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An Ancient Campaign using Sabin's Empire as a basis and Basic Impetus (augmented) to fight the battles

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Re: An Ancient Campaign using Sabin's Empire as a basis and Basic Impetus (augmented) to fight the battles

Post by 1ngram on Sat Jul 01, 2017 4:09 pm

Fearful of another Roman attempt to invade North Africa the Carthaginians decided to send another expeditionary force to Sicily to forestall the enemy.  The fleet crossed safely and battle against the Legions was joined somewhere near Agrigento.  (Alas our Punic player had decamped to London to see Jeff Lynne and War of the Worlds and the Pink Floyd Exhibition so we had to cobble together a Punic looking army from what we had available)


Overview of the Action

The Romans set their legions on the left and centre with, as usual a unit as reserve and their cavalry on their right, linked to the legion with some Italian Light Infantry.  For their part the Punics sought to destroy the enemy cavalry with their superior cavalry and take on the enemy infantry on the other wing with two elephants and the Celtic mercenaries.  Their hoplite phalanx they kept in reserve(?)


From Behind the Roman Line (the excellent Warbases turning aids can be seen)

Everything that could go wrong for the Carthaginians, did.  They rolled loads of dice in the attack and rarely if ever scored a 6 (eg. Fifteen dice in the elephant attack and not a single hit) but when it came to cohesion tests they rolled a 6 every time.  Their cavalry attack was comprehensively trashed by the Romans with the loss of only one unit (they killed all three Punic cavalry units) apart from the outlier Numidian horse which beat their opponents and tried manfully to get behind the enemy line – but too late to affect the course of the battle.

On the other wing the elephant attack failed miserably (see above) and both stampeded back into their own skirmishers.  


One elephant is already in a bad way as the second comes up to suffer the same fate

The Celts similarly fared disastrously against the legionaries and though they held out for a time, they too were eventually destroyed.  With dead bodies all over the shop and the phalanx unutilised at the rear the Punics admitted defeat with the Romans having lost only one unit.


The Celts are Thrashed

The Romans, exalted by their victory immediately decided to pursue their opponents to North Africa and, in their turn, landed safely on shore.  New tactics will certainly be required by the Punics of the sacred city of Carthage itself is not to fall.

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Re: An Ancient Campaign using Sabin's Empire as a basis and Basic Impetus (augmented) to fight the battles

Post by 1ngram on Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:41 pm

The Roman army landed safely on African soil and immediately marched towards Carthage.  The Punic army assembled under Harreble (or as he was later to become known – the Horrible).  The armies met in the vast open plain before Carthage, (the Punics winning the die roll and were defenders choosing no terrain at all). The Romans set up their legions on their right and centre with some Thracian light infantry on the left of the legionaries.  A Triarii unit was placed in reserve.  Beyond that they placed both units of Cavalry with some light horse between these and the infantry line.


The Two Armies Face Each Other

Having lost badly in all previous combats against the mighty 6 VBU legionary units, the Punic commander determined to face the entire enemy infantry line with only skirmishers and a unit of Numidian horse whom he hoped might get round the right flank of the Romans.  Over on his right he massed all his cavalry and elephants in an attempt to destroy the enemy horse then swing round on to the Roman flank.


The Roman Infantry Line

It would be as well at this point to warn the reader that once again in this battle we were to see a catastrophic series of die rolls for the Punic commanders.  It is clear that, once again, the wrong first-born had been sacrificed previous to the battle, for while the generals were able, almost without exception, to roll no more than a single 6 in each melee, they invariably rolled a 6 whenever they diced for cohesion.  Needless to say the soothsayers accompanying the army who had conducted the sacrifices were crucified some days later after they were apprehended trying to cross the Sahara.


The Punic Right - surely they thought, there are enough here to defeat the Roman Cavalry

On the Punic right therefore the two Roman cavalry units were attacked by both Punic cavalry and one elephant unit.  The combined Punic attack failed miserably with all three units retreating.  The Romans pursued and destroyed the Punic cavalry in short order.  The only Punic success here was the destruction of the Roman light horse by the Numidians who then accompanied one elephant unit towards the roman foot’s left flank. This left the other elephant desperately turning round and round to try to face the victorious Roman cavalry which was now well behind the enemy line.


