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Battle of Brothers

Following their defeat Somewhere in Spain, the Scipio Brothers (Gneaus and Publius) manage to withdraw in relatively good order to Somewhere Else in Spain. The Barca bothers (Hasdrubal and Mago) are eager to complete their victory over the Romans.


And so battle is joined once again.


On the Carthaginian left, Masinissa surges forward with some 4000 Numidian and Libyan cavalry up against less than half that many Italians and Romans led by M. Silanus. Most of Masinissa’s cavalry are light skirmishers whereas Silanus has more higher grade close combat cavalry.


The action is fierce and furious. The Romans are worn down by the Numidian javelins but when they close they are able to hold their own. The cavalry on both sides pass through each others ranks and in the process Masinissa is captured and killed. The fight on this wing now devolves to a swirling combat with isolated units attempting to rally as the Numidians continue to harass the Romans.


On the opposite wing the cavalry numbers (Spanish on both sides) are more or less equal.


The combat flows back and forth with increasing numbers of troops being fed into the fray. Hasdrubal Barca sends his Celtiberian infantry forward. Publius Scipio does the same with his Spanish infantry and the Romans begin to get the upper hand. Hasdrubal then leads his Lusitanians forward to stabilise the situation.


In the centre the Carthaginian heavy infantry hang back, sending their elephants and light infantry forward  as the Roman legions advance. The Roman velites manage to see off some of the Carthaginian light infantry and begin to harass the elephants. Two elephants are killed. Another breaks through to charge a Roman legion which opens its ranks to let the elephant pass harmlessly through their ranks.

On reaching the rear of the Roman lines the elephant refuses to move further. “I’ve had enough of this,” it thinks to itself.  “I saw what happened to cousin Nellie.”


The situation on the Roman right is now becoming critical as the Numidian cavalry turn in on the Roman flank. Gnaeus Scipio turns his Spanish auxiliaries to face them, reinforcing them with the triarii drawn from the rear of the right-hand legion. Then the hastati and principes of that legion charge the Numidian infantry facing them.


On the other wing Publius Scipio leads a legion forward to engage Hasdrubal’s Lusitanians. Hasdrubal is wounded in the fight as the Romans begin to establish ascendancy on their left.


Gisgo, leading the Spanish cavalry on the Carthaginian right, has surged forward after chasing off other Spanish cavalry in Roman employ. He now finds himself isolated as Roman velites close in. A Roman javelin hits Gisgo and he is killed instantly.


As dusk begins to fall the Roman legion on their right is struggling to hold its ground as a unit of Libyan infantry close in on its flank. At the same time the Numidian cavalry are threatening to envelop the Roman right.

The Romans are beginning to dominate the combat on the other flank, whilst in the centre the Carthaginian heavy infantry and two Roman legions have yet to engage.


It was a hard fought battle with the Carthaginians winning on one flank, the Romans on the other. The Romans may have taken slightly more casualties but half of the Carthaginian elephants had been killed as had two of their leaders (Masinissa and Gisgo).  At this point both sides withdrew in relatively good order for a debrief at the local pub.

The game was played with 6mm figures using my Legio VI rules.


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