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Polis: Fight for the Hegemony» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Athens saved by it's fleet in the very end rss

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Michael Blödgen
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This is the first attempt to write short session reports. Unfortunately I have to rely on my memory for this one so it might be a rather foggy path to follow for the interested reader.

The whole game might be devided into the Parts:

Phase I In which Athens and Sparta strenghten their political and economical influence

The destruction of the persian fleet at Eurymedon (first Event) and the following persian subsidies to Sparta made it possible for the Lakedaimonians to 'persuade' Korinth in the very second spartian Impulse. After Megara had been adequately taxed, the spartan army proceeded north, captured Pydna and foraged in the macedonian plains. Some newly mobilized hoplites secured peace and grain supply in Messenia, while a Proxenos secured Epidamnos for Sparta and a rich commerce with Illyria began. Two new galleys were layed the keel (at Pylos and Pydna) to face the expectable athenian 'wall of wood'. As a clear sign of the spartan culturas superiority, a 'theatre with epskenion' was built in Korinth and the Festival of Dionysos was held at Sparta.

Meanwhile the Athenians concentrated heavily on the gain of ressources, securing Abdera, Korkyra and Naupaktos. An attempted siege oh Thebes was fruitless but thanks to some favourable contracts Athens gained enough iron, wood and food to look confidently into the future. Some newly build warships blockaded the Mytöo Pelagos rendering future spartian trade attempts in the east very difficult.

Phase II In which some fierce battles are fought

The Athenian army was engaged in the north, so Sparta seized the opportunity to take Chalkis and plunder Attika for silver. This move provoked a heavy reaction from Athens. Athenian armies marched on Pydna which resisted for some time bravely but was finally overwhelmed. Four hoplite formations marched into Lakedaimon itself and took Gytheion. In a forced march a spartian army arrived just in time to drive the athenian plunderers off. With the riches of Lakedaimon, Megara and Attika, the Syrakousani were easily persuaded to join the lakedaimonian cause. Athens reacted by sending a strong fleet into the Ionian Sea which efficiently blockaded the spartian army and proxenos at Sikelia untill another major victory was achieved by a lakedaimonian fleet.
An athenian Proxenos was taken hostage when Thebes was besieged by Sparta but the spartian army and navy suffered great losses in two bloody battles when Athens attacked Arkadia and the relocated fleet in the Myrtöo. A Siege attempt at Sparta led to other losses, so that Sparta decided to postpone it's military ambitions. Instead the heavily "talented" Proxenos achieved what the army did not. Argos changed side to the athenians which also strengthened their grip on the Ionian coast, despite some sparta-friendly revolts (some uproar in Messenia had easily been restrained).
The Athenians once more showed some ability in commerce and managed to secure the supply of all cities which Sparta did mainly with the grain of Messenia and Sikelia.

Phase III In which general exhaustion led to an early and somewhat bitter end of the war

With some newly trained armies war raised anew his dire head. Sparta had to rely mostly on silverborn mercenaries while Athens was well supported with wood and iron. Athens managed to take Samos and Poteidaia but some clever (bad tongues might say dirty) ambushes and brave attacks later the Athenian military force was reduced to some shattered hoplite formations, though a mighty fleet remained in the Myrtöo. Before this had been achieved, however, futile athenian siege attempts on Thebes and Korinth made this cities revolt into neutrality in which also the spartian Proxenos had to been freed from Athens. He finally managed to recover Korinth for Sparta, while the athenians, due to a lack of polpulation, remained silenty and awaited the things there to come.
Having spend nearly every resource to cover the Spartian food supply, the commander of the lakedaimonian fleet made one last - and subsequently decisive move: affected ba a certain degree of hybris he attacked the remaining athenian fleet. Despite being heavily outnumbered the athenians managed to achieve a major victory and only due to this were seen as winners in this dekades-lasting struggle.

______________

Due to the fact that I forgot to take notes most of these descriptions are rather vague. This was my third game and my opponent's first. After the experience of the first two games (which were also teaching games) I didn't expect this one to be such a nail-biter. Fired by the early gain of Korinth I tried -as Sparta- a new strategy: concentrating mainly on silver and wheat, neglecting trade in the broader sense (only one trade ship through the entire game). Athens however had to secure it's grain supply by trade so that prices went through the roof early. Another side effect of my strategy was, that I -except i the last turn- had a strong shortage on Iron and Wood. Also my prestige remained on a very low level because I had to spend a lot in collecting the necessary resources. Main supply for spartian prestige were the projects of had which I built six in the end and the gain of poleis through the Proxenos.
Athens suffered mainly from a shortage of population which led to a very short fourth turn, as the Athenians were not able to do much after losing most hoplites and passed early, making resource collection a very costly practice for me. I nearly lost all my prestige in collecting while Athens remained with ~ 10 what made up to their lack of population and projects.
The very last attack on the athenian fleet however turned out to be the worst of all of my moves (which I really did just for fun). The Athenians gained three more prestige in this short but heavy fight that Athens won with 27 to 26 points.

This was a very interesting game with a lot of fighting going on (opposed to only two major battles the former game) - neat side note: I drew the ambush in EVERY battle...so much for spartian bravery... My opponent did a very good job for his first game but we both struggled with every move, making this game last for nearly five hours - which passed nearly unnoticed.


Thanks for reading, the next one will include some pictures - I hope.
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Eoin Corrigan
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Thanks for the AAR.

Interesting you note Spartan resource shortages in latter half of the game. In my sole play, as Sparta, I came up against the same difficulty - very little iron and wood. Collection, by necessity, focused on wheat to feed Sparta's cities.
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S. R.
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Ha!

That should teach them, players who think that Sparta is way too strong...
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