Saturday, 21 June 2014

Scipio Vs Hannibal: Round 2 - On Squexes

 The campaign position following our battle of Cannae.

Rome: Card 58: Nero marches to Cannae to transfer troops to Scipio before retiring to Ami.

Carthage: Card 37: Minor Campaign Card: Hannibal marches to Tarrentum. Hasdrubal attempts to sail from Spain to Tarrentum but is forced back to port by the Roman navy.

Rome: Card 27: Scipio attacks Hannibal at Tarrentum.
 This battle was set up differently than the others of this campaign. Last week I decided to squex (more of later) the much underused green side of my TSS tiles so that we could play out battles using 'classic' Command and Colors. 
 The Result was an unexpected victory for Hannibal. The victory was due to two things. The first was, as per classic Commands and Colors, both sides were playing to achieve an equal number of victory banners. The second was, being unused to playing the board game as the board game was written, Rome deployed the wrong tactics and didn't cycle through his abundant reserves thus saving the first units into combat from destruction. It's hard to say which reason was the more important, but by the time Rome's fresh units came into the fight both sides were down to just a couple of victory banners and victory became a lottery that Carthage won; I think there is always a temptation with Command and Colors to try and kill something with every card rather than building a proper attack and using reserves properly. As it was, both sides escaped the encounter with minor losses - but Rome was aggrieved.

Carthage: Card 63: Following the battle Hannibal decided to try and make a run for it and prepared to sail for Africa, Carthage, and comparative safety, but the Roman Naval blockade was too close and tight: He failed to sail.

Rome: Card 30: Scipio attacked again. The weather was against him (Carthage plays Card 41, Bad Weather, as an event which limited Scipio to two spaces movement) and Hannibal managed to evade out of reach.

Carthage: Card 61: Hannibal force marched north, moving so fast that he caught Nero at orgy in Ami (Nero is displaced), to Ariminum.

Rome: Card 55: Event, Messenger Intercepted - Rome took one of Carthage's strategy cards.

Carthage: Hannibal moved into Cisalpinia. Hannibal stopped at Insubrians, Gisgo continued on to Taurini.

Rome: Card 46: Event, Allied Auxiliaries - Scipio recruited 2 CU.

Carthage: Card 21: Carthage re-established political control over two areas in Eastern Numidia.

Rome: Card 4: Event, Celtiberia Revolts!

Rome: Card 44:  Event, Allied Auxiliaries - 2 CU recruited in Rome.

Rome: Card 45:  Event, Allied Auxiliaries - 2 CU recruited in Rome.

 The situation at the end of the turn. We will start turn 7 next week (just three turns to go).

This will be the next battlefield. I set up the battlefield in between battles to save time. As umpire, I have no idea which generals or forces will be at the battle so it's quite fair. Then, as a double proof of fairness, at the start of each battle each player:

  • Rolls a D6 adding his battle command rating - winner chooses which side. 
  • Rolls a D6 adding his battle command rating - loser deploys first.
As you can see, this table has been squexed with squexes for squex movement. This offset square pattern is not so visually appealing as hexes but, squares are soooo much easier to draw than hexes. I first came across squexes in the ancient naval rules Diekplus by Newbury Rules back in the early 80s. Squexes have always held a curious appeal for me. I frequently use them, especially for campaign maps, because I find they are easier to put information in than true hexes (though they are more frequently Squextangles in this latter case). They are an interesting tool for Piquet 'Theatre of War' Campaigns.

Isle of Fob Map from an Imagi- Crusades campaign based on ideas in Theatre of War by Piquet


Sean said...

Very nice. I like the idea of fighting out the individual battles using different rule sets. Great way to keep things fresh in the campaign.

Gonsalvo said...

I have had an on again, off again relationship with gridded tabletops for 40+ years; I used 3" hexes for my Napoleonic rules for 20 years, and I still rather like a gridded board for some ancient battles. Charlie Sweet used them almost exclusively, and was a huge advocate of gridded tables. They certainly do simplify measuring movement and ranges, and eliminate virtually all arguments about field of fire, flank attacks, and the like!

Many years ago, Joe pointed out to me that offset squares (which he aptly termed "bricklay") would accomplish essentially the same thing as hexes, while being much easier to draw, and he was right!

Maj. Guiscard said...

Actually, have you used this method for drawing hexes?

I can do a table with 6" hexes (using cheap plastic bowls) in about 2 hours.

Gunny Highway said...

Firstly, let me say you gentlemen have a great situation going by being able to play a campaign with someone willing to put it on in the first place. A thankless job that Olicana is willing to do week after week.
Having said that,changing the way that one attacks or the appearance of that attack maybe one should ask both sides in the campaign if a training game should be run so both sides are comfortable with the differences. Anytime one has to take it to the enemy I would hope the attacker must be comfortable in the way it is carried out. Anyway enjoy the ride! Lovingly, Gummy

Gunny Highway said...


Just a comment from the peanut gallery. My only difference of opinion here is if your going to change the rules or appearance of such, perhaps a "training" game would be appropriate at this time. Attacking in a new way can be disconcerting and a warmup may have been appropriate so the attacker can be comfortable in his tactics. Having said that, playing C and C myself the roles of attacker and defender have always been a little blurry because of the card system. Just my 2 cents. Enjoy the ride, as you have someone who does a excellent job that is usually thankless in it's execution. Sounds like you gents get along smashingly.
Lovingly, Gummy

Gunny Highway said...




These guys are veteran gamers. They can sink or swim. (Grin)