Saturday 24 July 2021

Ancients campaign turn 1 - Game 3 battle report

Here is the battle report for the campaign battle of Mascula 217 BC in Africa. The previous post described the tabletop setup and army deployment for this game.

The chance card decks were prepared for each army. The standard decks for each army are fairly similar. The difference being Romans have three rally cards and two initiative cards, whereas the Carthaginians have two rally cards and three initiative cards. 

Campaign map of Africa. The Carthaginians had recruited and have 3 armies. A single Roman army is present as only one army can be moved between regions separated by the sea.

Because in this campaign turn the Carthaginians have three armies in Africa, two more than the single Roman army, they get to replace two no event cards with rally cards. This way I can keep the games to 7 units and represent the campaign situation where one side has more recruited armies.

Army chance cards. Red for Roman armies and blue for Carthage.

Carthage's deck is adjusted for having additional armies available in the region. Two additional rally cards replace no event cards.

Battle Report

With the chance cards shuffled everything is prepared. Now for the game...

The Romans begin the first turn with an initiative card and were quick to charge their heavy cavalry into the Carthaginian light cavalry on the right flank. In the centre they pushed forward towards their opponents who where deployed well back. Some of the centre units are positioned along the fordable river in preparation for the likely flanking attack from the Carthaginians, who had stacked their right flank on the opposite side fo the river.

On the left flank Roman light infantry swiftly entered the buildings. Not much happening here during the game on this flank.

It will take quite a few moves to reach the Carthaginian centre, and some of the Roman centre are engaged along the river before they reach the Carthaginians.

Finally, the Roman centre finally reached the Carthaginian centre. The Roman heavy infantry are doing well but this is offset by a couple of timely Carthaginian rally cards. 

The Romans press in the centre and in the foreground the fight for the buildings continues.

A tad over half way through the game and it is the battle is now very much between the heavy infantry. The Carthaginian heavy cavalry having eliminated their opposition can finally move around the flank.

The Roman heavy infantry had given good account of themselves, but the arrival of heavy cavalry on their flank is the game's tipping point and delivers victory to Carthage. 

This battle sees the end of the first campaign turn. Carthage did particularly well winning all three battles fought in Spain, Northern Italy, and Africa during 218-217 BC. In campaign turn two Rome will have to regather and defend only being able to recruit in Southern Italy. Scipio the Younger does not appear until turn 5.

Campaign map with losses removed at the end of turn 1,


  1. By gum Peter, those Romans are doing badly, this may leave Scipio Jr. with a mountain to climb.
    Your table looks super, I particularly like your buildings.

    1. A poor start indeed for the Romans. Unless they get a win they will be bottled up in Southern Italy. I am very happy the way the tabletop and terrain has worked out for the ancients project. The buildings are painted blocks of wood with some textured paint on the roof.

  2. Gosh, Rome is really up against it now...
    Another great battle and some good photos - I do like the look of your armies. From the write up it's hard to determine the impact of the extra Rally cards, was it decisive in your opinion?

    1. Yes, a poor Roman start. The rally cards for the Carthaginians were useful rather than impactful. What I mean by that is it allowed units to hang on longer frustrating the Roman heavy infantry. As an example, close to game end a unit hung on one extra turn allowing the cavalry to join the engagement to eliminate the attacking Roman unit.

  3. Legions doing well in the centre let down by their cavalry; how often the story for the Romans?!
    A dispute over a build up area is not something we often see in an ancients game. Good stuff Peter. Part of the novel situations created by campaigns.
    Regards, James

    1. Hi James, Rome's legions were close to pulling the irons out of the fire. I am hoping for a Roman win next campaign turn to arrest the momentum gained by Carthaginians. Regards, Peter