Quite recently I had real pleasure to play with Marcin my first games of Hannibal – the game which was re-published after over 20 years from its creation day and now – in new edition- shines even more! If you want to see more about game components, please have a look at [UNBOXING] Hannibal & Hamilcar.

The scenario book allows you to gradually get familiar with game, offering quick, small-scale set-ups. There are 3 like this plus additionally 11 regular  scenarios – enough variety for many hours of game!

10. Campaign: Iberia (210-205 BC)

We have chose first campaign (scenario 10 in the book) to start familiarizing with the game. Here we use only Iberia and Massilia province – small portion of map – and many rules are omitted. I took leadership of Rome while Marcin – for Carthage:

Hannibal 1.1.JPG
Set-up (click to enlarge)

My goal was to take control of whole Iberia, its cities and provinces. I started quickly by taking Saguntum, but then disease struck my legions and out of nowhere Hasdrubal came for epic battle:

Hannibal 1.2
First battle in the initial campaign – and last one too…

Well, we had like 13 battle cards each when struggle started which meant huge causalities plus nobody thought about retreating / withdrawal / battle avoidance. We fought till the death – and death unexpectedly came – for Scipion:

Hannibal 1.3

Yes, after like 2-3 move and one quick, large battle, Marcin completely eradicated my forces and won the campaign!

12. Campaign: Africa (204-201 BC)

Scipion landing in Iberia did not go as good as planned. Well, it did not go at all. So maybe another campaign? (scenario 12) – this time landing in Africa – of course, in similar setup with me as Rome and Marcin as Carthage:

Hannibal 2.1

This is tough for Carthage not because of military advantage of Rome, but because of political consequences of actions – you can see blue tokens of Carthage control – when they are all gone, Rome wins…

However, Marcin will not allow Romans just wander around Carthage? Of course not, Hannibal is recalled to North Africa and clashes in epic battle with my Scipion:

Hannibal 2.2
Epic clash (click to enlarge)

However, Marcin loses that fight – fortunately, enough forces survive to allow Hannibal to live another day. But that distraction is enough for Romans to remove last political control tokens of Carthage and win the scenario:

Hannibal 2.3
Rome wins this time! (click to enlarge)

So one Campaign for Marcin and one for me! Now, as we still had some time this evening, instead of playing third campaign we jumped into something bigger – immediately to main scenario, Second Punic War!

01. Second Punic War (218-201 BC)

Being consistent, we decided to stay with the sides as we played previously – so I had Romans, and Marcin – Carthage:

Hannibal 3.1
Click to enlarge

It was very interesting game although we had time only to play two turns (out of nine). Below follows brief summary.

Turn 1

Hannibal 3.2

(1) Marcin moves his forces from Iberia, in the process taking over the province of Idubeda.

(2) I am moving my legions in direction of Alps, anticipating intrusion from Carthaginian side. I am also placing two political control markers there to make it harder for Marcin to take over that province.

(3) Here he comes. Hannibal crosses Alps and winters with one of the allied tribes, ready next year to strike into Italy.

(4) I am also moving the Sicilian force towards mainland Italy – initial thought is to subdue Bruttium, but as we shall see – this will be live-saving move for Romans.

First turn was rather a warm-up, with both sides preparing for real action soon.

Turn 2

And now things starts to heat-up. Significantly.

Hannibal 3.3

(5) First, we have two battles between Hannibal and Gracchus:

Hannibal 3.4

The latter gave ground in the end but not without taking some of the precious Hannibal forces.

(6) Sicilian Roman force tries to subjugate Bruttium – and is quite successfully in it, gaining one siege point quickly.

(7) We planned only to play that turn as we did not have more time. So Marcin with bold move starts to besiege Rome! Something which did not happened historically, now came true!

(8) And here the Sicilian army under leadership of Consul Flaminus shows its real importance – in the battle with Hannibal they are taking heavy loses but in the end Carthage army in Italy is being destroyed:

Hannibal 3.5

Summary:

As I said, we played two turns of Second Punic War to see how game looks like in broader, strategic perspective. And I must confirm – it is great. There are some many options, events are interesting and varied and I have a feeling we just scratched the strategy depth of the game (for example, we did not used naval movement yet). The campaigns are good introduction, but I can’t wait for our another session where we would have more time to play full Second Punic War!

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