Designed by Rutam Rane
Commandos Imperial Glory Praetorians Eidos Pyro Studios
Praetorians Game Guide // 5. Campaign
Location: River Rubicon, Italian Frontier.
Date: January 12, 49 BC.

Objectives:
- Capture the village of Pisaurus
- + Defend the village of Pisaurus
- Capture the village of Fanum
- + Defend the village of Fanum
- Capture the village of Ancona
- + Defend the village of Ancona
- Caius Crastinus must survive

Unit Control Points: 390/500.
Troop Control Points: 13/50.
Starting units: 3x Balearic Slingers (16), Caius Crastinus (Centurion, level 0), 5x Legionaries (30), Physician, 3x Spearmen (30).
Available units: Archer Cavalry, Auxiliary Archers, Auxiliary Infantry, Balearic Slingers, Equites, Gladiators, Hawk Scout, Legionaries, Physician, Praetorians, Spearmen, Wolf Scout
Available construction: Ballista, Battering Ram, Catapult, Defensive Tower, repair.
                                  .-'-.
                               .-'.    '-.
                            .-'    +      '-.
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                      .-'   .  . .  . |4|     . '-.
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                .-'   .     ~ ~ ~         .  .    .   '-.
             .-'  ~]8[~ ~ ~       ~ ~ ~             .  . '-.
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            '-.~ ~ ~]6[       .  .  .  .          .  . .  . .   .       '-.
               '-.   . ~ ~ ~ ~            .  9  .  .  .   _  . .       .-'
                  '-.  . .     ~ ~ ~                     |2| ~]5[~ ~.-'
                     '-.  . . .      ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ . . .-'
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                                       '-.  1  .-'
                                          '-.-'
 _
| | = Village/barracks (may include various defenses).
 +  = Tower (free-standing from village).
. . = Path (minor pathways not shown).
~ ~ = River, sea or lake.
] [ = Bridge or location for bridge.
                                                                          
1 = Start location.
2 = Pisaurus. Population 100.
3 = Fanum. Population 120.
4 = Ancona. Population 350.
5-8 = Bridging points.
9 = Militia of Ancona.
Commandos Imperial Glory Praetorians Eidos Pyro Studios
Commandos Imperial Glory Praetorians Eidos Pyro Studios
This is the first mission where Romans fight Romans, and you may need to modify established tactics slightly. Use this mission to become familiar with Roman vs Roman battles. There are many large groups of Pompeians lurking, any one of which is capable of doing significant damage to your forces.

The initial advance is frustrated by the lack of a scout. Without adequate scouting your troops will walk blindly into various ambushes. Fortunately there is a scout nearby. The scout is on the ridge immediately to the north-west of your start position. Advance slightly along the north-west path, first taking a group of Auxiliary Infantry hiding in the trees, then ambushing the cavalry just ahead using stationary Spearmen, before rushing up onto the ridge to dispatch the archers. The Hawk Scout on the far corner of the ridge will join your forces once you come close.

There are two bridging points crossing the south river, east and west (marked 5 and 6 on the map above). The east bridge (5 on the map above) is by far the easiest way to cross, both in terms of the volume of enemy that need to be fought to reach the crossing and the ease of making the crossing itself.

The East bridge method is as follows: Immediately north-east of the start point (1 on the map above) is an area of grassland. This contains a sizable enemy army of Legionaries, supported by archers on the ridge to the west, and archers in the shallow water to the north. Once any of these units are attacked, or your troops travel too far north, the whole army will attack. Use your new scout to locate the archers on the ridge, and send your troops into the woodland just to the west of them. Now attack the archers with a legion and let your slingers bombard the enemy in the grassland below. Keep your Legionaries in the woodland until the (damaged) enemy come close: Do not let them head towards the shallow water they cannot enter, or let them wander into the (surprisingly given all the rain) flammable grassland. Using this method it is possible to destroy the enemy army with almost no casualties. Surviving this battle with your army in tact helps greatly once you cross the river.

