Friday, August 10, 2018

Battle of Geronium 217 BC at Historicon

I ran this game Saturday night with  To the Strongest rules by Simon Miller, and my Polybian Roman and Carthaginian armies. The scenario is loosely based on that in Glenn Pruitt's excellent scenario book for the Punic Wars, Hannibal ad Portas.  It is available as a pdf for only $6.

From the introduction to the scenario, "Cloudburst":

As time went by, the stinging losses of The Trebbia and Lake Trasimene began to slip from the minds of the Roman people. They became unhappy with the strategy of Fabius Maximus, and longed for news of success on the battlefield. The Master of the Horse, Minucius Rufus, believed that he could deliver a victory to the Romans. Fabius and Minucius each took control of one half of the army in the field. Minucius wasted little time in precipitating a general engagement  with Hannibal.

On the other side of the battlefield, Hannibal learned of the split in the Roman command, and sought to fight a battle with the hot headed Minucius on his own terms. By cover of night, Hannibal concealed a large ambush force in an area of ravines to the side of the intended battlefield. in the center was a small hill that commanded a view of the entire battlefield. A small Carthaginian force was sent out to take control of that hill by daybreak. 

The next morning, Minucius looked out from his camp and saw a pitifully small force on the hill, and decided to push them off of it. He swallowed the bait completely. As Minucius deployed his legions, Hannibal made ready to reinforce the Hill, and bring about a full scale battle. The Carthaginian ambush force was ready to spring at the proper time. And from a nearby mountaintop, Fabius Maximus peered down upon the entire scene.



Carthaginians. Left to Right:  (Bill - ambush, Romans unaware, not seen), Eric, Jeff, Brad, Brett, Greg.  I am in the background, getting a chair for Brad, even though it looks like I am pulling one out from under him, LOL!


Romans:, Right to Left  ? Phil, Ted, Dave, Nicholas (Lee - on mountain top, not seen), (Greg - likewise).


But here are Greg and Lee, playing the mountaintop forces of Fabius. 


The view from the mountaintop, which also captures the suspiciously troop less Bill (far right). 


Opening moves. In the interest of not having players sit around, I allowed Fabiu's troops to move, albeit in difficult terrain, starting on the second turn. They did so with surprising alacrity (just the right card draws). 


View from the Ravines. 


Overview of the battle, with the Romans trying to force a bunch of smelly Gauls (Jeff) off the hilltop. Smelly was literally accurate - not Jeff, mind you, but the odd trash Ammonia/garbage odor that pervaded this sector of the "Distelstink" ballroom. You got used to it after a while!


The action on the Roman Right. Fabius is closing quite rapidly - few Aces drawn for them!


Fighting around the Hilltop.


Closeup of same. 


The clash between the Carthaginian and Roman Cavalry on the Roman Left flank. 


AMBUSH!!!    Bill's command of Spanish emerges from the Ravine.


Back on the Carthaginian Left, the rapid arrival of Fabius' cavalry command threatening the Carthaginian Rear is making life tough for Hannibal's boys!


The situation isn't much better for the Romans on their Left, either, as the Ambush force advances... 


and Advances! Unfortunately for Carthage, the Roman heavy cavalry manages to evade the flank charges of the Spanish. 


More fighting on the Roman Left. 


Fabius' infantry and Cavalry are pressing the outflanked Carthaginians hard. 


Carthaginian Noble Cavalry charge Dave's pair of Ballistae. I included them for variety, and because I needed some points to pad out the Roman OOB. In previous games, these war engines have been all but worthless. Not so this time!  Their shooting actually picked off a couple of Light units, and in melee, these things were absolute Lions!  Dave couldn't tun anything but a 9 or a 10, and poor Greg couldn't turn anything above a 4! We decided that the engines were manned by Roman marines, who were\ eager to dispense with the artillery, and get in close with the gladius!


Indecisive fighting for the hilltop. Carthaginian Elephants, not actually present historically, but included for interest, might just as well have been omitted, accomplishing little on the day!


Brett's Libyan heavy infantry phalanxes engage the Romans, but they take a hit, and the General goes down with some of his men! 3 Victory medals lost that Carthage can ill afford. 


The situation on the Carthaginian Left continues to deteriorate. 


