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To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR

 
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To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/22/2010 12:25:35 AM   
gwgardner

 

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I'm going to play the game on normal level. One of the things about this game that a player learns real quickly is that the AI is good. Very good. 'Normal' will be a challenge.

I'm also going to use the 'standard first move' option, which starts the game off with Hannibal's army in the Po Valley, after having crossed the Alps.

By the way, I'm playing on probably the cheapeast laptop available these days. No problem with this game.






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< Message edited by gwgardner -- 8/22/2010 12:37:30 AM >
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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/22/2010 12:31:27 AM   
gwgardner

 

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Another option I'll select is to play the game's music. Now that's normally something I turn off from the very first with every game I ever get, but not with HRC. This game's soundtrack is actually pleasing and non-obtrusive.

By choosing the standard start, I sacrifice my first turn choices of reinforcements and positioning. On the other hand, I know what kind of force I'll start with. With the dynamic startup, I would have to undergo attrition crossing the Alps. Sometimes that can hit hard.

Here's the way things look at start. Elephants! Hannibal's going to have a perch high above the battle. North African cavalry and infantry, and the same from Spain.

Circles around the attack factors indicate an attack bonus. The African infantry, although not all that powerfull in attack, have the advantage of absorbing more hits. If they're in a battle, each African infantry absorbs two hits.

I play with the banner option that shows how strong a garrison or army is. Bottom number in cities is the permanent garrison. Top number is troops that can be moved out of the city. The underscore shows that there is a commander with the force.

Right off it's obvious that the Romans can gather a force nearby that is nominally stronger than Hannibal's Army. Something the Romans don't know yet is that Hannibal's very presence on a battlefield makes a difference.





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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/22/2010 2:08:54 AM   
gwgardner

 

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Rome shows its mettle from the very beginning. In the very face of an invading army entering Italy, the Senate authorizes the young Scipio to take five legions to Spain. Scipio shows his cunning by employing subterfuge [an action card as shown below] to force the city of Emporium to open its gates.

Scipio then takes to the field against the stronger Carthagenian force led by Hasdrubal. Their battle is a draw, leaving 3 Roman legions in the field in Italy, against Hasdrubal's 4.






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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/22/2010 2:15:06 AM   
gwgardner

 

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Meanwhile Propraetor Fabius gathers the forces of northern Italy and challenges Hannibal. While the forces are about even in strength, Fabius is soon to learn that Hannibal's skills as a leader far surpass his own.

The results of the first clash are devastating to Fabius' Army, and he is forced to retreat.






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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/22/2010 2:19:48 AM   
gwgardner

 

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The first year of the war ends with a series of Roman moves to strengthen its defenses in Central Italy. Hannibal communicates with Carthage, and demands that the Senate authorize reinforcements to his force.

[On normal level, Hannibal's (mine?) recommendations to the Senate are always accepted.






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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/22/2010 8:15:46 PM   
gwgardner

 

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It's year 2 of the war, and here's the situation in Italy and Spain.

Hannibal needs reinforcements, which will be sent from Africa if they can get through the Roman fleets. With more troops, all the cities in Cisalpine Gaul can be secured, and then Hannibal can direct his attentions southward.






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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/22/2010 8:21:50 PM   
gwgardner

 

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I should have done this the first turn, but now I will play the Gallic Aid option card. This will give me immediate recruits, and ensure me reinforcements as long as I can control Cisalpine Gaul.

1) I play the card, and get the reinforcements to Hannibal's army;
2) The Romans can respond with the play of their own card - they choose 'death of an elephant', which kills the elephant contingent in my army
3) I play another card - immediate reinforcements to one Italian city in my hands - I choose Turin, to help hold on to the pass over the Alps.
4) the Romans decline to play a card;
5) I play the Syracusan treachary card, which brings Syracuse over to the Carthagenians
6) Again Rome declines to respond.






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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/22/2010 8:23:12 PM   
gwgardner

 

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Hopefully the new threat from Syracuse will make the Romans think twice about sending more troops to Spain.




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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/22/2010 9:30:26 PM   
gwgardner

 

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Best laid plans ... and all that ....

