Tuesday, January 30, 2024

An Impunity of Punics

A Headless Body Production

Venue: Upper Providence Meeting House
Event: Wednesday Night
Theme: Punic Wars
Players: Phil Gardocki,
John Forscyth  running Romans
              Bruce Potter, 
Garth Parker running Carthaginians
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 15mm, 300 points per side.

Another set of figures showed up for our Wednesday night gaming.  A newly purchased Carthaginian army.  So the call was made for a 2nd Punic War scenario.  Because, you know, Hannibal.  

The Forces:
The Carthaginians.  
Led by real historical personalities, Hannibal, a Strategist, Hamilcar, the Brilliant, Hanno, the Competent and Hasdrubal, the Competent.
4 Pachyderms, Elephant, Mediocre
4 Balearic Slingers, LI, Sling, Elite
4 Ligurians, Medium Swordsmen
4 African Spearmen, Heavy Spear
8 Spanish Light Infantry Javelin
2 Gallic Warriors, Heavy Swordsmen, Impetuous
4 Spanish Scutarii, Medium Swordsmen, Impact
5 Numidians, Light Cavalry, Javelin
6 Spanish Medium Cavalry, Nada

The Romans, List (53)
Led by the Consoles (elected in 217BC) Optimus in Classis, the Brilliant (
Legione Quinta), Secundi Optimus in Classis, also Brilliant (Legione Sexta), the Greek Grievous Bodily Harmicles, the Ordinary, and PlaceGreekJokeHericles, the Competent.
10 Hastati   Heavy swordsmen armour impact, 2 Elite 
2 Triarii   Heavy spearmen armour  Elite
4 Velites   Light infantry javelin 
6 Hoplites   Heavy spearmen
2 Horsemen   Heavy cavalry
6 Aetolians   Javelinmen
2 Peltasts   Light infantry javelin
Breakpoint 33

Humorous Greek names can be fun.  Try pronouncing 'popsicles' like an ancient Greek name.  Popsicles said to Spectacles: "Can you see what's going on over there?" Spectacles replied: "Vehicles is trying to drive away, but Tentacles won't let him go, Barnacles insists on coming along, & Obstacles is in the way. You don't have to be Oracles to see what happen next."

I can't even get through breakfast now.   Toastacles and eggiscles.  Wafficles and Omilicles, with Baconicles.  Or Sasuicles and Gravicles on Biscitcles.
Playing 300 points have some differences in setup.  The board is bigger.  The terrain min/max size is bigger, but not the coastal area.  Commanders cost more.  +1 command point per army, which is new with V4.  Camps cost more, and count more towards the demoralization level if sacked.  Deployment zones are altered.  Main concept is the deployment zone is deeper, but the starting distance between opposing forces is the same.  Lights deploy 3 from the center, main battle troops 5 from the center.
And least important, the  official spread sheet from France for big army building has two "Corps III".  To fix, On the top Ribbon, click on the Review button, or whatever it is called, then find the button for Unprotect Sheet.  It is in the "Protect" group on Office 365, but may be called "Changes" in other versions.
A side note.  I am playing Civilization VI on my computer, and running the Phoenicians.  The main avatar for them is "Dido, Queen of Carthage".  And no mention of Hannibal in any form for later.  

Display Conventions: When you see a word bubble like "Ouch!", "Heus!" this implies a disorder from missiles. 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.

Commanders are rated s for Strategist, b for Brilliant, c for Competent, o for Ordinary and u for Unreliable

Inappropriately capitalized words are used to highlight terms that are specific to the game. For example Brilliant, Competent and Ordinary have specific game values for the commanders.

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

The Board:
Hannibal, with an initiative of 6, wins the toss and elects to defend in the Mountains.
Both the Carthaginians and the Romans wanted a coastal area.  The Carthaginians missed their roll, but the Romans got it instead.
This means one of the sides was making a mistake.


