AAR - Introductory Level Game

Hannibal: Rome and Carthage in the Second Punic War is a new and innovative turn-based strategy game that puts you in command of the Carthaginian military during a period of total war over land and sea with the young Roman Republic.

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massina_nz
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AAR - Introductory Level Game

Post by massina_nz » Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:48 am

Okay probably only be one of the very few AARs for this game but I'd thought I could some small excitement at least on the forum.

I still own a copy for the board-game for this and loved it 25 years ago when I bought it and still play it once every 3-4 years. So i was pretty incentivised to purchase the computerised verison. I plan to publish 3 AARs following a similar strategy but at each of the three difficulty levels.

What is my strategy? Primarily to force Rome into submission by grinding her forces down in open battles where possible and by denuding it of it's allies, then besiege Rome. Sound familiar? Didn't work for Hannibal. I'll want to ensure that Hannibal is present at most of the pitched battles so I can utilise his Punic tricks cards and his high leadership rating. The other Carthaginian leaders will essentially be used to ferry troops around the eastern med and to recruit more troops.

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I choose a standard start, don't really see the point of an alternate invasion route.

Start at 104 VPs vs 126VPs, nothing like starting as the underdog

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Here is Hannibal's finishing postion, all ready for Sempronius to do something rash

First of all I send all my fleets back to port in Carthage. I definitely want to have one Uber-fleet and not disperse my limited naval resources

Hasdrubal moves all his army to New Carthage in Spain– no point staying in the field when the Romans are sure to arrive next turn. I can’t retreat to a camp at this level, so I don't want Hasdrubal to fight a pitched battle in a weakened state

I end my turn

I get a Treachery card – a good start – And I recruit one Spanish Infantry unit in New Carthage

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Sempronius recruits a gallic ally – then plays remove Numidian ally from Hannibal – then African desertion – I choose to remove an African infantry unit as I want to keep my cavalry units for the first pitched battle.

I intercept Sempronius and play the Surprise Punic Trick card, as I want to minimise my casualties to my troops this early in the game. The Romans won't get any hits on me for the first turn, and I may not be able to eliminate all the Roman units as I only cause routs in the 1st turn, so some may escape.

Romans play Rampant Elephants – and I get 7 rout hits, perfect – that just leaves a single Italian Ally Cavalry to face in the second round of combat. Next round I score 6 hits & 2 routs so all of the Roman units are destroyed – and I just have to rout one unit which I get back at the end of the battle.

Mediolanum changes sides with my victory.

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I draw this bonus card – which will be useful when Spain is invaded

Scipio then leaves Genua for Spain with five units as expected – plays roman siege card on Emporium – so it falls without a fight

Scipio then goes into camp in the field

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All those Romans and Italians I just destroyed re-appear.

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Not facing any great talent yet.

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Post by IainMcNeil » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:28 am

Thanks - great idea :)

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Post by massina_nz » Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:38 pm

I forgot to add that I've played two basic games before this one. The first was a huge defeat where all I had left was Numidia and Carthage at the end of turn 20, in the second I took Rome on turn 18. So I feel pretty confident with playing the game at the basic level.

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Turn 2

Post by massina_nz » Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:31 pm

I choose to re-inforce Spain in order to bolster my forces there and hopefully overwhelm Scipio's forces there. I buy two fleets for Carthage.

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I play the Gallic aid card and receive 1 Gallic cavalry and 2 Gallic infantry units with Hannibal

I assault Patavium with all of Hannibal's troops and take it with no casualties, I leave Mago and a Gallic infantry behind in Patavium.

I use my Treachery card on Genua and it falls without a fight, the 2 Roman fleets stationed there escape to the Ligurian Sea

I enter Etruria and burn some villas hoping to incite the Romans to battle. I then storm Perusia and take it without casualties

I think about storming Pisa, but instead go into camp in Etruria hoping that the sight of burning villas will draw the Romans out in their turn.

Hanno takes the 4 spanish units in Carthage over the Med to New Carthage, in Spain. I leave Carthage defended by only the intrinsic Militia, as I don't expct the Romans to be that aggressive this early in the game.

