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Subject: May 17, 2013: Back to Carthage rss

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David Dockter
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May 17, 2013: Back to Carthage.

Held our boot camp last week for this interesting and beefy wargame. Thought we would try to run thru the campaign game a Friday session at a time.

264 B.C.


Setting up

Listed are the activations for a turn in order drawn

1. Hiero opens with a siege of Messana

2. Carthage draws a Dumivar chit. Two fleets (III and IV) attempt raids and fail

3. Random event chit appears…a 97 rolled…a Libyan revolt results; no biggie.

4. Hanno Haml (IP-12) picks up forces in west Sicily and runs to Messana

5. Siege chit…. Carthaginian forces sieging Messana lose a SP as do the poor besieged

6. Dumivar Rome….naval battle of two 1 pt fleets…both sink. Rome takes its remaining fleet (and last naval SP) and attempts a raid. Naval disaster results; Rome now has no ships on the board.

7. Siege chit…. Carthaginian forces sieging Messana lose a SP as do the poor besieged

8. Hans Gisgo: Pass

9. Rome Consul: Consul Army 1 crosses the straights and marches to relieve siege of Messana. Leader fails continuation roll.

10. Rome Consul: Consul Army 2 runs up north to liberate a few armies and shield against any barbarian intrusions.

Turn Summary: Naval sparing…nothing conclusive. Showdown in Messana doesn’t occur but stage set for 263 B.C.

Game Comments: Getting the hang of how things move. Didn’t even bother to reread the rules for the session, although two of the players did. Really like the flow of the movement (land and naval); move units (no movement allowance), but pay for associated attrition and attempt continuation rolls. Random events can really toss a spanner into the works; didn’t this turn. Turn took us about 1 hour to complete.

263 B.C.

Rome Leaders: 313 (Atilius) takes command of Consular 1 Army and 331 (Fabius) takes command of Consular 2 Army. 339 (Valerius) become the commander of the garrison at Rome.

Comment: Getting Atilius to lead the assault on Messana was a coup: he is one of the top leaders from Rome. Roman leadership is pleased. One thing the Roman side mucked up was in not recruiting enough leaders to manage its 3 fleets that would arrive this turn (the 4th fleet, at Tarentum, Rome built the max {over 5 ships} so it would arrive the following turn).

Carthagian Politics: No change in ruling family. Orientation is Cautious.

Builds: Both Rome and Carthage decide to build fleets.

Comment: It took us a LONG time to understand how many fleets and ships we could build. Rules VERY opaque for us on this point. FINALLY, determine Carthage could build 1 Fleet and the number of ships built was a function of the port capacity of where it is built (essentially, player decides how many ships up to max of port capacity – trade-offs in going over 5 ships or going less). Rome rolls a die to determine its number of fleets…rolls a “9” and builds four fleets (Tarentum, Ostia, Neapolis, Rhegium).

LAM activations

1. Rome Dumivar: Fleets sail…naval battle at Messana. Roman fleet remains and sails into port.

2. Carthage: First battle of Messana. Rome has 43 SPs…DRM (Die Roll Modifiers) of -1 for Ldr, -1 for Carthage Sub ldr, -1 Carthage elites, +2 for Fleets … combat result is 15/15 – each side takes 15% losses….a push

3. Random events. Rome is slapped silly by dice gods: a “50”…consul gets ill (Rome loses its “A” ranked leader at Messana (Attilius) and is replaced by a total blanking bum – an “E” ranked leader). Rome groans, as its plans to liberate Messana, take a BIG turn towards potential disaster.

4. Carthage Dumivar: Carthage pulls off a successful raid (which means Rome will have a -2 on its Manpower roll) and another mutually destruction of fleets at Messana

5. IP-5 Grisgo: Pass

6. Hiero: The army of Syracuse runs out of Messana (Rome fails its intercept roll) to attempt to pick up some troops in Sicily. However, Hiero flubs his continuation roll and is stuck at Syracuse. Rome shouts for glee, now that the Carthaginian and Syracuse army has been divided. If only Rome can get the chance to assault & defeat each army in turn…

7. Proconsul: A Roman proconsul takes its small fleet and sails into Messana.

8. Consul: Consular Army 2, in Northern Italy, initiates the siege of Genoa

9. IP-8: Carthage fleet sails to Carthage.

10. Proconsul: Pass

11. IP-12: OC (Overall Commander) orders a SP to Sicily

12. IP-8: Pass

13. Siege Attrition: Messana: Rome loses 1 SP and is now down to 1 SP. At Genoa, all enemy forces starve to death and Roman forces enter the city.

