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Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Need some general advice on strategy to get started rss

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killy9999
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I bought my copy of Hannibal recently and I'm trying to get started. I have played this game once about a year ago. The other player explained me the rules and we had quite a good game. Now that I have my own copy I feel a bit overwhelmed. I tried to play my first solo game, but I just didn't know what to do. Can you guys give me some hints on what aims should each side pursue when beginning the game? Should players place PCs in Idubeda to gain allies? Should they claim neutral provinces? What about generals? For Carthaginian side it seemed reasonable to me that Hannibal be moved towards Italy. What about Rome however? Is it a good idea to move T. Longus to Africa and start converting enemy PCs there? Right now I'm paralysed looking at the game and not knowing what to do
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Brad Miller
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All of the ideas you mention are valid strategic thoughts. Get PCs on the board, you will need them. PCs in the "worthless" provinces are easier to remove for battle losses and end of turn, than those in important provinces. Rome should fear Hannibal and try to stay alive until Scipio Africanus arrives.
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Andy Latto
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Placing PC's in Idubeda is a reasonable play for both players at the start. Carthage can eventually take it, but if it slows him down, that buys valuable time for Roman reinforcements.


Placing PC's in Gallia Cisalpina is also a good thing to do; Carthage wants to place at least one so they will have the extra card for the province in battles in Italy.

Travelling to Africa on turn one is very risky for Rome; Carthage gets 6 cards for allies, and Hanno has a good chance of defeating any invading army, and annihilating it if it has no retreat.

Heading across the Alps with Hannibal on turn 1 or 2 is a common play. Take Gisgo with you for flexibility, leave Mago behind so he can sail somewhere later.

The aggressive counter for this is for Rome to move an army north to the tribe. If Hannibal gets a bad attrition roll crossing the alps, and you intercept, you may be able to defeat him immediately.

The more conservative counter is to block Hannibal with a stack just south of Gallia Cisalpina, so he can only enter the rest of Italy by fighting your stack, or by travelling through the mountains to Etruria, leaving him with no retreat and the risk of death if he gets a bad attrition roll. You want to make the blocking stack quite large, preferably 15 or so.

This should be enough to get you started; ask if you want more. I'm happy to play a teaching game against you on Wargameroom if you like.

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killy9999
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Quote:
Placing PC's in Gallia Cisalpina is also a good thing to do; Carthage wants to place at least one so they will have the extra card for the province in battles in Italy.
Why 'at least' one? This will not give them control of the province if Rome places two PCs, right?

Speaking of Gallia Cisalpinia - the Tribes confuse me. Is there any particular reason for them? I see no point in subjugating them.

Quote:
This should be enough to get you started; ask if you want more. I'm happy to play a teaching game against you on Wargameroom if you like.
Thanks! I'm afraid I won't have time this week, so next week perhaps.

BTW. I recall my first game of Hannibal to be a stalemate all the time. We we're battling mostly in the neutral provinces. I was playing with Carthage and opponent managed to push me back to Spain. Then I pushed him back towards Italy and it was like this for most of the game. Whenever I launched attack on his forces in one place, I was left vulnerable in another one. When Rome finally landed in Africa, I managed to get into Italy. I just couldn't find a way one of us could use to gain the advantage other the other. I'm curious how this will look when I play a few more games.
 
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Andy Latto
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killy9999 wrote:
Quote:
Placing PC's in Gallia Cisalpina is also a good thing to do; Carthage wants to place at least one so they will have the extra card for the province in battles in Italy.
Why 'at least' one? This will not give them control of the province if Rome places two PCs, right?

Nope. There are 5 spaces in Gallia Cisaplina, so you need to control 3 of them to control the province. Two are tribes friendly to Carthage, so if you control a third space, you control the province.

Remember, you need to control more than half the spaces to control a province; not just more than your opponent.
Quote:
Speaking of Gallia Cisalpinia - the Tribes confuse me. Is there any particular reason for them? I see no point in subjugating them.

