David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occasional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.



Monday, 23 January 2023

Death Before Dishonour

 For our usual Tuesday game, this week on a Monday, Phil and I decided to get the Punic Wars collection on the table in GHQ and give Hail Caesar rules a run out in anticipation of receiving the updated Second Edition at some point. Phil took on the persona of Coronus Cunctator leading the army of the Republic leaving me to take command of the Carthaginian army as Hannibal Bicca. As is my wont, an annotated photomontage to convey some sense of the unfolding catastrophe...

The opening positions of the two armies: the Carthaginian army of Hannibal Bicca nearest the camera, the Republicans of Coronus Cunctator in the distance. For those interested, the villa is the Warbases small Roman villa kit.
Hannibal Bicca makes a sacrifice to the dice gods, in vain as things turned out, but let's not get ahead of ourselves at this stage.
The opening phase of the battle sees the Numidian light cavalry clash with the Roman and it's allied Celtic cavalry. Javelins fly to their targets but on the enemy come with steely determination.
On the left the Carthaginian army puts it's faith in their elephants supported by slingers and light infantry, with medium infantry positioned to mop up what remains of the enemy. At least that was the plan...
Most of the Numidian cavalry and supporting light infantry flee the field in disorder! Already the Carthaginian right is creaking dangerously.

The Carthaginian cavalry commander fails to lead his main force forward at this vital juncture in the battle, handing the initiative to his Roman opponent, despite the badly mauled remnants of the Numidian light cavalry seeing off the Celtic Medium cavalry in a fierce hand to hand combat.
The Allied Legion on the Roman right has moved into the attack only to be met by the Carthaginian elephants and their supports.  In the centre, Legio VI, the Wolf's Cubs, hold themselves ready to join battle with their foe.
On the Carthaginian right more Cavalry flee the field in rout, leaving only the Spanish Medium cavalry to hold off impending disaster.
Meanwhile, over on the Carthaginian left, the Allied Legion has got the best of the Carthaginian elephants' supports, leaving the great beasts vulnerable to attack.
Fighting is fierce with no quarter given or asked for. One of the great beasts falls in its death throes, one routs through its own supporting infantry, leaving only one to fight on alone!
The Carthaginian left is crumbling as the Allied Legion presses home it's advantage remorselessly. The omens are not looking good for Hannibal Bicca's cause...
The left and right wings of the Carthaginian army are in disorganised and panicked rout! Rather than face Dishonour Hannibal Bicca falls on his sword!
Hannibal Bicca's veteran African infantry and his Southern Italian mercenaries never got into action! With both wings of the army shattered and their commander crossing the Styx they would leave the field to fight another day.
It was all decided in five Turns! We were a bit rule rusty at the outset but soon found our second wind. The game played out pretty well we thought, giving a more cohesive feel to the battle than Neil Thomas's Ancient and Medieval Warfare rules seem to. We shall see what changes the new edition brings in due course.


20 comments:

  1. Ah, a splendid game as always David, albeit not quite to the wire this time. I must say the elephants look splendid (well all the units do), but like chariots, they seem to draw the eye everytime. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on HCII as it's been a long time since I played HC.

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    1. Many thanks SteveJ, your support is much appreciated.

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  2. I think the Roman sacrificial beast to the dice gods was bigger than yours. A fine game and with the incentive to give support to each other units were not scattered about the table.

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  3. Such a great spectacle: a wonderful table and beautifully painted figures.

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    1. Many thanks for your effusive praise of my meagre efforts.

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  4. Lovely to see this part of the collection on the table, especially the nellies! I am looking forwards to the new edition of Hail Caesar with their coverage expanding to cover WotR.

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    1. Thank you Norm. I'm looking forward to seeing how HC2 shapes up.

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  5. Nice to see Rome triumphant. Carthaginians like Successors are a hard army to field.

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    1. Couldn't get anything coordinated at any stage. A feeble showing.

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  6. Great looking game David. Its a credit to Hannibal that he could win with his army of diverse nations. In the wargaming firmament its so much harder. I dont know if thats because of the rules or the fact we dont understand how he did it, time and again. But then we've never really mastered the way the Republican army used their troops. Its a conundrum, and a great reason to stage another ancient battle dont you think.

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    1. Any excuse considered valid here in GHQ, but next up should be an AZW game as Chief Bykelezi M'tubi tries once more to record his first win.

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  7. A spectacular looking game Dave... nice to see the ancients out on the table. I would agree with the comments above, in that the Carthaginians make a wonderfully diverse and interesting army to collect and paint, but difficult to co-ordinate in the field. I've had limited success with mine so far playing ADLG or HC... but as we all know, winning or losing is only a small part of it! (Good job really in my case) ๐Ÿ˜… waiting to give tn new HC rules a go!

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    1. Thanks Paul! See you next week in Zululand!

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  8. Lovely looking game David ๐Ÿ‘

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    1. Thank you Matt! Your support is much appreciated.

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  9. Splendid looking game Mr.B. Probably your failure to sacrifice a small child (obviously not close family) must've offended the god's of dice.

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    1. Thanks Jon! The dice gods certainly were not on my side that's fact!

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