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Subject: Catana, Introducing Quinquiremes rss

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Ryan Powers
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Continuing the chronological playthrough means going back to War Galley with Catana.

This sees the naval forces of Carthage escorting transports en route to Sicily engaged by Leptines and his Syracusan fleet. Leptines has quinquiremes with some minor engines (as in missile firing engines) on board.

The setup is fairly flexible, so while this shows one way to do it, this is not one of those images where it's illustrating the only option. The right hand edge is land, and Carthaginian transports are not allowed to venture too close (2 hexes).

Not wanting to encourage edge of the map issues, I actually shifted everybody over a few hexes before playing but after taking this picture. If you look at Leptines' fleet (at the top of the image) Gelon is on the left (against the map edge), Diocles the center, and Leptines himself has the right with the quinquiremes bulked out with a few catphracted triremes. Opposing them is Mago's fleet. Form left to right the squadron leaders are Himilco, Mago, Gisgo with the transports tucked in behind the left and center.

In both cases the subordinate squadron commanders aren't necessarily historical. Only the admiral's themselves are with the others just being names pulled out of a roughly appropriate hat.

Turn 1
Carthage wins the initiative as they should since Mago gives a +1 to the roll that Leptines does not. But for the first turn it really doesn't matter as the fleets are far enough apart that the order of activation isn't super relevant.

For Leptines everybody rows like mad trying to limit the time available to Carthage, figuring that if they mostly end up with F2 fatigue it will be OK by the time things really start to happen. For Mago and friends, Gisgo is sent to do his best to "refuse the flank" threatened by Leptines and his new quinquiremes. The others move slowly so they don't outpace the transports. I don't want to leave the transports as sitting ducks if some Syracusan galleys get by. Plus tucked up against the Carthaginian galleys they provide a modicum of passive defense.

Turn 2

Leptines gets the initiative for Syracuse and Gelon goes first continuing to move up. As do Himilco and Diocles for Carthage and Syracuse respectively.

Gisgo on the Carthaginian right was up next. He mostly moved to hold off Leptines and his quinquiremes, but did manage to send in a galley to rake one of Diocles' galleys with one galley and then ram it with another .

Leptines moved his bigger galleys into contact with Gisgo. One of his large quinquiremes rowed up and let fly with some missiles vs one of Gisgo's triremes, which successfully returned fire. After grappling with said galley the Syracusans were repulsed despite having a 3:1 advantage in manpower.

Mago engaged more of Diocles' galleys failing to ram the one on Diocles' right, but then capturing it with another galley. He also moved up and traded missiles with another, doing damage but not taking any, bu then being repelled on a 2:1 boarding attack.

The transports did their best to remain inconspicuous.

This meant the total VPs were:

Carthage: Syracuse:
Pre-existing = 0 Pre-existing = 0
+ 6 (rammed galley) + 0
+ 7 (captured galley)
Total = 13 Total = 0

Turn 3

Turn three saw both fleets fully engaged with Mago winning the initiative for Carthage and Himilco starting things off. Lots of failed rams including two failed attempts to ram the biremes of Syracuse. An attempt was made to grapple and capture one of the triremes that survived a failed ram. The boarding party was repulsed though.

Leptines brought hi quinquiremes into play in order to preempt Gisgo on the other end of the line. This resulted in a failed ram and a failed rake as well as two successful rams (both leading to fouling). One of the rammed ships had been previously grappled, so was an easy target. This also saw yet another boarding attempt repulsed by a quinquireme leaving one of the larger galleys down to one manpower. [+12 VP for Syracuse]

Carthage's Mago activated next in the center leading two three different new boarding attempts. 2 let to the attackers being repulsed, one led to a capture but still lost the Carthaginians a manpower point. [+7 VP for Carthage]

Diocles kept the action in the center and recaptured the galley just captured by Mago's boarding parties. Some other attempts to board didn't even end up in successful grapples.[-7 VP for Carthage]

Gisgo counterattacked vs Leptines' quinquiremes. The heavily depleted quinquireme was captured. And another quinquireme fell victim to an anastrophe attack. [+15 VP for Carthage]

Gelon was the final leader to activate and started with the biremes failing to counter-ram. He also ordered a boarding attempt on Himilco's personal galley, but the Carthaginians rallied around their leader and repulsed the boarders. Another galley did succeed in a ramming attack vs some galley that had cheekily attempted to ram Gelon's galley. [+6 VP]

Some more shuffling of transports and an uninteresting individual activation or two.

In the end a Carthaginian trireme sunk as did the quinquireme anastrophe victim for Syracuse. That quinquireme took it's attacker with it as they were fouled.

