Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

A mix of deep gameplay and rich historical flavor, Aggressors: Ancient Rome lets you relive history as the ruler of one of the mighty civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean. Choose one of twenty available factions and conquer the world.
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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:06 am

113

The last 25 years have seen major changes in the political landscape. Reports are sketchy, but it appears that civil war within the Roman Empire is responsible for a diminution in their attacks upon Carthage. We know that Rome's Asian federation is no more, and Asia has seen the resurrection of the Seluecid, Pergamon, and Pontic nations.

None of that is to say that Rome has been willing to make peace. Not even a temporary truce. But it has not attacked in Spain or Africa in ten years.

Carthage has been reduced to Tunisia, Lower Spain, and a federation with the Celts in Gaul. We have attempted several times to federate with the Galleici, to no avail.

The Council of Elders has decided to take advantage of the lessening of Roman attacks, to strengthen all our cities and troops, and to finally attempt to build a fleet. A small expeditionary force will be accumulated, to strike to the very heart of Rome once active fighting breaks out again.

Note that the map is deceiving as most of the western half of the Carthagenian purple is desert, and the rest is in Roman hands. We have no cities now west of Numidia.
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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by Matto » Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:27 am

Romans? Where are Romans ... Athens everywhere! Looks great ... what happened to Romans?

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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:47 pm

Actually the grayed out areas are where I have no treaty including map or city visibility, or I have war. Only the portions of the map showing red are the parts of the Roman Empire I can see. I know from further play that the Roman civil war I alluded to moved the capitol of the Romans to Asia, while some other faction I don't know took over the Italian part. Athens has a huge chunck of territory there north of Greece, but I don't know how much. I would have to send out ships, of which I have none, to see those areas, and/or obtain a treaty giving me city or map visibility.

Diplomacy is quite complex in terms of possibilities, albeit easy to engage in, and the AI is no pushover diplomatically.

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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by anthonykevinluke » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:46 am

Hi gwgardner,

Following your AAR closely as I am quite interested in this game. As a personal preference I often play Carthage in various wargames. Do you feel so far that Rome is overpowered in this game (as in many games, albeit probably correct). Would Carthage perform better if you did the game again based on what you have learned? What would you do differently if playing as Carthage again, noting your earlier comments about building up your economy first .... Any info gladly accepted and keep up the info flow.

Cheers,

AKL

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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:33 am

anthonykevinluke wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:46 am
Hi gwgardner,

Following your AAR closely as I am quite interested in this game. As a personal preference I often play Carthage in various wargames. Do you feel so far that Rome is overpowered in this game (as in many games, albeit probably correct). Would Carthage perform better if you did the game again based on what you have learned? What would you do differently if playing as Carthage again, noting your earlier comments about building up your economy first .... Any info gladly accepted and keep up the info flow.

Cheers,

AKL
I'm bad at naval action in all 4x. Carthage really needs a navy - to guard its shores, as troop transports, to roam the sea lanes especially of Rome and the Ptolemys to interdict their trade routes, to sit off their shipyards and either blockade or just observe and interdict. I've done none of those. Aggressors has a great and varied naval aispect, and I need to improve on using it. It's a balancing act between land and naval forces for sure, and the drain on citizen resources to build those fleets.

Also I should have worked on the infrastructure of the far-flung Carthagenian holdings from the start. Not just roads, but founding more cities, improving those cities. One thing I have avoided doing in the AAR is showing the research options, because I don't really want to spoil that aspect of the game for new players. However, there are lots of ways through city improvements to strengthen the empire.

Rome CAN BE strong, and the AI is good at making it strong. Its starting setup in 278 BC is good, centrally located, good communication network, but still needs work. Its navy is not as good as Carthage's at the start, but I bungled that. It's legions are strong, but limited as other countries by population. So no, I don't think it is overpowered in Aggressors, but it's setup to be powerful if played right.

There's just nothing stupid or arbitrary in the game. it all makes sense, both macro and micro. Like in this AAR, Rome had a civil war. That was not scripted. it happened through the way the AI played Rome, and other countries, the interplay of events and management. The AI uses the same rules as the human player.

This is the first 4x I've ever played, and I've played a lot, which I feel really 'replicates' history. Not repeats, but lets the player make plausible history. With the Punic Wars it was nip and tuck over a few generations - same way in this game, and the ebb and flow, rise and fall and rise again - and fall again - is all plausible. In other games it's always been: 1) stupid AI, player crushes AI, inevitable human win; or 2) difficulty setting high enough to give the AI overwhelming advantage, human player gets crushed. It's not like that in this game. In this particular AAR there were times when I thought Carthage was done, but I struggled back.