Brad moves his largely un-engaged command  of Libyans to try to bolster the crumbling Carthaginian Left...


but it is slow going!


Bill's ambush is making progress; perhaps he can threaten the Roman camps?


Hannibal himself intervenes to speed up the much needed infantry!


Battlefield overview from the Mountains; almost everyone is hotly engaged. 


The ambush makes more progress; it is down to the Triarii!



Greg's Noble Cavalry finally get a hit on one of the cursed Marin Ballistae - and it saves!

 
Disgusted (and also outflanked by the approaching Fabian Legions), The Carthaginian Nobles decide to attack a softer target... like Legionaries! 



With 0 he chips being decidedly down, and Bill's ambush pinning Ted;s infantry, Jeff's Gauls decide it is time for some wild and woolly charges off the Hills. 


Bills' Spaniards of the ambush force make progress.


Overview of the late stages of the battle.


Shortly thereafter, the Carthaginians lost their last Victory Medal, and and the laurels for the day went to the Romans. Fabius' intervention saved the day... as it did in history as well. Thanks to all who played. It was a hard fought battle, and everyone seemed to enjoy it... except perhaps for poor Greg, whose troops got outflanked fairly early by the Roman cavalry, and struggled to recover. He was a good sport about it, though!


The Battle of  Geronium, 217 BC


CARTHAGE


CMD
LATER Description
Save
Spec/Ammo
Pts
VM
1
Left Flank Cavalry -




1
General, Mounted, Detached - Gisgo
2+
Replay
5
2
1
Libyan/Phoenician Cavalry, Javelin, Veteran
6+
3
11
2
1
Libyan/Phoenician Cavalry, Javelin, Veteran
6+
3
11
2
1
Spanish Cavalry, Javelin
7+
2
9
2
1
Spanish Cavalry, Javelin
7+
2
9
2
1
Numidian Light Cavalry, Javelin, Veteran
6+
3
6
1
1
Numidian Light Cavalry, Javelin, Veteran
6+
3
6
1


CMD
Description
Save
Spec/Ammo
Pts
VM
2
Infantry Group A Left Center




2
General, attached -  Hanno
2+
Replay
4
2
2
Libyan Spearmen, Deep, Veteran
6+

9
2
2
Libyan Spearmen, Deep, Veteran
6+

9
2
2
Balearic Slingers, Lt Inf, Sling, Veteran
7+
3
5
1
2
Balearic Slingers, Lt Inf, Sling, Veteran
7+
3
5
1
2
African Javelinmen, Lt Inf, Javelin
7+
3
4
1
2
African Javelinmen, Lt Inf, Javelin
7+
3
4
1
2
African Elephant
7+
Shock, Spec vs Cavalry, Rampage
6
1




CMD
Description
Save
Spec/Ammo
Pts
VM
3
Infantry Group B - Mago  “Bait”




3
General, attached, Heroic
3+
Replay
5
2
3
Gallic Warriors - Deep, Veteran
6+
Hero
14
3
3
Gallic Warriors - Deep
7+
Hero
11
3
3
Gallic Warriors - Deep
7+
Hero
11
3
3
Javelinmen, Lt Inf, Javelin
7+
3
4
1
3
Javelinmen, Lt Inf, Javelin
7+
3
4
1


CMD
Description
Save
Spec/Ammo
Pts
VM
4
Infantry Group C - Maharbal  “Ambush”




4
General, detached, Heroic -
3+
Replay
6
2
4
Spanish Scutarii, Javelin, Veteran
6+
2 + pila
9
2
4
Spanish Scutarii, Javelin, Veteran
6+
2 + pila
9
2
4
Spanish Scutarii, Javelin, Veteran
6+
2 + pila
9
2
4
Spanish Javelinmen, Lt Inf, Javelin
7+
3
4
1
4
Spanish Javelinmen, Lt Inf, Javelin
7+
3
4
1
4
Spanish Javelinmen, Lt Inf, Javelin
7+
3
4
1


