Archive for Jaro Andruszkiewicz

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Human race and the Space Race

Hello, Everyone!

Thank you for the discussion on Rocketmen as a title for our game, and for sharing your concerns. I don't have time to write often nowadays but I thought we need to address them.

There was one inspiration, and one inspiration alone, behind Rocketmen: the billionaire space-race of the present day. Could I say it was something else? Sure I could! But that wouldn't be honest. So, yes, it's true: the game idea sprouted to life when I read about the race between these wannabe spacefarers. In the original USA-Soviet space-race, the competition was fueled by political ambition; today, it's three men wanting the honour of saying his corporation was first to the stars. If you don't like the game's inspiration, well, we'll have to live with that. Mind you, I think I can name at least one other game inspired by a man of a much more shadowy nature than these people, who achieved astounding commercial success. Sure, our three billionaires may not be very much liked by some of our contemporaries; but we figured the nature of their competition is a great theme for a game! Martin liked it, too, since the setting allows competition between players to be structured along different lines than that of the space race of the 1960's.

The game can be played with up to four players, and it's up to them to decide who they represent, and what their names, gender, and political or social views might be: 'cause the game won't tell you! All you know is is that you're playing one of the richest people in history. But how will you play that person, fictitious or otherwise? Will you concentrate on the ego-driven race; or will you try to fight the ominous Threats and win popular support? Oh, yes, for those who didn't know, Martin has created a number of Threat cards - threats as perceived by a contemporary 21st century person, i.e., us. So those of you who think Climate Change shouldn't be there, well, it's there because it seems to be important to a many (even if not all) of us. Feel free to neglect the issue if you'd like, since life and every game is about making your own choices. Rocketmen will not preach to you.

The working title was 'Elon', but (no surprise) we had concerns of a legal nature. So we changed it to 'Entrepreneurs'. That described the nature of the game; but one day, I came across an article on the subject titled, 'The Rocketmen', and we switched to that, later dropping 'The' on Martin's suggestion. Looking at it from my perspective (that of a multi-lingual person), the whole discussion regarding the game's title is somewhat hollow. For me (and many others, I believe), 'men' in English means people, humans. It's just the same word for our species as the word for its male representatives. It's the same case in a lot of other languages as well. In Latin-based languages, we find humanite/humanidad/humanidade; or umanita/umanitate, which may leave one with the impression that 'humanity' would be a better choice than 'mankind', which is true....if one ignores the Germanic languages, of which English is a member, where 'man' or 'men' is pretty universal as part of the name of our species (the German word for humanity is 'menschheit', to give one example). One could possibly even say, that 'man' is derived from 'human'; but I'm not a linguist, and wannabe linguists quite scare me (name a self-made linguist responsible for millions upon millions of deaths and you'll know why). I do have a friend, though, who has studied Anglo-Saxon (or Old English) who told me that the word 'woman', is derived from 'wifmann', which means 'a man [in the universal sense of the word] who is a wife'! Etymologically speaking, the 'wo-' part of 'woman' implies that the only purpose for a woman is to be a wife! So if one wishes to be offended by language, it is the 'wo' in 'woman' that is sexist and derogatory towards 'female men', rather than the 'man' part of the term, which recognises the entire species of which we all are part.

Regardless, here at PHALANX, we have (and demonstrate) great respect for women. Hey, the majority of our crew are women! Customer service, financial operations, logistics, marketing, sales? All looked after by PHALANX' female staff.

From gallery of el comandante


And they seem to be OK with the game title. Maybe because our last three game-covers show women:

Martin Wallace's remastered bestselling classic, Nanty Narking :

Board Game: Nanty Narking


Freedom! - a woman on the cover representing freedom, one of the very few (light) wargames with a woman on it:

Board Game: Freedom!


Europe Divided - again, a woman representing a divided Europe in a game on the present political struggle in Europe (it even has a Brexit-like event, too, for those who are  interested):

Board Game: Europe Divided


PHALANX is also a family company; and making sure all of our staff has time with their family is a high priority for us. In fact, we grant time off for such things upon request and without questions. And, male or female, if you're lucky enough to work for PHALANX, one day you may even find yourself with a cup of coffee like this!:

From gallery of el comandante


Finally, a personal note on being inclusive. You may rest assured that as a father of a child with a disability, I certainly recognise the need for inclusivity; but that has to be balanced with the fact that I was born and raised in Poland at a time when Orwellian thought-control was being practiced in almost every corner of my society. The pressure to change the way we talked and thought was too hard to bear sometimes. The philosophy behind it was that if one could change the way people spoke, it would result in their way of thinking changing, too. Turns out people don't work that way. I've always thought that beauty is found in diversity, and in taking pride in being different: non-conformity. So, in today's world, I may not get why we need to conform. There's nothing wrong with being a man, or playing a man, in my book; or woman, as shown above. Our species is at its best when we work together.

