Saturday, 15 February 2020

Lake Trasimine 217 BC

217BC and off to the killing fields of Italy once more. Hannibal is on the rampage and Consul Flaminius sets off to stop him. We are up in the Po Valley today, so the countryside is fairly lush.

Hannibal had been harrying the countryside to goad Flaminus into action, and he duly responded, sending the Roman Army off to pursue. Flaminius sent his troops down a defile near Lake Trasimine, unaware that Hannibals army was lying in wait.

Another CnC Ancients game, Diego and Jerry took the Carthaginians, Tim was Flaminius. We played this with my 20mm Ancients armies (a mixture of HaT, Esci, Italieri and Airfix with a few Newline metals), based up for 25mm DBA (so 60mm wide bases) on my Hexon terrain.

Flaminius leads his column around the top of the lake, Auxiliaries and Legionaries in evidence. The hills in the distance are impassable.

Flaminius's vanguard, Auxlia, Velites and more Legionaries. It was misty and Flaminius had neglected to send out any scouts.

Which was a bit unfortunate as this lot were lurking behind the hills. A load of Gallic and Celtiberian Warband.

The pass in front of th defile was sealed off by Carthaginian medium and heavy infantry, commanded by Hannibal humself.

The Carthos had brought their Spanish allies along with them. Balearic slingers and various Spanish auxiliaries. 

They also had their Numidian and Carthaginian cavalry massed to hit the Roman rear.

A Numidian Prince.

The cavalry were commanded by Mago, as usual. The third chap from the left has a Tanith painted on his shield, the Carthaginian Goddess of Love. Also the name of one of my unfortunate children (I got to choose!). 

Flaminius responded aggressively to the ambush, pushig his own light troops on to the low hills.

Sadly, Mago had the card he'd always dreamed of. Mounted Charge.

And a mass of cavalry poured over the hills and into the end of the Roman column.

It met with some success and a number of the Roman units were routed.

Flaminius pushed his Auxilia forwards aggressively and drove off some of the Numidians, whose own retreat was blocked by their pals.

They also counterattacked in the centre, pushing the Spanish back.

Magio pushed the Celtic Warbands up to support his cavalry (the chaps who have decided not to wear any clothes).

Desperate fighting ensued. The Warband overran some Auxilia but Flaminius counterattacked and almost broke them. It was very disconcerting being faced with a wall of bare buttocks from this angle.

Things weren't going so well at the rear of the Roman column as the Romans were pushed back into the lake.

Flaminius charged the Carthaginian centre, supported by a handful of Roman cavalry. He succeeded in routing two of the Carthaginian units in a heroic action.

The Carthaginians pressed forward again, some of their medium cavalry taking on the victorious Legionaries.

The Carthaginians finally eliminated the last of the Auxilia at the end of the Roman column.

They also pinned the Roman vanguard in place.

The decisive action was in the centre though. The Carthaginian cavalry attacked Flaminius's Legionaries and rolled astonishing dice, wiping them out. Flaminius himself survived, rolling a flag to run away whereas in real life he died fighting with his troops.

With that, the Carthos had accumulated the six banners needed for victory and the game ended. Given their awful tactical position, the Romans fought back well, but the early Mounted Charge had given the Carthos a commanding lead which the Romans were always going to struggle to match. 

That was an interesting scenario, very cleverly designed. The consensus on Boardgame Geek is that this is a tough one for the Romans, although if they can get their troops up on the hills, they have a good chance. In this case, Tim tried that but the Carthos had too many right flank cards to make it viable. One suggestion was to handicap the Carthos by two banners to balance it out (as they have three leaders and a six card hand vs two leaders and a four card hand).

Next up is Cannae, and after that hopefully the Roman fortunes will improve somewhat. I may look at the handicap suggestions for that scenario.


  1. Excellent battle account, Martin! I have won as Rome so it can be done.

    1. Gosh, the gods must have smiled on you! That mounted charge card was the Romans undoing, as every single Carthaginian cavalry unit was activated before the Romans could get themselves sorted out. I thought it was a very cleverly designed scenario though.

    2. They must have been smiling on me. The unfortunate bit of that game was that my opponent was so put off by a Roman victory that he never played CCA again. That was HIS undoing! Our gaming group still talks about that game.

  2. Good battle report
    Ii must get into my Command and Colours Ancients