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RE: Replayability and price

 
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RE: Replayability and price - 11/7/2010 3:00:28 AM   
Johnnie

 

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mercenarius:

I too am getting stuck. I am an experienced wargamer (have played since the late 60's) but I can't seem to get beyond about turn 6 without losing. Am enjoying myself immensely nevertheless. Great game. Maybe I'll try being less aggressive.

(in reply to mercenarius)
Post #: 31
RE: Replayability and price - 11/7/2010 6:44:43 AM   
mercenarius


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Are you playing at the "Normal" level? Have you already won a few games at the "Introductory" level? If not, you should probably try to win a few games at the "Introductory" level and then try the "Normal" level again.

I'd like to ask for my own baseline of knowledge: did you go through the Tutorials on "Attacking" and the Strategy Guide and all that? I assume so, but I wanted to ask.

When I know what level you are playing at I will try to give you some useful hints.

_____________________________

James Warshawsky
Forced March Games, LLC

(in reply to Johnnie)
Post #: 32
RE: Replayability and price - 11/7/2010 7:49:51 PM   
Johnnie

 

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I am ashamed to admit that I have been playing at the introductory level.

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Post #: 33
RE: Replayability and price - 11/7/2010 8:50:29 PM   
mercenarius


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OK, here is the general approach which I might take.

1) Start a new game and use the Standard First Move.

Leave Hannibal (and Mago) in the field with their 11 units. Do not attempt to capture any cities.

Leave your forces in Spain as they are.

Move the new three naval squadrons in Carthage out to sea with the existing naval squadron in the Mediterranean Sea. Activate Himilco and move him into the field in Zeugitania with the four field units in Carthage. This keeps the Romans from sneaking a small army into Zeugitania during the first turn (which is very rare anyway).

2) Do NOT play any cards that reduce Roman forces or reinforce Hannibal. You want Sempronius to come out and fight Hannibal.

3) Recruit a Spanish Cavalry and a Spanish Infantry unit for Hasdrubal during your recruiting phase. Do NOT play any cards yet.

4) The Romans will send a fleet to Spain. It doesn't matter if you win that first sea battle or not. But it's a good idea, in my opinion, to draw that Roman fleet away from Italy.

5) If the Romans play a card you can respond by using the "Remove 1 Latin Allied Unit" option to take a unit from SCIPIO's army. This makes it harder for the Romans to secure Spain. Do NOT play this card before the Roman Campaign Phase starts, however. Play it only in response.

6) This is the big one. Sempronius will attack Hannibal's army. Use a Punic Tricks card with the "Ambush" option.

Here is a suggested deployment: Companion Cavalry, Elephants, two African Infantry, two Spanish Infantry, and two of the remaining cavalry units (Numidian Mercenary Cavalry and Spanish Cavalry). If the elephants have died (through Roman option card play), add an additional African Infantry to the initial deployment. If the Romans play a "Remove 1 African Unit" card, take an African Infantry unit from Hannibal's army. But if they play a second such card, take the unit from Hasdrubal's army.

This should crush Sempronius' army in a maximum of two rounds. Use your cavalry to pursue if any Roman units survive the first two rounds.

Take losses from the infantry before the cavalry, but try to keep two Spanish infantry intact for use after the battle. I don't mean during the battle, but try to have two Spanish Infantry survive. It's OK if they get routed during the battle.

If for some reason the Romans do manage to reduce Hannibal's army below 10 units through Option Card play, then you should use any "reinforcing" card that may have drawn before your first recruiting phase. The point is to make sure that Sempronius comes out to fight and that you have enough to crush him.

7) Save the game at the end of the first turn and tell us how it went. You can pm me or post the game in the tech area, I believe, in a .zip archive. What to do on the second turn will depend on how the battles and Roman option card play went.

I hope that this helps.

_____________________________

James Warshawsky
Forced March Games, LLC

(in reply to Johnnie)
Post #: 34
RE: Replayability and price - 11/7/2010 9:16:50 PM   
NefariousKoel


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Johnnie

I am ashamed to admit that I have been playing at the introductory level.


Most people get beat at the intro level at least once, many a few times. None of the difficulty levels are a cakewalk.

(in reply to Johnnie)
Post #: 35
RE: Replayability and price - 11/8/2010 4:19:36 AM   
Johnnie

 

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mercenarius:

I don't have trouble with the first few turns, but then I'm not sure what to do. In my current game, however, I'm up 131 to 72 in turn six. I've taken a few major cities (i.e. Genoa) and that seems to help. Also Sicily changed sides and is allied with me. Do I focus on taking cities or provinces, or trying to trick the Romans into a battle of annialation? In my previous games the Romans have been ruthless whenever I have left Hannibal in a weakened state. Thanks for detailed response.

