Saturday, 9 November 2019

Battle of Bagradas 255BC using Ancients Battlelines Clash

Introduction
This is game 36 in play testing my ancient rules by replaying historical battles.  The previous version of ‘Ancient Battlelines Clash’ is on its own blog page. Note at the time of writing the version I am using to play this battle (Version 3.2) is very much in draft as it is a rewrite of what I planned for V3.0 and closer to what V2.5 (the one I used to play most of my games).  V3.2 currently requires a lot of tidying up, and is missing design notes, examples and the programmed opponent. I am play testing the rules by replaying all the Peter Sides scenarios from his Historical Battles books.  ABC is designed to finish in around 30 minutes on a 2'x2' table.

I have been slow in play testing these rules for the last few years.  For November 2019 I set a challenge to play the 10 First and Second Punic Wars battles in the book.  This battle is game 1 in the attempt.  This battle is a bit of a cheat in that I actually played it at the end of October!

Battle of Bagradas
Carthage takes on Rome in Tunis during the First Punic War.

Very little on the internet:

Wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Bagradas_River_(255_BC)

I did reference Phil Sabin's Lost Battles.

Troops
Carthage


Carthaginians

5 Spanish/Libyan infantry, Heavy Infantry
3 Celts/Celtiberian Mercenaries, Medium Infantry, Warband
2 Allied Light infantry, Light Infantry
4 Cavalry, Medium Cavalry
4 Elephants, Elephants
1 Leader with the Spanish/Libyan Infantry

Breakpoint: 16


Rome
Romans

8 Legionaries, Heavy Infantry
1 Cavalry, Medium Cavalry
1 Light Cavalry, Light Cavalry, javelins 
4 Velites, Skirmish Infantry, javelins
1 Leader with one of the the Legionaries

Breakpoint: 10

Scenario changes
I went with a fairly standard "line them up" more aligned to the Lost Battles and wiki article than the Peter Sides deployment.  

Deployment

Deployment

Game
This will likely be a bit of a walkover for Carthage, just like history.  The Carthaginians advance and the flanks are the first to clash

Carthaginian advance; contact mad on both flanks.

On the Roman left flank, the cavalry holds and both are disordered

Roman left flank cavalry disordered 

And the Roman cavalry routs in the next turn.  The Carthaginians does not pursue.

Roman right flank light cavalry evades.

On the Roman right flank, the Light Cavalry retreats but also manages to use missile fire to slow some of the advancing Carthaginian cavalry.

The Roman right cavalry routs (as  is shown here as it is missing from the picture!)

The elephants meet the Velites.

Centre elephants meet the skirmishers

The elephant/Velite clash produced differing results for each melee.  From Roman left to right - Velites retreat, Elephant does not pursue, Elephant and Velites locked in melee, Velites rout and Elephant does not pursue, Velites retreat, Elephant pursues into the Allies and a few disorders inflicted.

Mixed results from the clash - advances, halts,  maintain melee.

On the Roman right flank, the Light Cavalry retreats off the board and the Cavalry is pushed back and does not pursue.  The light infantry and other cavalry maintain a defensive position (failed movement roll)

Hannibal and heavy cavalry charges and Roman right flank light cavalry evades off the board.

So it is back to the centre...

An elephants routs back through their own infantry, disordering both.  One of the Roman Legionaries (with the General) pursues into the other General!  Locked in melee. Nothing else occurs, even the Carthaginian left flank cavalry does not move for the second turn in a row (failed movement roll)

Bit of melee in the centre.

Elephant charges into Heavy infantry and locked in melee; centre elephant defeats the Velites and charges into melee and routs, depleting their supporting infantry, neither legionary pursuing.  The Carthaginian leftmost elephant charges into the Roman infantry, disordering all involved.

Two Elephants have failed to penetrate the Roman heavy infantry and rout back through their own troops.
 An elephant destroyed and Left flank Carthaginian heavy cavalry impacts a lone legionary unit but all are disordered.

The right end of the Roman heavy infantry line is flanked by enemy heavy cavalry 

Right flank Carthaginian heavy cavalry impacts a legionary unit  in melee.

The left end of the Roman heavy infantry line is also flanked by cavalry.

Last elephant destroyed  but no pursuit by the Romans (they have rolled very badly for all pursuits in the game so far!)

The centre sees some new infantry clashes and along the line one Carthaginian allied warband is lost but the Romans lose two legionary units.

No more elephants and both sides are losing heavy infantry units.

The legion on the Roman left flank was doing so well in melee, even though attacked on all sides.

The Roman heavy infantry still survives the onslaught from three sides!

But could only hang on for so long.

But not for very long

Another Carthaginian unit is lost, the army is close to breaking, as is the Romans.  The Romans lose one more legion

Both sides lose another heavy infantry unit.  Both are close to breaking. 

The Roman army breaks and the Carthaginians win!

The Romans lose another unit and break.  Carthaginian win!

Verdict
A fun game and the reaction system really shined in the elephant clashes as a lot of varying results thrown up by the system.  That game took longer than most and I thought is was going to be a walkover but is was not, mainly as the Elephants contributed a lot to the high Carthaginian breakpoint but, while they were all routed they did not actually rout any Roman non-skirmish units.

6 comments:

  1. A nice looking (and bloody!) Carthaginian victory...makes me want to play again Antic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have (hopefully) nine more battles with Carthaginians so so not blame me for anything.

      Delete
  2. Great looking game and nice to see one played on a small table.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Steve, I used to shun games on small tables, now it is all I seem to do!

      Delete
  3. I like it when what you think is 'likely' in fact turns out to be closer and more engaging than expected. That looks a very interesting Carthaginian army to manage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I so like it too. I have another one coming in a few games time that was surprisingly a lot closer that I expected it to be well. I have a lot of Carthaginian games coming; I have only played Carthaginians with Zama before and am enjoying using the army.

      Delete