The first version of Hannibal Rome vs Carthage was published in 1996 by Mark Simonitch from Avalon Hill’s Games and the second one was published ten years ago by Valley Games.The difference between those versions is that Avalon Hill mapboard is mounted and you can unfold it but the Valley Games one is cut into large pieces and snaps together like a puzzle.
The illustrations were done by Joe Amoral, Mike Doyle, Rick Gondeck, Kurt Miller, and Mark Simonitch.
- 22″ x 32″ Map;
- Rules Booklet;
- 3 Sheets of die-cut playing pieces:
- 86 Political Markers;
- 66 Combat Units;
- 14 Generals;
- 13 City Markers;
- 8 Tribe Markers (3 Carthaginian and 5 Neutral);
- 8 General Tokens;
- 5 Siege / Subjugation Markers;
- 1 Proconsul Marker;
- 1 Siege Train Marker;
- 1 Turn Marker;
- 112 Cards (card size fit for Standard American Fantasy Flight sleeves – 56×87 mm):
- 64 Strategy Cards;
- 48 Battle Cards;
- 14 Plastic Stands;
- 2 6-sided Dice;
Strategy Card List
- Revolts (Corsica and Sardinia, Sicilia, Numidia, Celtiberia);
- Native Guide;
- Marharbal’s Cavalry;
- Hostile Tribes;
- Philip V. of Macedon Allies with Carthage;
- Reinforcements (Macedonian, African);
- Balearic Slingers;
- Recruits (Bruttium, Ligurian, Iberian, Gallic);
- Surprise Sortie;
- Traitor in Tarentum;
- Senate Dismisses Proconsul;
- Spy in Enemy Camp;
- Mercenaries Desert;
- Mutin’s Numidians;
- Numidian Ally;
- Sophonisba Seduces a Numidian King;
- Syracuse Allies with Carthage;
- Spanish Allies Desert;
- Capua Sides with Carthage;
- Numidian Allies Desert;
- I Have Come into Italy;
- Hannibal Charms Italy;
- Carthaginian Naval Victory;
- Major Campaign;
- Minor Campaign;
- Bad Weather;
- Elephant Fright;
- Two Legions of Slaves Raised;
- Allied Auxiliaries;
- Opposing Fleet Breaks Siege;
- Adriatic Pirates;
- Tribal Resistance;
- Treachery Within City;
- Messenger Intercepted;
- Grain Shortage;
- Hanno Counsels Carthage;
- Cato Counsels Rome;
- Ally Deserts;
- Storms at Sea;
- Force March;
Hannibal: Rome vs Carthage gives you a chance to try walking in the shoes of Hannibal, the great Carthaginian military commander, as he attempts to attack Rome once again. This is a 2-player card-driven war game: one of the players fights for Carthage, the other one represents Rome.
The armies move towards each other while employing new troops, moving generals, and gaining political control over strategically important territories. Finally, the two armies meet on the battlefield. To win, you have to be dominating both political and military fronts.
In the beginning, Carthage has control over Spain and North Africa, Rome controls Italy and the islands. At the beginning of the game, Carthaginians are given a start – they have all their 5 generals from the very beginning while Romans start out with just 2 generals – and not their best ones. But Romans get more new units every round as the game moves on.
The game lasts for 9 rounds. Every round goes through seven phases.
Reinforcement Phase (skipped on the first round)
- The Carthaginians get their reinforcements and return their displaced generals.
- The Romans get their reinforcements. On the sixth turn, they get Scipio Africanus – their most powerful general. The Roman player also names a Proconsul and selects two new Consuls.
Dealing Strategy Cards
Both players are dealt strategy cards.
The players play their cards taking turns. They can activate generals, gain political influence by placing markers on influenced territories, and trigger special events.
The players conduct Winter Attrition.
Political Isolation Removal
The players remove all their isolated non-walled, non-tribal political control markers.
The players calculate their political points. The player who has fewer political points loses some political control markers.
End of Turn
The turn ends, and another one begins. The game ends if one of the players wins a Sudden Death Victory or all turns are played.
The player who has more political points during the Victory Check phase of the last turn wins. In case of a tie, victory goes to Carthage.
You can download the full version of the rules as PDF here.
Hamilcar: First Punic War Expansion
With this expansion, you go back in time to the First Punic War when Hamilcar, Hannibal’s father fought against Rome. The expansion contains a game board with two sides – the original one and the Punic War one, nine new generals for Rome, nine new generals for Carthage, and seven new generals to add to the original game.
There is a list of misprints found in the game of Hannibal: Rome vs Carthage. You can see them here.
Wilderness War is another card-driven war game for two. Here, you will be fighting in the French and Indian War of 1755-1760 when they were struggling for control over North America.
This is a card-driven war game that feels like a Eurogame at the same time. In this game, your pieces represent abstract influences rather than the armies themselves.
Axis & Allies: Battle of the Bulge
Here, you will be fighting in World War II either for Germans or for the Allied Forces of America and Great Britain. Axis & Allies also has a turning point like the arrival of Scipio Africanus in the sixth round of Hannibal.
Q: Being a rather old game. how does Hannibal: Rome vs Carthage hold up today?
A: Brilliantly. The unique mechanics of Hannibal has been copied by some newer war games. It remains one of the most popular two-player war games to date with just a few changes added to the second edition.
Q: How long does a game of Hannibal: Rome vs Carthage take?
A: Usually, it takes about 3 hours. Prepare to add another hour if the players are not experienced.
Q: Can I play Hannibal: Rome vs Carthage as a solitaire game?
A: Yes, you can. Card-driven games are usually not very much fun as solo games, but it is a good way to carefully go through all the rules and learn how to play.
Q: Is Hannibal: Rome vs Carthage difficult to learn?
A: If you are not used to playing war games, prepare that it might take awhile before you get all the rules.You will have to play it at least once looking into the rulebook all the time before you will be able to play freely. What makes remembering the rules more difficult is the fact that there are lots of exceptions that you have to keep in mind. But once you have gotten the feel of the game it plays rather intuitively.
Q: The rules state that I can have maximum 2 elephants on the board until African Reinforcements. Then I can have 4. If my 2 elephants have died, can I get them back with the Reinforcements?
A: Yes, you can. The problem with the African Reinforcements is that even though they give you plus two elephants, if you already have four, you will not receive them. So, if you have three elephants, the Reinforcements will give you one more. If you have fewer than three, then you will receive two elephants as stated in the rules.
Hannibal: Rome vs Carthage is a strongly-themed war game. The beautiful artwork of the game will help you enjoy the time you will spend learning the rules.
If you like war games, you will definitely enjoy this one. Hannibal: Rome vs Carthage is a classic in its genre. The gameplay is based on a strong political strategy. You will travel in time and become either Hannibal or a Roman leader, both sides have their strengths, so you will want to try playing for both teams.
Roman Carthage is a deep and complicated game you will enjoy learning, playing, and winning.
You can buy Hannibal: Rome vs Carthage on Amazon.