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Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage» Forums » Variants

Subject: Historical ideas rss

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José Herrera
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I've been playing this great game for about 8 months now, and recently tried Charles' variant and enjoyed it a lot. The game has got me reading more about the history of the Punic wars, and often I've caught myself thinking how I would implement a certain historical fact or event I've just read about into the game. Not that the game is not accurate enough, as far as the level of abstraction allows, but I though I'd share my ideas and see how they could be implemented into the game, if it's worth it:

-Massilia: This city was an ally of Rome, as the game already shows, but already at the outset of the war had important commercial ties with its colony Emporion. In game terms, this could mean that there would be a Roman PC on Emporion from the start, which would (historically) encourage an early Roman invasion of Spain starting there. Also, an additional rule could be added to the siege conditions on Massilia: if Massilia is taken by Carthage, the Roman PCs on Emporion and Nice are removed.

-Carthage could have some sort of benefit for holding the province of Massilia, maybe allowing one of the Spanish reinforcements to be allocated into Italy if they hold this province. This intends to represent that Hannibal left behind garrisons in Gallia to secure his supplies, which meant his massive Spanish army had dwindled in numbers by the time he reached the Po valley.

-Gallia Cisalpina: Although the Gauls were allies of Hannibal, they were not very stable. Hannibal knew he needed to keep them in action to keep them from revolting against Carthage. Also, the Gauls wanted the war to be moved deeper into Italy and away from their homeland. To represent this situation, if a whole turn goes by where the biggest Carthaginian army in Italy is in Gallia Cisalpina and has not fought or won any battles there, it undergoes attrition on the 5/6 column in addition to possible winter attrition.

What do you think about these ideas? I think they would upset the balance of the game in favor of Rome, and I am aware that they may add to much complexity for what they're worth. I have not playtested any of this. I'm sure I'll come up with more ideas as I keep reading the history the game is based on though. That's kind of fun in itself
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Max DuBoff
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I'm a huge Roman history buff, but I have to say that almost any attempt to make this game more "historical" will decrease the gameplay value, and in my mind at least, the gameplay value is more important than the history. Specifically, after playing Charles' variant a couple times, I felt that there were fewer options in the beginning, hurting the overall effect the game tries to accomplish of allowing the players to observe but also break the historical mold.
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Charles F.
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MD1616 wrote:
Specifically, after playing Charles' variant a couple times, I felt that there were fewer options in the beginning


I have a hard time seeing how one might come to that conclusion.

Take Scipio at Massilia. That gives Scipio more possibly options than with Scipio starting off in Rome.

For one, my historical setup provides incentives for an early Roman campaign in Spain. Something I think we see too rarely under the standard rules.
 
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Charles F.
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I've been also considering a Spanish reinforcements may trickle into Italy under special circumstances in Italy.

I was thinking of a line of supply (i.e. a line not interupted by hostile PCs) allowing one CU from Spain to be placed in a Carth army at the end of such a line of supply.

This would spice things up in France. Not huge. As France should not be too important. The right balance.
 
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Max DuBoff
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charlesf wrote:
MD1616 wrote:
Specifically, after playing Charles' variant a couple times, I felt that there were fewer options in the beginning


I have a hard time seeing how one might come to that conclusion.

Take Scipio at Massilia. That gives Scipio more possibly options than with Scipio starting off in Rome.

For one, my historical setup provides incentives for an early Roman campaign in Spain. Something I think we see too rarely under the standard rules.


I've seen plenty of Spanish campaigns in the early turns. They're hard to pull off bit can be a real pain in Carthage's butt.

It's been a while, so I don't remember precisely, but I think I thought Scipio was basically forced to retreat or get demolished by Hannibal.
 
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Charles F.
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MD1616 wrote:

I've seen plenty of Spanish campaigns in the early turns.


Me too. But I'd say a 218 BC Roman expedition will happen in less than half games. Easily.

The superstack on the Adriatic is IMO an overpowered strategy, which often stalemates the game for at least a while. Often Hannibal hunkering down in Fortress Cisalpina. Makes for not as interesting a game.

Quote:
They're hard to pull off bit can be a real pain in Carthage's butt.


Sure, such expeditions may work. But I believe the standard setup overly encourages one not to. Longus not being the strongest general. And if Scipio goes, nothing stands in Hannibal's way.

Quote:

It's been a while, so I don't remember precisely, but I think I thought Scipio was basically forced to retreat or get demolished by Hannibal.


I don't think that is the case. If Scipio builds that 12 CU superstack, he'll get 14 or 15 (with Massiliote allies) cards. Hannibal will have to make do with 12 BCs. Yes, there's a 67% chance of elephants reducing Scipio's hand to 12/13 (of course Hannibal's hand could also be reduced), but those aren't so very bad odds. Indeed, Scipio will sometimes beat the Barcid. Which is a far bigger setback for Carthage than Scipio being defeated is for Rome.

What is important to remember being defeated doesn't have to be so bad. It also attrits Hannibal. Further, if Hannibal spends time defeating Scipio in a series of battles, Longus might have already taken out many or even all of the Cisalpine Gauls. That may often work out in Rome's favour.

I tend to build Scipio's superstack at Nemausus. But other times I'll not activate Scipio at all, prioritising Longus's campaign against the Gauls. Other times I have Scipio cross the Alps. And other times Scipio sails away. These are interesting choices to make.
 
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