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Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Strategy questions after a quick rule reading rss

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Bart Elison
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I read through the rules and tried to consume as much as possible, then played a quick couple of rounds (solo) to get a feel for how the game would flow so that I could teach it to a friend and have our first game.

I really feel like I am missing something though with the overall concept of how the game should flow. The strategy cards that I dealt just happened to apply best to the opposite army, which I am sure happens now and then, but since the starting generals on the Roman side are 2 and 3 with their strategy rating the options available to the Roman side seemed rather limited and frankly boring. It seemed like the only thing they could do would be to slap down a PC marker in France or maybe the open area in Spain.

It also seemed like it would be easy to get into a PC flipping contest and find that the winner is the one with the luck to have more points on their cards than the other. Am I missing something?

Thanks in advance.
 
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Eric Brosius
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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The Romans can't do something ambitious every turn. They have to be patient. On the other hand, they get more CUs, and the CUs are right there in Italy where they need them. The Carthaginians can move Hannibal with any card, but they must figure out how to get the reinforcements to where they're needed.

Also, the Romans have a valuable naval superiority, while the Carthaginians are severely limited in their ability to move armies around the map.
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Kevin Duke
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The latter point is huge.

And be thankful for evolving designs. With Hannibal, even if you have the other side's event, you can still use the Ops. With We the People (which Hannibal used as a starting point) Ops cards were distinct and event cards had only the event, so ALL you got if you had the other side's event was the "joy" of denying him its use... most of the time. Some events HAD to be played, so your only pleasure was in delaying it.

I'm not knocking WtP (and I still gladly have my copy). With that game, the concept was to reduce how much action happened in the game per a year's turn (aiming to model history), but from a gamer standpoint, it could be a lot more frustrating than what you deal with in Hannibal.
 
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Bart Elison
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Ah thanks Scalner that is a huge point that I had missed, I sat there thinking "well this is just silly if you can flip them right back over again". When placing them originally though you can put them anywhere that there is no enemy CU correct, you don't have to have one of your armies present?

 
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howl hollow howl
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Scalner FTW. That's the kind of post on BGG that should get hundreds of thumbs.

Strategy overview:

* If C plays pasively, R will win handily when SA comes out in turn 6.
* So, C is forced to take the initiative, and is tasked with making hay while the sun shines.
* Turns 1-5, R is forced to limit C's damage.
* Turns 1-6, the roles reverse.

I find the hardest part of the game is as C during turns 6-9 (as evidenced by my recent loss after being up 11-6), as it's difficult being on your heels with the Alps behind you and risky naval movement.
 
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Peter White
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Most games are won by province count directly (end of game tally) or indirectly (the end of turn PC hemorrhage reinforcements battle loses to a crippling effect).

I agree with Ken that PC flipping is more important that battles. If you are not keeping an eye on gaining/denying provinces, it is very easy to win the majority of battles and still lose the game. As provinces give allies in battle, they have long term implications for the likelihood of military success in that region, as well.

Conservative Roman play suggests limiting the damage Hannibal does in Italy until Scipio A. arrives. If you can keep Hannibal down to 3 (or fewer) Allies in Italy, Scipio A. is likely to be able to boot Hannibal out.

Conservative play is really only a solid Plan B for the Romans. To execute a decent Plan A, you have to wait for the right combination of strategy cards and generals.

It is part of game balance that it is more likely for the Romans to have a horrifyingly bad turn due to a poor strategy card draw. Learn to tough it out and bluff while running out the clock on the year, and hope for better times to come.
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Fred W. Manzo
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The problem with using a "PC flipping" strategy is that - most of the time - you have to be there to flip'em. Once the empty spaces are filled up, and the "PC flipping contest" presumably begins, there are only three ways to get rid of those pesky enemy control markers. Either they are isolated and just disappear at the end of the turn, or you have some type of card that helps (rare), or you send an army. As sending an army is time consuming and dangerous this strategy quickly turns into a military adventure strategy. And if you lose the resulting battle (and the invading army), not only can't you flip any more PCs there without accompanying troops, but you lose extra PCs in proportion to your combat losses. So a PC flipping strategy is not a practical long term winning strategy unless it transforms itself into another strategy rather quickly.
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