The Battle of Nola is my dark place…. Yes. I’m not sure of the etiquette is regarding writing AARs, this one is a little more personal.
Coming out of surgery this week and attempting to pick up this battle on the PC was tough. Why?
Was it the discomfort I felt physically? Maybe.
Was it that I felt guilty that I should be back working to help keep people in our company jobs? Possibly.
Was it the anesthetic hangover? Good guess.
Or is it that the 2nd Punic War is a bloody, brutal, savage affair that I had not fully realized the import of in terms of loss of life and destruction wrought? Now we are getting closer.
Somehow this all came to a head at the Battle of Nola run thru for me. In a dark mood, as I lay in bed pondering life and the number 42..drugs will do that to you, so I lay here and I wrote. This is the result:
Situation Picture: Free Setup, I chose to move Rome to a covered flank position to hamper Carthage.
In this game I want to dig down in a smaller battle to the essence of the Roman tactical combat system. But I fear it eludes me on the 2 dimensional screen as well as the hardboard.
I wonder if it’s the rules and how I apply them for the Romans. Under SGBoH maneuver is challenging (+2MP for face changes *NOTE SInce realized LEgions are a 1 mp for ANY vertice change! not 2mps)), the Pila affect is hard to gauge the value of against Phalanxes. I have not come to grips with Romans yet, and it is beginning to tempering the fun of this campaign. Boy I really must be cranky, brooding is not my deal.
well on with the conflict on the screen in front of you:
Rome has 120 RP’s Carthage 105.
Rome setup itself up with the camp blocking one flank and the woods the other, and waited to see if and when Nero would arrive and where..
On turn 4 Nero arrives directly behind Hannibals Army. Things don’t go well for Hannibal, having advanced his LI, EL and Lancers he is very exposed! ^ Celtic MI and a Phalanx are attacked, 5 of the 7 units rout, the Roman Cavalry enter and charge towards the Iberians.
One Phalanx runs away, another reduced, 2 Celtic units are left. Hannibals African Phalanxes about face and with the help of a seizure get to work on Neros men. Elephants divert to chase and attack Roman Cavalry.
Hannibal and his men trudge forward into a restricted combat zone
With a patch of rough woods between them, the Romans face off to Lancers, Elephants, Phalanxes and Iberians. In such crowded quarters Carthages maneuver advantage is restricted. Both the Lancers and the Elephants are chased off, whilst the lumbering Phalanxes trudge towards the impeding carnage. The Numdian and Iberian forces flank right and try to weave through the woods. Rome intercepts and bloody hand to hand combat ensues. Marcellus’s Principes counter attack the Lancers at the edge of the camp, routing a few.
Now the grisly work begins, the Phalanxes close just 400m away. The sounds of fighting continue in the woods unabated The remaining Elephants attempt to screen the advancing Phalanxes. Marcellus is having none of it. His Cohorts advance and engage the Elephants, which either rampage or retreat. Seizing the initiative the Principes hit the Iberians that are now on the outskirts of the woods.
Its crunch time, the first phalanxes attack the Principes and Hastati, blows are exchanged, in the center PR and HA fight side by side slowly being pushed back, to their right HA surge forward pushing back PH and EL. Whereas on the left the men lock horns neither side giving ground.
Down in the woods the Numidians and Romans trade blows neither gaining ground.
The Romans make some headway in the woods and begin to push back the lighter Iberians thru the woods in an attempt to flank the Phalanxes.
In a final push Hannibal and his men drive hard on the Roman left a Principes and 2Hastati fighting alongside Marcellus flee the field.
This is a meat grinder! The cohesion hits and translating this into losses and routing me is really bringing me down. I needed a break. Surely it will be over shortly?
Split down the middle, their leader no where in sight the Romans hang on grimly. Hasdrubal holds the higher ground near the camp, but his Lancers retreat behind him on the Roman left.
Near the center of the field by the woods one African Phalanx is forced to retreat. Marcellus re appears, intime to lead a charge.
Once again the Africans push back on the Legions of Rome. The hole in center grows, the Romans are pressed in towards the trees and the sharp Iberian Javelins. Hannibal ignores the damage to his Phalanxes and uses them a third time!
A moments grace as the Center Phalanx is reduced in shock against a lone Principe, next to them their brothers crack and flee. Hannibal seizes. Lancers charge. Men flail at each other.
Rome responds, The Principes attack once more. Weakened units extricate themselves, the discrete maniples reform and charge at the backs of the scattered Phalanxes from Africa that they can see across the field. One Phalanx crumbles. The Principes push deeper into the woods striking down the lightly armed Spaniards.
Victory for Rome. If you can call it that. Those few 100m of battleground are piled high with the dead, even the Romans Velites won’t pillage these dead. Rome stands 1-8 in the 2nd Punic War.
Castrum Album is next, where as you will see someone loses a parent.