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Sunday, July 31, 2011

WBC Day Two

I woke up bright and early for more Hannibal, with only the slightest grogginess after the previous day's marathon of 3 am wakeup, 6 hours driving, and 6 hours of Hannibal. After I post this entry, I'm going straight to bed and luckily nothing is happening for me in the 9 am hour tomorrow, so I can catch up a little bit on sleep.

Round 3: Tim Miller
For the 5th time in a row at WBC, I was Carthage - Tim bid 1 to be Rome, so I was happy to take Carthage once again. The details of this game are a little blurry right now, but once again Hannibal got stuck in northern Italy, eventually killed, but Mago was again able to conquer Corsica and hold onto it. Yet another 9-9 tie for the Carthage madmen...

Round 4: Michael Sosa
I knew I had met Michael before, but neither of us could remember exactly what we had played together a few years ago. He accepted my starting bid of 1 for Carthage, so the streak grew to 6. This time, Hannibal was finally able to make a lot of progress, smashing Romans and taking Samnium. On turn 3, I had a tough call to make. I had the Carthage reinforcement card that gave 2 troops if you were in Lucania, so I decided to make a break for it after using Diplomacy to flip one of the other spaces there to have a retreat path if I lost a combat. Hannibal was able to hold on to Lucania and Apulia until at least turn 7 or so, holding off Scipio Africanus in a number of combats on turn 6. I got to play an event I had never played before - the Adriatic Pirates! They got Mago with 3 extra troops to help Hannibal hold on longer, but eventually I had to sail the big guy back to Spain. Overall it bought me enough time to once again control Corsica and win a 9-9 tie.
Round 5: Henry Rice
Henry won the bidding roll and bid 0 for Carthage, I bid 1, and he took them for 2 - the streak was over! However, after playing four rounds of Carthage in a row, I was worried about being out of sync with the Roman side of things. I held Hannibal to the first two spots in Samnium, but I decided to use Major Campaigns on two different turns to try to attrition Hannibal away, figuring I was going to have a better chance to make battles last longer if I was attacking rather than defending. I'm still not sure if this is worth it, or a good way to lose a lot of troops, since I had Hannibal well controlled. Eventually I did back him up back in Gallia Cisalpina, and then he fled just as Scipio got on the scene. Henry did something pretty interesting during all of this. During one of his Campaign card moves, he moved H. Gisgo into the right most space in Liguria - basically meaning I would have to find some time to deal with him or he might come out at the end of the game to flip some PCs in Italy. In turn 8, Henry moved Hasdrubal back into northern Italy to keep me tied up, even though I was winning with Marcellus in Corsica and P. Scipio in Sicily. Near the end of the turn he dropped Truce to make me not able to deal with Hasdrubal or flip a PC that P. Scipio was sitting on in Sicily (with another next to him). I had Celtiberia Revolts and decided to not use it as the event and make him lose one more PC during the Political Phase, thus keeping the Truce around.
On turn 9, I discovered yet another example of the dislike part of my feelings about Hannibal. I've been playing Hannibal for 3-4 years now and have probably played 50 times. You would think I would know all of the rules, but nope! Apparently Truce causes Naval Combat to not occur, so Henry was able to sail Hannibal with 10 troops on turn 9 with no risk.

Anyway, it was all for naught because during turn 9, Henry used a Major Campaign to move Hannibal to Sicily, but that wasn't it. He hit me with Philip of Macedon's alliance next, and picked out my only 3-card, a Major Campaign. I finished off Hasdrubal, and raced Scipio A. south as quickly as I could... only to be hit by Messenger Intercepted! Unbelievably, Henry didn't even need to use Hannibal to take over Sicily. With him remaining cards after I had played my last one, he was able to move H. Gisgo from New Carthage all the way by land to Gallia Cisalpina and take that province back.

A fun, interesting day, but unfortunately it ended with disappointment. Winning that last round would have meant probably being in top 6 and getting a plaque... and I came so close! Granted, this was the best I've done in a CDG.

All three of my opponents were great - polite, not too fast or slow in their play, gracious in victory or defeat, and generally fun to play against. The people at the WBC are a big factor as to why it's so fun!


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