Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Battle of Asculum - 279BC

One of my elephants caught on the Roman Caltrops

In 279 BC Pyrrhus (The Eagle King) fought his second battle, against the Republic of Rome, near the town of Asculum. The battle was fought over a two day period. The first day was indecisive but on the second day Pyrrhus finally got the upper hand with his Elephants and defeated the Roman Army. However it had been a close run fight, with high casualties on both sides.

Navigator light cavalry on 1st Corps horses

Today we played the first day of battle, which was fought in area of small hills and forest. In the actual battle the hilly terrain and forest had made it hard for the Greek phalanx and cavalry to deploy fully and effectively. This to was to prove the same for me (I was playing Pyrrhus).

1st Corps Republicans advance

Before the game I had declared that all wooded areas, if moved though, would negate the -1 to hit the front of a phalanx. Therefore making it a little harder for my troops and more in line with history. This decision worked in favour for the Romans in our first contact, which was fought in a small wooded area and I thus lost one of my Epirote phalanx's. I also decided to let the Romans have anti elephant devices. In the actual battle the Romans had built wagons or carts with spikes, in order to use against the elephants. I did not have any wagons so I used the caltrops Leroy Simpson had made for my Ptolemaic Army and used them as described in Jeff Jonas's Successor rules (soon to be published I hope).

1st Corps Republican Cavalry (painted by Leroy Simpson)

Anyway the game played very much in line with history. Both myself and John Williams found ourselves beaten on opposite flanks. However with my superior cavalry and his greater numbers in troops and neither willing to risk further causalities, we finally called it a day after four hours of fighting.

A&A Miniatures and 1st Corps Romans fight for battlefield supremacy.

Italiote Hoplites vs Italian Extraordinarius

My Veteran Phalanx awaits the expected charge from the Italian Spearmen


Warren S said...

Hi do you have army lists for this battle as I would like to recreate this battle myself? I would be most grateful.

Vinnie said...

Soory for not writing back before, It has been a while since I have looked at this post. I put the army list together just from what I have read about the battle. For the Romans I used the Army list from WAB 'Punic Wars' and for Pyrhus Army was put together from the Successor's List which are still not in print yet. But you can use an Army list from the WAB 'Alexander' or have a look on Jeff Jonas's website and there are lists there for the period.

All the best


Warren S said...

No probs ...
I have done this - Jeff Jonas's site was rather good -thank you. I recently and luckily managed to Ebay smash and grab a unit of Foundry penal legion. I am very interested in using these with the stats and fluff depicted in the Warhammer Ancients Hannibal book. Would you think there would be an outcry if I used them as a unit in the Romans in the Battle of Asculum?