The victorious Roman cavalry in pursuit while the Punic elephants desperately try to turn to face them. Meanwhile the other elephant unt turns towards the enemy foot

By the time the cavalry had ordered themselves and advance into the centre the elephants were finally able to attack them – only to bounce ignominiously.
Over on the other wing the skirmishers and Numidians were doing a good job of holding off the entire Roman infantry line – but of course they could not defeat their opponents themselves – they were just there to delay them.  Eventually they were forced to evade once too often and off the table.  The Numidians did, however, eventually get round behind the line but even they, attacking a lowly enemy skirmisher unit in flank (and thus unable to evade), were beaten, ignominiously.

Eventually the Punic commander realised that, with his right beaten and his left almost off the table, he had to commit his infantry.  The elephant and Numidians were approaching the enemy flank as well so he had high hopes of doing some damage against the enemy Triarii and Hastati units there.  But the elephants again recoiled and the flank attack by the Numidians was a complete fiasco. The Gauls were initially successful, destroying the Thracians, but they fell easy meat to a legionary unit behind.  The Libyans and Hoplites fancied their chances against the enemy, coming round the corner, so to speak, into the area where the elephants had failed, but they too were comprehensively thrashed by the Roman foot.  At this point the Punic breakpoint was reached and The Romans claimed victory.


The Punic skirmishers and horse did a stalwart job holding the enemy back but without effective support from the rest of the army . . . well, that's their story anyway.

Great was the rejoicing on the Roman side (in the bar afterwards) but there was much despondency in the Punic camp as they gloomily looked into their half pints (these damn licensing laws!!!)

With the capture of North Africa all the Punic Empire defected and became independent.  Numidia, Iberia, Gallia and Cisalpina now revert to that status.  That ended Turn 12.  Hannibal arrives Turn 14 so the Punics have Turn 13 to roll a 6 to make a successful rebellion and recover their home territory otherwise Hannibal is going to have to spend at least one of his five attacks doing that (or more if he doesn’t roll 5 or 6)  Dark days indeed for Carthage.

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Re: An Ancient Campaign using Sabin's Empire as a basis and Basic Impetus (augmented) to fight the battles

Post by 1ngram on Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:04 pm

Gsame Turn 13 began with a rebellion in Armenia, hitherto controlled by the Macedonians.  Antiochus thought long and hard about whether to crush the rebels or continue his attempts to regain Syria from the Parthians but in the end the prospect of Rome dominating the West impelled him towards a seaborne assault on southern Italy (Magna Graecia).  Alas the Gods determined otherwise and his fleet sank en route. (1 or 2 to sink - he threw a 2)

Next to move were the Parthians.  With the Macedonians committing himself to a forward defence against both Rome and Hannibal (next Game Turn if he rolls right) The Parthian King decided to reduce the rebellious province of Bactria.  He transferred all his elephants back to the East having heard that the invading nomads had bought some from friendly Indians across the Hindu Kush – with any luck he might be able to augment his own ageing stock.


The Protagonists.  From bottom left clockwise we have the Macedonian King, the Roman Dictator, The Punic Commander and the Parthian King surveying the latest battlkefield in Bactria.

The Kings army met the nomad host near the Oxus and the armies were, not surprisingly, pretty similar.  The Nomads placed their horse on their left, elephants in the middle, some light horse on the right and their whole front covered by horse archers, especially their own cavalry.  The Parthians deployed likewise but with some Indian archers and a horse archer unit on their left.


The Initial Deployment - Nomads on the right

Unwilling to delay close action the Nomad Lord ordered his horse archers not to skirmish on his left but to charge straight in on the enemy light horse. This produced a lightweight melee which stuttered to a halt for a couple of turns as the dice determined no advantage to either side.  With most of his cavalry thus pinned behind the skirmish in front of them this allowed one Parthian noble unit to attack the right of the Nomad cavalry line and the elephants to engage.


The melees on the Nomad Left and Centre

Two turns later with no clear winner to either of these melees the Nomad horse finally eliminated the Parthian horse archers and surged round the enemy flank while simultaneously the remaining two Nomad cavalry units attacked the Parthian cavalry.  Stung by arrows the Parthian cavalry were at a definite disadvantage in the melee and eventually all three units were destroyed.  Victory seemed to beckon to the rebels.  But elsewhere things were not going so well.


The Nomad Left as the battle commenced

On the other flank the Indian archers were shot to pieces by enemy horse archers and the opposing horse archer units fired in a desultory fashion at each other for a long time.  So unsettling was the situation here that the King sent his one remaining horse archer unit, which had been covering the elephants, over to the left to help out.  This had a dramatic effect.  Both nomad horse archer units here were soon eliminated.


In the Centre the elephants come to grips

But the vital combat was in the centre where the Parthian elephants finally won both their melees allowing one elephant to turn against the victorious Nomad Nobles and the other to charge and wipe out the nomad light infantry which had been held back in reserve.  When the VD count was made the Nomads had lost despite defeating and destroying ALL the Parthian heavy cavalry.  Considerable head shaking ensued – but the loss of the elephants was a crushing blow which they could not recover from.

Next to play is Rome. With North Africa conquered and the Punic Empire in ruins the Romans sought to regain Cisalpine Gaul.  Some senators had argued they should follow the Macedonians back onto greek soil but fear of yet another fleet sinking soon scuppered that thought.

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Re: An Ancient Campaign using Sabin's Empire as a basis and Basic Impetus (augmented) to fight the battles

Post by T13A on Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:27 pm

Inspiring as usual!

Cheers Paul

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Re: An Ancient Campaign using Sabin's Empire as a basis and Basic Impetus (augmented) to fight the battles

Post by 1ngram on Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:26 pm

With the collapse of the Punic Empire the Gauls considered themselves set free and everywhere ousted their Punic governors.  This, the Roman Senate decided, meant they could now expand into Gallia themselves without having to face a Punic army there.  The Gauls they had defeated in the past and the general opinion was that this would be an easy campaign which would bring many thousands of slaves to Rome.


The "Old Man of the Celts" Prepares His Battleline

The Legions marched north in anticipation but the Gauls, realising their freedom was once more at stake, gathered their best troops to face the attack.  North of Milan they formed up with three good units of Gallic  cavalry (VBU=5), three large warbands (two with Soldurii at the front VBU=6) and one with good warriors at the front (VBU=5).  Covered by skirmishers they awaited the Legions near the lakes with their cavalry on their right and the infantry on the left.  They had the benefit of seeing the Roman line-up and  hoped both to defeat the enemy cavalry and hit the Roman left cohorts and defeat them before the rest of the Legion could get into action.


The Battle Opens.  On the left the Roman infantry at the bottom and cavalry at the top.  Opposite then can be seen the Gallic cavalry and the three strong infantry line aimed at the Roman foot.

The Romans had their usual 5 cohorts, three with Pila and two with spear.  Four of these they placed in their front line, spear to their left with a unit of Italian allies linking to the cavalry deployed opposite the enemy horse.  They had only two units of cavalry and a unit of light horse but, they thought, the critical areas would be in the centre, against the Soldurii – the cavalry action was not so important.  Once again the cautious consul placed one unit of Pila behind the line, in reserve, to face any breakthrough the Gallic large units might achieve.

First off the cavalry charged on another while the cohorts turned to fully face the Gallic infantry.  The action here was long and both sides at times had units beaten, only to see them return to the fray.  The Roman light horse covered themselves with glory, holding off the superior enemy cavalry for many turns.  Eventually both sides were so weakened and exhausted that the melee degenerated into a standstill but by the end of the battle both sides had lost two of their three units and two badly damaged cavalry units paused side by side, unable to do anything else.


The Cavalry of both sides get stuck in.  Casualties (red dice) are mounting

Seeing the cavalry action continue without result the Gaulish foot advanced towards the Legion and struck the end two spear armed cohorts and the Italians.(we allow both siders to countercharge)  Again the struggle here went to and fro, the interlocking of the units preventing pursuits when an enemy was forced back.  


The three large units of Gallic Foot azdvance on the Roman Left

Time and again units rallied from disorder and then charged forth once more into the melee.  But the mighty Soldurii were certainly taking their toll of the cohorts, determined to break through before the pila armed units to the Roman right could turn and engaged them in flank.  Here the skirmishers did a great job holding off these cohorts for as long as possible.  But all too soon (one of) the Romans had turned and, brushing aside the pesky skirmishers were advancing on the Gallic flank.  With a might effort (and a reasonable number of sixes) the  Gauls broke through on both left (where the flanking danger was) and on the right (against the weaker Italians)  Even better the Warriors who had destroyed the Italians advanced after combat and attacked the reserve cohort which had come up in support.  In a glorious melee (two player turns) they destroyed the cohort.  With two cohorts, two cavalry and Italian allies defeated the Romans had reached their break point and a Gallic victory was declared.


The Cruicial Infantry Melee - Can the Gauls Break Through before being Outflanked? The Romans  have already suffered heavy losses and the Italians have broken

There was much soul searching in the bar (and on email) later, from both the Romans, wondering if it had just been unlucky dice and from the Carthaginians who were eager to find out how the hitherto invincible Romans had finally been defeated – after all with Hannibal coming next Game Turn the Punic army needs to know!  Eventually the Gauls put it down to the mighty Soldurii and the Carthaginians down to not crucifying enough bad generals in the past.  Perhaps flaying them alive might be a more effective encouragement pour les autres!

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Re: An Ancient Campaign using Sabin's Empire as a basis and Basic Impetus (augmented) to fight the battles

Post by T13A on Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:16 pm

Ingram, great report again.
I was just wondering when using Sabin's Empire as the basis for the campaign how you managed the break up of the Macedonians into the various successor states after the death of Alexander?

Cheers Paul

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Re: An Ancient Campaign using Sabin's Empire as a basis and Basic Impetus (augmented) to fight the battles

Post by 1ngram on Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:17 pm

We play it as one state - one player. Given that battles are between same point armies from adjacent provinces there is no need to identify different Successor kingdoms. The only problem is that they do not fight each other - but of course rebellions get more problematic the bigger the empire gets. And, of course we pick and choose which armies to use from the army lists depending on which province is being attackled. So when the Parthians attacked Egypt we picked an appropriate Ptolemaic army to oppose them.

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Re: An Ancient Campaign using Sabin's Empire as a basis and Basic Impetus (augmented) to fight the battles

Post by 1ngram on Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:06 am

Last to go were the Carthaginians now restricted by the loss of their home area to dicing to rebel. And, of course they rolled a 6! The first born sacrifices are, at last, having some effect!
Game Turn 14 commenced with a revolt in Mesopotamia, cutting the Parthian Empire in half. This will have to be dealt with immediately. But Rome is first to move and has to deal with the Hannibal problem. We will run the “Hannibal Turn” by having him commanding all Punic armies this turn, not just his five offensive campaigns. He will also have a 3 VD advantage in each battle in that any opponent has to kill 3 more VD than normal to defeat him.
The Romans decided to try once more for North Africa in the hope that victory there would severely hamper Hannibal (he would have to throw again to rebel if they won). This time their fleet successfully crossed the Middle Sea and landed in North Africa. Battle will follow.

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Re: An Ancient Campaign using Sabin's Empire as a basis and Basic Impetus (augmented) to fight the battles

Post by 1ngram on Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:20 pm

First the rebellion in Mesopotamia (fought last month and, alas without a camera in attendance).  The rebels set up with pikes in the centre and horse on the righty flank, the left being covered by areas of rough terrain, the gaps between which were allotted to some horse archers and local badawi camelry.

