Engagement of Bitter Enemies

Previously I thought of armies that would be considerable different to test them out in full Impetus. Obviously, since I do like Basic Impetus a lot, I had to give them a go. I used the stats of the full game, but resorted to the BI move system. Additionally I did elect to use the advanced Impetus rule that gives bonus from the protected flanks (quite important due to few reasons).  First Bitter Enemies Battle - 4 First Bitter Enemies Battle - 3Both sides had two commands. Romans had a very brittle cavalry wing which needed to pick a fight against the Carthaginian very strong one. Setup was quick, Carthaginians were on defensive with deep center, right flank was covered by Iberians and left by the cavalry wing. Obvious weakness was the total width of the strong center, especially once the Gauls set off. First Bitter Enemies Battle - 1First Bitter Enemies Battle - 2Romans could then pretty much place themselves to excellent attack posture. I decided to set the raw legions in deep to match the opposing deep formations. Being similar to hoplites, they would provide some staying power in the coming engagement, or so I hoped. Regular legions were then to take the wings, Principes at the edges to cover the eventual flanking maneuver that I was sure carthage would attempt. Cavalry and archers were to match their opposing numbers. Principal task for this insufficient force was to delay the inevitable for as long as possible.First Bitter Enemies Battle - 5 First Bitter Enemies Battle - 6Battle had theree distinct phases. First the cavalry battle, closely followed by skirmishing along the approaching lines and then the final clash of the heavy infantry. Once lines were drawn up, skirmishers and cavalry were sent forwards followed by the heavy infantry. Carthage had firm intention to rid the Romans their supporting Italian Greeks – and seriously, what is wrong with Greeks? They fled at the first sight of trouble. Both of them were VBU 5 and they behaved same as every Equites before them…First Bitter Enemies Battle - 7 First Bitter Enemies Battle - 8Even though the cavalry battle was conclusive and Carthaginian cavalry did not suffer a single hit in the whole affair, it drew the Carthaginians further afield and bought time for the legions. Certainly a drawback for Romans, but considering the whole, their loss did not seriously impair Roman legions. Archers did what they were sent to do and Carthaginian elephants were rendered useless.First Bitter Enemies Battle - 11 First Bitter Enemies Battle - 12Now it was the turn of the Legions to move in and general melee ensued – a bit surprisingly, it was initiated by Carthage, seeing the potential turning of flanks after the Gallic onslaught had failed to punch a hole in the line.  Below some highlights of the ensuing melee that only really took several turns.First Bitter Enemies Battle - 13 First Bitter Enemies Battle - 14First Bitter Enemies Battle - 15 First Bitter Enemies Battle - 16 First Bitter Enemies Battle - 17 Numerically inferior force entered into combat with much superior legions, a mistake that cost Carthage the game. Should Carthage adopt delaying tactic and retreating in decent order, the cavalry could have provided invaluable assistance, and help to eliminate, or at least severely weaken some of the legions.First Bitter Enemies Battle - 18 First Bitter Enemies Battle - 19 First Bitter Enemies Battle - 20

It was not to be Carthaginian victory this time, Roman legions held the line, and pushed the onslaught of hoplites back. Together with Iberian disaster, the outcome was set.  Of course the Iberians were doing precisely what they should not have done. On that point, the Gauls are too uncontrollable and their loss did shorten the Carthaginian line too much.First Bitter Enemies Battle - 21 First Bitter Enemies Battle - 22 First Bitter Enemies Battle - 23It was yet another interesting game though. I think that I have finally figured out how Republican forces are to be used. Perhaps the greatest lesson was that the Romans really need a good skirmish cover. Cavalry may serve purpose of a speed bump but should not entertain high hopes for anything more substantial. In that light, I think the BI Syracuse list is about right, the cavalry contingent is relatively minor player, while in Roman list the Equites cost is 6 pts out of 10 break point total.

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3 Responses to Engagement of Bitter Enemies

  1. Thank you for this report. The pictures are very evocative and the two armies look splendid.

    • Tichy says:

      Thanks. The skirmish and following mass engagement of the lines did look quite nice on the tabletop. Not sure if it was all that realistic (up to certain extend of course) but I like think so. It certainly had really tense moments, especially when Italiolite cavalry was defeated in detail.

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