*The Default edition may be any edition of this game. Designers, publishers and game box may vary.
|Publisher(s)||Avalon Hill, Valley Games, Inc.|
|Play Time||Epic - Over 3 Hours|
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User Ratings & Reviews
Classic wargame covering the 2nd Punic War. The game was the second card-driven game to be published, following Avalon Hill/Mark Herman's groundbreaking We The People.Hannibal adds a slight amount of complexity to its predecessor, but stays elegant and quick-playing.My favorite wargame.
--Nov2012-- More than 5 years after it arrived in my house, I've finally got it to the table. Was it the crumbling generals moldering in the corner of my Game Room that turned me off? The ridiculous Carthaginian die? No; none of that: just a difficulty in finding a willing opponent.In the end, the game is tractable; sensible; coherent. The decisions are cool, and the "Events" just volatile enough that one could blame a close loss on the card draw (even if that's not quite the truth.) It's an excellent design.
I like the asymmetry here. I like how every card has an event, rather than some just being usable for OPs, as in Washington's War. The game is historically accurate without too much rules overhead. Combat is cumbersome at times, and I have yet to play a game without referencing the rules. Still, it is a wonderful game with many difficult decisions for each side. Although the card-based combat system lengthens the game significantly, I'm now okay with it, even though I still think a nice CRT would be great as an alternative. There's incredible tension from the playing of battle cards, and you can't really mimic that with a die roll.Naval combat has been abstracted away with simple negative modifiers to a die roll for success/failure of transporting armies via ports. For Carthage, that is. Rome had naval superiority during that time and can sail at will (well, still needs a 3 Ops card to do so).After 16 plays, I'm finally comfortable with the rules (both sides) and can knock out a game with another experienced player in about 3.5 hours with minimal rules referencing. The more I play it, the better it gets. It's just an amazing design, both from an historical and gameplay standpoint. Hannibal is such a badass--but you can't be too bold with him. I have yet to risk sailing with him, and even when he marches into Italy, you have to make sure to keep him near Carthaginian control markers so he has a place to retreat to, in the unlikely event he loses a battle or (more likely) withdraws. Getting Hannibal killed will make things much more difficult for the Carthaginian player, and should be the Roman player's goal. P.S. I really don't care that I don't own the generals minis. The cardboard tokens work just fine and just as immersive. Playing Carthage is difficult for a newbie, I find. Rome is easier to play well as a new player. No need to worry about naval travel failure. With Carthage, I rarely risk sailing until I have a -4 or -5 modifier to the die roll. We play with the variant rule regarding the Messenger Intercepted event--the player playing the event must immediately take another action. Holy crap are there some glaring errors in both the rulebook (VG) and the mapboard. Crossing a non-Alps pass s/b -2 modifier, Fabius' ability should read simply "avoid battle on a 1-5", and the regions of Italy are difficult to distinguish. Several spelling mistakes on the board and/or general tokens (i.e. Flaminus s/b Flaminius), Macedonia misspelled on the Naval Chart, and "general" misspelled on the "Rome Dismisses Proconsul" strategy card. I would love to see GMT publish this.
Alright, the time period fascinates me. So the theme hits hard. Plus the gameplay of this one is really good. It's a little hard figuring out the rules if you're not taught and have never played before. But once you muddle through it, there's a gem in here. After only one play, I find myself drawn and wanting to play it more. I just can't find the time.
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