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Subject: Heraclea Turn #2 rss

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Dan Monette

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Turn 2
Laevinus scans the battlefield and is hopeful. Despite the fact that Drusus RC are in shambles, they have accomplished their task of neutralizing the HC under the command of Megacles. The plan to drift slightly to the right as the LG troops advanced has worked well, the HC cannot as yet flank the advancing legions and the Roman left is in great position to engage the Epirote Phalanx line. On the right the RC under Falco are deeply engaged with Philocles LC, if Falco can win the cavalry duel the battle will be decided in the center – and Laevinus is confident his LG troops hold the advantage in this type of engagement.

Pyrrhus is worried, the plan to roll up the Roman left with the Thessalonians HC has failed. Megacles will have his hands full in trying to delay the LG troops from engaging the phalanx, the best Pyrrhus can hope for is for Megacles to prevent any Roman attempts to flank the PH line. Things on the Epirote right don’t look much better. Philocles Latin LC is in shambles, deeply engaged and entangled with Falco’s RC – if Philocles can’t hold the flank disaster will ensue. Pyrrhus inability to navigate the PH line has seriously impacted his ability to use his elephants to support Philocles – he must get the elephants into action immediately.

(EIO) Socrates Cretan archers lay down a withering barrage in an attempt to slow down the advancing LG troops. Realizing that the SK’s cannot hope to survive a hand-to-hand melee with the Romans Socrates withdraws the archers toward Megacles HC in hopes of finding some cover. Socrates curses himself for abandoning the LI under his command and watches helplessly as they break off and flee from the HA/CO units that they were engaged with. He can see the Prefect urging the Romans to reform their ranks, ordering them to stop the pursuit of the routed LI (Momentum fails). A distant dust cloud concerns Socrates, it appears that the TR are moving off to the Roman left to discourage any flanking attempts by Philocles calavry.

With the TR repositioning at his back Falco urges his remaining charges onward. A group of LC to his left lose their nerve and flee the field, this opens the path for his RC to run down and gut a hapless group of Cretan archers. On the other side of the battle Megacles senses the tide of the battle turning and decides it is time to gamble and attempt a headlong charge into the Roman troops guarding the legions flank. Sadly for Megacles, fate decides to intervene and he can only curse as he is entangled with his falling horse as it stumbles upon the body of a dying slinger (trump fails!). Sensing the momentum swinging his way, Falco rallies two units to his banner and resets his line for what he hopes will be a decisive charge. Just as Falco is set to give the final order to charge he is distracted by a loud cheer coming from his right, this hesitation would prove to be costly (die roll of doom – Megacles reactivates!).

The cheering comes from the assembled Thessalonian HC and Greek Phalanx as they see Megacles emerge from the tangled pile of bodies and retrieve a horse! A group of HC rally around the General and drive off a troop of Drusus RC that had thought to claim him as hostage – or worse. Megacles wasn’t able to turn the Legions flank, but the HC was once again formed up under his control and waiting to take advantage of any gap that may form in the Roman flank screening force.

Back on the Epirote right Milon did not like what he was seeing. To his right Falco’s cavalry was threatening his flank, his left flank was similarly threatened by the advancing LG troops, and to his front across the river the TR were massing for a potential strike. At this point it was too late to fall back, so Milon ordered his MI to charge forward into the LG ranks. The ensuing battle proved to be bloody but indecisive, leaving both sides hopelessly bogged down (momentum fail) and engaged. With the heavier units on both sides coming to grips the Tribune leading the VE divided his forces into two groups; the first body positioned themselves to screen the LG troops from the Thessalonian HC all the way to the rivers edge, while the second group moved off to flank Milon’s MI and to screen the Roman left from the remnants of Philocles LC. With their flanks secure the remaining Tribunes overran the remaining LI and SK’s and drove forward to engage the menacing line of phalanx troops (momentum!). The trumpets sounded and the Roman battle cries pierced the battlefield, yet a distant odd trumpeting sound followed by an odd thunder caused both sides to pause – Pyrrhus was charging his elephants into the fray (Pyrrhus trumps!).

Even thought he would have preferred to use his elephants drive off Falco’s cavalry Pyrrhus could not ignore the advancing legionaries, and the only forces he could throw at them were his precious elephants. Fortunately for Pyrrhus the Romans had never encountered such beasts, and their imposing size and thunderous charge halted the LG charge and stabilized the Epirote center. Not knowing what to do a daring Tribune led a valiant group of VE into the oncoming charge and momentarily stymied the pachyderms onslaught (Pyrrhus momentum fails). Gaining courage from this action a second group of VE’s crash into Milon’s MI flank and drive several sections off in panic. The resulting chaos provides Philocles an opportunity to rally the remnants for his LC and reposition them for a hopefully decisive strike against Falco.

On the Roman left Drusus slows his lathered horse and wheels his remaing RC troops around. The distant clouds of dust are the only traces left of several thousand Romans fleeing the battle with elements of Thessalonian HC hot on their heels. Laevinus watches with growing confidence as Leonatus advances some HI to attempt to prop up Milons crumbling MI, he was not worried about the action on his left – Pyrrhus elephants and the upcoming battle with the phalanx held his full attention. Various elements of dispirited LG troops rally to his banner as Laevinus advances to the center to better direct the efforts of his tribunes. Turn #2 ends tied 30-30.
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