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Carthage: The First Punic War» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Strategy in Mercenary War rss

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Martí Cabré

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I am fiddling with Mercenary War and, though it is a learning scenario and it is biased towards Carthage, I am trying to forge a Mercenary winning strategy.

I think that it realies heavily on luck: if the first Mercenary activation cannot roll Continuation to conquer at least one city and then Hanno is activated, Carthage can destroy your army in one blow or lock you insde a besieged city.

If you split your army and leave some part in Sicca Veneria, it can be destroyed by Hanno. If you split your army and you are lucky to move both armies before Hanno is activated, your forces are much weaker than his and he will win the field battles.

No matter how I look at it, I think that the "winning strategy" is having enough luck on the first turn to surrender five or six cities and than playing cat and mouse with the Carthaginian forces during two turns. But I have found that surrendering five or six cities on the first turn is nearly impossible with these Mercenary generals.

So, I am missing something important or it is just that this scenario is meant to crush the Mercenaries?
 
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Brian Sielski
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Well ... frankly, I have not played that scenario. My learning curve was with Rise of Rome and Thunderbolt. For the Carthage game, I've only been playing the 1st Punic War. If you had a question on that, I think I could help. Sorry.
 
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Martí Cabré

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I have played Tunderbolt once and I think I can see a strategy for both sides. Another matter would be to implement it...

But for Mercenary War I think that there is competition only if the Mercenaries take some cities on the first turn. Maybe the scenario should start with the mercenaries having some cities...

In two different plays, rolling for no continuation after the first movement and taking the Carthaginian LAM after that, means that the Mercenaries have lost the game. I mean, there is no decision that can save you. Or I can see no one.
 
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Mark McG
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FWIW, I think you are right. I've played the Mercenary War scenario twice, and I think the correct Mercenary strategy is to go for the long term victory by having a city in Carthage or Tripolitania at game end.

That being said, in both instances the Mercenaries could never surrender enough cities and get enough recruits. I think you have to split up the 3 Mercenary leaders, and move them with 10SP to take involuntary surrenders. You need to leave at least 1SP in each surrendered town. I played this before the garrison rules were changed, so I've not experienced leaving larger garrisons in surrendered towns, but it would take 4-5 SP per town to make them difficult to force surrender.

So I think that is the strategy, get as many IVS as possible in Turn 1, and tie up the Carthaginian Armies in sieges. I think you need some good luck to make it work, but it is your best shot.
 
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Martí Cabré

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I've started a couple of plays of this scenario until the mercenaries got a decent first turn. I am currently playing this situation with a friend. We'll see if then the scenario is more balanced.

But I think that a first turn where the mercenary force has taken no city has no interest.
 
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Michael Sosa
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In the middle of my first learning game with a friend using the Mercenaries War. First activation Mercenaries got a several villages to surrender and recruited troops but left no garrisons behind. He failed a continuation from inside a village on rough, so no chance to ambush me. Next activation was Carthage which I thought lucky so I immediately marched to Thugga, the only place that had resisted intimidation and was near the Mercenary army. I intended to continue to attack the enemy but unfortunately I failed my continuation! Then I failed the intercept! Aargh.

The rest of the first year and second year of the war saw the mercenaries move around Carthage and Tripolitana province outside of any possible intercepts, taking villages and recruiting. The mercenaries ended their activations with their armies adjacent to each other totaling around 70 SP, and several villages garrisoned. The last activation drawn was Hanno's and rather than confront the large enemy army (with 8 cavalry) I thought it prudent to besiege one of the garrisoned settlements near the enemy and wait for reinforcements from Y3. The mercenaries did not attempt to intercept, not sure if that was wise.

So, it would appear the mercenaries have a good game if Hanno is unable to bring them to battle early!

 
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Ahmet Ilpars
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IMO, Mercenary war scenario is excellent simulation for ancient era insurrections. An insurrection is weakest at its starting point. If government forces (Carthage) have acted fast and decisively they could immediately crush it.
But when they stall inefficiently then insurrection could (and did) become scary.

Excellent scenario. My favourite.
 
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Martí Cabré

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ilpars wrote:
IMO, Mercenary war scenario is excellent simulation for ancient era insurrections. An insurrection is weakest at its starting point. If government forces (Carthage) have acted fast and decisively they could immediately crush it.
But when they stall inefficiently then insurrection could (and did) become scary.

Excellent scenario. My favourite.


Good point. But it strengthens the simulation feeling of the game. No choices for the players.
 
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