View Full Version : Alexander and Punic Campaigns - Questions

03-27-2008, 06:45

See, sooner rather than later. :dizzy2:

Have been playing the Alexander and Punic campaigns and have and few questions regarding your design intentions (Not criticizing, just curious) in relational to historical contexts, etc. Are there already other threads on this??? (forum searching tends to bring up RTW topics) :wall:

If not I'll ask here.


03-27-2008, 09:34
Use advanced search... and select the MTW section of the Org.
That is all... =D

macsen rufus
03-27-2008, 11:20
There's a few bits scattered around in the main Ancient TW thread, but no thread specifically dedicated to, so I guess this one will serve if you have any questions... My main source on the Punic campaign was Goldworthy's "Fall of Carthage" - in fact it was reading that which prompted me to do the campaign in the first place :yes:

Alex sources are many and varied, and quite probably contradictory in some details :laugh4:

03-28-2008, 07:37
O.K. Spent some time in the main thread (21 pages - egads!!!)

I realize that the two campaigns are still really works in progress, but.....

I had questions, but have suffered a brain lapse due to all the reading I've done as of late. (Its probably better that way)

My initial intention in playing the campaigns the first time around was to recreate the historical basis, with a pace of one game year = one campaign season, 4 or 5 campaign seasons = actual year (the only way to come close to Alexander's pace). I realize the difficulty in this is within the scope of old game design problem: Playability vs. historical accuracy vs. player challenge vs. what if expandibility. I.E. Historical campaigning vs. build and turtle.

In Alexander, I am able to run the initial Thrace-Illyria-Thebes??? campaign (2+2+2??? turns) (ole Alex did all this within the year, and vs. the Illyrians only took a week!!!). But as I rest to replace losses, I find the Persian navy built up and waiting for me at the Hellespont. On another attempt, I adapt and build some navy, but get interferrence by Spartan navy which provokes premature land war with them, but I make it across the Hellespont, and so on. I could turtle, but that wouldn'y be historical. I could play on Easy, but theres no challenge and theres no guarantee of a more historically paced campaign, for various reasons.
Plus...I love... EPIC SCALE BATTLES!!!

In Punic Wars, am able as Romans to "run the peninsula", jump into Sicliy, and wallop on the both the Messinans and Carthiginians. But I suffer grevious losses in a land battle versus the Syracusians (I still won, but all Hastati are now a wreck), and moderate losses at sea versus the Carthis', and now I'm broke. LOL. Again Easy is not the answer.

It's all fun, but I'm wondering what your design strategy and thoughts are/were??? Especially regarding the various navies, starting years and starting age of Alexander III, weak starting loyalty in Alexander (except for Beotia - I get that), weak starting acumens in Punic, etc. Am just curious!

Alexander was a bloody genuis and his men made of Iron!!!

macsen rufus
03-28-2008, 13:11
As I think you've twigged, there's a lot of details that don't come off too well because you run into game mechanics limitations. I find in Alex I rarely get much beyond Sardis or Gordion with my original Alexander, never mind establish Alexandria Eschate :laugh4: The 'one year per turn' one is the biggest obstacle to anyhting like historicity, so although you can have geographically faithful campaigns (quelling the Greeks, Illyrians and Thracians as you already have done) there's no real hope of temporal fidelity.

And the naval side is still bit of a problem - I've turned down the ship-building preferences by a factor of ten in Alex, but the Persians still bleed themselves dry with their navy :no: Who said Phoenicians drive a hard bargain :laugh4:

So in the next release - which will be the "ATW2 Eastern Empires" package - after I've finished the Rise of Persia scenario - I will institute a land-bridge in the Hellespont, and have a few border tweaks around that area on the campaign map. I think the Punic campaign might benefit from some naval tweaks as well - thinking of adding a new ship type - the Lemboi - available only along the Dalmatian coast, to help the Romans out a bit.

As for the starting age of kings, you have no choice at all, all starting kings will all be somewhere between 30 and 40 years old (kinda limits it for Alex the Whippersnapper....), and the factions' biasses for acumen etc seem to be either randomised or somehow dependent on the king. To some extent you can address this by adding some heroes so that a few good governor candidates can be guaranteed, but heroes can be a bit over-powering as well if you over-do them. Anyway, the Carthaginians can afford a few dimwits, they have by far the best economic potential :beam:

Glad you enjoyed your Sicilian campaign - the Syracusans are meant to be tough (and are a great faction to play as, one of my favourites...) I wonder did you assault the stronghold? It's one of the ones that has a (reasonably) accurate portrayal of the actual defences, within MTW limits (the other one is Carthage). Syracuse is a particularly bloody assault, and I often fail to take it as an assaulter.

