In 256 BC warriors from Carthago again are starting to invade Italy from the sea. You are to construct a stronghold on the southern tip of Sicily to prevent the enemy from establishing a stronghold in Italy. Build a prosperous city with no less than 12000 people.
Establish a huge army and very strong defenses to withhold the largest attack imaginable. Your army will be challenged with the best and strongest enemy they ever stand face to face. But, that won't stop the emperor to request goods and troops from you. Prepare for the challenge of your lifetime.
What makes your assignment especially hard is that the area, in which you are to build the city Barabeo, already is inhabited by no less than three tribes. And they are huge, blocking the area you want to build on.
There are 6 trade routes for your convenience. Use them wisely and place your docks to suit the needs of your people.
Prepare for an invasion from all sides of the city.
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Empire Area: Syracuse
Goals to Win -
Other Constraints -
Time to Survive: No
Time to Defeat: No
For an experienced CIII player, Barabeo is a great city to play. Anyone who has only played the early levels of the Career Kit may not be ready to tackle Barabeo.
The new governor of Barabeo should have experience as a diplomat, because native villages occupy a good portion of the map. While pacifying the natives, be sure to build up a strong army, since later in the game Caesar requests troops, and while some of your best troops are gallivanting across the Empire, the Carths - with their pet elephant(s) - decide to drop in to say hello!
Rome does supply food, which definitely makes it easier to concentrate on achieving the required goals to win the scenario; but be aware, Barabeo throws a little of everything at the player. Barabeo is good for anyone who is up to a fairly challenging, yet winnable, scenario.
Right off the bat I'm inclined to give slightly higher points to a designer who goes to the trouble to place her scenario accurately within the vast history of Rome. The settlement you're assigned to establish here is part of the First Punic War and nicely reflects Rome's tentative first expansion into Sicily. Me, I always dig it when I feel like I'm part of history...
The map you load up is realistic, and it definitely gives the feeling of being plopped down onto Sicily, then told to sink or swim. Marian has put a lot of thought into her placement of map elements, too. I chose to start up furthest from the great swaths of native-controlled land, but this meant that trade ships had to wend along a vast coastline before they could reach me. Good stuff...waiting to get those trade denarii in the bank should always be a little fraught, in my playbook, anyway.
The instructions promise us we'll be fighting quite a bit and in the first ten years or so this is the case. Marian has also mixed large local raider groups in with her enemy armies, a nice touch of variety, given how pesky those locals are to stop.
But the enemy armies don't build to any real size for awhile (*quite* awhile, I might add, but I don't want to give away dates). At one point a whopping 17 years elapses between local uprisings. There are other battles in the meantime, but your typical waiting time will be around 3 years. Frankly this player got bored, waiting for war. I admit, I am a bit "combat happy." Other players may enjoy the break to refine their city, but this brings me to my next major point: the ratings requirements are quite high, especially culture and prosperity. But if that's the kind of challenge you want, this game is for you.
Overall, I found this one of the most enjoyable custom scenarios yet. It's strengths certainly counter balanced what were to me, anyway, it's weakness. I will be one of the first players to download Marian's next scenario -- and I hope she doesn't keep us waiting too long!