The Parthians, as usual, swamped their enemy with horse archers but placed their noble cavalry opposite the enemy cavalry (neither side had elephants).  The cavalry charged and the enemy were defeated.  On the other flank the camelry disposed of the hostile archers but felt unable to follow this victory up with an advance as they believed they were now needed on the other flank.  But by the time they got there it was all over.  The pikes were surrounded by horse archers and the victorious Parthian nobility had reorganised and were sweeping round the  rebel rear.  Peace (well, order, anyway), had returned to the land of the two rivers.


A scratch Roman army crossed safely to North Africa, determined to scotch the Punic revolt.  The intended commander was the famous/notorious Daudus Ovalballus but he seems to hasve absented himself from an active part due, he claimed, to "a touch of carpet" and command devolved to Clericus Senior.

Advancing on Carthage itself they found the enemy lined up between the sea and a large patch of rough ground.  Led by Hannibal the rebels (as the Romans termed them) had a solid front of Libyan spears and two large units of mercenaries with elephants to one side and light horse to the other.  Far out on their right they deployed their two units of Punic cavalry.  Clearly they intended a charge upon the Roman cohorts with their foot (and elephants?) and a swing round the Roman left flank with their cavalry.  Hey have tried this tactic before – and it almost always failed.  But not this time.


The two armies line up


The Romans, for their part, set up with spear and pila armed cohorts intermixed, two units of light infantry around the rough (hoping they could emerge and attack any nearby elephants) and with their one cavalry  and single mercenary Numidian horse units behind the foot (until they could discover where the enemy cavalry were placed).  Once this was clear they hastily pulled one pf the cohorts into reserve as well which left the infantry line dangerously weak.  They hoped to compensate for this by a steady advance in the centre and right.


The Roman cohorts advance


Fearful of the light infantry the Punics sent only one elephant unit forward with the foot and kept the second  to the rear facing the rough.  But their cavalry quickly sped forward, round the enemy flank (dodging useless javelins from the lights in the rough) and were charged by both horse and cavalry from the Roman reserve.  The Numidians performed wonderfully, holding off the Punic cavalry for the duration of the battle, but the Roman cavalry were comprehensively thrashed allowing the Punic cavalry to sweep round the flank and engage the reserve cohort.  Things looked very bad for the Consul.


The Numidian Horse hold off the nemey cavalry for the whole battle - then desert to plunder.  Typical!


Meanwhile on the other wing the end cohort had advanced ahead of the line to face off the enemy horse and prevent then getting behind the line.  But in doing so they exposed themselves to attack from the unit of Veteran Libyan spears there and were routed by a crafty flank attack (flip flop move for the Punics!)  All hope now rested for the Republic on the battle in the middle.


Advancing against the horse the cohort find itself attacked in flank by the Libyans


The lights faced off against the elephants and, despite casualties, held them off successfully until the last turn of the battle.  But the Romans failed dismally against the mercenaries.  One cohort was merely pushed back but the others were pushed back again and again  by the other mercenary unit in a see saw motion ( beat one, push back into the other, beat it back and pursue into the first again etc etc) which ended with the latter only losing its rear unit but both cohorts destroyed completely.  Then the other mercenary unit gave the coup-de-gras and smashed the remaining cohort to pieces while the Punic cavalry did likewise to the reserves..  


The two infantry lines collide

To add insult to injury the light infantry were finally destroyed by the elephants and the battle was over.


Al over bar the shouting. Only one damaged cohort is left in the Roman line and the Punic cavalry is about to administer the coup-de-gras to the reserve cohort.


Striving to retreat back to their ships the Roman army was attacked by the Numidians, who had changed sides, and were almost all destroyed.


The Punic elders decided to capitalise upon success immediately and send the victorious army to Sicily but fate decreed a major storm on the crossing and the army was all but wiped out (Hannibal campaign 1).

Immediately they began raising another army and the next year it sailed under the command of Hannibal himself, safely landed near Panormus and marched for Messina.  There the Romans awaited them.  The battle for Sicily had begun. (Hannibal campaign 2)

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