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Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage» Forums » Variants

Subject: PC placing variants rss

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Giacomo Pirinoli
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Hi everyone, I have always played this fantastic game with a little variant that in my opinion MUST be used.
It is about placing PC (Political Control):
"You can place a PC in a free space only if you have an adiacent UC", this way you avoid the placing of PC to far away from one's power and it is also realistic, colonization derives from nearby militar units.
What do you think about that?

Giacomo
 
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pepe lepew
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The JacK wrote:
Hi everyone, I have always played this fantastic game with a little variant that in my opinion MUST be used.
It is about placing PC (Political Control):
"You can place a PC in a free space only if you have an adiacent UC", this way you avoid the placing of PC to far away from one's power and it is also realistic, colonization derives from nearby militar units.
What do you think about that?

Giacomo


I think this feature is already well accounted for when having to remove PCs in case of a defeat or anything else. It is precisely those far-away PCs that go first, due to the fact that they are very unstable and difficult to maintain, politically and militarily. Placing a PC is one thing, keeping it for the duration of the game is quite a different one. I don't really see how your variant can improve the game, but just my opinion.
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José Herrera
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I think placing a PC far away reflects diplomatic efforts that do not necessarily need to be tied to military ones. It may even reflect that the area is siding with you on its own to address its own interests during the war.

In this way the original game is realistic enough, I think.

Also, how does this play out? I imagine the game would be slower paced, and players could run out of choices quickly after losing a few battles.

How do your games usually develop?

DGR
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Giacomo Pirinoli
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First of all thanks for the interesting replies.
Then, as I said, my variant tend to highlight the unrealistic option of a Roman putting a PC in Numantia on his first card (or in the same way a Carthaginian player putting a PC in Isere). Don't care about the good or bad play it can be, focus just on the unrealistic fact. Other examples? Let's say a combo revolt-3OP, you take with two cards a region that was previously of your enemy (assuming he hasn't a 3OP for regaining the region before you do so).

More generally, what does my variant implies? It implies that you have to coordinate your militar and political plan. A little list of aspect that increase strategic level of the game:

* It might happens (and many times it is so, expecially for the Roman player) that you have to discard a 1OP card, because you haven't planned enough well where placing your armies and you can't put down PC.
* It is avoided the foolish play like: "I have a card I don't know how to use...let's put some PC around hoping to take future control of a region (or even worst to make a PC pool in Transalpina or Massilia in order to mitigate future lost in battle).".
* I think this way the luck in having more OP is quite mitigated. No matter having more OP if you can't organize wisely where you are going to strike.
* You have to considere allocating some 1UC stacks around in order to replace PC you have to retire for any reason (you may dislike it, but this is realistic too, little garrisons to mantain order and power).
* Some more, as you want.

Giacomo
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José Herrera
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You make some interesting points to back your variant. Still, I do think you would be losing some plasticity, and political expansion could be, unrealistically even, limited.

About your examples: The Romans placing a PC in Numantia could simply show that the bellicose Celtiberians are seeking foreign alliances to resist Carthaginian encroachement on the peninsula. The way I see it, a red PC could simply mean that the area is rising up against Carthage, maybe even without that much Roman involvement. The result is that the Carthaginians are not welcome there, and hence a red marker reflects this well. Revolts against the often harsh Carthaginian rule were far from unheard of. And of course the Romans would support this indirectly.

In Numidia, basically there would be a pro-Roman and a pro-Carthaginian faction from the get-go, since the Massylii and the Masaesyli were at odds with each other and pretty much allied with different sides for the duration of the war.

Finally, don't forget that before the war even started, Hannibal had sent diplomats, and money, to Gaul, to make sure his route through the Alps was feasible, and some tribes would even give him a warm welcome. This was accomplished through diplomacy alone.

As for the game, I can see the Romans being completely locked up in Italy, or making dangerously bold moves to try to be able to place any PCs at all. As for Carthage, expansion into Northern Spain would require staying around with at least part of Hannibals army or sending up Hasdrubal. In both of these instances you would be expending lots of OPs, and I think the game would get slower as a consequence. The luck factor is still there, because if your consuls have a high strategy rating, like say a Fabius & Scipio combo, you are going to have a hard time moving them around to organize your PC placement at all...

I do like the idea of having an incentive to leave behind small garrisons, and I think it is more realistic. Especially with Hannibal's army moving across southern France. But I'm still a bit sceptical that this change would improve both historicity and gameplay.

Maybe it would be best to playtest this though, before I jump to conclusions.

DGR
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Brandon Ketchum
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I think in no way would this variant work with the game. So many of the game's nuances, and the card plays to go with them, make it a must to be able to place PCs wherever is open. It would be a completely different game with this variant, one I wouldn't want to play. For instance, Carthage can simply ignore the open space in Spain for a while, because Rome can't put any PCs there. So, a freebie to the Carthaginians. This is only one example of the problems this variant would cause.
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Giacomo Pirinoli
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Come on guys, hoping you are wargamers what do you think about "a Turkish player placing a PC in Geneva on his first card played in a HIS match"? Or maybe a "player owning Perdiccas placing a PC in Halicarnassus on his first card played in a Successors III match"? Or maybe more "a US player placing a PC in Cile on his first card played in a Twilight Struggle match"? It's enough.....

Clearly, those are silly provocations, but the answer is simple: "non-sense!"; don't care about the utility of the play, consider just the possibily: "non-sense". Indeed, you can call it LOC (HIS), you can call it neighborhood (Successors III), you can call it adjacency (Twilight Struggle) every game try to avoid these childish moves.

In addition, about historicity, I think that those extraordinary diplomatic effort quoted by Josè are yet taken in account trough many cards like the four revolt cards, the two diplomacy cards, Syracusae and Capua; other explanations (even if well supported, I admit) sounds to me like a forced defense of the official rules.

Since I have already listed some good aspects of my variant I'll give you one last sketch: generally (I confirm it is TOO A SEMPLIFICATION, but let's accept it) it takes four cards to Hannibal to get in Roman Italy (Etruria) and since the medium OP card value is 2, the Roman player on the other part would have taken the whole Massilia and also the four non-isolated place in Transalpina (Tolosa, Rhone, Druentia, Gergovia), this just sitting on Rome and in Sicilia, without risking anything, without doing any wise and skilled play. He has just secured his future defeat-pool of PC to be removed (losing battles or final turn political counting) and he has just to wait to Reinforcements (much more than the Cartahginians) and good generals; if you respond saying that the Carthaginian would reconvert those eight spaces I take it as a joke. So in my opinion (remember it is TOO A SEMPLIFICATION, fortunately the game is much more uneven) the Carthaginian player have to won in the first or second turn, no hope going on. Considering that the Roman player is generally considered a little, little, little bit advantaged that would be even more frustrating; two options: you are a so good Carthaginian player, or you are a so bad Roman one (I'm kidding, don't take it seriously!).

Anyway, if you have time to spend, try this little variant one time, but not being prejudiced.

Giacomo
 
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Max DuBoff
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First of all, Carthage is actually considered slightly favored. This variant would totally throw off the balance. Placing PCs in G. Trans and Massilia isn't cheap; it's sound play.

On a broader note, I think you just don't like the game's method of addressing history, which is a larger matter than can be addressed with a house rule.
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Giacomo Pirinoli
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I disagree, maybe because I play Descartes Italian edition where the rules state Roman players take sudden death victory after the elimination of Hannibal.
 
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Max DuBoff
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That's modeled off the rules of the original AH edition. I'd suggest playing on afterward; it makes for a better game.
 
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