Turn 1 (264BC)
Since the rules emphasise the superiority of Roman manpower reserves, I thought I'd try a strategy of continual attacks with the Romans in order to wear the Cathaginians down - even at unfavourable odds. After all, the Romans can always raise another legion or three, but Carthage actually has finite limits on troop numbers.
The first activation is Carthage's choice, and Hiero, the allied Tyrant of Syracuse, took the standard opening of placing Messana under siege. Appius Claudius crosses the Fretum Siculi (on his sixth attempt!) into Messana and attacks Hiero with 40I(nfantry) and 8C(avalry) against the Syracusan's 18I and 7C. Odds are 3:2 (+1), Leadership difference (-4), elite Syracusan Cavalry (-1). Die roll is 7 (-4 = 3). The Romans take 15% losses (3I & 1C, plus 3I more from the besieged Mamertines), while Hiero loses 2I and 1C. The Syracusans are Disrupted and the Romans Useless after the battle.
The Carthaginian General Hanno Hamilcar leaves 2 of his Numidians to garrison Lilybaeum and marches to Messana, halting outside.
The next chit pulled is for the Roman Duumvirs. The Rhegium 'fleet' (10 triremes) moves to oppose any blockade of Messana, but is intercepted by 10 Carthaginian Quinquiremes and wiped out. The remaining Roman fleet from Tarentum rows to Rhegium, this time evading the enemy and entering the city.
The Augury event is drawn, but is not applicable.
Hannibal Gisgo leads his fleet in a raid on hex 5814 and succeeds, remaining in the coastal hex. (A successful raid reduces the chances of Roman legions being raised in the following turn, as manpower is diverted to protect the coasts).
One of the two (three in later turns) Siege Attrition chits is drawn. The Romans in Messana lose 4I and the besiegers lose 2I.
Consul M. Fulvius gets Senatorial permission to leave his starting province and marches to Rhegium and Stops, losing 2I to attrition.
The second Siege chit is drawn. Carthage loses 1 Syracusan I. Rome rolls badly and loses a whopping 35! The entire garrison is eliminated and Hanno occupies the city, just managing to prevent his Gauls from looting the place (after which they would have gone home with their booty). Consul A. Claudius is captured and killed by the victorious General.
The Carthage Duumvir chit is drawn but all pass. The turn ends.
Hannibal the raider returns safely to Lipara and the Syracusan army recovers to normal
Turn 2 (263BC)
Turn 1 was a disaster for the Romans. Messana has fallen so Hiero will stay allied to Carthage. Worse there is now no easy way for the Romans to regain a foothold on Sicily, as without a transport fleet they can only attempt a crossing of the straits into the teeth of the enemy forces - almost certain defeat. Apparently the loss of a Consul and 2 legions in a siege does not qualify as an emergency of any kind, so no Dictator can be elected.
The new Roman Consul is C. Sulpicius, a dull non-entity. He could take over the Consular army in Rhegium, but instead takes command of the last 10 triremes of the Roman fleet, so making room for a hopefully superior general. Quintus Valerius is that man, and takes over the army as the new Field Consul. N. Fabius is elected as Praetor Urbanus.
In Carthage the Magonids remain in power (there would be no change for the entire 10 turns) and the attitude remains Cautious. Carthage begins the construction of a great warfleet of 180 galleys in Carthage itself, while Rome increases the capacity of Ostia's harbour from 50 galleys to 100. (Rome can only use naval transport when Ostia and Neapolis are both expanded to their maximum capacity, and only with transports can they land on Sicily away from Messana).
The Senate agree to raise 1 new legion in Rhegium, and Praetor Ser. Fulvius is elected its commander.
Hannibal Gisgo uses both his chits to raid the toe of Italy without success.
The Fallisci tribe revolt, and Praetor Fulvius leads his new legion North to put them down at the cost of 1I.
Duumvir-led Carthaginian fleets attempt raids without success.
Hanno Contemplates action against Roman Italy, but without Hiero he has only 15I and 1C. (Hiero and his Syracusans are not allowed to leave Sicily - later I realise that Hanno's army is also restricted to Sicily anyway unless Carthage gets more aggressive.)
Everyone else passes and the year ends.
Turn 3 (262 BC)
At this point I check the victory conditions and realise that all Carthage need for a victory is to take Syracuse from their 'ally' Hiero.