Hamilcar takes the Carthaginian right flank with a strong force of horsemen

Hasdrubal leads, or rather follows a combined Spanish and Ligurian force.
Ligurian is a Gallo-Italic language spoken primarily in the territories of the former Republic of Genoa, now comprising the area of Liguria in Northern Italy.
Pontic spearmen form up at the bottom of a large and rugged hill, with Gallic Warriors on their flanks.

Hannibal's banner cannot be seen.  However, he has chosen a very obvious piece of cover.*

The Romans assign their Greek Hoplites to cover their left flank

Optimus in Classis forms up with Legione Quinta at the base of another hill. 

Secundi Optimus in Classis takes command of Legio Sexta

On the Roman right is a collection of nae-du-well's  collected on the march.  Their main function seems to be to throw sticks, run away, and consume food.

This seems to be a very promising match up for the Romans.  The board is shortened by 4 UD's with the coastal.  And a slightly restricting brush on the other side.  Which means about 30 UD's of open space.  Just about right for their 26 solid, and semi-solid troops.  
The matchups are Hoplites v Med Cav.  Legions v Spear or medium sword, and Javelinmen v Elephants.
Turn 1:
The Roman left advances to tactical range, shifting left to keep the enemy cavalry from getting around their flanks.  Their meager horsemen held in reserve to cut off any attempts by the Numidians transiting the brush

The Roman right side command push straight forward. 

Producing some noticeable gaps in the Roman lines.

One of the advantages of the Carthaginians is their large number of skirmishers as compared to the Romans.  13 to 6. 

They advance for the missile exchange, but both sides score 2 ...

to 2.

The ambushed is revealed.  The elephants are to deep to emerge from the woods.  But the skirmisher ratio is now 17 to 6

The Balearic slingers run from the woods to hopefully delay the Aetolians and allow the elephants to emerge.

Turn 2:
Hoplites charge

As does Legione Quinta
If you have enough command points to rally your lights, you have too many command points :)
Legione Sexta was a bit out of charge range, and so just advances menacingly. 

The Aetolians charge the Balearic Slingers.  And roll long!

Plunging headlong into the wall of Pachyderms
How bad was it for the Pachyderms?  The Javelinmen are 1 v elephants, +1 Javelin, -1 for difficult terrain, for a net of +1.
The Elephants are 1 v foot.  No impact for two reasons, Javelinmen and terrain.  -3 for the terrain, for a net of -2, and they are Mediocre.
Hamilcar realizes he has to do something.  But his choices are limited.

Hasdruba's foot have better odds, but fair no better.

Hanno's Pontic spearman are out of charge reach, and thus are spared the choice of a bad decision.  Save one Gallic Warrior that decided to chase its harassing Aetolian.

One unit of Aetolians is routed by a Ligurian swordsman.  Which in turn played host to a routed elephant.
A mistake was made and we had the slingers take damage from the Rampaging elephants.  Light Infantry is not subject to cohesion lost from routing elephants.

Turn 3:
Taking advantage of the brush, the Hoplites turn the flank of the line of horsemen.

Legione Quinta continues to grind away at the Spanish.
Note: There only two Roman units so far has taken damage in combat.
The cohort on the right doesn't count, it was hit by javelins thrown precontact.

The last elephant is routed.
We called the game here.  There was no need to drag this debacle out.
We counted the Carthaginian dead to be 29, corrected in editing to 26. 
Of course our wives would be annoyed.  They are promised 3-4 hours to the house on Wed. night, and we come back after only 2.  ;)
Garth than asked, "What was the Roman count"?
Me, "You really want to put salt in that wound"?


This has been declared the most lopsided ADLG game we ever played at our Game Knight.

Everything went right for the Romans.  Ideal (lack of) terrain, favorable match-ups for every command, catching an ambush in it's terrain, and having luck everywhere.

We are going to replay this game next week.  You can be sure the Carthaginians will do everything differently.  

But what to do with the Romans?  There are a thousand lessons in defeat, not one in victory. 

* From the book of Python (Monty), Episode 11, scene 3, after the moose.

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