There's not much point in subjugating the neutral tribes. But subjugating the Carthage-friendly tribes is very useful for Rome. If you subjugate the tribes in Gallia Cisalpina, it's much harder for Hannibal to take and keep control of the province.

Quote:
BTW. I recall my first game of Hannibal to be a stalemate all the time. We we're battling mostly in the neutral provinces. I was playing with Carthage and opponent managed to push me back to Spain.


That's very strange. Assuming this was before turn 6, Hannibal has all the advantages in battle; at least one extra battle card for having the btter general; a better general for counterattacking; Hannibal's special ability; and elephants. Without allies, Hannibal should be winning most of the battles if he still has a full-sized force. And why should the Romans be attacking him? Unless he has a small force left, so there is a chance of actually killing him before he can return to Spain, there's no reason to pursue after you force Hannibal back across the alps; he will return to Spain on his own, to pick up more CU's.
 
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Toni L
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killy9999 wrote:
Quote:
Placing PC's in Gallia Cisalpina is also a good thing to do; Carthage wants to place at least one so they will have the extra card for the province in battles in Italy.
Why 'at least' one? This will not give them control of the province if Rome places two PCs, right?

Speaking of Gallia Cisalpinia - the Tribes confuse me. Is there any particular reason for them? I see no point in subjugating them.



Those tribes in Gallia Cisalpinia are already friendly towards Carthage; so, no need for subjugation. Plus, if you put at least one PC counter there, you'll have control of the province (the rules state that friendly tribes count as PC). Not only that - if you do battle on Tribe space, you'll collect additional Battle card.

However, if you play Rome, depending of your opening hand, it's a good idea to set about subjugating at least one Cisalpinian tribe.

EDIT: Ninja'd.
 
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killy9999
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Ok, I confused Galia Cisalpinia with Galia Transalpinia blush

Quote:
That's very strange. Assuming this was before turn 6, Hannibal has all the advantages in battle;
Not when he is played by a novice player
 
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Jim F
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Don't rely on Hannibal to do everything and make sure he has an escape route when campaigning in Italy. Depending on what edition you are playing (AH or VG) will say whether the game ends immediately if he dies but whichever, the game is effectively over if he does.

Taking Rome is tempting after a couple of early victories over the Romans but very difficult in practice so I would plan for the long game and nibble away at their Empire.

If you are playing the Romans numbers will ultimately count. A well-timed invasion of Spain or Carthage can tie-up your opponent until Scipio arrives to tip the game in your favour. Delay and avoid battle unless the odds definitely in your favour.
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killy9999
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Bumping up the thread. I finally managed to play a few games and I guess I still need a bit of advice.

Ashiefan wrote:
A well-timed invasion of Spain or Carthage can tie-up your opponent until Scipio arrives to tip the game in your favour. Delay and avoid battle unless the odds definitely in your favour.
Yes, I noticed that in my games. I guess I have an idea which goals to pursue with Rome - taking Spain is a good way to gain provinces and make opponent lose PCs during winter.

However, I still don't have an idea for Carthage. The only way to win is to invade Italy and I have a few ideas how to get Hannibal there. My question is how to effectively lead a campaign in Italy? Romans have a lot more forces and will easily block Hannibal's attempts. Getting Hasdrubal to Italy should help a lot, but still Romans will receive 5CU every turn while Carthage forces will get only 1 which in the long run forces a withdrawal from Italy.

I also don't see a way to effectively use all of Carthage generals. There is definitely not enough CUs to allow every general to move with his own army so my question is how to effectively use Mago and Gisgo. I thought that leaving one of them in Spain would be a good idea to collect reinforcements that arrive in every turn.
 
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Alan Richbourg
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It doesn't force a withdrawal from Italy, it forces a reinforcement of Italy. Mago is usually the one to do the reinforcing, via naval movement, usually somewhere in the boot.
 
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