Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hail Caesar 20/09/11

Jim & Mike’s Carthaginians
Steves J & P’s Republican Romans

The Carthaginians deployed in 5 divisions. There was a cavalry division on each flank - each 2 heavy or medium cavalry, 1 small light cavalry & a Numidian medium infantry, citizen spearmen with bow armed skirmishers left of centre, on their right were Gallic infantry (2 warbands each with slingers), and in front of the Gaulls, 4 elephant units and 2 javelin armed skirmishers.

SteveP deployed on the Roman right with a legion of 5 hastasi/principes, 2 velite & 2 triari, with a cavalry division of 1 heavy & 1 light on the flank. SteveJ had a similar force of 2 divisions on the Roman left. (We approximated the Republican manipular system by using small units for the Roman infantry with a reduced number per legion).

The Carthaginians got 1st move and started a cautious advance. Despite being overlapped to his left, SteveJ charged forward with his cavalry at the elephants. This was not a good idea as the cavalry was soon destroyed as small cost.

On the other flank, SteveP’s legion advanced over the hill overlapping the spearmen’s left. His triari was sent to the right to help the cavalry in a separate fight with the Carthaginian left wing. This the Romans eventually won. The rest of SteveP’s legion charged the left of the line of spearmen quickly defeating it.

Meanwhile the Carthaginians attacked SteveJ’s legion with half the spearmen and the elephants while they tried to work their cavalry round the flank. SteveJ used his triari to cover the flank. The principes/hastasi gave some ground, but the spearmen were held then broke and the elephants were beaten off, but not broken.

Both sides reorganised. The Gauls turned left on the hill to face SteveP’s legion which was now advancing on them. The battered elephants held back while their general tried to rally them. The Carthaginian cavalry wrapped around the triari on the end of the Roman line. SteveP’s cavalry was rallied on the far flank and was being brought across the battlefield.

As SteveP’s legion charged up the hill at the Gauls, the Carthaginian skirmishers peppered the left of SteveJ’s line as the cavalry division got around their flank. With most of the division shaken by previous combats and missile fire, SteveJ’s outflanked legion broke before SteveP’s cavalry could arrive.

On the Carthaginian left, their Gallic foot gave ground, but held on. On their right the cavalry had just enough time to turn to face SteveP’s cavalry, then they overwhelmed it. Having lost both cavalry divisions and 1 legion, the Romans now failed army morale. The Carthaginians had lost 2 divisions and had high casualties on most of their remainder but had won a costly victory.

This was another brilliant game full of twists & turns of fate as both sides made move and counter move. The battle turned into a revolving door as both sides won on their right with both sides having lost 2 divisions and needing to lose only 1 more to fail army morale. But the Carthaginians managed the end game better, keeping the battered elephants from breaking and using skirmishers to disrupt SteveP’s last attack just enough so the Gallic foot could hold on while their intact right wing division won the battle by mopping up the weaker Roman divisions. It’s now Rome 4, Carthage 2 in 28mm.  After 6 battles I think we can fairly judge Hail Caesar.  The verdict is unaminous - we love it.   It's the set of ancient rules we have been waiting for.  And 28mm's ?  I had intended to just make up a division to contribute to the pool, but they are such great fun to make up and they look so good I just couldn't stop at that - I have an army already & plans for more.

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