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All Forums >> [Current Games From Matrix.] >> [Ancients] >> Hannibal: Rome and Carthage in the Second Punic War >> Strategy advice please Page: [1]
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Strategy advice please - 11/11/2010 2:35:25 PM   
hondo1375


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I need some advice concerning playing at the normal difficulty setting. I won a decisive victory on introductory, but I'm getting a bit frustrated on normal. I can control Cisalpine Gaul on turn 1 or 2, but have trouble continuing from there. If I take Hannibal and Mago down the east coast intercepting and sieging respectively, I don't have enough units to convincingly garrison the two cities on the Cisalpine border with the west coast province, and also keep a fighting force in Spain to protect it. Also, if I take Hannibal and Mago down the west coast instead, it is easier to secure the border of Cisapline Gaul on the east coast since there is only one city, which frees up units for other duties, but it is a lot tougher as there are less reinforcements available and Rome is in your face the whole time because it straddles a border and spits out a lot of units.

Any thoughts?

I wonder if my issue is primarily that I am a "turtle" by temperament, and this game really favours "tank rushers" (e.g. as witnessed by the players that broke the AI by rushing Rome ... something I would never had thought of doing!).
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RE: Strategy advice please - 11/11/2010 6:58:19 PM   
anarchyintheuk

 

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Depends on the cards that you hold. I normally don't advance south from CisG until turn 3, 4 or 5 unless I've baited and crushed a large Roman army before. Doing that allows you to divide your forces w/ some security. You'll have the numbers to to maintain an army in Spain, CisG (Hasdrubal or one of the others) and move south w/ Hannibal. Try running reinforcements from Carthage to Spain on turn 2, then from Spain to CisG/Gaul on turn 3. Taking Genoa will make this easier. You'll also have an extra leader to recruit in Gaul and still have a besieger w/ Hannibal.

Getting hold of recruiting grounds and denying them to the enemy is the name of the game imo. The sooner you can move south from CisG the better.

One way to limit the ai's land recruits is to build up your navy and raid into the Tyrrhenian Sea (or through the Ionian to the Bay of Tarentum if Sicily switches sides early enough) looking for favorable odds attacks. Win a naval battle or two and the ai will concentrate more on naval construction.

(in reply to hondo1375)
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RE: Strategy advice please - 11/12/2010 3:29:43 PM   
Raidhaennor


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Rushing the game isn't a necessity, but your "turtle" temperament might be a problem.

I think the way to win in this game isn't to advance along a frontline and slowly grind your ennemy to defeat ; as you've pointed out, the recruitement capacity of the romans is too important for that to work. The way to win is to move all around Italy to recruit, and deny recruitment to the ennemy (and destroy ennemy forces along the way). Don't think of the cities in Italy as "yours", but rather as temporary centers of recruitement ; once you've recruited all you can, you should move on and not worry if the romans take the cities back. This is also true of Cisalpine Gaul. Anarchyintheuk is right : stay in the province for a few additional turns, but once it is depleted, move on. Yes, the romans will, at some point, try to retake the province ; but it's not really a problem, especially if you have already brought over the troops you had in Spain. Even if they control Cisalpine Gaul, and things don't go as well as planned later on, you can still have enough victory points to win.

I tend to follow pretty much the same strategy as the one anarchyintheuk described. Some additionnal tips :

- I use my recruitement capacity in Carthage first and foremost to recruit naval units (and the same with option cards). You need a strong navy, first to move units from Africa to other theaters (without it, any units recruited in Carthage will be stuck there), and if possible, to challenge the naval superiority of the romans. I rely on Italy and Spain to recruit land units (incidently, if one of your leaders in Spain is in the field rather than in a city, you can recruit 2 units per turn, if there are no ennemy present, in case you didn't know).

