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Umbrian Gambit

 
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Umbrian Gambit - 4/28/2011 9:31:16 PM   
nalivayko

 

Posts: 141
Joined: 3/31/2005
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An update to my Openings Guide:

Umbrian Gambit – a variant of Classic, Umbria via Gaul via Cisalpine Gaul.

Prerequisities: none.

Helpful cards: Hannibal on the Move, Extended Move.

Strategy: Moving to Umbria on the first turn prevents Roman recruitment in this rich province and places Hannibal in the striking distance of every Roman province sans Bruttium (still reachable with extra movement cards or attrition risk). This move also saves Macedon Aid card (to be used when a second Macedon Aid comes along). Gallic Aid can be invoked later if needed when Syracusae Revolt/Gallic Aid card begin to show up.

The idea is to abandon Cisalpine Gaul to Romans in favor of Umbria. You are not missing much. Roman recruitment in Gaul is weak and the province remains under threat of consequent Carthaginian invasions from Spain (by Hadsrubal), Gaul (provided this is where you left Mago) and Africa (by Himilco via Genoa).

Battle tested: once, victory by turn 6. Got lucky with early second Macedon Aid, but it was obvious from the start that the Romans were not at the best when presented with this move. I did not assault Rome right away, my house rule is to always besiege Rome first, giving the AI a chance to counterattack. Nor was the early strike possible, since Rome was heavily guarded. The relief force (18 units counting the garrison) failed to raise the siege (17 units with Hannibal) on turn 5 and left Rome with only two units on turn 6.

As usual, tested on Hard.
Post #: 1
RE: Umbrian Gambit - 4/28/2011 10:21:02 PM   
nalivayko

 

Posts: 141
Joined: 3/31/2005
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Additional testing: Rome besieged on turn 4. Once again a bit of luck from the beginning: two Macedon Aid cards on hand. However, it does seem that no other opening maximizes the use of these cards as much as this one. So, additional thoughts:

1. It seems to be safer to move through Gaul with 10 units or less. I usually take 11-12 units with Hannibal and suffer minor attrition. 10 units caused no attrition whatsoever, both when crossing the Alps and then doing an extended move without card to Umbria.

2. You do not have to take any cities in Umbria on turn 1. I had to assault two minor cities on the way there, but did not attempt to take either Ancona or Asculum. I was content with merely denying Umbria to Romans.

3. Roman first turn will see a Roman army in Placentia engage Hannibal and the one in Genoa attacking Africa. Leaving enough units with Hasdrubal in Spain does seem to force Romans to take a stab at your own homelands. Early Roman invasion of Africa is to your advantage since it will be conducted by lower ranking general. Unless Romans play a Numidian Revolt, their army will be outnumbered by combined Carthaginian-Numidian forces allowing you to score an easy card or two.

4. You have plenty of options on turn 2. Safe way is to subjugate Umbria (made easy with decisive victory over Roman army during Roman turn 1). A riskier, and potentially more rewarding option, is to storm Tarentum (always with a general and extra unit) and two minor Apulian cities. This denies Romans further recruitment in that province, grants you 2 units in reinforcements at the end of the turn and an extra card, of course. Umbria is easily recovered next turn, if needed.

5. Third turn usually sees the defeat of the Romans in Africa and Himilco sailing to Tarentum. Hannibal can either move to Umbria or Bruttium (preferred). Hasdrubal moves to Cis. Gaul (joined by Mago from Gaul?). Requires a bit of luck with Senate.

6. Fourth turn - Rome besieged. If Hannibal on the Move is available, Hannibal can trounce an extra Roman army before proceeding to siege. At this point, with one Roman army either engaged or defeated in Africa, another defeated earlier in Umbria and scarce reinforcements due to early loss of Umbria and Apulia, the Roman state can hardly afford to field a serious force. The end is 1 to 4 turns away.

(in reply to nalivayko)
Post #: 2
RE: Umbrian Gambit - 4/28/2011 11:12:26 PM   
oldspec4

 

Posts: 740
Joined: 11/1/2004
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Thanks for the posts explaining different opening moves...I'm ready for some variation to my usual "Gaul then down the west of Italy" play.

< Message edited by oldspec4 -- 4/28/2011 11:13:26 PM >

(in reply to nalivayko)
Post #: 3
RE: Umbrian Gambit - 5/4/2011 4:48:04 PM   
SteveD64

 

Posts: 569
Joined: 10/26/2006
From: Shaker Hts, Ohio, USA
Status: offline
I had two Macedonian Aid cards at the end of turn one so I decided to move into Umbria and grab a port.  I had never even seen the Macedonian units so I was excited to get their troops, until they all but disappeared when the AI played Greek diplomacy two turns in a row.  I misused Hannibal and was beaten on turn 6.

(in reply to oldspec4)
Post #: 4
RE: Umbrian Gambit - 5/4/2011 6:17:54 PM   
oldspec4

 

Posts: 740
Joined: 11/1/2004
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Yikes...I haven't tried this strategy yet so can't speak to how it plays out. I'm having a tough enough time trying to beat the AI starting in Gaul and coming down the west side of Italy.

I've won a victory by taking Rome at all levels of play once (using beaucoup game reloads ). But haven't won since..

(in reply to SteveD64)
Post #: 5
RE: Umbrian Gambit - 5/5/2011 2:16:55 PM   
nalivayko

 

Posts: 141
Joined: 3/31/2005
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CLEVELAND, my only advise is: do not be greedy with your Macedon troops - save the Elite infantry and cavalry, but feel free to use the rest as casualties. If Romans play their diplomacy cards, you lose them anyway. If they don't, there is a chance these units will come back as Macedon reinforcements.

oldspec4, I've played it again and again during last week. It allows me to beat Rome in the shortest time possible... provided the cards fall right. Now I wouldn't recommend using it on the first turn without two extended moves available and a card or two for sudden reinforcements. This minimizes risk, leaving Gallic attrition as the only variable.

Speaking of variables, do you care to describe your first turns - maybe I can give an advice or two? And why west side of Italy?

(in reply to oldspec4)
Post #: 6
RE: Umbrian Gambit - 5/5/2011 6:12:32 PM   
oldspec4

 

Posts: 740
Joined: 11/1/2004
Status: offline
Thanks for the help offer. Actually, I'm trying to get my strategy straight on taking Rome from the west on normal difficulty. I just took Rome during my latest game on turn 7 or 8.

I think I now have a much better understanding of using both cards and moves; and will soon try a different strategy.

(in reply to nalivayko)
Post #: 7
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