Another game where I was only observer. Troops deployed were same as in previous one, but this time Romans had apparent plan to deploy medium and light cavalry against elephants in the Carthaginian left flank (and draw some Gauls with them) and let the legions do heavy lifting in the middle. Roman army therefore consisted of:3x FP, M:5, VBU:6, I:1, VD:3, Pilum 2x S, M:8, VBU:3, I:0, VD:1, Javelin 1x CL, M:12, VBU:3, I:1, VD:1, Javelin (Numidian Light Cavalry) 2x CM, M:10, VBU:4, I:1, VD:3
Carthage on the other side adopted the so far well established army. Boosted light cavalry, less skirmishers, Italian allies and Hannibal veterans. Mixed bag, couple of strong points, few weak ones and increased mobility:1x FP, M:5, VBU:6, I:1, VD:3 (Hannibal veterans) 1x FP, M:5, VBU:4, I:1, VD:3 (Italian Allies) 2x FL, M:8, VBU:4, I:4, VD:1, Impetuous (Gauls) 1x S, M:8, VBU: 2, I:1, VD:1, Javelin 2x CL, M:12, VBU: 4, I:1, VD:2, Javelin (Spanish Light Cavalry) 1x CM, M:10, VBU:5, I:1, VD:1 1x EL, M:8, VBU:4, I:4, VD:1
Deployment was somewhat predictable. Cavalry on the right, elephants on the left flank, centre formed with Hannibal veterans and Italian allies. Instead of normal use of Gauls as large unit, Carthage deployed them as single units.
First turns brought up devastating event for Carthaginian light cavalry. Both units were wiped out in succession by Roman medium cavalry prior inflicting any casualties to the enemy.
Additionally, for Romans, the hill and surroundings caused a bit of traffic jam (impassable obstacle indicated by cluster of woods). Reasoning was probably to anchor the flank to the terrain, not to be overrun by the light cavalry.
It was very tense and entertaining game. At first, after the rout of Carthaginian Light Cavalry, it seemed certain that Rome would hold the field, but fortunes turned quickly by some mistakes by Rome. Carthaginians were able to exploit the little traffic jam Roman legions found themselves in, but could not bring sufficient numbers to beat the legions solidly. At the end, Romans managed to push game to draw with desperate action.
Afterthought: Since deployment order gives significant advantage, we thought that in future deployments should be alternate, and based on VD value of a unit. First one deploys unit with VD of X, second must deploy at least same VD worth of units, before first player deploys another unit.