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Post #: 36
RE: Replayability and price - 11/8/2010 9:07:58 AM   
mercenarius


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Well, it would be a lot easier for me to formulate a strategy if I could see your saved game. Since things are going well you may want to save that game as a base and experiment with it.

Generally speaking, you want to focus on denying valuable recruiting areas to the Romans and obtaining some yourself. Building and maintaining powerful forces is more important than victory points per se for most of the game. Keeping Hannibal's force large enough for him to be a threat - and to survive in the field - is crucial. That is a function of which cards you draw, and good luck/bad luck in battles.

Keep Hannibal in the field.

Don't get caught up attacking cities unless you can besiege them safely and capture them with minimal loss. If you have to, don't be ashamed to use the "Retreat" option to avoid battles you don't think that you can win. Of course, doing that allows the Romans to draw an Option Card which you want to avoid if you can. Forgive me if I am telling you what you already know.

Here are a few specific ideas.

Since you have Syracuse on your side, you can consider adopting a "southern" strategy. Can you send your fleet to join with the Syracusan fleet? If so, you can split the Roman centers of naval production and keep them (for a while) from joining together. Then you can besiege any hostile cities on Sicily and the Romans won't be able to intervene. Control of each minor city increases the number of units that Syracuse can field. So if you can capture those cities, Syracuse can produce additional naval squadrons and help you to keep control of the Ionian Sea. This depends on how many squadrons you have and how many squadrons the Romans have, and also where they are located.

This may sound artificial, but if your combined fleet fights a battle, take your losses from the Syracusan squadrons first. That wouldn't work in the "real" world, of course. But I am not above exploiting the game's rules when I really need to.

Hannibal's presence improves the rate of replenishment of the recruiting pool in Bruttium. Keeping Hannibal in the field in Bruttium is sometimes a good strategy. Any units he recruits there are units that the Romans can't have. It's also a way for him to survive when things are going badly.

If you do shift your focus to Southern Italy, it is easier for the Romans to move forces to Spain. So you want to be even more careful to send reinforcements to Spain from Africa when you can.

If you have land forces in Spain and Sicily, the Roman Senate is usually less willing to send armies to Africa, unless the Romans already have one or more armies there. This tendency is stronger in the Introductory level. So you can usually afford to send out all your units from Africa to other theaters.

If your naval forces are reasonably strong, and you control Syracuse, you can use all relevant cards to build naval forces and to reduce Roman naval forces. At the Introductory level in particular you can win a naval war. It depends on what your forces look like now and what cards you have. For example, instead of taking "Emergency Levies" you can use the "Remove 1 From 2" option and select Roman fleets. Of course, if your armies are losing in Spain you would use "Emergency Levies" to help with that.

If this is not helpful in your current game, please consider starting a threat in The War Room and uploading the game, or posting more details on the current conditions in your game.

By the way, thanks for your kind words about the game. I hope that you can get a victory out of this current game.

_____________________________

James Warshawsky
Forced March Games, LLC

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Post #: 37
RE: Replayability and price - 11/8/2010 1:18:45 PM   
vonRocko

 

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Thanks for the tips! Thanks for a great game!

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Post #: 38
RE: Replayability and price - 11/18/2010 2:36:14 PM   
pvthudson01


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All the reviews I read mention that the game is too lop sided to be worth a look, mainly the Out of Eight review and I trust his opinion pretty well, much like the Wargamer so I can back up the claims where people are frustrated

You have linked the good reviews Matrix but check this one out

http://www.outofeight.info/2010/10/hannibal-rome-and-carthage-in-second.html

just to be on the fair side

< Message edited by pvthudson01 -- 11/18/2010 2:38:20 PM >

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Post #: 39
RE: Replayability and price - 11/18/2010 4:17:24 PM   
CLEVELAND

 

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I read that out of eight review and it's too low imo.  His main beef is that it's too hard.  I've played about 12 games and won two (one on normal, one on hard) and I expect my wins to up dramatically now that I can put together a coherent strategy.  This is exactly the kind of challenge I'm looking for.  I'd give it at least a 6 and probably a 7.

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Post #: 40
RE: Replayability and price - 11/18/2010 5:57:23 PM   
PJJ

 

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It's definitely not too hard. If I can beat the AI at the hardest difficulty level quite regularly (I do still lose sometimes), everybody can do it. But you will have to invest some time and energy into mastering the AI, it won't go down easily. I honestly think that when somebody says this game is too difficult, he or she is not trying hard enough. People are so used to easy games these days that encountering one that is actually challenging may come as a shock to them. Hard? Yes. Too lop-sided to be worth a look? Absolutely not!

