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Subject: Hannibal: Rome vs Carthage V Commands and Colors: Ancients rss

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Martyn Smith
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I have been gaming for some years now and I am increasingly feeling drawn towards buying my first wargame.

I have been looking at a few and because of theme, period and mechanics I have narrowed it down to these two games at the lighter end of the complexity spectrum.

I would, therefore, very much welcome any insights that you might have on each of them and of their respective comparable strengths and weaknesses.

Please remember that I am an absolute newbie to this genre of gaming...

Thank you...
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Jack Bennett
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I don't know much about wargames, but I do own both of these titles. They're both great games, but for your first I think I'd personally start with C&C:A. Especially if you also have the problem of having to rope in an unsuspecting victim to play with.
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Martyn Smith
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Can I ask what it is about CC that makes you favour it?
 
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Bartow Riggs
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C&C is much more tactical than Hannibal and plays fast. I love both games but for a first wargame I'd go with C&C. If you are primarily a eurogamer you are going to have to get used to the dice but there is still plenty of analysis in C&C.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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I think you should base your decision on whether your interest lies more in strategy (fighting a war) or tactics (fighting a battle).
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Jack Bennett
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Agree with both above. For me, C&C was simpler to play. I also like the more tactical focus as well. C&C played faster, and due to its easier-to-understand system it was much easier to find opponents.
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Martyn Smith
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Hmmm, interesting and helpful comments.

For a little bit of context: My sons and I play games together and recently my youngest (16) played and LOVED 1960:TMOTP.

As a result, we started looking at other CDG, focusing on Twilight Struggle because of its links with 1960.

My eldest son (20) is doing a history degree and wants us to get something with a more ancient historical theme and thus the games listed here.

I've also been looking at Labyrinth and was particularly interested in the solo play.

Oh dear, this is going to get more complicated isn't it?

All help/insight gratefully received though...
 
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Jay Sheely
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Time per game is different.

HvR took 7 hours the time through.

C&C:A takes one or two hours.

Both are tremendous games.

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Martyn Smith
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Sphere wrote:
I think you should base your decision on whether your interest lies more in strategy (fighting a war) or tactics (fighting a battle).


In your opinion does one have to choose one or the other in this regard? I guess overall, I'd favour fighting a war - where would that lead me gaming-wise...

I have to say that I am VERY excited about going down this route as there seem to be so many interesting options.

I also kind of like feeling out of my depth at the beginning of a new endeavour...
 
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Bartow Riggs
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If you like card-driven games and want something a step-up from 1960 then TS is a good choice. Only about 8 pages of actual rules. The complexity comes from the card-play and interaction.

It's been debated to death if TS is a wargame though. I'd say no. To me, it is an area control game. I don't consider the "Cold War" to be a war anymore than I do the "War on Drugs" or the "War on Terrorism". That is just my opinion and I don't mean to hijack the thread. I like TS much, much more than Labyrinth. I think it is the theme for me.

C&C is technically card-driven but not in the sense people usually use the term. You can't do anything in C&C without playing a card, etc.
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Martyn Smith
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BartowWing wrote:
If you like card-driven games and want something a step-up from 1960 then TS is a good choice. Only about 8 pages of actual rules. The complexity comes from the card-play and interaction.

It's been debated to death if TS is a wargame though. I'd say no. To me, it is an area control game. I don't consider the "Cold War" to be a war anymore than I do the "War on Drugs" or the "War on Terrorism". That is just my opinion and I don't mean to hijack the thread. I like TS much, much more than Labyrinth. I think it is the theme for me.

C&C is technically card-driven but not in the sense people usually use the term. You can't do anything in C&C without playing a card, etc.


Thanks.

That is helpful.

The only thing is that I am feeling drawn to the ancient historical context of CC and Hannibal as I simply find those eras more interesting than the modern gaming options.