Turns out I can't reinforce Hannibal from Africa, because the Romans still control Genoa. I could send troops from Spain, but that would leave Hasdrubal at the mercy of Scipio.

I settle for storming the two cities in Cisalpine Gaul that control the passes through the Alps, then I besiege Placentia.




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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/22/2010 9:32:34 PM   
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My new Syracusan allies essay out of their stronghold to besiege Lilybaeum. I then send the Carthagenian navy with three fleets into the Ionian Sea to attack the Roman fleet there. Victory!




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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/22/2010 9:36:32 PM   
gwgardner

 

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Time to await the Roman response to my actions this year. I receive yearly reinforcements.






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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/22/2010 9:41:50 PM   
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The Romans do not remain supine within their walls. Instead they begin recruiting furiously. They play three recruitment cards in turn, and even though I respond with treachery to subborn units in two of their cities, they end up with a huge army to march north from Rome. By joining with the force in Genoa, 17 legions approach my siege of Placentia.

I have a choice: maintain the siege, or abandon it for a better tactical position.






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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/22/2010 9:47:01 PM   
gwgardner

 

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I abandon the siege, because I want to be able to use Hannibal's battle tactics. The Romans attack my army. I use the 'inspired troops' battle tactic.






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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/22/2010 9:50:45 PM   
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The battle starts off with a slight advantage to me in strength, but they have the numbers. On round two of the fighting however, Hannibals inspired troops take control of the battlefield and destroy fully 1/3 of the enemy legions. The Romans know when to 'fight another day,' but they have to suffer pursuit by my superior cavalry. Two more losses to them in the pursuit.




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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/22/2010 9:54:53 PM   
gwgardner

 

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There is a small naval skirmish in the Ionian Sea, when a Roman fleet of 3 attacks the Syracusan fleet of 2, and wipes it out. Smart of the AI to go after the small fry first. But then it decided to attack my fleet of 3. I came out ahead.

Overall for year 2, I've done well wherever I have met the enemy, but the ability of the Romans to raise such huge armies quickly is daunting.

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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/23/2010 6:38:41 PM   
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Year three and the Senate has authorized the reinforcement of Spain. Hannibal advised it, and he's sure that those troops, when not needed in Spain, will be coming across the Alps eventually.






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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/23/2010 6:42:10 PM   
gwgardner

 

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So Hasdrubal is going to get troops from Africa, and he'll attack Scipio. Hannibal is champing at the bit, but reluctantly concedes that he must stay put in Cisalpine Gaul for the time being. The Romans have 3 legions in Tarentum, 3 in Rome, and 11 in Genoa. They'll no doubt raise more. So Hannibal has decided to gather forces locally, and siege Genoa. He knows that Rome will not sit idly by while it happens.




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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/23/2010 6:53:40 PM   
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At the end of my turn, I have three cities under siege, and seven fleets protecting Africa.




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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/23/2010 7:02:15 PM   
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In a coordinated set of moves, the Romans spent the year consolidating their forces in Etruria. Scipio was overawed by Hasdrubal's reinforced army, and used his protected harbor in the besieged city of Emporium, to sail from Spain, and ended in Pisa. Flavius gathered troops from Tarentum and brought them north to Rome. No battle. But year 4 presages an enormous battle on the plains of the Po Valley ... unless ... unless Hannibal dares to abondon the siege of Genua and advance into the heart of Italy.

I'm thinking this is too big a decision for one man alone! I'll leave it up to any readers - should Hannibal maintain his siege? And let Scipio, or the new Consul Fabius bring 15+ legions north? Or should he take the initiative, and strike hard against Scipio at Pisa, then ravage the Roman hinterland?

Deliberate upon this: Genua is a large city. It will not fall to siege for at least another three years.





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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/24/2010 8:31:16 AM   
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Another good AAR. 

It seems to me that it would be a waste of Hannibal's talents to spend so much time in siege warfare and let the Romans do what they want in the meantime. Strike south and make the old men of the Senate tremble. You should be able to get support from the Italians of the south, too. And maybe a direct threat to Rome would make the Romans leave Hasdrubal alone in Spain to finish his operations, and then maybe reinforce Hannibal?


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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/24/2010 5:50:04 PM   
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And so it shall be done.

