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Agema Publications

A forum for the disscussion of the Play by Mail games from Agema Publications


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    What’s your best Roman meme?

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    Post by Regor Thu Feb 15, 2024 5:44 pm

    Another masterful rendition of the state of the nation and really interesting too. Frankly the Guard are excellent hide and seek players. Brundisium is a good place to sail from and go anywhere….. and how many legionaries can you fit on a Trireme? I bet they can get away.

    I wonder if we might cobble together a single unit just to hunt them down….. a sort of Igorius unit? Perhaps led by a gladiator and provided with horses, chariots and whatever is in vogue in the lands they career over in the mad, mad mad world of Rome.

    In less grumpy mode…. Whilst Rome plays Whack an Emperor ….. what real harm are the blighters doing other than wasting the time of Consuls and scaring housewives? Are they the grit that begets the oyster?

    Pleased to see the Frisii getting a seeing to though.

    And the East looks pretty well organised now along with Spain.

    Great work chaps.



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    Post by Jason2 Sat Feb 17, 2024 1:44 pm

    Many thanks for the excellent summary.

    Just a quick heads up for those who have sent letters to the Censor and are wondering why he hasn't replied. Apols, 2024 is being pain workwise and am a bit short of free time. I will reply once I have time. I mean between work and having to remind a certain widowed empress of her place in Roman society, I am amazed I have had the time to sleep Very Happy

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    Post by Stuart Bailey Wed Feb 21, 2024 2:50 pm

    Regor wrote:Another masterful rendition of the state of the nation and really interesting too. Frankly the Guard are excellent hide and seek players. Brundisium is a good place to sail from and go anywhere….. and how many legionaries can you fit on a Trireme? I bet they can get away.

    I wonder if we might cobble together a single unit just to hunt them down….. a sort of Igorius unit? Perhaps led by a gladiator and provided with horses, chariots and whatever is in vogue in the lands they career over in the mad, mad mad world of Rome.

    In less grumpy mode…. Whilst Rome plays Whack an Emperor ….. what real harm are the blighters doing other than wasting the time of Consuls and scaring housewives? Are they the grit that begets the oyster?

    Pleased to see the Frisii getting a seeing to though.

    And the East looks pretty well organised now along with Spain.

    Great work chaps.



    According to the rules a Trireme can carry 20 marines plus has 170 sailors to row and sail the ship. So if Cordus has captured rather than destroyed 8 Triremes he can get away with 159 of his close followers or if the Guard have suddenly learnt how to sail 1519 out of 4,000.

    More likely the capture of a major port would allow who ever is in control of Cordus to obtain cheaper (navis oneraria) merchant ships willing to move them. Though if player rather than Chaos Gods of Mount Agema controlled any merchant captains would no doubt get funny about the curses and threats of the High Priest of Rome to see them nailed too their own mast and demand triple money at least.

    So if Cordus stays in Brundisium gathering shipping and then sails away giving the middle finger to the Rome Consul standing on the harbour side. How many of the rebels get away with him???????

    Interesting I am currently reading the "Perdiccas Years 323-320BC" by Tristan Hughes ISBN 978 1 52677 511 5. Which covers the events after the death of Alexander the Great and the Athenian lead war to liberate Greece from Macadonian control. And after the defeat of Athens and replacement of its Republican Government with a Oligarchy various anti-Macadonian leaders were exiled from Athens.

    Antipater the Macadonian Viceroy then sent Archias a tragic famous actor and bounty hunter (plus hit squad) after these political opponents like Hypereides and the famous orator Demosthenes. Who were quite successful eliminating their targets.

    Roman hit squads were also sent after Hannibal and Mithradities the Great in exile both of whom killed themselves when they believed pursuit was getting too close. The fete of two of the four Emperors in 69 AD with the third killed by a upset member of his own faction. Guess it would be too much to hope that Cordus follows the historical example following his failed bid for the throne which got zero backing.

