The use of a calendar during the playing of a campaign is mandatory, else everything falls into the realm of fantasy and given I am creating imaginary forces in an alternative timeline using imaginary people that commanded said forces in that imaginary History, not having a calendar to rule the space and time covered by armies, messengers, ships, supply columns, recruits columns and more, would seem the last straw towards a non credible wargame and throw it into the realm of “fantastic theatre of the mind”…
What makes any wargame credible, and for that matter a role playing game ( which is in its essence a wargame ), is the use of time when crossing vast distances, when sitting in a town waiting for news, it is not down time, it is indeed the most time alive as everything is moving at the same time and all plans are thrown into disarray, surprising events happen, armies collide unexpectedly and that is where the game shines the most.
The calendar will serve me the purpose of plotting the times of messengers to take orders to the different locations, to calculate delays in mobilisation and how long the marching will take. Also allows for chance weather depending on the season and as such affect all movement as well. In essence I had to know what was happening where and when.
I find out that all the initial events, surprisingly enough, happen in Mensis November. I also decided to call the year Anno I, as a form of organisation.
It all comes down first and foremost to who sparks the initial martial decision and after a simple card flip I come to know that Pro Consul Steelfanus orders, on the 10th day of Mensis November, the bigger part of the Caerula forces to mobilise and then concentrate in two locations – Palus Portus and Mons Bellona – following a two fold plans of action.
- Sail the legion assembled in Palus Portus, disembark near Portus Sanctus and occupy the city. From there advance against Rubri Regnum once the supply lines are established.
- A secondary force to assemble in Mons Bellona and then move south and establish camp to control the main East road. This force can be used to move in and “protect” the Senate if the need arises.
The plans have been drawn and decided upon by simple dice rolls. Nothing at this stage is left “at chance” and I find out, as much as reading a History book about what was happening in Vella Rem Respublica during the First Triarch Wars, the main events. Now to plot them on the calendar.
All starts on the 10th M.Nov. Messengers are immediately sent out.
Knowing that it is possible to cover, daily, the distance equivalent to 3 map grid elements, and by use of a simple divider, calculations are done directly on the map and days of travel noted.
Messengers are not delayed by mountain passes nor weather. They are small teams and the normal road relays are abstracted as there’s no need ( yet! ) and as such can ignore “one half day” for adjustment of full calendar days. Hours are not counted at this strategic level.
On the 20th day of M.Nov. the agents of Rubri Regnum depart to inform their masters of the situation. That’s 10 days after the Caerula initial mobilisation order. Time is precious and this information will reach Rubri Mons region, by sea and by land, on the 2nd day of Mensis December and delivered to Legatus Deniis Svitaes in Arabona.
At this point, and by suggestion of one of the subscribers of the YouTube channel, I introduce a particular trait to the notable Legatus Deniis Svitaes, inspired by the usage of pigeons by Caesar in Gaul, and instead of sending out a rider to bring the message to the Pro-Consul stationed at Canae he will send a pigeon and the commander of the Rubri Regnum forces immediately starts the mobilisation process on the following day the 3rd of M.Dec.
Same as before messengers are sent to all the settlements with the mobilisation orders and Pro-Consul must establish plans for war.
It is important to note that there’s no details passed to the Rubri forces regarding the Caerula plans and as such the mobilisation must proceed according to their own plans and, as before, several plans are designed and decisions made and once again lady luck helps me discover what Pro Consul Aeneas Jezzanus plans are.
The majority of his juniors are pushing for a stranglehold on Ipses Briga and take control of the Senate, thus gamble on forcing the popular support for their cause, but also risking a general uprising of the entire country against them, and not only Caerula.
Jezzanus decides for a politically safer option but more daring military campaign.
The legions will mobilise at Canae and Arabona and proceed in two columns to the north-west, one intending on taking control of Portus Sanctus and securing a most needed naval base, as a secondary plan, even if risking enraging the Senate, and the second column to march off road towards Hasta – this being the bigger effort primary plan – and there establish a base to control the region and force the enemies to a fast surrender.
The dice have been cast. Next post is all about the troops. How many, what types, and more.