- In the first turn, don't bother attacking minor cities in Cisalpine Gaul, as these have a chance to change sides after a battle. This is true for the rest of the game in fact : don't bother attacking cities you won't need, or that you might win over without risking your units (that also means that a siege is usually the way to go for any city with more than 2 militia units), or bypass with an option card. This also means that the province of Eturia (wich contains Pisa) can be ignored, depending on the circumstances. The recruitement capacity of that province is not very good, as you've mentioned, so moving on directly south can be an option ; you can still try to take the city to use any relevant option card you have, or to force the romans to dispatch some units there after you've moved on, but this province really shouldn't be a high priority.

- After the first turn, if there is an ennemy army in Spain, you can reinforce that theater with land units from Carthage, but also with naval units, to "trap" the roman leader there. This way you get a chance to destroy some ennemy units, and win an additional option card (and a promotion for you leader present).

- Again, don't worry about losing control of CisG : concentrate on building your forces and trying to siege Rome as soon as possible. Even if the siege has to be abandonned at some point (before coming back to it later on), as long as the city is under siege you deny the ennemy its biggest source of recruits. Careful though : even under siege Rome can be reinforced through naval movement, and that's where having a strong naval force can be useful. If you can force the ennemy to confront you in the field around Rome, it will makes things a lot easier than having to fight a city battle.

That's all I can think of at the moment.


edit : A very good province for recruitement is Bruttium : you get one unit per city under your control (even the minor city), plus an another one if Hannibal is present there. Having him in the province for a few turns can be a very significant boost to recruitement.

< Message edited by Raidhaennor -- 11/12/2010 3:35:42 PM >

(in reply to anarchyintheuk)
Post #: 3
RE: Strategy advice please - 11/12/2010 7:45:10 PM   
NefariousKoel


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I've had good starts by taking the three mountain towns in Cisalpine Gaul on the first turn and playing the Gallic support card. I move Mago up to Gaul so he can recruit a couple turns while Hannibal sits in Cisalpine recruiting and luring large Roman armies in for a Punic Tricks card slaughter. The Romans don't/can't move into Gaul so Mago is up there by his lonesome initially.

With the Gallic card in play giving bonus recruitment, and the two generals split up to recruit, I end up getting a lot of Gallic troops very quickly. At the same time I end up smashing a big Roman army right before I've exhausted the recruiting in the two Gallic provinces. So I'll survey they situation and pick a route to conquer southward. I've won a couple VP victories on Hard by taking this huge Gallic army south and taking over the bottom of 'the boot', stationing extra troops in cities for defense, then fighting off the onslaught. The recruitment pools get ran out quickly, but the the Italian infantry flow just enough to soak up most of the damage while your Gauls put the attack factor hurt on. A tough spot to get into is not drawing Punic Tricks cards, but that goes for any game.

(in reply to Raidhaennor)
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RE: Strategy advice please - 11/12/2010 9:08:27 PM   
Deerslayer


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I am just starting to catch on that recruitment is key to victory...

(in reply to NefariousKoel)
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RE: Strategy advice please - 11/13/2010 10:14:13 PM   
hondo1375


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Thanks for the advice everyone - seems like I've been playing the game completely wrong! I'm making good progress in my current game. It is about turn 6 or 7 and I'm on the eastern Italian coast about to take my second major city by siege. King Philip has joined the good guys, but I've lost control of the Adriatic so no reinforcements for him (I'm sure the Romans get some combat advantage at sea as I always seem to do poorly, even with equal numbers). Syracuse has also joined in and they are tying down a small Roman army.

I've taken the advice above and abandoned CisG once I fished it out - except Genoa, which helps communication with Spain. Mago was in Gaul ("Mago like Gaul") but I moved him once that was fished out (I didn't even know you could recruit in Gaul until I read the advice above - should have RTFM!). The Romans have got 20 units in Rome now and looks like they are massing for a smackdown, but their recruits seemed to have dried up. I've got about 12 in CisG and 15+ in eastern Italy. I might mass my armies now and go in for the kill.

So, once I shifted my strategic focus from holding ground to maximising recruits the game got a lot more fun. So the name of the game is the IDL strategy ("Independence Day Locust" strategy): strip a region of its resources and move on! Who says you can't teach an old turtle new tricks.

