falxmen are left in melee for too long they start to sustain heavy casualties so they really are best for shock troops.

    And historically falxmen were deadly against the Romans as the flax would just tear through Roman armor like butter.
    Last edited by Hooahguy; 07-04-2014 at 18:22.
    Reunification: a Marcomanni AAR (on permanent hiatus)
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    On the Path to the Streets of Gold: a Suebi AAR
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    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR (updated 7/3/14)

    Yeah it is like some sort of battle scythe. Like a farming tool adapted for warfare or something. I am not sure if the Odryssian Kingdom gets the same kind of units. Their weapon doesn't exactly look like a falx(?). It seems more like a long, sword with a forward curve which is probably really good for breaking shields and all sorts of other stuff. I'll have to do some reading up as I have literally no idea how it works.

    -E- I have done reading up and they do use a different weapon. They use a romphaia, which is kind of like a two handed forward curved sword. It apparently was not as devastating as the falx. In the game, I guess the big difference is that the Getae falxmen are essentially naked and have no shields or armour values, so they die like flies, especially to ranged weapons while the romphaia wielding guys are usually heavy infantry with shields and armour. I have not compared their attack and damage stats but I guess they can stay in a fight much longer and having shields (kind of mounted onto their left arm while wielding the romphaia with two hands) they probably have a higher melee defense too.
    Last edited by Sp4; 07-05-2014 at 00:35.

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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR (updated 7/3/14)

    Chapter Three


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    It has been a year since we have seen battle. But what a year it has been! Word is that we are planning on an invasion of the Odrysian Kingdom to our south. There is much to be done! We had to stabilize our fledgling economy before mounting an invasion, and if possible, raise another army. There are simply too many enemies around us to risk leaving a flank open to them, at least that is what my captain said.


    He had a point. The Catiaroi were annihilated by a Scythian tribe to the east, so now we are nervous of a possible invasion by the eastern riders who cut down thousands of men with their arrows without taking a single loss.





    We didn’t know who would be coming over the hills, so we posted scouts by the border which should give us enough time to react. We hope.





    So before we could invade we had to scout out our enemy. Our target was the town of Odessos, which was not only a port city, but also their capital, so it would be heavily defended. Interestingly enough though, the only forces they had initially were naval based units, so it wouldn’t be too hard of a fight to take them down but it still would be a challenge.





    But then a new threat came over the horizon. A large Eravisci army arrived at the border, seemingly to invade, so we were sent back on forced march in order to meet them in battle.





    But as we neared the place where we were supposed to be, we did not find an Eravisci army waiting for us, but an Ardiaei army, and nearby the smoldering ruins of what we only assume was the Eravisci army. Our leaders talked to the Ardiaei leader who was commanding the army, and they offered us trade rights and a non-aggression pact. We eagerly agreed if it meant one less pressure on our borders, and we went on our way. Personally I do not think that we should be making any peace with any Greek, but if a temporary peace is what must be done to get revenge on our foes, so be it.





    We soon found out that the Ardiaei completely wiped out the Eravisci. The military might of the Ardiaei will need to be addressed sooner rather than later…





    With the immediate threat neutralized we turned again towards our southern neighbors. They were currently fighting with the Macedonians, so we might have to take advantage of this! Our spies observed the Odrysian Kingdom take a large city from the Macedonians, but then the Macedonians took it back, and now it looks like a very large Odrysian army laying siege to that same town again.






    And while all this was happening, we were simply waiting on the banks of the Danube River, seeing how this will all play out. If it goes too well for the Odrysians, we might have to rethink who we attack first…





    But the most important change was that we are no longer lowly spearmen! My entire unit has been retrained into swordsmen. If we plan on taking on the advanced armies of the Odrysians and the Greeks we need better troops than just lowly spearmen. While I do miss my spear, having a sword is just as good. Training for it is much harder, as fighting with a sword is much harder than fighting with a spear. Fighting with a sword is more of an art than a spear. It’s not thrusting everywhere, you have to parry much more, you have to be so much more careful about everything you do as if you make a mistake it could be your last. We train in all weathers, rain, wind, even snow. The twins joined me in the new unit, and they took to the swords as eagerly as I did, so I hope to fight alongside them against the Greeks soon. Now I just hope we will get to whet our appetite for Hellenic blood sooner rather than later. Meanwhile, we will keep training sun or snow…



