This battle report is dedicated to Kenneth Baggaley for the tremendous encouragement he gives us (not to mention the campaign rules with which we generated the battle and the background campaign)
This battle was played in a hurriedly organized meeting of five of the currently active members of India Wargamers in Trivandrum. Ravi Mohan, (aka Ravos Mohanos) took on the team of Madhav G.S. (aka Manubal Castablaga), Vinod R. (aka Vinolcar), Vijnesh V.L. (aka Vical) and Ramesh P. (aka Ramos Bomilcar) with Manoj E. Govindan as the Umpire/Reporter. The game was a smash hit and tremendous fun(for the winner, the loser and the audience), and we hope that you enjoy reading this as much as we enjoyed playing it.
Somewhere in south Thessaloniki, ? BC: Manubal Castablaga stopped his horse, looked up at the towering mountains on the horizon and sighed. They reminded him of the Alps and of New Carthage, his home. What was he doing here in this Godforsaken place in the blasted cold, fighting an unknown foe in his home territory? After all, he was the supreme commander of all Carthaginian forces, the legal occupant of the Ivory Throne of Carthage. Yet here he was, fighting a canny enemy who was dodging every attempt to give battle in terrain favourable to him. From the very moment they landed, his army had been fighting short and sharp skirmishes with the enemy. Mounted skirmishers were attacking them all the time, creating endless havoc with the supplies and the command system. And every time, they would break off just before his cavalry could engage them. Frustrating! And did any of these high born "nobles" of his understand the danger and importance of their mission? Manubal looked at his subordinates and sighed. He could have done worse, he tried telling himself.
On his left rode his second in command, General Vical. Known for his highly radical mistakes and out of the world stratagems, Vical inspired a fear of battle in all the soldiers he commanded, however experienced they were. Seeing Manubal stop and glance at him, Vical smiled and asked: "When do we stop for lunch?" and he was surprised to see his C-in-C wince. What was wrong?
Manubal had stopped arguing with them long ago. He had learnt that it was a futile effort, a waste of precious energy. "Where is Ramos Bomilcar?" He asked his aide. "With the Gauls, sire". Manubal grunted. Now why was Ramos always with those savages? He always claimed to be teaching them "tactics" and "strategy", though none of it had showed in their previous battles. "By the beard of Hannibal!!" swore Manubal. He was going to take no more of this. He would demand an independent command right after this mission, and to hell with the damn elders of the Poojappura tribe! They can either have me or choose from amongst their precious "payyans", as the noble born were called. Still fuming, he kicked his horse and set off again. He had a battle to fight, and he could feel the Selucids watching him, seeing, hearing, always silent, but always there.
Ahemar: Land of the Selucids
Several miles to the south east, General Mohanos of Alexandria opened his eyes and looked up at the guard who stood at the door of the tent, a message roll in his hand. The guard saluted and passed the message to the General before quickly turning and leaving the tent.
Mohanos opened the message, read it and smiled. It was from Galatix, the commander of his fierce galatians mercenaries. The message had but one line: "Kronos wills it!". Kronos, the God of time. The mighty father of Zeus and all the Olympians. It mean that Galatix had been able to scout the woods of Ahemar in time and asess the feasibility of mounting an ambush there in time before any Carthaginian scouts could arrive upon the scene. Good news indeed.
Turning to the map of Ahemar again, Mohanos studied the layout of the battle field. To his left flank lay the woods of Ahemar, silent, forbidding and devoid of any wild animals save the wild boars("except soon for the Galatians" thought Mohanos with a chuckle) Moving to the right, he came upon a medium sized hill . To his extreme right, the mountain ridges raised their heads high, blocking out the view of what lay beyond. The battlefield was dominated by a hill in the center. Tragick hill it was called, named after a farmer called Tragick of Ahemar whose wasted farmland at the base of the hill still bore signs of the people who had tilled it a long time back. "What would have Tragick felt to see two mighty armies fight over his hill?"
Mohanos had every reason to smile. He had prepared well for this moment, gathering his best troops and hunting the enemy from the very moment they had landed in the coast. His skirmishers had done well in harassing the enemy and his companions had been crying for battle eversince. The day had finally come! Careful as ever, Mohanos reviewed his plans in detail again...
