Thursday, 23 April 2015

Hellenistic Era (very preliminary draft)

I'm right now playing an Ancient Mediterranean game and once again got Greece (Macedon). Most of my AM games have been with that power, that's why I'm nagging... but anyhow it's not going badly so far so guess it's alright. 

It is a very good classical variant but I'm not fully satisfied neither with the historicity nor the design of the game, particularly the many land provinces that should be impassable or at the very least more complicated to use in the Sahara and Barbarian Europe. 

So I've been thinking as of late in designing a new variant for the same historical period and approximate geography.

This is what I got so far:

Province borders were drawn in a rush to end up with something and hence are not at all definitive nor too pretty. Sandy areas are impassable (deserts, Scythian steppe). 

The game begins c. 312 BCE, when Antigonus, the most powerful of the diadochi, was challenged by a coalition of the other successors of Alexander. At that approximate time Rome began expanding in Italy beyond Latium and Carthage and Syracuse were engaged in wars for the control of Sicily. A few years later Pyrrhus of Epirus intervened in Italy in favor of Taras (Taranto) and other Greek colonies, almost defeating Rome. Almost.

The powers:
  • Diadochy:
    • Antigonus: Antioch (A), Tyre (F) and Sardis (A)
    • Seleucus: Babylon (A) and Media (A)
    • Ptolemy: Alexandria (F) and Memphis (A)
    • Lyssimachus: Lyssimachia (F) and Seuthopolis (A)
    • Cassander: Pella (A) and Larissa (F)
  • Other:
    • Epirus: Epirus (F) and Taras (A)
    • Syracuse: Syracuse (F) and Zancle (Messina) (F)
    • Carthage: Carthage (F) and Ziz (Palermo) (F)
    • Rome: Rome (A) and Capua (A)
Neutral centers are depicted in gray: dark for armed neutrals, light for open neutrals. Armed neutrals basically just hold and are disbanded if dislodged, however especial rules about diplomatic influence allowing control of neutrals for support only may be used optionally, so this is the list of units of the armed neutrals:
  • Armies: Turdetania, Iberia, Numidia, Gallia Cisalpina, Etruria, Delphi, Sparta, Armenia, Nabatean Kdom.
  • Fleets: Massilia, Cortona(?), Athens, Corinth, Rhodes, Cyrene and probably also Bosporan Kdom. (wrongly represented as unarmed in the map above)
Canals exist at Byzantium, Corinth and Egypt (crossing both provinces), they work as follows:
  • Byzantium is naval passage between Western Black Sea (or Bythinia or Lyssimachia-ec)and either Lyssimachia-sc or Troad (both of which are coastal with Aegean Sea)
  • Corinth is naval passage between Aegean (or Athens) and Ionian (or Delphi-sc*)
  • The Nile, including the canal to the Red Sea is navigable, so Memphis has coastal border with Alexandria, Red Sea and Nabatea.
*I have to reconsider Greece and particularly that province and borders, maybe extending Athens to Thessaly or creating a non-center Thebes province.

Additionally I'm planning to make a Red Sea - Persian Gulf naval connection but unsure if direct or via an Arabian Sea province (represented by a blue square with connecting arrows). 

Strategical notes (provisional):

Carthage has good chances to expand in the Far West (historical) by annexing the Phoenician colonies of Gadir and Tingis (to begin with). However it may need to sacrifice Ziz for that. 

All Diadochi have good expansion possibilities but some borders may need tweaking to help avoid early clashes, particularly in the Balcans. 

Epirus is probably the power with less clear options: going West may make it clash not just with Rome but also Syracuse (should I split the Ionian Sea in two to prevent that?), going south to Greece can only be done in coalition or after reinforcement. Balcanic border tweaking should also help to keep Epirus and Macedon in good terms (historical), so a mountain province between them seems a must.

Rome's path is simple: take Italy before the Western naval powers become too annoyingly big.

No comments:

Post a Comment