Much of Hannibal’s “genius” for warfare lay in his ability to take the measure of his opponents’ abilities and intentions. His opponent in 217 BC was Roman Consul Gaius Flaminius, a vain and incompetent patrician. Armed with this knowledge, Hannibal set a trap for his opponent by ravaging the countryside to spur Flaminius to action. True to form, Flaminius rushed headlong into pursuit of Hannibal, marching his army through the narrow defile next to Lake Trasimenus where Hannibal’s army lay in ambush. Hannibal posted his veteran infantry as a blocking force, hiding his light infantry and cavalry in the hills. As the day of battle dawned, a heavy mist covered the area. Flaminius further aided Hannibal’s plans by neglecting to send out scouts. The Roman vanguard stumbled into the Carthaginian blocking force and the battle was joined. Almost immediately, the ambushing Carthaginians descended from the hills and fell on the Roman column before the soldiers had enough time to deploy. Flaminius died early in the fighting; more than half of his army died along with him, either in the desperate fighting or drowning trying to escape. It was noteworthy that the only portion of Flaminius’s army to escape intact was the vanguard – those soldiers fought their way through Hannibal’s best infantry to do it. It surely was not through lack of bravery that the Roman army met disaster at Lake Trasimenus.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
9 Command Cards
5 Command Cards
• Lake Trasimenus is impassable.
• The five steep hills hexes on the right side of the battlefield, as noted, are impassable terrain.
Play Aid Suggestion:
Put several other terrain hexes below each of the five “steep hill” hexes. Making them “taller” will serve as a visual reminder that these hexes are impassable, while the other hill hexes are treated normally.