Saturday 28 July 2012

Hannibal's Last Gasp

Hannibal arrives in central Italy to find a Roman consular army waiting for him:
The Roman right as seen from the Carthaginian side of the field. Two units of light horse plus two units of Equites with slingers out front. You can see an area of rough ground that shields the flank to the left of the photo; to the right you can see a Latin legion (in white) with Velites.
The Roman centre, in the familiar multiple line deployment.
The third photo shows the Roman left, which is a mirror image of the right with even more rough ground, in which a bunch of Cretan archers are lurking.  The Roman deployment is, as expected, symmetrical.  Paul runs their right and right centre, David commands the rest of the army.
Gordon deploys the Carthaginians in his Hannibal persona.  This is my command on the left, the point from which all of the photos are taken.  I have some javelin skirmishers, two large units of Numidians and a large unit of Gallic horse.  Not a lot you might think...
Our centre, with Willy in command.  More skirmishers, with three large Gallic warbands and some spanish in reserve.

Our right.  Hannibal in person leads the bulk of our forces: more Gallic foot, more Spanish, two units of elite spearmen, a large unit of Spanish cavalry and some Punic heavy horse.  Gordon is hoping to refuse our left, pin the Romans in the centre, and punch with our right.  The multi-wave attack will provide enough troops to move into the centre.  His plan is predicated on the destruction of the two leftmost Roman legions. But will it work...
Knowing that I am simply to hold the Romans at bay on my wing for as long as possible, I decide to make maximum use of my large Numidian units.  At the top right of the photo above you can see the endmost legion already angling in towards the centre.
The shot above is a view of the rest of the field from my position.  In the far distance Gordon's massive command lumbers forwards.
My aggression pays off (combined with some very effective javelin fire from the Numidians).  Here you can see a cavalry melee in the right foreground, with some of the Numidians threatening the flank of the reserve unit of Equites.  At the top right of the shot you can see the legionaries piling forward to the right of my forces.
Above is a view of the rest of the field at this point.  Getting nasty...
A slightly closer view of the hill in our centre, and Gordon's advance.  He needs to crush his opponents and swing in before the legions finish off whatever is in front of them.
A gratuitous close-up of my Numidians mixing it with some of the Equites.  My Gallic cavalry have been destroyed, but at great cost to the Roman horse.
More of the central action.  Gauls die by the bucketload (of dice).
And the Romans in the centre continue their remorseless advance.

I got lucky and managed to wipe out the enemy horse facing me, sending my Numidians on a wild ride into the Roman rear.  Gordon was hampered in his efforts to come into the centre, mainly because the terrain constrained him to fight on a narrow frontage.  The upshot was that all of our Gauls were wiped out to a man and Gordon managed eventually to break the Latin legion facing him.  Both sides' infantry lines were now out of kilter, so the commanders of both armies prudently withdrew to re-establish cohesion.  At this point Hannibal retired his force from the field, realising that he didn't have enough strength to break the enemy army.  The right punch was unsuccessful.

This brings us to the end of the current campaign turn.  Hannibal is still sitting in Liguria, but the loss of the Gauls has weakened his force, whereas the Romans are about to go onto the offensive.  Rumours are reaching the Carthaginian camp of the rise of an energetic Roman commander called Scipio, of the ancient family of the Cornelii.  We rolled to see if there were any rebellions at the start of the new turn, and unfortunately for the inhabitants of Sicily, they chose this moment to rebel from Roman control.  In other words, they heard about Hannibal's progress in central Italy and chose to throw their lot in with him, wrongly assuming that Roman power was about to collapse...

1 comment:

  1. Impressive looking game - so many beautiful figures. Best, Dean