Saturday 23 April 2011

Rome Reconquers Magna Graecia

We played this game a couple of weeks ago.  Work life became rather hectic, but now that it's the long weekend I should be able to catch up properly with the games stuff.  Deployment map:
The mercenaries of Carthage, stiffened by some Punic heavy cavalry and heavy infantry, have chosen a reasonably defensible position.  Their left rests on a fordable stream, with a nice ridgeline for their massed infantry.  The only piece of terrain that might afford the Romans some relief is a small low hill.

The Carthaginian army and deployment, from their right (top left of the map as you look at it), were chosen by William.  Basically, it's all the cavalry on the open right, all the infantry massed in the centre and left, with extra reinforcements for the hill position.  Lots of skirmishers are out front, with a lone unit of slingers on the other side of the stream.  Simon will run the cavalry, Marco the centre, and William their left.

I chose and set up the Roman army.  Or, rather, I decide to try out a variation on the legions suggested by William.  Each of the four legions is composed of a block of 16 Hastati, a block of 16 Principes, and 8 Triarii, with Velites to the front.  All of the Hastati and Principes count as heavy infantrymen with pila, while the Triarii are elite heavy spearmen.  There are also the usual Equites and Italian light horse and medium infantry, as well as some accompanying Rhodian slingers and Cretan archers.  Two possibilities present themselves.  The first would be to mass the infantry in our centre right, with the flank resting on the stream, and all of the cavalry towards the open left.  The other is to go for a more traditionally symmetrical Roman deployment.  I choose the latter, keeping a lone unit of Italian light cavalry on the other side of the stream just in case the opposition has troops there too.  You will see from the map that there are gaps between the Roman legions; I figure that their heavy fighting power will more than compensate.  As well as that, the relatively small individual units will be able to manoeuvre quite well.  Gordon takes the leftmost legion and the troops on the left of the army; Billy commands the central legions; and I run the rest of the army on the right.  I'm hoping that the deployment will give the Romans some flexibility.

Above: the Romans advance.  This shot is taken from my corner at the rightmost end of the Roman line.  Gordon moves up aggressively with his cavalry.  He also spots that he has an infantry overlap towards his left, and is able to use his superiority here to wheel the Italian infantry and his legion's Hastati to our left.  This should neutralise the Carthaginian horse.
Billy advances in the centre with the two Roman legions.  I hang back on our right, trying to stay out of combat with the masses of enemy infantry on their left wing.  In the meantime, they occupy the ridge to their immediate front.  I won't be attacking that lot anytime soon.
The photo above shows the relative positions on my wing.  If I'm lucky, I might be able to use my extra light cavalry to wheel in and threaten the advance of the enemy centre.  Clutching at straws!  But anything that slows down the weight they have here will help.  The plan is for Billy to pin their centre while Gordon rolls up from our left.  I'll just try to survive as long as I can...
An oblique shot of Gordon's attack.
My wing holds position as the mass of enemy infantry comes forward from their hill.  To the left of this photo you can see Billy's legions going forward.
A close-up of my Principes.
The combat on Gordon's left.  His Italian infantry have joined in to help the outnumbered Equites against the enemy cavalry.  The fight goes well for us here.
Above you can see Billy's legions (in red for Romans), as well as the threat to my Hastati in the foreground.

Gordon's plan goes well as his Hastati hit some enemy cavalry to the right of their infantry line (on the left of the photo as you look at it).  If we can break through here, the Hastati will be in position to roll up the whole lot.
The action to the right of Gordon's troops.  Here, in our centre, Billy's Roman legionaries perform very well indeed.  They cause multiple hits with their pila, and the enemy's response is pitiful.  In other words, the Carthaginian combat dice are lousy...
A wider view of the action at our centre right.  Billy is able to angle his right legion's Principes to face the threat.  This deprives that legion's Hastati of support, but it's beginning to look as though they don't need it anyway.  Some of the enemy manage to squeeze by my white (Latin) Hastati.  We need to hold out here and to the right a while longer.
In the meantime, it's taking the enemy's Italian foot a while to cross the field towards my waiting Equites.  I also have some Italian foot of my own, just at the bottom left of the photo above.
A wide shot of our centre and centre-right.  I have had to risk spreading my forces so as to hold up as many of the enemy as I can.  This means that my Principes end up fighting before my Hastati.
On my extreme right, the enemy infantry finally reach my waiting cavalry.  My lights get ready to join in.
Breakthrough!  Gordon achieves his objective, and in style.  There is a massive morale collapse as the enemy infantry facing him all run away.  Billy holds out, and so do I (only just).  A Roman victory.


  1. As ever a great battle report and excellent pics.

  2. Hi Paul, that was quick! Our Evil Romans grind onward...

    Cheers, and thanks for looking