CMD
Description
Save
Spec/Ammo
Pts
VM
C
Commander in Chief - Hannibal Barca




C
General, Senior, Detached, Heroic, Brilliant
3+
Replay, Mv 3
12
2




CMD
Description
Save
Spec/Ammo
Pts
VM
5
Infantry Group D  Right Center




5
General, attached - Hamilcar
2+
Replay
4
2
5
Libyan Spearmen, Deep, Veteran
6+

9
2
5
Libyan Spearmen, Deep, Veteran
6+

9
2
5
Balearic Slingers, Lt Inf, Sling, Veteran
7+
3
5
1
5
Balearic Slingers, Lt Inf, Sling, Veteran
7+
3
5
1
5
African Javelinmen, Lt Inf, Javelin
7+
3
4
1
5
African Javelinmen, Lt Inf, Javelin
7+
3
4
1
5
African Elephant
7+
Shock, Spec vs Cavalry, Rampage
6
1


CMD
Description
Save
Spec/Ammo
Pts
VM
6
Right Flank Cavalry - Hasdrubal Barca




6
General, Mounted, Detached
2+
Replay
5
2
6
Libyan/Phoenician Cavalry, Javelin, Veteran
6+
3
11
2
6
Libyan/Phoenician Cavalry, Javelin, Veteran
6+
3
11
2
6
Gallic Cavalry, Javelin
7+
2
9
2
6
Gallic Cavalry, Javelin
7+
2
9
2
6
Numidian Light Cavalry, Javelin, Veteran
6+
3
6
1
6
Numidian Light Cavalry, Javelin, Veteran
6+
3
6
1


72 total = 24 VM


Battle of  Geronium, 217 BC


POLYBIAN ROMANS


CMD
Description
Save
Spec/Ammo
Pts
VM
1
Left Flank Cavalry - Marcus Atilius Regulus




1
General, Mtd, Detached, Heroic
3+
Replay
7
2
1
Cavalry, Javelin
7+
2
9
2
1
Cavalry, Javelin
7+
2
9
2
1
Light Cavalry, Javelin
7+
2
5
1
1
Light Cavalry, Javelin
7+
2
5
1
1
Light Cavalry, Javelin
7+
2
5
1

CMD
Description
Save
Spec/Ammo
Pts
VM
2
Legio I et II - Gnaeus Servilius Geminus




2
General, Mtd, Detached
2+
Replay
6
2
2
Legionaries Special Legio I
6/5+
Pila, exchng
12
2
2
Legionaries Special Legio II
6/5+
Pila, exchng
12
2
2
Triarii, Legio I et II - Hoplites, small, veteran
5=
exchng
5
1
2
Velites - Light Infantry, Javelin
7+
3
4
1
2
Velites - Light Infantry, Javelin
7+
3
4
1
2
Velites - Light Infantry, Javelin
7+
3
4
1
2
Slingers - Light Infantry, sling
8+
2
4
1
2
Cretan Archers - LI Bow, veteran
7+
3
5
1




CMD
Description
Save
Spec/Ammo
Pts
VM
3
Legio III et IV - Lucius Aemelius Paulus




3
General, Mtd, Detached
2+
Replay
6
2
3
Legionaries Special Legio III
6/5+
Pila, exchng
12
2
3
Legionaries Special Legio IV
6/5+
Pila, exchng
12
2
3
Triarii, Legio III et IV - Hoplites, small, veteran
5=
exchng
5
1
3
Velites - Light Infantry, Javelin
7+
3
4
1
3
Velites - Light Infantry, Javelin
7+
3
4
1
3
Velites - Light Infantry, Javelin
7+
3
4
1
3
Velites - Light Infantry, Javelin
7+
3
4
1
3
Ballistarii - Artillery
7+
6
7
1

CMD
Description
Save
Spec/Ammo
Pts
VM
4
Legio V, VI, VII, VIII - Quintius Fabius Maximus




4
General, Mtd, Detached
2+
Replay
6
2
4
Legionaries Special Legio V
6/5+
Pila, exchng
12
2
4
Legionaries Special Legio VI
6/5+
Pila, exchng
12
2
4
Triarii, Legio V et VI - Hoplites, small, veteran
5=
exchng
5
1
4
Legionaries Special Legio VII
6/5+
Pila, exchng
12
2
4
Legionaries Special Legio VIII
6/5+
Pila, exchng
12
2
4
Triarii, Legio VII et VIII - Hoplites, small, veteran
5=
exchng
5
1
4
Velites - Light Infantry, Javelin
7+
3
4
1
4
Velites - Light Infantry, Javelin
7+
3
4
1




