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Subject: Battle of Metaurus - Solo Play rss

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Dave Gilligan
United States
West Virginia
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After reading another session post about the Battle of Metaurus, I decided to give it a go and play the battle solo. The battle was quite interesting in my opinion...lopsided, yes but still interesting. With the right cards and the luck of the gods, the Carthiginians might just be able to pull this one out or at least make it very close. Here is what happened in my battle:

Rome's plan was to move forward on the left flank and center, make contact and destroy the enemy.

Carthage was hoping to forge a link between its warrior units stranded on their left flank and pray for a line command allowing almost all of its units to activate and save valuable time/cards.

Early on, Rome manuevered its light units forward to screen and disrupt. Carthage did the same, using a Move fire Move to damage several units and consolidate its lines (also moved a light slinger onto the hills on the right flank to discourage any cavalry from coming that way.)

Rome continued to advance on the left and center while Carthage moved its heavy infantry into position.

After another round of firing by both sides (Darken the skies from Rome and Move fire Move from Carthage) the two lines finally met on the Roman Left. Two medium infantry were facing a light cavalry and Hasdrubal's Heavy Infantry. They chased the light cav off but when the other Medium went to attack Hasdrubal he pulled the First Strike card and wiped them out with 5 hits! Carthage then played a Line Command and Hasdrubal severely damaged a second medium forcing a double retreat in the process. He momentum advanced and attacked Nero's unit of HI wounding it but on the battle back Nero wiped out Hasdrubal's unit forcing Hasdrubal to evade back. The second Carthaginian HI finished the job that Hasdrubal had started, forcing Nero to fall back to a MI unit. Quite the deadly exchange. Carthage bloodied the Roman's good but the damage in return was too much (also a single block medium escaped which really hurts!)

Rome continued to press forward and battle while Carthage moved its elephant into position on the right center, hoping to be able to charge into the Roman heavies and mediums. Rome countered by ordering lights and shifting the entire front line of light units toward the left, effectively screening the heavier units from a potential charge by the elephants...threat neutralized.

Carthage then shifted the attack to the left center but just didn't have enough punch to cause a colapse on that side. Rome pulled a double time and hit hard on the right center, severly damaging several units and wiping out another Carthaginian medium.

Finally Carthage had pulled some cards that would allow the warriors to move on consecutive turns. This was important because without this ability they would find themselves stuck in the middle of the river. Alas, too little too late. They did get in the battle and managed to wipe out a medium but when Rome pulled off a Clash of Shields they were wiped out along with some other units.

The Carthaginian elephant finally managed to find a break in the screen of lights and attacked but did minimal damage and was forced to retreat (no kills on the rampage.) The Romans finished the battle with a Mounted Charge, killing off some depleted units and ending the battle.

Final score - Rome 7 Carthage 3

Even though Carthage got beat by four banners, they did manage to severly damage several Roman units and with a bit of luck might have scored another banner or two. One of Rome's big advantages in this scenario is having 6 cards and a pretty cohesive line of units allowing a lot of shifting of units to key areas while moving damaged units out of the way and allowing the mediums and heavies to come to grips.

If I had been able to move the warriors earlier, it may also have turned out differently because they could have crashed into the Roman right center. Those Auxilia on the Roman right are rather restricted by terrain and I never really had the cards to do much with them anyway.

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