As it is not so easy to get the players for the Great Battles of History (GBoH) sometimes the best option is to play solitaire, trying to win against yourself! One of the greatest installments in this series is SPQR – battles of ancient Roman Republic. It allows you to re-play variety of engagements, and the latest Deluxe Edition covers all the expansions. As I acquired SPQR some time ago, it was already high time to get into this – and as for the scenario, I picked the one suggested by the designer – Bagradas Plains.
THE SCENARIO – Bagradas Plains (255 BC)
It is nearly end of the First Punic War. The Carthage is almost defeated – the Romans landed in North Africa! The Punic leaders being desperate hired a Spartan general, Xanthippus, who managed to actually organize the Carthaginian forces and plan for the best use of their assets.
And so the battle on the Plains of Bagradas River started – the Carthaginians initiated the battle with an attack by the elephants. That in result tied up the main force of Roman infantry which was quickly exploited by Punic cavalry (outnumbering the Roman counterparts eight-to-one). Legions had some luck on their left where they routed mercenary Celts, but once Carthaginian cavalry redressed their ranks and attacked form both flanks, the battle turned into slaughter. Only 2000 Romans managed to return to Italy.
Would history be changed and Romans manage to withstand tactically more able Carthaginians? Enjoy below photo-session report!
Well, that was an interesting experience and much needed learning exercise in GBoH. Elephants proved to be a powerful but brittle and unpredictable creatures. The role of cavalry cannot be emphasized more – that battle shows this clearly. Another learning is that even if you are winning and pushing back the enemy, you should not overextend your forces (remember, they momentum advance) as they can get caught in ugly counter-attack – see the Phalanx case.
All in all that was great fun and you can expect further reports soon!