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Subject: Why no special abilities for Hannibal? rss

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John Rogers
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Alexander and Caesar get special compensation (namely an extra battle die). I wonder why there isn’t anything similar for Hannibal? Like the other two men, he certainly dominated his enemies and arguably a greater overall foe (Rome) than the two aforementioned men. Has Mr. Borg ever addressed it?

Anyone try Hannibal with a +1 die in combat?

I’m just curious. No big deal. I rate the game a 10. I was just thinking aloud and wanted to include you all.

Thanks!
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Steve N
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I think the answer is probably because he features early in the base game. I suspect the designer would have been keen not to overburden the early scenarios with too many special cases.

I agree it would seem fitting given the special attention afforded to other revered generals and I doubt it would be game-breaking to give him +1 die in battle.
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I think the main reason is that he was in the base game, and that such special rules were supposed to come only in subsequent expansions: Alexander in Greece, Caesar and Spartacus in Barbarians/Rome...

As such, his strategic skill was translated into the hand size, most of the times much larger than his opponents (6-4 very often).

But this could also have been done on purpose, because his reputation came from his care in preparing battles more than from his momentum in combat, so maybe the hand size is just a better way to portray his skills.


PS/ If the hand size integrates already his advantage over the enemy, maybe adding a die bonus would be too much...
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Dom Rougier
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I think there's actually a case against it - Alexander and Caesar are both written about (in highly biased, self-aggrandising accounts) taking part in personal combat, or at least being in danger in the front lines.

Aside from dubious nonsense like the Hannibal/Scipio duel at Zama in Livy, there aren't similar stories about Hannibal. The character of Hannibal (in Polybius at least) is that of a genius, whom the Romans end up defeating anyway - so I suspect that's better modelled in the number of command cards the sides receive.
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John Rogers
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But aren’t Alexander and Caesar also afforded the increased handsize advantage? And I get the argument of Hannibal not fighting but apart from Alesia, did Caesar ever fight? Again, just thinking about this aloud.
 
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Dom Rougier
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In his commentaries, there are plenty of examples (bearing in mind the author...) of him in the front line of his troops, steadying the line in the thick of the fighting. Not necessarily fighting, but certainly being *in* the fight.

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Domfluff wrote:
In his commentaries, there are plenty of examples (bearing in mind the author...) of him in the front line of his troops, steadying the line in the thick of the fighting. Not necessarily fighting, but certainly being *in* the fight.

leading by being in the fighting is not beingin command. Leading from behind is not an oxymoron in ancients as far as control is concerned. There is an expresion of leading in sense of providing morale, courage and elan but that is not control. We gamers have a gods eye view that we know was far from present on the battlefield. Most often cammand was a deployment/plan and hope that what little control that there was could be decisive. We know that Alexander the Great and his companion's charges were usually a coup de grâce, it was not a lead. leading is command control - not some tribal chiel big brave in the front for melee.
 
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Dom Rougier
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Krsnaji wrote:
leading by being in the fighting is not beingin command. Leading from behind is not an oxymoron in ancients as far as control is concerned. There is an expresion of leading in sense of providing morale, courage and elan but that is not control. We gamers have a gods eye view that we know was far from present on the battlefield. Most often cammand was a deployment/plan and hope that what little control that there was could be decisive. We know that Alexander the Great and his companion's charges were usually a coup de grâce, it was not a lead. leading is command control - not some tribal chiel big brave in the front for melee.

Sure, but Caesar writes frequently about how his presence in the front line , exposing himself to risk, was the decisive point in battles.

He's obviously writing for self-promotion - that's the entire point of the commentaries - so you can doubt the reality of the situation all you like, but the point holds that if you're recreating one of those battles based on the source material, his presence has an impact.
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In fairness, as well, Caesar and Alexander won more tactical engagements over a longer period than did Hannibal.
 
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Christopher Corrigan
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Domfluff wrote:
Krsnaji wrote:
leading by being in the fighting is not beingin command. Leading from behind is not an oxymoron in ancients as far as control is concerned. There is an expresion of leading in sense of providing morale, courage and elan but that is not control. We gamers have a gods eye view that we know was far from present on the battlefield. Most often cammand was a deployment/plan and hope that what little control that there was could be decisive. We know that Alexander the Great and his companion's charges were usually a coup de grâce, it was not a lead. leading is command control - not some tribal chiel big brave in the front for melee.

