Massillia - A seaside resort?
So after long, long years in dreary Londinium, I arrived on the shores of the Mediterrenean in the sunny South of Gaul.
The landscape poses some interesting questions. There are two small areas of arable land on a couple of islands, the rest of my population will have to eat fish. I guess I'll need most of that area to grow olives and vines, though, so I may even have to import some food for the villas I intend to build somewhere along the coast.
Raw materials are scares, no clay, no iron, no marble, only wood. All others will have to be imported.
Then there's a rumour about the restless Gaul warriors...
I decided to start a block in the West corner of the map, close to the water, so I could fish, close to the trees so I could quickly start export trade in furniture. The block I put down is your basic 9x9, temples are added and a festival to Mars gets me his blessing. That should take care of the first invasion.
Trade with Lugdunum is started and my four furniture shops keep me out of finiancial trouble.
All housing is slowly upgraded to small casa. Plague stirkes quickly as I realise I forgot to put in any doctors.
After a couple of years I start importing clay for pottery and make a plan to move into the nearest farm-island to start olive oil trade. The battle warning sounds and I relax, as Mars blessing is mine.
Caesar bails me out as I extend my finances to put down some more buildings.
Next out of a clear sky comes a native uprising, which catches me with my pants down. Mars' spirit saves the day, but I've only got a year before the invasion and have hardly any money to speak of.
The Emperor requests wood, so I increase the number of woodcutters so as not to cripple my furniture export. I go deep into debt (1,000-2,000) when I set down a velites1 fort and a barracks.
More money is spent on opening trade with Mediolanum, so I can sell of some of my pottery. My balance yo-yo's for a while with Ceasar smashing one goblet after the other.
I increase my export facilities and put down an academy, so at least my little velites are trained.
Caesar asks for more wood and I build a few towers as back-up. Horns blare and the Gaul come knocking on my door.
Some 12-16 of swordsmen and an equal number of axemen waltz in on the map, next to the velites fortress. It takes me 4 months of careful manouvering along the North edge of the map, to kill most of the swordsmen and annihilate the axemen. The latter seem stronger, but slower than the swordsmen.
At least I'm back in the black, with some 1,500 population. Caesar is not really impressed with me, but the rest seems to hold promise.
So the first thing I do once I've loaded the scenario is check whether Brugle was correct.
(I know he normally is, but I really want there to be olives...)
Of course there aren't any.
Oh well, lets's put in some what farms then to help the hungry population and allow for grand insulae. I send in my brave velites and have them prepare some shish-kebab. In the meantime I start a second fortress for them.
Housing upgrades in the second block and I can start importing olives for selling oil.
Another native uprising takes place with some 30 odd barbarians appearing next to the road to Rome. My velites lead them to the walls and I suffer a loss of two soldiers.
(Hmm...assuming a legion is approximately 1000 men, with 16 figurines... That's say 60 men per walker. So I lost 120 men against 1800 natives...
Oh, and a tower... not bad, not bad at all.)
Caesar request for troops, a small force threatens Lutetia, 18 months hence. I quickly add a cavalry fortress and dispatch all three with 15 months to spare. The cavalry is almost up to full strength.
Caesar also request vines, so I delete a few grain farms and replace them by vineyards. Most of the housing in the West is up to large or grand insulae
As I decide to import weapons for a legion of heavy infantry storms kill my sea-trade and any chance for import. I add another velites and cavalry fortress.
Of course when they do show up I plunge into debt.
Bang goes another goblet.
My troops turn out to be victorious and return well ahead of the next invasion, as does a blessing from Mars. Meanwhile I start a new block on the East side of the map. A long road temporarily connects it to the main settlement so the towers can get their crews.
The horns blare and I hit the "Go to trouble-spot" button. At the same time I hear my catapults go "tawng" and I realise they're almost in the back of my city. Troops rush in velites bait the enemy as the cavalry rushes in. It looks like a madhouse, troops everywhere, cries, javelins "whooshing", then silence. I have lost 420 cavalry and 120 velites. At the enemy number I can only guess...I assume some 1500 swordsmen and a similar number of axemen
Caesar wants wine, probably to offsett all he spilled on my behalf. I add some wineshops close to the vineyards and start producing.
Wondering why my population doesn't grow I find out I'm running out of food. A section of road is missing between a bridge and the road, so the food production on the island is completely unused. Bad move. It takes a while for things to settle.
Further development takes place on the Eastern settlement and I realise the fisheries are too far from the fishing grounds. I add a small patch of farmland and a few houses on the opposite island. This works better.
Another block is added just North of the main ones and slowly food distribution begins to stabelise.
Caesar requests more wood and I start a small farming fishing community as some of my export products drop in price. These farms/fisheries are what I tend to feed my villas with.
Just before I had enough of it another native uprising comes knocking, some 3000 men (I like these new numbers, they sound much more impressive). With my velites and cavalry I manage to distract them from the new housing block, where I haven't placed any towers yet, and some fierce fighting later victory is mine.
480 velites and a like number in light cavalry.
So now I've got 4500+ people and some decent scores.
I never managed to finish the scenario...who knows...someday?
1) velites: correct Roman name for the javelin troops