Both armies eyed each other murderously. The Romans visibly nervous at the concentration of Blade and Spear killing units aimed at the heart of their army. Here a few well placed dice throws could devastate and determine the game.
The Phalanx advanced and the Legions made minor adjustments with a shuffle forward gaining the best supporting arms combinations. The Greeks pondered, were there crazy flaming pigs or lurking anti-elephant war wagons to be declared as some part of a cunning ruse? If so, in theory, the light forces in the van of the Greek box were ready to deal with them. Meanwhile the Samnites on the extreme Roman right and (green caped - any significance?) Roman cavalry hurled themselves at the Greek left flank.
So started the battle royal:
The cavalry went toe-to-toe, the Greeks holding their auxillia as a reserve, while the Samnites tried to march move theirs the long way round with the aim of bringing devastation to the Greek rear. Would the tactic work? On the far left of the Greek line the Greek sub-commander is seen in the front line trying to emulate Alexander.
This turned out to be short-tern gain for a longer term pain, as command points were doubled and he followed up his own local successes (automatically advancing) on his Roman General opponent impetuously imperilling his flank over time.
Meanwhile in the middle, facing the dreaded legion and its Blades, the Greek light units engaged. To the relief of the Phyrus finding no mysterious foe (pigs or wagons) merely line upon line of deadly Blade and Spear. Eeek!
The right of the Legion also engaged with a screen of light horse protecting the valuable Elephants and Knights:
The Roman extreme left was poised ready to swing in on the right flank of the Greek box, with only a column of lights and auxillia (just out of shot) between them and a juicy Phalanx flank:
Next: The main event ...