Author Topic: Hannibal has Arrived: Historical Carthage Units and Tactics  (Read 10163 times)

Niko White

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Re: Hannibal has Arrived: Historical Carthage Units and Tactics
« Reply #30 on: April 04, 2011, 01:06:17 PM »
Totally agree. No one super unit, but the sum is soooo much cooler than the individual parts. What I love the most is the ability to be in control of any battlefield right off the get-go.

Well, I should say I agree *except* for the part about liking High Elves better. Pointy haired little freaks can't compete with the might of the elephants!  :D

One of my friends (and fellow Pandemonium staffers) is considering running High Elves at the big event, because if you tell him a faction is the most difficult to play in any game, he'll basically go at it immediately.  So I've been playing other stuff against him in order to avoid infinite High Elf mirrors, and because he's pretty new, so showing off some of what he might face is good.  One big thing I've learned: plinking down HE Knights with Determination to do 1-2 spite points as they chew through your guys really never gets old.

Zelc

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Re: Hannibal has Arrived: Historical Carthage Units and Tactics
« Reply #31 on: May 13, 2011, 03:38:47 PM »
I figure I should post this here too :)

Why I think Carthage is so good, and why I never take Hannibal’s Elite

I guess I might as well write some thoughts on why I think Carthage is so good.  There’s been a lot of talk around Skirmishers.  I guess that’s natural; there’s some really crazy things you can pull off with them, and they’re unique to the Historicals.  However, I don’t think they’re the real strength of the faction.  With the exception of the crazy statistical anomaly in the Finals, they never really did too much for me.

I think the real strength of the faction is two-fold.  First, the faction has some of the best courage-boosting Command Cards bar none, in both quantity and quality.  Loyalty isn’t as good as the reactive reroll cards, but it’s still pretty good for reducing the chances of failing a rout check.  Stubborn Endurance is only +2 Courage, but that can easily correspond to -25% chance of failing a rout check.  Finally, Taste of Victory is amazing despite its really troublesome restriction: play only after you roll to hit.  Playing it on Elephants in the red is such a good feeling.  Because of these cards, I rarely had problems with routing units ruining my games.  When you hear about the troubles Brook had, for instance, it’s easy to see how important these Command Cards are.

(Others may disagree, but I think the Dwarf deck is also very strong for this reason.)

Oh, and Complex Maneuver is also amazing.  Saved me so many Command Actions.

Second, Carthage has some really strong units, but they’re not the ones people usually talk about.  Everyone seems to complain about Skirmishers.  Maybe I’ve been using them wrong, but they’ve only occasionally been great.  IMO, the real strength in the Carthage unit list is Libyan Foot and Elephants.

There’s an adage in economics: “Trade makes everyone better off.”*  Thanks to trade, people can specialize in things they’re good at and that increases productivity overall.  It’s the same concept.  You have two units who are designed to kill an enemy unit quickly with pilas or two impact hits.  They have relatively poor defensive stat lines, but if you’re killing some wimp, those are not high priorities.  Now there’s a hole in the enemy line, and you can start pinching.

That’s why I don’t like taking Hannibal’s Elite.  Does it really matter if my breakthrough unit takes 1 damage instead of 3?  Those are points you can spend to beef up other parts of your line, and potentially purchase more breakthrough units.  Compare that with most heavy hitters in the fantasy factions, where you have to purchase a good defensive stat line to get a good offensive stat line.  Those defensive stats don’t get used for a while, so the points are partially wasted.

(Aside: this is also why I found it crazy that The Formula spat out a unit with a 4/2 defensive line, 14 courage, and Battlesquad-like health for under 200 points.  Even if that thing can’t fight its way out of a paper bag, it probably takes at least 6 turns for a 300 point unit to kill this darn thing.  By then it doesn’t matter that this unit can’t fight, the battle would have been won elsewhere.)

Not only that, but at least in 2000 point games, Carthage has easy access to both a 6 skill and a 6 power unit for under 300 points.  That’s huge: 3’s to hit is 50% more damage than 2’s to hit.  With Libyan Foot and Elephants, Carthage can deal with a 3 Evade defensive profile as well as a 3 Toughness defensive profile.

The rest of the Carthage army really complements these two units.  An obvious response to these powerful but somewhat fragile units is to match up a better unit against them, i.e. one with both good attack damage and good defense.  That’s the mistake I made in deploying my Libyan Foot against Extraordinarii in the Finals game.

But Carthage has several ways to deal with this.  First, Carthage has Foresight, so they can pick their matchups.  Second, opponents can’t skimp too much on the rest of their line, because Carthage can potentially bring lots of Scutarii.  If you bring something like a 2/1 defensive profile, Scutarii will have a field day almost as badly as Libyan Foot.  Finally, Carthage has protection from ranged fire with Skirmishers.

Plus, Carthage gets an exquisite unit in the Numidian Cavalry.  They’re horrible in a fight.  Even in favorable matchups against cavalry, it takes a long time to win.  However, their utility is immeasurable.  So many times, I used Numidian Cavalry to “soft contest” a flank, then pull them around to make a pinch check at 7” in another fight.  Additionally, they’re actually one of the best tank units in the Carthage army.  I used this to great effect vs. Will’s Giant War Elephants.

Of course, Carthage has some fairly significant weaknesses.  They don’t have cheap units with great defensive profiles, their fighting cavalry is cheap but weak, they don’t have a 6/6 unit, a lot of their points are spent on the charge turn, they can’t stand and shoot, Elephants have horrible courage, etc. etc. etc.  You guys can figure out how to exploit them :P.

I like this faction a lot, and I can’t seem to find another faction that has similar strengths.  That’s probably a testament to the great design of this game, how every faction plays differently.




*There are some major assumptions behind that statement, including a very unrealistic one of the winners of trade compensating the losers of trade.  But whatever, I used it for illustrative purposes :P.

iamJMAN00793

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Re: Hannibal has Arrived: Historical Carthage Units and Tactics
« Reply #32 on: January 17, 2012, 06:35:32 PM »

Scutarii
The unit I field least often. Note that the stat line on the card is wrong – they are only 2/1 defense.

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Kevin

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Re: Hannibal has Arrived: Historical Carthage Units and Tactics
« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2012, 10:47:52 PM »
You can see it on the Official Card Errata Page.  (Though the faction is mislabeled "Rome" rather than Carthage.)

It's also in the google doc which tracks all rule changes.  

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I couldn't locate the original thread, but suffice it to say that the point cost is WAY off if Scutarii were 2/2.  You'd be talking Hawk Swordsmen where you trade down a green box for a yellow and in exchange get pila and save 16 points!  :o
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 11:41:52 PM by Kevin »
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RushAss

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Re: Hannibal has Arrived: Historical Carthage Units and Tactics
« Reply #34 on: January 18, 2012, 10:49:05 AM »
I still like Scutarii for the points.  I decent bread and butter type line unit IMO.
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iamJMAN00793

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Re: Hannibal has Arrived: Historical Carthage Units and Tactics
« Reply #35 on: January 18, 2012, 01:14:52 PM »
Thanks for the info, I'll have to keep those fixes in mind.  :)
Every man dies. Not every man really lives. ~ Braveheart