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    Post by Regor Wed Feb 21, 2024 7:35 pm

    Stuart, that’s an excellent synopsis and review. I worry that Roman ingenuity vs the Gods of MA will always come second! However there are a couple of current possibilities that worry me.
    First Cordus escapes with the guard by sea. (Or some of the guard) they reach Sicily where we have no proper garrison. Years of pursuit occur.

    Second Cordus sails to Macedonia or similar and causes mayhem.

    The best solution would be for him to be held up in the port and we have to attack our city. However if we can get rid of one “emperor” we can rebuild the town!

    The final embuggerance would be if they slip away towards Rome (well North)!

    But we will find out soon.

    I’m quite keen to get the Consular elections started. Are there others as well?
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    Post by Stuart Bailey Mon Feb 26, 2024 4:40 pm

    Its an outrage my character and faction who everyone agree are kind and loveable are being picked on by the Guard and their want to be Emperor, the Mob and the Aristocratic faction in the Senate.  All of whom seem to have nothing in common and no basis for co-operation.

    Its as bad as the Grand Mufti and his Sunni fanatics, the Navy and the Mamlukes in G2 all trying to save the plot armoured Jannissary Corp (who they historically hated) from the revenge of Clan Kruppa.

    Following mob delaying Senators to twist vote in Senate against Latin Rights for Iberia,  My character is now in a full on sulk !! And will probably have to take up "Fish Farming" in the traditional Roman style. Not sure why taking up "Fish Farming" seems to be a sure sign of a disappointed and frustrated Roman but perhaps Jason 2 can explain.

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    Post by Regor Mon Feb 26, 2024 4:49 pm

    I sulk with you! That vote for latin rights was a shambles. As Is the chasing to the guard. What else can go wrong? At least we have the guard found and almost within range of our missiles…. But warnings about guard recruitment and the ever present LOW MORALE of this legion (lost thier eagle in Hibernia!). Plus a suggestion from AN Other just to let them go and let it become someone else’s problems. Really??

    Anyway we need to keep the faith: One less emperor would be a benefit to all Rome.
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    Post by Jason2 Tue Mar 19, 2024 4:32 pm

    Apologies yet again. I ran out of time to do the turn, so the Censor will be quiet for another month
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    Post by Regor Tue Mar 19, 2024 5:20 pm

    No worries… keep on though makes it much more interesting. Against advice Geminus is attempting to resolve the Praetorian issue… but don’t hold your breath . 😂
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    Post by Stuart Bailey Thu Mar 21, 2024 12:54 pm

    So shocked by vote in Senate that I forgot to provide a quick account of Ad Infinitum for Feb 821 and its account of forum gossip and the trials and tribulations of a bunch of spiffing chaps in clean white toga’s with purple stripes as they try and make an honest denerii (from plunder, slave taking and farming…..but never trade) and save the light of civilization from being put out by various Druidic types, horse and camel nomadic raiders, pirates and assorted religious fanatics and traitors employed by the man in slippers and silk PJ’s the so called Parthian King of Kings.

    For non players of Rome is Burning who may wish to consider joining the Toga Party (or perhaps even the smelly furs and leather party) here were the highlights as reported in Ad Infinitum:

    I) Rather mixed Omens with a clear warning from the gods about the dangers of Rome being “divided”. Though if this is political advise, actual tactical advise for the military or a divine hint to get on and crush the existing revolts ASAP before they are joined by new ones is not clear.

    II) Clearly paying little attention to the above if it is tactical advise the two senior commanders against the rebel guard split up with Aulus Vitellius and Legion XXII Premigenia and Legion IV Macedonia marching to Cannae perhaps in pursuit of any rebels marching north. While the Field Consul Germinus lead Legion XIII and additional cavalry direct to Brundisium which was the last reported location of the rebels.