_____________________________

"But here we are in a chamber pot, about to be ****ted upon."

-French General Auguste Ducrot before the Battle of Sedan, September 1870

(in reply to CLEVELAND)
Post #: 41
RE: Replayability and price - 11/18/2010 8:53:59 PM   
Johnnie

 

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O.K. Beat the AI on introductory level. I think I was being too traditional-trying to keep a solid front and taking Italy piece after peace moving down the peninsula. I won by taking a few recruitment centers and denying same to the Romans. Keeping a solid front is not very important (although holding Genoa, as easy access to and from Spain is nice.) Take some recruitment centers and keep Hannibal strong and in the field. Looking forward to the next level.

(in reply to PJJ)
Post #: 42
RE: Replayability and price - 11/18/2010 9:42:43 PM   
anarchyintheuk

 

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Not being able to force a battle makes things more difficult. Enjoy.

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Post #: 43
RE: Replayability and price - 11/19/2010 12:15:56 AM   
NefariousKoel


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quote:

ORIGINAL: CLEVELAND

I read that out of eight review and it's too low imo.  His main beef is that it's too hard.  I've played about 12 games and won two (one on normal, one on hard) and I expect my wins to up dramatically now that I can put together a coherent strategy.  This is exactly the kind of challenge I'm looking for.  I'd give it at least a 6 and probably a 7.


Agreed about the challenge. Different tastes I suppose.

I've heard too many complain about single-player being too easy and AIs taking too many stupid actions. I'm convinced most actually want to win all the time while deceiving themselves into believing it was a desperate struggle the whole time. You don't often see low reviews for someone getting stomped in a winnable situation.

It's most obvious in MMOs where, if you fail, you can just go retry the same obstacle until you succeed. Of course, reviews are solely about one man's experiences. I've never agreed with all of one reviewer's game reviews and the Out Of Eight Reviews are definitely in that category.

< Message edited by NefariousKoel -- 11/19/2010 12:16:18 AM >

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Post #: 44
RE: Replayability and price - 11/19/2010 11:01:04 AM   
PJJ

 

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You hit the nail on the head, NefariousKoel. People hate losing, and if an AI manages to beat them repeatedly, they start thinking there must be something wrong with the game. The AI in Hannibal has kicked my butt more times than I can count, but with practice I've learned to defeat the Romans repeatedly even at the hardest difficulty level. And like I've said, I'm no special player. If I can learn it, everybody can. And even if I now win more often than lose, the game is always exciting and challenging. There are too many strategy games around that are not at all challenging when played against the computer. I think it's unfair that reviewers blame Hannibal for being too hard when it actually has an AI that *every* strategy game should have, ie. a computer opponent that actually fights back and is challenging, and not only a stupid practice opponent meant for players who are not yet ready to play against other people by PBEM or something.

I'm going to start a new game with the latest patch and see how things have changed.


_____________________________

"But here we are in a chamber pot, about to be ****ted upon."

-French General Auguste Ducrot before the Battle of Sedan, September 1870

(in reply to NefariousKoel)
Post #: 45
RE: Replayability and price - 11/19/2010 1:04:27 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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PJJ,

Thanks, that's exactly what we were aiming for and I completely agree. Hey, perhaps you should use one of our new site features and write a "Customer Review" of Hannibal!

Regards,

- Erik

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Erik Rutins
Director of Product Development


For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

Freedom is not Free.

(in reply to PJJ)
Post #: 46
RE: Replayability and price - 11/21/2010 2:45:12 PM   
PJJ

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

PJJ,

Thanks, that's exactly what we were aiming for and I completely agree. Hey, perhaps you should use one of our new site features and write a "Customer Review" of Hannibal!

Regards,

- Erik


Oh, I didn't know about that feature. I'm still learning to use the new improved site. It's definitely better than the old one.

_____________________________

"But here we are in a chamber pot, about to be ****ted upon."

-French General Auguste Ducrot before the Battle of Sedan, September 1870

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 47
RE: Replayability and price - 11/21/2010 6:44:08 PM   
hondo1375


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quote:

ORIGINAL: CLEVELAND

I read that out of eight review and it's too low imo.  His main beef is that it's too hard.  I've played about 12 games and won two (one on normal, one on hard) and I expect my wins to up dramatically now that I can put together a coherent strategy.  This is exactly the kind of challenge I'm looking for.  I'd give it at least a 6 and probably a 7.


