giovedì 9 febbraio 2012

Julian's light infantry and bowmen

Other small but very important additions to the Roman army at Strasbourg.
I have painted some light infantry units; in the battle line, they were deployed at the left wing of the Roman army, in front of the woods occupied by the Alamans.
All models are from Miniart.
I also painted some units of bowmen, who were deployed behind the heavy infantry first line in order to hit the incoming Alamannic hordes.
This time the most part of the models are from the relatively new Italeri set dedicated to the Late Imperial Legion (nr. 6137), a very nice set indeed.

martedì 7 febbraio 2012

Romans vs Carthaginians

A couple of days ago another test for my new improvements to the rules with Gianni.
This time the focus was on the manipular tactic, so the choice was almost mandatory: Romans against Carthaginians!
The composition of the armies was quite typical: medium iberian infantry, gallic warbands, heavy african phalanx and lots of medium and light cavalry for the Carthaginian, massive heavy legionary infantry, few medium cavalry and some light cavalry for the Roman.

Carthaginian army
Roman army

The deployment of the armies was also quite traditional: the Carthaginian general placed the Iberians and the Celts slightly forward, in order to get the first strike, and he left the phalanx just behind for the second hit; the medium cavalry was massed on the left, skirmishers and light cavalry on the right, near the small hill (Carthaginians left in following picture).
The Roman general followed the same tactical concept and placed the two lines of legionary infantry (hastati and principes) in the centre, and cavarly and skirmishers at the wings in order to face their african counterparts (Romans right in picture).

The battle began with the African cavalry charging the Roman medium cavalry, the latter heavily outnumbered.
Near the hill, the opposite skirmisher began to fight each other, while the Carthaginian light cavalry decided to move toward the opposite wing, in order to support the medium cavalry.

In the centre, the first line of the legions moved against the Iberians and the Gauls and, after a short while, the clash happened; the first contact was balanced, with the barbarian heat causing some problem to the Roman first line.

At the left wing of Roman army, the Roman cavalry was very soon disbanded and routed by the Iberian, African and Celtic cavalry.

While the Carthaginian cavalry tried to regroup after the victorous battle, in the centre the legions began to do their job: the maniples in the second line rushed in battle one by one and for the Iberian and the Celts there was no escape and they began to retreat.

The Carthaginian phalanx moved against the Roman lines, in order to avoid the total collapse of the centre in the hope of a quick arrival of the victorious cavarly against the back of the roman lines.

For a short while, the phalanx tried also to extend its front in order to avoid surrounding, but in the very centre the Iberians and the Celts didn't resist anymore, so the legions were able to pivot to their left and to attack the flank of the phalanx.

This was the end of the phalanx and of the battle.
Oppositely to what normally happened in the first part of the Second Punic War, here the Romans were able to break the centre of the Carthaginian army before the returning in the field of the African cavalry.
As you can see in picture, the cavarly was very near to arrive, but just a bit too late ...

Another very balanced battle, with the Romans that won but not without fear; they lost some important units (the whole cavalry and some legionary units) and the Carthaginian too was very near to win.

During the battle, the balance of the rules concerning the manipular support has been a matter of debate between Gianni and me; probably I will slightly modify the rules in order to make less effective the support of the second roman line.
But the system is working very well: now deploying an army in two lines makes sense!