Start dates - Punic begins five years before the First War to allow the Sicilian tension to build, Alex begins in his historical ascension year, and there's another bugbear - you can't "recalibrate" the dates to show the date you want.

03-28-2008, 14:57
It's all good.
Thought as much for most of what you said...Sigh...Didn't really expect otherwise, as the game has always been about empire building and tactical battling and FUN!...not historical re-creation. Just wanted to try...even with my scaling time I'd still need a followup force for assaults and garrisons...you can't have it all.

Always wondered about the Persian navy...Googled and could only find an obscure pay fer article about where the heck they were and how Alexander got so lucky!!! Shades of Zeus!
In game terms are they going for a trade monopoly! The ratio of support costs to port returns is so high like 50 to 100 to 10, at least it is with the Romans in Punic.
And I agree, the Carthis have a windfall, which makes it a challenge for the Roman to build a fleet that can challenge them.
Did not get to the assault on Syracuse in Punic yet, as my Legions' back was broken and so was my treasury, so Im considering starting over, waiting for triaris to be built or building more Samites for the assault.
As for dates, its almost right to it then in both, no pre-building up period.
And what about the date display, I know theres nothing you can do about AD, but a negative number to represent BC??? At least it would decrement in the correct manner, although I'd hate to see the game blow up at zero AD.

Anyway, I know you're busy elsewhere, and I'll post shorties in the main thread from now on. THanks for all your help. I'm off to Cartography school!!

macsen rufus
03-28-2008, 16:11
Alas, the date can only be positive, so I try to find an "offset" that is quite easy to calculate as you go... (and which doesn't result in an overlap with any of the dates used in MTW:VI itself).

And THAT's why I'm so glad I've finally got around to Britannia - I'm in AD at last :2thumbsup:

03-29-2008, 10:13
Macsen-how about you disable the Persian's ability to build ships except for, say, Dieres or some very advanced ship. Perhaps this would keep them from building gigantic fleets of merchant ships?

macsen rufus
03-29-2008, 11:10
I'll be looking at that again when I get back to that scenario - Roman Wars is pretty much ready, so I'll be heading east again soon :2thumbsup:

Hound of Ulster
04-03-2008, 17:18
a few quibbles with the Alex campaign...as Persia

1. the Persian horse archers 'flickered' in some battlefields, but not others. ditto for the Scythian cav

2. the Macedonians aren't terriably aggressive. ditto for Gandhara.

04-04-2008, 01:23
Note to self, Massila is impossible. :dizzy2:

Boy, oh, boy; those celts sure know how to flank phalanxes with hundreds of cavalry and light infantry.

macsen rufus
04-04-2008, 10:42
@Hound - hmmm - the Persian HA and Scyth cav are the same animation, so that's interesting... but only on some battlefields? Anything else in common - large battle? Terrain type? Lot of missiles?

Not sure how to make the Macs more aggressive - although you can set the personality in the startpos, the factions will change over time. But I will be tweaking AI unit choices further now I've started delving into that side more, so hopefully by the time ATW2 comes out they'll behave more realistically.

Meanwhile I've made the Europe-Asia landbridge in my ATW2 test/development copy, but alas due to an unexpected file name in the HTW maps I'm using, got trounced by the Thracians as the map didn't have a bridge :furious3: My Lydian "bridge defence" army was no good on a flat, riverless plain against the Thracian hordes :no:

@ Rythmic - the Masiliotes aren't impossible, I have managed to wipe the map with them before. You need to take advantage of the Celtic units available to them, and cover the flanks with either Celtic cav (or Xistophoroi if Masilia has them, can't recall now...) and also the ekdromos are good on the flanks :2thumbsup: Don't forget the Celtic swords have fragile morale so you should try to break them after their initial charge is blunted. Also I'm not sure now if you can get some Spanish troops in Emporion as well, they also come in handy to supplement the hoplites :bow: