First Punic War is a campaign of three scenarios in which the Carthaginians face the Romans on Sicily and North Africa.
The three scenarios did not last long and the battles were brief and more like skirmishes. Most of the time you are building up the Carthaginian force from a town centre and a few villagers. The enemies are not terribly fierce and wait around until you are ready to fight them. However I did enjoy the exclamations the Romans give when you near their base. The objectives were simple. Much like the ones in Age of Empires campaigns: e.g. to bring two relics to a certain area. Once played this campaign holds little more for the player. 2
The sides are very unevenly matched as the Romans start out with a set-piece force in each scenario while the Carthaginians (the player) have the power of villages to replenish and create troops. The first scenario has the Romans with a small fortress guarded by a small feudal force. The player however begins in the Dark Age with four villagers and town centre. The third and last scenario is the most evenly balanced militarily but even in that one I was struggling to gather up the sparse resources. Make the enemies more powerful and give them some villagers. 2
The game was rather straightforward and little creativity was shown. However, in the second scenario a clever researching module was included using triggers. So that when Squires was researched or was being researched, all swordsmen would become champions. This confused me at first but I re-read in the hints and discovered a brief list of the techs that would be researched if you researched another. I applaud the author for this interesting bit of creativity. 3
Rather blank maps I’m sorry to say. The first two were mostly open grass with quadrangles of trees with some water for a river. A few deer in some parts but mostly unpopulated expanse. The last scenario looks much better but still it is pretty average. Try to add some elevation and dot in rocks or flower beds and other accents to make the map look livelier. The author has a lot of work to do in this section. 2
The instructions are fine. Clear and easy. In the game the Romans have outposts which exclaim warnings that the Carthaginians have landed, etc. I enjoyed these very much. The story is obviously about the First Punic War and gets across in the history and scenario instructions screens. The history is not thorough and reminds that if we want to know more then we must “refer to our history texts!” I believe this is a fair comment and will cover this section. 4
First Punic War is a simple campaign for light entertainment and some satisfaction in beating the Romans three times in a row.