DGS Games

GrogHeads Reviews Hannibal: Terror of Rome

“I swear that so soon as age will permit . . . I will use fire and steel to arrest the destiny of Rome.” Hannibal’s promise to his father, Hamilcar Barca (attrib.)

A Review by Boggit, 5 September 2014

Developed and published by AGEOD/Slitherine

I first saw Hannibal Terror of Rome at Slitherine’s Home of Wargamers 2014 presentation, and was immediately excited by the crucial last real attempt by Carthage to halt the expansion of the of early Roman Empire. The inability of Carthage to strategically defeat Rome left Rome the dominant power of the Western Mediterranean. Over the next 100 years Rome was able to exploit that situation to expand into and dominate the rest of the Mediterranean world. But what if Hannibal had fully exploited his dramatic early victories, and defeated Rome? Could the Carthaginians have arrested the advance of the Roman Empire, or even have subjugated Rome?

Hannibal Terror of Rome is the latest standalone expansion to AGEOD/Slitherine’s game Alea Jacta Est. It continues the development of the franchise most notably with Birth of Rome, and the Parthian Wars scenario pack. There is more to come. Philippe Malacher and Philippe Thibaut, both of AGEOD/Slitherine told me at Home of Wargamers 2014 that further expansions to the game will be arriving on average twice a year, with the game franchise ending after the Wars of Charlemagne! The next couple of DLC packs planned are likely to be Rome in the third century AD, focusing on the Palmyran Wars between Aurelian and Zenobia, with another focusing on Rome in Britain (as well as a hypothetical Hibernian campaign [set in Ireland]). Anyway, let’s get back to Hannibal

For those unfamiliar with the game system used in Hannibal, I refer you to my earlier article on Alea Jacta Est  since Hannibal uses exactly the same game engine. If you already have one or more games in the franchise, then there is no problem with duplicate files on your hard drive. Taking Philippe Malacher’s advice I simply installed Hannibal, copied over the content of the scenario folder from my other games (Alea Jacta Est, and/or Birth of Rome) into the Hannibal scenario folder, and uninstalled the other games. Simple.

The start screen where you can access not just the Hannibal scenarios, but other scenarios from the Alea Jacta Est family of games.

The start screen where you can access not just the Hannibal scenarios, but other scenarios from the Alea Jacta Est family of games.

Playable as either a standalone expansion, or consolidated into another Alea Jacta Est base game as a scenario pack, Hannibal offers six scenarios. Four are concentrated on the 2nd Punic War (218-200BC) essentially being different start dates for key stages of Hannibal Barca’s war with Rome. The other two cover the 1st Illyrian war (230-228BC), and The Roman-Gallic War (225-222BC), which while precursors to Hannibal’s war would also add to the politics of the 2nd Punic War.

So that’s what you have with Hannibal. In this review I have deliberately added a brief history to each conflict, not just for flavour /background reading, but also as a yardstick to assess whether the scenario fits the situation it claims to enact. So what makes each scenario special?

The 1st Illyrian War 230-228 BC

After winning a victory over the Aetolian Greeks, which shook the Greek World (the Aetolians were renowned for defeating the Galatian Invasion in 279BC), King Agron of the southern Illyrian Ardaiei tribe promptly died after his victory celebrations. His second wife, Queen Teuta took over as regent. As the Illyrians continued their successful campaign they attracted the attention of the Romans. Queen Teuta publicly approved piracy, and attacks on Latin merchants increased to the point where they could not be ignored. After the killing of a Roman envoy (prompted by his undiplomatic behaviour) the Romans prepared for war. Rome sent its forces to Corcyra (Corfu), despite the fact it had surrendered to the Illyrians, since its garrison commander Demetrius (a younger son of Agron) was willing to be a pretender to the Ardaiei throne. After receiving the surrender of Corcyra, the Roman army pushed inland, while the navy with supporting troops pushed against the coastal towns. As opposition stiffened inland, the Romans felt they had achieved enough. Queen Teuta sued for peace, Demetrius was installed as king over the captured territory, and Rome gained three important ports including Corcyra. Ultimately Rome would fight three wars with the Ardaiei, with hostilities continuing for a hundred years after this war, before the whole of Illyria became a Roman province.

A risky proposition - I can only transport part of the Achaian army over the Gulf of Corinth. While the Aetolian fleet is ordered to support this operation, the Illyrians can turn this into a disaster if they intercept with their powerful fleet.