I also send the 7 unit strong fleet in Carthage to New Carthage

The victory point score is now 103(Carthage) to 123(Rome)

I end my turn and draw a punic tricks card

I recruit a spanish infantry in New Carthage and a 2 Gallic Infantry units in Patavium

Scipio leaves Spain (damn!) and goes to Rhegium in the toe of Italy, he then recruits two scratch legions with an option card - I think missed my opportunity here to destroy Scipio. I could have attacked him in my turn at a 5 to 3 unit advantage, but that advantage could have been whittled away by Roman option cards, so I decided that Hasdrubal should stay safely in New Carthage.

The Romans bulk up their naval presence in the Med & Ionian seas.

Gracchus moves with 6 units into Etruria and I eagerly intercept with Hannibal and play the surprise punic tactic, again to protect my forces so they will receive no hits in the first round of combat, but only score rout hits. I put all my cavalry units in my front line so it will maximise my pursuit potential. I score 9 routs in the first round of combat, routing all the Roman units, then score 4 eliminations in the pursuit round, and Gracchus retreats to Pisa, plus doesn't get promoted as he only lasted one round in combat with Hannibal. I get to draw an option card after defeating an army with Roman General in it – and not a very exciting one, add or remove 1 Italian ally unit.

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My enemies losses are replaced

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I have to face some slightly better leaders next turn.

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Turn 3

Post by massina_nz » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:47 am

I choose to reinforce Italy and build two fleets in Carthage

I send 7 fleets to the Ligurian sea to attack the 2 Roman fleets there, in the first round of battle I inflict 1 hit for no losses. The sole remaining Roman fleet flees to Pisa. My aim was to allow Hanno to send re-inforcements to Italy without attrition. So I needed to clear the Ligurian sea. I then put fleets into port at Genua.

I then send Hanno with 4 Spanish infantry from New Carthage to besiege Pisa. I then play remove 1 Italian ally infantry from Pisa, then the Romans play numidian desertion, which weakens Hannibal's force. I then remove another Italian ally unit from Pisa with an option card.

Hannibal stays in Etruria burning crops. If the Romans want to relieve Pisa they will need to fight Hannibal first.

I activate Mago and send 1 Gallic infantry to Genua

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Dispositions in Italy and only 2 option cards left

I end my turn

I draw a pretty average card, and recruit 1 Spanish infantry and 2 Gallic infantry

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A Roman Admiral moves their med squadron of 4 fleets to the Ligurian sea and combines with the fleet in Pisa too have 5 fleets in the Ligurian sea.

Marcellus leaves Rome with 4 Infantry goes to Umbria and then enters Cisapline Gaul and loses 1 unit to attrition – he then storms Mediolanum and takes the city but losses 1 Roman infantry unit in doing so. He then assaults Turin and fails, losing his all his units in the first turn, he retreats with his sole remaining infantry back to Placentia.

No more significant moves are made by the Romans

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Some weaker leaders to face next turn

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Post by IainMcNeil » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:52 am

I've never had 7 fleets! I probably should focus more on navy at the start of the game so I can get reinforcements over to Italy more easily.

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Post by massina_nz » Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:49 am

iainmcneil wrote:I've never had 7 fleets! I probably should focus more on navy at the start of the game so I can get reinforcements over to Italy more easily.
Maybe becasue I'm playing on basic level, the harder levels may restrict how many fleets you can recruit.

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Turn 4

Post by massina_nz » Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:34 am

Start the turn with 110VPs (Me) to 133VPs (Roman)

I choose to re-inforce Spain, and build two African infantry units in Carthage

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Hannibal moves to Umbria and captures all the minor citiies there - Ariminium, Corfinium and Luceria for the loss of 1 African infantry unit. He then stays in camp to intercept any Roman armies entering the province. I don’t want to besiege a city because he won't be able to use his use punic tricks card.