CMD
Description
Save
Spec/Ammo
Pts
VM
5
Legio IX et X - Sempronius Longus




5
General, Mtd, Detached
2+
Replay
6
2
5
Legionaries Special Legio IX
6/5+
Pila, exchng
12
2
5
Legionaries Special Legio X
6/5+
Pila, exchng
12
2
5
Triarii, Legio iX et X - Hoplites, small, veteran
5=
exchng
5
1
5
Velites - Light Infantry, Javelin
7+
3
4
1
5
Velites - Light Infantry, Javelin
7+
3
4
1
5
Velites - Light Infantry, Javelin
7+
3
4
1
5
Slingers - Light Infantry, sling
8+
2
4
1
5
Cretan Archers - LI Bow, veteran
7+
3
5
1


CMD
Description
Save
Spec/Ammo
Pts
VM
6
Right Flank Cavalry- Gaius Terrentus Varro




6
General, Mtd, Detached, Heroic
3+
Replay
7
2
6
Cavalry, Javelin
7+
2
9
2
6
Cavalry, Javelin
7+
2
9
2
6
Light Cavalry, Javelin
7+
2
5
1
6
Light Cavalry, Javelin
7+
2
5
1
6
Light Cavalry, Javelin
7+
2
5
1


69 = 23 VM

18 comments:

  1. Fantastic game, Peter!

    I look forward to my initial playing of TtS this weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent! Who's hosting and where? What armies?
      I can send you a copy of my summary sheet for TTS; IMHO much clearer and easier to use than the original, although it now needs some updating for "Even Stronger", version 5 (updatyed rules changes pending the 2nd edition, probably sometime late in 2019).

      Delete
    2. Peter, Scott is hosting Chaeronea 338 BC at his home in Coeur d'Alene, ID.
      Macedonians vs Greeks.

      If you have QRS' to share, by all means, send me a copy!

      Delete
  2. TtS always gives a great game, our local group loves it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, and that is half the reason I run TTS! games at Historicon; to expose more people to these fine rules!

      Delete
  3. The AAR serves as a great endorsement of TTS. We still have to play our first game, but I feel as though we may be getting close!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Time to get the lead out, Lawrence! :-)

      I am curious to see how Jon's Baptism with TTS! goes. Itv looks like the 2nd edition will include the Renaissance, probably through the French Wars of Religion.

      Delete
  4. Great looking game of Tts ,great looking figures and nice to see your new hills in action! I didn't realise that it would run up to the French wars of Religion, the draft Italian wars are only a few pages at the moment but interesting changes to the main rules.
    Best Iain

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Iain. I used the new hills in all three games, although the table they were on in the Campaign game saw no fighting, just maneuver. I think I am correct in stating the Wars of Religion (circa 1562 1598), but that might be later than Simon has in mind. Of course, nothing much would keep you from going that late yourself anyway! Many of the Italian Wars mods are in part from For K&P, and many of the changes there will likely make their way into the 2nd edition as a whole.

      Delete
  5. Looks great Peter! Hopefully I'll be over next year, I'm trying to get my head around it when I get back from my hols. Current plan is to run the v2 rules up to 1600.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be excellent; it would influence my planning for painting and games to run for sure!
      We chose 1600 as well, and likely for the same reason - past that point integrated units of pike and shot were becoming the dominant type of infantry, and non gunpowder missile weapons have largely disappeared from use in Europe.

      Delete
  6. What a great write-up! I have been enjoying "To the Strongest!" as well, and I introduced them to my group this weekend. They were a hit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Simon did a great job with these rules, and the 2nd edition promises to improve further upon them. I have yet to have anyone dislike the rules, even if it might not be their first choice.

      Delete
    2. Too, too kind. I've been doing some work on v2- I have some promising new mechanism up my sleeve!

      Delete
    3. I look forward to them, as well as giving my Great Italian Wars troops a go with TTS!

      Delete
  7. Hi Peter, What an amazing looking game! I can see you put a lot of work into organising that but it really looks great. TTS has become a real favourite of mine too - it's a great set of rules and perfect for running large games with at shows.
    Best wishes,
    Jason

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jason. It's also great when you want a one on one or two on two game and want to be able to play to a conclusion ion an afternoon or evening. This was my 4th year running at least one game with TTS at Historicon, and it won't be my last!

      Delete