Later Carthaginians v Hellenistic Greeks

Posted on January 11, 2011


“Bilious” commanded II/32 Later Carthaginians v II/31 Hellenistic Greeks (Boeotian b) under the command of “Angry” Anderson.

LateCarts foreground are aggressors, deploying on a wide front, against HellGreeks defending a compact front.

Late carts
The LateCarts fielded a 2xEl 3xWb combo, on a ground dominated by gentle hills offering the best terrain to their opponents. “Bilious” positioned with Ellies front and center, well-protected by Sp. His fast foot and LH were also to his left, his Wb to his right. His CvGen was the reserve, tucked in beside the El.

Hell Greeks
“Angry” being defender positioned his army very compactly. The phalanx was placed centrally but able to extend to the hills on either side, while the fast foot were positioned ready to use the hill on Angry’s left and possibly out-flank slower foot. He retained his CvGen and LH as reserve.

Early stages: both lead with the left
The early stages of the battle saw Angry pushing his fast foot well forward, only to pull them back onto the heights as he realised that Bilious was also pushing his own left in an attempt to attack the phalanx’s flank.

Turn 1: LateCarts advance across their front, HellGreek fast foot go left

In turn 1 Bilious rolled just enough to start moving forward and wasted no time! The entire LateCarts line rolled forward. It must have been an imposing sight from the HellGreek lines! In reply Angry shimmied his fast foot (Ax supported by Ps) up toward the ridgeline of the gentle hill nearest them. This (so I supposed) would give him a nice safe platform to mask off or contain the Wb group heading their way.

Turn 2: LateCarts sent their left hooking around while HellGreeks advance left boldly

In Turn 2, Bilious used his superior overlap, on his left in particular, though found his combination of left-wing troops a little unhandy. A veteran HOTT player, Bilious was perhaps struggling to get to grips with Ps and LH utility. Be that as it may, LH, Ps and Ax (from left to right) swung out to threaten a flank move on the HellGreek right!
In response, Angry began expanding his phalanx onto the hill – a bit of a gamble since they were single-ranked – but also boldly pushed his Ax-Ps group right over the hill to occupy the road running before it. I suspect this was a case of sticking with a plan after events have made it redundant, because it was already clear that his General would need to deal with the threat to his right, not exploit the enemy right. I had expected the Ax to line up on the hill with one Ps in support while the other headed right, so this was a surprise move for me (as neutral ref I hasten to add!) Finally, having ensured he had kept command distance for the latter move, Angry moved his General right to support his threatened right flank.

Turn 3: LateCarts swing entire line, HellGreek Sp deploys to line and reserve commits right.

In Turn 3, Bilious, seeing the enemy General responding to his leftward probe, swung his entire main line in an extended right-wheel: meaning that his Wb marked time and his Sp more or less came into line with his left-wing group. The exception was his General, which split away so as to reinforce the left, but hesitantly. Wheeling a long line is a ponderous business and I could see no real reason for it. If anything, would it not have been better to just keep rolling forward?
Angry’s response was conservative – his pips were low – as he concentrated on getting his reserve across to his right. Since the Wb were near-stationary he could afford to leave his Ax-Ps group overexposed.

Middle stages: the lines clash
In Turns 4 and 5, Angry’s reserve committing right changed the overlap Bilious had achieved initially to a counter-overlap that began rolling up the LateCart left. Here, the expense of shifting Ellies forward really bit deep as Bilious never seemed to have quite enough pips to either withdraw or attempt to wrest the initiative from Angry. Having said that, the waste of pips involved in the right wheel (Turn 3 above) and the left wheel to straighten up again, should not be overlooked.

Turn 4: Late Carts wheel line back again. HellGreek left withdraws, reserve LH outflanks right.

Turn 4: this is probably where Bilious should have pulled his left back, having drawn the HellGreek reserve that way. Instead, perhaps having realised an error, Bilious also wheeled the entire line back again. His General was still slowly making his way over to the right – at around half speed – so would be of no help either way.
Angry had his reserve perfectly placed so that his General joined the line and his LH swung round to overlap the LateCarts LH. He had spare pips (he rolled a 6) so pulled his Ax and Ps back up to where they should have stopped back in Turn 2.

Turn 5:
A vicious and decisive battle developed around the HellGreeks’ right. The LateCart fast foot-LH group were thoroughly outclassed by a Pike-and-Mounted combination advancing from the hill on the HellGreek right.

Turn 5: LateCarts CvGen nears his left. HellGreeks attack enemy left.

In Turn 5, the inevitable occurred and Bilious rolled a solitary pip. This did at least get his CvGen moving at slightly more than half speed. I’m still not sure if he was reluctant to risk his General or lose touch with his right.
Either way, when Angry rolled a decent pip roll his right, reinforced by CvGen and LH, pounced on the LateCart left and began rolling it up. Chaaarrge! exit the Moorish LH. Single-ranked Pk vs Ps and Ax was a more even contest and the Late Carts clung on… for the time being. The detail of combat follows:

Close-up of the HellGreek right's charge in Turn 5, all bad news for the LateCart LH

LateCart LH trapped in a 1:4+flanked match but Ps holds on in a 1:3 defence.

Final stages: gambling and losing
Realising the momentum was shifting to the mounted threatening his entire left, Bilious desperately shored up the left while pushing his line boldly forward. Sadly the odds were too great and HellGreeks claimed the honours.

In Turn 6, Bilious had by this time realised how over-committed and outclassed his left was, and attempted to get Sp and CvGen into the line. He shifted his line forward again, supporting his Ax by gaining corner-to-corner contact on the Pk. However, his CvGen was unable to squeeze in usefully. Possibly with an extra pip the Wb may have extended their ranks but that was not to be. The only combat in the turn was on the LateCart left. In their own turn their Ps fled…

Turn 6 1st bound: LateCarts push forward but left continues to crumble: Ps flees.

…and even the result that went their way actually worked against them – the Pk recoiled leaving a nice Pk-shaped space for the remaining element.

Turn 6 2nd bound: HellGreeks continue assaulting the LateCart left.

The HellGreeks rolled a minimal pip roll, moving the Pk into double-ranked engagement with the LateCart Ax, and flanking with the LH, thus allowing their CvGen to be screened from any risk…

Turn 6 HellGreek combat outcome: the Ax are slaughtered but the LateCart CvGen has a clear shot at the LH.

…and then in combat, cleared out the Ax. All that remained of the LateCart left was a Ps (off-screen, having fled through the woods) and the CvGen.

In Turn 7, Bilious decided to check out in a blaze of glory. However, his pips were not quite generous enough. It would have been good to see the ellies charge home, but in fact the double-wheel of the line had resulted in a LateCart overlap on their right, but no direct matchup for the ellies. The Sp+Wb advanced boldly up the gentle hill in front of them to tackle Ax with Ps support, achieving overlap both sides.

Turn 7: LateCarts assault the HellGreek left...

However, the overlap on its own was not decisive, and luck favoured the uphill side as it so often does.

Turn 7: Wb (supported) are doubled and there is not even a token win the other way.

HellGreeks bt Late Carts 4-0.

Posted in: Battle Reports