007 Cannae (216 BC)
Now, fully aware of the threat posed by Hannibal, the Romans assembled a truly large army, perhaps up to 80,000 strong, led by two consuls and two pro-consuls. Unfortunately, on the day of battle, the incompetent consul Varrus held command and determined to attack Hannibal, who had posted his army in a location that negated the Roman advantage in numbers – bluffs on one flank and the Aufidus river on the other. Undeterred, Varrus simply packed his legions one behind the other into the constricted area and launched the mass headlong at the Carthaginian center. They advanced into yet another trap. Hannibal had deployed his excellent cavalry and heavy infantry on the wings, leaving his medium infantry and Celt levies in the center. The Roman advance did indeed push the Carthaginian center back and inflict losses, but in the meantime the Carthaginian cavalry had routed the Roman cavalry on both flanks and closed in on the rear of the Roman army while the heavy infantry advanced on both Roman flanks. Surrounded and unable to maneuver, the Roman soldiers were slaughtered by the thousands, and the army was destroyed. Cannae was Rome’s greatest military defeat, and Hannibal’s greatest victory.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. The rest is history.
6 Command Cards
4 Command Cards
In the second game, slugfest in the middle (troops were somehow sucked in there due to such command cards) went a bit better for Carthage. Much closer game, but still comfortable Carthagian win.
Overall, 2 command cards for Carthage is huge.
Both sides managed some effective moving into place for strategic effect but battlebacks and a well-timed Mounted Charge turned things for Carthage, two mid-game line commands once things were in place were also sweet. That said the last two moves were "it's anyone's game".
The game started very bad for the Romans with the Cartagiian pushing well on the right flank. Even if the banner advantage for the Cartaginian was not high the Roman losses were so high I almost wanted to stop playing, but then the Romans Medium Infntry clashed back the Cartaginian Heavy Infantry (clash of shield card!) and the game slowly turned to the Roman advantage which started to collect banners and after 15 turns the right Cartaginian flank was back in the base hexes and the lost the game.
Roman 7 Cartaginian 4
Rome 7 Carthage 6
The heavy units are obviously the best advantage the Cartheginians have, but if they are not used wisely the Romans can win. I took Marhabul from the light cavalry and put him with heavy infantry. He is far more useful there I think.
I won 7 flags to 4.
The Romans need to use their Auxilia as light infantry as much as possible, targeting the Catheginian heavies with ranged attacks. They also need to make sure that their heavy infantry get into the battle at the right time.
I watched a second game after I played my match. It come down to the last die roll, with the Cartheginians stealing a victory by wiping out a full strength medium cavalry unit in a single attack back by medium infantry when it was 6 flags all
Catheginians 7, Romans 6.
The initial movement of the armies very closely matched the historical events with the Romans trying to close in the center and Carthage trying to attack the flanks. Unfortunately, repeating the historical process wound up with almost the same result. There were some highpoints: such as Rome defeating the Carthaginian right flank and the initial light ranged fire managed to eliminate a block from the Warrior units. The Carthaginian left crushed the opposing Roman forces effectively disintegrating the enemy forces. It was several turns before they could try and finish off the lone units, but Rome decided to force march and try to eliminate the heavy units and beat them back. Victory was not to be as a full strength Roman heavy unit was wiped out in a battle back to seal the outcome.
Carthage 7 - Rome 3
Very close battle. Rome almost battled there way into a victory, but they just could not quite do it. Carthage pushed their center forward to meet with the Roman line, but after the initial attacks it kind of stalled out with only the Roman units attacking. The bulk of the Carthaginian success again came on the left wing as it very effectively crushed the Roman units. The heavy push forward is quite effective against the auxilia and medium cavalry. Rome's chance at victory would have came if on the final attack against their Atilius led heavy infantry did not have to retreat. This allowed a follow up attack that eliminated the unit. The following turn Rome had two auxilia in position to advance and eliminate two single block units.
Carthage 7 - Rome 5
I think this scenario is quite unbalanced in favor of the Carthaginians. Between their cavalry superiority, 2 more command cards, and their lights' ability to evade, they will normally be able shape the battle pretty much to their liking; the fact that they almost controlled that shape anyway even with my three lucky Line Commands is the best possible evidence for this. The designers set out to force something not far from the historical movements and results and succeeded quite well.
To rebalance this, you could give the Romans competent command (5 cards). But it's probably best to play it as a flip-flop set and give the win to the player with fewest total losses.