With the recruitment forum closed, Caesar cannot rely upon reinforcements until the summer months. It is with these men that Rome must look to conquer domestically and further afield, all while remaining strong enough to challenge on the continent in the next campaign.
With consecutive defeats incurred against Mamucium City and Juventus, winter has already proven harsh, and it continues to test the troops as the year draws to a close.
On the domestic front, a narrow loss at home to AC Mediolanum is followed by a disconcerting collapse at Chievo Verona, where the army is routed after conceding three times in the space of five minutes.
In over two months of campaigning, Rome has been imperious (though not imperial),78Despite ruling over vast territories, Caesar was only ever a dictator rather than an emperor. crushing much of the resistance laid before it and taking tributes from those who frustrated their progression.
The preseason excursions around Germania and the Far East were but a prelude for a concerted continental campaign, travelling vast distances to compete with and conquer the very best Europe has to offer. Caesar has always been a proponent of perpetual expansion, never settling within their current boundaries.
A full nine days lie between the stalemate with Internazionale and the assault on Atalanta B.C.; time aplenty for Caesar to ponder what went wrong against a mediocre band of pan-continental militia. Where was the penetration? Why didn’t possession of the field serve as the foundation of a convincing victory?
It is the eve of battle. Here begins a gruelling nine-month campaign of manoeuvring, fighting and intrigue, as well as a series of engagements against the other Italian provinces. Who will triumph? Who will fall? Who will abandon the cause in January and live to regret it?
With a whole continent to reconquer, Rome will require reinforcements from across the republic. The three current legions contain just 108 available men between them – and 55 of those men are not yet old enough to be considered for service.
When Caesar dismounts from his horse and walks into training camp, he is dismayed at the sorry sight before him.
Despite the superb facilities at their disposal – Vitruvius himself would be proud157Caesar’s favourite civil engineer; the David Bowie of the ancient architectural world around 50 – 40 BC.