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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR (updated 7/11/14)

    Chapter Four

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    We are finally breaking camp. We are on the march! We are headed south, which means our target is the Odrysian Kingdom. We weren’t going alone. Another chieftain, Blaikisa, raised an army alongside ours, and we marched in unison towards our enemy to the south. They were already in a war with another Thracian tribe, Tylis, was also at war with them so we would be able to press them from two fronts. They only really have one large army that we must deal with, but I’ll be damned, it was a terrifying army. The Odrysians didn’t have much expertise in cavalry or with ranged weapons, but there was one weapon that they excelled at using: the Rhomphaia, a long curved two handed sword, almost a polearm, that could cut through shields and armor like it was grass. It was a truly feared weapon, and this large army that we had to face had almost three thousand of them. It was a terrifying thing, having to face them.

    So we arrived at the Danube River, and we set up for the crossing. We worked for two days on building the rafts in which to cross the river. Finally after the last unit crossed we formed up and began marching again. Our scouts reported that the main Odrysian army was not too far away, less than two day’s march from the river.

    It was a tough march. The southern lands around the Danube are covered in marshes, which made the trek a very tiring one. But we stopped for the night before battle and had a good rest, so we should be rested for the morning. But few of us slept. We had a very hard day ahead of us and many would not see the moon again.

    We finally gave battle, but conditions were not on our side.



    The battlefield had a thick layer of fog, initially making it hard to see across the battlefield. I don’t know how our leaders are planning this battle since they can’t see where the enemy is. But I relaxed, knowing that is why we have scouts to find the enemy.





    We found the enemy. They were waiting nervously about a kilometer away.



    Then Blaikisa arrived with his forces.



    With our forces assembled, we marched towards the enemy lines. We were usually joking amongst ourselves, but now it was hauntingly quiet. The only sound was the sound of our shoes hitting the ground and the rattling of our weapons and armor. Even Varga, who always had something to say, was silent.



    We stood across from each other, not thirty meters apart. Then we charged, our lines colliding in a clash of blood, iron, and flesh.



    It was hell. I do not think I have ever been in a fight that tough. Granted, I've only been in two battles, but I will tell you that facing against the Rhomphaia is terrifying. I have never been so scared in my life. I saw some of the men around me soil themselves just before we charged. The rows of Rhomphaias would have glistened in the sunlight. If the sun was shining, that is. Which it wasn’t. But I could still see the rows upon rows of those terrifying blades, each of which represented death to us.

    So as our lines collided, a Rhomphaia immediately slashed at me. I blocked it with my shield, the blade bouncing off the boss of my shield. I immediately plunged my sword into his neck, killing him. I advanced through the sea of bodies and blood, swinging this way and blocking that way, it was a both terrifying and exhilarating experience. A Rhomphaia sliced straight through my shield, only stopping at the boss. It got stuck, so I tossed my shield aside, tearing his weapon away from him and I drove my sword into his chest. I grabbed a shield off the floor and pressed further into the melee. Now that I think about it, I tend to lose my shield quite often...



    Our lines were hard pressed by the Odrysian forces, and in a few places our men were taking heavy losses. It even looked like in some places that our men would flee. This is when our great cavalry came to the rescue. Our horsemen charged into the rear of the enemy lines in order to save the battle.





    And where our horsemen were not available, our horse archers rained hell onto the enemy. It wasn’t too long before a number of enemy units began fleeing.



    Even though we were tired, covered in blood, and almost literally wading through a sea of bodies and limbs, we were enthusiastic to finish the job and wipe out as many of them as we could!



    With part of the enemy lines in full retreat, our commanders sent available units to flank enemies that were still holding out.



    Finally the enemy was routed, and our horsemen and archers chased down the ones who fled, slaying most of them with arrows or trampling them underneath our hooves.



    The day was ours. We had killed almost all of the Odrysian army, not even three hundred were left when we were through with them! We had clearly won the day!





