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Durk
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Second Punic War 218 BC

Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:02 am

It seems like Hannibal: Terror of Rome has been around for a long time, but in pbem play of about a turn a day (except for snow emergencies and family travel) we have finally finished our first game and are dipping our toes into a second game. We played the Second Punic War 218 B.C. Starting the day back in June 2014 when the game was released. 207 turns later, the game finished in a Carthaginian reluctant acceptance of a humiliating peace settlement with Rome.

We each learned so much about this scenario. As in most AGEOD games, you learn by playing. For example, which options do you save EP in order to do as soon as possible, which do you put on the back burner for when you have excess EP. The Hannibal series of scenarios is particularly challenging as there are no siege tools or events, just patience and a fleet to block a port are the tools both side possess to capture fortified cities.

A key learning for Carthage was that this is not a game about taking Rome. While this ought to have been evident as Rome itself is not a victory objective for Carthage, it was not evident until twice Carthage set siege to Rome only to see its army melt away and the Roman pool gain additions to form new armies.

We are two days (four turn with shared hosting) into our new game. In only another 203 turns please anticipate an update on our new learning. (Do not hold your breath!!)

Will Rome still gain the pool additions with Carthage merely threatening all of Rome's allies and friends?
Will Carthage be more able to expand its hold on Northern Italy, Southern Italy and Eastern Italy crushing Roman hopes of empire?

Incidentally, same sides as we both think we have the new magic insights into the side we previously played.

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Dortmund
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Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:45 pm

This scenario is for me the best of the AJE series that I’ve played by e-mail (I’ve not finished it yet). I love it. It is extremely balanced. The romans have more money, a huge fleet, and a bigger army, but the cartaginians have Hannibal! The war goes “in crescendo”. More and more nations add themselves to the conflict as the game goes on.

I agree with you, Durk, but my campaign has been very different. In my game I’ve done several errors, but two of them were the worst (spoilers warning!):

-1: Letting the roman army slip away in Placentia at the first turns of the arrival of Hannibal to the Gallia Cisalpina. It was a “truce” between the roman player and me, when the roman army of Scipio father, short of supplies, did a strange retreat to the north of the Po river. The romans quickly rebuilded his army and stopped Hannibal in Felsina.

-2: Declare the war to the venetian barbarians just after that truce. I thought the roman army recovery would take more turns to be done, and no...

That has stopped Hannibal army in the Cisalpina since then, and we are now in the year 211 BC! Every year Scipio attacks in the Felsina swamps with huge armies and Hannibal is barely able to stop them. The battles in this game are the biggest I’ve seen in AJE. We had combats in the Felsina area almost all of the days of a month since day 5 or 6. So the huge amount of losses makes me spend almost all of the money in replacements. Anyway I’ve had luck last year and I’ve conquered the venetian cities... but maybe it’s too late. Hannibal is getting old and Scipio son is about to appear on scene.

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Durk
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Fri Mar 13, 2015 2:16 am

How did Sicily feature in your game? We battled back and forth for control. Once I lost Syracuse and access to its mercenaries, Rome overran Sicily. I did manage to sneak back in with a newly raised African army by using Tauromenium as an initial base as it has only a level one fortification and I could recruit all the minor Syracuse forces, not the mercenary legions. As Rome had left Sicily with its main army to fight in the Cisaplina, I had time to recapture most of the island.

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Dortmund
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Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:12 am

Sicily… well, I’ve not put a foot on the island in all the game because I am focused in the Cisalpina trying to resist against the roman armies and two iberian tribes rebelled in Spain one after the other. It’s a tempting site full of objective cities and because maybe you can convince the king of Syracusae to put on your side, but my fleet is weak and my rival knows the importance of this island.

I control Africa, Spain and the Epirus, but Sicily is totally roman. :(

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Durk
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Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:24 am

Hmm - Not sure if you will do as I did and jump right into game #2. But if so, build ships and fight naval battles. Carthage has the naval leaders to win the long naval war. Then you can keep Sicily from Rome.

