2nd Battle of Himeras (Tyrant module) p2/2

T5Blue Artarbas advances his mixed Cav units forward; 1500 horse thunder across the short distance to the far right of the Siege Line. Before Artarbas is nothing but carnage as he sees Hamiclar’s Light Infantry lying dead and trampled beneath the Sarissas of Syracuse. Dreadfully Hamiclar is nowhere to be seen. Artarbas’s blood chills, he grips his spear tighter. “Prepare to Charge men, chariots sweep the Himera PH, HC attack that bastard Diocles, I will deal with Demratus myself. He rides off in a cloud of dust.

T7Red, Demeratus has other ideas. He charges with his HC into the flank of the LI, No! They change flank [Reaction Facing Change ] and unleash a storm of Javelins, men and horse a like fall in the fray. Now the odds have turned against his flank attack. [Instead of +4 on WS (weapon system DRM) he has a 0. WS+2TQ+ (-1SR) Size Ratio + (-1)(CH)+ one for moving and one more for the Leader benefit a total +2 DRM, a 1 is rolled. HC takes 2 H, the LI one.] This is not what he had in mind!

He looks up at a cloud of dust approaching with speed…This may not be a great day he thinks…His other Cav now attack their targets. The LC dispatches the LI. The other Syr Knights also wipe out another Siege Line unit. Too little too late.

The rout total creeps up to 45 Rout Points .

In the Syracuse Center Heloris quickly seizes and frantically urges his men into a reformed line to face the advancing Carthage troops.

Glancing appraisingly at the approaching Libyan Veteran Medium Infantry, their dark skin and bright shields look uniformly solid, impenetrable…. they look tough, seasoned, eager.

He looks wanly back at his troops, they look bloodied from the Siege line attack, and tired from the early pre dawn attack they had launched. Had two hours past already? Wearily they turn to face the inevitable.

Quietly Heloris thinks to himself we are out manned. This he thinks may not be a great day, but it is always a great day to die! Pounding his shield upwards to block a thrust he drives his sword to the hilt into his enemy. His attention returns to the here and now.

T6 Blue, Hamilco is leading the Libyan Vetrans he adjusts his line smartly, and prepares to assault the depleted scattered light Infantry in front of him. Thru the dust and churn, “Men, we are going to battle again!” Hamilco shouts above the din, out of the corner of his eye he sees Artarbas riding thru and across the Syracuse Line. “Dam that boy is reckless” he mutters.

Hamilco prepares to assault from Left to Center

T7 Blue(successful seize) Artarbas orders his men to flank and show no mercy to the Syracusan PH’s. “Kill Diocles” he cries as the Heavy Cav and Light Cav form up to crash into their unformed rear, the 150 chariots wheel hard and ram into the read of the Himeran PH, just adjacent to Diocles. As the Cavalry depart, Artarbas spies Demartus just 500 yards away. “ You are mine” he shouts brashly. Riding across the Syracusan front without a care for Javelins, missiles of all types he storms into Diocles and his Syrucusan Knights.

The lone Carthaginian Light Cav unit falters…. Where is Artarbas going? Sigh…..There he goes again, leading from the front. “Men hold your ground”….Crap, no…”fire at those Himerans, until I work out what to do” the Greek Mercenary leader calls to his men. Too late he realizes he should have supported the Chariots.

The chariots derive the benefit of a rear attack, but are small in comparison to the meaty Phalanx. [_+5(WS)+ (-3) (TQ) + (-2) (SR) + 1(CH) +1(Move) = net DRM +2, rolls a net 7 ] This results in a 30 charioteers dying. They could have used some more muscle. [1H/2H R,] The PH is bloodied, over 200 men fall. They retreat. The Heavy Cav attacking Diocles inflicts relatively heavy damage but not as much as could have been if Artarbas had joined them. [+3(WS)+0(TQ)-2(SR)+1 (move) -1 (Ldr) =+1……rolls a net 4, 4of 7 available Cohesion Hits are gone for this TQ 7 rated PH].
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Artabas plows head-on into his opponent; [0(WS) +1(TQ) –(SR)+3(CH) +1(move, no leader benefit as two leaders are present}. DRM=+4, net 7 on the roll]. Artarbas’s men take a needless 50 odd casualties, [1H attacker/2H on defender and retreats, one hex]. Artarbas, is not concerned with his men’s lives, he thinks today is my day, today I shall make a mark.

