Saturday 23 February 2013

Carthaginian Disaster in Iberia

No photos this time, I'm afraid - the lighting at the club is appalling.   Anyway, my Scutarii had their first outing on Tuesday and fought admirably.  Scipio was attacking Hannibal across a stream, with steep hills on the Roman right and Carthaginian left.  Actually, it was mostly an Iberian force, along with the remnants of Hannibal's spearmen from the Italian campaign, plus some Numidians.  Both sides weighted the open wing with cavalry, and Hannibal tried to be his usual sneaky self by placing Caetrati and a large Celtiberian warband in the hills.  His centre was composed of large blocks of Celtiberians and Scutarii, with a small unit of veteran spears to either side of the mass.  Scipio had the usual legionary deployment in the centre, and used his own contingent of Scutarii plus some light horse to screen the nasty terrain - no point in going in there!

Hannibal attacked rather than wait for the Romans to come to him.  There was considerable Iberian success in the centre as the Hastati of three legions were efficiently ground down.  On the Carthaginian centre left a unit of spearmen attacked Scipio's Spanish, with some help from Caetrati who made it through the hills and across the stream.  But it was all to no avail.  The cavalry on the Carthaginian right melted away, taking a large Celtiberian warband with them on morale, and the Romans moved into the exposed centre right of the infantry.  The veterans there fought to the last men, but it was only a matter of time.  On the other side of the line, Scipio's Iberians held (just), eventually destroying the spearmen and Caetrati.  Caught mostly on the wrong side of the river (i.e. fighting the Principes), the brave Scutarii in the centre were held to their front and then hit from their right.  The slaughter was tremendous.

In the aftermath, Hannibal led the few mercenary Iberians and Celtiberians who survived back into North Africa and then ultimately to Carthage.  The famous general spent a great deal of energy recruiting furiously in the emergency, but the smashing defeat of his main army forced him to leave Numidia to Rome.  Next week sees a grand confrontation in the vicinity of Carthage itself.


  1. My Carthaginians suffered a staggering defeat today as well. Good luck next time against those arrogant Romans!

  2. The pain is shared! Having said that, I was playing on the Roman side this time, although I wasn't the consul who struck the fatal blow...