So, starting the game up. In first activation, perhaps not surprisingly Greece decided to hold his interests in Roman territory and send SoF army there. Fueled by destructive rage he went off to punish innocent Capuans and burned the town to ground, and then lurked behind the walls of Tarantine. Meanwhile in home, Pella was build to a City. After interior affairs and manpower addition, invaded northern barbarian territories and failed to secure foothold. Stability check hurt Greece and became unstable. Pyrrhus activated and did something that lifted a bit of eyebrows (picture below).
Debacle followed. When turn was done and ready for validity check, it was pointed out that according to the log Pyrrhus could not perform all the activities he was involved in. Greece player then claimed that move was straight from Tarentum to Barium to give one more MP.
Later on, other errors were discovered, including SoF using total of 11 movement points out of 6 he had. When checking logs backwards out of curiosity, other similar errors were discovered. Extra moves, forgotten payments, wrongly counted casualties (and in one occasion entirely ignored army attack/defense DR in grounds of it being “automatic vicotry for Greece”), ignored leader loss checks, unfounded stability adjustments and so on.
East decided to leave the eastern army off map, and instead departed with all available forces from Alexander along the coast of Africa towards Carthaginian heartlands with firm intention to get footing there. Doomed attempt that may slow down the Carthage a bit, but not a whole lot. East decided then to invade Cilicia and Lycia with the main Eastern army. This may, or may not put pressure on Greece but in any case as history tells, war in two fronts is always good idea.
Carthage countered aggressive East by rising more troops in the capital followed by startup occupation of Spain and consolidation of forces in Africa. Not very surprisingly, Carthage failed in their attack against Eastern city on their home territory, and East held Leptis Magna with army and fleets.
In Rome, besides of being invaded by Pyrrhus, slaves were revolting in Rhegium as well. A quite typical – but also ill Roman start. Rome attempted to attack the stack from the sea to avoid interception risk by Pyrrhus but failed continuity due to Paestum garrison. When garrison was destroyed, it denied control of Bruttium from Greece but stopped short of goal.
Rome attempted again to subdue the revolt (event nearly killed Roman leader), but customarily failed with both attacks and the army was left in extremely vulnerable position in Neapolis. Slave army was reduced to half it’s size but Romans lost one legion in the process. To recover the losses, Romans rised more manpower to attack the now really big barbarian army in the south. Before that happened though, the army was practically destroyed by Pyrrhus during the turn that was a bit weird.
Because of the rather messy and controversial Greek turn (or turns as it later turned out), I received mail with profound tone before I had time to check the logs for all errors. He had been wronged and the perfectly legal turn was misinterpreted, inspected and lawyered with foul intentions.
Instead of settling the errors in the logs that could have been done with some effort and modest effect in the gameplay, Greece player decided to play victim and agreed only to correct one move for his own benefit and leave other errors unchanged. In hindsight, perhaps I should not wonder why his other games of Pax were aborted prematurely.
So ended the PBEM of Pax and I started to wonder once again if multiplayer games such as Pax can ever be played without game master that oversees the bureaucratic necessities and integrity of the logs. I also start to appreciate more and more the PBEM games which have more draconian rulings for errors.