Mark managed to make it over on Sunday thanks to the long weekend. The game was his choice, and he went for a second try at Spartacus, since we’d had trouble with it the first time. It went a lot better overall, but we still got zapped with a technical problem at the end.

Some of the aspects about when to use initiative ratings, battle ratings and so on finally resolved themselves out in my mind, and the system is finally coming together for me, which is good. It’s a very interesting game, and a period that I find very interesting. Mark was wanting to do the long scenario (which I would like to try), but knowing that the game was originally designed around the medium scenario, and that it would still take the entire day or more, we eventually went for that.

Mark took the Republicans again, and the first two turns of the game were very punishing for him. We had a few battles, most of which were nearly even on the modifiers, and he lost every one, starting with Pompeius’ initial move into Spain. The strength of the legions whittled down quickly, and I kicked out Metellus’ army in southern Spain during turn two. I ended up with complete control of Spain, but the remaining Roman army was blocking the passes out and into Narbonese Gaul.

As the fencing there started, Mithridates became active and moved into Bithynia. This also started well, as the available Roman forces are no match for the size and bulk of the Pontic army, and the remnants of the Roman force ended up hiding out in Cyzicus.

During the fourth turn (what would be turn 8 of the full game—73 BC), things were shifting towards the Romans. Mark had had poor reinforcement rolls for the previous two turns, hurting his ability to recover from the defeats, and finally got a ‘5’ this time. The Roman army in Europe promptly marched across the passes into Spain, intent on raising havoc. He was apparently expecting me to send Sertorius into Narbonese Gaul, where it would become a contest for who could do more damage faster. I would rather defeat the Roman army and then cause problems unopposed. However, I lost two battles in a row, with such poor rolls I didn’t even cause damage to the Romans.

At the same time, things were going poorly in Asia Minor. Galatia allied with Rome, and the army I had on hand promptly was defeated twice by the Galatians. My army leader was wounded in the first fight, and the spoils of war gave him Cappadocia. I was having trouble finding enough actions to do much about getting control of Asia province, so this emergency was a real problem.

We had to pack up for the end of the day with a few actions to go in the turn. Spartacus had arrived, but I had yet to bring in the Servile units, and Mark seemed to be holding off on Crassus until I did so.

The plan was to transfer the game to the Vassal module and continue there. However, after loading everything in, I hit save, and the module crashed! I got an error log file (which I need to send over to the Vassal group), but no actual error message. I hit the save button for the file, and the module disappeared. Since we had packed the game up as we were transferring it, it was impossible to do over (and we were out of time, and it’s Mark’s game).

Despite my strong start, I have no idea where the game was headed as of the last turn or so, so I have no real idea who was winning.

Next time is slightly in the air, but there’s a decent chance that we’ll be starting the First Punic War Scenario from Carthage.