Hanno then takes Pisa without loss

I then move my 7 fleet squadron out of Genua to attack the 5 fleet strong roman squadron in the Ligurian sea. In the first turn of battle – I inflict 2 hits, lose 1 hit & rout – in the 2nd turn – in inflict 3 routs and lose 1 fleet. The remaining 3 Romans fleets flee to the Tyrrhenian sea – my fleet goes to Pisa.

In Spain Hasdrubal liberates Emporion, and then returns to New Carthage – His Spanish forces are not really strong enough to stay in the field if the Romans invade Spain. The drawback of doing this I can only recruit 1 Spanish unit a turn, but at least it doesn’t drain Spanish manpower as fast, even though that is currently in rich supply.

I end my turn.

I draw revolt in Sicily

1 Spanish infantry is recruited in New Carthage, 1 Italian infantry in Pisa, and 1 Gallic cavalry in Cisapline Gaul (manpower pool has dimished a lot there)

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Romans form a mega 8 fleet squadron in the Tyrrhenian sea

Then they play recruits in rome and scratch legions = 4 units in Rome.

Marcellus moves with 8 units from Rome into Cispaline Gaul via Placentia, he assaults Turin and takes it losing 1 unit, then places Genua under siege.

At end of the Roman turn they play re-inforcements in Rome and recruit 4 more units.

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Still some pretty average leaders facing me in Italy.

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Turn 5

Post by massina_nz » Sat Oct 02, 2010 6:00 am

I choose to re-inforce Spain again as I want to move my fleets there so I can put Hasdrubal's army into the field to improve recruitment.

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Northern Italy at start of my turn

Quick check of Italian provinces shows that all are low on manpower except Etruria

The VP score is getting closer at 133 vs 136

All my naval elements sent to New Carthage

Then Hannibal moves to relieve the siege of Genua

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I inflict 5 hits and 2 routs – I lose 2 hits (thankfully I have African infantry that can absorb both of those) and I rout the 2 Spanish infantry units as I can bring one of them back next turn.

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Second turn, if Flaminius survives he’ll get promoted

Romans inflicts 2 hits - I score 2 hits and 5 routs – I lose 2 Spanish infantry units. That leaves just one routed unit left of his which is killed in pursuit, so Falminius is killed and I draw Treachery. I've suffered soem significant losses in this battle – which shows the benefit of punic tricks – I should probably have used some of militia units to take losses on, but I wanted to make sure the battle didn’t go two rounds, so I put my more effective units in the battle-line.

Hannibal takes the 5 Gallic units from Patavium as re-inforcements and then takes Placentia with treachery. He then retakes Turin & Mediolanum, losing one Gallic infantry in the process. I leave Hannibal in the field and send some Gallic infantry to Placentia to bolster the new garrison there.

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Dispositions at the end of Hannibal's move

Hasdrubal moves into central Spain.

I end my turn

I draw re-inforce Hannibal – good card given my recent loses in Italy– Hannibal sorely needs some African infantry.

I recruit 2 Spanish infantry, 1 Gallic infantry with Hannibal and an Italian infantry in Pisa.

The Romans counter-attack agressively. Marcellus double moves to Latium with 11 units, which is reduced down to 9 units due to attrition. He then leaves Italy for Spain with 10 units, loses another 2 units to attrition again and takes Emporion. He then moves again in Spain – do I intercept? If he goes for New Carthage he will take it making it hard on me, but I can’t play remove 3 units in Spain card that I have been keeping in reserve. If I lose the pitched battle I can always retreat to New Carthage and await re-inforcements from Africa. Well the Leaders are balanced in ability, and I have numerical superiority, so I choose to inter cept

In the first turn of battle I score a hit and a rout, he only inflicts a rout

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Second round of combat – 2 hits and 1 rout are scored against me, and I inflict 3 hits

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The Romans retreat and I pursue, but neither side inflicts any hits. Still a great victory for me. I draw punic tricks and Hasdrubal (my 2nd best general) – gets promoted.

Servilius moves from Umbria to Arminium with 8 units – takes it and loses 1 unit to the militia there – then he attacks Cornifium, whcih he takes without losses – then Luceria is taken with loss of 1 unit – then he moves back to Asculum.