A risky proposition – I can only transport part of the Achaian army over the Gulf of Corinth. While the Aetolian fleet is ordered to support this operation, the Illyrians can turn this into a disaster if they intercept with their powerful fleet.

The 1st Illyrian War scenario is a tough one to win compared to the actual history. Rome has to conquer the whole of Illyria, while keeping its initial holdings, whereas Illyria must capture the Greek cities, while keeping its initial holdings. Historically neither achieved this. In my playtest I played the Romans, and I’ll try to give you a flavour of the scenario without turning this into a full AAR. To start with my Consular army and my fleet are locked, although I can take decisions, and spend from the treasury to train replacements for the upcoming campaign. In the following turn the Illyrians get a historical event – mercenaries switching sides from the Greeks to the Illyrians, meanwhile Rome gets the opportunity to ally with the Greek states in response. Things gradually gather speed and the Epirot Greeks ally against the Illyrians, while my Romans remain locked. The alliances are important, since the Greek armies per state are quite small – being roughly 2,000 strong, and will need to combine to have any chance of facing the growing Illyrian menace. Unfortunately, the Epirots are up north, and there is no land route for the Achaian Greeks to link with the Aetolians, or with the Epirots, so the Achaian Greeks must rely on the limited carry capacity of their fleet to link up with the Aetolians. In the meantime I raise requisitions in the Greek states for my war chest, and some Epirot militia to help in the defence of their capital Molossus. I don’t want the Greeks to get overrun before the Romans manage to unlock their forces – clearly the Senate are still debating the merits of intervention.

After a couple more turns the Romans unlock as one of their ambassadors to Queen Teuta is murdered. Rome is at war, and the Consular Army, the Roman, and Tarentine fleet move to Brundisium in preparation for the campaign in northern Greece! They are intercepted by the Illyrians, but the larger Roman fleet breaks off and coincidentally destroys about half of the interceptors, to arrive safely in Aetolia. In the meantime, the Illyrians (the Ardaiei) secure a strategic flank by making peace with the Illyrian Dardanian tribe, while Rome appease the Gods by finding a vestal guilty of incest, and killing her for it!

I did better than the Illyrians, but not well enough… Oh, the shame!

I did better than the Illyrians, but not well enough… Oh, the shame!

The Roman/Greek/Tarentine combined fleet clashes with the lighter Illyrian fleet in a couple of epic battles ending Illyrian naval ascendancy, and the Romans immediately went to work relieving cities along the Greek coast, while the allied Greeks besieged cities captured by the Illyrians. Unfortunately, it all came to an end as the effective Illyrian general Scerdilaidas first stalemated the Romans in a series of clashes outside Apollonia and finally forced them to retreat. The clashes were very bloody on both sides with the Roman/Greek army generally coming off slightly worse. However we had been fighting in an area of wooded hills which suited the Illyrians.

The Romans went into winter quarters, raised more troops and looked to the campaign season in 228BC. In the meantime the remnants of the Illyrian fleet intercepted the Romans ferrying new mercenaries from Sicily doing some damage. Too late for me the game ended in a minor defeat, and terms were made.

The scenario is fun and a challenge to the Romans, with a few interesting historical events thrown in. The delay of the Roman entry into the war is both historical, since they didn’t declare it until their envoy was murdered and gives the Illyrians time to establish themselves. Historically, the Illyrians were no pushovers for the Romans, and I found the same. Ironically, Demetrius of Pharos never did come over to my side, perhaps he was waiting to see how well I did?

The Gaesatae (225-222BC)

This Roman-Gallic War came about when the Romans decided to heavily colonise the areas around Picenum mostly taken from the Gallic Senones tribe in 283BC after the Ager Gallicus War. The Gallic tribes had been at peace with Rome since 283BC, but Roman colonisation was already established as a pre-cursor to annexation. The main Gallic tribes – the Boii, and the Insubrii – now grew alarmed at the extension of Roman lebensraum. Meanwhile, theCenomanii, and the Venetii tribes cautiously watched developments. Seeing themselves as next on Rome’s territorial hit list they prepared for war, raising an army using the famed Gaesatae from the Rhone valley as a mercenary core. The war started well for the Gauls, defeating the Romans at Faesulae in 225BC, but by the end of the year the Gauls were decisively beaten at the battle of Telamon. The Romans then carried out punitive expeditions against the Boii and Insubrii tribes. These tribes, notably the Boii, would later fight for Hannibal in 216BC when they revolted against Rome.

