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Subject: Carthaginian Opening Strategy rss

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Crispin Moakler
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We've played about 10 games now and developed a Carthaginian opening strategy that seems to give Carthage a much better than 50/50 win chance.

I'd love to hear people's opinion on it - especially from people who have tried it. Also up for hearing if we've mis-understood something.

The basic premise;
Even if Rome knows what's coming they can't settle Olbia or Caralis on turn 2 about 40% of the time because from a 12 card deck they need one each from a pair of cards to settle either, odds of that draw are about 40% and if you maximise your digging into the deck you still typically hit 60-65% or so, so the option for this tactic is there about 50% of the time, even when Rome expects it.

Carthage does something non-committal on turn 1, drafting senatorial support or colonising something predictable. On turn 2 Carthage blockades Sardinia + Corsica with its fleet. From this point on Rome can't settle Aleria or Olbia unless it gets its fleet to the C&S sea zone. So Carthage can play its own game but casually, at its leisure, colonise the islands. Rome can't interfere unless it can knock the Carthaginian fleet out of the water, or is prepared to sacrifice a weak fleet. If it tries Carthage runs riot in sicily, if it doesn't Carthage just colonises one island location per cycle and puts the other green location cards in it's empire deck.

The first time I pulled this on Rome she wrote off the islands and concentrated on murdering me in Sicily, this went well until I fortified Aleria and Olbia thus freeing up the Carthaginian fleet to make a goodwill tour of the Western Italian coast.

The second time we did it the Romans came out to meet the Carthaginian fleet, Rome spent more than Carthage and also donated a prestige point to no avail.

This isn't an auto win tactic, Rome can still win and has done so, but it feels like the game goes down one of 2 paths from turn 2.

Thoughts?
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Judd Vance
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Rome does not have to knock out the Carthaginian fleet. They only need to build one or two ships and then move into that sea zone and they can settle from Cosa to Olbia directly.

If you send all of your green cards to the empire deck, he can pillage you at will or else raid you Pretty easily. And you have no way to advance on his locations to attack them.
 
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Brad Miller
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Are you keeping the Carthaginian fleet parked in the Corsica sea zone? Because if it leaves or is defeated, all of a sudden, Roman fleet moves in, Corsica is out of supply, and all those cards become unplayable trash in your hand.

It is an interesting gamble to go hard there, as keeping control can be tenuous.
 
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Judd Vance
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Another trick is to take the Roman fleet down to Sicily, and then attack. Then the Carthaginian player is not allowed to use ship icons as reinforcements. Early in the game, very few military cards are drafted and Carthage depends on the ship icons.
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Crispin Moakler
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Rome has to cycle through its deck very quickly to outpace Carthage in Sicily, it generally seems to resolve evens or 1 in Carthage's favour if you race, Rome then redresses the balance by attacking.

Rome can indeed build a 1 ship fleet, deploy it to the Italian coast and then make a fleet move and a Corsican settle, but that requires effort and risk and will almost inevitably result in the Roman fleet being sunk the following turn. Rome gains a toehold in Corsica but has spent 4 actions and 3 gold, probably giving Carthage 1 prestige point for 1 action.

Try the tactic out and see how it works.

If Rome were to gain a foothold that way my tactic would be to blockade and raid, sinking any Roman blockade runner fleets.


 
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Crispin Moakler
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Windopaene wrote:
Are you keeping the Carthaginian fleet parked in the Corsica sea zone? Because if it leaves or is defeated, all of a sudden, Roman fleet moves in, Corsica is out of supply, and all those cards become unplayable trash in your hand.

It is an interesting gamble to go hard there, as keeping control can be tenuous.


Brad, I did, and it didn't cost me that much. Rome adopted the tactic of ignoring C&S and trying to win in Sicily. This allows Caorthage to slowly colonise C&S one step at a time, empire decking Green cards after making cities. The final stage is to fortify Olbia and Aleria to free the fleet up. This is only easy if the Roman doesn't oppose it but teasing the Romans into coming out to sea is never bad for Carthage (I will ignore the game where an 8 warship Roman fleet put to sea and dodged 2 storms at sea AND a Naval Disaster - all 3 hit Carthage. Carthage lost.)

I should have added that all players involved in our games were hardcore MTG players so deck manipulation, sacking and similar are second nature to us.
 
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Brad Miller
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I won a game as Carthage, and did have all of Corsica at one point. But then getting put OOS is ugly. All those useless cards, and you can't reinforce any battle on the islands...

Cost me a lot of silver and actions and colonists to get my fleet back there. But I had a solid vp lead, and a majority of Sicily, so it worked out.
 
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