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Roman manpower starts to fizzle-out

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Number of leaders increases as Rome feels more threatened

Romans turn ends

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Post by Surtur » Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:17 pm

Very cool! Thanks for sharing

massina_nz
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Turn 6

Post by massina_nz » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:47 pm

As manpower has dropped so much in Cisapline Gaul I decide to send Mago to Gaul to recruit some more troops, so I choose send army to gaul as my senate option – I also choose to build an African infantry & Numidian cavalry in Carthage

The victory poitns stand at 121(Me) to 125(Rome)

Mago sent by his lonesome to Gaul

I play remove 3 units in Spain – then Hasdrubal besieges Emporion

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With Cisapline Gaul and Etruria under my sway I decide to campaign in Umbria.

Hanno leaves Pisa with 4 Spanish infantry in tow, and besieges Ancona.

I play send any 2 units to Hannibal and send a cavalry and infantry unit from Carthage to Hannibal. Hannibal then attacks all minor cities in Umbria – he takes them but loses 4 units in doing so, very expensive. He then finishes his move by besigeing Asculum – this leaves Hanno vulnerable if the Romans choose to attack him. Not such a wise move on my behalf.

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I end my turn and get a pretty average option card

1 Spanish infantry in Spain and 1 Gallic infanftry in Gaul are recruited.

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Livius then takes 6 units from Rome into Cisalpine Gaul and suffers 2 attrition hits from crossing the mountains.

He takes Mediolanum for 1 loss then fails to take Patavium and loses 2 units leaving him with one

Fabius then leaves Spain with 3 units and goes to Rhegium

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Roman recruiting is better than last turn

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Will be facing some weak leaders next turn

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Turn 7

Post by massina_nz » Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:03 pm

I choose to re-inforce Italy given Hannibal's recent heavy losses.

Siege report advice – Emporion surrenders, Ancona will surrender in 1 year and Asculum in 2 years

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VPs now swing in my favour 139 to 109

My naval squadron leaves New Carthage and completely destroys 3 Roman fleets in Iberian sea and the 2 Roman fleets in the Ligurian sea – for the loss of only 1 fleet – it then sails into Genua.

With Grachus in Mediolanum with only 2 units, I now have a good opportunity to destroy a Roman leader – Hasdrubal leaves Spain with 5 Spanish infantry and arrives in Cisapline Gaul, merges with 2 Gallic infantry in the province and attacks Grachus. In the ensuing short battle I lose 1 Spanish infantry and kill Grachus and draw a Hannibal on the march option card, which is a card I need as I have been unable to double-move Hannibal all game so far – I now have no leader in Spain, so will have to choose re-inforce Spain next turn

Himilco take 5 units from Carthage to Pisa

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My dispositions in Italy

I draw extended march card – great just what I wanted as I can use this for any leader – I now have 7 cards

Recruit 1 Gallic infantry in Gaul and 1 Italian infantry in Pisa

Minicus moves 8 unit army into the field in Apulia and leaves it in camp in the province– wow, what an opportuniy for Hannibal for a pitched battle next turn. Not sure what the AI was thinking there.

Claudius moves 3 units from Rome into Cisapline Gaul, takes Mediolanum and Patavium but dies failing to take Turin.

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Some stronger generals to face next turn, but nothing Hannibal can't handle.

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Turn 8

Post by massina_nz » Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:07 am

I choose to reinforce Spain and build 2 African infantry in Carthage

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Ancona succumbs and I now get an attack bonus against Asculum, just in the nick of time for Hannibal so he can leave for Apulia

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Hannibal takes the 4 Spanish infantry that Mago was using to besiege Ancona and assaults Asculum

In the first round of battle I kill 3 units and lose 2 Gauls and and a Spaniard to rout

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In the second round I lose another Gaul and Spaniard and the Romans are reduced to one unit. Which succumbs in the 3rd round. before I draw a card for defeating another general, I am prompted to play a card – I choose 1 extra fleet in Carthage – the Romans then play rebellion in Spain – I must lose 3 units in Spain

Hannibal then goes to Etruria and grabs 8 units from Pisa then back to Umbria and then Apulia (have to play two extended move cards)

I attack Marcellus in the field and play cavalry manoeuver, I made sure I had double his cavalry before I attacked.

