Monday, 13 December 2010

Carthage carry on

This week my Carthaginian's fought a Mid-Republican Roman army giving an insight into how Impetus will fair in recreating the Second Punic Wars.

The Carthaginians were on the attack and were able to pick ground placing a wooded area to dominate the centre. This forced the Romans to split their Legions, three to face the Carthaginian left and one Legion plus the cavalry to face the Carthaginian right.

The Carthaginians loaded all their cavalry on the right, positioned their infantry in the centre with their elephants protecting their left. The plan was to move the Spanish light infantry into the woods and prevent the two halves of the Romans army joining while the cavalry support by the Gauls took on the isolated Legion and Roman cavalry before arriving on the flank of the larger part of the Roman army.

As the Carthaginians began to implement their plan the three Roman Legions advanced as quickly as they could but soon became disordered, while the isolated Legion and cavalry tried to position themselves to prevent the Numidian cavalry turning their flank.

Progress was slow for both sides but eventually the Spanish infantry came out of the woods onto the flank of the Roman cavalry pelting them with javelins and throwing them into disorder just as the Gauls came charging into their front. At the same time the Numidian cavalry had got round the flank of the Legion and were starting to inflict serious damage. It was only a matter of time before the command was finished.
On their left the Carthaginians were forced to retreat as the three Legions slowly progressed towards them. The elephants were thrown forwards to try to slow the Roman advance but were taken down by a swarm of Velites. But the delay was sufficient to see the Romans on the right break.


The battle had now turned clockwise 90 degrees splitting the three remaining Legions across the wood. On the left the Romans tried desperately to get to grips with the Carthaginian heavy infantry but they were able to maintain sufficient distance while the Legion on the other side of the woods was surrounded by Numidian cavalry and overran by the Gauls. Putting the remaining Romans to flight.

Another Carthaginian victory.

This is the fourth time I have used the Carthaginians, and while I have yet to lose with them I am finding a trying army to use. Don't get be wrong, I love fielding them, but the battle plan to relies on waiting for the Numidian cavalry to turn the enemy flank which because they are light cavalry relying in javelins can take some effort.

Having all the cavalry on one flank has also caused some issues as the opposite flank is often left slightly exposed. I am considering adding another unit of Numidian Cavalry to balance it out but I'm not sure where to find the points.

Having a high value General is an unusual in comparison to the armies I normally face and I could save points here. However, I have found the ability to win the initiative with my infantry invaluable in being able avoid or engage the enemy at the time of my choosing.

Unfortunately the Romans did not try to change lines during the battle so i have gained no further insight into the workings of these rules. This was mainly due to the Romans deploying in either single or double line in order to remove this limitation. This is an issue for me as we know the standard historic formation from the sources and I remain convinced that the rules will need to be adapted.

Next week I take on an Imperial Roman army as part of the clubs campaign. It will be interesting to see how they try to adapt following the pervious annihilation.

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