From gallery of el comandante


Last but not least, while PHALANX may disagree with some of the comments we receive, we usually act upon those which we find reasonable. Just a few examples from many: we've changed the language of some of the cards in Europe Divided to be more neutrally worded for our Russian friends; we've added historical notes to 1941 Race to Moscow; and we've changed a term and a miniature in Nanty Narking in response to popular demand.

If you want to support someone who needs help, here is one of the ways to do so:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/physiotheraphy-for-tytus
(Thank you for all your help; and I'm sorry the website doesn't get updated much.)

And now, the last moment to support Rocketmen on Kickstarter:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/phalanxgames/rocketmen?...

And to show we are truly inclusive, don't forget to subscribe for game inspirations and manicure hints? Our games unboxings are proudly presented by our PHALANX staff.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGRcxg6fKerGyt7E1jhvmUA

Thank you, and happy gaming!

Jaro
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Wed Feb 5, 2020 7:54 am
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Hannibal's box is ready

Hannibal & Hamilcar box has been finalized.

Please have a look, give it a thumb and let us know if you like it.

Board Game: Hannibal & Hamilcar
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Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:33 pm
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Hamilcar. After Action Report (3).

Round two begins. It's going to be huge!

Let's start with the Reinforcements phase.

Carthage Reinforcements: 1 ship to Ready, 1CU to Panormus.

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Roman Reinforcements 1CU to Regium, 4ships to Ready Fleet Box. Let's learn how to sail ona a hostile waters.

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Roman Consuls draw: Duilius and Caecilius. This is a good moment for a Roman offensive both on sea and land.

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Overall situation after leader’s placement.

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Carthago plays first and moves 2 Roman ships to Spent. This makes Roman naval campaign more of a challenge.

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Rome plays Auxillaries card, placing 2CU in Regium.

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Carthage places 2 Resources on the Mission Card.

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Rome brings in another 2CUs to Regium, bringing the army there to 9CUs.

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But the last Roman event is cancelled by Carthage via Punic Faith event!

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Rome brings 2CU to Sicilia instead. This turn became an arms race really.

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Carthage goes for political effort instead, placing 3PC. Please note that there shouldn’t be a Ro-man PC in Croton, hence Cartage would rather place one PC there.

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Rome plays Minor Campaign. First goest Fulvius, touring Etruria to place 1CU in Cosa and returning to Volsini to score 1 Siege Point.

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Second activation takes Caecilius and 7CU to Messana, where he adds 3CU and then to Panormus...

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...where he attacks Hamilcar, who unsuccessfuly tries to avoid the battle. Hamilcar is then defeated by Caecilius, who uses his special one-time ability Ambush, and falls back on Lillybaeum.

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Carthage places the last required Resource on the Mercenaries card, removing it from play.

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Rome plays 2 Resources to Refit her 2 Ships.

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Carthage brings in 2 elephant CUs.

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Rome activates Diulius for an invasion of Lipari Is. Upon activation, Duilius decides to fix Corvus onto Romah ships. Sea battle, hell yeah!

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Battle of Mylae:
Rome:
Duilius 1
Fleet 4
Escorts 1
Marines 1
Corvus 1
Seamanship -1

Carthage:
H.Gisgo 1
Fleet 2
Marines 1
Syracusae 1
Supremacy 1

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Rome starts with 7 and Carthage with 6 Total Naval Strength.
Rome rolls 1 diamond
Carthage rolls 0

Result:
Rome loses 1 Ship,
Carthage loses 2 ships.
Supremacy flips to Roman side.

Carthage has to remove 1PC. It comes from Libya.

Landing is successful and Land Battle ensues, in which Carthaginian force is removed. I can see the faces of the old Carthage nobles: Romans win sea battles? WTF is going here!?

Carthage plays 2PC, one in Lucania, the other in Miat.

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Fulvius attempts a siege of Volsii, losing 2CU in the process.

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The round is over.

Attrition rolls result in removal of Roman CU from Lipari Is. This is a blow.

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Carthage player played 2 less OP than the Roman player this turn.

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Roman player removes 1 Supply, Carthage player places 1 Supply in the Dockyards.

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Carthage controls 5 and Rome 3 provinces - so 2PCs are removed from Samnium.

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Winning battles doesn't mean winning the war...

