Numistro from C3i #8.
This battle is pivotal for both sides. At stake are 10 RPs for each side usable in Italy. The RP’s will be valuable for the final battle in Italy at the Po River.
Hannibal is beginning to lose the war of attrition. In this battle he takes a strong position on a ridgeline, but is hemmed in on a narrow field. This severely limits his tactical options with his best asset the Numidian Cavalry.
The field of battle, which ends at row 23.
The initial positions: Rome has few choices tactically, but has strong troops. The plan is to weaken with LI and then probe the center and the right of the hill.
Carthage plans to stand tall. I rearranged the setup positions from the VASSAL mod as they appeared both wrong and weak. By placing PH on each flank we can allow relatively tough MI and HI in the middle to weaken the Roman initial thrust.
Marcellus has crack troops at his disposal and perhaps for once we will not see the Roman Leadership squander them.
The opening moves see Maharbal advance for a flanking maneuver with his Cav whilst the skirmishers advance to harass the Velites.
Maharbal is constrained by having to control both Elephants and Cav in alternating turns by the SGBoH formation rules.
Despite this he rapidly crushes the resistance on the Carthage RW. On the Left he has left some EL to hold with the mercenary LI
Marcellus boldly approaches, using his LI to weaken some units in the skirmisher/LI line. The LW of Carthage sees Romes Cav stream across to the center to attack dead on into the Medium infantry holding the ridgeline. They end up disengaging after weakening the MI there.
This weakens the Carthaginian units enough that when the Legions HA arrive they create a 200 yard hole in Hannibal’s line. Hannibal sits unfazed astride Surus. He leads his men in a counter attack across the right flank, where the ridge is higher, attacking down onto the advancing Legions.
3 Velites units fall to this attack.
Marcellus responds by confidently leaping his PR units into the fray.
One cohort fails, 2 die and 3 Iberian units break and leave the field. That was an expensive attack, in fact one lone LI holdup 5 Cohorts as the attempt to maneuver around it.
Marhabal’s Cav on the right penetrates and extends Marcellus’s line all the way back to the TR. This draws off valuable units that could be used in the fight along the RW if the ridge.
Marhabals EL and LC soften up the LG facing them, and Hamilcar brings his LN to bear also.
Marcellus having seen this game before obliges Hannibal with an aggressive attack on the middle of his line. Eviscerating 3 Mi. He immediately flanks to his Right and away from the high ground, whilst his other cohorts remove threats along the lower ridge line. The PR units take amazing damage as they attempt to dislodge the LI in their way on that ridge.
Hasdrubal’s Line is split by 3 cohorts with little damage taken, his units bunch around the ridge line, letting the cohorts beat against them uphill.
Hannibal needs a rear breakthrough with Cav or he is in trouble, or so it seems.
Hamilcars MI kill two LG units on the other side of the hill, and press forward into the now weakening RW.
R69 C 35
Hannibal uses his leadership advantage to get another round of attacks in killing to Legions, and reducing two more.
Using Elite Activation he activates the MI/PH/HI line again! This time the rolls all favor Hannibal, that and down hill attacks into a crowded area force extra cohesion damage on the Cohorts that have no where to retreat to. On the left flank a lone MI unit kills 2 cohorts and forces 2 more to retreat of the course of the 2 moves.
Marcellus, surprised at the onslaught forces his men forward in a multi unit activation, The HA lead the way and the somewhat battered PR follow up, where they are already adjacent.
The Romans are spent.
The TR advance, The LI attempt to inflict some damage.
Then its time for Hamilcar, his LN and LC unit attack twice routing one unit. Then Maharbhal joins in and kills one more and forces a retreat that opens up the flank of the TR.
With Peter Mannings finished new rules I think this would have played out differently, and given Marcellus more of an opportunity to take advantage of his legions. This is a great scenario to play, although cramped it has lots of potential and some interesting Terrain.