    It came at a heavy price though. Almost a quarter of our men lay dead on that battlefield, and a few units that took heavy losses had to be combined in order to maintain battlefield effectiveness. But regardless of the losses, we had taken the day, and in effect, taken their capital, Odessos, which we would begin marching towards immediately.



    But it seems like Tylis sent an army to raid their capital, and it seems like they have razed it pretty much to the ground, at least according to our scouts. This makes things a bit interesting I would say. I was looking forward to spending a few nights there; I heard the wine is great. But I guess we will now have to find out what awaits us in the buried ruins that used to be the Odrysian capital!



    Last edited by Hooahguy; 07-14-2014 at 04:44.
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  13. #13
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR (updated 7/11/14)

    That's a big fight.

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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR (updated 7/11/14)

    Yeah, it lasted just over 20 minutes. I was kinda lucky how the battle went, those Thracian warriors are very fearsome and in custom battles they cut through my forces like butter so I'm glad that I pulled a win here.
    Last edited by Hooahguy; 07-12-2014 at 21:58. Reason: .
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    Default Re: Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR (updated 7/11/14)

    Yeah I do not really like fighting their warriors and nobles. It's annoying as a Greek faction when you get to do war with them early on.

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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR (updated 7/11/14)

    If I didn't have the second army I almost definitely would have lost.
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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR (updated 7/16/14)

    Chapter Five

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    We started out for Odessos. It was raining heavily on our march, the mud making progress very slow and painful. Man and beast fell in the thick sludge, adding days to our progress. We lost much of our provisions in the quagmire, forcing us to forage. But the land around us was not rich, and finding enough food was difficult. A number of our comrades fell from hunger in the muck, never to rise again.

    Eventually we arrived at our destination, expecting to encounter the hardened forces of the Odrysian army sent to defend their capital. But we saw the flag of Tylis instead. The Odrysian capital had fallen a week ago, and was now in the hands of Tylis.



    We bought supplies, and set out initially for our next target, the large Odrysian town of Pulpudeva. It was early winter by the time we arrived near the town, at the time still under their control. We were met by a delegation of Odrysians, carrying a large chest with them. They begged us to turn around and go home. Internal strife, added to numerous enemies at their gates, plus the fact that we effectively demolished their only large army, forced them to try to make peace with whoever would listen. They offered us one thousand gold coins to leave. Our leaders accepted, on the condition that we can set up camp by their city for the coming winter. It is too late to head back to our lands, the Danube is too violent now to cross and we would lose many men in the attempt. They agree, and we waited out the winter by the city.



    We left in the early spring as soon as the roads dried. We were encountered by a large Tylan army which challenged us why we were in their lands, but after a few spoken words we parted ways peacefully and began our crossing of the Danube.



    In the meantime we found out that Tylis has taken the final two Odrysian towns, and the remaining leaders of the Odrysians are on the run.



    But we could not worry ourselves about that. We had crossed the Danube yet again in late spring and had declared war on Tylis! We desperately needed the port town of Odessos, so we had to march, and in the early summer we attacked, after spending much of the spring training more men for the coming campaign.



    The enemy garrison was very small, so none of us were too worried about this battle. There were no Thracian warriors with their Rhomphaias, only simple spearmen and skirmishers. We were confident of an easy victory.



    We split our forces in half in order to surround and crush the enemy garrison.



    We waited for Blaikisa’s army to arrive, as we wanted a swift and crushing victory with as many men on our side as possible.



    We fought a minor skirmish outside the main gates of the town, as our horse archers peppered the enemy from the other side.





    Our heavy spearmen from Blaikisa’s army joined us for our final push into the town. They paused for a second with us to rest a bit before we were sent into the fray, the main part of the battle.





    Pressed on all sides, the garrison quickly fell before our swords and spears.



    I ran towards a vulnerable-looking spearman who seemed cut off from his peers. He saw me, and panicked. He lunged his spear at me, which I blocked. His spear fell from his hands, and he froze. We hesitated, staring at each other for the briefest of seconds, almost as if we were reconsidering what would be coming next. The hesitation ended. He went for his dagger, and I put my sword through his shoulder. He fell, screaming. I considered finishing him off, but I had no time. There were more enemies to face, and I couldn’t be bothered with one man writhing on the ground, so I moved on to the next foe in my way.





