Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Battle of White Tunis 310BC using Ancient Battelines Clash

This is game 32 in play testing my ancient rules by replaying historical battles.  The latest version of ‘Ancient Battlelines Clash’ is on its own blog page. I am play testing the rules by replaying all the Peter Sides scenarios from his Historical Battles books. However, I sometimes play some battles not in the books. The Battle of White Tunis in one of them and is from Phil Sabin's Lost Battles. ABC is designed to finish in under an hour on a 2'x2' table.  This is the first time I am using version 3 of the rules, these have undergone some changes from version 2 (last updated and played in late 2016).  Version 3 has been posted to the ABC rules page.

Battle of White Tunis
Syracuse was besieged by Carthage. Rather than fight the besiegers, the Tyrant of Syracuse, Agathocles, led an army into Libya. The Carthaginians chose two rivals - Hanno and Bomilcar - to lead the army to attack Agathocles.

Very little on the internet but here is an article of interest:

Wikipedia article 

I used the Lost Battles information for this scenario.



Carthaginians (Hanno and Bomilcar)
2 Chariots, Medium chariots
1 Heavy Cavalry, Medium cavalry, low fortitude
1 Sacred Band, Heavy infantry, phalanx, high fortitude, some missile protection
3 Foot Troops, Heavy infantry
3 Poor Foot troops, Heavy infantry, low fortitude
2 Skirmishers, Skirmish infantry, short missile
1 General with Sacred Band


Syracusans (Agathocles)


1 Veterans, Heavy infantry, phalanx, high fortitude, some missile protection
4 Hoplites, Heavy infantry, phalanx, some missile protection
2 Allied infantry, Heavy infantry
2 Gallic allies, Heavy infantry, warband
1 Peltasts, Medium infantry
2 Skirmishers, Skirmish infantry, short or long missile
1 General with Veterans
Army Command ability +1 to reflect both Agathocles and the poor showing of Hanno and Bomilcar.

Breakpoint: 10



The Game
The Carthaginians advance but the lone Medium Chariot on the left does not move (fails movement role for being a single unit and so far away from the leader).

Syracusans advances all along the line.

Both sides advance.

The Chariot and Cavalry on the Carthaginian left flank charge into the Syracusan allied warbands.

First combat on the Carthaginian right flank.
The screening skirmisher infantry fire and retreat, the Carthaginian cavalry is pushed back and disordered.  The warband opposite the chariot charges (this was actually a good move on the Chariots side as It stopped within the Warband zone of control and forces the warband to charge out from it supporting units and be single unit.  A single unit is -1 in melee).  In the subsequent melee both units are disordered.

First melee sees a skirmisher lost and a few disorders (grey javelins).

The Carthaginian left flank chariot moves.  The opposing Syracusan right flank does not move – it may be better to stay on the defensive here,  the Chariot may win Vs the Peltasts and the allied infantry are a good deterrent for the end of the main Carthaginian line.

The Syracusan  battleline advances and clears the lone skirmisher.  The Hoplite opposing the skirmisher continue into the main Carthaginian line.  The rest of the Syracusan hoplites moved as far as they could but just not into contact.  However they still maintain contact with the lone meleeing hoplite so it is not a single unit.

Centre lines nearly in contact - one Syracusan hoplite is in melee on the left.

The result is all units in melee are disordered.

The Syracusan Veterans charge into the Carthaginian Skirmishers in front of Sacred Band and the adjacent Syracusan warband moves into the heavy cavalry.

The Carthaginian right flank sees more contacts and all disordered. At the top the two leader units are about to enter melee.
The Veterans Vs Sacred Band - both disordered.
Warband Vs Cavalry – Warband disordered, the cavalry stays disordered
Warband Vs Chariot - Warband disordered, chariot stays disordered.

Overview at mid game.

The Carthaginian turn sees no change along the line.  They don’t charge in the centre as the Syracusan battleline is better.  The Carthaginian left flank chariot does advance a bit to be able to charge the Syracusan peltasts next turn.

Syracusan hoplites charge the centre line.  A Carthaginian low fortitude heavy infantry is routed.  Bad news also for the Syracusan Veterans as they are routed, along with Agathocles.  A blow to history.  It was inevitable with the way I had set it up as Agathocles ended up being at a disadvantage for being a single unit.  There was a 1 in 6 chance of being routed.  To make up for this the Syracusan warband routs the Carthaginian heavy cavalry.

Battlelines clash and is quite a bloody turn.  Carthaginians lose a heavy infantry and cavalry, Syracusans lose the Veterans and Agathocles.

The Carthaginian main leader wheels to flank the Syracusan infantry next turn.  Another heavy infantry unit lost to the Carthaginians.  The Carthaginian left flank chariot charges the Syracusan peltasts and both are disordered. The Syracusan Allied infantry charges into the tail end of the battleline.  Both units in the resulting melee are disordered.

The Syracusan right flank infantry charges the opposing allied infantry.

Another Carthaginian low fortitude heavy infantry unit lost. And then the Carthaginian chariot loses its battle with the Syracusan Warband. The Carthaginian side  reaches their breakpoint and loses the battle.  Victory to Syracuse.

The Syracusan left flank has a few warbands. The Sacred Band is ready to flank the Syracusan heavy infantry line but is thwarted when they lose another heavy infantry and reach their breakpoint.

Overview at the end of the game.

Two years is a long time but I really enjoyed the game.  My solo mojo, lost for the last year or so, may be coming back. Maybe not and maybe it has just been so long it was like a fresh game!  Anyway the new rules went very smoothly.  The biggest change from the previous version to this one is that both units are adversely affected on a 0-1 or a 6-7 on the die roll (previously  just one side is depleted; now one side is depleted, the other is disordered).  This  came about due to the fact that disorder is -1 on the die roll – if a side was disordered and not the other, the -1 was a huge advantage and meant the disordered side was unlikely to ever win, if though the odds at the start were the same.

Minor rules change (back to old rules for victory)
Other things I have to reflect on is I have changed the the 6 turn limit for victory conditions -  this is now optional. The 6 turns and victory point calculation was the default with an option for a quicker game for simply when breakpoint is reached.  This breakpoint rule was the only victory conditions in the previous rules.  I have reinstated the breakpoint reached as the default and optionally the victory points calculation.  I prefer the breakpoints and it also guarantees a winner.  The 6 turn limit and victory points is still good for games in a campaign (which is where it came from – I was using the other rules in a campaign game).


  1. Looks nice, Shaun. Strangely enough we decided to fight the same battle with Impetus 1. Same result, mind...

    1. Thanks Julian for stopping by.

      I seem to remember that the battle could go either way so not surprised that a similar result happened.