After the battle of Asculum, Pyrrhus left Italy for a three-year campaign in Sicily. Although he defeated the Carthaginians in every battle, he could not drive them off the island. Pyrrhus decided to return to Italy. Years of attrition and a naval defeat on his way back to Italy had greatly weakened his army. However, upon his return, his reputation brought thousands of new recruits out to join him. With 20,000 infantry, 3,000 cavalry and 20 elephants, Pyrrhus once again marched on Rome. Consul Manius Curius Dentatus gathered his army of about 20,000 foot and 2,000 horse and set up camp near Beneventum to await the Epirote army. Pyrrhus decided on a surprise night attack, but some of his detachments got lost. It was morning before he could organize his scattered forces near the Roman camp. Dentatus led his forces out and drove back Pyrrhus’ vanguard. As the Roman attack continued it was in turn driven back by Pyrrhus’ skillful use of his elephants. However, a second Roman assault stampeded the elephants into the Pyrrhus’ phalanx. Dentatus struck while the phalanx was disordered and broke it, winning the battle. Pyrrhus withdrew from the field with what was left of his army and returned to Epirus, never to return to Italy. Beneventum was the final pivotal battle in the Roman Republic’s bid for control of the entire Italian peninsula, and the first great victory of the legion over the phalanx.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
9 Command Cards
Leader: Consuls Decius and Sulpicius
9 Command Cards
• An Epirote unit that occupies an enemy camp hex at the start of the Epirote player’s turn may remove the camp hex and gain a Victory Banner that cannot be lost. Remove the camp hex before playing a Command card.