Wednesday, 30 March 2016

The Punic wars, Roman republic v Carthaginian

                           Citizen Spearmen led by a Carthaginian general

Last weekend we managed to have another crack at the sword and spear rule set but this time we used my dads new Mid Roman republic and late Carthaginian 10mm armies. The Carthaginian army were short of the Gaul Warbands as with the bank holiday post they hadn't quite arrived in time, so to compensate for this the Roman Hastati units were classed as raw. I've never used either of these armies before so after a roll off I was given given command of the Roman Republicans.

The battle lines
My Hastatti units positioned behind behind the Principes and Velites units.
The heavy foot of the Carthaginian infantry in the form of Libyan Spearmen and accomping elephants 

I had deployed quite away back from my dads Carthaginians so all the early action was between our cavalry. I managed to rout a unit of Numidian cavalry but after pursuing into a unit of citizen spearman my Roman cavalry became embroiled in the melle enabling another unit of Numidian cavalry to flank them, this led to Roman cavalry been routed, also on this flank I lost a second Roman cavalry unit to the Numidians. 
After charging the javlinmen skirmishes my allied Numidian cavalry unfortunately found itself in combat with the elephant unit. Unsurprisingly they were eventually routed but they had granted my army infantry a few turns where they were not under threat from the rampaging elephants.
After the Principes with stood the initial charge form the Lybian Spearmen the Hastati charged into the combat with bonus impetus which saw the Lybian infantry rout from the field.

By the mid stage of the game our battle lines were well within charge range, I had lost my cavalry on the right flank but my dads units over that side were a little isolated from his commanders and the main battle itself so weren't posing to much threat yet. Whoever could grab the initiative over the next few turns could see the game swing in their favour.
All our front line troops clashed in the centre of the battlefield when the Lybian heavy infantry charged into the Principes units who once again managed to hold their ground (just) before the Hastati units charged into break the Lybian infantry putting the Carthaginian centre in abit of trouble.
 my Triarri units hold the hill on the left flank where the Gaul/citizen and Spanish cavalry become cautious to charge. Behind these the Veteran Spearmen with the white shields can be seen.

With the Carthaginian centre in trouble my dad decided to finally launch his cavalry into combat. The citizen cavalry charged the Tari unit and the Guals charged a unit of Principes with both units unable to cause any significant damage. In the centre the elephant units moved into a portion to charge
A unit of Elephants charges into a unit of Hastatti and the results aren't pretty for the Romans despite the elephants not been fresh as they suffer heavy casualties and rout. The Roman army had now lost a  third of its army and all units had to take a discipline tests part from the Triarri who are steadfast.
The Romans respond as the Triarii defeat the citizen cavalry and despite orders to hold there ground they pursue after the routing Cavalry
The Principes remain locked in combat as the Cathaginian commander keeps the Gauls in the fight with some important rallying.
The rampaging elephants are flanked by a unit of Triarii however a round of poor dice rolling sees the elephant win the combat, in return the Numidian cavalry charge into the rear of the Romans, who somehow manage to stand and continue to fight.
And that was just about time reached, I tried a couple of times to rally some units ready to fight in the following rounds but was unsuccessful so I finally repositioned a couple of units ready to charge if they were afforded the inititive. My second unit of Triarri had routed the Spanish cavalry but my dads Carthaginians were still 4 or 5points from losing a third of their army and having to take discipline test across their army. The elephant and Numidian cavalry somewhat surprisingly still failed to break the unit of Hastati and elsewhere the Gaul cavalry remained locked in combat. With the final position reached the game had ended in a winning draw to my dads Carthaginians as although the battlefield position was still in the balance my army was extremely close to reaching its break point and the likely hood is that it would have been reached before my dads army did. The elephants proved to be a real force in this game and when they get abit of extra impetus dice to them they are almost unstoppable, very dangerous indeed. The rules we managed to get through without to much delay in checking the book, and once again we both had thoroughly enjoyed the game, sword and spear seem a excellent set of rules, well suited for ancient warfare.
The final positions of the armies.


  1. Another excellent battle report Neil. I always try to match enemy elephants with LI, getting them in the right place at the right time is the tricky bit.

    1. that was my intention to use my Li in this manner before the game but as you quite rightly point out getting them in the right place at the right time is tricky, when I managed to get the light infantry near them the elephants were already rampaging through my front line ha ha. Thanks for the comments