Am I right in supposing that CC is an out-and-out battles game as opposed to the 'more stategic' Hannibal?
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John Culp
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thechangingman wrote:
Am I right in supposing that CC is an out-and-out battles game as opposed to the 'more stategic' Hannibal?


yes CC:A focuses on battles of the ancient world. so Zama, Akragas and such. you have individual units (heavy vs light infantry, cavalry etc) and maneuver them on the battlefield. H:RvC is definetely a strategic view where your armies are controlling spain/italy/north africa with very little differentiation between various unit types (mostly basic Combat Units "CU" and elephant units).

I've had both, and I liked the tactical aspect of C&C:A but ultimatly I kept Hannibal. it is a step up from 1960, but most of the increased complexity vs something like Twilight Struggle has to do with having actual armies moving around and fighting...which it sounds like you want.

Hannibal is more complicated than C&C:A but worth the extra effort.

a mid-way step if you are looking for it are some of the block games. Julius Caesar is simpler than Hannibal, but still gives a strategic look at a war
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If it's your first wargame, go with C&C. It's a better transition into the genre and plays more quickly. Plus you can play 20 scenarios, so it's always fresh.

After you jump in and taste the goodness of wargaming, if you can find a buddy who is ready to take the next plunge (or you want to get on VASSAL and play online), then go for Hannibal.

C&C has a shorter learning curve and 2 experienced players can play in 1 hr. Experienced players in Hannibal can play in 3 hrs. Expect your first Hannibal game to go 5.

Both are excellent games and both in my top 12.
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Antonio B-D
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CC:A

It is easy. Fast. Furious. Fun. Just open the box, set up the first scenario and start playing. You can read the rules almost as you go along! There are endless expansions and with the base set you can play 50-60 times before you beging to think in expansions. And if Napoleonics is your thing you will have learnt how to play the system.

Really an excellent game.

H:RvC is a completely different beast. A fun, easy game for wargame standards... but only for wargame standards.

After CC:A I recomend that for your next purchase (oh, yes, there will be a next purchase) you think the following priorities (they are more or less in order):

- Theatre (what time period are you interested on. Wargames are all about the history and if you couldn't care less about the English Civil War, there is not a single game that is going to seem interesting).

- Scope. (Tactical, grand tactical, operational, strategic, grand strategic. Whose shoes do you want to be in? Do you want to be the officer directing your men in the front line? or the general moving armies? or the Prime Minister managing the economy aswell as the armies?)

- Difficulty (Are you ok with CCA, or do you feel you need something more?)

and last, and least.

- Mechanic (what are those CRT people talk about? Bucket-o-dice, sign me in! no luck wargame? really?)

Have fun.
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Michael Heagerty
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I would also recommend Julius Caesar over either Hannibal or CC:A. I like all three but JC is my personal favorite of those and would be the best choice if you're looking for an introductory wargame set in the "Ancients" period.

lj1983 wrote:
thechangingman wrote:
Am I right in supposing that CC is an out-and-out battles game as opposed to the 'more stategic' Hannibal?


yes CC:A focuses on battles of the ancient world. so Zama, Akragas and such. you have individual units (heavy vs light infantry, cavalry etc) and maneuver them on the battlefield. H:RvC is definetely a strategic view where your armies are controlling spain/italy/north africa with very little differentiation between various unit types (mostly basic Combat Units "CU" and elephant units).

I've had both, and I liked the tactical aspect of C&C:A but ultimatly I kept Hannibal. it is a step up from 1960, but most of the increased complexity vs something like Twilight Struggle has to do with having actual armies moving around and fighting...which it sounds like you want.

Hannibal is more complicated than C&C:A but worth the extra effort.

a mid-way step if you are looking for it are some of the block games. Julius Caesar is simpler than Hannibal, but still gives a strategic look at a war
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jeff miller
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mheagerty wrote:
I would also recommend Julius Caesar over either Hannibal or CC:A. I like all three but JC is my personal favorite of those and would be the best choice if you're looking for an introductory wargame set in the "Ancients" period.

lj1983 wrote:
thechangingman wrote:
Am I right in supposing that CC is an out-and-out battles game as opposed to the 'more stategic' Hannibal?


yes CC:A focuses on battles of the ancient world. so Zama, Akragas and such. you have individual units (heavy vs light infantry, cavalry etc) and maneuver them on the battlefield. H:RvC is definetely a strategic view where your armies are controlling spain/italy/north africa with very little differentiation between various unit types (mostly basic Combat Units "CU" and elephant units).

I've had both, and I liked the tactical aspect of C&C:A but ultimatly I kept Hannibal. it is a step up from 1960, but most of the increased complexity vs something like Twilight Struggle has to do with having actual armies moving around and fighting...which it sounds like you want.

Hannibal is more complicated than C&C:A but worth the extra effort.

a mid-way step if you are looking for it are some of the block games. Julius Caesar is simpler than Hannibal, but still gives a strategic look at a war
This is exactly what I was thinking when I started reading this thread.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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thechangingman wrote:
Sphere wrote:
I think you should base your decision on whether your interest lies more in strategy (fighting a war) or tactics (fighting a battle).


In your opinion does one have to choose one or the other in this regard? I guess overall, I'd favour fighting a war - where would that lead me gaming-wise...

Your original question, when you asked for a recommendation of Hannibal or C&C:Ancients, implies that you will choose one or the other. Hannibal is a strategic game, dealing with the entire war. C&C:Ancients is a tactical game, dealing with specific battles from various conflicts.
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June Hwang Wah
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Of the two games, I have only played Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage. I recommend it highly.
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Martyn Smith
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Yet another 'hmmmm' moment...

I have started to look at Julius Caesar and I am liking what I see!

Clearly, this isn't going to be a quick or easy decision.

I am going to nail something by the weekend though...

I am VERY appreciative for the thoughtful, helpful and patient posts. Even entering the Wargaming forum feels like a 'step up'...
 
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Lowell Drake
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Whichever you buy first, we're all sure you and your sons will love it I suspect that in the not-too-distant future you'll own all three - CC:A, HRvC, JC.
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Mayfield
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i am sure both rulebooks are available online so you could read them both to get a better idea.

if you want to see what gameplay is like for C&C Ancients you could try other games in the C&C family online for free with AI opponents. Memoir 44 Online can be downloaded from daysofwonders.com and Battle Cry can be played at gametableonline.com

if you want to try Rome vs Carthage there is wargameroom.com or the Vassal module (no AI). C&C:Ancients is also available at wargameroom and as a vassal module.
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Andy Latto
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If you like the CDW style of 1960, where each card can be played either for an event, or for operations points to do something, Twilight Struggle and Hannibal are both that style of game. C&C Ancients, while it uses cards, is not; cards have a single use, typically to move and attack in a certain portion of the battlefield.

If you don't mind complexity (Hannibal is twice as complex as 1960; C&C about the same as 1960) and length (Hannibal is 3 hours when you know the game, 4-5 for your first game), I think Hannibal is the better game, and does much more to capture the feel of the era. But if you want something shorter and simpler, even though it's not a CDW, try C&C.
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J Macc
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thechangingman wrote:




I have to say that I am VERY excited about going down this route as there seem to be so many interesting options.



This is how the hobby will hook you!
I have played HvR, this was my first game after a long hiatus, and it is quite fun and not to difficult to learn.
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Adam Cirone
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I will also recommend C&C: Ancients as a first wargame. Again, the ease of learning and short play times will be important since this will be your first foray into wargames.

My first wargame was Memoir '44... it uses the same system as C&C: Ancients (a little simpler), but depicts World War II battles instead.

I have played C&C: Ancients and Hannibal each only once; they are both good, fun games, but C&C: Ancients is your better first wargame choice. The Command & Colors system is easy enough to learn and will get you hooked on wargames... once you get addicted, you can return here and we will give you some more suggestions.
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Roger Hobden
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Commands & Colors: Ancients = Super-easy.

Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage = Easy.

Both are fun games, so you can't go wrong.

Another "ancient era" tactical game which I have discovered recently and played during the Easter weekend is this one:

Lost Battles.

The rules are not as clearly written as they could have been, but once you reach the "ah ha" stage, and everything clicks into place, you find a deceptively simple but deep game that has you pondering the real tactical decisions commanders of that era had to make.

Not only a game, but an educational tool with a nearly endless replay value.

Worth every penny.
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