Do you like the naval battle resolution mechanism? Please let me know in your comments!

Thank you,

Jaro

http://www.facebook.com/HannibalGame/
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Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:09 pm
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Hamilcar. After Action Report (2).

So here we go with the Hamilcar AAR. I am very much interested in your thoughts.

Let's end the first round of Hamilcar playtest game.

C. now moves H. Gisgo againt to reinforce Hanno’s army in Panormus and to place a 1CU gar-rison in Lipari Is.

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R. spends her last 1OP card on placing a PC in Enna, thus getting control of Sicilia!

Again, probably a suboptimal play by Carthage, as instead, the Mercenaries could be paid off with 2PC and Carthage could place one PC in Miat, to secure 1VP. Or control of Sicilia could have been secured instead.

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In her last play, Carthage decides to play a Naval Raid, removing Roman PCs from Lucania. Ough.

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Total Province Count:

Rome:
Latium+Campania 1
Apulia 1
Sicilia 1

Carthage:
Sardinia 1
Syracusae 1
Carthago 1
Libya (Carthaginia) 1

So, Rome has to remove 1PC. It comes from the Senate.

Now comes the OP tally. Rome has spent 10 OP while Carthage 14. The difference is 4 and it’s Carthage option to decrease it.

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This is being done via removal of 1PC from the Mission Card and 1Supply from Carthago.

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The remaining balance is placed in Rome as Supply.

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That is how the first round ends.

Do you like the OP balancing mechanism? Please let me know in your comments!

Thank you,

Jaro

http://www.facebook.com/HannibalGame/
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Wed Feb 8, 2017 10:17 pm
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Hamilcar. After Action Report.

This is an After Action Report of a session of HAMILCAR, a companion game to HANNIBAL, by Mark Simonitch which will be Kickstarted in 2017 by PHALANX.

From gallery of el comandante


TURN ONE
Year of Consuls Fulvius and Claudius.

From gallery of el comandante


Game Setup
FULVIUS +5CU in Roma
CLAUDIUS +4CU in Regium
HANNO +2CU +1E in Panormus
H.GISGO +2CU in Carales



Rome goes first, playing 2OP to place 2PC in Sicilia.

From gallery of el comandante


Carthage sea-moves H. Gisgo and 2CU to Carthago, where he picks 1CU + 1E and goes to Aegetes Is.

From gallery of el comandante


Roman Activation: FULVIUS is activated to move against Volsinii tribe, attempting subjugation and gets 2 Siege Points

From gallery of el comandante

From gallery of el comandante


Carthage counters with Tribal Resistance and removes both Siege Points

From gallery of el comandante


Rome plays a 3OP to place 3PC in Etruria and now controls the province.

From gallery of el comandante


Carthage in turn incites a Revolt in Etruria, removing 4 Roman PCs in the province.

From gallery of el comandante


Rome plays an Event (mental note: it needs to be reworded) limiting Cartage’s Reinforcements to 1CU per turn.

From gallery of el comandante


Carthage. plays 2OP to place 1PC in Cosa and 1 on the Mission Card. This is a suboptimal play, instead C. should have placed another PC in Etruria, which would make it difficult to regain for the Romans.

From gallery of el comandante


This is quickly exploited by Rome, placing 2PCs in Etruria.

From gallery of el comandante


Up until now, the action centered on Etruria rather than Sicily but who would expect the Volsinii to offer such a stubborn resistance?

Carthage has now 2 cards left and Rome the last one. And it is quite late and I need to wrap this long day up. So, please stay tuned in for more.

Next turn will see Battle of Panormus and naval battle of Mylae!

I will update this as soon as I can.



Thank you,

Jaro


http://www.facebook.com/HannibalGame/
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Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:37 pm
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Location names in Hannibal.

Hannibal Project Update

Hello Everyone,

The end of the year approaches and so does work on the 20th Anniversary Edition of Hannibal. We had a number of great meetings at Essen and it seems the game might be very well published in English, Spanish, French, German and possibly Polish with other language versions still not yet decided. This presents us with a challenge. Or two.

Here is the first: we would like the base game map to look the same across all language versions. As such, we need to provide location names which would be acceptable to all users. We gave it a lot of thinking and went through number of variants, the extremes being: keep original mix of names (English and Latin mostly) and print a separate map for each language. We were not happy with neither of them.