Rome decides not to prorogue any of the current Magistrates. C. Sulpicius is re-elected as Rome Consul (after doing absolutely nothing with the fleet the previous year), while the lack-lustre M. Fabius is the new Field Consul. L. Caecilius is the new Praetor for the legion in Liguria and C. Atilius is Praetor Urbanus.
The Carthaginians select Hannibal the Rhodian as Admiral of their newly finished warfleet, and remain cautious since the Romans are obviously all but beaten - no need to throw good money away raising troops. A new fleet of 150 galleys goes under construction at Lilybaeum.
The Senate again agree to the funding of 1 new legion, and the capacity of Ostia is increased to 150.
First activation goes to the Carthaginian Duumvirs. Three attempt raids and fail, but the one based in Corsica succeeds against the coast of S. Etruria.
Consul Sulpicius rows forth to attack a raiding Duumvir fleet just outside Rhegium, equipping his fleet with the corvus. His target avoids combat for the safety of Messana, so he continued on to the next raider, who is forced to stand and fight. Sulpicius is outnumbered 2:1 by larger vessels, but succeeds in sinking 10 and driving off the enemy.
Praetor Caecilius marches North to Genua and puts this ally of Carthage under siege. (His force is not large enough to demand involuntary surrender, and an assault could be messy).
Hannibal Gisgo puts out from Lipara to challenge Consul Sulpicius but his fleet is scattered and he Stops.
A Samnite mutiny among the Roman galleys drops the crew ability back down to 2 (went up to 3 after the earlier victory).
Siege attrition kills the militia in Genua.
Hannibal the Rhodian sails his fleet to Panormous and stops. (At which point I realise that only Carthage's habour can dry dock a fleet of this size over winter).
Sulpicius returns to Rhegium and the last Consul chit is used to call for reinforcements. Enough replacements are granted to bring all the legions back up to full strength.
The Praetor Urbanus has been training the newly raised legion all year, but there has been no improvement.
Turn 4 (261 BC)
Sulpicious is prorogued as Proconsul and retains his fleet command. C. Sempronius is the new Rome Consul, and is given the legion in Rome and the one besieging Genua as his Consular Army. (Not sure whether this is allowed, but have just finally re-read the Roman election rules and realise I should probably have replaced the legions lost on turn 1 as a consular army). C. Aquilius, another complete loser, is the new Field Consul. Since his only job is to glare across the straits at Messana it doesn't take a genius in any case.
Adherbal becomes Admiral of the new Lilybaeum fleet, and another 120 galleys are being built at Drepanum. Rome builds Ostia to its maximum capacity of 200 galleys, and the Senate raises 1 new legion.
Hannibal the Rhodian is back in Carthage after I realised my error last turn. He passes.
The Augury chit brings Drought in Africa, which will have no effect on the turn.
Siege chit. The Romans outside Genua are currently leaderless, since the Consul is in Rome, so the siege is lifted.
A Duumvir successfully raids the coast North of Rhegium and returns to Messana. Consul Sempronius takes the I Legion from Rome to link up with II Legion at Genua and Stops.
Proconsul Sulpicious takes his corvus-equipped galleys to sea against the 10 quinquiremes of a Duumvir South of Rhegium. The Carthaginian retreats, but is pursued and forced to fight, where he is destroyed. Two victories for Sulpicious, scourge of the Med!
Consul Sempronius calls for the involuntary surrender of Genua, and now that he has two full legions the garrison quail and submit. The Consul immediately requests permission to leave Liguria for Gallia Massilia and the other city allied to Carthage, but the wary Senate refuse.
The turn ends, and the newly formed V Legion is Rome is trained to Veteran.
Carthage is desperately trying to work out a way of taking Syracuse with the meagre force left to Hanno. (Only much later did I realise that Hiero could be ordered to Syracuse, pick up the garrison, and evacuate the city - Hanno would only have had 7 militia to tackle then. Still difficult, as Hiero would immediately switch sides and the Romans could cross the straits to Messana unopposed.)
END OF PART 1 - MORE TO FOLLOW
Cary Grant, 1904 - 1986
How old Cary Grant? Old Cary Grant fine. How you?
Great write up.
A great read, I just wish I had someone to play a full campaign of this with. I'd be it on it so fast.
Good stuff, a great read!