315 Pharsalus (48 BC)
After Dyrrhachium, Julius Caesar pulled back to regroup his army. Gnaeus Pompey failed to follow up his victory and pursued slowly. After a winter of maneuvering through Thessaly, Pompey encamped at the foot of the mountains near Pharsalus and was persuaded by the senators in his camp to settle the issue with Caesar once and for all. Pompey had a numerically superior but inexperienced force. Caesar’s army was much smaller, but still composed of crack, veteran legions. Pompey’s plan took into account his strength in cavalry and called for it to out-flank Caesar’s right. Caesar saw what Pompey planned and formed a line of legionary veterans in reserve to counter any out-flanking maneuver. As the fighting began, Pompey’s cavalry charge rolled over Caesar’s horse. However, when confronted by Caesar’s reserve, this mounted force was thrown back in turn by legionaries using their pila as spears. The Caesarian legionaries who routed the Pompeian cavalry now turned their attention to the exposed left flank of the Pompeian infantry line, pushing back some of Pompey’s better legions stationed there. Caesar’s legions in the center and on the left now began moving forward. Pompey’s foot units were ordered to hold their ground. Normal battlefield tactics would find both sides advancing to the attack but Pompey’s troops did not advance, hoping Caesar’s infantry would tire themselves out in a long charge. Instead, Caesar’s more experienced legions just halted within a few yards of Pompey’s line, reformed and then made a headlong attack. With his cavalry defeated, his left flank turned and the center and right hard pressed, Pompey fled back to camp, leaving his army to disintegrate. Most of the survivors surrendered to Caesar the next day. Pompey fled to Egypt, where he was assassinated by Ptolemy XIII. Caesar was now clearly ascendant, but mopping up the remaining Pompeians would still require much hard fighting in the east, Africa, and Spain.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. The rest is history.
• Leader: Pompey
• 4 Command Cards
• Move First
• Leader: Caesar
• 6 Command Cards
• Julian Legions rule is in effect for both armies.
• Julius Caesar Rule is in effect.
• All hill terrain hexes are impassable.