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Dortmund
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Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:35 am

No, we'll play until the end of the game. I tried to do what you have written. I started the campaign trying to strengthen my fleet, but it seems the romans have done this too, and the enormous clashes in the Cisalpina made me pay all my money in replacements. Just right now the romans have disembarked in Africa and the combats in Italy are going on again. Beware of bad decisions!! :bonk:

Nobody has more experiences of their 2nd Punic War games to share?

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Durk
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Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:48 am

My fleets seem to be ok, but the Roman is chasing my Sicily and southern Italy ventures away.

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Durk
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Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:18 am

My current take is that this scenario is a puzzle without a box to contain it. It is so open and so demanding and so hard to play.

I just lost Syracuse and am floundering to catch my footing.

Baris
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Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:16 pm

It is good scenario indeed. Supply situation is the most difficult one in all AGeod games. In the first pbem as Romans I failed to harass CAR forces enough in Iberia that they moved to Gaul with ease. Sit and wait is not a good tactic for Romans IMHO. It took around +100 turns for Romans to surrender. They both conquered form north and south from Sicily and Tarentum AFAIK.

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Franciscus
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Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:26 pm

Glad you guys are enjoying it :)

What do you think about balance ? Is it well balanced with the changes of patch 1.01 ?

Regards
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Dortmund
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Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:06 pm

" wrote:What do you think about balance ? Is it well balanced with the changes of patch 1.01 ?


I'll tell you later, when I advance more in my new game with 1.01. For now, I see 1.01 beta very balanced, but Hannibal hasn't been able to win a decisive victory and the roman victory points, increasing turn after turn, are unreachable.

My current 1.01 beta game is quite stalled. An old Hannibal keeps quiet in front of Scipio son in the north of Italy and in Africa Hasdrubal tries to hold Carthage against a multinational roman force. There are powerful revolts in Iberia and Syracusae still resists.

Oh, and a think that I don't understand is why Carthage can't buy replacements for the greek and gallic mercenary units. Why? :wacko: They are two of the more famous cartaginian units and after some battles they soon become out of the game.

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Franciscus
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Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:20 pm

Dortmund wrote:
Oh, and a think that I don't understand is why Carthage can't buy replacements for the greek and gallic mercenary units. Why? :wacko: They are two of the more famous cartaginian units and after some battles they soon become out of the game.


Hi
Not 100% sure, maybe the scenario designer can answer better, but I think maybe once in Italy historically Hannibal was unable to recruit more greek/gallic mercenaries, and had to rely on his ever dwindling but hardened veterans and increasingly on his italian allies...

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Durk
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Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:44 pm

Franciscus wrote:Glad you guys are enjoying it :)

What do you think about balance ? Is it well balanced with the changes of patch 1.01 ?

Regards


It is balanced. Part of what makes it balanced is both players have the same struggle with supply. This keeps them on their toes with regard to their forces. A second reason is that even though we have had many decisive battle and loss of armies due to lack of supply, rebuilding whole armies can happen. The armies are small enough that raising new troops is feasible.
The game presents a basic dilemma already discussed in this thread - where to invest and where to deploy. Will it be land forces or naval forces or an attempt to build a balanced force. Four major theaters require the players to allocate resource sufficient to defend three theaters while mounting an offensive in the other. While each theater has its merits for being the major one, forces can be shifted by sea to create an edge in another place. Fortresses are difficult to take, so they provide an anchor for any play.

All in all, balanced.

Baris
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Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:47 pm

As Durk have said I agree,

Apart from it with the hostile natives event in Galia grand region specifically Cularo settlement , anything built can be destroyed after a year. Depot, wall option etc..

Maybe that is about the retreat engine but I come across many instances where retreats were not possible. It is possible in pbem to overcome this by re-playing turn.
But against AI play (with no small force flank, and straightforward battles where regions are free to retreat) it can be a problem. Especially true when Numidian forces unlock and advance through Roman controlled central north Africa.