14. Siege Attrition: Messana: No effect.

15. IP-12: Pass

16. Consul: 2nd Battle of Messana. Some discussion in Roman camp about whether to attack. One consul cautioned patience, the other nutcase favored rolling the dice in a reckless attack. The DRMs were as follows: +2 Cav, +2 Odds, -3 Disorganized, -3 leader….for a net -2. Combat roll resulted in Rome suffering 20% losses, a Major Defeat and the shame of having a “Useless” counter placed upon it. Carthage took 10% losses and smiled. Valerius (the bum Roman leader rated as an “E”) retreated to Tauromenium. After the combat, Rome had 27 SPs and Carthage had 16 SPs.

Essentially, the nutcase consul was going for a Vegas; about a 40% chance of non-horrible result and potentially some very positive results. The idea was to press the attack (attrition, we think, favors Rome) and get lucky. And, Rome had cavalry superiority, which meant if Rome did get lucky, it might get a BIG cav pursuit.

The downside, which occurred, meant the Consular Army 1 would be wrecked for a few turns (with a poor organizational state) - and will likely be disbanded. Essentially, if an army is even disrupted, it suffers a significant penalty on attack. Each turn, a force improves its state by one ( normal, disrupted, disorganized, useless) - or it can take an activation in a med/large city, sit there and nurse its wounds - and improve the state one pip. So, Rome would be stuffed in Sicily until new forces would arrive.

Session Comments: We had a blast again.

Wrote the position down (easy to do, and, we had copied all displays so we just wrote the strengths/etc. on those charts so that we can continue soon. It was also great as gamers stopped by to ask what we were planning and take the opportunity to hopefully rope in a few wargamers. One thing we usually do is to bring copies of other recently arrived games and lay them out on other tables at The Source. Below are a few of those games (the new S&T Vietnam game, Ici c'est la France! The Algerian War of Independence 1954-62 , La Bataille Moscowa, Liberty Roads, Imperium Romanum II).


New acqisitions


La Bat!

Game Comments: VERY positive at this point. VERY.

Components? They're fine. Map is nice - although we will be going to Kinko's to expand the size of it.

As previously indicated in last session, this game cries out for bits. Need something cool for to signify the consular armies. Will get cracking on that.

Need a play aid that shows where all the damm tables are (42 tables scattered on charts provided with the game...and, probably need a few more - some streamlined things for the political rules, a play sequence, etc...will see if there is anything here on BGG)

Rules? Yes, some of the rules continue to be loose (Messana Roman friendly occupied and besieged – no leader, Roman Consular Army occupied Messana {but, evidently outside the city}…it is 2x the sieging force, but, the siege keeps active? And, if the Roman Consular Army attacks the sieger, can friendly besieged force join in? Can Roman Consular Army move into the friendly siege city and drop SPs off? Many questions related to a friendly force coming to the add of friendly besieged force). We really didn’t find the Roman political rules to be that maddening, but, maybe it is because we are still not playing correctly. The thing that really drove us mad was the rules for building fleets (it’s even cited in the index – how to build them – but the rules are very unclear on how many ships can be built).

Strategy Comments: We don't really know what we're doing yet. Last week and this week, Rome has went to sicily with two legions and had it's butt kicked. First run thru they lost the entire army. This time, it's beat up and licking its wounds. Probably need to come with 4 legions - not 2. Interesting naval options; both building fleets/ships and moving them. Both Carthage and Roman have went after Messana; either get a fleet in port or in position to intercept anything. Each has tried raids. No action yet in Corsica or Sardinia; but we can see why those will become important.

In examining the victory conditions, there's the auto victories

1. Rome takes Carthage, Carthage takes one large or two medium cities in Italy

2. one side controls Corsica+Sardinia+Sicily {all med/large cities in Sicily+Melita(6725)+Lipara(5616)}

3. naval victory (control and a squadron in every major/sec port in Sicily & Mare Africum (port in South Sardinia, Carthage and Utica)

Assuming no auto victory, VPs for control of geography (basically everything between Italy and Carthage. Essentially, it looks like Sicily - the the sea around it - determines the winner.

Game Play? Fantastic so far. The system produces great story and provides strategy gamers which many interesting choices (and trade-offs). Can’t wait to continue our campaign.

Related, had a fellow gamer (BGG handle Uncle_Duke) walk up to the table. Good guy, asked what we were playing and what strategy games we would recommend (he even wants to take the plunge into WiF. I recommended a good heavy strategic game starter point as Paths of Glory. Why not start with the masterpiece?). Turns out he is primarily a WWII tactical gamer – he’s even an ASL player. Anyways, one good comment he made was that the one strategic level wargame he had played, Third Reich, is the reason he can never play Axis and Allies again. That, once you’ve tasted prime beef, why eat cheap hamburger?

Same way I feel about Berg’s Carthage; it’s going to be difficult in the future to play any strategic level ancients game without this level of beef (a heavy integrated political, military and economic game).
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Mick Weitz
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Re: May 17, 2003: Back to Carthage
Very nice session report and associate commentary. I look forward to reading what happens. This games creates an extremely compelling narrative; one of the reasons it's a favorite of mine.

