If you’re looking for a great two-player competitive war game, and if like card-driven games, then you will love this game.
Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage is set during the Second Punic War in which Hannibal faced off with the Roman Republic. Players use strategic-level cards for multiple purposes: moving generals, levying new troops/reinforcing existing armies, gaining political control of the provinces involved in the war, and generating historical events.
A second set of cards is used to determine the winner in battles. Ultimately both players seek victory by dominating both fronts: military and political. While military might plays an important role in winning, it isn’t the only factor. The political side of the game is also very important. You can systematically undermine and hamstring your opponent by causing him to lose political influence among his peoples, and that’s actually one of the reason you fight battles (to not just kill soldiers but strike political blows).
The game has a nice historical flavor to. The Romans have naval supremacy, and this is indicated by the Carthaginians having to roll a die every time they move by sea. Syracuse’s revolt can be caused by a card in the deck. The change of Roman consuls every round represents Rome being ruled by a Senate. And of course the Carthaginians have elephants!
CAVEAT: The rules are a bit heavy for a novice board gamer. There are many conditional rules that handle special situations and occurrences. While I like the layer of complexity this adds, it does make the game harder to learn. That being said, it’s not the toughest war game that I’ve played.
Hannibal Rome vs Carthage has been often hailed as one of the best–if not THE best–card-driven war game ever made, and for good reason. It’s an outstanding game.