The weekend before last I joined Mark B and friends to play this scenario on Vassal (plus Discord for banter). We had six players, so the commanders also controlled the central section. Nick volunteered to be a commander and drew the Romans, Mark taking command of the barbarians. Darryl was field general of the Roman left (i.e. Decius Mus) with Leslie taking the right. I had the barbarian left (Samnites) with 'Van der Bangla' on the right (Gauls).
The Samnites started the battle by advancing their Light foot to harass the front row of the Romans. Nick played a "Line Command" card that was pretty awesome in an EPIC context: almost the entire Roman army advanced and started forcing our Light troops back.
On the extreme left of the battlefield, Gaulish Auxilia moved forward. They were on the receiving end of a "Mounted Charge". This saw the first casualties of the battle: the Gauls lost an Auxilia, the Romans a Medium Cavalry. While the bulk of the Romans advanced again (another "Line Command"!). And the score's 1:1 after 9 turns.
The Gauls threw more troops into the fight on the left as a "Line Command" on our side brought the armies closer together in the centre. Missile fire removed a Roman Light foot that thought it could shelter in the woods. Barbarians 2:1 Romans.
More Roman cavalry came into the fight on the left and removed a Gaulish chariot and Warriors to give the Romans the lead (2:3). A "Double Time" in the Roman centre added to this as Medium and Heavy foot punched through the barbarian line, eliminating a Gaulish Auxilia (2:4). The Roman right bounced off the Samnites, but somehow still managed to kill a leader (2:5).
The Samnites smacked into the advancing Romans, eliminating three foot units and the Leader with them in revenge. On the left, a Gaulish Chariot took out the Roman Heavy cavalry, Decius Mus just escaping to join some Auxilia well to the rear. And the score swings the other way - Barbarians 7:5 Romans.
The Romans continued their advance left of centre, killing a Gaulish Auxilia, while the continuing fight on the left claimed a Gaulish chariot and a Leader. (7:
The Gauls finished off a Roman cavalry unit on the left while the Samnites pushed forward to remove a Roman Auxilia and reduce the Roman right to just the cavalry. (9:
Regrouping on both sides saw the Samnites hitting the Roman centre from in front and the right, removing a Medium foot and almost getting Fabius Maximus into the bargain. While the Romans finished off some Gaulish warriors on the left. (10:9)
With the Samnites and Romans in close combat across the centre, Mark played "Clash of Shields" plus a "Mounted Charge" for the Gauls on the left of the battlefield. The result was the demise of a Roman Heavy and three Medium foot units for the loss of a Gaulish Light foot (in a battle back as they got involved in the fight in the centre). The score went to 14:10, the barbarians seeming to have the upper hand.
The Romans came back with attacks across the battlefield. They took out the last Gaul in the centre section while the right-flank cavalry finally got into the fight and the Samnites lost their first troops (Auxilia and Medium). The score went to 14:13.
But the final move came from the barbarians, the Gauls eliminating Auxilia on the left and the Samnites a Medium foot in the centre to finish off Roman hopes - though a Samnite Heavy foot also fell in these last exchanges.
And that was 16:14 to the barbarians in a hard-fought, bloody battle that lasted just 20 turns and less than three hours (including intro).
I was intrigued that the Gauls made up the bulk of the barbarian casualties: 9 units and a leader to the Samnites 3 units and a leader. Clearly the bulk of the fighting was on the left and I suspect this is at least partly because the Gauls are a mixture of Auxilia, Chariots and Warriors.
I do enjoy the EPIC games, not least because of the interaction between the players, and this was no exception.