Friday, 27 May 2016

Rome vs Carthage

I played a solo game of Sword and Spear with my 28mm figures (Old Glory). This game is played with figures based on 100x50 mm bases representing one unit, Each unit has a discipline rating and a strength rating. Discipline ratings are 3 or 4 and used to determine how easily a unit can take an order and maintain good order. Lower is better. Attached leaders improve a units discipline by 1. Strength determines how many dice you can roll in combat and how many hits you can take before being eliminated with a range of 2 to 4. For example, Roman heavy infantry have a good discipline rating of 3 and 4 strength. By comparison, Roman Velite light infantry have a worse Discipline of 4 and Strength of 2.

The armies were selected based on a point system and were built to represent typical armies as I understand them through my research and not built to "power game".

I tried using the free program "Battle Chronicler" but need more practice. Maybe next report I can get it going.

For now, I will have to rely on pictures and game notes.

Carthaginians had the following units:
1 general and 2 captains
1 Veteran African (HI) spears, armored                                    3/4                                                        
2 African Heavy Infantry (HI) spears, shieldwall                    4/4
2 Scutarii Medium Infantry (MI) thrown weapon                    4 /3
2 Numidian Light Cavalry (LC) javelins                                  4/2
2 Javelinmen (LI)  javelins                                                       4/2
2 Spanish/ Gallic Cavalry (MC)  armored, undrilled               3/3
1 Elephant (El) impact, armored                                               4/3
1 Baelric Slinger (LI)  slings                                                    3/2
1 Camp

 Republican Rome had the following units:

1 general and 2 captain
1 Triari (HI) spears, armored                                                     3/4
4 Hastati/ Principe (HI) armored. thrown weapons                   3/4
3 Velites (LI) javelins                                                                 4/2
1 Slingers (LI)                                                                            4/2
1 Cavalry (MC) armored, undrilled                                            3/3
1 Allied Cavalry (MC)                                                                4/3

In Sword and Spear, movement alternates between armies. For each unit in the army, a dice is put in a bag (both armies dice in the same bag). 7 dice are drawn every phase. The army with the most dice is the active player. He rolls his dice and assigns the them to units in his army. The die roll must equal or exceed a units discipline rating to be used. To do more than a simple move the die must exceed the unit discipline rating. After the dice are assigned the units move with the lowest die rolls going first. This gives lots of opportunity to make decisions about where to attack or defend against threats.
 every turn.

The Roman plan was to get their elite Heavy Infantry engaged as soon as possible

The Carthaginians planned to win the flanks and keep their weaker infantry out of the fight until the flank attack was successful.

Turn 1

Romans on the right, Carthaginians on the left.

The Romans rolled well and advanced their whole army. Carthage advanced aggressively on the flanks.

Turn 2

 The light horse on the Carthaginian left charged the Roman slingers. Velites came to the slingers aid and routed the Numidian horse. This rout shook up the supporting Carthaginian LI causing lost cohesion (routing units cause discipline test to nearby units).

On the Roman left, the Romans send in their cavalry in a spoiling attack against the Carthaginian cavalry on the hill. The second Roman cavalry unit moved out of the charge arc of the elephant.

Carthaginian slingers shot and routed the victorious Velites. A second unit of Carthaginian light horse charged the Roman slingers ending in a drawn fight.

Turn 3

Phase one of this turn saw the Carthaginian cavalry rout the Roman horse on the hill. This caused the supporting Velites to take a hit from the sight of their horsemen being slaughtered Both Carthaginian cavalry pursued into the second Roman Cavalry on the hill causing a hit. Roman infantry slowly advanced in the centre.

The elephant charged the Roman Hastati Heavy Infantry, having lost it's juicy cavalry target. This resulted in one hit on each unit.

The Carthiginian light horse and slingers advance past the flank of the Roman line on the Carthaginian left. The Velites guarding the camp move to counter this.

Turn 4

Carthage got the initiative this turn and ordered its cavalry and elephant to attack. The Roman Heavy Infantry gave the Elephant a beating living it one hit from routing.

The Carthaginian cavalry succeeded against the Roman horse on the hill, leaving it badly damaged. On the Carthaginian left, the Javelinmen, Slingers and Light Horse turned to threaten the Roman rear and flank. The Roam Heavy Infantry closed to within one move of the Carthaginian centre.

Final positions for turn 4...

Turn 5

This turn saw the Roman Heavy Infantry throw their pilum and clash with the Carthaginian centre. The Roman unit fighting the Elephant routed it and damaged the Scutarii behind during the stampede. The Roman army was in it's element and inflicted significant casualties on the Carthaginian centre.

Cathaginian left

and right.

The one bright spot for Carthage was the cavalry on the hill dispersed the last Roman on that flank and turned to threatend the Roman Heavy Infantry in the flank.

The Roman Velites guarding the camp moved forward to oppose the light units on the Roman right.

Turn 6

The dice bag was getting lighter with so many loses. The Romans Heavy Infantry started the turn well by routing a unit of Scutarii and then pursuing into a unit a unit of Javelinmen and routing them too! The Velites guarding the camp got a lucky shot with their javelins and dispersed the Balearic Slingers. The victorious Carthaginian Cavalry on the hill redeploy in preparation for a flank charge next turn.

End of turn 6 positions.

Turn 7

The clash of shileds continued between the infantry in the centre. The Romans routed a unit of African Spear and Carthage's cavalry charge routed a unit of Roman HI. Both sides were near breaking...

Turn 8

The next unit to rout would break either army, The Romans were able to turn and fight the Numidian Cavalry that had been fighting it from the rear and disperse it, ending the game in a Roman narrow victory.

After thoughts

I enjoyed this game. Both armies were able to execute their battle plans. Rome was able to delay the powerful Carthaginian cavalry long enough for the Heavy Infantry to crush the centre.

The game worked as a solo game and not all rules do. My next game may be a scenario other than "line uo and fight" to see if the rules can handle that flexibility.

Tomorrow I am going to the game club to play Napoleon's Battles. Stayed tuned for pictures and summary.


  1. Good stuff Jeff, like the report and nice to see S&S works solo as this looks like the path I will have to take as well. Nice minis too.

  2. \\\\\thanks for the feedback Chris.