Saturday, January 31, 2015

Decline of the Empire

A while back I picked up a copy of Solitaire Caesar and I have been playing it at a glacial pace ever since. Today, I completed the last three turns and ended my first game.

The last time I posted about it, Rome had fallen in the 700s and the empire had been split. Since then, Rome was retaken but Hispania and Gaul fell to the barbarians by 1100. In the 1100s, major incursions by the Persians and Arabs overran much of the eastern empire. I decided to consolidate my holdings and withdraw from Asia. This put sea between the empire and the barbarians, which would make it harder for them to invade. By 1300, the empire looked like this:

The Empire ca 1300

You can see that Rome remained in Imperial hands, but the legions were withdrawn to protect the east. An invasion from the north finally overran Rome, but the imperial navy managed to stave off attacks from Asia. The final result looked like this:

Game End - ca 1500
I ended the game with 173 victory points, which is considered "historical" and just shy of "good." I can't say that my strategy was very good for most of the game (though I think my consolidation to Greece helped preserve the empire in the end). Luck played a major role; early on the barbarian invasions were relatively small but later in the game the empire got hammered by large incursions.

Looking back at my notes, the empire reached its peak around 500 AD when it held off the Germanic invaders and managed to hold the entirety of the historical Roman Empire, aside from Britain. It lost a couple of provinces until the Berbers penetrated Italy and sacked Rome. From then, the empire slowly lost territory until the end of the game.

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