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Subject: Heraclea Turn #1 rss

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Dan Monette

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As Laevinus surveyed the countryside he settled on the strategy that he would employ in the upcoming battle. Laevinus figured he had three major obstacles to overcome; dislodging the Epirotes from the rivers edge, neutralizing the HC on the Roman right, and luring the LC on the Roman left out of position so they could be destroyed. With the LC out of the way Falco could pin and roll up the Epirote MI.
To accomplish these tasks Laevinus first deployed Drusus RC down stream and hoped that he could surprise the HC and/or dislodge the skirmish line deployed on the river. In case Drusus failed Laevinus planned on advancing his LG troops forward while drifting to the right to cut off any advance avenues that the HC hoped to exploit. Finally, Falco was instructed to cautiously advance until he was in a position to crush the LC to his front and attempt to flank the MI – preventing their deployment to the rivers edge. If the calvary could buy him the time he needed, Laevinus was sure his LG troops could break the Phalanx forces making up the Epirote center.

Pyrrhus plan of action was simple, pin the Roman LG troops with his Phalanx troops on his left while the HC first flanked and then rolled them up. Pyrrhus himself would lead the HC to make sure there were no mistakes. On the right Pyrrhus would settle for a holding action, keeping his HI and EL’s in reserve to fend off and LG breakthroughs.

The morning dew lasted longer than Pyrrhus plan as the thundering hooves of Drusus RC charge caught him completely by surprise. The VE’s take advantage of Pyrrhus HC being off balance and quickly advance forward (drifting a bit to the right) to engage the Epirote LI and SK’s on the far side of the river. The SK’s withdraw while the LI hold their ground, dashing any Roman chances for a quick river crossing. Drusus presses his advantage and crashes into the flank of the HC, severely damaging them but failing to drive them from the field – Drusus fails to carry the momentum and finds himself in serious trouble.

On the Epirote right Milon advances the MI forward to a position that not only screens the Roman RC but allows him to react to a potential LG river crossing. Philocles warily advances his LC to cover Milon, yet he remains out of reach if Falco decides to charge his position.

In the battlefield center both the HA and PR LG troops advance to the river while drifting a bit right, the LI can’t hope to hold the river bank without support. Socrates realizes that his position with the LI is doomed so he drifts off to the left to join the SK’s to provide cover fire for the LI to retire. Falco takes advantage of the brewing storm in the middle of the field to charge his RC across the river, unfortunately the river breaks the horses momentum and they stall on the far bank. Falco searches out Philocles knowing that whoever got their troops moving first would have the advantage. Sensing disaster Leonatus advances the HI to support the MI, and in the process clears a small gap for the EL’s to lumber through in case they are needed to break the advancing Legions.

Laevinus likes what he sees and advances to instruct his Tribunes and Prefects to press their advantage. If the legions can force the river before the bank is reinforced Laevinus feels he can crush the Epirote center. Just as he is about to give the order he notices Falco hesitate crossing to the far bank, this will not do so Laevinus dispatches his messenger to get Falco moving again. The delay proves costly as he fails to keep the LG moving across the river (die roll of doom followed by a roll of 0!). Philocles notes Falco’s hesitation and charges into the fray, both forces are badly scattered and shaken.

With the Roman infantry blocking his avenues of advance and his HC engaged with Drusus RC Pyrrhus directs Megacles to take over the HC while he tries to sort out the confusion in the center/right. Megacles succeeds in driving off Drusus forces and desperately tries to stabilize his position. He feels vindicated that he is able to redress and reorganize his line before pausing to assess the situation.

Pyrrhus decides that the battle will be won in the center with the HI and the Elephants - and with Megacles firmly in control of the HC he races off to the right. Unfortunately, Pyrrhus finds himself caught up trying to get around the Phalanx line (momentum fails!) and curses himself for positioning the EL’s so far to the rear. Turn #1 ends with Pyrrhus leading 20-2.
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