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Dortmund
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Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:20 pm

" wrote:Not 100% sure, maybe the scenario designer can answer better, but I think maybe once in Italy historically Hannibal was unable to recruit more greek/gallic mercenaries, and had to rely on his ever dwindling but hardened veterans and increasingly on his italian allies...


Yes, but well, in Italy you can rebuild your mercenary units with iberian and african replacements that are far away than the gauls. I don't see it very logic. In my oppinion these units should be able to take replacements or they vanish slowly even if they don't fight. The lack of money is a great handicap enough.

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Franciscus
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Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:00 pm

Dortmund wrote:Yes, but well, in Italy you can rebuild your mercenary units with iberian and african replacements that are far away than the gauls. I don't see it very logic. In my oppinion these units should be able to take replacements or they vanish slowly even if they don't fight. The lack of money is a great handicap enough.


Hi

You may have a point here, and in the next few days I will take a look to it.
The issue may reside in the fact that there are a lot (dozens) of subfactions defined in this game. The ones that a main faction gets replacements get something called a "native" tag in the factions DB, and HEL and CEL are not defined as "native" for Carthage while AFR and NUM, for example, are...

Maybe WAD (because these settings affect also the FPW of BOR) maybe just an oversight.

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Franciscus
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Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:38 am

Hi

I have take a look to patch notes and DB changelogs, and indeed there were some changes made during the several patches, pertaining to the FPW scenarios, and then to the SPW.

The first change was to remove the possibility for CAR (in the FPW scenarios of BOR) to have replacements for all her mercs. Nevertheless, in patch 1.04/1.01, replacements were made available again for NUM and IBR subfactions (IIRC they are used by mercenaries in the FPW and SPW scenarios, but are also used as recruitable forces in the SPW).

What we can do in a future patch is to add again CEL (celtic, used by the galli mercenarii of SPW) and MER (mercs used by the Craecii mercenarii of SPW) replacements for Carthage. It is extremely easy to do.

This may perhaps be good for HAN scenarios (or at least more coherent), but may again imbalance BOR scenarios (the issue were the huge an-historical land armies that CAR was able to field in Sicily)

Opinions ?
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vonBredow
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Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:57 am

Well, can't you just patch the SPW scenarios? Or why do you have to change them both?

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Franciscus
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Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:02 pm

vonBredow wrote:Well, can't you just patch the SPW scenarios? Or why do you have to change them both?


Hi

The factions DB is common and used by all games, and that cannot be changed now.

Regards
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arsan
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Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:21 pm

Hi!

Now that i'm at last playing HAN, i would like to give my opinion :)

First, It's a pity we cannot have separate factions for the FPW and SPW cartaginians :bonk:
This makes difficult to solve the problem with gallic reinforcements while keeping the FPW CAR armies historical.

But having to cope with this limitation, i think the lesser evil would be allowing replacements for all CAR subfactions, because even if it would upset FPW historic accuracy, it will improve SPW historic accuracy because as it is now, after a few years into the campaign Hannibal don't have any gallic troops worth of notice while in history they were one of his main manpower resources in Italy.

And leaving historical accuracy beside, gameplay wise it makes no sense than CAR can get iberian or african replacements on italy but not the much nearer gallic ones. Specially when this not only affect Hannibal mercenaries. It also makes the Boii and Insubri contingents doomed as they cannot recover any losses even on his home area.

Instead, Romans can have gallic replacements for their cennomani gauls and balkanic replacements for their venetti without any problem

So, IMHO the situation now isn't good nor gameplay wise nor historical accuracy wise. While adding CEL and MER replacements for Carthage at least will make sense gameplay wise.


(By the way, doing a quick chech on the several SPW scenarios i have noticed on all except the longest campaign CAR have access to GAL replacements, even if only to elite infantry ones. No idea whats the reasoning behind this.:confused :)

Now, about how to improve historical accuracy regarding FPW and SPW CAR mercenary armies sizes and composition, i'm not sure how, but i have some ideas...

Regarding keeping FPW armies sizes historical maybe it could be done by reducing the number of reclutable units instead of using replacements as the limiting factor. This way SPW won't be affected as i understand recruitment pool and recruitment EP options are separate for each scenario.