I played this scenario as the Gauls. To win you have to protect Cisalpine-Gaul, take as many Roman cities as possible, and defeat the Roman armies – it couldn’t be easier, could it? The Romans win by beating the Gaesatae and taking all the cities of Cisalpine-Gaul. My strategy is based on the maxim that a good offense will make for my best defence, so I devise a two pronged attack flanking the northern Apennines and meeting at Perusia. If things are going well by then I may even have a stab at taking Rome to honour the victory of Brennus’ famed capture of Rome! To do this, I need to defeat the Roman army and take four cities to get to my form up point in Perusia. An encouraging event is the rise of the Sardii in Sardinia who find that Rome is a less pleasant master than their previous Carthaginian ones. Unfortunately Rome has despatched an army against them, but at least my Gauls don’t need to face them yet. The revolt could be a good distraction. In the meantime I spend treasury on replacements, new units, and tribal celebrations, which are both fun for the troops – AND raise national morale, which helps in battle.

The Sardii rise up! Freeeeeeeeedom! Maybe..?

The Sardii rise up! Freeeeeeeeedom! Maybe..?

Unfortunately, my grand plan comes apart at the start. One of my routes south is through Liguria, and I hadn’t realised that it is still neutral, which means that a large force will now have to cross the northern Apennines – what a pain, what with the attrition and such… In the meantime Arimium comes under siege. On the plus side, an event heralds a potential advantage – with Rome worrying about us Gauls, Carthage has exploited this in Spain. Massilia, Rome’s ally, has limited the advance and made a treaty, but the Romans don’t expect it to last. Maybe we’ll get Carthaginian help?

A good start. Megalus “Cheesy Grin” beats his first Roman opponent although with roughly equal losses

A good start. Megalus “Cheesy Grin” beats his first Roman opponent although with roughly equal losses

In the meantime Consul Papus – my historical nemesis twice gives old “Cheesy” a drubbing, but then he bypasses his army to lay siege to Bononia. A dangerous move as the main Boii force is there, and now old Cheesy is on his line of communications sieging Arimium. Another bonus is the Insubrii crossing the mountains without too much attrition and laying siege to Faesulae.

Before long I discover events can be unkind. Papus defeats my Boii/Gaesatae main force in a skirmish – they lose 860 men, I lose 1,100. It’s not the casualties that worry me, but the fact that the Venetii have now allied with Rome. This is a serious matter, since they are strong and also on my lines of communication. Plus Papus now has friendly territory adjoining. What a mess… oh, and I can have a banquet again, not that I have anything to celebrate! Several turns later the Cenomanii go over to the Romans, while supply problems dog my armies. “Old Cheesy” twice assaults Arimium in the hope of quick resolution, and loses thousands of warriors in the rebuff. It’s not looking good for the Gauls… in fact it goes from bad to worse, as my worn out Gauls get hit by a new Roman army under Consul Flaccus, the Cenomanii, and the Venetii – the turncoats!

This is a challenging scenario for the Gauls. You have powerful forces at the outset, but the lack of any supply train makes you vulnerable to attrition, and slow to regain cohesion. There are some interesting historical events, and the fact that in my game the other significant Celtic tribes went over to the Romans effectively ended my manpower dominance, and forced me to change my strategy to deal with new threats. I ended the game fighting a guerrilla war, and when finally cornered it was the Gallic Cenomanii that finished me off. The irony!

Papus is now strategically surrounded, even if the Insubrii are exhausted from their hike over the mountains.

Papus is now strategically surrounded, even if the Insubrii are exhausted from their hike over the mountains.

2nd Punic War (218-200BC)

The 2nd Punic War started after the neutral Spanish border town of Saguntum massacred the pro-Carthaginian faction within its population. Hannibal, the Governor of Carthaginian Spain, then raised an army and laid siege to it. Saguntum, a friend of Rome then called on Rome for help. After discussion as to whether Carthage had broken a disputed treaty with Rome limiting Carthaginian influence in Spain, Rome declared war. After taking Saguntum Hannibal marched north through Gallic lands, in some cases fighting local tribes, some of whom blocked the coastal route. A Consular army (belonging to Scipio the Elder) was despatched against him (with a second under Sempronius following from Sicily), but Hannibal did the unthinkable – he marched up the Rhone valley and crossed the Alps with his army – to the amazement of the Romans. The next couple of years saw a string of Carthaginian victories, Ticinus 218BC, Trebia 218BC, Lake Trasimene 217BC, and culminated with the devastating Roman defeat at Cannae 216BC.

