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Great game - 2/9/2011 1:05:11 PM   
Hardradi


Posts: 29
Joined: 2/9/2011
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Just wanted to say that I am really enjoying this game.

A couple of questions, thoughts and ideas:

1) Pontic Aid - from a historical point of view this seems a bit unlikely during the 2nd Punic War. As far as I know Pontus was never involved or likely to be involved in the war. Would not a better name by Illyrian Aid. They had been recently active in the 1st and 2nd Illyrian Wars against Rome. The most powerful Illyrian dynast during this period would have been Scerdilaidas (also quite the pirate). Pinnes died 217BC and Demetrius of Pharos had been driven out by the Romans in the Second Illyrian War.

2) With the decline battle feature I have found it somewhat difficult to draw the Romans into enough battles, even thought I have a relative small army with Hannibal, 10 to 15 units and are destroying villas. Should this be improved at least to the point where you can get three epic battles in?

3) I noticed that you can drop you armies on crops and "destroy" them. Does this have any effect in the game?

4) In my last game, at one stage I was stuck with 2 or 3 Gallic Aid cards, even though it was already in effect and 3 other cards (I think they were Hannibals March cards). I could not use any of them because of the circumstances of the game and I ended up in a bind because of this. Would it be possible to introduce an option where you could discard 2 cards and draw another 1 from the deck to stop this sort of situation?

5) What about Archimedes in Syracuse, surely he/it deserves some extra defence points when being stormed. Perhaps a unique seige weapons unit for Syracuse

6) Would Massilia have entered the war if Rome was one the ropes?

7) On medium level and I presume hard level, strategic options for winning the game appear to be limited. In my experience, unless I get as many troops to northern Italy (along with Hasdrabul) and beseige Rome as soon as possible, the game becomes a long war of attrition. In particular, what I am saying is:
- should there be a naval domination strategy for Carthage? I cant see how Carthage can ever compete with Roma in this area on medium or hard. At best it would be a stalemate
- I dont see many Italian cities turning from the Roman alliance which was Hannibals strategy?. Surely his strategy should be able to work where you get to a superior strategic position than Hannibal ever did

Anyway, great game and looking forward to the new patch.
Post #: 1
RE: Great game - 2/9/2011 2:58:12 PM   
nalivayko

 

Posts: 141
Joined: 3/31/2005
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1) I agree on this one. The thought has crossed my mind before, but I forgot to post it and I was considering a different batch of pirates. Illyrian Aid would be perfect.

2) I usually get three battles with Hannibal w/o much effort. Then you have to try and try again to bring battle to the Romans. One of their generals will be outmaneuvered eventually. Pay attention to which province you are in and the general's command rating.

3) Decorational purpose only. Villas (one in Etruria and two in Latium-Campania) are a different matter, destroying them makes it more likely that Romans will engage you in battle.

4) You can discard a card now - when you have too many cards the game will prompt you for a mandatory card play. Top right corner has a discard card option.

5) Syracuse is a tough nut already, the hardest to siege after Rome and Carthage. Still, a special fantasy unit (a la Sacred Band or Urban Legion) would not be too much, imo.

6) Would treachery work if Hannibal is down to 0 cities in Italy? If all Hannibal's cards are playable at all times, then the Roman cards should be too.

7) It's possible to win (or draw) by a small margin even if you do not control any land in Italy. You can concentrate on Sicily and Sardinia, while defending your own in Spain and Africa. After Sicily snatching Bruttium is very easy. I did try it before and seemed to have enough points to win. You would have to be extremely careful with your navy, Tarentum capture would be welcome (although risky) for Macedonian Aid, Pontic Aid is a must. Syracuse alliance would be good, although I am not sure if winning them by force would not be the best idea (can they betray you then? not sure myself).

(in reply to Hardradi)
Post #: 2
RE: Great game - 2/10/2011 1:07:47 AM   
mercenarius


Posts: 576
Joined: 7/6/2010
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First off, thanks for your kind words regarding the game. I am glad that you are enjoying it.

1) "Pontian" aid is somewhat anachronistic here. Perhaps "Illyrian" aid would be more appropriate. Of course only the name would change. For the 1.0.3 patch I am going to content myself with an addendum to the manual. For a future patch I intend to update the manual itself and that would be a good time to make this change.

2) It does get difficult after a while to engage the Romans with Hannibal. But you can keep trying it and eventually get lucky and force a battle ("so and so was outmaneuvered and must accept battle"). When Fabius or Otacilius (his nephew) is one of the consuls (not proconsul) the Roman Senate is more wary of Hannibal. Here is a small hint: when the Romans are "shadowing" Hannibal they will still try to capture cities in Hannibal's province, unless Hannibal's reputation has grown so large that they are afraid that they cannot defend even in a camp. If a leader doesn't think that he could defend even in a camp battle then he won't risk any interception to attack a city. Otherwise he'll usually try to capture a city and this gives you another chance. This can help in all provinces in Italy except Latium-Campania to some extent. In the other provinces you can capture a minor city and then leave it as bait for Roman forces in Hannibal's province. Roman leaders abroad don't do this as much because they are afraid of being cut off from their only port in the province.

