Carthage 3


“…Carthage must be frickin destroyed…” 

…the continuing saga of Team Roma and Team Carthage, battling it out in the 1st Punic War. Following the previous session report:

259 B.C.

The site of most of the action this session

Wily Carthaginian preparing to play; and showing off his latest bling from CSW Expo 2013 aka Monstercon 

Upgrade and Strategic Phase

Nothing

Roman Politics

Elections…

313 , Attilus, becomes a proconsul leading Consul Army IV in Sicily
302 , Fulvius (a real dog), Rome Consul
335 , Fundanius (a twin dog), Field Consul – leading an army also in Sicily
306 , Mamillius (and yet another 1E leader for the Romans) Praector for main Roman Fleet
309 Cornelius (one of the better Roman leaders, stuck in Rome, trying to drill some sense into the raw recruits) Pracetor Urbanus in Rome (to hopefully train a few new legions Rome hopes to raise – assuming those damm thieves aka the Senate authorize it)

Carthaginian Politics

No ruling family change. Orientation is cautious.

Builds

Romans build two new legions in Rome.

Activations

1: Pracetor 306 sails Roman Fleet I to Lilybaeum

2: Proconsul 313 leads Consul Army IV to finally capture Syracuse

3: IP-12: Hanno takes his Carthaginian army and tosses caution to the wind (really just a bid to deteriorate the condition of Consul Army III) and attacks a force triple its size. DRMs: -4 ldr battle rating, -3 odds, -2 cav, +3 efficiency…net -6…and a poor roll, produced 25% losses for Carthage and 5% losses for Rome…and Rome FIRST Major Victory of the game (after about 14 hours of game play!). Carthage fled with only 6 remaining SPs (and rumors of a Crucifixion in the offing – yes, there is a Crucifixion rule – THIS IS A BERG GAME!), while Rome held the field with 24 SPs.

Stunning victory at Syracuse – the first for the ROmans in 14 hours of game play

4: IP-12: With Hanno Haml’s shattered, useless mob, the leader improved its condition 1 level. (NOTE: An important thing to remember is to try to improve the condition of your armies {when occupying a med or large city – troops need the fun diversions – party girls and what not – such places provide} or attack the enemy to deteriorate their condition {a softening attack} – and then administer the coup de grace with a fresh army.)

5: Consul IV Army improves its condition 1 level

6. Field Consul Army III assaults and liberates Lilybaeum. Much rejoicing by Team Roma.
7: Proconsul pass

8: Random events hit…Time Traveler Eric (see x) rolls the bones….a 20….Sicily gets hits by a drought.

9: Siege: NE (No Effect – no siege underway at the moment)

10: Siege: NE

11: Carthage Dumvair : An attempted naval raid of Italy fails. Team Carthage says, “Man, there is going to be hell to pay back home”.

12: Proconsul Pass

13: IP-5 Pass

14: IP-6 Pass

15: Rome Consul. Time get the big, well trained and rested new army moving. Roman consul requests permission of the Senate to move south. Senate says “NO!” (damm sequestration!).

Eric proudly displaying the first game he has bought in four decades…and it’s a BERG beast!

16: Siege: NE

17: Hiero and the Syracuse Army: With the Carthaginian forces almost wiped out on Sicily, Carthage attempts to use their lackey to save a desperate situation. Hiero attempts to liberate Syracuse from the Roman yoke and attacks Consul III army. DRMs: -2 ldr battle rating (yes, the Roman rolled another max roll), +2 Hiero, -2 odds, +1 elite…for -1 NET…drum roll….each side loses 20%…Consul III army to 21 SP…Syracuse to 14 SP

18: Roman Dumivar runs Fleet V to Rome

Summary of Turn: A Carthaginian disaster. Sicily is almost clear of friendly forces, other than Hiero and a few Syracuse SPs. Only bright spot is that critical Messana is still friendly to Carthage.

258 B.C.

Upgrade and Strategic Phase

We disband Consul Army II in Sicily; it’s done a fine job and we honor these true patriots of Rome.

