Friday, 15 October 2010

Disaster for Carthage in Iberia

On Tuesday we played an attempt by Carthage to conquer Iberia.  Deployment map:

Carthaginians in blue at the top
Simon chose and set up the Carthaginian attackers; William constructed and deployed the Iberians.  I won't go into details about the armies, since I hope the troop types are reasonably clear from the map.  Marco commanded cavalry on the Carthaginian right, with input from Simon; Billy was the infantry commander in the middle; and Ian had the rest of the cavalry on their left.  Marco was opposed by Gordon on our left, with a powerful cavalry force; William was in the middle with the infantry; and I was in command of the high quality light infantry on our right, facing Ian.  The Carthaginians had a decent number of skirmishers, but they were well outnumbered right across the front by the Iberians.

This is the first time we have tried an Iberian army in the campaign, and only the third time I have ever seen them on the tabletop.  William based his army on how he perceived the Iberians to have operated: a cloud of skirmishers; a large number of very good light infantry types (Caetrati and Lusitanians); a good cavalry contingent as a mixture of heavies, medium horse and light troops; and Scutarii and Celtiberians for the infantry.  William also rolled up the terrain, and it was not good for the defenders: a low hill to their left, and a steep hill on their right.  This explains his deployment of almost all of the cavalry to the left and light infantry in the vicinity of the steep hill.  He kept the main infantry contingent as far back as he possibly could.
Iberian cavalry envelops Carthaginian right
The photograph above shows the development of Gordon's cavalry attack on the Iberian left flank.  It's taken from behind the left centre of the Iberian army.
Advance of the Carthaginian infantry
The second photograph (above) shows the centre of the field at the same time as the first picture.  For some reason that I don't quite understand, the Carthagnian centre stayed still for two turns.  This gave the Iberians the opportunity to start a double envelopment in the hope that at least one wing would come through to threaten a flank of the Carthaginian infantry line.  By keeping his own infantry well back, William was able to postpone a central clash for a considerable time, allowing his skirmishers to clear those of the enemy and start to hurt the Gauls in the front line of the infantry mass.  As you can see fron the photograph, he had plenty of space to do so.
The Iberian horse continue their envelopment
Picture three speaks for itself, I think, as the threat develops.
Fight on the right
The shot above is of my wing at the same time.  The difference in colour is due to this part of the table being furthest from the lights at the club.  This is just to prove that I was doing something on my flank, apart from chatting.  Honest.
The Carthaginian centre closes - but is it too late?
In the picture above, William has started to echelon his leftmost infantry units forward to halt the Carthaginians closest to the oncoming Spanish cavalry.  His leading infantry unit has even been brave enough to attack some enemy cavalry.
A longer, angled shot of the same moment
I hope the photo above conveys more of the situation on the centre and left of the Iberian army.
Here comes the crunch!
In the picture above, the cavalry starts to arrive from the Iberian left flank.  The invading infantry has only just begun to come to grips with the left foremost Iberians.
The final moments

And then it is all over.  Both Carthaginian flanks have collapsed, and before their infantry can finally get to grips with their recalcitrant foes, the cavalry hits them from behind and one of the Gallic units succumbs completely to the ongoing hail of missile fire.  It's a while since we have seen that, but they have been bearing the brunt of it all the way across the table.  Gordon lost one unit of light horse and I lost the unit of medium cavalry; minor losses by comparison.

Next up in two weeks will be the Macedonians attacking Greece again.  Many of the players have expressed the opinion that the Macedonians might need to give themselves the option to intervene in Southern Italy; taking Greece would give them the jumping-off point they would need to do so.  This opinion is an understandable result of the longstanding Roman inability to halt the Carthaginian juggernaut.  Until recently, that is.  At the very least it will make a welcome change from destoying Persian armies.

No comments:

Post a Comment