Had the group over this Saturday, we were going to make another try at 5-player Republic of Rome. Sadly, Zjonni wrote in that morning and cancelled; his allergies had been running riot all night, and he was in no shape to do anything.

So, Plan B: Successors, which we hardly ever play because we usually have more than four people. …And when Mark arrived it turned out that Jason had overslept and missed his bus, so we were down to three.

After a bit of discussion, we stuck with Successors, and went with the 3-player option that starts everyone with three generals, with only one ‘in reserve’.

Patch ended up with a very solid position from the initial draw, getting Antipater, Lysimachus and Leonatus, giving a very compact base consisting of Macedonia, Thrace and Hellespontine. Mark got Perdiccas, Craterus and Antigonus, leaving him spread out from Babylon to Phrygia. I got Ptolemy, Peithon and Eumenes.

Usually, I find the person who has Ptolemy (and therefore Egypt) is the Usurper on the first turn, due to the value of Egypt. However, Eumenes is normally a reinforcing general, and starts with no territory; this shortage kept my VPs down, and Mark got the first bulls-eye. Worse than the shortage of territory was the fact that Eumenes’ army is about half as big as normal.

The first turn did not go so well for me; I pushed north with Ptolemy and south and west with Eumenes and Peithon, all roughly converging in Syria. Mark was also moving into there, and I was not able to unite my armies properly. Mark managed to defeat Ptolemy and captured Heracles from me, and Eumenes and Peithon were forced to back off while Mark titled himself King of Asia.

The second turn did not see a whole lot of effective action from me either. In three separate battles, Mark defeated all my major generals, leaving me with very little on the board for the last two rounds. Mark was only a few points short of a Legitimacy win after burying Alexander in Babylon (much safer than any other option), but had no means to secure that type of win. Meanwhile, Patch had been slowly strengthening his hold on the west, and was getting ready to win the game on VPs. By the end of the turn all he needed was to take the Cyclades to gain control of Greece, and the 6 VPs would get him the win. Mark headed out to cause trouble in Thrace, but couldn’t get a force to Greece in time to interfere. Luckily for us, poor siege rolls kept Patch from taking the space before the end of turn 2.

By the time he did take it, it was too late. Other parts of his territory were crumbling, and would take time to restore. I started to follow Mark up into Asia Minor to also make sure Patch stayed down, but I got distracted…. Since most of my forces had been dispersed last turn, I had concentrated most of what I had under Eumenes (my best general). Mark had a decent force covering Babylon guarding the tomb, Heracles, and Alex IV. Part of his force was a pair of elephants, and I had Anti-Elephant Devices. Assuming average rolls for the elephants, that gave my army a distinct advantage.

The problem was getting at his army before round 5, so that I wouldn’t be forced to discard the card before I could use it. I barely managed to get in, and Mark stood his ground and gave battle. The elephants were worth nothing (two fours, would have been bad without the card!), I rolled poorly, and Mark rolled worse. I took Heracles and Alex IV, and on round 5 I captured Babylon itself.

Things were going poorly for Mark elsewhere, as Patch had managed to disrupt a fair amount of Mark’s territory. He was having less luck actually maintaining control, and had never gotten Greece, so he had no shot at winning during the turn. I was going to actually have to do something about the situation now, however.

Or not. I’d forgotten about Heracles coming of age at the beginning of turn 4. With my decent on-board position, and all the legitimacy I had now come into, I was able to crown Heracles King of Macedon and win the game.

This was certainly an unexpected turn of events for me. I didn’t care much for my starting position, and turn 2 was certainly a disaster. But, I managed to win the battle that counted.