    We soon had the Tylan defenders on the run, and we eagerly gave chase after a short melee.



    As I was running I came across the man who I had stabbed in the shoulder. He was dead; a bloody hole in his chest where I assume a spear was driven in. I felt a bit of pity for him, but I remembered that he would have done the same thing to me, and I shook off the feeling.



    With the last defender slain, we caught our breath and celebrated the victory.



    It was a very easy conquest. We lost only thirty-one men, one of them being from friendly fire when an arrow struck his neck. But losses aside, the town was now under our control, and we began preparing the port for economic purposes so we can raise more armies to take on larger and more powerful foes.





    It was then that we received word that the Odrysians have been completely defeated, with not a single member of the Odrysian royal family being left alive.



    With a port town under our control, we decided to make peace with Tylis, if possible. They had allied themselves with Athens, who we were now at war with. Surprisingly, they accepted the peace proposal, and hostilities were ceased. For now.



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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR (updated 7/16/14)

    Chapter Six

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    We had a few weeks of peace before we got dragged back into a war with Tylis. How the war started again, I do not know. I'm a lowly soldier, I know nothing of politics. But whatever the reason for resuming the hostilities, Blaikisa and his army set out to take the Tylan capital, Antheia.



    I was not there for the battle, so I can only tell you what I heard from the men who fought it.

    They once again split their forces in two in order to surround the enemy.



    Some Tylan forces landed by boat to reinforce the garrison, so our forces assaulted the enemy as they came off the boats, coming under fire from Tylan slingers in the process.



    But once our soldiers had closed the distance they made quick work of the slingers.



    The main part of the army charged to meet the garrison, resulting in a large clash in the center of town.



    The Tylan defenders didn’t last long.





    The cavalry chased down whoever was remaining of the garrison, skewering or trampling dozens, and capturing the rest.



    We had more losses than taking Odessos, but it wasn’t terrible losses and they were easily recoverable.



    But with that early victory, came threats from all over that are panicking most of us.

    The Scythians are at the mouth of the Danube in boats with large armies. We do not know what they intend to do with those armies, but the possibility of a Scythian invasion frightens us, as we are woefully unprepared for it.



    To our south comes a large Athenian army. Facing Athens with their pikemen and heavy spearmen always frightened us, and now that nightmare was all too real.



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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR (updated 7/17/14)

    Chapter Seven

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    The Athenians were pounding at our gates. We had to meet them in combat on our terms, not theirs, so our commanders began to gather our forces. The night before we set out we were sitting around a fire, finishing up what was left of our dinner, and nervously joking, knowing what was coming in the coming week. Varga was especially nervous.

    “I keep feeling as this will be my final battle. I know that the fates have been with me until now, but I cannot shake my feeling of dread that I might die this battle.”

    Charnabon tried to calm him down.

    “Brother, if the Gods wanted you dead, you would have been dead long before by now.”

    We talked long into the night, trying to reassure each other that we would all pull through just fine. It was tough though, we were facing one of the greatest armies in the world. The Athenians were known as one of the strongest militaries in the known world, and we would be facing their best army, who called themselves the Eagles of Zeus, who was their biggest god or something.

    After a hard march we gave battle to the Athenians.



    It was late in the day when we lined up for the battle. We were all fidgeting from the apprehension for facing the greatest army we have ever faced.



    We walked slowly towards the enemy lines, knowing that many lives would end in the coming hours. Charnabon and Varga were by my sides, all three of us pledging before the battle to stick together to keep ourselves alive through this ordeal.

    Then the Athenian cavalry charged. It was terrifying, the thundering of hooves shattering the silence of the day. We countered with a shield wall with horse archers behind us giving us some support. It didn’t help much, as not even a shield wall can prevent two hundred horses bearing down on you.



    It was chaos. The neighing of horses, the screams of men pierced the sky, periodically broken by the whistling of arrows as they descended upon their targets, tearing flesh apart with their barbed tips. We tried to hold them back but we needed help, as the Athenian cavalry was very skilled and were able to parry our attacks with ease.