Cannae appears to have been the high water mark of Hannibal’s Italian campaign, as Hannibal didn’t march on Rome but instead found himself in a war of attrition. The Romans sought to avoid him, except where they had the advantage. He ended up campaigning in southern Italy until he was recalled to Carthage in 203BC to face Scipio Africanus. In 202BC Hannibal was defeated at the battle of Zama, and Carthage sued for peace.

We don’t know for sure why Hannibal did not march on Rome after Cannae. Maharbal, his cavalry commander, is supposed to have said at the time “Hannibal you know how to gain a victory, but not how to use one,” but is this fair comment?

After Cannae the Romans still had many troops available – particularly in Spain, Sicily, Sardinia etc. While the Carthaginians had killed 70% of a Consular army at Cannae, they also lost about 10% of their own forces, killed in battle and probably weren’t in much shape for advancing on Rome. They didn’t have a siege train, and the Roman scorched earth policy encouraged by Fabius will have affected their supply situation. Was marching on Rome a sensible decision given the conditions?

Shortly after the battle some Roman allies defected, and Hannibal received intimations of support from the Macedonians. I think Hannibal’s strategic objectives were then not so much about complete victory over Rome – the odds were against him, particularly as he had little support from the ruling party in Carthage (they hated him) – but dividing Rome from its allies to force a peace settlement. A favourable peace settlement may have reversed some of the territorial losses suffered by Carthage in the 1st Punic War. Given that Hannibal moved south to siege Tarentum and did not fight a major battle with Rome for another five years may suggest this was his real reasoning. While Cannae was a victory, it gave respite for the Carthaginians to recuperate themselves and to prosecute a destructive war of attrition that would alienate Roman allies and drive Rome to the peace table.

What ultimately undermined Hannibal were a number of strategic factors: not enough Roman allies defected, other important Carthaginian armies were defeated at battles like Ilipa, Baecula and the Metaurus. This combined with the lack of any official Carthaginian support, and the grinding strategic stalemate in Italy against multiple (and more numerous) Roman armies pushed Hannibal onto the defensive. This didn’t mean Hannibal was militarily unsuccessful. During this time Hannibal still managed to wipe out several more entire Roman armies between 216-208BC with declining resources. The fact that until 207BC he was able to do this reinforces the assertion that he was trying to bring Rome to negotiations rather than outright conquest.

With the siege of Saguntum sluggish, Hannibal invests in siege works. I can’t be stuck in Spain too long…

With the siege of Saguntum sluggish, Hannibal invests in siege works. I can’t be stuck in Spain too long…

For me the measure of the 2nd Punic War scenarios is whether it replicates the strategic issues mentioned in my potted history of the war. Rome should be very resilient to losses, and victory for Carthage should not be dependent on the taking of Rome, since in practice it was not seriously an option for the logistical reasons mentioned.

The 2nd Punic War is very much the main event for this scenario pack, and comprises four scenarios. Each scenario has a start point at a crucial decision point in the 2nd Punic War, as follows:

  • The ‘Grand Campaign’ starts in 219BC with Hannibal as the new Governor of Carthaginian Spain opening his campaign against Saguntum, and ending in January 200BC for a massive 226 monthly turns.
  • With Scipio the Elder’s army preparing to engage Hannibal in Spain – can Hannibal seize the initiative by crossing the Alps? 207 turns long.
  • After Cannae. Hannibal is faced with the question of how to exploit his temporary advantage. 183 turns long.
  • The Rise of Rome. Although Hannibal is victorious when in battle, he still remains in a strategically indecisive situation in Italy. Meanwhile, events like Scipio Africanus’s Spanish campaign, and Hasdrubal’s defeat on the Metaurus 207BC will change the strategic balance overwhelmingly against him. This is the ‘short’ 121 turn scenario.

For the purposes of this review I just (‘just’!) played the Grand Campaign. Essentially each scenario is a shortened version of the Grand Campaign, with an earlier start point. Rather than assume that Hannibal had already had his most famous victories, I wanted to try it all…these are my impressions, partly in the form of an AAR so the reader gets a flavour of the gameplay.

Taking the role of Hannibal, I learn that while the capture of Rome will be decisive, the capture of Italia and Sicilia without losing Hispania and North Africa will be a win for me. For Rome the capture of Carthage is decisive, but they’ll get a win if they bag Illyria, Spain, and possibly North Africa – oh and boot me out of the Italian peninsula. A tough call for either side, but at least I can win without having to take Rome itself. It also gives a historically plausible victory condition for the Carthaginians.

