Tuesday 17 December 2019

Carthage vs. the Iberians

Carthage vs. the Carpetani (220 BC)
Following the death of Hasdrubal in 221 BC, Hannibal took command of the Carthaginian army in Hispania and in a series of campaigns along the Ebro and in the west defeated a number of Iberian tribes, among them, the Vaccaei and the Carpetani. This provided the historical backdrop to further experiment with the large command of 24 elements using one die for pip scores.

Game one.
The Vaccaei had abandoned the village to established a defensive line on either side of a steep hill not far away. Hannibal proceeded to move against the enemy left using his Carthaginian infantry, Gallic mercenaries and the elephant corps while skirmishing against its right wing with his light troops. Unfortunately, the Vaccaei were not of like mind and launched an aggressive right hook catching the Carthaginians flat-footed. The rapidity of the assault quickly eliminated the Carthaginian screen setting the Gallic cavalry scrambling for cover. The Vaccaei left wing proved tenacious against Carthaginian infantry and elephants. Sweeping down off the slopes of the hill were more Vaccaei forcing Hannibal to break of the battle. In five turns, the Vaccaei scored an 8 - 2 victory.

Game two.
Unvexed by a minor setback, Hannibal continued his campaign finding the Vaccaei and Carpetani in battle formation between hills and wood. Tempering his eagerness for a quick victory, Hannibal devised a plan to utilise Mago’s cavalry wing.

As expected, the forest edge was brimming with enemy while the enemy centre edged forward. The Carthaginian held their position giving Mago time to execute his planned manoeuvre. Anticipating an attack on their rear, the Carpetani were ready to engage the Punic and Numidian cavalry.

Seeing little movement of the enemy centre, the Vaccaei launched an assault against the hill position to their left, from there they could attack the Carthaginians in the flank. This move proved difficult as the Carthaginians stubbornly held their ground despite being attacked by twice their number.  

A foreboding sense of doom settled on the ranks of the Vaccaei and Carpetani as trumpets were heard further to their rear. This was the awaited signal from Mago at which Hannibal launched his centre against the enemy line. Caught front and rear, the Vaccaei and Carpetani broke and fled the field losing nearly half their number. A clear Carthaginian victory, 10 – 2.  

By Alcides Pinto - Based on the map done by Portuguese Archeologist Luís Fraga, from the "Campo Arqueológico de Tavira". The reference map can be found at this location [1]., GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10271416

No comments:

Post a Comment