|View or the table|
|Republican Roman Army|
|Italian Cavalry and Velites|
|Roman left flank|
|Cavalry action on the left|
|Carthaginian right flank|
Last Wednesday night Rick came over to my place and we played our first Hail Caesar game of the Second Punic Wars. Rick was the Republican Roman commander, while I was Hannibal with a larger Carthaginian force, heavy with Gallic recruits. We both had two divisions of 340 points each and the hypothetical encounter took place near a villa somewhere in the Italian countryside. The Carthaginians significantly outnumbered the Romans and to protect their flanks the Romans were deployed thinly in a single line of mixed cohorts with Hastati, Principes and Triarii screened by Velites and cavalry supported by Velites on each flank.
The Carthaginians seized the iniative and charged forward with a mix of Gallic and Numidian cavalry, Gallic and Celtiberian warbands, Italian allies, Libyan veterans and a single elephant. The Romans on the right flank failed several command rolls and were consequently positioned dangerously close to their own table edge. Despite this the Roman cavalry supported by Velites managed a charge against an opposing Gallic cavalry unit. The Gauls drove them back and in a subsequent turn broke both units and crashed into a Roman Hastati unit.
Meanwhile a cavalry clash on the Carthaginian right left both sides, shaken and giving ground. Here the Romans were more successful advancing and engaging their opponents. A Hastati unit charged the Numidian light cavalry forcing them to evade off the table and then, surprisingly fleet of foot, charged into the shaken Gallic cavalry. The Hastati although disordered, as the Gauls countercharged them, were able to break them as well. The Carthaginian infantry on right flank charged home against the Romans and the warbands exacted a heavy toll in their first round of combat driving back, shaken and disordered, all the Roman infantry except for a single unit of Hastati.
Back on the Carthaginian left flank the Gallic cavalry broke the Hastati they had charged earlier and then made a sweeping advance into some Principes who also broke. The Triarii had driven back the elephant towards the Libyan veterans – fortunately for them it didn’t stampede! At the same time, the Italian allies slowly but surely, drove back a Hastati unit until it was off the table. At this stage the Roman right division appeared broken with only the general and a unit of Triarii and Principes left. In fact because the Hastati units don’t count towards divisional break they still required one more unit to break. Are the Romans tough or what? Thanks to Rick for a fun game, the Romans definitely had more than their share of bad luck with the dice! In this game they proved to be vulnerable on the flanks and brittle when an isolated small unit was forced to take on a standard unit unsupported.
|Hastati force Numidians to evade off the table|
|Carthaginians employ the old pincer move|
|Another view of Carthaginian right flank|
|Gallic cavalry and the elephant charge|
|More on the right flank|
|Triarii and Principes break a warband|
|Roman right flank at the end of the game|