    But it wasn’t them who we feared most. It was their pikemen. With their seven meter long spears called sarissas, they could tear down even the most veteran of warriors. We were told to stay away from their pikes at all costs, but knowing the ways of battle, having to face them would be inevitable.



    On the left flank our cavalry tried to rout the Athenian cavalry but even with 3-1 odds in our favor we had trouble as they were facing the elite of Athenian cavalry.



    In the center the battle swung wildly. One minute we were clearly winning, and at another minute all would seem lost. We faced some brazen hoplites who fought mostly naked, consuming a copious amount of drugs before combat. But no matter how drugged up they fought, they fell like the rest. A spear or two will force even the most drugged up warrior to his knees.



    But after the naked hoplites were routed, we faced our worst enemy: the pike phalanx. Men scrambled over each other to get away as they advanced. Not all were successful. I got separated from the twins in the mad dash to escape. I saw a half-dozen of my comrades killed in an instant with well-timed thrusts by the Athenian pikes, and we retreated.



    We were joined by a unit of Triballoi Swordsmen, who were the backbone of our army. We were hoping someday to be trained to their level, but right now, they were decimated from one hundred and sixty men to a mere eighty men. We were down to one hundred. Our unit commanders decided to band together, but then they somehow got caught between the phalanx and a unit of elite hoplites. They got massacred, not a single man was left of that unit.



    It was a long, hard battle. I reconnected with the twins at some point late in the battle, and we pushed through together to survive.

    And survive we did. It took a long time and many deaths, but we managed to flank and rout the Athenian phalanxes, winning the day.



    It was a very costly battle. If both of our armies had not been there we would have certainly lost. But we managed to annihilate the Eagles of Zeus, leaving not even three hundred Athenians alive. We had lost four entire units, and half a dozen at their minimum combat effective numbers.


    Author's note: sorry for not more screenshots of this battle, it was so chaotic I didn't get too many.

    That night we counted our blessings. Many friends have been lost, but thankfully our trio was unscathed.

    Charnabon told his brother that he had nothing to fear now!

    “See Varga! The Gods are truly on our side! From today until the end of days, we will be brothers!”

    The next day brought new foes over the horizon, much to everyone’s dismay. A very large Tylan army descended upon us, assisted by the remnants of the Athenian army we had just defeated and another smaller Tylan army.



    I did not think we would have a chance. Everyone thought we would all die this battle, and that this would be the death knell of the Getae people. But I felt something about this battle. We will carry this day. I told this to some comrades around me, being met with a few nervous laughs but otherwise a grim silence. We had all lost comrades yesterday, and we would yet again be cast into the gauntlet of combat. We would certainly be losing comrades again today.

    We waited nervously for the enemy to arrive. Usually we had to come to them, but their superior numbers must have spurned them into confidence.



    With a few meters between us, we threw our javelins and charged into the carnage of the day.



    The remainder of the Athenian army, a mere three hundred men, tried to sneak around our lines, but we caught and slaughtered them, with not a single man of ours falling to their spears and swords.



    In the center we were in the fight of our lives. Our cavalry circled back around to their flanks and charged, crushing enemy axmen beneath their hooves. The battle began to swing in our favor.





    The Tylans had some Thracian warriors with their dreaded Rhomphaia, but they were not enough to affect a real change in the battle.

    It was about then that Varga and I was separated from Charnabon. Varga panicked for a second, and then collected himself. Charnabon was a skilled warrior, and we were sure he would be fine. We fought on, dodging Rhomphaias and errant arrows from bow-happy horse archers.



    After wiping out the left and right flanks of the enemy army, we concentrated on the quagmire that was the center. We were told to flank the enemy units that were holding out in the center.





    In the meantime our cavalry chased down fleeing Tylan troops in order to prevent them from recouping their losses after the battle. The more we kill, the fewer we have to face later on.



    It had been a bloody day, but we had won! The battlefield was strewn with corpses, but it certainly felt good to have defeated two large armies in as many days!





    But the joy of the day was dampened by our losses. From a count of ninety-five men before the battle my unit now had a mere sixty-three. Varga and I looked for his brother among the living. We could not find him among the living.

