Thursday 29 May 2014

Varras - Saviour of Rome

So, after a break of a couple of months, this week sees the restart of our 2nd Punic War campaign.

I'm afraid, as with most ancient history, some has been lost over time and it is now hard to piece together the occurances in the latter half of 215 BC. What we do know is the army under Flaminius was  soundly beaten in Africa and nothing worth the name ever made it back to Italy. At the end of 215 BC things were looking bleak for Rome.

Here is the situation at the end of turn four - 215 BC. This is how we left the campaign two months ago.

Here is the situation following campaign reinforcements and new consular elections that we carried out last night. 

The new consuls for turn five - 214 BC & 213 BC are Varras and Flaminius, the latter having obviously told a tale worthy of Homer on his return to the metropolis. 

The very first move of turn five, by Carthage, brought about a battle. Hannibal decided to march north (using card number 32) in an attempt to reach Cisaplinia and his Gallic allies before Flaminius and pro-consul Marcellus could bring their superior numbers to bear in the south. Taking the most direct route he attempted to slip past Rome's garrison under Varras. Undaunted by Hannibal's awesome reputation Varras intercepted him with every man he could muster.

Varras' force comprised 5CU and 2 Allied CU plus 2 CU from the garrison of Rome (use in Latium only). It would be represented by a consular army plus an extra 'triplex acies': 24 units total. Varras was a poor commander and was assigned a 5 card Commands and Colors hand (he should have been given 4 cards).

Hannibal's force comprised 6 CU and an allied CU: 20 very mixed units total. Hannibal was assigned an 8 card Commands and Colors hand (he should have been given 7 cards). Carthage won side of table roll and the roll to deploy second.

The Battle of Rome

Both sides deployed conventionally with cavalry wings and infantry centres.

 Rome pushed her legions forward to be met by advancing Carthaginian skirmish lines.
 Fearing an outflanking movement by Numidian cavalry one legion peels off to hold them.
 After a short period of desultory skirmishing things move speedily..
To a resounding crunch!

The Romans become outflanked by Hannibals Bruttian and Italian mercenaries. 

But it is too late.
 The melee is over very quickly. 

Except for the gallant efforts of some Spanish and Italian infantry (foreground) which kill a Roman general and almost carve through an entire triplex acies, the result is decidedly in favour of the Romans.

It will teach Hannibal not to rely too heavily on the French (Gauls).
 Hannibal plays his two card trick (Hannibal is allowed to play two cards one after the other at one point in the game - because he's a genius) and uses it to launch his cavalry in a desperate bid to turn the tables.
 On the right they are successful.
 On the left less so.
 The Romans rush velites to prop up their left flank before becoming enveloped.
 But the Carthaginians burst through. 
 Hannibal is wounded and carried from the field. The Carthaginian army begins to melt away.
Things are close. The Romans need one more victory banner. Carthage needs three.

Carthage gains two banners in the penultimate turn. Rome and Varras seal Hannibals fate in the last.

Varras, favoured by the Gods (extremely good early C&C cards), is the Saviour of Rome.

Here is the situation after the battle. Hannibal is alive, though just. Varras has been severely denuded.

A belting battle to kick things off. The campaign will continue next week.


Phil said...

Another great report, pictures are really splendid...I am a bit disapointed by the injury of Hannibal, but this souns like a fantastic game!

MarkG said...

Nice to see the return of the Punic Wars. Your games always look so damn impressive.

Jonathan Freitag said...

Absolutely stunning! Awaiting more campaigning.

leadaddicted said...

I was waiting for this battle! I roof for Romans because I'm from Rome :)

Evan Hughes said...

Hannibal's worst-case prognosis; "Doc, don't tell me I'm going to lose the OTHER eye...?"

Fascinating counterfactual you have running here, looking forward to the next instalment!

David said...

Fine looking game there, and obviously the right result for Rome!

Justin Penwith said...

I eagerly await each new battle report.

Hendrid said...

Great looking spectacular game. That crunch looks pretty epic!

Sgt Steiner said...

Its official I hate you !!

Super game :-)

Lets hope Hannibal wounds get infected............