Tony Edwards collection
Refighting Beneventum: Epirote vs. Rome
by Richard Evers
Here the results of our test play yesterday:
Seeing the Epirotes advance through the woods, the Romans gathered a few extra units to meet them. Chaeonians and elephant from the flank, and an elephant from the Epirote right were to be stopped. The Romans really need an anti-elephant weapon in this scenario. Especially since we forbade the use of the "open lanes" rule. The Romans prevailed after a bitter struggle. But at what cost? 4 maniples were needed to cover this flank...
The combined Epirote and Tarentine phalanx (100 models of phalanx) was in the centre facing the bulk of the Roman maniples. Both sides advanced slowly, probably knowing from previous encounters that this would be a bloody battle.
By the time the phalanx line made contact the Romans had sneaked into their flanks with the help of their drilled ability. The advantages of the maniple rules and phalanx rules made the combats
tough. The Romans were able to roll up the flank phalanx units, but in the centre the phalanx broke through.
The combination of though phalanxes against small but agile Romans maniples is always a fun game to play. Above another example of how much these fighting techniques are a challenge to play.
The Roman maniples came under heavy fire from the Rhodian Slingers and Italian Javelin men, and the Tarentine skirmish cavalry. But they kept moving forward. The Romans had hoped to keep the wedge occupied until the infantry came t the rescue. But the Roman Equites
cavalry was no match at all against the experienced Epirote wedge and were quickly driven of the table.
The Romans managed to drive the Tarentine cavalry off the table, but the wedge was now seriously threatening the Roman rear.
Romans winning on the left, loosing on the right and a draw in the centre. We concluded that the Romans had a little advantage after the last turn, but things could certainly still change of luck was on the Epirote side.
Richard Evers collection
Some things we noticed:
-Flaming pigs. We had some trouble with it. In the above scenario, I thought of something else: the unit causes terror in elephants. I did not take the time to think of some stats but used the stats of 5 veles for easiness. Maybe this is a solution to the problem. About points...Hmmm more than 36 I think.
-I am glad the Tarentine cavalry for the Epirotes was changed some time ago. We still used the old rule in the above game (BS4, feigned flight and Parthian shot). The old unit in combination with a wedge is so very dangerous!
-As seen in earlier battles, the Roman maniples against phalanx is a fun challenging type of game. Balanced in my opinion.
-I managed to form a valid Epirote army to play Beneventum, which means that the composition rules are OK for the Beneventum battle.
-I think the Romans need a ballista and an anti-elephant unit to make them whole. But we are not discussing HatPW here. ;-)
-We changed the night march for this battle, because we thought the Romans should already have seen which direction the Epirotes were coming from and have a chance at destroying them before the main army arrives. But that is how we liked to play this particular battle.
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