At the northern end of the path are a group of enemy cavalry. Use a combination of stationary Spearmen and slingers on the ridge above to kill them without loss. Demote one unit (probably a Spearmen) to create Auxiliary Infantry and repair the bridge. There is a large enemy army on the ridge to the north-east, but it will not respond to you crossing the bridge. Cross and set up another ambush to deal with the nearby cavalry.

The West bridge method is not recommended, but is still possible. Advance along the north-east path until your forces reach the point with a ridge on each side. Take the ridge to the north. This will draw in enemy from the opposite ridge but gives you the advantage of height when attacking them. Then use a your slingers to attack enemy units on the opposite side of the river. You may also wish to demote a unit (probably of Spearmen) and create a Catapult. The woodland on your side of the bridge (6 on the map above) contains another army of enemy foot soldiers. Draw them out and then use the valley between ridges to bombard them from above.

Now repair the bridge (if you have not already done so, demote a unit to create Auxiliary Infantry). Observe the heavy enemy presence near the tower on the opposite ridge. The moment you cross the bridge this army will attack. The only viable tactic seems to be to rush across the bridge into the woodland opposite and engage the enemy melee troops there. Then quickly advance to the tower to destroy their ranged troops. This is not an easy fight and will probably cost a unit or two of Legionaries, even if your army was at full strength to begin with.
Both Pisaurus (2 on the map above) and Fanum (3 on the map above) will 'surrender' to you as soon as your troops come close. When they do, the objective to capture the town will change to an objective to defend it. In each case there are two enemy armies ready to pounce on the village. They are triggered by the village being captured. The village will defend itself using its own troops, however these battles are far easier to win if you have already defeated (or are at the very least busy attacking) one of the enemy armies when the village is captured.

If you used the east bridge crossing (5 on the map above), it is likely that Pisaurus will be captured first. Before capture, engage the army on the ridge immediately north-east of the bridge. It is then possible to use the woodland close to the northern river to kill some enemy cavalry patrols. The second enemy army is waiting on a ridge just to the east of the village. Immediately to the north of this enemy army is a clump of trees. This woodland can be used very effectively to mount an attack against the enemy army. When capturing Fanum (3 on the map above), try to take the ridge on the southern side of the village before capturing it. Otherwise the enemy Catapult will rain down stones onto the village, rapidly wiping out its defenders. Balearic Slingers are very effective against Catapults.

Once the relevant enemy armies for each village have been destroyed, the objective to defend the village will be completed - there are no further counter-attacks. Whatever remain of the village's own troops join your army. Any loses can be replaced by training fresh troops. Note the small population totals for these villages - don't expect to be able to rebuild your entire army, just train a few essential troops. This is the first mission in which Gladiators can be trained. Gladiators are elite units similar to Praetorians, except with worse defense and a slightly better attack, notably including the ability to throw a net over their victims just before they attack.
Before proceeding across the northern river, move your troops close to the Militia of Ancona (point 9 on the map above). Initially the militia will attack, but after taking damage will retreat and declare that they are no longer with the Pompeians. This makes capturing Ancona far easier because only the Pompeian troops surrounding the village need to be killed, not the defenders of the village itself.

Again there is a choice of locations to bridge the river - east and west (7 and 8 on the map above). The east crossing is guarded by a group of enemy archers. If they remain in the woodland they can be a real pain. It is possible to lure them into the open by letting them fire on a unit then slowly retreat the unit to the west; but this can be a frustrating process. Once across the bridge, a group of Equites guard the path.

The bridge at the west crossing can be repaired in peace. However, when advancing towards the town your forces will come under attack from enemy on the ridge by the river. With careful positioning of slingers or Catapults, combined with Hawk based scouting, these enemy units can be destroyed prior to crossing the river.

As soon as your troops cross the river, the village will surrender to you. The Pompeians then attack from all of the ridged areas surrounding the village, and with archers hidden in woodland. Overwhelming force should win the day easily, and by now your army will be at least 500 men strong, if not larger, with a several elite units. Final victory comes once the enemy armies have been destroyed.
 
Written by timski
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