313 Brindisi Raid (48 BC)
While Julius Caesar was campaigning in Spain, Gnaeus Pompey was building a new army in Greece. After returning to Italy, Caesar made a risky January crossing of the Adriatic with a portion of his army, resolving to defeat his rival and end the civil war. The combined effects of bad whether and superior Pompeian naval forces prevented the remainder of Caesar’s army, under Marc Anthony, from making the crossing. Pompey knew at this time his larger army was no match against Caesar’s veterans, and Caesar would not hesitate to attack once he had his entire army concentrated. Pompey needed time to train up his troops. He formulated a daring plan to delay the remainder of Caesar’s army in Italy from crossing. In February, Pompey dispatched his admiral, Libo, on a raid across the Adriatic. Libo commanded a large force of marines and fifty warships. His target was the seaport town of Brindisi and the ships gathered there. His mission – to destroy the Roman transport fleet. Libo landed his marines outside of Brindisi. Utilizing surprise, they overpowered the city guards and sank and burned several ships. However, Antony’s troops, who were still waiting in the embarkation camps to cross the Adriatic, quickly formed and advanced toward Brindisi. Libo’s marines were defeated by Antony’s legions before they could destroy enough shipping to truly delay Antony’s army from crossing. In the final analysis, Pompey’s bold plan was a total failure. He had sacrificed many of his best-trained troops in the raid, but Antony was still able to cross the Adriatic and join Caesar for the battle at Dyrrhachium and the epic victory at Pharsalus.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. The rest is history.
• Leader: Libo
• 5 Command Cards
• Move First
• Leader: Antony
• 2* (5) Command Cards
• The Caesarian player starts with 2 Command cards. On turn 1 play one card, and draw two cards. Caesarian player now holds 3 cards. On turn 2 play one card, and draw two cards. Continue in the same manner until the Caesarian player has a hand of 5 cards.
• Julian Legions rule is in effect for both armies.
• The town of Brindisi is protected by Ramparts. Even though Brindisi is on the Pompeian side of the battlefield, the units occupying the ramparts at the start of the battle are Caesarian units that must retreat toward the Caesarian map edge.
• Place a spare block in each seacoast hex behind the Brindisi ramparts to represent Roman transport ships in the hex. When a Pompeian unit occupies a seacoast hex in Brindisi at the start of the Pompeian player’s turn, the player gains one Victory Banner that cannot be lost. Remove the spare block from the hex before playing a Command card.
• Place a spare block in each seacoast hex outside of the Brindisi ramparts to represent landing (and escape) hexes for the Pompeian marines. When a Caesarian unit occupies a seacoast hex outside of Brindisi at the start of the Caesarian player’s turn, the player gains one Victory Banner that cannot be lost. Remove the spare block in the hex before playing a Command card.
• Treat all Seacoast terrain hexes as Fordable River terrain hexes for purposes of movement and combat.