Inflation in the Second Punic War , leads to thoughts of Auto Victory in the First Punic War!
This link to an article regarding Inflation and its impact on the Second Punic War , captured my attention, as I play yet again, the Carthaginian side in Richard Berg’s torturously written masterpiece Carthage. Carthage covers the First Punic War among other things. One of the contentious edits to game play and victory conditions has been the Naval Auto Victory.
Side bar on causes of the First Punic War
The tyrant of Syracuse, Hiero II, once more attacks the Mamertines. They ally themselves with a nearby Carthaginian fleet and hold off the Syracusans. However, when the Carthaginians do not leave, the Mamertines appeal to Rome for an alliance, hoping for more reliable protection. Although initially reluctant to assist lest it encourage other mercenary groups to mutiny, Rome is unwilling to see Carthaginian power spread further over Sicily and encroach on Italy. Rome therefore enters into an alliance with the Mamertines. By this action, the First Punic War begins and will embroil Rome in a conflict with Carthage that will continue for 23 years. – Wiki etal
In this set of victory conditions the Carthage side may claim an auto victory after four years of game time (260 B.C.) if they control a specific set of ports in the Mediterranean, in the South of Sardinia, down thru the Carthaginian homelands, and of course all the important ports in Sicily.
I spent a fair bit of time prior to selecting which chit to open with assessing the best way to get ‘there fastest with the mostest’.
Land movement would generate little or no attrition, but the edge of having a ship in port/on location (over and above that already there at the besieging location was too strong a draw, plus it allowed for a potential 2:1 attack on any naval movement.
Hanno Hamilcar moved to Massana passed his sea movement attrition and landed unmolested as the Roman naval intercept failed.
Hanno continued and laid Siege. With the other Dumvir in the hex this might seem like a riskier move, but I think more ships in this area of ops early makes Rome think twice about a fight. Despite exposing ourselves to 2 extra rolls we got thru and consolidated naval forces.
Over the past few weeks I have pondered how the Romans can gain an upper hand. Much relies on a “all in” last ditch must have Massana at all costs to avoid the Naval Auto Victory or Land Victory type of effort. Regardless of leader quality, the state of the Legions if Massana falls then even seemingly more drastic measures must be taken. For if the Romans do not take a Port city on the Coast of Sicily by 260 BC then soon thereafter victory will be Carthages!
Several things will/could prevent this from happening. The ability to raise Legions, the ability to leave Rome or the Italian mainland, the fall of LAMs and the fall of Siege Attrition markers. Blasting away 2, 4 or even 8 Legions is not something that Rome can afford NOT to do. The latest modifications to the VC have swung the pendulum in favor of Carthage IF Massana Falls. If not, well then you got a different beastie to play out.
After starting narrative run throughs twice now I guess the gas is out of that fire for readers, so I will instead continue my attempt to give you a concise rundown on this turns game play and embellish where I just cannot contain myself! So onwards with Turn 2.
At the outset we update Army and Naval eefficienciesfor both side in the Strategic Phase. Then proceed to Roman Elections. Suffice to say that 5 out of 6 elected officials are E rated with one B rated Leader [#310] who is able to be placed in charge of a Consular army as Proconsul. The others were #304 for Rome consul, #328 for the other, Proconsul, Field Consul #334, Fleet admiral – #338 and then #331 for the Urbanis.