I was ready to give up on this game a couple of weeks ago. I was finding it very frustrating and couldn't win on the normal level. I've NEVER had that problem in a wargame before. However, once I understood what kind of strategies to use in the context of the game mechanics (thanks to the help I got on this board), I won. Even so, it wasn't a cake-walk, as you have to stay focussed otherwise the AI will get back into the game.

What makes it hard is the competent AI (I mean, probably one of the best wargame AIs ever done IMHO)and the "hill" the Carthaginians have to climb in their opening. I think the problem is with the difficulty levels. Personally, I think they should be redone something like this:

Easy: Easier than the current "easy" level (whatever it is called). This can be done by some combination of the following: start the game with the Cs already in control of all of CAGaul, with Gallic Aid in place, with a lot of choice cards, plenty of units, and with the Roman reinforcements and commands reduced.

Normal: The current normal is too hard IMHO, and getting beaten repeatedly on normal makes me feel stupid since I pwn on normal with most games (as I'm sure most of us do). It assumes a very good grasp of the game mechanics and the kind of strategies required to win, plus a good execution of them. The new "normal" should be the current "easy" (or perhaps even a little easier - not sure).

Hard:IMHO, the current "normal" should be "hard".

Very Hard:The current "hard".



_____________________________

First wargame: Jedko's 1st edition "The Russian Campaign". First computer wargame: don't remember the name, but it was on punch cards.

(in reply to CLEVELAND)
Post #: 48
RE: Replayability and price - 11/23/2010 5:36:32 AM   
gdrover

 

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I play the hard setting and win almost every time now. Here is my 'standard opening':
Turn 1) Hannibal moves to Gaul with his starting army, and then moves to attack Turin. Assault Turin (Make sure to use mostly Spanish Infantry as they are better attackers than the Carthaginian Infantry). Hannibal then assaults and takes the other two 0/2 cities in Cisalpine Gaul. Play the Gaul Card, and get the 3 Gallic Reinforcements in Hannibal's army. Finally move Hannibal out of the city and have him camp in Cisalpine Gaul so that he can intercept any Roman armies trying to take back these cities.
Combine all your fleets in Carthage so that you can send more reinforcements.
Move Hasdrubal's Spanish army into New Carthage to await reinforcements.

Turn 2-3)Send reinforcements to Spain and stomp on the Roman army there and retake the other Spanish city. Have Hannibal wait in Cisalpine Gaul and get reinforcements until after he has defeated the main Roman army.

Turn 4-5) Reinforce Spain or North Africa (build a couple of fleets). Have Hannibal take Genoa. Move the Spanish army to Genoa and combine with Hannibal. Simultaneously land troops from Carthage in Genoa to make a huge Carthaginian army.

Turn 6 - 7) Siege Rome. When a Roman army comes to lift the siege, defend the siege if you have a marked superiority; if not, lift the siege and attack the main Roman army using Punic tricks. After defeating them, siege Rome again and stick to it like a bulldog while sending any reinforcements possible.

(in reply to hondo1375)
Post #: 49
RE: Replayability and price - 1/14/2011 3:12:28 PM   
nalivayko

 

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My two cents on the price of the game . I do think $40 is a bit too high for a game with one playable side out of total two functions. I could care less about multiplayer, but the lack of such should have brought the price down as well. It seems that all the reviews about the game mention these two points as the cons. To compare this game to another indie favorite of mine - Mount & Blade had cost me $15 for the original game and the game allowed for 100s of hours of play.

Having said that... I have bought the game yesterday having downloaded a demo two days ago. I simply couldn't wait for the better deal - the game is fresh, intoxicating and fun. I could find another hundred adjectives to describe it, but will spare you the agony of reading through them. I've spent that $40 without regret, please hear out my justifications for this wasteful act :)

1. I love this game and I love it's new (old in boardgames, but still new to me) and unique concept. I hope the developer will continue making games similar to it for I am hooked.

2. The best way to support the developer is with our money. If the price seems a bit too high, consider half of the payment a donation. I doubt there are many people out there who will appreciate the game as much as some of us (i.e. some enjoy the graphics more than the killer AI). Lowering the price would not net the developer and distributor more money. Keeping it at $40 could ensure decent profits and the development of the future games.

3. If the game becomes a success (a financial one, that is) I hope the developer's future games will 1) either iclude more content or 2) cost less ($15-30) to offset the lack of content. I also hope the developer and the distributor will offer those of us who did not shy away from paying $40 now an opportunity to buy the future games at discounted price.

(in reply to gdrover)
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