One of the most storied cities of the world celebrates its 1600th birthday this year: As legend has it, Venice was founded when three Roman officials established a trade post on the lagoon off Italy’s Adriatic shore on March 25, 421. Since then, Venice has been a refuge, a great power, and a tourist destination. Venice continues to be an inspiration due to its special topography of islands and canals, the enterprising spirits and artisanal skills of its population, and the heights of subtlety and sophistication which its diplomacy, politics, arts, and culture reached. Correspondingly, the city is a frequent subject of board games: 64 are listed in BoardGameGeek’s “family” of Venice games – many more than are set in, say, Milan (13), Florence (25), or even Rome (also 25). This post will take you on a journey through the history and board games of Venice.Continue reading
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears! Welcome back to our story of Hannibal and Scipio! In the first part of this account, we’ve covered their upbringing as spawns of the noblest families of their respective cities and the first part of the war that would define both of their lives. We’ve seen how Hannibal defeated Roman armies in Italy time and again, but could not force the Romans into surrender. When Rome adapted her strategy and avoided battle with Hannibal, his forward momentum stalled. After a disastrous defeat of the Roman expeditionary army in Spain, the senate sent young Scipio with there to avenge the death of his father and uncle. Continue reading
Two of the greatest commanders of antiquity died in 183 BCE, 2200 years ago. Their names are Hannibal Barca and Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus – but Hannibal and Scipio will do to refer to them. Their lives have many parallels – long absences from home, an adult life dominated by war in the first and politics in the second part, and finally the experience of being an individual too big to fit into one’s small community. We’ll look at their youth and their fortunes in the war when they were in Carthage’s favor in this article. A second part will cover the second part of the war when Rome struck back and Hannibal’s and Scipio’s years after the war that defined both their lives.
There are many board games which deal with the dramatic events of the second war been Rome and Carthage which I will discuss here. The most prominent one (and the one I will draw upon the most) is Mark Simonitch’s Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage (Valley Games). I took the pictures of the new edition Hannibal & Hamilcar (Mark Simonitch/Jaro Andruszkiewiecz, Phalanx Games).