A Punic Wars Battle
(Republican Romans vs Carthaginians)
The Carthaginians wanted to force a flank attack with a numerical advantage in cavalry models on their left flank. The right was guarded by an elephant and a Celtic warband.
We played this battle at the Red Baron's convention XVII in Gentbrugge, Belgium.
Learn more about the Roman Tactical Checkerboard Formation here.
The Carthaginians had the first move. They immediately fast marched to the right flank of the Romans. The Romans had only one cavalry unit there.
The Romans reacted quickly reforming their battle line to face the tread from the Carthaginian cavalry and so to be able to stop the flank attack. They dispatched two Triarii units to their left to guard the other flank.
The second turn the Carthaginians got in position to charge the Roman flank. The Romans were bracing themselves for the worst.
The third turn the Carthaginians attacked with all their Spanish cavalry and a Numidian skirmish unit, but they did not break through the battle line as they had expected. The Romans were holding and fighting back. The Roman cavalry even managed to break the Carthaginian cavalry. Things were looking grim for the Carthaginians.
The Roman republican
army in checkerboard formation gets surrounded by a majority of Carthaginians.
The Carthaginians did eventually manage to break the most right of the maniple units of the Romans, but the Battle Line stood firm once again. The pursuing Carthaginians were exposed to the Roman infantry and in charge range.
The Romans started a counterattack, and the Spanish Cavalry choose to flee.
After that the Roman pursuing cavalry was confronted by the rallied Spanish cavalry unit. After a few turns the Romans broke and fled.
In the centre the Carthaginian phalanx hit into the Roman battle line, but turn after turn the line held.
On the Roman left flank the attack finally started after a prolonged skirmish fight with the Celts and the elephant attacking the Triarii. The drilled Triarii managed to evade the elephant, and the Celts were quickly exposed of. The Triarii followed and destroyed the unit. The second Triarii unit could now move towards the main battle, knowing that the thread from this flank was eliminated.
In the centre the armies were wearing each other out. The Romans could regroup fleeing units behind the Battle Line. But in the mean while the Carthaginian cavalry started moving through the manipular gaps in skirmish formation, preventing the Roman first line from regrouping and chasing them of the table.
Just before the Triarii could skip the balance in favour of the Romans, the general and battle standard got caught in the fight and fled. This effectively destroyed the Battle Line and the Roman centre became crumbling.
The battle ended with a victory for the Carthaginians. This was mainly caused by the the breaking of the battle line at the end. The battle was swinging from side to side at various moments. It could have gone either way. This shows that the battle line rules are a good answer to the very strong AoA Carthaginian army list.
It was great fun playing against Steven in a good battle.