Sunday, October 30, 2011

campaign ended

This campaign ended some months ago, with a general consensus that it was a Gallic victory.

Congratulations to the winner, and thanks to all who took part!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

a quick follow-up

Spain passes and, upon being invaded by Gaul, promptly surrenders. Spain is now a tributary of Gaul, instead of Carthage. As we wait for Rome's move, here's a new map.

The crosshatching was a bit onerous with my drawing program, so now the outline colour of a capitol will indicate its status as a tributary, in the same way that the outline colour of non-capitol provinces indicate original ownership (which is important for terrain type).

Friday, June 3, 2011

a stunning victory for the underdog

A few snaps will be added later, but a truly amazing result from the rather one-sided defense of Messina.

The Syracusans found a marshy river along the coast to site their tiny army (3 x 4Sp) and the mighty host of Carthage advanced, confident of victory. They demonstrated on one flank and then the other with LH and Cv, while the rest of their army plodded through the sloppy swamps to come up and run through the undefended middle of the Siciliot line.

The LH declined to even engage, simply shadowing the one Sp facing their crossing. The Carthaginian general and his mounted groups, certain that the puny enemy would flee before them, splashed into the shallows of the curiously named River Styx. Several charges failed to win them the opposite bank, but they pressed on, knowing that the enemy could do little to harm them.

The Syrcusans, though, following trumpet commands from their command staff (comfortably situated on the ramparts of their temporary camp), charged across the river themselves, taking the Punic cavalry by surprise. Driving them backward, the Greco-Italians profited from the advance, unobserved by the Carthaginian general, of his own phalanx of hoplites. Caught between the unexpectedly pugnacious Syracusans and the march column of his heavy foot, the general and his Companion cavalry were dismayed, overthrown, and dispersed, leading to a precipatate retreat by the Punic army.

[1G-0 win by Syracuse, outnumbered 11 to 3. Carthage loses 1 Cav plus two other elements and retreats to Agrigentum. Syracuse retains Messina and gains 3 Prestige.]

Friday, May 20, 2011

a new map for a new season

Here's a new map for Autumn, 210.

It being 210, Carthage has the first go.

Friday, May 6, 2011

the end of the summer (of 210): Syracuse v. Bruttia

With the waves gently lapping behind them, the leading officers of the Syrcusan army drank their morning wine and pondered their situation.

Having brought their army by sea to a deserted cove, far from the haunts of men, where they could land and stage a surprise march on the rear of the army of the Bruttian occupiers, they found the Bruttians had followed them all the way. Spies (or coastwatchers) had betrayed their movement, and as they had begun unlaoding their war machines from their ships and forming their phalanx, scouts had returned to report no sign of their Gallic allies (who were supposed to be landing nearby), but instead signs that the Bruttian army was mustering in force in the further forest beyond these near woods.

"Why did we pick such a deserted spot to land?" asked Syntagmatarchis Periander. "We cannot properly deploy the phalanx until we get past these trees here, and the scouts say there are more woods beyond the open fields, with hills off to our south. The ground might almost have been picked by the enemy for their lightweight army of skirmishers." He spat some bitter lees into the bushes and held his cup out to a lochias for more wine.

"The damn pilots said it was the most sheltered landing place on the coast," replied Tagmatarchis Eetion, "and the Tyrant wanted to surprise the enemy."

"Looks like he may be the one surprised," remarked Taxiarchos Psammetichus, munching a heel of bread. "He's gone out scouting with his hetairoi, with only the barbaroi and the psiloi in the woods for cover. I hope the scouts warned them about seeing the enemy so close."

The Tyrant of Syracuse had, in fact been warned by the scouts. So it was from a healthy distance that he watched the Bruttian army debouch from its marchign camp and begin to form up in the western woods. He turned from instructing a runner to urge all speed on the phalanx, and a glint of metal caught his eye. With horror, he noted a separate force marching towards his left, a large body of what appeared to be Spanish infantry. Quickly, he told another runner to follow the first and bear not only exhortations but threats of condign punishment for those officers who did not hasten to carry their taxies around the edge of the east wood and deploy into battle line quickly. Most of his army was sitting in its landing zone, probably blissfully unaware that the enemy were nearby in force, with allies streaming to their aid.