    Dejectedly we began searching the dead, and that is where we found the body of Charnabon. His chest was torn from shoulder to hip, from what can only be a Rhomphaia. We wept for our fallen friend and brother. We took his body and buried it outside of our camp. Standing over his grave, Varga swore vengeance for his brother’s death. He grasped his brother’s sword, and drove it into the mound of dirt that covered the body of his twin.

    “With this I swear that I will do everything within the realm of possibility to remove Tylis from the earth! I will not rest until either they are in the ground or I am lying in a ditch with ravens picking at my remains!” He stayed at the grave all night mourning for his brother. I headed back to my tent, exhausted and saddened from the past two days. I did not sleep well that night. I don't think anyone did.

    We had won two great victories, but at a tremendous cost. Of over five thousand men we began with, we had lost almost three thousand men between the two battles. With the main forces of Tylis shattered, they retreated, as did we. We needed to recoup our losses to prepare for our next campaign.



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  20. #20
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR (updated 7/17/14)

    Why do you play all those battles where you have a 95% chance to win?

  21. #21
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR (updated ch.7)

    What do you mean? I'm generally a very cautious player, as in I usually bring two armies wherever I go. Why it has me at a 95% win chance for the Athenian battle is beyond me, it clearly didn't turn out to be such an easy victory.
    Last edited by Hooahguy; 07-17-2014 at 14:13.
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  22. #22
    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR (updated ch.7)

    An AAR looks much better if we have lead battles with screenshots instead of autocalcs.
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR (updated ch.7)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooahguy View Post
    What do you mean? I'm generally a very cautious player, as in I usually bring two armies wherever I go. Why it has me at a 95% win chance for the Athenian battle is beyond me, it clearly didn't turn out to be such an easy victory.
    Idk, it would probably just get to my head after the 5736th time of lining up everything neatly and then having it all be over again 3 minutes later. With those sort of battles, I spend more time loading and making some sort of formation than the battle actually lasts. I don't particularly care about what the game thinks would be an easy victory or not. If it gives me a 95% chance to win, I don't fight it, unless I have some seriously hurt cavalry units that are just going to get killed by autocalc.

  24. #24
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR (updated ch.7)

    Ah ok, now I get it. It's an AAR. It's about the story so I want to tell all the story, and personally I like the battles. I love their atmosphere. Even if it's an easy victory it's fun to watch my men cut up the enemy. I don't play every battle. While all this was going on a small slave army attacked my northern city (don't recall the name off the top of my head) and there it was 96% odds so I autocalced as it wasn't relevant to the story.

    Also my battles last a good amount. I haven't had a battle that lasted less than 12 minutes yet, and that one was the battles for Odessos where I drastically outnumbered them. For the open field battles the last one took 19 minutes, the one before that 21.
    Last edited by Hooahguy; 07-17-2014 at 14:34.
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    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR (updated ch.7)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooahguy View Post
    Ah ok, now I get it. It's an AAR. It's about the story so I want to tell all the story, and personally I like the battles. I love their atmosphere. Even if it's an easy victory it's fun to watch my men cut up the enemy. I don't play every battle. While all this was going on a small slave army attacked my northern city (don't recall the name off the top of my head) and there it was 96% odds so I autocalced as it wasn't relevant to the story.

    Also my battles last a good amount. I haven't had a battle that lasted less than 12 minutes yet, and that one was the battles for Odessos where I drastically outnumbered them. For the open field battles the last one took 19 minutes, the one before that 21.
    The longest lasting battle I had yet (without mods) was a battle against the civil war faction in my Sparta campaign. I lost the battle as well, but I was outnumbered and since the civil war army is a copy of your armies, it was actually a good quality vs good quality army, which I thought I could win, but I moved too many people to turn one flank and didn't have enough to hold the other. Putting all my cav on one side with a big hill between both flanks probably wasn't a great idea either. It was roughly 5600 vs 6000 (2 full stacks against 3 or 4 full-half full stacks of AI.
    The AI lined up their units to face my line, which took about 15 minutes because both formations spread nearly the width of the map.

    The funny thing is, since the initial battle was actually an assault on an encampment (fortified army) I probably could have won by capturing the camp because there was no one to protect that and my cav was running past their encampment a couple of times. I wonder if you can actually still win battles that way. I didn't think to try.