3) As nalivayko said, this is a cosmetic feature only. Some day I intend to introduce option rules for logistics and then the grain, pasture, and vineyards will have an active function. Now, I hate to advertise "vaporware" and I must say that I don't know how soon "Hannibal" will get rules for logistics. Maybe not until next year (2012).

4) As nalivayko said (And thanks, nalivayko, for helping out ).

5) Part of the reason for making Syracuse a Capital city is in fact Archimedes and his anti-siege weapons. But I suppose that a special static unit could be created. That won't get into 1.0.3, however. I'll have to think about the best way to do this.

6) I am not sure what you are asking. Do you mean Masinissa the Numidian prince? Or the city of Massilia? I do agree with nalivayko that having an option card means that the option is there. The "Revolution in Syracuse/Diplomacy in Syracuse" options are the only exceptions. If Rome is losing it's usually not as hard to keep them out of Africa entirely.

7) It's hard to get Rome under siege. A good ploy is to get two or three powerful armies with at least one being Hannibal in the field. Then Hannibal can use a Hannibal On The March card to gather those armies together and make a lightning strike against Rome. If Hannibal's army has the usual mix of Infantry, Cavalry, and an Elephants unit or two, you'll want about 4 to 1 in numbers to storm Rome. If there are extra Roman or Latin Allied legions in Rome you might need 5 to 1. But if you build up and wear the Romans down you can eventually get those numbers in place. Make sure not to tip your hand early by building up really large armies (about 18 field units or larger) unnecessarily. That can cause the AI (under 1.0.3) to decide to move units to Rome to prevent this.

As for Hannibal's strategy, the game makes the judgment that large-scale defections are unlikely. Now if you happen to draw extra Treachery cards you can use them to capture more cities some of the time. It's true that Tarentum often has a Roman general in it and that precludes the use of "Treachery." But sometimes it will be unguarded - especially when Hannibal is in that province.

Remember that I have programmed the AI to try to shadow and harass Hannibal in the field even though there is no formal mechanism in the game that requires the Roman Senate to do this. By that I mean that the AI isn't "punished" for not shadowing Hannibal. But it usually will try anyway.

Sorry for the long-winded post. I hope that this helps.

_____________________________

James Warshawsky
Forced March Games, LLC

(in reply to Hardradi)
Post #: 3
RE: Great game - 2/10/2011 10:14:01 AM   
Hardradi


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Joined: 2/9/2011
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Thanks to both of you for the replies and tips on 1,2,3, 4 and 7.

5) A special unit would be nice

6) I meant the city of Massilia. I know it was not on the map but it was involved in the war in a naval capacity, at least in northern Spain. A quote from Polybius:

"Gnaeus... appeared off the Ebro two days after sailing from Tarraco. Anchoring at a distance of about eighty stades from the enemy he sent on two swift Massaliot ships to reconnoitre, for these used to head the line both in sailing and in battle, and there was absolutely no service they were not ready to render. Indeed if any people have given generous support to the Romans it is the people of Marseilles both on many subsequent occasions and especially in the Hannibalic War"

There are also a few references to Massaliot support in Livy, providing guides and intelligence information. There is also other evidence that Massaliot sailors contributed extensively to a Roman sea battle victory in Spain.


(in reply to mercenarius)
Post #: 4
RE: Great game - 2/12/2011 8:29:35 PM   
NefariousKoel


Posts: 2926
Joined: 7/23/2002
From: Murderous Missouri Scum
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quote:

7) On medium level and I presume hard level, strategic options for winning the game appear to be limited. In my experience, unless I get as many troops to northern Italy (along with Hasdrabul) and beseige Rome as soon as possible, the game becomes a long war of attrition. In particular, what I am saying is:
- should there be a naval domination strategy for Carthage? I cant see how Carthage can ever compete with Roma in this area on medium or hard. At best it would be a stalemate
- I dont see many Italian cities turning from the Roman alliance which was Hannibals strategy?. Surely his strategy should be able to work where you get to a superior strategic position than Hannibal ever did


I have gained a VP victories when Rome is looking like a nasty prospect in later turns. In that case I tend to grab some cities in Southern Italy and turtle up for defense best I can. It often lends to the sneaky AI taking a city, and I having to retake them, but it's quite doable if you have done well in recruiting along the way.

Besides, if the AI takes too many of my cities to ruin my VP total, it'll cost him troops there had been garrisoning Rome thus making it a softer target.

