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By the 3rd century BC, Carthage was a powerful and wealthy commercial empire that extended from the coast of North Africa to Spain and from Sardinia and Corsica to western Sicily. Her influence was spread through a combination of a powerful navy and a large number of mercenaries from its various subject territories.
Meanwhile, Rome had used its formidable military and political power to absorb the Italian peninsula, either by force or by treaty, into a powerful confederation of tribes and cities. While Rome's relationship with members of this confederation were sometimes tenuous, its army was derived from Rome's citizens and her Italian allies rather than mercenaries. But, she did not have a navy.
With Rome and Carthage both expanding throughout the Mediterranean, it was only a matter of time before they came to blows. In 264 BC, a dispute arose in the city of Messna in north eastern Sicily. A group of Italian mercenaries, under siege fro Hiero of Syracuse, appealed to both Rome and Carthage, and both nations responded. Rome, fearing the expansion of Carthage and hoping to promote its own imperialistic ambitions, forced the Carthaginians to leave while they remained and claimed the city for themselves. The war had begun. In their anger, the Carthainians boasted that their navy was so powerful that the Romans would not even dare wash their hands in the sea. The Romans, however, would prove otherwise.
The result was a 24 year conflict between Rome and Carthage. It would feature the construction of a powerful navy by the Romans, and some of the largest naval battles in the history of the Western world would be fought. It would pit the mercenary Infantry and cavalry of Carthage, along with her war elephants and Hannibal's father Hamilcar, against the powerful legions of Rome. After a long an bloody conflict which saw victories and disasters on both sides, Rome would finally emerge victorious.
Hands in the Seas is a 2-player game about the struggle between Rome and Carthage for control of Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica in the years 264-241 BC. It is a game of actions. The actions you can perform in the game are determined by the cards in your Hand and in your Deck. Each of the major powers has its own set of cards, though certain cards are shared by both players. You increase your range of available actions by drafting new cards and putting them into your discard pile, which you will eventually draw.
The games ends if any of several different conditions occurs, ranging from scoring enough victory points, to a sudden death victory by capturing your opponent's capital.
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1 1/2-2 hours
Spirit Games (Est. 1984, Lefglow Ltd) - Supplying role playing games (RPG), wargames rules, miniatures and scenery, new and traditional board and card games for the last 35 years
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