Friday, September 23, 2016

Hasdrubal vs Scipio

A Headless Body Production

Venue:   Regency at Providence Community Center, Phoenixville, Pa
Event:    Providence Gamer's Game Knight
Players: Phil Gardocki playing Cornelius Scipio of Rome
                  Bruce Potter playing Hasdrubal Barca of Carthage

Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, about 200 points per side.

The Scenario:
      The Carthaginian High council has decided the war effort must be supported, and has authorized Hasdrubal Barca, brother of Hannibal to lead reinforcement effort.  Crossing the Alps in the same manner as his brother, his forces are bolstered by Gallic tribes.  Marching south to meet with his brother in Umbira, he is brought to battle by Cornelius Scipio along the river Metaurus.

The Forces:
   Republican Roman: Commanders  Cornelius Scipio, Darryl and Darryl
      8 Legionaries, Heavy Infantry, Sword, Impact, Armor

      2 Triarii, Heavy Infantry, Spear, Armor (elite)
      1 Medium Cavalry
      2 Extraordinarii Medium Swordsmen (elite)
      1 Greek Thureophoroi Medium Swordsmen
      1  Elephant (mediocre)
      3 Light Foot Javelins (2 elite)
      2 Illyrians Light Horse Javelins

Carthaginian: Commanders  Hasdrubal Barca, Megon Barca, and Weretheheck Awe
       3  Elephants
       4 African Spearmen, Heavy Infantry, Spear, Armor (elite)
       6 Gallic Warriors,  Heavy Infantry, Sword, Impact
       2 Heavy Cavalry (elite)
       4  Light Cavalry, Javelins

The Board:
The Romans win the initiative and elect to attack.  Hasdrubal selects 2 fields to go with his mandatory, a plantation and a coastal area.  Scipio selects a hill and a gully.  The river Metaurus is on the Roman left, along with a well positioned gully.  The rest of the terrain is along the edges of the board an played little part in the battle.

The Carthaginians set up their Gauls double deep in front of their camp.  Their Elephant Corps interspersed with their African Spearmen off on their right.  The far right is their Cavalry Command.

Scipio set his Auxiliary command of 3 Medium Foot and an Elephant on the right.  A command consisting of 2 Triarii, 2 Legions, 2 Light Horse, and a Velite on the left.  The center command consisted of 6 Legions and a Medium Cavalry unit which wasn't packed, and so failed to show.  We will decimate their ranks later.

The view from the Roman right.
The view from the Roman left.
Scipio takes command of the center.
Hasdrubal has command of the Elephants and the Elite African Spear.
The Carthaginians have Heavy Cavalry and 4 Numedian Light Horse.  Megon's cavalry outnumber the Roman Light Horse 3-1.
The Gallic foot are crowded in between a plantation and a field.
Turn 1:

The Roman right flank double times across the field.
As does Scipio's center and Darryl's left flank legions.
Cautiously the left flank Velites advance.
The View from the Roman center.
The Gauls march forward.   The front slides left, the second rank slides right.
Hasdrubal's center advances, but not quickly.
An early charge by Spanish Light Horse on the Velites.  Which scamper safely across the gully.
Turn 2:

The Roman line advances slowly.  They are still out of charge reach.
The Roman lights split up.  Their job is delay the superior Carthaginian horse for 4 or 5 turns.
Seeing an opportunity to fight only half the Gauls, the Roman Medium Foot and Elephant initiate the fight.
And do OK for the first round.  The only problem is the Legions are too far back to support the next turn.
A Gallic Warrior is rallied.  Reinforcements are moved up.  The Roman right flank begins to take some hits.

Megons lights decide to shoot it out with the Roman lights.  While his Heavy Cavalry turns the flank of the Roman left.  However, Hasdrubal's center does not advance into charge range.
Turn 3:
Larry rolls a one for command points, and since he is all in on the Elephant fight, this allows him to do nothing else turn.

Scippio closes to short range.
The Triarii turn to face the Heavy Cavalry.
Hits accrue all around on the flanks.
The Elephants charge!  Both cause a pair of hits.

The main lines make contact.  The Romans win most of the exchanges, including destroying two units on the flanks.
Larry's Elephants stomp the Gauls.
Turn 4:
A Summation so far.  On the Roman right we have a lack of decisiveness.  Despite their advantage in numbers, Megon's Cavalry is shooting about even with the Roman Light Horse.  The center lines have met, with the impacts are a bit in the Romans favor, with 3 legions have been hit hard, compared to 4 damaged units of the Carthaginians.  On the Roman right, the Gallic Warriors are beginning to disintegrate. 

Larry's attempts to rally his troops have failed, probably because they were too busy fighting!  Both Elephants take hits.
While the rest of the Roman line experiences victory after victory.
The Velites move closer to the Carthaginian camp, and discovered it is not fortified at all.  They just put up some sticks to make it look fortified.
Rome's Numidians approach to throw a few javelins. 
At the bottom of the turn, the Carthaginian casualties continue to pile up.
It is not entirely a one sided fight, but the numbers continue to favor the Romans.
Megon releases one Heavy Cavalry to chase off the Numedians.  The Roman left flank is well and truly turned.
But so is the Carthaginian left.  The Gallic Warriors are mostly gone, and the Carthaginian camp has fallen. 
With the camp's 4 points, the game is over.  The score is 19 -9
While this seems like a minor flank action, this was the most important part of the plan.  The Roman Lights had to distract the Carthaginian Cavalry long enough for the main force to do it's job.  And they did their part well.

A lot went right for the Romans and the victory points showed it.  But a couple of things did go wrong and could have been disastrous.  The right flank command, all medium foot and elephants got more than a turn ahead of the main line.  It was an attempt to catch the Gallic Warriors while they were still bunched up.  But it could have been the Romans defeated in detail instead.  A little bit of luck swung that battle in their favor.

The left flank of the Roman main line needed lag a bit as well.  The Triarii are not there to fight in the main line but to deter cavalry on the flanks.  Instead one wound up fighting an elephant, and almost died in the process.  Leaving only one Triarii to perform the function of flank guards. If there were more Carthaginian cavalry, or they had sweeped the lights better that single Triarii would have fallen quite rapidly.  As it was, that single Triarii would have received a charge to front and flank next turn.

1 comment:

  1. Great report Phil. I recognized that gully. I was surprised that the Carthaginian interspersed his elephants with his spearmen and the battle line was 7 units wide. 3 pips to move a
    seven and moving the elephant short. Maybe he did this because he had no medium foot