_____________________________

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 hondo1375)
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RE: Strategy advice please - 11/13/2010 11:43:24 PM   
Johnnie

 

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Is there a way to discern how much is left to recruit in a particular province?

(in reply to hondo1375)
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RE: Strategy advice please - 11/14/2010 12:28:09 AM   
Raidhaennor


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You won't have an exact number, but there are 2 ways :

In the recruitment window that comes up every turn, you can click on every province and you'll see how "rich" the province is. Or at any point during the game by right-clicking on a province, and then clicking on "Advanced details".
It will say things like "The province is a strong area for recruiting", or "The local tribes have few recruits to offer you", or "Further recruitment will leave the province bare", etc. depending on the situation.

(in reply to Johnnie)
Post #: 8
RE: Strategy advice please - 11/14/2010 1:25:21 AM   
Johnnie

 

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Raid:

Thanks. Will try.

I am really enjoying this game. Best new game I have played in a long while. I buy a LOT of games, but I seem to spend the majority of my gaming time with old favorites. This is a great new engine.

(in reply to Raidhaennor)
Post #: 9
RE: Strategy advice please - 11/17/2010 7:29:40 PM   
PJJ

 

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Excellent advice in this thread. It can be difficult to compete with Rome in the naval race, but in can be done. There are many option cards that can be played either to give more troops in Africa or to build new naval units there. With these cards you can expand your navy even when the normal recruitment pool is empty. A few times I've had over 10 Carthaginian naval units, and if you add the Syracusan and Macedonian squadrons to that, Rome will be in serious trouble. Macedonian aid shouldn't be overlooked, if you happen to have two such cards and control a suitable port city in the east or southeast. As you know, the first card gives you four Macedonian naval units, which are useful for making the Romans split their fleets. The AI always reacts to the Macedonian presence, so you will have fewer squadrons opposing you elsewhere.

The second card brings Philip, the king of Macedonia with his army to Italy. The Macedonians are the toughest units in the game - their phalanges can absord as many as three hits in a battle, making them extremely useful. Philip initially has a combat rating of 5, but if you win a battle with him he will be promoted to 7, making him even more useful. You can't recruit Italian units with Philip though, so it's best to keep a Punic commander nearby for recruitment purposes. Philip can command troops of other nationalities just like any other general.

Just remember that the Romans can use their diplomacy cards to get rid of the Macedonians, so don't be too careful with them. If your lucky, you can keep them on the field for a long time. I once had them for 11 turns.


_____________________________

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

(in reply to Johnnie)
Post #: 10
RE: Strategy advice please - 11/18/2010 1:36:11 PM   
Ron

 

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quote:

- In the first turn, don't bother attacking minor cities in Cisalpine Gaul, as these have a chance to change sides after a battle.


That's true, but I usually like to take them the first turn so I can play the Gallic Aid card to get the free Gauls and begin recruiting immediately. On average, you will only lose 1 troop storming the minor cities, which is a fair tradeoff for me. A potential downside to playing Gallic Aid the first turn is the Romans may counter with the Spanish Rebellion. This will denude the starting Spanish Army, leaving Spain wide open, and will delay any Italian adventures with Hannibal. It makes for an interesting game however!

(in reply to PJJ)
Post #: 11
RE: Strategy advice please - 11/18/2010 3:12:08 PM   
anarchyintheuk

 

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The other downside is that the Romans won't send their army at Placentia after Hannibal on turn 1. Crushing that first army gives you more freedom of movement on turn 2.

(in reply to Ron)
Post #: 12
RE: Strategy advice please - 11/19/2010 12:18:48 AM   
NefariousKoel


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deerslayer

I am just starting to catch on that recruitment is key to victory...



Efficiency, there, is a big step.

(in reply to Deerslayer)
Post #: 13
RE: Strategy advice please - 11/23/2010 5:33:59 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 NefariousKoel)
Post #: 14
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