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Subject: Sea Zones rss

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Steve Carey
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There are only four Sea Zones in the game, but since each side can only sail a single fleet at a time, there are multiple factors that each player
can consider.

1) Sicily will probably be the main battleground in the game, so control of the adjoining Sea Zone can be crucial. Having control gives you more flexibility for sea moves, and also denies your opponent the opportunity to play a ship symbol for a strength point in a coastal battle location (so not Hippana or Enna).

Syracuse will likely be controlled by Rome, thus providing them supply on the island, so it will be difficult to put the Romans out of supply here.

Note also that control (or lack of) of the Sicily Sea Zone does not affect the Straits of Messana.


2) The Corsica/Sardinia Sea Zone is vital for supply considerations since there is no supply source on either island. If you have substantial holdings in Corsica/Sardinia, a sneaky opponent can maneuver their fleet to the Sea Zone and thus deny you VP's and silver (for developed locations) by putting the two islands out-of-supply (remember, there are no blockades in the game, so either player can use 2 consecutive actions and move a single warship from their home port to the Corsica/Sardinia Sea Zone).

Both Aleria and Olbia, if Carthaginian controlled, can threaten the Italian mainland. Don't overlook Cosa as it is directly adjacent to Rome itself.


3) The Italy Sea Zone is a great place for the Carthaginian fleet to Pillage from. There are so many coastal locations in Italy, the Roman player can't possibly defend them all.

The Italy Sea Zone is also centrally located, being just a single move away from both Sicily and Corsica/Sardinia.


4) The Africa Sea Zone likely will end up as a backwater location because Carthage is not on the front lines per se. If the Carthaginian player is forced to defend the Africa Sea Zone, there's a good chance they're probably in grave danger of losing the game anyway (historically, the Romans did invade Africa but their expeditions failed to end the war swiftly as was hoped).

Like the Italy Sea Zone, the Africa Sea Zone is centrally located.


--Remember that enemy control of a Sea Zone prevents you from attacking any location there via a sea move (invasion). Sea control also blocks enemy reinforcement via sea (land reinforcement is unaffected).

--When fighting a naval battle, leaders can be deployed from your hand (attacker first, then defender). If your fleet is wiped out, your leader goes back to the Empire deck instead of discard (he goes "Down with the ship").

--There are several Strategy cards which affect navies, and can be quite helpful. You are allowed only a single Strategy card at any one time, so choose carefully.

--Several random events can also impact your fleet, so don't get too comfortable while sitting in the captain's chair.


The First Punic War saw quite a bit of naval activity, and I think the design models the importance of ancient fleets very well.

(If you have any additional thoughts or comments, please feel free to add them)



Roman quinquereme design from the First Punic War
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Daniel Berger
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Quote:
either player can play 2 ship symbols and move a single warship from their home port to the Corsica/Sardinia Sea Zone

I'm not sure where you got this. Normally you just use an action to move one sea zone. See 5.6.1, Sea Move. Maybe you meant "2 actions"?

That said, there is the "Seamanship" strategy card that lets you spend 1 SP to move 2 sea zones.
 
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Brad Miller
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And you can play 2 ship symbols to pillage into an adjacent sea zone, given the correct control situation.
 
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Steve Carey
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djberg96 wrote:
Maybe you meant "2 actions"?


Yes, 2 ship symbols (1 per action).
 
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Ingólfur Valsson
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Steve Carey wrote:
djberg96 wrote:
Maybe you meant "2 actions"?


Yes, 2 ship symbols (1 per action).


Moving a fleet doesn't require a ship symbol, its a cardless action.
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Steve Carey
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KronikAlkoholik wrote:
Moving a fleet doesn't require a ship symbol, its a cardless action.


Good to know (we were playing that wrong).
 
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Daniel Berger
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Steve Carey wrote:
KronikAlkoholik wrote:
Moving a fleet doesn't require a ship symbol, its a cardless action.


Good to know (we were playing that wrong).

I would think that would slow the players WAY down, especially the Romans. The Triremes card musta been even juicier.
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Steve Carey
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djberg96 wrote:
The Triremes card musta been even juicier.


It certainly was, an early purchase (right up there with cavalry).
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Keep in mind when pillaging, you prefer to hit a location that is tough to defend. That means either an out of supply coastal location (probably on Corsica/Sardinia) or a location that you know is in the discard deck or empire deck. In either case, the only way to block such an attempt is with one of the two Trieremes card or the fortification card (you can play either to block even if you are out of supply).

With that said, the most likely locations that Carthage is going to send back to the empire deck are on the African mainland. Places like Hadrumetum and Clupea are usually the first, followed by Thapsus and Hadrumetum Hippo Regius (and Heraclea on Oristano: not located in Africa). That is why parking the Roman fleet off of the coast of Africa has its advantages -- besides being within one move of Corsica/Sardinia and Sicily. If Carthage gets sick of you pillaging him and he needs the money, he may move the fleet there to stop you -- or at least force you to take 2 actions to pillage or burn up two valuable ship icon cards. That could have its own advantages.
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Daniel Berger
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Steve Carey wrote:
djberg96 wrote:
The Triremes card musta been even juicier.


It certainly was, an early purchase (right up there with cavalry).

Well, if nothing else, it's an interesting variant.
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