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This article is about the scenario in The Rise of Rome campaign. For other uses, see Pyrrhus of Epirus.

Pyrrhus of Epirus is the second scenario of the The Rise of Rome campaign. It depicts the struggle of Rome against Pyrrhus of Epirus, more particularly during the Battle of Beneventum.

Scenario instructions[]


Southern Italy, 280 to 272 BCE

Roman conquests of the tribes of Central Italy have bred fear among the Greek colonists to the south. To their rescue comes a Macedonian, King Pyrrhus of Epirus, who lands in Italy with a mighty army including war elephants captured in the East. If Rome were to lose to the ambitious Pyrrhus, her southern expansion would be halted. If Pyrrhus can be defeated, however, Rome's victory would awaken the world to her growing power. The Senate is sending you, Consul, to meet these Greeks in battle and show them that their fears are well-deserved. For the first time, foreign men will know the fearsome might of Rome!

Pyrrhus of Epirus, 280 to 272 BC

Defeating the Samnites and others has made the Roman Republic the dominant power in central Italy, but the Greek colonies in southern Italy have become wary of our intentions. They have called for help. A Macedonian adventurer, King Pyrrhus of Epirus, has landed with a strong army, including War Elephants. If we lose our southern colonies to Pyrrhus, Rome might be at risk. If we can defeat Pyrrhus, however, we must push south to remove the Macedonians as a threat from southern Italy.

Starting conditions[]


  • Destroy the Macedonians without losing your two Town Centers.


  • Move quickly; the Macedonians know you are coming and are readying their defenses.



  • Player (Romans AoE Romans): The player starts on the eastern half of the map with two large Tool Age bases consisting of the eastern mainland and southeastern island, all supported by several Villagers and a line of towers along the bay and western plains. The initial fleet size is roughly the same as the starting army.



The player starts the game with a fleet of Scout Ships. Upgrade them as soon as possible; controlling the seas is of vital importance. If a single Heavy Transport makes it to the player's base, they will be annihilated, as the player's starting level of technology is too far behind the enemy to ward off disembarked soldiers even with several extra Watch Towers.

On land, the player should immediately wrest control of the Macedonian bridge far to the northwest using the starting forces while blockading the area with a series of small walls backed up by towers if needed. Once the player has reached Bronze Age or higher, they can push back and resist the invasion through production of Priests and siege weapons. The bulk of the opposing army lies within its elephant units which can be converted. Macedonian elephant units are much harder to convert, but it's still easier than killing them through brute force. However, due to Pyrrhus' plethora of Heavy Horse Archers and Cataphracts, it will be difficult keeping the Priests alive for very long, so the player should accompany them with lots of Helepolises, which can destroy enemy units before they get too close.

Once the player has secured the bridge with a few towers backed up by siege weapons, a naval blockade consisting of Triremes and Juggernaughts can be imposed on the enemy using a double pronged naval counter attack. Once the opposing navy and defenses are down, the units stationed near the bridge can be sent to besiege the city and lay waste from within.


Historical notes[]

Roman expansion drew the attention of King Pyrrhus, the ambitious ruler of the Greek kingdom of Epirus on the northwest coast of Greece. Landing at Tarentum (Taranto) in 280 BCE, he defeated Roman armies at the battles of Heraclea (280 BCE) and Asculum (279 BCE). The heavy losses his army sustained in these victories, however, led Pyrrhus to famously despair, "If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined"; this was the origin of the expression "a Pyrrhic victory", meaning a success at a prohibitively high price. These battles against Pyrrhus were the Romans" first experience fighting Greek-style phalanxes and armies using war elephants.

Pyrrhus' success against the Romans encouraged the Greeks of Sicily to request his aid in their war against another rising power: the Carthaginians of North Africa. Pyrrhus defeated the Carthaginians and briefly came to rule the island. His harsh rule, however, invited hostility from the Sicilians and he was forced to abandon the island, foreshadowing to his companions that he was leaving a "wrestling ground" to the Carthaginians and Romans. Returning to Italy, Pyrrhus found himself outnumbered against the Roman army at the battle of Beneventum (Benevento) in 275 BCE and returned to Greece.

Without Pyrrhus to protect them, the Greek colonies in Southern Italy were absorbed by the Roman Republic, which turned her attention to the city of Syracuse on the island of Sicily.

The ambitious King Pyrrhus of Epirus responded to the call for help from Greek colonies in southern Italy, landing at Tarentum (Tarento) in 280 BC. He campaigned in Sicily and southern Italy from 279 to 275 BC. The heavy losses his army sustained in early victories against the Romans led him to comment that another such victory would destroy his army. This was the origin of the expression "a Pyrrhic victory," meaning one that was prohibitively expensive. The battles against Pyrrhus were the Romans' first experience with opponents who used war elephants.

Pyrrhus advanced on Rome but was unable to take the city. The Romans defeated him near Beneventum (Benevento) in 275 BC and he returned to Greece. Tarentum fell to the Romans in 272 BC, consolidating their hold on southern Italy.

After completing the absorption of Greek colonies on the southern mainland, the Romans became embroiled in fighting on Sicily, at the request of Italian mercenaries battling at Messina. This brought the Romans into contact with the other rising power of the Western Mediterranean, the Carthaginians.

Carthage (near modern Tunis) was originally a Phoenician colony. By the third century BC it had colonies of its own along the North African coast and in Spain, southern France, Corsica, Sardinia, and Sicily. Carthage was a trading and naval power. The First Punic War (264–241 BC) was fought between Rome and Carthage mainly at sea and on Sicily. The Romans were forced to learn naval warfare and built several fleets to engage their enemies. The Romans failed to take Carthage but did win ownership of Sicily, Corsica, and Sardinia as part of the peace settlement. The peace was broken within 20 years and a new war between Rome and Carthage ensued.
—In-game section


Although our losses were heavy, the ambitions of Pyrrhus have been stymied and he has withdrawn to Greece. All of southern Italy is now ours, thanks to the fighting qualities of our brave soldiers and your leadership. All of Rome salutes you.
—In-game section


The Macedonian Hoplites have decimated our swordsmen and King Pyrrhus has made a mockery of you as a war leader. Our gains to the south have been lost and the Macedonians threaten Rome itself. The leaders of Rome request that you report to the Archery Range, where you will get the point of their dissatisfaction.
—In-game section



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