The Wargameroom Finals are won by the player who first wins three games. As Carthage, I had won the first game in the series and now it was time to switch sides.
Rome: Charles Féaux de la Croix
Carthage: Kevin Worth
The first years of the war were quite uneventful (other than various political shenanigans and a brief Roman raid into Baetica - both without really lasting consequences) as Hannibal delayed his invasion of Italy until 216 BC. He took the route through Liguria so as to rally a number of tribesmen to his cause, but both the alpine crossing and and an epidemic took a heavy toll upon his forces. Nonetheless, Hannibal was able to seite control of Etruria. This first success may have made Hannibal overconfident as in 215 BC he proceeded to Samnium and spread out his forces in an effort to seize yet another province.
Yet that proved to be a fateful mistake since this left him deep in enemy territory and without any nearby bases to retreat to in the event of a calamity. Nero, the consul for 215 BC, recognised the enemy's momentary vulnerability and brought Hannibal to battle in Firmum Picenum (14 Roman BCs vs 11 Carthaginian BCs). His entire army was wiped out and the great general also was found among the dead. Hannibal was no more after the very first armed encounter in this war!
As a result, the initiative passed to the Romans and these soon engaged the Carthaginians on Sardinia and then also in Africa as the Western Numidians had become "friends of the Roman people". Yet neither mission was successful and only the young Scipio was to lend new impetus to the Roman offensive...
The young Scipio and Longus - colleague of the senior consul Fabius - both brought considerable forces to Emporiae and nearby Idubeda. At that point Iberia was only lightly defended, but that soon changed after Hasdrubal had brought his full-strength expedition to Sardinia back home to New Carthage and then marched it up north. The young Scipio repaired to Emporiae and then layed the political groundwork for his coming campaign in Iberia by bringing a fair portion of the Idubedan and Celtiberian hinterland into the Roman fold.
Then, in an audacious move, he stole past Hasdrubal's field army in Dertosa and force marched into Celtiberia. Hasdrubal then tried to march on the invader, but Scipio had sacrificed to the Gods and BAD WEATHER prevented Hasdrubal from bringing the young Scipio to battle. That gave the Cornelian general the time to establish a Roman provincial administration in Celtiberia and thus reinforce his position.
This led to a series of hard-fought battles in first Celtiberia and then also in Orospeda. Both sides brought in further reinforcements only for them to be killed in the Iberian meatgrinder.
Syracuse, recently defected, and Sardinia were secondary objectives pursued by Rome. Varro was about the conquer the Jewel of Sicily when the Carthaginian fleet intervened. This setback in ca. 202 BC led to Varro abandoning that siege effort and him sailing to Sardinia in order to convert that renegade island. Yet Mago responded by sailing from Africa to meet Varro in battle and managed to remove the Roman threat to Sicily.
Those failures meant that Rome had to hold on to both Idubeda and Celtiberia. Yet Messenger Intercepted robbed Rome of the ability to respond to the Carthaginians' operations in the last days of the war. That led to Celtiberia once more coming into the Carthaginian fold.
Carthage had prevailed despite having lost her favourite son, Hannibal, as early as 215 BC. Well done by Kevin.
Somewhat frustrating was the repeated election of Fabius as consul. That impaired my ability to bring maximum force to bear overseas. But then of course, I ought to have simply appointed him proconsul rather than keeping Varro and others around more apt at siege warfare.
This diagram shows that the fighting in Spain late in the war took a heavy toll:
Roman: 28 CUs
Carthaginian: 27 CUs
Politically, the war saw little momentum either way. Indeed, the death of Hannibal hardly registered:
Highly anomalous was that 71% of all battles took place in Spain. This shows that Rome was on the offensive for much of the game, albeit with little to show for it in the end: