Saturday, 24 November 2012

Grand Contest in Iberia

A major battle takes place in Iberia as Hannibal stands firm against Scipio's advancing Romans.  And here they come:
Gordon sets up the Roman army.  The first photo (above) shows their right: some Cretan archers about to move into an area of rough ground, then a combined unit of Triarii drawn from the two Latin legions, and then one of the Latin legions.  We decided that Scipio should be able to vary the standard Roman consular set up.  Gordon chooses to put the Latin Triarii together and place them outside the normal legionary deployment. This spreads the Roman force more widely than usual and makes efficient use of the Triarii.  The potential downside is that it weakens the Latin legions by removing the supporting third line.
The second photo shows the Roman infantry centre, commanded stoically by Mark: two Roman legions in triplex acies to crash through anything they hit, and then the second Latin legion.  Plenty of Velites out front.  Scipio deploys all of the Roman cavalry on their left (to the right of the shot above as you look at it), William commanding, with some slingers to help.  The initial photo of that part of the field didn't come out well, but later pictures are a bit better.

I deploy the Carthaginians and then leave them for the guys from Ayrshire to play.  Alan takes a small cavalry command on the left.  Colin takes the central infantry mass:
Lots of skirmish javelins are followed by a wave of expendable Gauls.  Behind them come the Scutarii, deployed in an area of rolling hills.  To either side of the Scutarii are Hannibal's elite spearmen, deployed wide.  This array is entirely symmetrical.
The photo above shows the Carthaginian cavalry wing, on the open right of the army, with a load of Balearic slingers out front.  By chance, both armies are equally weighted here, with Carthage having some skirmish superiority.
The photo above is a long angled shot of the entire field as the action begins, taken from the rough ground area facing the Carthaginian left.
First blood to Carthage (above) as their skirmish superiority begins to tell on their right wing.  You can see the Roman horse at the top of the photo.
At the other end of the field, the combined Latin Triarii (left as you look at it) advance wide to hold off the enemy cavalry here.
In the centre, the Gauls crash into the advancing Hastati.
Back on the Carthaginian right, their Balearics have wiped out their opposing counterparts.
An angled shot of the majority of the field.  At the very top of the photo, you can see the Roman cavalry starting to advance rather than wait to be shot up by the enemy slingers.  At the right of the picture, the Scutarii and elite spearmen wait to see the outcome of the mad Gallic charge.
The massed advance of the Roman cavalry has caught the Balearic slingers by surprise, dispersing half the unit.  Contact is imminent here and the result will be in the hands of the gods.
A closer photo of the continuing combat in the centre.  The Gauls are beginning to crumble.
Back at the Roman right/Carthaginian left, the Latin Triarii continue to press forward.  Scipio sends some Velites to the right to help the archers here.
On the other side of the field, an enormous cavalry melee takes place.  The forces here are extremely evenly matched, give or take a few skirmish hits so nobody knows what will happen, especially the Carthaginian commander (Billy).
Luck is with Billy as one of his heavy cavalry units breaks through.
On the other wing, the Latin Triarii continue their remorseless advance.  However, they are going to be unable to pin down both Carthaginian cavalry units here, and one of them is already threatening to slip past the extreme right of the Roman flank.
In the centre, the Gauls have been removed and the next wave is imminent.
However, on the Carthaginian right luck deserts the Roman cavalry and now two Carthaginian units have broken through, although the one slightly further back is almost completely exhausted.
Back to the Carthaginian left, as the extra unit of cavalry moves wide in a flanking manoeuvre.
An enormous infantry struggle develops in the centre.
Above is a close-up of the right of the Carthaginian infantry line. Latin Hastati have managed an overlap on the Scutarii.  However, at the top right you can see the elite spearmen moving towards the Latin Principes.
But at the left of the Carthaginian line, some Scutarii break through the other Latin legion.
Things are not looking good the attackers here as a classic Carthaginian flanking assault takes shape.
At the top right of the photo above you can see the elite spears crashing into Latin Principes, threatening to turn this into a double envelopment.  Or will the Romans burst through the centre in time?
Some local success in the middle as the Roman legions crush the Scutarii in front of them, but it is too little too late as the Latin Hastati and Principes are wiped out at both ends of the line.  The flanking cavalry attack works on the left, and Billy manages to turn his unexpected success on the right into a cavalry assault into the centre.

Hannibal holds the line, then.  But only just.  Both sides are busy building up for the next showdown, the Romans with their massive manpower advantage and Carthage with loads of money...


  1. Hi Paul

    Once again an extremely pithy account of a grand game. Many thanks to you, Gordon and the other guys for having us up from Ayrshire, hope to get back again soon.

    Just for the record it was Alan on the Carthaginian left, Billy Cooper on the right. Both played a blinder;)

    All the best until next time

  2. Great batrep here.


  3. Hi Colin, I think I've updated it okay, thanks for pointing that out. I really shouldn't type late at night, I make too many mistakes! Glad you enjoyed the game. You did well yourself, holding the Romans in the middle just long enough to get the win.

    Hi Ross, thanks for looking!


  4. I know it is late, but formalities aside, I've nominated your blog on the Liebster Blog Award (moderation is on here, right? so if you read the post earlier, no need to let this one slip through censorship :D, otherwise please follow the link and read what it's about)

  5. Thanks, Andrew, that's kind of you. I'll pass it on at the weekend when I get time to do internet things.