Roman Politics

Elections…

324 Aurelius (this 2C leader has been good to Team Rome) Rome Consul – Consult Army I
318 Cardicius (1E…dog at an important place in the game) Field Consul – Consul Army IV in Syracuse
310 Duillius (a good ldr….the best Roman general…2B) Proconsul – Consul Army III
335 Fleet I
315 Fleet V
332 Fleet VI
309 Fleet II

Carthaginian Politics

No ruling family change. However, Orientation changes to Aggressive (impact is to allow more Carthaginian armies to serve abroad)

Builds

Romans finally finishes it’s naval port capacity program (both Naples and Orista now built to the max port capability – so, now Rome can uses naval transport)

Activations

1: Roman Fleet II sails to Lilybeam

2: Roman Fleet VI also sails to Lilybeam

3: IP-14 Pass

4: Consul Army I granted permission to leave Rome and runs south to Rhegeim (preparing to end all resistance in Sicily)

5: IP-12. The remnants of a once proud Carthaginian force march on Syracuse, joining forces with Hiero (NOTE: Do non moving friendly forces automatically “combine” with an activate friendly force which enters its hex to participate in a battle? Or, is some die roll required? We allowed the Carthaginian army and Syracuse army to combine). DRMs: +6 ldr battle (a disastrous die roll combo for Rome), +2 efficiency, +1 elite, -2 roman veterans….+7….drum roll…BOOM!…Rome loses 25% and Carthage only 5%. A major victory for Carthage. Consul Army III wrecked. After the battle SPs: 21 for Carthage/Syracuse, 16 for Rome.

Comment: THIS is part of the great charm of Berg’s game. Team Rome was on the verge of pacifying Sicily. And, that, after a wild ride of probably 16 hours of game time.

Last turn, Team Roma had good leaders in Sicily. This turn? Bunk. Total bunk. The worst rated (1Es) leaders possible (randomly determined as always – with the minor exception of being able to keep a good leader in some cases for an additional year – and then there’s also the Triumph if one can pull that off). So, getting bunk leaders then allowed the cagey and wily Carthaginian to pounce.

And, boy did Mr.Alsen pounce. He initiated combat, by combining two friendly beat up forces. We could risk intercepting one of them, since Berg has this crazy dynamic about “intercepting the interceptor” – which can lead to a VERY bad day – a double envolvement modifier. So, we then did the dueling die rolls to determine leaders’ battle ratings. This is ALWAYS a white knuckle hoot – given the extreme range of outcomes. The difference in resulting battle ratings, produces one (of many) DRMs for the battle.

In turn, the actual battle results table produces very interesting results. This rich range of battle outcomes – and, one has a relatively decent idea of the likely range of outcomes before battle, BUT, anything can happen – really spices up the game. It’s in the same universe of EiA (Empires in Arms) battle outcomes, which, is still, BY FAR, the best in the hobby after 30 years for handling combat at the strategic operational scale. Add in mechanic of drawing leader activations from a cup – and a another nutcase Berg events table – and, we’ll, you’re in for a true roller coaster ride.

And, just to really pat Berg on the back, the frickin game is resilient. Many times in a long monster (time length – and this is going to be a 40 – 50 hour game), a side loses the key battle (think carrier conflict) and, it’s all over. Done. Not with Carthage. The secret is in both the mechanic for generating reinforcements and just how much punch a particular force has in one game turn has (even though a force basically has unlimited movement – well, at a price – ATTRITION). ‘

Anyways, a brutal turn of wheel of fortune, and, it was about to get even worse in Sicily for Team Roma. About that time, a number of wargamers, and budding wargamers, stopped by to to check out the latest developments.

One the best parts of wargaming; BS’ing about a monster in progress

6: Roman Fleet V sails to Rhegium; Team Roma may need some help crossing the straits.

7: IP-15. Carthaginian Fleet sails with 19 ships. Despite, what likely will be a slaughter, the Roman main fleet intercepts at Lilybaeum with 16 ships. DRM was -3 for Carthage (minus is great in naval combat), +4 for Rome…resulting in a major debacle: Rome loses 11 ships and Carthage only 2. A major naval victory for Carthage. The Carthaginian fleet, of course, made its continuation rolls…and ended up in Messana. Being there, meant that the ONLY way the Romans could push more troops into Siciliy was if the Carthaginian fleet would fail to intercept.

Carthaginian Fleet locking down the straights.

8: Siege: NE

9: Legate: This is cool chit – it basically allows Roman reinforcements built during the interphase to then enter with a force outside of Italy. We place 4 SPs with the boys in Syracuse.

10: Siege: NE

11: Consul. The new BIG and shiny Roman army tries to cross the straits into Messana. It is intercepted and flees back to Rhegium.

12: Random Events: “77”: Religious Ritual – which is going to mess up Rome next turn. The dice gods are really getting a good laugh at the Rome’s turn of woe.

13: Hiero from Syracuse decides to administer another slapping down of the roman boys in the Consul Army III at Syracuse. DRMs for the battle: +3 ldr battle, +2 Hiero, -1 odds, -2 veterans,+2 difference in conditions of the armies….for a +4. Luckily for Rome, Carthage totally flubs the die roll resulting in a loss of 20% for each: Carthage/Syracuse leave the battle with 13 SPs, Rome at 16 SPs.

