Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Gelem Minor 483 BC - Syracuse and Carthage meet again

Stephen brought along his ancients for a nice big game of Hail Caesar, and Martin joined us in pushing the chaps about.  I'd run up army lists for both sides, but Ste had been at the army lists  (shudder!) and so asked if it was ok to use his own list.  I said this would be fine, as I'd no way to know the value of either side, and of course there is no such thing as an evenly matched battle in real life!

We deployed by map as is my preference.  Well I drew a map, and Martin and Ste deployed first to table; same result.

I deployed a strong centre of deeply arrayed hoplites, with a small reserve on my left flank behind a wooded hill.  To my right I deployed my lighter tribal peltasts behind a farm and vineyard on another hill.  The plain between these two sites was destined to be the main field of battle.

Facing me the Carthaginians fielded a small cavalry force on their right, a thinner centre of mercenary hoplites and African infantry, and a heavy left hook of Celtic warriors:

I won the initiative, and feeling outnumbered decided I needed to anchor my flanks and push forward in the centre, my skirmishers were keen to get the job done.  My enemies found themselves with unwilling Celts stalling on their left, as did their cavalry.  Only their centre would advance slowly:

The Sicel peltasts occupied the vineyards, whilst the Elymians swept as far right as possible drawing some of the Celts off.  However in the centre the Carthaginians came on in force driving my psoiloi back.

As some of my hoplites had yet to advance this far the Africans smashed into my lead Syracusan troops; outnumbering them five to one.

A rare shot from behind enemy lines!  Never doubt the power of the phalanx; my Greeks held against theirs, despite the numbers thrown against them.  Allowing my second line to roll up in support.

Soon a vast clash of arms was under way:

Meanwhile in the vineyards the Celts had run the Elymians out of town, but the Sicels doggedly held their ground and the Celtic warriors now realised they were spread out at some distance from the real battle.  On the Greek left the African cavalry were making slow progress outflanking the reserve.

The grinding match in the centre only slowly began to swing in favour of the Greeks, but our denser formation and close fighting tactics allowed us to hold position and slowly wear the Carthaginians down.

The Celts began to push the Sicels back and briefly threatened the Greek flank.  But timing was not in the favour...

By the time they arrived, enough damage had been to the Africans that there were Greeks available to face the Celts.  The initial charge was weathered, and the Celts fell back in disorder.

As night fell, the Greeks had broken the centre of the Carthaginians, and though the Celts were threatening the flank, skirmishers were containing them to the vineyards.  And the African cavalry had achieved nothing


Carthage had to quit the field, whilst the Greeks stood triumphant.  As stated, I've no idea whether I had more or less points, but it still seemed a balanced and close fought game.

1 comment:

  1. Great batrep and good photography. I am so missing out by not having an ancients group in my area.