With Saguntum out of the way, Hannibal can be unleashed. Then again, it’s almost time for winter quarters…

With Saguntum out of the way, Hannibal can be unleashed. Then again, it’s almost time for winter quarters…

Starting in Hannibal’s capital Carthago Nova are two unlocked armies – one for Hasdrubal, and one for Hannibal. To the north of Carthaginian Spain are various neutral Celtiberian tribes. I’ll go for the historic target of Saguntum first, and then I’ll see what develops. I don’t want to charge north leaving a friendly Roman base in my rear. I’ll use Hannibal as the sword for my campaign, and Hasdrubal as my shield to keep the peace in Spain.

Before I start, I pay for an expensive ceremony to Baal-Amon to raise my national morale, which in turn helps me fight better. I train replacements and raise money for the campaign by requisitioning money from much of Carthaginian Spain. It’s risky as loyalty will drop, but I have Hasdrubal to fix that! I also clear as much land as possible in order to try to improve the economic support for my war.

At last, good to go, Hannibal is sent to Saguntum. The next turn he arrives. I get a lot of money to expand my forces, and good news in the form of the 2nd Illyrian War. If Rome doesn’t take Pharos on the Illyrian capital, the pirate king Demetrius will ally with Macedon. Now that might be interesting, both as a diversion to my campaign, but also if Demetrius manages to drag Macedon into the war. Another event is worth thinking about – the opportunity to play on the price of purple, the dye used in eastern courts – it’s expensive on my treasury but it gives more national morale and a load of engagement points – the political capital in the game – I go for it.

Saguntum falls and I spot the first anomaly in the game – the victory over Saguntum is stated as a victory over Aetolia – a Greek state in Greece! While there were Greek colonists in Spain, the town was an independent Celtiberian Spanish one, which was odd as AGEOD’s team is usually very accurate with history. I discussed this later with Francisco Madeira, one of the lead designers, and it seems to be a difference between our respective sources. While on the matter of weird anomalies another one present with all the Alea Jacta Est games is the ability to send merchants, and set up trade posts with neutral/enemy regions. Trade with neutrals might be viewed as developing new markets, but the only rationale I can think of for trade with the enemy would be smuggling -but then my coffers wouldn’t see the benefit – strange. Another small issue is the occasional “Franglais” description like “Barcide”, for which the English localisation would be “Barcid”. The developers have also inconsistently used normal numerals before the name of recruited units e.g “33. Pedites”, when starting units have either Roman numerals following their description e.g. “Libyphoenices II”, or no numbering at all. It might have looked nicer to have dropped the numbering where it was not historically relevant. None of this is a big deal, but something that could have been quickly proof-read out in testing. Overall, there really is nothing important to complain about, which is the usual case with SEP AGE/AGEOD’s work.

With the fall of Saguntum Rome decides we are at war. I take the political option to open the North Road and order Hannibal into the lands of the Pyrenees. Meanwhile I order Hasdrubal and the recently recruited forces to Saguntum. The 2nd Punic war has begun…

I keep Hannibal marching north into southern Gaul, but the lack of any Roman opposition encourages me to take the risk of using a reinforced Hasdrubal to mop up after Hannibal – no sense in leaving him doing nothing. A conquered southern Gaul could be a good source of recruits, and a roadblock to land based Roman invasions of Spain.

I build up the Carthaginian fleet to deal with naval threats. Moreover my good relations with Numidian chiefs allows me the event to hire Numidian mercenaries – a good source of quality light cavalry. Along the Spanish and southern Gallic coast are a number of cities controlled by Rome’s ally Massilia. They surrender at my approach, and I build Iberian militia as garrisons to make sure of their loyalty. Meanwhile Hannibal besieges Massilia.

My plan varies from Hannibal – I’m not going over the Alps but along the coast. Hannibal is more than a match for Scipio senior (I hope) and with a solid base at Massilia his logistic problems should be less. However I detach his cavalry, as they’re not so useful in a siege and send them on a raiding land grab of the barbarian lands – and also to see where the Romans are. Meanwhile the fleet I built earlier supports this effort, transporting garrisons and African troops north.

Rome annexes Massilia throwing my successful Gallic campaign into turmoil. It’s winter now and there is no nearby port for my fleet! With stormy seas I could be in trouble. I later lose some shipping to storms, and my besieging troops starve.

