Another fun day of gaming! Went over to Mark’s yesterday and played a game of Imperium Romanum II with him and Jason. They’ve been with the game for a while, and I’ve been a boon to them as some scenarios demand three players.

For my second game we played – the second scenario, “The Great Mithridatic War”. This covers the period where Rome had to deal with ongoing revolt in Spain, Mithridates’ second attempt to expand his kingdom to dominate all of Asia Minor and Greece, and what most people know of the period – a slave revolt headed by a gladiator named Spartacus. The general time frame of the scenario is covered by Colleen McCullough’s Fortune’s Favorites.

I was going to reprise my role of Mithridates from the first scenario, but I looked at all the miscellaneous forces he controls and got cold feet at the last moment. So I ended up with Sertorius, at the head of the remaining Marian faction in Spain. Mark took Mithridates (and the pirates, and Sparticus if the revolt started). Jason took ‘the Senatorials’, Pompey, Lucullus and Crassus.

The Roman Senate of course commands an incredible amount of power, with a tax base nearly four times that of the other two players combined. It has a large area to draw reinforcements from, which allows for easier recruiting than either Mithridates or Sertorius (who begins holed up in Gallaecia – NW Spain). However, there’s a lot to do, and Rome is reacting to powers who don’t have to go far at all for their goals.

I started on the wrong foot, needing the first turn to sort out what was happening, and how to work towards what needed doing. This lead to an army being ambushed and wiped out on the first turn. Ouch.

The second turn went much better. I defeated the Roman force (without losses to either side, which wasn’t necessarily part of the plan), snuck in behind them to Toletum, and took the abandoned capital of Lucitania, Emeritus Augusta, securing the province for myself. Better yet, the Roman army was mostly along the eastern Mediterranean shore, leaving all of Baetica (southern Spain) wide open.

Meanwhile, Mithridates was sweeping through Bithnia and headed for Roman Asia, and the pirates are cutting off the supply of corn to Rome, causing revolts there. All of these events are eroding morale, while mine is soaring from the victories.

August sees minor forces invest the cities of Baetica and the armies march for Saguntum and Carthago Nova. These battles also go well, and I wrest two more provinces from Rome (The second being Tarraconensis – the eastern half of Spain). At this point, there is a discussion. By a strict reading of the victory conditions, I win as soon as I control these provinces. Since I also go first in a turn, this seems a bit harsh, and I was certainly interested enough in the situation to continue. (But I claim the moral victory!)

The next couple months aren’t nearly as good. Pompey comes out of north Spain with way too many troops and takes control of Tarraconensis back. His initial stab at Baetica fails, but things are settling into a winter where I will be trying to take out some small garrisons and figure out what to do about an army bigger and better than mine.

Also, Rome has successfully pirate hunting and recovering morale in the process. Also, the attrition of battles has left Mithridates’ army too weak to continue offensive operations, and there’s a fair amount of territory left before Mark gets to his victory conditions.

When we left the game (end of day), it looked like the Senatorials would be the winner – eventually. He should keep me from winning, and the next spring would be concentrating new forces against Mithridates, and once he was out of the way, the entire military might of the Republic would fall on Sertorius.