There was an opportunity to play second scenario of Pax Romana, a two player game that pits Carthage and Rome against each other. Goal was simple, to destroy the capital of the other, or failing that, victory by VP’s.
I draw Rome, and my opponent took Carthage. From the outset, it appeared that Rome were better off financially, and in manpower. Carthage on the other hand, had advantage over the sea lanes, and easy access to Hispania. It was not hard to see the expansionist ambitions Carthage had. As Rome, I had only one goal in mind, to utterly destroy Carthage, and spoil the land.
It happened however, that Sicilies stood on my way. So, while luck in leader draw were terrible for both players, they favored expansion over military feats. It took Rome a full turn to gain foothold in Sicily, displacing Mamertines, while building also some towns for additional income. Unfortunately though, after Romans finally got the foothold in the northeastern corner, and the town of Panormus, Carhage sent in large military force accompanied with lots of cavalry.
Several times did Rome try to fight the Carthaginians over the control of the island, and city of Lilybaeum but in no avail. Carthaginians repeatedly repulsed army over twice their own size and fleets kept the Romans from passing through to Carthage.
Meanwhile, Carthage advanced in Hispania and eventually took possession of the whole. Rome managed to take a bit of Gaul, sufficient to rise light infantry and cavalry there but all too little and too late. Expedition in Hispania was doing well after the cavalry contingent were reinforced, but there were not enough time to turn the Carthaginian tide.
Corridor through Corsica was blocked likewise with strong Carthaginian fleets positioned there. Once Rome finally had sufficient navies to battle Carthaginian seapower, it was much too late to concentrate attack in multiple fronts.
Last attempt to take Undefended Carthage (an insult of the superior naval power of Carthage) failed and Carthage stopped the advance through Sicily. So, Rome lost quite badly – which bad omens were blamed. Not to mention that Roman equestrians probably contributed as much as they usually do in Impetus…