Friday, 8 April 2016

Battle Of Bagradas 255 BC






For next Thursday I would like to return to the days of Antiquity with a re inaction of the Battle of Bagradas.

This first Punic Wars clash took place in the Spring of 255 BC at Tunis in fairly open terrain. The Carthaginian's had hire a Mercenary Spartan General by the name of Xanthippus who made the Romans fight him in the open. This allowed the full force of the Carthaginian Elephants and elite cavalry to be maximised.

The Roman Army under Marcus Atilius Regulus was stationed in Tunis and faced with the resurgent Carthaginian army was keen to gain another victory rather than someone else claim it before him.

With a force of 15,000 infantry and 500 cavalry Regulus clashed on the plains of Tunis against a well deployed Carthaginan force comprising of 12,000 infantry, 4000 cavalry and 100 Elephants.

The Romans formed up in their normal formation - Legion in the centre with their outnumbered cavalry on the flanks.  The Carthaginians formed a Phalanx in the centre with mercenary infantry to their right with the Elephants in front. The Carthaginian cavalry sat on both flanks.

In reality the Romans were heavily defeated and lost 12,000 men with 500 taken prisoner whilst the Carthaginian losses amassed to 800.


The order of battle for Thursday is as follows:

ROMAN ARMY

1 X C IN C MARCUS ATILIUS REGULUS (cv)
1 X INFANTRY GENERAL (cv)
24 X LEGION (4bd)
8 X TRIARII (Sp)
8 X VELITES (Sp)

CAVALRY COMMANDER (cv)
5 x EQUITES (cv)

Total Elements 48

The Roman Centre if used as 1 large command must use 2 commanders to issue pips to due to the number of troops on table.
The Infantry can be split up into 2 smaller commands with the c in c in charge of one and the infantry general in charge of the other if the Roman player thus chooses so.

CARTHAGINIAN ARMY

1 X C IN C XANTHIPPUS (sp)
8 x POENI INFANTRY PHALANX (sp)
8 x MERCENARY SPANISH INFANTRY (4ax)
4 X ELEPHANTS (El)
9 x LIGURIAN LIGHT INFANTRY (4ax)


RIGHT FLANK

CAVALRY COMMANDER cv)
8 X NUMIDIAN LIGHT CAVALRY (Lh)

LEFT FLANK

CAVALRY COMMANDER (cv)
8 X CITIZEN CAVALRY (cv)

Total elements 48



We will be using DBA big battle rules with one slight change to the demoralised command rule.

When a command has lost 1/3rd instead of the normal rule I am going to say that for this game all troops suffer a -2 on shooting and combat dice rolls instead of retreating off table. The penalty will be applied as a tactical modifier. We will see how this works out....


Although historically the Romans had more infantry, the Carthaginians had more cavalry and I think it fair to give both sides the same number of elements but the Romans have 40 elements of infantry versus 25 for the Carthaginians with the cavalry swung in favour of Carthage with 16 plus 4 Elephants versus 5 elements of Roman cavalry.

I am trying to create a battle wherein both sides use their troops historically in line with the real battle. You could argue that the Roman centre is too strong with all those blade elements but the Roman flanks are very weak on both sides and will be vulnerable to an overwhelming attack if executed properly!

I think this will make for an interesting fight. The Carthaginians will need to make careful use of their command pips in the centre but have the freedom to do what they like with the cavalry on the flanks.

The Romans should have the pips in the centre to either form a defensive line or push depending on how it plays.

The terrain is going to be Arable. The Romans are the attacking Army so the Carthaginians will select the terrain features and place according to the standard rules. The Roman player will choose which long table edge to attack from.

We will deploy with the Carthaginian Camp followed by the Roman and then deploy 1 command at a time starting with the Carthaginians.


Should be a good game. See you on Thursday.

Phil - please let me know if you don't have all these elements?

I am sure you do though!








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