14: IP5: Pass

15: Consul Army IV improves a level.

16: Proconsul combines what’s left of the Roman navy: 9 ships on the board.

17, 18: Proconsul passes

19: Carthage Dumvair; Another Carthaginian fleet sails and blockades Syracuse.

20: Siege: NE

21-24: Four passes by Rome. Rome cries like little girls: “We needed all these activations BEFORE Carthage moved”.

25: IP-12: Carthage pushes 8 SPs into Sicily.

26: IP-15: Improves his army (the combined little horde at Syracuse).

27: Another Roman pass.

Turn Summary: A TOTAL disaster for Rome. Army beat up in Sicily. Reinforcements blocked by invincible Carthaginian navy. Rome navy gutted. Messana in supply (due to Carthaginian naval superiority), so, Rome won’t be able to crack that nut. At this point the Carthaginian says, “Team Roma only takes pictures when good things happen for Rome. And, I noticed you didn’t take ANY pictures that turn.” And, this is why the Carthaginian is alone on his team; he is a cruel, old, snarky man – although he does still have hair which is more than we can say for ½ of Team Roma.

257 B.C.

Upgrade and Strategic Phase

Nothing of note.

Roman Politics

Elections…

311 Cornelius…Rome Consul – Consult Army III
325 ….Servilius (a decent 2C)….Field Consul – Consul Army I Rhegium
324 …our good friend Aurelius is back as the Proconsul – Consul Army IV Syracuse
302 Fulvius…a 1D…that’s going to be big trouble for Fleet I

Carthaginian Politics

No ruling family change. However, Orientation changes to back to Cautious – which means Carthage has to disband an army in Sicily. A good break for Rome, given that Carthage had its paws wrapped around Team Roma Sicilian throat.

Builds

Romans builds 20 ships. Time pump the naval.

Activations

1: Proconsul improves Consul IV Army

2: IP-15 Carthaginian naval fleet runs back to Messana. If Rome would have drawn a correct activation chit, it could have forced the straits prior to IP-15 waking up for the year. But, alas, not to be.

3: Consul. Consul Army I tries to cross again. Intercepted. Flees back to Italy.

4: Roman Fleet I sails to Syracuse

5: IP-5: Carthaginian home army…passes

6 & 7: Sieges: NE

8: Carthage Dumvir: Raids successfully with a fleet

9: Consul: 4 SPs ordered from to Lilybaeum from the garrison north of there (12 SPs left by Rome a number of years ago).

10: Hiero improves the state of his army

11: IP-14: Hanno leads a big, spanking new army rolls out of Carthage into Sicily (now that Rome has been swept from the sea and hasn’t been able to activate yet). 40 SPs run across and siege Lilybeaum. Man, has the worm turned.

12: Siege Chit…of course. And, one member of Team Roma, that you would NEVER want to trust with a critical die roll, rolls the die and immediately kills off most of the Roman garrision.

13: IP-15: Carthaginian navy passes – since it is in firm control of the situation

14: Well, yet another try at forcing the straits. Consul Army 1, led by Servilius (325), tries again to force the straits. Finally, the dice gods smile on Team Roma as the Carthaginian navy fails to intercept. With the Consul Army 1 across into Sicily, Messena is finally placed under Roman siege.

15: Random Events: “95”….Libyans raid from the east; a minor setup back for Carthage.

Turn Summary: Turn was turning into another Roman debacle, until the great Servilius, through his superior generalship, crossed the straits. (NOTE: There should be some supply restriction here – and we can’t find one. Think about it , Carthage controls the seas, and, yet, we’ve got two armies in Sicily now. They should take some big supply hit at the end of the turn. I suppose, now one controls the seas in this era, but, really, two big armies can survive in Sicily without any line of communication back to Rome).

Looking up at the clock, and having such a great time, we decided to get one more year under our belts.

256 B.C.

Upgrade and Strategic Phase

Nothing of note.

Roman Politics

Elections…

301 Claudius…nothing special…Rome Consul…and no army there…or forces
304 Olacillius..a 2C…a good break as the Field Consul – Consul Army III Messena
325 Servillius…another 2C…as Proconsul – Consul Army I Rhegium
324 Our good friend Aurelius yet again as Proconsul – Consult Army IV Syracuse
319 Attilius…a 3E (he does a lot, just, all of it bad if it actually involves fighting)…Fleet I at Syracuse – 9 ships
331 Fabius…a 1E BIG dog leading the main roman fleet: Fleet VII outside of Rome – 20 ships…prepare for disaster

Carthaginian Politics

No ruling family change. However, Orientation keeps Cautious.