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Nothing like complete superiority in a pitched battle - all the pumped Cavalry units are in the front line.

I score 4 hits and 2 routs – and lose 1 Italian infantry

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I then wipe out the Romans in the second round of battle for the loss of 1 Spanish infantry and draw revolt in Sicily and play it, with Sicily going over to me

Total victory is near as there are no remaining Roman field armies.

I then take Brundisim losing an Italian ally infantry unit in the process.

I send Himilco back to Carthage and Mago to Spain

I move Hasdrubal to Pisa, in preparation for supporting the planned siege of Rome next turn.

I end my turn and draw Hannibal on the march and Recruit an Italian infantry unit in Pisa and 2 Spanish units in Spain

The Romans have their turn and completely destroy my Syracusan navy in the Ionian Sea

Valerius take only 2 units out of Rome and dies storming Perusia

Romans play 3 units in rome

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2 more legions in Rome – it’s back to 5/8 units just like that.

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Turn 9

Post by massina_nz » Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:22 am

I choose to re-inforce Italy – there are no Roman field armies left it is now time to lay siege to Rome

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I send 2 African infantry from Carthage to Hannibal using an option card, then move him to Latium and besiege Rome

Hasdrubal moves his army of 7 units from Pisa into Latium to prevent any siege relief

I then send all Spanish-based troops to Pisa – but can’t send any more troops from Carthage as I don’t have enough fleets to support that – damn losing those Syracusan fleets limited my ambitions here.

I recruit 1 Gallic infantry in Cisapline Gaul and 1 Italian infantry in Pisa

Romans don’t do much just recruit three legions one in each of remainng major cities: Neapolis, Capua and Tarentum.

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Turn 10

Post by massina_nz » Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:57 am

I send troops from Carthage to Pisa

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Only action I take is recruiting 1 infantry in Pisa

The Romans actually respond. Nero raises 6 unit strong army in Tarentum and takes all the minor cities in Umbria and besieges Ancona

Romans finish by recruiting 2 legions in Campania

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Turn 11

Post by massina_nz » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:53 am

I choose to re-inforce Spain and build 3 units in Carthage

Rome will surrender in 3 years.

Hasdrubal crosses over to Umbria and breaks the siege of Ancona, except he doesn’t have any cavalry so the surviving Romans flee to Luceria, where Hasdrubal follows-up and besieges them. With that victory Arminium goes back to my cause.

1 Spanish and 2 Italian infantry units are recruited.

Minor Roman activity – they just recruit 3 legions

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Turn 12

Post by massina_nz » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:57 am

I now get an attack bonus on Rome.

With 19 units I assault the 7 units in Rome. It's bloody but I take the city with only 5 units remaining unrouted or killed.

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Conclusion

Post by massina_nz » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:01 am

Well it didn't take that long to defeat Rome. It seems some of the AI moves are scripted, even when Rome is besieged or under threat they still attempt to re-conquer other provinces. Although the AI only really did one stupid move when they left an army in the field in Apulia.

It'll be interesting at the next level where commanders can retreat from battle in the field into their camp, I think that will make it a lot harder.

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Post by IainMcNeil » Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:45 am

Congratulations. I've heard there is a bug in the AI dealing with sieges which is being fixed. More info can be found over at the Matrix Games forum.

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Post by massina_nz » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:20 pm

iainmcneil wrote:Congratulations. I've heard there is a bug in the AI dealing with sieges which is being fixed. More info can be found over at the Matrix Games forum.
Thanks Ian. I haven't hit any bugs yet. If I do I'll report them on the Matrix games forum.

Will start normal game AAR shortly. Hey may even post a couple fo photos of my old boxed game for nostalgia reasons. BTW the coutners look exactly the same as the digitalised version, which is a nice touch.

My only quibble so far is how the AI doesn't attempt to protect Rome at all costs. But maybe this is because I've only played at the basic level so far.

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