Sure, but Caesar writes frequently about how his presence in the front line , exposing himself to risk, was the decisive point in battles.

He's obviously writing for self-promotion - that's the entire point of the commentaries - so you can doubt the reality of the situation all you like, but the point holds that if you're recreating one of those battles based on the source material, his presence has an impact.
Does C&C model propaganda?
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John Rogers
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NimitsTexan wrote:
In fairness, as well, Caesar and Alexander won more tactical engagements over a longer period than did Hannibal.

I saw something that said Hannibal (18), Alexander (22), Caesar (23). Seems pretty close. Also Hannibal has some MAJOR historic victories such as Lake Trasimene and Cannae (Alexander and Caesar have their major wins too of course). It seems the dominance and impact of Hannibal looms as large in his day as those of Alexander and Caesar to me.

I guess it’s kinda like comparing different athletes of the same sport in wildly different eras. I tend to ask the question of dominance in their eras. And Hannibal seems to have been the stuff of nightmares for Rome.
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Mark McG
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My view is that Hannibal's mastery was displayed in his ability to form and train an army, and move it into position, to outfox his adversaries, and pick battlefields that gave him advantage, and trapped his opponents.

He also briefed his generals before the battle about the way it was to be fought, leading to more coordinated actions, something Romans seemed less capable of, particularly the bickering Consuls.

There is no indication he appeared on the battlefield leading his troops, and if I recall, is noticed several times directing the placement of reserves. So his abilities should reflect those characteristics, and his higher level of Command seems adequate to me.

Alexander did lead from the front, at least part of the time, and the Macedonian way of war seems to encourage the display of personal valour of the generals. Kings seem more prone to this that generals. By contrast, did Pyrrhus personally join the fighting? I don't recall so.

The Roman method was more directive, Commanders were expected to remain behind the troops and direct the battle, to move the reserves. I don't recollect for certain, but my impression was that Caesar only fought in person when things were going very badly for the Romans, and that normally he would have been directing the army from the rear.
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John Rogers
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Minedog3 wrote:
My view is that Hannibal's mastery was displayed in his ability to form and train an army, and move it into position, to outfox his adversaries, and pick battlefields that gave him advantage, and trapped his opponents.

He also briefed his generals before the battle about the way it was to be fought, leading to more coordinated actions, something Romans seemed less capable of, particularly the bickering Consuls.

There is no indication he appeared on the battlefield leading his troops, and if I recall, is noticed several times directing the placement of reserves. So his abilities should reflect those characteristics, and his higher level of Command seems adequate to me.

Alexander did lead from the front, at least part of the time, and the Macedonian way of war seems to encourage the display of personal valour of the generals. Kings seem more prone to this that generals. By contrast, did Pyrrhus personally join the fighting? I don't recall so.

The Roman method was more directive, Commanders were expected to remain behind the troops and direct the battle, to move the reserves. I don't recollect for certain, but my impression was that Caesar only fought in person when things were going very badly for the Romans, and that normally he would have been directing the army from the rear.

In this context, Alexander’s +1 die vs Hannibal’s lack thereof makes sense. However, Caesar’s +1 die seems a bit shaky compared to Alexander’s, again given what you have written above.
 
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Dom Rougier
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Krsnaji wrote:
Does C&C model propaganda?

Obviously yes? Ancient battles tend to be badly sourced at the best of times, and where there are sufficient details for a plausible recreation (which absolutely is not the case for every battle in C&C:A), you're usually only referring to one source, which is usually commissioned for the purposes of propaganda.
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Giulio
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Maybe of some interest. Despite the title, it is not only about Napoleon.

https://towardsdatascience.com/napoleon-was-the-best-general...
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Mark McG
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g1ul10 wrote:
Maybe of some interest. Despite the title, it is not only about Napoleon.

https://towardsdatascience.com/napoleon-was-the-best-general...

I initially couldn't even see Napoleon, far off in the right top corner.
Not just the best, best by a long margin according to this data.
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Aaron Fleming
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I agree with what most here have said. Base game combined with lack of reliable accounts. Ultimately, he's on the losing side which makes it harder; he has some good victories but not enough to counter that. There are likely generals on winning sides that weren't as good as our view of history would suggest and, no doubt, there were generals who weren't as bad either. Of course, there are many ways to simulate good and bad in a game of C&C.
 
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