Builds

Romans builds 12 ships. Time to keep pumping the naval.

Activations

1 & 2 Sieges:

Lilybauem: Carthage (besieging) loses 8 SPs, while Rome loses 1 (1 SP remaining)

Messena: Rome (besieging) loses 2 SPs, Carthage loses 1 (5 SP remaining)

Dueling sieges in Sicily: Carthage trying to take Lilybaeum and Rome going for the BIG prize at Messana

3: Consul: Consul Army III, led by 304, assaults Messena….and is unsuccessful ….loses 4 SP – 35 remaining.

4: Main Roman fleet – Fleet VII ordered – 20 SPs – to Messena.

5: Secondary Roman fleet – Fleet I (9 SPs) to Syracuse – commanded by 319

6: Siege: Both Lilybaeum and Messena hold out again (319 saving the day at Messena)

7: Fleet I runs back to Syracuse

8: Consul Army I runs from south of Italy to Corsica. Romans in Corsica for the first time. Carthaginian political leadership displeased. Mr.Alsen tells them, “Keep out of matters of war, you worthless chowderheads.”

Taking the war to Corsica

9: Proconsul 325 begins the siege of Aleria in Corsica

10: Hiero decides to yet again attack Romans at Syracuse. DRMs: +2 Hiero, -1 Ldr battle, -2 Veterans, +1 elite…NET 0…Syracuse losses 10% and Rome 15%…14 combined Carthaginian/Syracuse SPs remain vs 12 valiant Romans.

11: 304 leads a glorious assault on Messena. It succeeds!

12 -13: Rome passes

14: IP-15…Hasdrubal…the main has been a wrecking ball when it comes to the Roman navy….well, a dollar short and a day late to stop the crossing at Messana, but he takes the Carthaginian fleet and sails to Messana.

Another big naval battle…Rome again takes a 66% loss…and 14 newly constructed ships are destroyed. Carthage losses 5 ships….so, after the battle, Carthage has 11 ships, Rome 6. The Carthaginian fleet makes its Continuation Rolls (of course) and returns to Carthage to attend a BIG celebration granted in for the triumphant Hasdrubal.

15: IP-15. Pass (has a hangover from the BIG bash in Carthage).

16: Consul Army IV at Syracuse heals a level.

17: Dumvair Carthage. Minor moves

18 Random Events: “66”….Heavy weather.

19: IP-5: The Home Carthaginian army passes

20: Consul Army IV drops 10 SPs In Syracuse and forages itself into elimination (Team Roma essentially disbanded the thing. It did erect a monument to these glorious Romans that conquered Syracuse.

21: Fleet I sails back to Lilybaeum yet again to save the day (the supply run).

22: IP-14…Hanno… leads the final assault on Lilybaeum. Needs a 6 to succeed….final roll of the session…drum roll….BANG…a 7. Carthaginian banner raised, Roman heads on pikes and Hanno praised throughout Carthage. Controlling Lilybaeum again will mean that Carthage can continue to reinforce Sicily.

Lilybaeum falls to Carthage

Turn Summary: Fascinating. Lilybaeum falls to Cartha, BUT, Rome FINALLY takes Messena. Impact? Syracuse switches sides. Hiero was a MAJOR pain in the BIG Roman arse. Now that he joined Team Roma, the fight for for Sicily will go Rome’s way – assuming that Rome can finally address the naval issue.

Session Recap: Still having a great time. Even getting better as the Berg roller coaster ride continues to add thrills. Would guess we have 18 hours of play time into the game – 9 turns complete.

Also, having he game laid out continues to work well at sparking interest in the topic. Many good conversations today with people asking, “WHAT is this?”. We also displayed a number of other titles, that we are considering including The Gamers’ Enemy at the Gates (OCS). Actually, we’re now thinking about finally giving Case Blue a shot. Also, we took a peak at Compass Games’ “The War” (counters not back printed? WTF? – but Alsen, has played and initial report was good).

A game of Enemy at the Gates (OCS-WWII Stalingrad) getting some talk

First Minnesota had a number of interesting titles in play as always. See http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/988682/dispatches-from-t…

First Minnesota Historical Wargaming Society

All and all, a fantastic spring day of wargaming. Cant’ wait for next session and 255 B.C.

One thing we like to score, is a decent Roman and Carthaginian standard – to mark the armies. Currently, we’re using miniatures, but, it would be great to have some kind of standard. Any recommendations?

Need some cool standards to mark army locations

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