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Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage» Forums » General

Subject: handicap for unequal match-ups rss

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Bas van Leeuwen
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Rotterdam
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A friend of mine and I really like Hannibal. We played it some six times and it has become clear that I just 'get' the game a bit better than he. This makes the games a bit one-sided. Since I own the game and play it with other people and he does not, I do not see this changing any time soon. Consequently, I was thinking about applying a handicap in order to balance us out:

- One player starts out with - say five - less political counters, location of his choice.
- Battle card reduction, say one card handicap per battle.

Do you have any ideas or experience? Thanks in Advance!
 
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Andy Latto
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Foxboro
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WBC uses handicapping, not because of unequal players, but because of a perception by some that one side has an advantage in the game. But there's no reason you couldn't use the same handicapping system to deal with unequal skill levels.

The system is that for each handicap point, the unfavored player/side may either place a PC on a vacant space, or remove an enemy PC.

I think this is a better way to handicap than modifying the number of BC's you receive, because it won't change the correct strategy, so the experience you both gain won't lead you astray in how to play non-handicapped games.
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Bas van Leeuwen
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Thanks for the tip. We will put in into action tomorrow.
 
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Glenn McMaster
Canada
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If deducting PC's doesn't prove enough, then you might try making Hannibal a general that returns the next turn if you Carthag player is inexperienced, or bring forward Scipio's arrival for Rome.
 
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Russ Williams
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Wrocław
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Or if it's a really big skill difference, maybe give the weaker player an extra strategic card each turn! (Or give the stronger player one fewer strategic cards each turn!)
 
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Björn von Knorring
Sweden
Uppsala
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The picture is a swedish cartoon-figure Herman Hedning. English info here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herman_Hedning
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andylatto wrote:

The system is that for each handicap point, the unfavored player/side may either place a PC on a vacant space, or remove an enemy PC.


When this is used at WBC are you allowed to first remove a enemy pc-marker and then (with another handicap point) place one of your own in the same space?
 
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Andy Latto
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myth1202 wrote:
andylatto wrote:

The system is that for each handicap point, the unfavored player/side may either place a PC on a vacant space, or remove an enemy PC.


When this is used at WBC are you allowed to first remove a enemy pc-marker and then (with another handicap point) place one of your own in the same space?

Yes, this is legal and is sometimes done. When I played Chrie Byrd, and excellent player, he accepted my bid of 2 to play Hannibal, and he used his two points to remove a PC in Africa (the westernmost port in Western Numidia) and place one of his own there.
 
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Glenn McMaster
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But just to emphasize - between an experienced player and a beginer, not even 4 or 5 PC removals is going to balance things out.
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Andy Latto
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GLENN239 wrote:
But just to emphasize - between an experienced player and a beginer, not even 4 or 5 PC removals is going to balance things out.

This depends on the beginner; people pick up strategy at very different speeds. I think I had only played 2 or 3 games of HRC when I went to the World Boardgaming Championships, and went 4 for 5 in the tournament; finishing sixth. Granted, I got quite lucky in a couple of the games, but that shows that some beginners can get up to speed quite quickly.

For the first couple games, I wouldn't worry about handicapping. Just give strategy help whenever requested, and if the new player makes a play that can probably be improved upon, or a very risky play, point it out and let them take it back. You learn more from being told "Before you cross the alps, do you realize that if Fabius intercepts, and wins the battle, Hannibal and his troops will all be killed, because you can't retreat across the mountains?" than by having your opponent pounce on the opportunity and kill Hannibal, because you can fall into more than one fatal trap in a single game.

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