From the OT2018 1st round:
Stanislav27 (Roman): 7 banners
BrentS (Carthage): 6 banners
An exciting battle commenced with light skirmishing on the Roman right, where the legions sought to pin down the Carthaginian elephant with light infantry, and the Punic forces sought to hit the light/auxilia troops hard in return. The first banner of the battle was, however, scored on the Roman left. A courageous charge by a contingent of Warrior infantry was the last thing brave Hanno ever saw. After the fortuitous killing of the Carthaginian leader on the left, the Romans fought on, killing the heavy infantry unit Hanno had led before his untimely end. The Punic general did not give up, however, and counter-attacked the Roman right flank, with one Line Command being executed in very timely manner so as to ensure Carthaginian initiative on the entire field of battle. Indeed, Carthage's Warrior unit on its left slaughtered two units of Roman soldiers before Gracchus regained the flank.
Clashes in the centre and the Roman right continued without the balance being tipped one way or another. The Carthaginian counter-push in the centre with a half-depleted Warrior unit proved to be a costly gambit. The Warriors almost dispatched a unit of medium Roman infantry, but the legionnaires held their ground and killed the barbaric berserkers on the battle-back.
The focus then shifted to the Carthaginian light, where unlucky Punic rolls for the final blows proved devastating. The Romans maintained cohesion of their depleted units and held their ground, enabling a counter-push which brought down some Punic medium infantry, giving the Romans a 5-2 lead.
The Punic general now unleashed his hidden weapon. A mounted charge of elephants and light cavalry sought to demolish the Roman right. The Carthaginians were succesful in this endeavor, even as the elephant perished to a determined counter-attack by Roman auxilia and light infantry. The Numidian cavalry (with a second consecutive mounted charge), however, made short work of the weakened Roman units in this sector of the battlefield, claiming three victory banners in one turn, tipping the result from 6-3 to 6-6 in the process.
With the Roman right flank completely decimated, Gracchus seized the initiative on the opposite flank. He personally led his unit of Heavy infantry against a full-strength Punich medium infrantry detachment. Inspired by their general, the legionnaires inflicted terrible wounds upon the enemy, forcing them back. On the bonus combat following the momentum advance, Gracchus' skilled soldiers made no mistake and finished off the Carthaginian opposition. Thus, the Romans prevailed on the left even as Carthage won the day across the battlefield.
A very close engagement, where especially the early (and lucky) blow to Hanno in the Punic right seemed decisive. Carthage proved its worth through its determined cavalry attack on their left, gaining 4 of their 6 victory banners in just two turns of elephant- and horse-driven attacks.
I thank Brent for a very thrilling game.