The Bruttian commander, Morgetes, chewed his lower lip. He had planned only to deploy in the forest and wait the onslaught of the Syracusans. But with their commander so isolated and only a few small units holding the east wood, it seemed too good an opportunity to pass up. If he could gather up his force and charge across the open ground, he could hold the forest near the enemy's camp and pin them against the shore, possibly isolating their commander and his guard at the same time. And with the Spanish already nearby and ready to support his right flank, what could go worng? He raised his arm and brought it swiftly downward, gesturing toward the waving pines fo the shore-forest. At a moment, thousands of Bruttian warriors, concealed among the trees, rose up and began flooding the grassland before him, racing toward the pines.

The Tyrant, horrified at the sudden movement of the Bruttian host, called out to his band of barbarian swordmen who had been stationed nearby to guard his flank. As his cavalry rode forward, the hairy men started their slow trot alongside. Hoping to disrupt the advance of the Bruttii, the Tyrant led a charge against their forward men, and the barbarians accellerated to a run, curling around the foe's exposed flank and crushing them against the rush of the Syracusan horse. As the Bruttian line firmed up, the moustache-wearers rushed heedlessly forward, looking for more trophies of war. The Tyrant, frowning at their impetuosity, cast a calculating eye on the advancing Spanish column and called for a messenger. "Tell the sword-bearers that they must fall back or they will be surrounded and overwhelmed," he said, "I have few enough men ready to fight the enemy; I must not lose those I have!"

The Bruttians pushed forward as the trousered men retired, chasing them with javelins and darts but unable to corner them and crush them. And Morgetes saw a new threat that worried him. The Syrcusan column was till no great danger, bogged down behind its bolt-throwers and torsion engines, which moved but slowly. However, beyond and to their right, he saw the dust cloud of mounted men, and soon saw Gallic cavalry and chariots approaching, sure allies of the enemy. He called away several bands of his warriros from the pursuit of the enemy light troops through the glades. He needed a line to meet the Gauls.

In among the pines, blood was flowing freely. The Syrcusans skirmishers, secure in the invulnerability their speed gave them, had grown overconfident. A sudden rush by a band of Bruttian warriors took them by surprise and most of them were killed or put to flight. But another band of warriors, pursuing too boldy the mercenary barbarians of Syracuse, found themselves ambushed and cut to piece by the long swords of the hairy ones. The confidence of the Bruttian army began to slip.

But the swordsmen of Spain, who had been painstakingly manuevering as the battle raged, now swung into action, and the battle began to turn in the defenders' favour. The Spanish, though foot and unprotected even by the length of spears, swarmed around the Syrcusan cavalry. Falling back swiftly, the Tyrant's hetairoi sought the shelter of their camp, or even the water's edge, where they could make a stand. But the Iberians were too fast for them; racing on stone-hardened feet, they lapped around the flank of the horsemens' formation and began pulling men off their horsemen. Those who went down were cut to a bloody mess, and after a mighty contest, one of the Spaniards was hoisted to his fellows' shoulders, swinging through the air the head of the Tyrant himself, still in its burnished bronze helmet with the scarlet horsehair crest.

On the other flank, things went well for Bruttia as well. Though forced back and forth by the first charge of the Gauls, the Bruttians managed to throw a band of swordsmen around the flank of the Gallic line and cut down a party of horsemen. The lime-washed, discomfited, pulled back to reform their line.

And now, the final blow to the invaders' pride came. The Spanish foot, flsuh with their victory over the cavalry, rushed the gates of the Syracusan camp. And the slaves and peasant bearers left behind to guard the impromptu fortress of bales and boxes fled, leaving the Hispaniard force to loot the wine casks and rich ornaments of the enemy generals and to exclaim over the strange Greek food waiting to be the Tyrant's supper of victory. One swordsman, cruel in humour, set the severed head of the Sicilian lord on his table, before it the rich plate and cups laden with the meal he would not taste.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Summer, 210 BC, Spanish turn

I believe this should be a correct representation of the Med following Carthage's victory at Agrigentum.