Regards!

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Dortmund
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Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:17 pm

I didn'nt know the CAR faction was the same for both games...

" wrote:Regarding keeping FPW armies sizes historical maybe it could be done by reducing the number of reclutable units instead of using replacements as the limiting factor. This way SPW won't be affected as i understand recruitment pool and recruitment EP options are separate for each scenario.


Yes, I think Arsan is right. Reducing the recruitable units is one way to solve the problem. Another way is increasing the price of the replacements... it would be not too much ahistorical that if Carthage pays a lot of money the gallic mercenaries answer the call. But since the CAR faction is the same for both games I don't know if that affects the BOR game too.

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arsan
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Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:18 pm

Dortmund wrote:I didn'nt know the CAR faction was the same for both games...



Yes, I think Arsan is right. Reducing the recruitable units is one way to solve the problem. Another way is increasing the price of the replacements... it would be not too much ahistorical that if Carthage pays a lot of money the gallic mercenaries answer the call. But since the CAR faction is the same for both games I don't know if that affects the BOR game too.


Hi!

The problem i see with increasing CAR replacement costs is that the same replacement is used for the galic, iberic and african units that Hannibal has in Italy and for the ones that are deployed on their own countries.

I see very reasonable that it's expensive and difficult to send african or iberian soldiers to the italian theatre to replenish units, but it shouldn't be particulary costly to replace losses for iberian tribes fighting on Hispania or to african armies defending their own cities in North Africa.
The same happens with the gauls. If we increase the replacement cost it will affect both Hannibal galic mercenaries (which is good) and the Boii or Insubres that are rebeling on their own lands and should't have trouble finding replacements.

Regards!

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Franciscus
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Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:42 pm

arsan wrote:Hi!

Now that i'm at last playing HAN, i would like to give my opinion :)

First, It's a pity we cannot have separate factions for the FPW and SPW cartaginians :bonk:
This makes difficult to solve the problem with gallic reinforcements while keeping the FPW CAR armies historical.

But having to cope with this limitation, i think the lesser evil would be allowing replacements for all CAR subfactions, because even if it would upset FPW historic accuracy, it will improve SPW historic accuracy because as it is now, after a few years into the campaign Hannibal don't have any gallic troops worth of notice while in history they were one of his main manpower resources in Italy.

And leaving historical accuracy beside, gameplay wise it makes no sense than CAR can get iberian or african replacements on italy but not the much nearer gallic ones. Specially when this not only affect Hannibal mercenaries. It also makes the Boii and Insubri contingents doomed as they cannot recover any losses even on his home area.

Instead, Romans can have gallic replacements for their cennomani gauls and balkanic replacements for their venetti without any problem

So, IMHO the situation now isn't good nor gameplay wise nor historical accuracy wise. While adding CEL and MER replacements for Carthage at least will make sense gameplay wise.


(By the way, doing a quick chech on the several SPW scenarios i have noticed on all except the longest campaign CAR have access to GAL replacements, even if only to elite infantry ones. No idea whats the reasoning behind this.:confused :)

Now, about how to improve historical accuracy regarding FPW and SPW CAR mercenary armies sizes and composition, i'm not sure how, but i have some ideas...

Regarding keeping FPW armies sizes historical maybe it could be done by reducing the number of reclutable units instead of using replacements as the limiting factor. This way SPW won't be affected as i understand recruitment pool and recruitment EP options are separate for each scenario.

Regards!


Hi

As usual :) I tend to agree with Arsan.

The issue with too large field armies of CAR in BOR has been largely dealt with by severely reducing the number of times CAR player can recruit new mercenary units (done since patch 1.02b).
And as it is, he can get replacements for Iberian, Numidian and Ligurian mercenaries but not for Greek, Italiot or Celtic, which is both unavoidable (because CAR MUST have replacements for IBR and NUM subfactions in the SPW) and has no historical reason...