    III) Somewhat too the surprise of the field Consul who was busy sending off messages to have the communities in Italy and Sicily asking for information on rebel movements and clearly seems to have expected Cordus and his 4,000 remaining rebels to have fled. It turned out the Cordus, his rebel Guards and even the eight Galleys the rebels captured last month are still in Brundisium. Where they have now been cut off by the Field Consul and his Army and a small naval squadron off the harbour.

    Why Cordus has stayed in place is a bit of a mystery. Perhaps after the slaughter of his cavalry he now fears to be caught in the open and thinks to make a stand were in narrow streets which limit cavalry and with his flanks protected by buildings. Or perhaps he would sooner face Germinus in the south than march on Rome and face the Rome based Consul who’s cavalry seem to be watching the roads north from Brundisium.

    So the good news for the field Consul is that he has finally caught up with and probably brought the rebel dogs too battle. The bad news is that over half the field army in Italy is marching away from the battlefield and that account say that Cordus has been busy recruiting in the south and may have more than the 4,000 rebels he started the winter with. Of course how much use such raw and probably badly equiped recruits will be is a matter of interest. But might perhaps be more handy throwing rocks down onto a street fight rather than in open field battle?

    In other military news:

    IV) Legion XVI Gallica fought a bloody drawn battle over the village of Rodbod v Oddbod the son of Rodbod the Mighty. The fighting cost the lives of Tribune Auspex and a full cohort of Romans but overall German losses were higher. The Germans were however reinforced at the end of the month by Rodbod himself with extra 200 Cavalry and 600 Infantry

    V) Legion VI Victrix gave Galba the censor of Rome a cheer. Not sure why its not as if the troops in Iberia or Britannia have seen much action compared to other areas. Perhaps Ad Infinitum just wanted to give them a mention.



    VI) New units of light cavalry being raised in the Balkans. Why? Do to commanders of the Danube Legions expect to have to chase Cordus and his rebels all over the Balkans if he manages to cross the narrow water way which separates Italy and the Balkans.

    VII) Cestius Gallus is also recruiting – only across the whole middle east and on a much larger scale than the Danube Legions. While also getting ready his latest master plans against the Parthians which he is doing his best to hide by execution of as many Parthian agents as he can find in the captured records of of the Twin-Capitals.

    Cynics like that Appian chap will no doubt note that Gallas seems to have left 500 British Spearmen on a hill outside Opis were they are now faced by 2000 Parthians. While the Legate of Cappadocia who has been less than willing to follow Cestius Gallus orders without a debate since they are the same rank. Now seems to be in the open with only 7,500 non Syrian Auxiliaries. While Syrian troops move out of sight or are hidden behind walls.

    My Lawyers would like it recorded that “Under no circumstances would the most noble Cestius Gallas use a legate of Rome and 8,000 non Syrian Auxiliaries as a bait and as an arrow magnet.”

    Meanwhile back in the Eternal city

    VIII) The Rome Consul vetoed any tax changes until further information can be obtained on donations of war booty from Parthia and Germania. Plus reports on likely returns if Senatorial Provinces paid a little bit more tax and then their provincial treasuries paid some to either the Imperial Army Treasury or the Rome City Treasury putting the Ad-hoc measures of Augustus and his heirs on a more formal basis.

    Some think the Consul is just kicking the financial issue down the road so it becomes an issue for the next Consul and someone else has to take the blame for any tax increases. However he does seem willing to consider a little higher tax on inner Senatorial provinces like Asia, Africa, Egypt, Baetica etc on the grounds that the silk merchants of Antiocha, grain merchants of Alexandria and Carthage and the Olive oil merchants of Cadiz can afford to pay a bit more for the collective defence and do not need a tax advantage over Italy and Sicily even if they do not currently enjoy the same legal rights as citizens in Italy and Sicily.

    What the Consul is firmly against is any tax increases for the outer provinces – for that way leads to revolt and Boudica and spending more money to putting the revolt down than is gathered in taxation. Though Appian will probably point out that the only two revolts are currently in Asia a senatorial province and Italy itself. With both revolts lead by Roman Senators rather than upset tax payers.

