Let’s have some screenies of the fighting! Early in the war I took Korchev and Cherson, then bogged down because, firstly, vR got his troops into the Crimea and, secondly, Croatia attacked me and forced a rapid redeployment to the Balkans. This session, after knocking Croatia out of it, I returned to the Crimea and had heavy fighting in Theodosia:
I believe neither of these battles is particularly morale-bugged, which raises the question, why is Rome winning against the odds? I think the troop composition is important; I’m increasingly of the opinion that it’s not all about raw numbers. Of course, since you can do roughly as much to affect troop composition as to affect raw numbers, namely sweet bugger-all, this means little in terms of skill. The point is merely to be aware that raw manpower numbers and distribution are not all the story. Note that the Roman troops in the first battle are about equal in overall numbers, but superior in heavy infantry. In the second battle the disparity is profound: The Roman are outnumbered 3 to 2 overall, but are 5 to 1 (!) in heavy infantry and 3 to 11 (!) in light cavalry. I think I’m benefitting from the hilly Anatolian terrain, which tends to produce infantry, as opposed to vR’s steppe troops, heavy on the light cavalry.
The next two battles are more in the nature of comic relief than serious ruminations about strategy:
Komnenoi on both sides! Putting Komnenoi in positions of authority in other nations improves, obviously, the average leadership ability of both Romans and barbarians. It didn’t help vR any, though; the traitor got his knees handed to him.
Crimea (the province, not the region) saw considerable fighting before the Russians were driven out:
Observe in the first battle the preponderance of heavy infantry on the Roman side; in the second, an epic duel of the two sovereign commanders; and in the third, ROMAN VICTOGLORY!