004 Ticinus River (218 BC)
Hannibal has completed his epic march across the Alps, but has lost fully half of his soldiers in doing so. The Consul in Southern Gaul, Publius Scipio, has shadowed Hannibal’s advance following the coastal route. He intercepts Hannibal in Northern Italy as he is rebuilding his army with Gallic recruits. Neither commander is willing to bring on general battle, but Scipio does advance his light troops and cavalry, unaware of how much better the Carthaginian cavalry was than his own. Hannibal counters with his cavalry, including the fearsome Numidian light horse. Hannibal gives Scipio a tactics lesson. His heavy cavalry smashes into the light infantry, drawing the Roman cavalry into the fight. At that point, the Numidians hit both flanks, driving off the disorganized surviving cavalry, wounding Publius Scipio in the process. One capable Roman now knew how formidable Hannibal’s army was. Unfortunately, three other inept Roman Consuls would lose thousands of Roman soldiers at The Trebbia, Lake Trasimenus, and Cannae because they failed to heed the warnings.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. The rest is history.
5 Command Cards
Leader: Publius Scipio
4 Command Cards
Ticinus River is not fordable.
First game: 6-4 for Carthage
Second game: 6-4 for Carthage (should've been 6-3 but carthagian player made a mistake in last attack, leading with light cav which got wiped in battle back instead of hitting with heavies first)
As expected, the mounted Carthaginian force surrounded and overwhelmed the Romans. They started by pushing their heavy units into conflict against the Roman light units to cause chaos. The grabbed a substantial number of banners before being broken and defeated. Having their light skirmishers pretty much decimated or scattered forced the Romans to move the cavalry forward to damage the Carthaginian flanks. Unfortunately, the light cavalry was able to quickly move in and cut off retreat and annihilating any Roman cavalry that advanced. The Romans also took a huge early hit when their leader fell on the third turn.
Carthage 6 - Rome 4
The battle started positively for the Romans. They managed to shatter the Carthaginian left flank and take two quick banners. After this, it seemed like the Romans were just out of reach of a slaughter. They managed to cut off retreat several times, but could never manage to kill any of the heavy cavalry. Despite their pathetic tactics and poor orders, Carthage overcame this by just being extremely lucky managing to survive several attacks that should have cripple them. Though the final banner count makes it look like a complete blowout, the remaining Roman units were all at full strength and the Carthaginians had four units with a single block left.
Carthage 6 - Rome 2
This scenario hands the Carthaginians the interesting challenge of managing an all-cavalry army. On the one hand, otherwise powerful cards like Line Command stop being useful. On the other hand, a Mounted Charge at the right time can wreak havoc on the Romans.
The Romans have to somehow keep the Carthaginian center from engaging their light infantry, which simply cannot long survive close combat with heavy cavalry. The targets of opportunity for the Roman are the light cavalry on the Carthaginian wings — but, because of the evasion mechanic, they have to be attacked from fairly far forward before they are likely to take real damage. The Romans must, somehow, take the offensive.
If you think this scenario tilts towards the Carthaginians, you can give the Romans +1 command card.