Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hannibal, you still there? (Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage)

We tried to play another session of Hannibal. People say it can be played in two hours, but we would be happy if we could just get it down to three. This time we made it further into the game than ever before, but after four hours our time was up.

I took the role of Hannibal for the second time, and so Kozure was Rome. Early naval advantages (Allied with Syracuse, allied with Macedonians) allowed me to enter into Sicily right away. Hannibal went north as always, and made it through the Alps relatively unscathed. Kozure met me in the north and the result was a bloodbath; Hannibal died after a couple of combats (I unfortunately was not able to pull off any "hail Mary" unlikely wins like I did last game). I would have to find out if a Carthage win without Hannibal was possible...

Mago had been sent to accompany Hasdrubal in Sicily early on. As reinforcements accumulated in New Carthage, the seaworthy general ferried back and sailed to eastern Italy with a full 10 point army. Scipio Africanus soon arrived in Rome with his force of 5. I thought if Mago could confront him my numerical advantage might beat him. Instead, I chose to do a quick rampage along the eastern coast, dropping off soldiers as I went with an eye to converting political power, winning two provinces in the process just before winter. It was reckless and stupid, though. Kozure played a minor campaign and brought Scipio to me overrunning all the units I left behind and then hit me on both flanks with his consul (don't remember the name). Mago and his army were decimated, along with Carthage's hopes of winning the game. Oh well.

We had to call it, but given another turn or so Rome's win was all but inevitable..

Pretty close to a full game, yet a real complete game eludes us. I plan to keep trying. I am very much enjoying the game, and I like how it feels both like a war game and unlike one. The flow of events has a distinct impact on the game, and the best course of action changes along with them. The balance between using the cards as events vs action points is often a difficult choice. Fun, fun, fun.

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