T8 Red Demeratus, rapidly reforms his knights and Light Cav and attempts to protect the Rear and Flanks of Diocles. He smiles as he sees Artarbas licking his wounds and rallying his men. It will take more than a pretty boy in a blue cloak and pony to beat me he thinks to himself.

T8Blue , The Sicel Levies move closer to Diocles and his PH’s. Hannibal fails his seize attempt.

T9Red Demeratus attacks Artarbas, each man striving to engage the other.

T9Blue Hamilco, grins a bloody grin, snarls and charges his men into the midst of Heloris’s peltasts. They eviscerate Heloris’s immediate right and inflict +3CH of missile damage on the Syrucusan Guard. But the line stands firm.

As Hamilco’s troops charge in, they eliminate another Greek Merc unit. All around him Heloris’s men are dying, backing up inch-by-inch, but not flinching in the face of overwhelming odds, they retreat up the slope and brace for another charge from the Libyans.

T9Red Diocles looks left and right he raises his sword and calls to his Epilekto to charge the Sicel Levis. The enemy is stunned and confused by this, but they recover and loose Javelins for several hits in the midst of the Phalanxes. The reduced Epilekto kills a troop of men next to Artarbas’s heavy cavalry.

Diocles cheers on his men and urges them forward, but his left starts sag, and then he sees the Epilekto to his left retreating (it is now reduced). He grimaces as the Medium infantry begin to mass on his left to flank him. We need more men…….

T9Red Diocles seizes and brings Demeratus’s weary cavalry to flank attack the Libyan Light Cav menacing his rear, his other Syrucsan Knights attempt to block the Cartharge HC and Chariots.
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Demeratus kills the lightly armoured Libyan cavalry. Where the hell are they all coming from he thinks to himself.

T9Blue Artarbas, gallops past the rear of the nearest Syracusans, and leans low over his horses neck, driving his spear into the first Himeran soldier he can find. His troops finish off the already reduced Epilekto PH, the Himeran home PH is likewise attacked by Artarbas’s cavalry.

argghhh….left spell check on!! 

T10Blue The auxiliary Levies now attack head on into the Phanlanx’s. This is bloody work. The heavier armour, denser formations and longer reach of the Sarissa’s bleed the lightly armoured men.

Diocles and what is left of his line stands their ground. Bloodied but unbowed, Diocles cheers his men on. Carthage loses 4CH in the exchange whilst only inflicting 2CH. Yes he thinks, today is a day to be proud, even if it is the day he dies. The sun is now fully up, and a fresh breeze blows across the field.

Not all are so proud or excited by the sounds carrying the clang and clash of battle into the Citadel behind the wall.

Fear rises in the hearts of those who watch on.

The combined effect of Artabas shock attack and the Sicel Javelins has taken its toll as 2 units lie dead on the field. Diocles has lost over half his men, nearly 2,000 in fact.

Rout Points for Carthage 29 , nearly halfway to victory (each PH TQ point counts as 2 points in SGBoH).

Rout Points for Syracuse 57.

T10Red, Leptines in the far right flank surges in against he remnants of Hamilcos siege line, taking Javelin fire as they go and eliminate 2 light infantry units.

T11 Blue. Hamilcar surveys the scene, his men are not progressing fast enough against these Peltasts he thinks. He rides forward and surges into the fray, pushing the Greeks back up the slope, killing as he goes.

T11Red T12&13Blue. Demeratus finally kills another of the LC units and continues to spar with Artarbas

whilst Hamilcos men spread out and attack one of the Epilekto from the flank and kill all the men. Heloris fights valiantly on, and forces the Libyans off the slope one more time he is down to 300 men [3 CH]. The last of the Greek Mercs retreat, no amount of money is worth this carnage, they drop weapons and run.

The Carthage auxiliaries seize and gather their strength for another push at the dense Phalanx lead by Diocles. This time they succeed in forcing Diocles and his men to retreat 50 meters. Their blood is up they smell victory.