Rome annexes Massilia throwing my successful Gallic campaign into turmoil. It’s winter now and there is no nearby port for my fleet! With stormy seas I could be in trouble. I later lose some shipping to storms, and my besieging troops starve.

Unfortunately for me Massilia is annexed by Rome, together with its satellite cities (including Emporiae – cutting my line of communication with Spain) that had surrendered without me garrisoning them. It looks like the campaign for southern Gaul will take much more effort. A few turns later I have to abandon the siege of Antipolis and Massilia due to horrendous attrition. What else could I expect, especially with my communications in such a mess.

Persevering with the southern Gaul campaign, I decide to push elsewhere. It’s now well into 217BC and the pirate faction of Demetrius seems to have held out against Rome, which means Macedonia will have sided with them. I’m assuming (“Danger Will Robinson!”) that the Romans have their hands full with Illyria and in the absence of any ‘real’ Romans in Gaul I raise an army in Africa to invade the pro Roman Mauretanian tribes. I then realise that they may be pro Roman, but they’re still neutral. So, more troops to Spain then, or maybe an invasion of Sardinia? On the plus side my raiding squadron in the western Med seems to be doing well as corsairs, disrupting Roman merchant shipping.

I began to realise the campaign in southern Gaul was going to be long and brutal. I had to get to Italy to get the victory points I needed to win, but I was stuck for the moment. Fortunately by the time Scipio the elder turned up, I had built up some supply depots and he was hammered by Hasdrubal, forcing his wrecked army back on Massilia. In the meantime the Romans invaded Africa, wiping out the garrison at Utica, and they were then overwhelmed by the Carthaginian home army – after their fleet was also battered by the reinforced Carthaginian fleet. Fleets really can make a difference in this game for Carthage.

The great thing about this scenario is that you are not really forced into any particular strategy. I tried a broadly different one to Hannibal attempting to secure my communications, and to use the available armies in the same region in concert. I also emphasised naval war as an area that I had potential strength in and could put the Romans under pressure that way – not just in the sea lanes, but by invading islands like Sardinia and Corsica. Another thing that reflected well in the scenario is the difficulty the Carthaginians have in prosecuting sieges, especially far from sources of supply. My southern Gaul campaign was clear evidence of this, and a warning of what might happen if I was stuck in siege a long time before Rome, when I’d be even further from a supply source.

Maybe there is some merit in my strategy. Carthaginian success leads to revolt in Sardinia. Time to open a new front with the Army of Africa!

Maybe there is some merit in my strategy. Carthaginian success leads to revolt in Sardinia. Time to open a new front with the Army of Africa!

Looking back at the scenario, of all the units available to me, I think the humble supply unit was the most important. Without supplies your armies wither and die from attrition. You can forage for a while, but it’s not enough. With the Romans having the option to scorch the earth, the Carthaginian is in real jeopardy without supply.

The scenario has lots of historical and flavour events. You can sell captured prisoners as slaves, there are various tribal revolts – I had two major ones within the first few game years. The Celtiberian tribes rallied to the Roman side – more fool them if they had known what was to come in the future. The Turdetanii revolted against Punic taxation, but without siding with Rome – not that it stopped them from invading southern Spain! It wasn’t all bad either: the Ilergetes tribe mobilised to my side when a Roman army pursed by Hasdrubal ran into their territory.

The AI in the game is pretty good, and it plays an aggressive, intelligent game. There seems a variety of stratagems available to the AI ranging from naval invasions in Africa to cavalry raids behind my lines. In an extreme case it even involved surprise raiders being dropped off by the Roman navy in my Spanish rear areas to distract my main forces. Timed closely to a revolt over taxation by the Turdetanii, they were a real nuisance. Another appropriate feature is the difficulty faced by the Carthaginians in successfully prosecuting a siege. This was a constant nuisance, since open battle would not necessarily be strategically decisive, as was shown historically.

I really enjoyed this scenario. It is demanding, reflects history and it is fun. The game also had a relaxing soundtrack, which goes well with the game.

All in all Hannibal: Terror of Rome is an excellent scenario pack for those with the Alea Jacta Est/Birth of Rome games. If you don’t have those, it is an excellent standalone start point to get into the game system. I really liked the overall attention to detail, particularly the events, and the historically realistic victory conditions evidenced in the scenarios.

The Grumpy Grog says “Hannibal is definitely ‘At the Gates’ here! Hannibal: Terror of Rome is a quality presentation of the 2nd Punic War. It is one of the best on the subject that I’ve seen in a long time.”


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