    IX) Amongst terrible riots and utter disturbance of the workings of our beloved Senate by the mob the vote to bestow Latin Rights on the Latin speaking and civilized provinces of Iberia and southern Gaul was defeated by the most narrow of margins. With many Senators known to support the vote being held up by the mob so they missed the vote while other Senators who would have voted in favour also seemingly influenced to vote against due to threats from the anti vote mob.

    It is not traditional to vote again on the same subject under the same Consul, but any new Consul is likely to come under pressure to call a new vote in which the Senate can get to the vote and not be in fear of mob violence.

    The Urban Cohorts are probably going to under a lot of pressure over the coming months to bring the mob ring leaders to justice and also make sure nothing like this happens at the next elections.

    X) On the subject of the elections in April two Senators have currently put their names forward, Scipio and the current Consul Germinus. With the later name vetoed on the grounds that a man can only be Consul once in ten years. Augustus, Nero and others have served more often than this but only when the Senate considered the very best man was needed for a crisis. So either the Senate do not think its a big enough crisis or that Gerninus is not the very best general Rome can find.

    It is believed that Roman voters (Agema) may favour Consuls from different factions so following Consuls linked to the Danube and Iberian factions. They may now favour say a Rhinelander and someone from the East.

    In other news, not a lot to report

    XI) Various public baths seem to be having work done on them and statues being put up.

    XII) Talk of Games in Carthage

    XIII) Various religious events events some conducted by Trajan in person. Others asking for a bit of divine help for Germinus as he prepares final battle (????) v the rebel scum of Cordus killer of the divine Nero. With the Gods on his side what can go wrong ???

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    Post by Regor Thu Mar 21, 2024 3:59 pm

    Excellent commentary as ever. Somehow nearly missed my return…..
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    Post by Regor Fri Mar 22, 2024 9:29 am

    OH DEAR…. Shocked more to follow.
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    Post by Stuart Bailey Fri Mar 22, 2024 2:13 pm

    Regor wrote:OH DEAR…. Shocked more to follow.

    Well the good news is that in a stunning victory Gallas has captured the unguarded winter capital of Parthia and seems to have pretty much won the war in the East and broken the back of the Parthian Empire.  While Geminus has just about trapped the rebel Guard, pity about the very large chunk of one of his Legion's which decided too disband itself..

    Pretty much the rest of the paper was horrible.......I seem to have purchased 100 horses for a festival to do with Trumpets (which is now over), someone tried to murder my characters wife and the Chaos Gods on Mount Agema decided to bugger up my Omens.  While my faction leader in the Senator who I helped make Censor may be the one who ruined by character one key note political policy (Latin rights for Iberia).  Possible Piso has been framed but did consider it a bit odd when he sailed off to Crete a few months ago too study Greek philosophy etc rather than doing what I wanted him to do.  But how do you organize a riot in Rome from blasted Crete?  Seems a bit unlikely to me.

    All in all think its fair to say that while Gallas and his Legions have covered themselves in Glory and collected a fortune in loot of their possible rivals:-

    I) The Rhine Legions having done no more than dent a few German skulls and build some nice bridges.  

    II) The Danube Legions have gained a small and not very important Province across the Danube while struggling to put down a revolt in Italy.

    III) As for the British Legions have they even found the keys to the Bathhouse yet to let their legates out?

    So when Gallas marches into Rome to celebrate his triumph for the Parthian War and use his newly obtained wealth to buy control of the Senate, sort out the financial problems of Rome, pay the Legions their bonus and build its new walls do any players want to fight him?  Or do we all proclaim that the crisis caused by the death of Nero is over and bask in the Glory of the new Emperor and the restoration of the Pax Roma? Basically because Gallas has proved himself the best man for the Job.  

