Tally Ho!

Friday, 30 June 2017

Punic Wars - Armati Campaign Week 5

With Scipio now back from Rome, the hostilities resumed.  This week's battle took-place on the Hispania front. Hannibal adopted a slightly different approach for this battle reducing the amount of cavalry and adding additional heavy infantry to bolster the battle-line.


Assuming that the Punic forces would try their favoured double envelopment Scipio adopted an unusual but pleasingly symmetric deployment with the flanks blocked by heavy infantry and units of cavalry in the centre. His hope was they might catch the Punic infantry deployed wide and so shatter the line.

Skirmishers covering the Roman right

The Roman right flank - refused 

Roman cavalry deployed in the centre

The Roman right also refused

And finally the more skirmishers covering the Roman left 

On this occasion Hannibal decided to focus his attack against the Roman left by placing most of the cavalry and his African Veterans on this flank. The right was refused with elephants and skirmishers deployed to delay any enemy advance.

Punic centre

The Punic right with massed cavalry

The Battle

Both sides advanced smartly with the Roman's seeking to breakthrough in the centre and the Carthaginians looking to hook around the Roman left and roll-up the line.   

Hannibal's cavalry on the move

Roman right suffers under massed skirmishers fire
The early stages of the game were very much in the favour of the Punic forces. On their left the Roman's came under heavy skirmisher fire and suffer 3 hits. On the right the Roman light troops were ridden-down by Celtic horse. The innovative Roman cavalry tactics also proved to be unsuccessful as one unit was destroyed (along with a general) and one fell back.  

Celtic horse sweep some lights aside
As the centres clashed things looked grim indeed for the Romans. They lost 2 units to flank attacks from the Punic horse and African Veterans. There were losses in the centre but they had managed to hold the initial attack of Hannibal's large Celtic infantry force.

The Roman left is flanked - things look grip
Over on the Roman right they advanced steadily, pushing aside the skirmishers, and coming to grips with the elephants and cavalry guarding the Carthaginian flank. By this stage it was 3-0 to Hannibal and he seemed to have the stronger position with the Roman left turned.
Roman right advances

Elephants get stuck-in 

Now came the critical part of the battle - Hannibal was ahead but his weaker infantry could not hold forever against the superior Romans. Hannibal made two key mistakes at this point. Firstly he failed to advance his cavalry that had flanked the Romans rapidly enough meaning the area was congested for two key turns that restricted the ability of the Veterans to manoeuvre. More critically though Hannibal forgot that he could about face his Veterans and so wasted two critical turns during which he might have been able to roll-up the Romans.

Veterans try to turn the flank but its all a bit congested

Italian horse is trapped and killed but buys valuable time

Once the Carthaginians got moving again it was too late as their centre began to crumble. 3-0 quickly became 7-5 and a Roman victory by 1 unit (the Roman breakpoint being 6 vs Hannibal's 7)

Romans withstand a heavy assault

The veterans pose for a shot 
So a game that Hannibal should have won but failed at the last moment. In hindsight the flank attack became too congested which lost a couple of valuable turns.


  1. Armati really suits Punic War and Hellenistic battles because time management is so important. The classic is Cannae, where Hannibal's Celts and Spaniards have to hold long enough for his flank attacks to dispose of their opponents before turning in on the Roman flanks. The problem for the Romans is that their foot are better than the Carthaginians , but take time to kill their opponents, meanwhile the flanks are turned. The objective fir the Romans has to bevto get into battle against the lower grade infantry early and effectively , meanwhile denying the flank.

  2. Agreed - its clearly written with the classic battles of antiquity in mind - Punic Wars and Alexander / Successors seem to fit especially well

  3. I don't see any terrain. Always found that terrain can be crucial, especially in defending flanks in Armati.

  4. We're using a random terrain generator - on this occasion there was some rough on the edge of the battlefield but mostly it was a fairly flat plain

  5. A classic case of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory!

  6. My key error was to allow the flank I turned to become congested, oh and forgetting to about face immediately!