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Total War: Rome II- Hannibal at the Gates

Hannibal at the Gates an expansion for War: Rome II the Second Punic War that covers Total is between Carthage and Rome. Gamers play as either side, or as a minor power such as Syracuse, maneuvering their forces across a strategic map encompassing North Africa, Italy,southern Gaul and Spain.

The Rome II game system does a brilliant job of re-creating the strategic challenges these ancient regimes faced,without constraining players’ choices. The subtleties of the diplomatic module are evidenced through the shifting allegiances of the minor tribes of Spain, which provide the Carthaginians strategic opportunities as well as threats to their rear as they maneuver forces to replicate Hannibal’s heroic invasion of Italy.

During combat, the Roman legions rely on the effectiveness of their infantrymen and shorts words, while the Carthaginian scall on the strength of their spear carrying hoplites and the shock action of their cavalry and war elephants. The game does a wonderful job of highlighting these differences as the camera captures the real-time battles in stunning detail.

Hannibal at the Gates is a worthy expansion to Rome II and a must-have for gamers who can’t get enough of ancient warfare.


Combat Mission: Red Thunder

Combat Mission: Red Thunder game set on the Eastern Front in the summer is a standalone of 1944. It is tactical in scope, with players maneuvering individual vehicles and teams of soldiers across the battlefield in real time or turn-based mode.

Graphically, the Combat Mission series has never looked better. Western Russia’s lush forests and swamps provide a realistic backdrop for the vicious struggle between the depleted German forces and the more powerful Soviet units.Moreover, Red Thunder includes new flamethrowers and infantrymen with the ability to ride on tanks – a favorite assault technique of the Soviets.

No other tactical wargame provides such a high level of detailed realism, dramatic 3-Dcombat and challenging gameplay. Every relevant factor is taken into account, including the path of each bullet and the mental state of each soldier.

Combat Mission: Red Thunder realistically re-creates the look and feel of Eastern Front combat, especially in the larger scenarios. It is highly recommended for all wargamers.


Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Jeffrey Paulding is a lifelong student of military history and science. He has been playing wargames since he was a child.

Originally published in the January 2015 issue of Armchair General.