From gallery of el comandante


Facing the 20 years of game's legacy, we came to the conclusion that it would be very difficult to keep the original names, which appeared in earlier editions. We believe those need revision if we want the 20th Anniversary Edition to correct some obvious errors. For example earlier versions of the board have Nice and Pisae - a schizophrenic solution keeping Anglicized Nice (Nicaea) and Latin Pisae (Pisa). If one way, then why the other? Another example is location of Firmum Picenum and Sena. Those were mistakenly reversed. In reality Firmum lies to the south of Sena Gallica. Another one: the original map shows Praeneste in Samnium but in fact it was in Latium, so close to Rome, it is on its suburbs nowadays.

Below is a list of proposed changes to the locations in Italy. This list won't be here if not help of a Polish grognard Jarek Sobczak. Dziękuję Jarku za pomoc!

ITALIA
Insubrians > IINSUBRES (to reflect the fact Taurini and Boii are shown in Latin)
FIRMUM PICENUM > SENA GALLICA
SENA > FIRMUM PICENUM
TARQUINI > TARQUINII (correcting a typo)
ROME > ROMA (in Latin)
FALERII > VOLSINII
PAESTIUM > PAESTUM
PRAENESTE > looking for alternative. Corfinium?
RHEGIUM > REGIUM

Spain, Gaul and Africa are another challenge. A total lack of sources on which to base the names. Some of them were thus taken from rivers and kept in Latin (Iberus, Isere, Druentia) and some written in English (Rhone). Some were taken from tribes (Averni, which should read Arverni) or from their cities shown in later sources (Georgovia). Some African location show actually future Roman names (Vescera).

As such, we have made an effort to research the names again, and here is a list of proposed changes, with some notes.

HISPANIA
We are adding some names which most probably existed at the time of the Second Punic War.
Iberus > OSCA
Azalia > CELSA (Iberian town of Kelsa)
Arsa > BUDUA [Capitol of the Tribe of TURDULI]
Salaria > CASTULO [Hannibal's wife came from the town. Also a battlefield)
NEW CARTHAGE > CARTHAGO NOVA (Latin instead of English)
SEGOBRIGA > CARTALA [City of the Tribe of OLCADES]
Balearic Islands > BALEARES
We keep BILIBILIS [Capitol of LUSONES]
We keep SALAMANTICA as a representation for unknown capital of VETTONI tribe. Hamilcar was killed fighting the tribe.
We keep DIANIUM [ex Greek Hēmeroskopeion] even if tempted to replace with more prominent Lucentum (today Alicante)

GALIA
NICE > NICAEA
LIGURIANS > LIGURES
LIGURIANS > GENUA
Averni > ARVERNI
Isere - HELVETII
Rhone - HELVII / TRICASTINI
Druentia- VOCONTII
Gergovia > VELLAVI
Araceli - AUSCI

SICILIA
SYRACUSE > SYRACUSAE

AFRICA
Western Numidia > MAURETANIA
Eastern Numidia > NUMIDIA
Thabraca (port) > SICCA (inland town of pleasures, where mercenaries were entertained while waiting for the delayed pay)
Thubursicu > MADAUROS
Tupusuctu - TUBUSUCTU
Vescera -AUZIA
SITILIS - SITIFIS (correcting a typo)


As you can see, there is still some hesitation here and there, so any feedback you may have is most welcomed!

Happy gaming

Jaro
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Sun Dec 4, 2016 6:37 pm
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Band of Gamers. Join us!

This is a copy of my blog entry at http://someonehadtowriteaboutit.com/, which, I think is easier to read and usually has more graphics.

Hello,

Let me tell you today about the first of the locations we are going to be visiting during our Band of Gamers’ Tour to Poland and Prussia 2016.

I was born in Warsaw and spent there most of my life. I think I may safely bet, I know the city inside out. I’d be delighted to show the City to you. There is nothing better on tour than a local leader.
So, welcome to Warszawa, Poland.

I remember, once when I was leading a tour for an Australian responsible travel operator, Intrepid, I was asked what’s the best in the city to see. I said, the best is, that the city is there to be seen at all as it was planned to be removed from Earth. Before the last war, the City was nicknamed ‘A Paris of the North’. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2wGCcvo5Bc

Today, Warszawa and Poland are more then fine. See this video so you can get a teaser of what we are about to experience. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upAHQAZm5ws

Our adventure begins when, not long after breakfast we head out on a tour which will give many insights into history of the city and the Nation. We will see signs and evidence of both Nazi and Soviet aggression, presence, and occupation; and the glorious Polish and Jewish resistance.

We will see the last still standing German WW2 street bunker, NKVD headquarters, and memorials to the Poles, those slaughtered in 1794 by Suvorov’s army and those trying to relieve fighting Warsaw in 1944.
We will use considerable time to visit Polish Army Museum, where you can see armour of famous Polish winged hussars as well as uniforms of not less famed Napoleonic Vistula Legion. There is also a great collection of Warsaw Pact armor, artillery and planes at the outdoor exhibition grounds of the Museum, which we will also be exploring.

We will also pay a visit to Soviet Cemetary to understand the cost that nations of Soviet Union paid for liberating, and subsequently subduing Central Europe.

Here is the https://drive.google.com/open?id=0By4Zqe-SyDRVaXZsZ3RsRlliTV.... Have a look, get in touch. Reserve your space. Act now! I may need to close the reservations very soon.

Happy gaming and happy travels!


Jaro
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Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:58 pm
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Hannibal. Peace!

This is a copy of my blog entry at http://someonehadtowriteaboutit.com/, which, I think is easier to read and usually has more graphics.

Hello Everyone,

It has been almost half a year, since we at Phalanx, have secured rights to publish Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage. Since then, every day saw us pushing the project forward. Few days ago, I have started to post on several forums showing results of our work.

The reactions we are getting are mixed. Some people seem to like the direction we are taking the game, others would prefer earlier game editions. I am writing this post, to:

a) Assure the fist group, we will apply our vision to the game. We count on your support and valuable remarks. We are always listening However, the final decision rests with us as we will take the commercial responsibility for the project. So, please share your ideas on how to improve this great Classic, without spoiling it. There are still chances to include those solutions in the new edition.

b) Assure the second group, that we are not making any changes to the game engine, which would result in changed game play. We love the game, we play the game, we cherish the game. We want the game to be easier accessible for some of those, for whom earlier game editions were often too difficult to access. At the same time, we have decided to publish the game in the format, which would allow playing it the ‘old good way’. For example: we will make sure to include all the original tables in the box, so a Grognard can have all the insights he was used to get, when playing.

So, peace Everyone! We are making all this effort to make you happy!

Having said that, I wish to give you an example, on how we alter the game material, to make playing a little easier for everyone. Here we go.

A Truce.

Let’s have a look at cards of two earlier editions (below).

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This crucial game event, required clarification:

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Solution

Instead of sending Players to the rulebook, we have designed a Truce icon, which can be found on the back of the Turn marker. When the Truce is enacted, you simply flip the Turn marker as a reminder.

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At the same, time, the Truce card, as you see below, explains that events which are breaking the Truce are now marked with the olive branch icon.

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For instance: look at Traitor in Tarentum card. Can you find the icon?

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I hope above is a good example, we are moving into a right direction?

Stay tuned in, there is more coming. News on General’s stands, minatures, dice, counters and, last but not least, new game scenarios! And please remember: your feedback is always welcome!



Please check and subscribe to our websites and profiles:

Game’s page at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HannibalGame/

Phalanx’ page at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wydawnictwophalanx/

Game’s page at BGG: Hannibal: Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage

My BGG’s blog: https://boardgamegeek.com/blog/4205/someone-had-write-about-...

And my web-blog: https://someonehadtowriteaboutit.com/

On game related note, you may also like to check my Band of Gamers Tour of Poland and Prussia. That’s the best way to meet designer of Hannibal. Rome vs Carthage , Mark Simonitch and his humble follower and new game’s edition developer and author of these words.

Band of Gamers. Poland and Prussia 2016 https://someonehadtowriteaboutit.com/2016/05/24/band-of-game...

Poland and Prussia Tour on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/1719425311661421/


Stay in touch and happy gaming!



Jaro & PHALANX
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Thu May 26, 2016 11:39 am
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Hannibal at UK Games Expo

Hello Everyone,

So, here are the news. Current state of design of 20th Anniversary Edition of Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage will be shown to the public in Birmingham, June 3rd-5th, during UK Games Expo 2016.

The game map is ready and it’s beautiful:

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The Naval Combat rules have been streamlined and a special Naval Die introduced. The Siege table has been replaced by a Siege Dice. And Retreat Tables replaced by dice too. Leaders are getting new graphics. Hannibal can be seen at our Facebook game page. Have a look at Scipio Africanus:

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There are new, beautifully illustrated Strategy Cards and new Battle Cards:

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So, long story short: you need to come and see the game!

Booth 21C, UK Games Expo.



Happy gaming,

Jaro
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Tue May 24, 2016 2:27 pm
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A sneak peek at Carthage

Hey Everyone,

So, after much fiddling with the map for new edition of Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage, here is what our artist has come up with! I am really happy with this. What are your thoughts?

From gallery of el comandante
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Mon Apr 18, 2016 3:07 pm
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