Good Gaming~! Mick
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David Dockter
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Re: May 17, 2003: Back to Carthage
Stumbled across this:

http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?14@@.1dcf9f95/5534



Ancient World: Carthage

1st Punic War Scenario

Reflections on Key Rules by Jay Czarnecki


Rome

1) The scenario specific Roman Legion Limit rule is a key constraint:

“Rome may never have more than 3 Consular Armies (the equivalent of 6 legions) outside of Roman Italy at any time and no more than 2 Consular armies (the equivalent of 4 legions) in any one province. For this purpose, Sicilia, Sardinia, and Liguria are treated as single provinces. The number of legions within Roman Italy is limited solely by the counter mix of available legions.”

Rome needs to keep this one in mind when assigning Imperium during Elections.

2) The scenario specific rule Roman Naval Transport Limitation rule also impacts the early game:

“He may not use Naval Transport until both Ostia and Neapolis are built to maximum capacity. Remember that strait crossings are not considered Naval Transport.”

It takes Rome four turns to bring Ostia and Neapolis to full capacity. During the Force Increase Determination phase, you can either:
• Build fleets – and you can NOT increase port capacities this turn, OR
• Raise land units – and you CAN increase port capacities this turn.
This forces the Roman player to make some tough construction decisions in the first several turns. This also means that understanding the rules for strait crossing are important: they are the only way Rome can get land forces into Sicily in the early going. And they will be contested by Carthage fleets. So does Rome emphasize building fleets or increasing port capacity in the early turns?

3) The scenario specific rules on how and when Syracuse changes sides are key for both sides. A risky tactic confirmed as OK on Consimworld by Alan Ray is for the player Allied to Syracuse to send Hiero on a “fool’s errand”, leaving Syracuse city ungarrisoned, allowing you to attack the city defended only by city militia.

4) You only get to use Land Supply in Sicily if you’re allied to Syracuse, or control the city of Syracuse (Carthage starts allied to Syracuse).

5) Rome has to watch the automatic victory conditions in the early going if things go Carthage’s way in Sicily. It’s not too hard for Carthage to make a run at an automatic victory if he secures Messana and keeps Hiero allied. The victory conditions are somewhat involved - check out my Victory Conditions Player Aid.

Carthage

1) The Manpower rules – remember that Carthaginian infantry and cavalry can’t leave Africa – which really limits what you can do with that Carthage Army II.

2) The scenario specific rules on how and when Syracuse changes sides are key for both sides. See above.

3) You only get to use Land Supply in Sicily if you’re allied to Syracuse, or control the city of Syracuse (Carthage starts allied to Syracuse).

Details that are easy to forget during play.

There was a ruling on Consimworld on garrisons. You can only drop off SPs so that, when added to any existing garrison, the new garrison does not exceed the IDS. Garrisons can get larger than the IDS by other means; this rule is only for dropping off SPs. Remember to check the City Display sheets for non-standard values for a city’s IDS.

The number of fleets you can build in a port is limited by it Port Harbor Capacity. For this rule and the other ones that use Port Harbor capacity, remember to check the City Display sheets for non-standard values for a port’s capacity.

Both players are limited in the number of Admirals that can be in play at the same time: Admirals in play are limited to the number of Major Ports controlled by the player (Carthage city counts as two).
The Major Ports that start controlled by Carthage are: Carthage and Lilybaeum (so that allows 3 Admirals)
The Major Ports that start controlled by Rome are: Ostia, Neapolis, and Tarentum.
Massilia starts allied to Carthage, but not controlled.
Syracusa starts allied to Carthage, but not controlled

Both players are constrained by the following: a player may not build a Fleet if the total number of squadrons he has in play equals or exceeds the total Port Harbor Capacity of all the Major Ports he currently controls. If the player can build a Fleet, the number of Squadrons built cannot exceed the difference between that Capacity and the number of squadrons currently in play.

The Winter rules for fleets are harsh: for the winter move during the Port Segment, the player picks the destination port, makes the move, then “Squadrons in excess of that destination Port’s capacity are eliminated.” You’re not allowed to drop off squadrons at smaller ports along the way. So keep in mind where you’re going to Winter as you move fleets around.

Corvus equipped fleets check for a Major Disaster on roll of natural “0” or “9” (versus just “0”).

Raids can only be conducted by fleets of 1 or 2 squadrons.

Remember to increase your SCR after capturing a city by Assault or Attrition (max = zero)

Only one Siege Engine per Army allowed.

Proconsuls and praetors can’t use Treachery.

Remember to add your City Militia at the start of a siege – I always forget that one. And remember to check the City Display sheets for non-standard values for a city’s IDS
 
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David Dockter
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Re: May 17, 2003: Back to Carthage
Got in another great session yesterday.



And, the dreaded Helmet of Shame made an appearance. Will post a session report sometime soon.
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David Dockter
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Re: May 17, 2003: Back to Carthage
Next session report:

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/12397652
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