  26. #26
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR (updated ch.7)

    I don't remember, do you use mods? I vaguely remember you talking about using DeI.
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    Default Re: Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR (updated ch.7)

    I have but somewhere along the line, they decided that battles still didn't take long enough, so they reduced the kill rates down to the point where the only way to kill something is to flank it or repeatedly hammer and anvil with cav. I don't mind that but it became everything every battle was about, so I've mostly gone back to vanilla now.

  28. #28
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR (updated ch.7)

    Thats why I really like the take Radious has on his battles. Two units going head to head will take a while but enough pressure on the flanks can break a unit. As said before my battles take a satisfyingly long time to play so Im pretty content right now.
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  29. #29
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    Default Re: Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR (updated ch.7)

    Hi there,

    Not to get too offtopic but regarding Odrysian Kingdom roster further up the thread: I've been playing an Odrysian campaign.

    Thracian Warriors are really pretty sweet.
    They have a bit of armor, a small shield & that whopping Rhomphaia (am I the only one thinking 'rhomph, rhomph, rhomph' as I see them swinging?)

    The big problem in the Odrysian roster though is there is 0 spear units. Yep 0 (other than cavalry).
    Which makes it pretty hard to make a defensive line.

    The Thracian Warriors can stand to a certain extent mainly due to their big attack but against tough elite enemies the lack of defense skill means they fall in big numbers, likewise armor isn't heavy enough to withstand missiles for long.
    They are of course at their best with a flank/rear attack where they are really brutal, can melt elite units such as Oathsworn incredibly fast.

    Thracian Peltasts are pretty good at combat for skirmishers, again pretty good attack, a bit of armor & weak defense skill so take a lot of losses in a sustained fight but useful as 2nd line & flankers.

    You do get nice XP on training boost for the missile units which helps most enemies only reach my line fairly depleted -> they break after a bit of rhomphing.

    I haven't got much experience with the Thracian Nobles yet but basically a better version of Thracian Warriors, still nearly no defense skill.

    Fortunately I got nearly a full stack of good spears from convincing Getae to join my confederation.
    Split between several armies I have some anchors to my line, but completely irreplaceable if destroyed so I have to be fairly careful with them.
    There are Mercenaries but Odrysians get +50% upkeep cost on them so thats an expensive prospect.
    maybe those guys should be doing something more useful...

  30. #30
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zalmoxis's Lightning: A Getae AAR (updated ch.7)

    Chapter Eight


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    It took a year to recover our losses from those two battles. It was a tough year of training and nervous watching the border for any more Athenian armies. We were still at war with us despite the truce with Tylis, so a new army could surface at any time. Considering our heavy casualties in our last battle with the Athenians, the fear was deserved.


    Varga and I got new armor and weapons so we would be able to take on better equipped foes. No longer were we just facing other tribesmen, we are fighting against well-armed and equipped enemies who have already demonstrated that they can inflict heavy casualties on us with even poorly trained troops.


    So in the beginning of the harvest season we launched a surprise attack against the small Tylan forces holed up outside of Pulpudeva, the town we are working on capturing.





    We spotted the enemy right next to a small village, and we began to jog towards the Tylan forces, eager for combat.





    And just like always, our lines clashed in a vicious fight. Tylis put their best troops in the front so we were heading into their best troops right at the start.





    It was vicious. After the initial collision of our lines I was pushed to the back by the waves of our troops so I did not see much action this battle. But I could see the front lines from the back and it looked brutal.





    While I was listlessly waiting behind the twenty men in front of me I could see other units circling around behind the enemy to hit them from behind and to flank them quickly.





    I could also see our cavalry making short work of the enemy skirmishers.





    It did not take too long for a chain rout to begin, and we began to clean up the routing Tylan soldiers with cavalry and our horse archers.








    It was a good victory. We sustained some losses but that it to be expected from a battle of this side.





    Our next step was to quickly assault the city, as there was danger on the horizon: another large Athenian army was spotted right by our borders. This was not very good and if we could not turn them back it would mean the loss of territory that we had already fought—and won— for.





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