Rout Points for Carthage 34/70

Rout Points for Syracuse 64/100

T12 Red Demeratus attacks the advancing Medium Infantry and kills it. Threading between the wheeling chariots his Light Cav make a vain sucide attack upon the rear of chariots threatening the PH’s, dying in the attempt but inflict a CH.. The other Heavy Cav and Light Cav continue to press Artarbas and lock him up.

Rout Points for Carthage 51/70

Rout Points for Syracuse 71/100

T14 &15 Blue. Artarbas flees his HC with his body guard and stations up with the CH, and attacks the rear of Diocles. As Artarbas charges in, his frustration and fear continue to mount. I must kill one of these leaders and show Hannibal that his cousins are made of stern stuff. He looks down at his armour, frowning at all the dust and dirt. They close to 15 yards.

Suddenly Diocles rear 3 ranks wheel and extend their long spears…………..The gap closes, terrifyingly quickly, The two formations crash into each other. With a jerking thud, Artarbas is skewered in the side, he rolls to one side and it tears flesh from his body, blood sprays, he lands on the ground amid hooves, feet and swords. Dazed he looks at himself, “dam blood everywhere” he mutters “on my cloak too”.

Diocles shadow causes him to look up. “ Die pup he snarls”. (25 Rout Points to Red). The chariots take a pounding, receiving 2H for 1H.

Artarbas’s abandoned Heavy Cav is subsequently reduced, and Diocles flank PH is reduced and cannot retreat sustaining 4CH’s, 600 men fall pinned amongst wheels, hooves and Medium Infantry pressing from the front.

Hamilco seizes the moment. His medium infantry are battered but not beaten. They have seen much worse than this.

He flanks this tough General Heloris, and his Syracusan Guards, who have but 300 men left. Another team of men hit the left flank of Heloris as well.

Surrounded.

The Guard dies, Heloris takes a knee. He thinks to himself its a good day to die and watches as Hamilco strides forward, who looks Heloris in the eye, nods once and dispatches him with no mercy. The rest of Hamilco’s troops raise a roar and press against the Greek Mercs lead by Leptis, both collapse. Nearly a 1,000 men are trampled , chased and slaughtered outside the walls of Himera.

Diocles and Demeratus are back to back, their foot soldiers and Cavalry mill about as the Carthaginians close the circle around them. They fight valiantly to the death.

Hannibal looks on. He turns to his nearby troops. “Raize the city, loot it, rape it and burn it.” To his attendant he turns and says “ Find Hamilcar and Hamilco, prepare a pyre for Artarbas” “Let us honor our dead and our enemy with an Altar to our victory. Then load the ships we sail for Carthage on the dawn.”

Carthage 83 Rout Points
Syracuse 71 +25 for the Leader – 96. Just four points short of victory.

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So what happened differently? Historically Hannibal wiped the floor and sailed away with minimal loses. In this case, the plan was to do similar. Several things prevented the wiping.
Hamilcar, decided to stand a fight, rather than retreating and prickle the Syracuse PH’s at range. This was costly in Rout Point terms.

Secondly the battle moved so quickly that Hannibal never got his HI into the battle. It was over and done in about 4 hours. Hamilco and Artarbas engaged immediately without allowing for a full deployment.

In fact The Sicel Levies and the MI could have sat on the ridge and waited for the Syracuse to come to them, but chose to ride to Hamiclar’s aid.

Playing as Hannibal however I was eager to inflict some pain quickly after losing so many LI, and I feared that the Greek HI would start flanking. So Hamilco moved in aggressively. The fact that all told 6,750 infantry and over 1500 cavalry died blew me away, who knew these battles were or could be bloody.

The bad luck roll of losing Artarbas was entertaining too, so i decided to have a bit of fun with it. As I wrote this, it egged me on to do rash things with Artarbas…I guess the system works eh?

For the Syracuse things started out great, for 2 turns. But as you get into it you realize you are just out manned, and it’s a lost cause, but credit to Syracuse they got there fair share of licks in 36 CH hits left on the board at game end so the Sicel and Libyan units felt the sting, but were not broken by the damage that was spread amongst them.

All in all a fun little Battle. Its no where near 2 hours however playtime, more like 4.

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