Just wanted to tell the developers what a fine game they have made. I really enjoy it, its fun and quite challenging.
For others thinking of buying the game, here are some of my thoughts and experiences
1. Its not hard to learn the game, but it does take a while to learn the nuances that make a big difference between winning and losing.
2. For example, remembering to check each region to see if recruits are available. Its frustrating to take a region and find out there are few or no recruits available. Also when you have recruited 2-3 turns there is a good chance recruits will dry up, and its time to move on. I spent my first couple games trying to hold Cisalpine Gaul as a recruiting 'base' only to find there were no recruits turn after turn. Ditto for Spain, once recruits dry up its a good time to move the main army to Italy and maybe just leave a few extra inf to guard New Carthage, because keeping a general in the field doesnt help get more recruits and just gives Rome a juicy target if the army gets too small.
3. I like to leave Mago in Gaul on the initial march to Italy, and let him recruit a few turns, and bring him south when the army from Spain comes over, ie, when you 'reinforce italy', REINFORCE ITALY!
4. If the Romans have a big army, no major city in Italy is safe unless its in the region with Hannibal in the field. One 'Roman siege' card and you can see an army of 8 units killed guarding a city you thought was impregnable. Yet you have to get two armies operating in Italy because otherwise you leave too may recruits to Rome. Likewise, even a major city IN the region with hannibal isnt safe if its sea-invadable, generals cant intercept those.
5. Having Hannibal in the Latium region doesnt stop an army from Rome moving to Etruria. I guess if an army is in a city on the edge of a region, that army can leave into the adjacent region without being intercepted. Likewise, if two armies are in a region in the field, one can move out without being intercepted.
6. Be really careful storming Rome. I just had a game where Hannibal with 20+ units stormed Rome on the first turn of the siege when Rome only had 1 inf plus the 8 city guard, and they routed my entire army and still had a unit left! Luckily Hasdrupal was in an adjacent region and had 7 units to finish Rome off, but it was a lot harder than I expected.
7. It seems really tough to take Rome without having a navy in the sea zone, because otherwise Romans can reinforce at will via sea. Then they bring an army back and break the siege with the army plus the reinforced garrison, yikes!
8. People talk about the AI being so good, and it is pretty good. But part of what makes the AI seem so good is that the game is really stacked against Carthage. Rome can just overwhelm you with numbers, especially if they avoid Hannibal. The key is winning two battles decisively, one against the army of 8 or so that is likely to attack on turn 1, and the other against a much bigger army that will come later, hopefully with a general of 6 or less. IMO the key to to the game is wiping out that second army and gaining the upper hand in Italy, allowing a second army to operate independently of Hannibal.
9. It really helps if Hasdrupal can win a battle on his own when the Romans invade Spain, and gets a promotion, which will make him superior to Roman generals.
10. You really to plan ahead, because of the Senate command limitations. If you reinforce Italy you cant reinforce Spain. If you reinforce Africa you cant do either. Even your navy cant move into foreign waters to pick off a small Roman fleet. And by all means, if you move your navy to foreign waters, make sure you will have a port! You can lose your whole navy otherwise. Those 'add two units' in Carthage are really helpful for building up your fleet. One of those cards plus a reinforce Africa turn and then a reinforce Spain/Italy turn, and your fleet can be 6 ships (3+1+2) bigger than it was. Rome cant build fleets fast enough to counter when you build that fast, they wont see it coming until its too late.
Anyway, great game, and I hope others give it a try and enjoy it as much as I do!
< Message edited by EdinHouston -- 12/23/2011 6:29:42 PM >