    Though I do think he might have had a tougher job with sieges in the East if Agema had given me my first pick of positions which was Parthia.  Reading about the Siege of Hatra and the Legions had to fill up several ditches under fire from an exceptionally powerfull artillery force (who Parthians and others used for city defence but not in field like Romans) prior to being held at the breach by close combat troops while other troops used not only the usual arrows and Javalins but also pots of Naptha and Scorpions.  How can you not love a Scorpion-pot hurler?

    As it is a bunch of German tribesmen have put up much more of a fight for a single village than has been put up for some of the Greatest fortress cities in the east.  In another game of RIB I certainly do not think anyone who just follows the Gallas master plan is 100% certain to win the game and Parthia is not a lost cause.  But it probably needs to build a lot of artillery and upgrade its light Infantry with javalins with shields, some armour, swords and spears to make them less like pure light Infantry and more like Peltast types, in order to defend its cities for longer and allow its field army to act against Roman supply lines and troops in the open.

    Think having all the Parthian Cavalry lumped into one huge field force is also an error as Gallas has just been able to avoid it and act against its supply routes which picking off cities and small Parthian Infantry forces where the main field army is not.  If Parthia had split its Cavalry up into smaller forces it could have skirmished, delayed and worn down a lot more Roman forces while raiding across the east.  Not saying this would have stopped Gallas but it would have complicated things a lot more.

    Should be noted that the Parthian Army which won Carrhae was not the main Army as all but a screening force which only included perhaps 1,000 Cataphracts to help defend horse archers from Roman Cavalry and make sure the Romans stayed bunched up (so offering a impossible to miss target for the horse archers).  Which happened to catch the Romans in a very advantagous position for the Pathians.......on the march and crossing a flat desert area.  If the Romans know prity much where ALL your troops are in one large lump then they are not going to take risks with movement around it but can go peddle to the metal and really push home elsewhere.  Which is going to deny Parthian commanders any chance of taking advantage of a fleeting opportunity as Suren did at Carrhae.


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    Post by Regor Fri Mar 22, 2024 2:34 pm

    Still stunned…..
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    Post by Stuart Bailey Fri Mar 22, 2024 4:07 pm

    Regor wrote:Still stunned…..

    Look on the bright side your character has been the Roman Field Consul (ie Commander in Chief of the Roman Army) in the year in which it has captured Dura-Europos, Ctesiphon, Seleucia and Susa. Probably the greatest victory of Roman Arms in a hundred years!

    How much Germinus has actually had to do with these victories is perhaps open to question but at least your family histories will be able to put down "In the Consulship of Germinus the Parthians were defeated and Ctesiphon, Susa etc added to the Empire"

    Note as well to be legal and binding the treaty proposed by Gallas has to be agreed by the Senate and signed by the Consuls ditto the final distribution of the war booty. Allowing them the credit of bringing the Pax Roma to the east. Pity you will probably be out of office by then but its nice bonus for the next Consuls..........unless Gallas really, really objects to these orders and revolts.

    Consuls may have to follow G7 Theory of Spanish rule............find out what the Nobles (in this case Gallas and his legates) want to do and order them to do that.

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    Post by Jason2 Thu Mar 28, 2024 12:59 pm

    Ok, got a few days off so reading the turn papers...unfortunately I have a severe case of brain fog so need some help to understand the turn.

    In particular. who does a legion "disband itself"???? Is that just another way of saying they deserted?

    It is disturbing to see a Censor has been accused of inspiring the mob...the other Censor will surely have something to say on this
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    Post by Stuart Bailey Thu Mar 28, 2024 11:18 pm

    Jason2 wrote:Ok, got a few days off so reading the turn papers...unfortunately I have a severe case of brain fog so need some help to understand the turn.

    In particular. who does a legion "disband itself"????  Is that just another way of saying they deserted?  

    It is disturbing to see a Censor has been accused of inspiring the mob...the other Censor will surely have something to say on this


    Think desertion may be another another term for what happened to our missing Legion.

    I blame the Scots for pinching its Eagle in the first place.

    Even more worrying when its said that Censor Piso disturbed the mob from his holiday island of Crete !?

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