Thursday, 29 April 2010

Empire: Carthage prevails

This post shows the second half of the battle for Sicily. It is stalemate all across the front, except on our (Sicilians, in blue) right flank. Here the Numidians are beginning to press in on the flank of our Peltasts. In the left centre, our general has joined our leftmost unit of Hoplites, anticipating the demise of the Italians to their right, in the hopes of shoring up the Hoplites' morale.
The second image shows various units being destroyed on both sides. Our commander-in-chief has failed to stop the rot as the leftmost Hoplites go disordered due to a failed morale test on seeing a unit of Italians break. This means that the Hoplites will be unable to exploit the demise of the enemy to their front, leaving it up to the leftmost Italians to try to come round on the flank of the Gauls and Carthaginian heavy infantry. On our extreme left wing, the Carthaginan heavy cavalry have finally managed to struggle through our first wave of units, partly exhausted.
The third map shows the Carthaginian cavalry in trouble against our left wing supporting trooops, and the Italians moving into position to threaten the flank of the Gauls. On our right wing, the Peltasts finally disintegrate. It's going to be very close; the large unit of Spanish is itself starting to degrade as a result of continuous pressure in combat.
Now the Gauls break, and the rest of the enemy cavalry are in trouble. Both units of Gallic heavies failed on two occasions to retire in front of our advancing second wave, and are about to pay for not obeying the order. On our far right, John's skirmishers continue to enact a toll on the Numidians. He even manages to start hurting one of the elephant units.
On our left, we destroy both Gallic cavalry units, while losing our second unit of light cavalry. The Italians just don't quite reach the flank of the Carthaginian heavy infantry, and the rest of our centre collapses. John's heroic Rhodians and Cretans destroy more Numidians and a unit of elephants but it's game over, as Carthage wins by four figures.
There were three moments of crisis in this battle. The first came on our side, when our Italians were severely damaged by the initial onrush of wild Celts. The second came when the opposition failed to capitalise, rolling really badly in multiple melees for several turns in a row. They missed destroying four of our units each by a single figure. The third crisis was when our general failed to shore up the Hoplites' morale. They were in a better position to flank the enemy heavy infantry, but could not do so. The leftmost Italians were just too far away to win the game for us.
So Carthage has finally taken Sicily at the fourth attempt. Their scouts are now eyeballing Romans across the straits of Messana. Next game: the Macedonians press on into Mesopotamia, hopefully in a couple of week's time. That will end the turn; we have no idea what will happen after that. The big question is whether or not Rome and Carthage will immediately come to blows.

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