Tuesday, February 6, 2024

A Cartload of Carthaginians

A Headless Body Production

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

After a serious drubbing last week*, Hannibal is back.  His previous loss has caused him to lose confidence, and is now regarded as only "Competent".  He is commanding a new force mix.  Gone are the mediocre elephants and mediums, both cavalry and sword.  Replaced by all heavy horse, and close ordered foot.

The axiom still applies, that Generals are always preparing to fight the last war.  So it is that Optimus and Secundus fired their Greek contingents, expanded their cavalry, but left their other commands mostly intact.

The Forces:
The Carthaginians.  
Led by real historical personalities, Hannibal, the Competent, Hamilcar, the
Brilliant, Hanno, the Competent and Hasdrubal, the Competent.
6 African Spearmen, Heavy Spear, Armor, Elite
7 Spanish Light Infantry Javelin
9 Gallic Warriors, Heavy Swordsmen, Impact
3 Companion Warriors, Heavy Swordsmen, Impact, Armor
2 Numidians, Light Cavalry, Javelin
6 Spanish Horse Heavy Cavalry, Nada
The Romans, List (53)
Led by the Consoles (elected in 217BC) Optimus in Classis, the Brilliant, commanding the Legione Quinta, Secundi Optimus in Classis, also Brilliant, commanding the Legione Sexta, Imo Classis, the Competent, as the Master of Horse and Quarta Classis, the Ordinary, and Unreliable.
10 Hastati   Heavy swordsmen armour impact, 2 Elite
2 Triarii   Heavy spearmen armour  Elite
4 Velites   Light infantry, Javelin
6 Horsemen   Heavy cavalry
2 Numidians  Light Horse, Javelin
6 Aetolians   Javelinmen
2 Peltasts   Light Infantry, Javelin
Breakpoint 33
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 commands named "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.

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 3, wins the toss and elects to attack in the plains


Hamilcar takes the right with a strong force of horse.  Hasdrubal takes center right with a large force of Gallic warriors.

Hannibal is center left, with the elite, and armored, African spear-men.  To his left, another horde of Gallic Warriors.

Facing the Spanish horse is Imo ("Last") Classis.  His force of horse is exactly identical to his Punic counterparts across the field.

Optimus and Secundi, "If it ain't broke" Classis have the exact same forces as last game.  Each with one elite cohort of Hastati/Princepes and 4 others, backed by Triarii.

The last Roman command cannot be seen.

Turn 1:
I'm getting tired of annotating separate photos of each in every command that are just pushing straight forward.  The Carthaginians all step off and advance.

The Roman horse decide to refuse the flank.  The ambush on the hill is unveiled.  It's a horde of javelin men.  Looking for elephants that are not there...  What is there is impact heavy sword. 

Turn 2:
Again, a complete advance down the line for the Carthaginians.
What Hannibal's plan lacks in subtlety, it makes up for with predictability.
Since the cavalry on cavalry fight is literally just dice offs, The Romans didn't need to force the melee by advancing on round 1.  But now they are advancing to keep the overlaps off of the center legions.

Despite the bolstering of the Carthaginian line from last game, it is in the center where the Romans have some advantage.  In 3 cases it's armor v no armor.

Or against the African spear, it's impact v spear for a +1 on contact.  But they have elite down the line as compared to only 2 elites in the Roman line.

On the Roman right, the Aetolians advance.  Both lightly armored, and armed, they advance to throwing range, knowing they can escape to the shrubbery festooned hill.

Turn 3:
The Spanish lights charge with enthusiasm.  The mercenary Numidians are too slow to react, and are caught and dispersed.

The Spanish heavy horse charge and are met.  In a perfect match for the force mix, the dice break exactly even.
Each side has two units taking one cohesion hit, and one unit taking two.

Legio Quinta receives a charge by Gallic Warriors.  All with impact, half with armor.  The Roman line begins to creak.

Legio Sextus fares a little better. 

Shouting a mighty ululation, the gauls do not charge, but race across the field. Quarta's Aetolians evade, but thinking they have left their attackers behind, pause on the relative safety of the vineyard on the hill.  But the Gauls did on slow, but actually sped up.  Catching the Aetolians as they stopped to catch their breath.
How bad is it?  The Gallic warriors are +2 vs LMI, +1 for Impact, +1 for rear, and -1 for rough, a total of +3.
The Aetolians are +0 against heavy sword, or facing the wrong way, it doesn't matter.  No javelin.  -1 for disordered while caught evading, but  for a few, +1 for up hill.  So either -1 or zero, depending.  
The result is predictable.  One Aetolian survived contact. 

At the top of turn 3, the Romans are already at 21 of 33 towards their breakpoint.

The Carthaginians are at 9.

Again, the horse commands break practically even.  Each with a troop being dispersed.

The Gauls rout a cohort.

Legio Sextus puts preassure on the African spear.  Quartus orders is remaining units to skirmish in front of the Gallic warriors.

The Roman demoralization level grows quickly.  From 21 at the top of the 3rd to 26 at the bottom.

But they are not going quietly in the night.  The Carthaginian count rises from 9 to 15.

Turn 4:
That was an exciting turn. 
Spanish lights attack Roman heavy horse in the rear.  But two more Spanish heavy horse are routed.

Two cohorts of Legio Quinta is routed.

Legio Sextus loses it's left most cohort, while it's Triarii has it's flank turned.

Fresh from their overwhelming victory, the Gauls assemble to attack the flank of Legio Sextus.

They don't need many for a total rout.  Only 3.

Despite suffering major setbacks, the Romans are making the Carthaginians fight for their win.  They are sitting at 22 of 33.

Imo's horse are winded, but have turned the flank of their Spanish counterparts.

On troop of Roman horse flanks a Gallic armored warrior.

The scrum in front of Legio Sextus is still inconclusive. 

Quartus's light troops continue to harass the Gauls.  But there is only so many they can ZOC at one time.

The miracle is the Romans are still in the game.  Their score is 31 of 33.

But the Carthaginian score only increments by one.

Turn 5:
Imo joins the fight, and is nearly killed.

Two Gallic Warriors are routed, but also a cohort of Legio Quinta.

More ululations, the Gauls manage both a flank and a rear charge on Legio Sexta

Taking the Romans paste their demoralization level of 33.

While Hannibal's troops sit at 23 of 33.  A comfortable win.

*A big red asterisk needs to be applied to that Roman victory.  It turns out due to a copy/paste error, the list was illegal.  I won't boor you with the details.  The points were valid, but not the troops.

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