Wednesday, September 29, 2021

A Cathartic of Carthaginians

A Headless Body Production
Venue: A large well ventilated room in Harve de Grace
Event:   Barrage!
Players: Phil Gardocki running Republican Roman
               Dan Hazelwood (bark, eyes, whatever this week) running Carthaginian
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 15mm, 200 points per side.
Theme: Open

The Forces:
Carthaginian, list 55
Commanders, Hannibal, the Strategist, Mago, the Brilliant and one other lost to history.
3 Elephants, Mediocre
1 African Spearmen, Heavy Spearmen
3 Gallic Warriors, Heavy Swordsmen, Impetuous
2 Gallic Warriors, Medium Swordsmen, Impetuous
3 Spanish Scutarii, Medium Swordsmen, Impact
2 Celtiberian Scutarii, Heavy Swordsmen, Impetuous
1 Bruttian Veterans, Medium Swordsmen, Elite
2 Punic Heavy Cavalry
1 Spanish Medium Cavalry
3 Numidians, Light Cavalry, Javelin
4 Light Infantry, Javelin, 2 Elite
Breakpoint around 25

Republican Roman. list 53
Led by the consoles Larrylious and Darrylious, both Brilliant, his brother Darrylious, also Brilliant, and their other brother Darrylious, the Ordinarilious.
10 Hastati and Princeps, Heavy Swordsmen, Armor, Impact
1 Triarii, Heavy Spearmen Armor, Elite
4 Velites, Light Infantry Javelin, Elite
2 Cretans, Light Infantry, Bow, Elite
2 Extraordinarii, Medium Swordsmen, Armor, Elite
2 Illyrian Cavalry, Light Cavalry, Javelin
Breakpoint of 21

Conventions: When you see a word bubble "Ouch!" or Heus! this implies a disorder from missile volleys. Letters in parenthesis represent some value change for the specific unit. For commanders it is s for strategist, b for Brilliant, c for Competent and o for Ordinary, u for unreliable. For troops it is e for Elite, and m for Mediocre. Other abbreviations, Hvy Heavy, XB Crossbow, LB, Longbow, Jav Javelin, 2HW 2 Handed Weapons, B Bow, Kn Knight, HKn Heavy Knight, HC Heavy Cavalry, Md Medium, Sgt Sergeants, LC Light Cavalry, Chr Chariot, Cat Cataphract, Pa Pavise, LI, Light Infantry, HG Hand Gun, FKn Foot Knight, Hvy Spear, Heavy Spearmen.

"XX" implies a unit killed in that location on that turn.

The Board:
The Romans win the initiative and elect to defend in the mountains. They select two steep hills, a gully and a coastal, the Carthaginians two brushes.

The Battle of Zama was one of the pivotal moments in history.  And this battle will be nothing like Zama.  Scipio, later named "Africanis", invades Carthage to settle the dominance of the Mediterranean.  But Carthage is famous for fighting battles with gold as well as mercenaries.  And Scipio was invited to a villa of a very rich noblewoman while his troops were still unloading and deploying.

And of course, that is when Hannibal attacked.

It is now up to Larrylious, and his two brothers to hold the line.


Ancient Carthage, the day before the battle of Zama

Along the coastline Mago commands an elephant based command.

The center of the Carthaginian line is a solid core of warriors

While Hannibal takes a position on the left.

Darrylious cohorts are anchored to a steep hill.

While his brother, Larrylious takes the right.

But their other brother, Darrylious remains unseen.  Where could he be?  There are many choices.

Mago rolls a 1 for command points.  Enough for a general advance.

"Nameless to History", also rolls a 1, and advances slowly.

Even Hannibal seems to be phoning in his orders.

Darrylious would be out flanked if he leaves the flank protection of the hill.  But he sends a Velite over there to do some shooting back at the Numidians, should they decide to come into range.

Also, the Velites ZOC extends off the hill, which may interfere with the Numidian light horse movement.

Larrylious orders a hidden Velite to challenge the Numdians on the right.

