The War with the Etruscan League
This is my playthrough of Rome Total War 2, after the Power and Politics update, as the Romans on Legendary difficulty. I am playing as the Cornelli, who specialise at assimilating foreign cultures (and their auxiliaries) into the empire.
Starting off, Rome has two half-full army stacks filled mostly with hastati, which are one of Rome’s weakest infantry units. I also had a puny navy.
From what I can see, in the new update rival political parties’ attributes are randomly assigned at the start of the game, and I really drew the short straw here. Two of my three rival parties, the Julia and the Junia, were a swamp of negative attributes, with increased disloyalty for the presence of foreign cultures, and troops or even for just being at war with other nations. This made it much harder to retain the senate’s loyalty as the game progressed.
Rome starts off at war with the Etruscans, who possess two small towns to the north and the island of Corsica to the west. In previous games as Rome, I’ve noticed that it’s quite easy to take the Etruscans’ mainland towns, which seems to be the logical move. That’s where the enemy army is, and they are quite close to my army’s starting position. However that means that once you’re ready to take Corsica, it’s become something of a naval power, and that forces you into an extended amphibious operation against a strong enemy position rather than the mopping up operation you were expecting.
That’s quite frustrating, and I was keen to turn my attention to Carthage ASAP, so I decided on a different strategy. Leaving Italy to the protection of my southern army, I took the Legio I Italica to sea and stormed Alalia easily, while the Etruscan army retreated to Ariminum (the most distant mainland Etruscan township) and recruited frenetically. I then sailed Legio I back to the mainland. It was easy to take Velathri, but by then Ariminum had a full stack of Etruscan spearmen waiting for me and I had some difficulties coordinating my two full stacks to assault the town simultaneously.
As it panned out, while my armies milled outside Ariminum the Etruscan AI decided to break out towards Rome. This allowed me to take Ariminum with ease and then chase the last Etruscan army down the mountain pass and destroy it on the plains (they had been distracted from taking the eternal city by destroying a small army I was foolishly force marching up the peninsula, allowing me time to catch them).
The Etruscans were now destroyed in ten turns, and I had possession of my first full province.
On the diplomatic front, I signed non-aggression pacts and/or trade agreements with Syracuse, Massilya, Liguria, the Veneti, Athens and Sparta. I also tried approaching the northern Balkan tribes but they were having nothing of it. In the north, I probably made a mess of things by trying to back all three major players, as they hated each other and resented me for having a foot in both camps. As it was, the Massilyans destroyed Liguria eventually without too much trouble.
Technologically, I mostly picked and chose technologies to unlock better infantry and ships, and all three types of agents. It wasn’t until later that I tried to unlock whole tiers systematically. I prioritised shipbuilding because of the upcoming war with Carthage, and rushed champions because you can assign them to an army and give your troops a passive bonus to experience gain.
Next update – The First Punic War! Civil War! A Diplomatic Misfire?