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Friday, 3 March 2017

The Ticinus River - dressing room analysis

This is a slightly new venture for the Blog. As myself, Ed and now Daz are playing our own version of an 'Ancient League - Punic War division', we thought we would share the post match feelings about the performance of the teams and the stadiums in which the match up occurred. Today, it's an away match with the Carthaginians talking the long journey to mainland Italy for an initial clash. Here's the findings of the Battle of Ticinus River...  
Anth' s post match analysis
On the face of it, this feels like an uphill battle for the Romans. One less command card and two less generals already cut down the variety and impact of the relative commands. As a Carthaginian, there feels plenty of options with having lots of mobile units, high firepower and hitting power, a singular weakness is a lack of medium troops for some of the command cards available.
A problem for both sides is the large distances most of the troops retreat from combat, therefore there is an imperative to move troops off of their starting baselines, as a single, unopposed flag result from combat or shooting can see units leave the battlefield quickly. In the worst of circumstances several units can be lost if the attacking units are mounted, with their additional opportunities for attack.
So the central battlefield is where the action is. For the Romans this gives them a strength in the centre, with the Carthaginians enjoying firepower on the flanks with their Numidian light cavalry. Advancing forward also gives those light troops the chance to evade when required. It's here where the battle is won or lost. If the Carthaginian light cavalry can get around the rear of the Roman light verities infantry, evasion and combat power is reduced. So for the Romans, their own medium cavalry holds the key. If they can maintain the pressure on the light cavalry, it gives the velites an opportunity to whittle down the Carthaginian heavy cavalry. If the Carthaginians can cause some shooting casualties against their mounted foes, this leaves the heavy cavalry to mop up the remnants.
In the first game the Carthaginians were faced with an early foray by the Roman cavalry which forced back the light cavalry. This enforced withdrawal brought the Numidians in line with their Heavy cavalry compatriots, which in the end, whittled down the Roman cavalry before the velites could support the attack. A Carthaginian victory.
The second game saw a rapid punch in the centre from the Carthaginian heavy cavalry, encouraged by two mounted charge cards in the hand. The Romans played into this ploy by spreading their light foot out to the flanks to screen the cavalry. This had near devastating results. With the Romans, encouraged by their general, hanging onto their own board edge. As the Roman foot were on the flanks, they were able to fold in on the Carthaginian cavalry where a hard fought melee reduced the fighting capacity of both sides. The game ended with the Romans consolidating their lines and engaging in a ranged conflict with the Numidian light cavalry, with the Romans claiming the last few banners needed to win. A lucky Roman win...
Ed' s post match analysis
This was our opening shot in playing through the 2nd Punic War using miniatures with Command & Colors.
Ah, Ticinus River how I hate thee. I've played this scenario three times and have never won with Romans, tonight was no different, clearly I, like the Romans didn't learn much from my experiences.
I started with an assault with my Medium Cavalry on my right flank, pushing four units forward. With a Cavalry Charge in my hand I was confident of success. Unfortunately the Carthaginians played their Cavalry Charge first. That put paid to my assault and placed me in the back foot for the rest of the game.
I need to be a bit less impetuous I think. My tendency is to push heavily in one place, this often leaves me unprepared in other sections of the battlefield.
Finally, playing Command & Colors with miniatures was a really positive experience. Movement was quick and I felt that I could see what was going more easily. Bring on Trebbia.
Here is the league standings after the first match of the season  
Next match...Trebbia!


  1. This will be a fun series to follow. I enjoy the post match analysis very much.

    1. Thanks Jonathan,
      I think as the scenarios progress the screws will turn on Carthage, especially when Scipio the younger enters the fray. Need to paint some skirmishers for the next scenario...

  2. Yes, agree with Jonathan. Will keep popcorn and beer on hand for further reports!


  3. Sounds great, nice looking system...and beautiful figures!

    1. Many thanks Phil, have you played this game before?