Turn 2:
Mago and Nameless vector in on the legions in the gap

While Hannibal sends many orders.  Covering the major flank march routs, and advancing his twin elephant command.

An adjustment on the Extraordinarii positioning

Darrylious orders a recall of his lights as they are risking being caught

Larrylious also recalls his Cretan archers towards survivable terrain.

The Romans roll a 5 for the flank march, Darrylious will arrive next turn!

Turn 3:

Mago adjusts his line

Elephants in ballet slippers.  Remember the hippos in Fantasia?

Nameless only needs to line up on Mago

Hannibal covers his main assault group, and continues to advance.

The Numidians charge the Velites, who run into the gully.  Fortune favored the foolish foot, and the Velites managed to keep away from the mounted.

Darrylious makes a minor advance

To keep aligned with Larrylious's advance. 

Way back in the distance, Darrylious arrives with 2 light horse.  

Turn 4:

Hannibal's plan is to clear the gully, then turn the flank of Romans.  He orders a unit of Spanish Scutarii to enter the moonscaped depression.

Mago and Nameless are positioned for their assault.

Hannibal advances to legion charge reach

It's a bit annoying that people run impetuous troops, but do everything in their power to keep them from charging. 

Punic horsemen take a missile hit, then run their tormentors off the board.

Darrylious holds his line

Larrylious orders a charge.  He has an advantage of an overlap on one side, but not the other.  But the main reason, is by charging now, he relegates one elephant to a support role.

The week point of the Roman line is the gully.  Another Velite is racing to assist. 

The Velite in the Gully is earning an MVP for the game.  A fast evade, then two wins against a supported warband.

Darrylious races for the camp

Turn 5:
Gallic warriors charge!  Bollocks, they nearly run over Larrylious's left cohort.

Hannibal really wants that last elephant engaged.  It charges the Triarii, bringing up the Spanish cavalry to support the main battle line.

Luck runs both ways. 

Mago and Nameless hold their impetuous troops back

I think it has been years, since I got to use a dead elephant marker.  They routed through the Spanish cavalry

I think luck is running more my way, then not.

 Velites for the MVP!

A successful rally of Punic cavalry, while a unit of Numidians starts a long chase on Darrylious's last unit of horse.

A limited charge on the Carthaginian spearmen, but to a tie result.

A warband is destroyed, trading for a cohort

The race for the camp rounds the bend.

There is a lot of action, but not a lot dead.  Carthaginians 10 of 25, Rome 7 of 21

Turn 6:
Mago orders his elephantry in, with great success

But Hannibal's line has a couple of breaks in it, he throws in his last reserves.

While trying to recover more. 

Those dead horse markers are 2 hits each.  So Hannibal's line is about to totally collapse.

But Darrylious's line is also facing ruin.  He commits his Extraordinarii to take the pressure off of his legion

A cohort takes out another warband, but the remaining Carthaginian troops hold.

What is this?  Darrylious's flank march is now in this theater?  (Top left)

Mago managed to get another Numidian between the Romans and the camp. 

Turn 7:
The Extraodinarii are taken in the flank, and a cohort is destroyed.  Their effort was wasted as an elephant tramples one cohort, and a warband flanks another.

Hannibal throws in his last reserves.  His disordered units continue to hold though.

At the bottom of the 7th, nothing changes on the Roman left.

On the right, a Punic cavalry is charged in the rear and destroyed.  The Triarii and a Princeps also destroy their foes, leaving just a disordered Elephant in Hannibals command.

But it is the Romans that hit their demoralization level of 21.  The Carthaginians were at 18 or thereabouts. 

What went wrong?  Leaving the hill with the Extraordinarii was a mistake.  It was a hope for good luck before the the Carthaginians could flank them.  And in the end that is what pushed the Romans to their break point at the bottom of turn 7.  Not doing it would have put the score at this time at 19-17.  

But that only prevented the Romans from losing.  Hannibals command was almost destroyed of effectives, but there was, at most, just 3 points immediately available to the Romans to have.  And even if they were all gotten, the score is only 19-20, and the Romans needed 5 more to win.  While the Carthaginians needed only two points they could easily have picked up.