Sunday, 11 April 2010

Ancient Campaign Update: Rome Battered on the Battlefield (again)

Rome once again is under the heel, this time it is the legendary Hannibal of Carthage. Roman legions shatter on the battlefield as Hannibal pulls a tight battle out of the bag with style. As a Greek bystander one has to admire the stoic pluck of the Roman player(s) as they are tossed and turned by the stormy waters. They are never short of an opponent and seemingly always defending their capitol against a brilliant general of history taking a chance.

The battle in summary snapped by General Hannibal himself while on horseback. How did he find the time one can only ask?

The Roman right triumphant: but who is it fighting? Rome fights going left to right.

After mopping up an auxillia and a few lights Romes valuable and formidable legionnaires stumble through the brush looking vainly for something to kill. The whole lower half of the picture is comprised of Roman troops (not where they are needed). The Carthaginian player in fact is pulling back here to reinforce his centre. Remember the troops you see are Roman up until half-way. The central right hand side Carthaginian block is a Phalanx shielded by lights about to about face and retire in good order. "I don't have to fight here, I gain nothing and potentially can lose the game" says a knowledgeable Hannibal. 

The confused Middle (from behind Carthaginian lines):

The rampaging lone Carthaginian elephant has been dispatched and Carthaginian light cavalry has been used to plug the whole it left. The manoeuvring Phalanx is clearly seen lower left and the start of contested angle in the middle is shown top right. Hannibal himself is aside a charger leading a column of light horse (lower right) looking to attack an exposed flank in that horrible angle. The Carthaginian fast blade is seem ready to descend into the turmoil of the angle next turn. Here it all hangs in the balance depending on the PiP and Combat dice. But you should sense the bulk of the Carthaginian army is elsewhere.

The Winning Carthaginian right (as seen from behind Carthaginian lines):

The Carthaginian fast blades are attaching something unidentified but Roman bottom left, Carthaginian warbands are still dying in the central mass and the legionnaires that are left are flanked fighting for their lives just below the hill. What you may ask is the Roman cavalry doing in the middle of the battlefield? The triumphant Romans (with greater killing potential) on their far right are far too slow to get back into the battle where they are needed.

However even more sinister for the Romans, in the background the Carthaginian cavalry wing is hitting the last Roman resistance before their baggage which "cannot be good". In fact the other Carthaginian elephant (they did have two) has stamped on the last elite Roman triarii and is heading for the Roman fast (but not fast enough) baggage. Game set and match to Hannibal as Roman losses exceed over half their army.

Back to the campaign game for the subsequent die rolls to decide the fate of Rome ... Hannibal has earned his right to roll for the Fate of Rome (to be fair the Romans are used to this procedure by now)

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