That means the total VPs are:

Carthage: Syracuse:
Pre-existing = 13 Pre-existing = 0
+ 7 + 12
- 7 + 6
+ 15 + 6
Total = 28 Total = 24

And the map is: (note all the 1/2 speeds on the left of the image from the piles of failed rams)

Turn 4:

Syracuse recaptured the initiative and Leptines used it to get major results from his new quinquiremes. They were finally living up to their promise. He personally led his in an anastrophe attack on Gisgo's personal cataphracted trireme, shearing off the port-side oars and coming around and smashing the smaller vessel, hitting with enough force to get stuck in the wreckage. The larger troop complements were put to good use capturing two further Carthaginian triremes. [+20 VP]

Mago activated next, a grappling attempt was failed as was an attempt to board a different Syracusan galley. Some of the rest of his galleys started to reposition to contain/slow Leptines' forces since the Carthaginian right had just been mauled.

Gelon continued the Syracusan success on the opposite end form Leptines. One of his galleys was able to find a hole in the Carthaginian line which it used to begin attacking the vulnerable transports. It rammed one, and they were fouled together. Gelon's personal galley captured one of the opposing triremes. Better yet the galley that had been rammed by Himilco last turn grappled and captured Himilco and his flagship. [+17 VP]

Himilco's replacement tried to rectify the situation. He was able to recapture the galley that had just been captured by Gelon and also captured a Syacusan bireme. [+5 VP (-7 VP Syracuse)]

Diocles was next up in he Syracusan center. And it was mostly a flop. His galleys failed to ram, failed to disengage from previous grapplings, and found themselves repulsed when trying to capture a Carthaginian trireme. Another capture attempt was a success, so it wasn't a complete loss. [+7 VP]

Gisgo finished up the "main" activations. Starting out by failing to transfer to another galley he was stuck on his rammed one for now. A previously rammed trireme grappled its fouled quinquireme opponent and tried to board. It didn't go well, but hey if your galley is sinking you may as well try, right? An attempt was also made to recapture one of his galleys, but it was unsuccessful, losing Gisgo more men.

The transports are finding it hard to find good hiding places as the wings take damage. But so far only the one has actually been lost. A Carthaginian galley from near the center rowed over to help Gisgo at full speed on its own initiative and successfully rammed a quinquireme.

No galleys sank at the end of the turn. So on to VPs:

Carthage: Syracuse:
Pre-existing = 28 Pre-existing = 24
+ 5 + 20
+ 7 + 17
- 7
+ 7
Total = 40 VP Total = 61

Turn 5:

Syracuse won the initiative again, and as before Leptines was first up. His persona quinquireme captured a Carthaginian trireme, and another of his galleys recaptured the previously captured quinquireme. [+7 VP – 7 VP (Carthage)]

Mago went first for Carthage, and started with a successful ramming of a Syracusan trireme. The next ramming attempt was failed and then two boarding attempts were repulsed. [+6 VP]

Gelon re-re-captured the Carthaginian trireme that seems to have become the focal point of the fighting in his section of the battle. Another capture attempt went less well despite using two trireme counters to one and having a 3:1 manpower advantage. One of the biremes was feeling brave and fired off some missiles at Himilco's replacement, and then failed to grapple the new flagship. This was probably good for the crew of the bireme, but if that had captured the new leader they wouldn't be buying their own booze anytime soon once word got out [+7 VP]

Himilco's replacement wasn't going to stand for that and so ordered the bireme captured and then uses his own galley to recapture a previously captured galley, but not the one that has changed hands three times already. [+5 VP -7 VP (Syracuse)]

With the wings going well for Syracuse, Diocles was feeling left out., his galley grapples and captured a trireme as did another of his galleys. In addition, an ongoing boarding fight went in favor of Syracuse. This is a total of three captured triremes. [+21 VP]

Gisgo was the final squadron commander, and he transferred to the only still fully operational trireme counter in his initial command.

The transports did their best to hide once again.

The individual activations were productive again this turn, though the first one was a failed Syracusan ramming attempt against Mago's flagship. A previously rammed Syracusan galley that was still fouled to its attacker grappled it and captured the Carthaginian vessel.

In the cleanup phase one rammed Carthaginian galleys sunk.

For victory points that means:

Carthage: Syracuse:
Pre-existing = 40 Pre-existing = 61
+ 7 + 7
+ 6 + 7
+ 5 - 7
+ 21
+ 7
Total = 44 Total = 96

Those VP totals mean the end of the battle. The requirement for Syracuse are 80+ VP and at least twice as many VP as Carthage.

All in all this was an interesting fight. In VP terms, the transports didn't affect the outcome much, but the limitations they placed on the war galleys from Carthage definitely contributed to the way the battle was fought.
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