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Thread: [Epeiros-as-Massalia AAR] A Kingdom Born in Betrayal

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    EBII Hod Carrier Member QuintusSertorius's Avatar
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    Default [Epeiros-as-Massalia AAR] A Kingdom Born in Betrayal

    At the moment of his greatest triumph, Pyrrhos, king of Epeiros finally experienced the push of fickle Tyche. He had taken Pella and with it the Makedonian throne in 272BC. After that moment, it all began to go wrong. The nobility of Makedonia, used to having an influence over the kings and regents, had begun scheming against him from the moment of his accession. They found an unlikely ally in his brother Hieron, left to run Epeiros in Pyrrhos' absence, who longed to be sole ruler of Epeiros alone. The tribal lords of Makedon and Hieron forged a pact to strike at the same time, denying both kingdoms to Pyrrhos.

    It happened at the festival celebrating his accession in 271BC, soldiers disguised as slaves came for Pyrrhos and his sons late in the feast at the end of the day. Helenos died first, the youth too drunk to resist as he was stabbed repeatedly. Ptolemaios, the oldest, had been more careful in mixing his wine all evening, and was able to disarm an assassin and raise the alarm. Fighting back to back with Alexandros, they helped their father get free and find his bodyguard. It was the men of the phalanx, Makedonian mercenaries all, who had been turned with promises of land and bounties. Pyrrhos and his two surviving sons escaped the city and rode clear with their cavalry, racing to escape any chance of pursuit.

    Avoiding the major settlements, they went west, though the mountains into Epeiros proper. Ptolemaios was trusted with retrieving their families still in Ambrakia, if they survived. On reaching the coast, they followed the rumours about the location of the fleet, and prayed to the gods Lakmos remained in command. It was on a beach on the Adriatic coast that Pyrrhos and his childhood friend Lakmos were reunited. The navarch had stuck by him through the flight from Italy and the campaigning in Sicily, and he wasn't going to abandon his king now. Loading up the soldiers they had with them, they picked up Ptolemaios at the agreed spot - the young man had managed to not only carry out his wife and children, but also some still-loyal veterans who'd stolen the treasury of Ambrakia while Hieron was still busy trying to root out resistance to his kingship.

    Pyrrhos knew where to go next. He'd left troops to support Milon in Taras, and was sure the Tarentines would welcome his return. However, on reaching the city, he found the gates barred to him, his officers paid off and the men promised grants of land if they changed their allegiance. Cursing Tyche and Moira, Pyrrhos took his fleet westward further still, to Syrakaousai. Hieron of Syrakousai received the king, but was unwilling to support his venture to recover his kingdom. It was in Syrakousai that he was first approached by agents of Massalia, who feared the local Kelto-Ligurian tribes were allying to sack the city.

    Bringing his army and fleet north, he was greatfully received by the Massalian assembly and hired as strategos for the campaign against them. Some initial successes raiding the Oxybii and Deciates, and driving off a large force of the Saluuioi seemed to vindicate the choice. But not everyone in the city was enamoured with the prospect of a foreign mercenary army so close to the city. One of the factions opposed to hiring Pyrrhos tried to bribe his second-in-command to kill the king and wrest control of the army, but the main remained loyal and exposed the plot.

    Enraged at the prospect of another betrayal, Pyrrhos turned his army around and besieged the city, demanding the plotters were handed over to him. At first the city resisted, and prepared itself for a long siege. Three weeks into the siege, Lakmos' marines managed to sneak into the harbour and steal half the ships of the Massalian fleet, burning the remainder in their sheds. That took the heart out of the Massalian defense, they could no longer take to the sea to flee should things get bad. A week later a delegation from the assembly surrendered. Pyrrhos had the ringleaders of the plot executed and their families exiled, and installed himself as king in all but name.

    His first act as ruler of Massalia was to find an external foe: Kart-Hadast, a commercial rival Massalia had crossed rams with before. Long ago the Phokaian founders of Massalia had placed a colony on nearby Korsim, but they were driven off two centuries earlier after a costly victory at sea. Using Lakmos' fleet and a newly raised body of citizen-hoplites, Pyrrhos was able to capture Alalia, which was barely garrisoned at all, and installed an oligarchy of the elites sympathetic to running things for themselves. The Karthadastim response was swift, a fleet dispatched to drive off the invaders, but Lakmos was favoured by Tyche and defeated them at sea, and they quickly sued for peace. It played well with the regular Massalian citizen, the return of old glories and reuniting a sister colony, even if the inhabitants were now all Phoenician colonists.

    It was 267BC, five long and hard years since the turning of Tyche, but Pyrrhos hoped this would mark a new begining. He had eyes on Emporiton up the coast, also founded by Phokaians and a trade partner of Massalia. Taking it would expand Massalia's control over the coastal trade and give better access to the inland Iberian trade. Installing a friendly regime there would be difficult, they had a strong garrison and prized their independence. But it would come to pass, Pyrrhos was sure of it.

    Right, this begins my attempt at an AAR for my migration game. I'm using the rather clunky method of taking screenshots and coverting the .tga files outside of the game, but hopefully that should still let me get a variety of them in.

    I've taken Epeiros and moved them to Massalia as their base. It proved more difficult than I'd thought to get rid of my old Epirote holdings, which is why it starts in 267BC and with two provinces rather than just Massalia, but this is the beta. I think I know now how to ensure Ambrakia will revolt (it needs a governor setting a Very High tax rate, not merely left empty of troops).

    I've just passed the point of viability with what I hold, even retaining a navy I'm in the black and making positive money. I'm going to build both settlements up economically so I can recruit additional troops to take Emporiton, which is heavily garrisoned. There's also an Areuakoi army sniffing around it, so I might be able to snatch it after they've had a go.
    Last edited by QuintusSertorius; 08-27-2014 at 15:00.
    It began on seven hills - an EB 1.1 Romani AAR with historical house-rules (now ceased)
    Heirs to Lysimachos - an EB 1.1 Epeiros-as-Pergamon AAR with semi-historical houserules (now ceased)
    Philetairos' Gift - a second EB 1.1 Epeiros-as-Pergamon AAR

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