Last two “mid-week” boardgame evenings we spent with Jakub playing Hannibal and Hamilcar – new edition of 20 year old classic. My thoughts about game I have already shared,  however sufficient to say that I like the suspense and balance of that title. The mini-game of battle, the interesting events as well as super quality of components in 2018 edition makes this game a really nice choice for an evening. I had opportunity to play this with Marcin (Sad but true – end of Hannibal Barca) – and the play the reverse (One step a time – slow but steady ascent of Carthage over Rome) and new Kuba would also like it. With that in mind I introduced him to the game.

Campaign: Iberia (210-205 BC)

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We started with short Campaign scenario (Iberia). Rome (me) was attacking into Spain but just after taking over one of the cities…
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…Scipio, who won all battles, lost with attrition and destroyed its army. Instead of two turns play it was just 3 cards 🙂 Still, that was enough for learning experience and to jump into full game.

Second Punic War (218-201 BC)

This is longest, most complete and comprehensive scenario in the game, where you can guide the faction you manage in direction which you think will bring the victory. We decided that Kuba will be attacking Carthage while I will take difficult, but not impossible task of defending Italy as Rome. Below session report in the form of pictures slide show.

TURN 1

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First turn saw steady march of Hannibal through the Alps and taking one province, while Rome was spreading influence near Marseilles plus recruiting huge amounts of troops in Italy (6 CUs)

TURN 2

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The action started in second turn. To prevent flow of reinforcements to Hannibal from Spain older Scipio lands in Idubea, narrowly winning the counter-attack by Hasdrubal.
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Hannibal – unchallenged – starts its march through Italy; Rome besieges Bruttium tribe while Scipio Older implements “containment” policy on border of Spain.

TURN 3

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Now Rome counter-attacks in Spain – with good battle cards this is clear victory and the 4-8 discrepancy in military units is mitigated – both sides have now 2 CUs and will be building the forces for next couple of turns. Spanish stalemate will be what they later called it…
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Bruttium falls, Hannibal marches forward, besieging Capua and… failing to take it in that turn (attrition!) The Spanish Stalemate starts.

TURN 4

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More political turn then military; nothing happens in Spain, Hannibal takes Capua but has to retreat to clear partisans in the rear; however, both Numidia and Sardinia revolts; things start to go bad for Rome politically… (7-10)

TURN 5

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If things goes badly politically for Rome, it is time for military solution. Army from Sicily lands in Spain, assisting Scipio the Father and after very brutal and bloody two battle Hamilcar has to retreat.
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While losing a battle was a drawback, having Hamilcar killed and then also Carthago Nova taken by Rome (me), is a real problem for Carthago (Jakub). The thing is that 2 out of 4 CUs of reinforcements are being effectively cut for Punic untis plus whole Spain lays open for Rome to re-take it.
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Things definitely go very go bad for Rome politically… (5-12). There will be only one choice now – the initial step of that strategy was seen in Spain.

TURN 6

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And the choice is obvious – with 28 CUs in Italy – vs 10 of Carthage – and with Scipio Africanus – you need to destroy Hannibal and his army. And epic battle ensues, again Rome has great battle cards and the losses of Hannibal are staggering…
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…to the level that in follow-up battle he is outright destroyed. That was said end of Hannibal Barca…
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At this moment we stopped the game. Rome most probably would easily recover whole Italy, the reinforcements from for Carthage Spain were cut, and Hannibal laid dead.

That was great session and enjoyable play! Close, very close victory by Rome – mainly by preserving its manpower plus preventing reinforcements from Spain reaching Italy.

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