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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:37 am

100

I am personally so pleased with this game, Aggressors, and with this specific Carthagenian playthrough. First game in my memory in which the ebb and flow of ancient history is so well captured.

The Council of Elders is equally pleased, as their strategy of improving military readiness and training, and investing in the cities of the realm, has paid off in what can only be called the Fourth Resurrection of Carthage.

Three times, through Roman attacks primarily, and plague, it has seemed that Carthage had no hope. The last bad period, the Athenians and Ptolemys also joined forces to attack. However, the last period of strife saw Carthagenian forces holding their own against Roman Legions and Greek Hoplites alike. I blundered, accepting peace with the Athenians before I had erased their incursions. Now I'll have to build roads around their area, or try to negotiate passage rights.

Now finally there is peace, and the Council is determined to continue it's rebuilding policy.
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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:39 am

And in the north. We were able to solidify our holdings, and even advance, connecting several isolated regions in Spain and Gaul.
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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:44 am

77

With a new build, I will say goodbye to this rewriting of ancient history. As the final political map shows, there are now three major powers in the world. Carthage is in federation with Gaul and Iberia. Athens has conquered the Western Romans. And the Eastern Romans rule Asia and Egypt.

200 turns in this runthrough and I have no sense whether the AI would best me, or I would inevitably win. My empire is a conglomeration of confederations and federation, which has to be held together. The Athenians I can imagine will face difficulties holding onto their Latin conquests. In Aggressors, the populace of any given region retains its loyalties, and only over time, with occupation and improvements, can a conquered people be held under control. Same with the Eastern Romans, attempting to control Egypt and the established cultures of the East. Does my Carthage have an advantage in that regard, because my conquests and alliances are with less civilized peoples?

This was really a strategic level AAR. With the next playtest revision I'm going to try to show more of the the tactical along with the strategic. Just a taste of it, really, since I don't want to spoil things for new players when the game is released. It's also going to be a 'custom' game AAR, showing Aggressors' world building features.
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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by Matto » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:45 pm

200 turns? Nice ... how many days took it?

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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:37 pm

4-5 days. I was testing other stuff on occasion also. The game drags me in, the immersion level is very high, and before long I've played 10 turns, and just want to play a couple more, then I need a specific trade, make a proposal, have to play another turn to see if it's accepted, or the AI makes a counter-offer, and so on ....

One thing I have to get better at in the game is being patient. Like in real life Hannibal stuck around in southern Italy, living off the land, establishing local control, for how long - many years. The Romans bided their time. In this game, the same kind of thing can be replicated. Whereas I tend to jump right in before being prepared.

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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by Flash Jack » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:13 am

Hi,

Thanks for a well done AAR about an interesting looking game. Looking forward to the next one you do.

Is there any sense of internal politics in the game, eg. the Roman Senate, for example ?

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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:20 am

Internal politics is laced into the game on many levels. I'll try to show more of those as time goes on in AARs. In the Carthage AAR for instance one can see the state window, and the state events button.

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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by AlbertoC » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:00 pm

Flash Jack wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:13 am
Hi,

Thanks for a well done AAR about an interesting looking game. Looking forward to the next one you do.

Is there any sense of internal politics in the game, eg. the Roman Senate, for example ?
Hi,

there is no Senate specifically but internal politics are rather fleshed out. We talked at length in past dev diaries :)

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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by Flash Jack » Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:50 am

Hi,

O.K, thanks.

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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by balto » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:16 am

interesting that I am reading this after I just watched the Twitch which was played as the Romans. I guess he did not know that Sicily had a force from Cathage already there. And looking at the stats in Twitch, it made Carthage look like a powerhouse.., I guess the "Country size" of Carthage is one its problems and not a strength. Hmm, yeah, blacksmiths would not be that beneficial. Man, I cannot wait till this comes out. Thanks for the AAR. Can you do another as the Egyptians?

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Re: Carthage AAR 278 BC to 77 BC

Post by gwgardner » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:10 pm

I'll play as the Ptolemaic Kingdom at some point, but am currently deep into the Holland scenario, where I've decided to try the Romans, and am going to try to setup an invincible defense against the tribes across the Rhine. We have to secure the empire from the barbarians!

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