Empire Campaign

This page acts to as a summary posts of my on-going Empire Campaign. You will find here a number of links to the various blog posts which will be added to progressively as the campaign develops.

The campaign is based on “Empire”, the boardgame developed by Phil Sabin and which is available from the Society of Ancients. Please note map below is from the deluxe version.

The original boardgame starts in 350 BC and has twenty turns, with each representing a decade. This period of course starts with Alexander the Great and progresses to the end of the Third Punic War. The board game considers only four player states and largely glosses over the Wars of Alexander’s Successor States.

My own version starts initially with six major states, four of whom are various Macedonian Successors states. The campaign and has the potential to rise to seven states, though I imagine at least one of the Successor states will have been absorbed before then. To accommodate this change I have pushed the start date forward to around 319 BC which now aligns with the death of Antipater, the trigger for the Second War of the Diadochi.

There are a number of rules in the campaign that will ensure that the major states will develop along generally historical lines. While initially I had players controlling the states I have more recently dispensed with this. Instead I have automated the various strategic aspects of the campaign using a decision tree and selected die rolls where multiple options exist. In addition to the basic boardgame I have included some simple modifications that will allow the battles to be fought on the table using DBA.

Campaign Backround:

The campaign background and the major states are as follows:

Macedonia: Ruled by the regent Antipater, Macedonia has been fractured by his death. His son Cassander has been passed over after Antipater who has defined his new regent as Polypecheron. Cassander having fled Macedonia has established himself in Greece, which is treated as independent. In nearby Thracia Lysimichus has effectively chosen an independent path also.

Antigonid: Antigonus Monophthalmus, Satrap of Phyrigia and veteran of Alexander’s campaigns, has secured much of Asia, Syria and Pontus. His capital in Antioch is relatively vulnerable to attack from both east and west but he takes some comfort in the disunity that exists in Macedonian Europe. His old enemy Eumenes has escaped and gathered a large army in Mesopotamia. The Antigonids are intent on establishing there power base while their resources permit.

Seleucids: Eumenes has secured Mesopotamia, while Selecus has fled. The eastern portion of Alexander’s empire stretches through Persia, Parthia and eventually to Bactria. The rich provinces of India lay further east but are no longer effectively controlled and are treated as independent. The great wastes of Scythia are to the north of Parthia and Bactria and remain a vast wasteland and could prove difficult to control. While Eumenes builds his army Selecus awaits a time that he can return to Babylon and establish his dominance.

Ptolemaic Aegytptus: Ptolemy has ensconced himself in the rich province of Aegyptus. Here he can only be attacked via the routes through Syria. Aegytpus under Ptolemy is likely to establish its territory in the early years of the Diadochi and thereafter focus on retaining this independence.

Carthage: The city of Carthage has established its influence over Africa and, to a greater or lesser extent, Numidia and much of coastal Iberia. Beyond Iberia lays Gallia. To the northeast of Carthage sits the island of Sicily where Carthgage has campaigned before in support of allied and subject cities, yet Sicilia remains rich and tempting.

Rome: A relatively small state in Italia. Rome has yet to impose its will on the surrounding peoples of Italia. If they do this they are likely to be a very determined people. Having secured Italia it is more than likely to look south towards Magna Graecia, while keeping an eye on the unstable Gauls to the north.

Parthia: Initially a minor province and subject the the Alexander’s satraps, Parthia has the potential to rise in revolt and establish itself as a major power.

There are a number of independent provinces. Some are geographically large and have significant resources, such as India. Others, though small, represent small kingdoms such as Thracia, under control of Lysimachus, and Graecia under Cassandros. Magna Graecia and Sicily remain a patchwork of cities, many of whom are Greek but could easily fall to Rome, Carthage or Macedonia. The Celts are divided into three general areas are all independent of each other. North of Italia the Gauls of Cisalpina are always ready for war and occasionally have struck into Italy. There is a constant risk of this occurring again. However, perhaps the greatest risk is above Greece and Macedonia. Here sit the Galatian territories. While not represented as a province rumours from the borders indicate growing migrational pressures among these tribes.

If you are interested in the campaign mechanics a short summary of the rules can be found here. Alternatively pick up a copy of the original boardgame via the Society of Ancients.

The Campaign:

The following links provide a short history of our campaign as it develops.

320 BC to 311 BC: While Eumenes and Ptolemy aim to consolidate their respective positions, Polyperchon attacks Lysimachus in a daring invasion, while Antigonus gathers his army to destroy Ptolemy. An aggressive Carthage looks to expand its influence over Sicilia, but nothing in war is guaranteed. Full details can be found here.

310 BC to 301 BC: War breaks out in Sicilia between the cities, allowing another Punic invasion. Rome begins to consolidate its position in Italia. Polyperchon clashes with Cassander in Greece, with unexpected results, while Antigonus and Ptolemy continue their war. Eumenes meanwhile looks east towards India. Full details can be found here.

300 BC to 291 BC: Alexander and Demetrius dual for dominance while Selecius faces revolt in the east. Meanwhile Carthage invades Magna Graecia but soon encounters the Romans. Full details can be found here.

290 BC to 281 BC: Rome faces a Gallic invasion from Cisalpina, while Carthage attempts to expand her own influence into Gallia. In the east the Seleucids campaign in Syria while the Antigonids and Macedonian duel for control of Thracia. Full details can be found here.

280 BC to 271 BC: A young Antiochus invades Bactria, determined to return the province to Seleucid domination. Demetrius, believing Pyrrhus is weak, strikes at Macedonia intent on gaining the capital of Alexander. Further west Rome and Carthage engage in a brutal struggle for Magna Graecia. Full details can be found here.