Tally Ho!

Saturday 27 May 2017

Punic Wars - Armati Campaign week 2

The campaign map
This week saw the Carthaginian forces on the attack again as Hannibal launched an assault on the Roman province of  Umbria in an attempt to force his way across the Alps and into Italy from his base in Gallia. 

The Romans fielded a large force of Latin Allies including two units of heavy cavalry. Carthage again had a balanced force with a decided superiority in light cavalry and also two units of Hannibal's feared African veterans equipped with looted Roman armour.      
Knowing they faced a deficit in mounted units the Romans massed their cavalry on the left flank and supported them with skirmishers and a single cohort of foot. On the right they positioned the Triarii and a further cohort of Roman foot as flank guards. They hoped for a local superiority on their left as the main attack, while the heavy infantry centre sought to grind-down the Punic foot.
Roman right with flank guards

Roman left - cavalry massed with support
Having more cavalry but less foot Hannibal, opted for a double envelopment with the weaker Punic left having plentiful skirmisher support and one unit of African veterans deployed a one-unit command. On the Punic right was the bulk of the cavalry hoped to outflank the enemy. As a compromise the second unit of veterans joined the main battle-line rather than deploying as a flanking unit. 
Punic left - cavalry and skimishers

Punic centre - strong and weak units interspersed

Punic right - the bulk of the mounted 
On the Carthaginian right Hannibal advanced his Celtic cavalry in the hopes of tying-down the Italian horse, with a light cavalry unit on a wide arc hoping to catch the Italian's flanks and so deny them the all important impetus so they could be destroyed in a single turn. The Latin's held back as they wanted to weaken the Celts with fire and also retain the flank support of their infantry. 
Celtic horse advance 
In the centre the Romans pushed forward hoping to bring the weaker Punic infantry to battle and punch through the centre.
Roman centre advances
On the Punic left they also advanced with their unopposed Calvary and skirmishers. This flank was the weaker of the two for the Romans and so Hannibal  hoped to achieve a victory here if time allowed.
Punic horse with light supports 

Cavalry come to blows
Over on the Punic right the Celtic cavalry clashed with the Romans. Honours should be fairly even as both sides had a spare flanking unit. Not for the first time the Gods favoured Hannibal as his outnumbered Celts held on grimly while their brothers swept away outside unit of Italian horse. On the opposite flank a unit of Gallic infantry deployed wide charged head-long into the Roman flank guards and chewed through them in 2 rounds. 
Flank guards are mauled by Celts - nasty!
As with all battles the centres came to blows about half way through the game with both sides heavy infantry  crunching into each other. The early rounds were fairly even with both sides dishing-out and receiving punishment.
Latin allies face-up against Hannibal's veterans

The main lines clash
The game now entered the decisive phase. On the Punic right the Celtic cavalry were able to rout their opponents and threaten the flanks of the Roman infantry. On the Punic left they destroyed the Triarii after they had been softened up by fire from three skirmisher units and then surrounded. With both flanks in trouble the Romans urgently sought to break the Carthaginian centre, but were unable to cut their way through before they reached the break point of 5 units.
Triarii at bay
So in the end a 5-3 victory for the Carthaginians despite a late Roman rally in the centre. There was some good fortune with both the Celtic cavalry and infantry performing better than expected, but some good use of the light troops as well.

As Umbrian as been secured, Hannibal now has a foothold in northern Italy from which to expand. 

Things look grim for the Roman general 

Hannibal's veterans move to flank the Roman line

Next weeks game with be rather larger and will feature elephants as a bank holiday treat. 

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