Plus, as a player, I always prefer to have more not less options... :cool:

I believe this can be changed for next patch, but as we have no date at all for a new patch, in the meantime those of you who want to try it (in BOR and HAN), can use a simple "quikfix":

Below you find attached a simple file (145-CAR.zip). Simply unzip it on your HAN (or BOR) \GameData\Factions subfolder. A file (145-CAR.fac) should be replaced (you can perhaps make a backup of it first), and that is all. This will work even in saved games. But will affect all scenarios with Carthage (BOR and HAN).
Basically, with this, Carthage will have CEL (celtic) and MER (used by greek and Italiot mercenaries) replacements available to buy in F2 screen.

If you want or have time, you can test the FPW and SPW scenarios with this change.

Cheers
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arsan
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Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:17 pm

Thanks a lot for your work, Franciscus! :thumbsup: :coeurs:
I will give it a try this weekend and let you know if everything look ok.

It's a pity it will not work on an already started scenario, as it will be nice to test it on the PBEM game Dormunt and me are playing... but as i'm playing the romans i guess i should be happy about Hannibal not getting galic reemplacemets... ;)

Regards!

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Franciscus
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Fri May 01, 2015 2:11 pm

Hi

I have good news :) - I was wrong :bonk:

This "quikfix" takes effect even in ongoing games (not "on-the-fly" - you must unzip and change the file with the game off, of course); if you apply it and then you start the game and load up an ongoing game, the replacements for MER and CEL will be available to buy for the CAR player.

Of course, in a PBEM both players should apply the fix, otherwise...unforseen catastrophes may unsue... :wacko:


Regards
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vonBredow
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Fri May 01, 2015 7:34 pm

I am currently playing the 218 BC scenario as well, and this is the second time I got this message:

Image

I am guessing this is why you cant have GAL reinforcements; they decide to join you whenever they want, not because you order them to :P

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Franciscus
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Fri May 01, 2015 7:42 pm

Hi

That's right.

I am chagrined but admit I forgot that was the workaround we devised to compensate for the lack of celtic replacements in HAN... :bonk:

For you guys that are playing HAN to tell me if these "free" replacements are enough.

Sorry for forgetting about something I myself coded....

Premature senility, maybe...


Anyhow, moving this thread to the "Help to Improve" subform. The fix posted above will remain available for those wanting to test and comment

Regards
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Ebbingford
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Fri May 01, 2015 9:38 pm

In our pbem of this I managed Ok with the free replacements.
How ever like all generals through the ages I would have liked to have had more :cool:

Perhaps the fix should be incorporated in a patch and then the CAR player can buy as many as he sees fit :)
"Umbrellas will not be opened in the presence of the enemy." Duke of Wellington before the Battle of Waterloo, 1815.

"Top hats will not be worn in the Eighth Army" Field-Marshal Viscount Montgomery of Alamein K.G.


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vonBredow
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Sat May 02, 2015 12:00 am

Franciscus wrote:Hi

That's right.

I am chagrined but admit I forgot that was the workaround we devised to compensate for the lack of celtic replacements in HAN... :bonk:

For you guys that are playing HAN to tell me if these "free" replacements are enough.

Sorry for forgetting about something I myself coded....

Premature senility, maybe...


Anyhow, moving this thread to the "Help to Improve" subform. The fix posted above will remain available for those wanting to test and comment

Regards


I wasn't doing bad with the free reinforcements, but I was also lucky, since I was avoiding battles with the Romans, and my losses weren't that severe.

I have just "installed" your quick fix. I think it is certainly good to have the option to train your replacements yourself, so thanks for that :)

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Dortmund
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Sat May 02, 2015 8:51 am

Thank you, Franciscus. I'll test this add-on with Arsan.

" wrote:For you guys that are playing HAN to tell me if these "free" replacements are enough.


For me they are too few. With the free replacements (an option that not every year appears) the boii and celt mercenary units never recover from the blows they get in combat... and they are the closer units to the original replacement regions! I can recover the iberian and african units in the Cisalpina... but not the celts and gauls.

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