Mission Name: Nero's Killing
Mission Designer: Rakovsky
Scenario Version: 1.0
Rise of Rome or AOE: Rise Of Rome
Single Player or Multiplayer: Single Player
This Scenario depicts the killing of Nero by Epaphroditus. The Roman Historian Suetonius, who lived in the early 2nd Century AD, described it in his book "The Lives of the Twelve Caesars." You can read the section on Nero here: http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Suetonius/12Caesars/Nero*.html
Nero had killed rivals and Senators and forced Seneca to kill himself, and so after General Galba rebelled, the Senate and Praetorian guard declared their support for Galba. In the usual version of the story, Emperor Nero wanted to kill himself before Roman officials could capture and kill him. Supposedly Nero had had a poison vial in case he wanted to kill himself, but someone had taken it. Supposedly, he made moves to kill himself, as if he was going to jump off a height, and he asked one of his ex-slaves to kill himself first as an example. Soldiers were coming to capture him, but he wasn't able to bring himself to kill himself, so his former slave Epaphroditus did instead.
Since we don't have Nero's own direct version and he didn't kill himself, it' hard to know how much he intended to kill himself. In the case of Seneca' forced suicide, Nero's soldiers came to Seneca and ordered Seneca to kill himself and were in attendance while he did. In Suetonius' story about Nero, by the time that Nero killed himself, only a messenger had arrived from Rome's officials with news of a decision to bring Nero back to Rome and flog him to death. So there is no record of an order for Nero to kill himself. On one hand, Nero could have wanted to kill himself to avoid the flogging. But on the other hand, the idea that he was killed by an ex-slave in accordance with his general wishes was more convenient politically for Nero's rivals than flogging him to death, because Nero was the imperial heir to the Julio-Claudian Dynasty and retained limited popularity due to his public festivities. Nero's last words to the centurion who walked in after Epaphroditus stabbed Nero were "Too late!" and "This is fidelity!" Without knowing Nero's intentions, I suppose that he could have been commending Epaphroditus' fidelity/loyalty in protecting him from the officials or he could have been commenting on the killing sarcastically.
I beat this mission on the Hard setting. The scenario is not really hard in terms of combat, but rather the basic challenge is in moving your units quickly enough. Putting it on the Easiest Difficulty setting diverts Nero's Brown Scout to a clearing west of the Bridge instead of him riding to the Brown Town Center like he did historically. I was still able to beat it on EASIEST despite this issue.
This is a simple, quick scenario. Its value is that it is one in a Series of Scenarios that I made about early Christianity that can be found in the Heaven Games Granary:
2. Conversions and Catacombs of Rome
3. Thomas' Mission to Indo-Parthia
4. Abgar V's Mesopotamian Campaign
5. Nero's Persecution
6. Nero's Killing