The Battle of the Ticinus River 218 B.C.
The boy who would become the feared and revered Africanus looked to his father Cornelius Scipio. How proud he was as a member of the Cornelii family that he had the privilege to be the son on one of Romes great Consuls. Riding by his side on this reconnaissance mission would be an opportunity to put his own training in to practice and learn from his Father.
He looked ahead, just 1500 meters away a long line of Cavalry from Hannibals army was advancing. Does my Father expect 6,000 cavalry? How would our Velites fight against these troops? 1400 Roman cavalry on each wing from the XIV and XV Legions was thin in his opinion.
He had heard about the tactics and read studied in Rome about the First Punic War from a few decades ago. The ability for the riders from Numidia to break Roman Cavalry and weaken our troops is legendary. He thought that none of his learning showed him any new tactics for dealing with this. Today would be a brilliant lesson!
At least there were no Elephants he thought to himself, well except that huge one in the middle of the field, I wonder if that is their General? He must be a coward to ride above his men and not lead them men into the fray directly. Perhaps the day will work out to be better than my inexperienced eye imagines….
Across the plain Hannibal smiled also. They may not have come seeking battle being weary as they were, but nevertheless we shall break this army quickly he thought to himself. “Hmmm, judging by the banners and standards my spies are correct. Scipio is riding in this formation” He said to Hasdrubal. “Good” Hasdrubal replied, “Let us show the Senate that we meant to have war and victory by taking the life of their Consul.”
“You were wise to reconnoiter in force. I am sure they were not expecting us in such force!”
This is my first game on the physical board with Numdian Cav. These guys have speed! We open the game by advancing rapidly to flank the Roman Cav, who are similarly attempting to come from behind the slower Velites arrayed in line.
As the forces close the Romans time their attack better and take first blood.
On the Left Wing the Numdians approach too slowly! Hannibal decides to stir things up.
Hannibal in action
This gets the LW fully engaged.
Making an opportunity for the RC on the RW to attack the LC.
The Roman Cav on the Punic Right have a field day killing these two LC….and chasing after them. ….doah:
The Lancers really sucked (that’s a military term) against the VE’s. Taking 8 CH’s between three of them and only killing 1 VE. Publius’s unit is killed from under him a second time! So his son had to rescue him twice it appears! While Hannibal off screen goes mano a mano against the entire XV Cav……(top left corner)
Conclusion & Thoughts.
There were a number of errors made during this game which impacted each side. At first, we missed some Pursuit rolls, AND forgot to add the Fatigue factor onto the Numdian and other Punic Cav. The fatigue factor weighed on the Roman weak attacks, but after I rolled for pursuit it was a moot point as several of my RC took off!
I will play this one again it’s a great little match up and I think it is also an even match up despite the troop count, type disparity.
The Romans were very unlucky to have several units taken from the battle in Cav Pursuits TQ5 means its a high probability result i guess, so may not that unlucky.. With exposed flanks the Velites crumbled quickly., and it was game over.
However the Roman Cavalry attacking first took its toll on the Numdians on the LW, but were not as successful on the RW. At one point I moved units in to attack a surrounded Hannibal only to realize that cav cannot attack the Elephants! Backing that out was a pain, so pay attention to the Weapon Systems charts for eligibility for attacks. Eliminating Hannibal would have swung the game to a Roman win.
This is a great scenario to get acquainted with the power and benefits of 3 different cavalry types : RC, LC and Lancers. Each has their special capabilities. I also did not really have an opportunity to experiment with hit and run missile fire with the Numdian Light Cav, that was a bummer!
Perhaps Hannibal should have attacked the center more aggressively and not waited so long before attempting a charge, but there is NO +ve DRM for Lancers vs VE , so we would have started at -2 due the fatigue rule, which makes them an expensive attack. I think the scenario under SGBoH rules should add just 1 CH to each unit not 2.
Scipios only choice it seems to me is to be aggressive with his Cav and hurt the Carthage side first and worst. Then don’t roll pursuit! You almost want to NOT kill the Numidians rather have your Cav units just damage them so badly that they are ineffective…..but you need the Rout points in order to win.