To make Hannibal's entry into Italy possible, Hasdrubal has been ordered to cross Gaul and storm the city of Placentia, open a way south. The battle goes well, but 2 Spanish infantry are lost.




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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/24/2010 5:52:38 PM   
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Next Hasdrubal heads west to take over the siege of Genoa. The Roman army there will have a choice - try to break the siege, or hold on. Or perhaps even they will pull a Scipio, and flee by sea to Etruria. Once Hasdrubal is in place, Hannibal will march.






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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/24/2010 5:54:19 PM   
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Hannibal's troops are thirsting not so much for battle, but for booty. The general senses their mood, and sets them loose to ravage the rich estates of the Romans that litter the Etrurian countryside.

Once they are sated, Hannibal will direct his forces to storm Perusia. He declines to storm Scipio in Pisa - the city is too strong, its defenses would shatter Hannibal's army if assaulted head on. Let Scipio, or some other Roman general, lead an army into the field to take on the Carthagenian army.






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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/24/2010 6:09:41 PM   
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I could be playing this too cautiously, but I refrain from besieging Pisa. I don't want to face those four extra city militia, if a Roman general brings an army up from Rome and breaks the siege. I'm going to trust to Hannibal's superior battle tactics in the open field.

I brought the Carthagenian fleet north. Hopefully that will keep the Romans in Genoa from sneaking out by sea.

Note the ravaged Roman estates.




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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/24/2010 6:21:17 PM   
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The Romans surprised me. Instead of assaulting Hannibal's position, they made various moves to reinforce Umbria, across the Appenines. We'll have to see what they're up to.




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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/25/2010 6:29:11 PM   
gwgardner

 

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Year 5 in the war was eventful, with an overall plus for Rome, I think.

It all started with Hannibal trying to send Mago down to Africa to stage reinforcements. Couldn't do it, because I had no port in Etruria. So like a dummy, Mago (not me!) went off to dine in Perusia, guarded by the city militia.

Hannibal, not knowing about Mago's ineptitude, set his army to plundering the rich Roman country side in both Etruria and Latium (see the Xs in the screenshot). Hannibal was still hoping to lure some Roman general into battle, so he settled down to besiege Capua and wait.

Meantime, Hamilcar sailed north with 6 divisions of elephants, cavalry, and infantry to reinforce Hannibal. I mistimed the move, and since Hannibal had already moved, I couldn't combine Hamilcar's forces with him. So Hamilcar settles down to besiege Neapolis. Dumb move.

One big success, the Carthagenian fleet sailed south and completely destroyed the Roman fleet.






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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/25/2010 6:35:35 PM   
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The Roman plans revealed themselves when Scipio proceeded to gather together all the forces in Umbria and Samnium, and from Rome itself, and then headed into Latium to attack Hamilcar. He completely shattered that smaller Carthagenian army, with the loss of only two legions. Then he turned on Hannibal.

Hannibal was eager to break the siege and meet Scipio on the plains of Latium, but not before the wily Roman used subterfuge to get two Latin units in Hannibal's army to flee the battle. That put Hannibal into the leadership of the smaller army. 16 legions against 13 African, Spanish, and Latin troop divisions.

Hannibal played the 'inspired troops' tactic again, which allowed him to whittle Scipio's force down by 8 legions in two rounds of battle. Scipio retreated back to the walls of Rome itself.

One bright spot in the turn: Genoa finally surrendered to siege.

One less bright event: the Romans sent their 5 legions at Pisa over to slaughter Mago.




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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/25/2010 6:36:36 PM   
Obsolete


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LOL, reading this AAR keeps making me think of Civ IV.



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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/25/2010 7:01:21 PM   
gwgardner

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Obsolete

LOL, reading this AAR keeps making me think of Civ IV.



Is that a good thing or bad?

I liked Civ 4. This game has a much different feel, actually. First the battle tactics and battle play is much better, and second it's much less ponderous than playing Civ4.

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RE: To the Gates of Rome - a Hannibal:Rome&Carthage AAR - 8/25/2010 11:05:37 PM   
Obsolete


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Well, since it is one of the most popular games out there, I guess it's good.  Though I'm sure you'd have a big problem trying to convince the fans this one is better :P





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