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Commands & Colors: Ancients» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Trebbia, a disastrous ambush leads to roman victory rss

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Miguel (working on TENNISmind...)
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I've never posted a session report before, but I wanted to post this one in order to get some input on how you play this battle. This was a solo game, and I didn't write down every detail of every turn, but things went more or less as follows.

First Carthaginian mistake: The first roman moves tried to advance light troops in order to get soon into fire range of the elephants, and the 3 medium infantry followed. Hannibal countered this with an early mounted charge on both light roman flanks, but he (well, me...) forgot the ability of light troops to evade, even against cavalry: the charge was wasted and lead to almost no casualties.

Second Carthaginian mistake: Hannibal then drew a Leadership any section, and tried to compensate the first mistake by unleashing the ambush, against the heavy infantry left behind by Sempronius and some auxilia. The heavy infantry was indeed destroyed, but the medium infantry came back in help of the surviving auxilia, blocking the retreat path, and some blue triangles and many flags later all the ambush units were annihilated! So 3 flags in a row for Rome... not 4 because Mago managed to escape and join his brother.

Things were 1-4 at this point. Carthage advanced his line, and Rome tried to reorganize his. A big fight followed on the roman left, and Carthage began to slowly come into the game (3-5). Carthaginian medium infantry kept on pushing, and the roman line broke in the middle (4-5). But a roman mounted charge on the left made Hanno evade out of the board (I mean, field) while killing his cavalry, and in the momentum advance following killed a reduced light infantry: 4-7, game (battle) over.

My question: The 1st mistake was not very important, I'll just have to remember that lights ALWAYS evade, but the 2nd one decided the game. I wonder if the ambush is that useful, these units retreat a lot (the cavalry 3 hexes/flag and the warriors 2), and having to retreat towards the carthaginian side from behind the roman lines seems like the ambush is indeed a roman one!!! Have you noticed if there is an optimal stage in the battle in which the ambush becomes really successful? Maybe wait longer till few units are left behind, I think I shouldn't have started the battle with Mago so soon... But it's true that Rome got too many flags against Mago's forces...

A nice game anyway, as always!

Miguel





 
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Michael Sosa
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I've played this battle twice and won each time from either side. Its seems that from the Carthaginian side you want to attack the middle to rear, avoiding the heavy Roman units near the front. Retreats will force Roamans to surrender or drown in the lake.

As the Roman, I won by bring out a heavy unit from near the front to support the middle, and trying to hold the rear together. It was tough, but I manage to inflict sufficient casualties.

I'm not sure what you mean from trying to retreat behing enemy lines. I don't know how realistic it is to have units on both sides of the enemy, but in this game having your retreat paths blocked is quite dangerous.On the offensive I sometimes do it if it is highly likely I will get a kill out of it.....
 
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Miguel (working on TENNISmind...)
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Belisarius88 wrote:
I'm not sure what you mean from trying to retreat behing enemy lines.

I mean that these units cannot retreat toward the side they came from:
GMT wrote:
''Should these units have to retreat, they must retreat toward the Carthaginian side of the battlefield.''

So by attacking roman units from behind they block the roman retreat path but at the same time they get their retreat path blocked... So I guess that the better way to go would be wait to see how the romans evolve and try to find a good place to attack on one of their flanks...
 
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Kevin Duke
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The scenario has the odd, "gamey" situation that units which--historically-- were totally hidden from the Romans and not even suspected of being anywhere, are already known by the Roman player. He knows about the ambush and he knows exactly how strong it is. (It might be an interesting variant for the ambush force to be variable-- so that the Roman does not know exactly how strong it is.)

Okay, so "ambush" is a kind of a lie- it is not an ambush, but it is an attack from an "awkward" side. Yes, Mago's force is in trouble if the Romans are strong against it, because he is just as "trapped" as they are.

The only real control you, as Carthage, have with Mago is WHEN he comes in, and as soon as you have committed him, the Roman has nothing else to worry about in that regard.

My best suggestion would be to wait and wait some more. If the Roman wants to hold strong forces back to wipe out Mago, fine-- those strong forces won't be used on the front line, and the way C&C works with banners, you can win the game without ever having to deal with his strongest units.

I'd say the biggest mistake you could make with these troops is to attack early-- your main force is still distant and the Romans are not heavily engaged-- so they can wipe Mago out without any great problem.

Don't bring in Mago until the time is best for you-- and that might mean not ever!
 
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Andrea Tosti
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Well, I think this is an interesting discussion that doesn't have a definite solution.
My experience with this scenario (I like it very much indeed) is that an early Mago's ambush (I totally agree with Kevin that this is NOT a true ambush though, and that the real uncertainty is for the carthaginian player if and when his cards hand will allow him to use it) on the roman right flank could be devastating: in a couple of games, I managed to destroy the weaker units and so I could also open the way to a possible retreat due to roman counterattack. Also consider that the full-strenght warrior ignore 1 flag and the leader can make the cavalry unit ignore another one too.

On the other side, I agree that a delayed Mago's entry could split the roman effort and gain some advantage, but surely I don't think that this ambush could be ever dangerous for the carthaginian player (dice rolls permitting) because you can and must read the battlefield situation and put Mago's forces in a good position.

If possible I would not entry on the roman left because the river greatly lowers the strike possibilities.

Still I think that the scenario is unbalanced in favor of the carthagininan.
 
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