_____________________________


(in reply to Hardradi)
Post #: 5
RE: Great game - 2/18/2011 5:08:30 AM   
mercenarius


Posts: 576
Joined: 7/6/2010
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Let's go back to the question about Massilia for a moment. By "enter the war" do you mean to take a more active part against Carthage? Or to switch sides and make a deal?

We can only imagine what would have happened if, for example, Africanus had been defeated in Spain. Well, he never would have become known later as "Africanus," I suppose.

_____________________________

James Warshawsky
Forced March Games, LLC

(in reply to Hardradi)
Post #: 6
RE: Great game - 2/18/2011 11:44:49 PM   
Hardradi


Posts: 29
Joined: 2/9/2011
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Yes, by "enter the war" I meant it would take a more active part against Carthage. You would probably want to limit them to naval support, in the northern and western sea's: Ligurian, Balaeric and Iberian Sea. Any army support would be limited perhaps one unit and a leader that could recruit in Gaul and travel to either Spain or Cispaline Gaul. As far as I know there are no names of any historical Massalian rulers during this period. The city was pretty well fortified as per Caeser's Civil War description.

Historically there was a fairly hostile relationship between the Phocians the origianl colonist of Massalia and Carthage. This is evident from the Battle of Alalia and the fate of three small colonies of Massalians in the Valenica region of Spain (the best known is Hemeroscopium), which were thought to have been destroyed by Carthage. I wouldnt see them flip/flopping their alliance between Rome and Carthage but you never know.


(in reply to mercenarius)
Post #: 7
RE: Great game - 2/18/2011 11:58:02 PM   
nalivayko

 

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Joined: 3/31/2005
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If you start with Massalia, there is not stopping the other "what ifs". And Massalia is too small, compared to other candidates for "independents" (a la Syracusae). Capua, for one, that could field 30,000 men is a likelier candidate. Massalia's meager army and relatively small fleet mean little in game terms. It being protectorate of Rome pushed Hannibal to choose a northern route to Italy - in game it is represented by having Genoa as a major city. In a way, Genoa represents, imo, both Ligurians and Massalians and the southern route. Treachery cards work against it as well as it does against Capua and/or Tarentum. I see no need for special treatment, at least during the patching process.

(in reply to Hardradi)
Post #: 8
RE: Great game - 3/30/2011 7:03:32 AM   
gdrover

 

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LOVE the new update. I've played the game more than 30 times and 3 with the new update (all on the hardest difficulty). I'm 2 - 1 with the new game vs. almost always winning with the previous version, and enjoying the tougher opponent and more diverse AI strategies.

On the bringing Roman Generals to battle, my favorite tactic is to trap them when they take a large army into a city. By moving Hannibal's main army into siege position I can either (a) force them to sally out and fight before they are captured; or (b) the general sails away with some of the troops (if a port), leaving me with the remaining units who couldn't get away and are eliminated for no cost when the city surrenders (In my last game I wiped out 13 units in Tarantum who couldn't get away); or (c) I draw a relieving force into battle after abandoning the siege.

Thanks again for the great game!

What's next and when???? I'm frothing at the mouth for an Alexander game.

< Message edited by gdrover -- 3/30/2011 7:04:38 AM >

(in reply to nalivayko)
Post #: 9
RE: Great game - 3/31/2011 7:56:11 AM   
mercenarius


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gdrover - thanks for the feedback. I am glad to read that you are enjoying the new update.

I still don't have any formal announcement to make, but our next game will focus on the Roman Empire and the late Roman Republic. (As I stated last month). A game focusing on Alexander (and the Diadochi) is also on the list. Of course the future is uncertain, etc. But that is what I hope to do.

_____________________________

James Warshawsky
Forced March Games, LLC

(in reply to gdrover)
Post #: 10
RE: Great game - 4/2/2011 12:57:03 AM   
gdrover

 

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Joined: 12/4/2008
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Must have missed that statement. Where is it posted?... so hungry for more of this great series.

This game really has my 2nd Punic War juices flowing. I've read three books on the subject, and my newest project is to marry two great boardgames from this period:

* Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage

and

* Command & Colors: Ancients

Hannibal will be the strategic game, with each major battle fought out on the tabletop with 28mm miniature armies using Command & Color: Ancients rules. This will allow me to play out the entire 2nd Punic War on a strategic level, but with great tactical battles. the outcome of the tactical battles will then impact the strategic situation.

The miniatures that I have my eye on are from a new company called: Aventine for the Romans/ Italians, and Relic and Renegade for Hannibals boys.


(in reply to mercenarius)
Post #: 11
RE: Great game - 4/3/2011 9:37:06 PM   
mercenarius


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Just a short comment that I made here:

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/fb.asp?m=2738210

It wasn't an "announcement" and wouldn't catch anyone's eye.

Good luck with your board game project.


_____________________________

James Warshawsky
Forced March Games, LLC

(in reply to gdrover)
Post #: 12
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