The woods have eyes
Near Ahemar Woods, 0600 hrs: The valley of Ahemar lay quiet under a thick blanket of fog. It was past sunrise, but the visibility was still down to a few stadia. The lone wild boar out to eat in the plains found the Selucid ally Galatix and his men advancing single file towards the woods. They had started early, deftly picking their way through the fog covered landscape. And now Galatix stopped his men and stared hard ahead. The faint outline of the woods could be seen looming in the front, a shape darker than the fog surrounding them. Signaling his men to break file, Galatix signaled the scouts to advance. Soon, the whole group was moving into the woods, and in a few minutes, all but the last were lost to sight. Galatix was the last to enter. He waited for a moment, and drawing out his horn, let out two sharp blasts. Grinning with anticipation, he turned and was lost in the dark depths of the Ahemar woods.
Back near the Selucid lines, a forward sentry caught the sounds coming through the fog. He scurried for his horse leading through the road towards General Mohanos's tent. The General would be pleased indeed.
What a coincidence that one of my mis... er, lady friends' down at Sardinia has the same name. Perhaps I should have invited her along, what do you say General?
Of Subordinates and Plans
Atop "Medusa's Eye", 0700 hrs: Down south from the Selucid lines, atop the Medusas Eye stood a weary General Manubal Castablaga. He was frowning at the cloth map spread out on makeshift table in front of him. Visibility was a problem, and he did not trust Carthaginian cartography when it came to traditionally Greek held territory. All in all, it was giving him a headache. "And the hill's name!" Medusa's Eye, the locals called it. "Trust the Greeks to think up something to scare people. Had it not been in the map, I'd have bet that that wily Mohanos though it up. It would have been just like him to do that" grunted Manubal. Some of the native scouts troops had made the sign of the evil eye as soon as they had seen the hill, and his own soldiers were getting nervous. And the blasted fog was making it worse. Superstition and fear were the last things he needed among his soldiers.
"Cute name, isn't it, General?" A sudden question bolted Manubal out of his reprieve. Vical, his second in command was peering over his shoulder and gesturing at the hill. "What a coincidence that one of my mis... er, lady friends' down at Sardinia has the same name. Perhaps I should have invited her along, what do you say General?"
Manubal Castablaga, the supreme commander of the Carthaginians let out a wild roar, and executed what a watching African tribal spearman approvingly said was a "well paced boar-hunt-dance". He proceeded to throw down the table and map on Vical's head, and then banged his own chest in the most violent manner. The bodyguards were secretly amused by their Generals antics which reminded them of their Gallic enemies, while some of the more uncultured Africans took it in a differnt light. They extended the index finger to either side of the nose and shook their heads back and forth repeatedly, thereby making the sign of the Boar Spirit. In their opinion, it was a good omen of the times to come. In any event, Vical instinctively fled from the place, and it was many days later that he came face to face with his CinC again.
Aides hastened to retain their General, who had drawn his long sword and was swearing in the most profane of ways at his subordinate, the council of chiefs and the poojapura tribe. It was in this state that General Vinolcar found him when he made an appearance to discuss plans. Seeing him, the CinC regained his composure and allowed his aides to rearrange the table. Together, the two Generals went over the plans again. The bulk of their Cavalry was to be placed on the left flank, intent on holding any attack down the passage between the ridge and the Tragick hill, and eventually to outflank the enemy. The Warriors of poojappura tribe would take up position next to them, with orders to capture and hold the Tragick hill. The best of Manubals troops were the Spearmen from Africa, and these he would place in the center.
Vinolcar however had doubts about their deployment. "General, have you considered the rough farm ground straight ahead of the Africans? If they get caught in there with skirmishers around, we will be in big trouble." Manubal but smiled. He pointed to the map(now slightly torn from all the exertion) and showed a spot marked in blue near the place where the road met the ridge. "I do not do things without a plan General. I am holding back our best and most heavily armored Cavalry in reserve, due to arrive here at this spot on my signal. Any skirmishers who attempt to surround the farm will find themselves face to face with the Lances of my best boys". Vinolcar conceded, but was still not happy. Using Heavy Cavalry as a reserve was perhaps a good idea, but their proposed mission worried him. Surely there were better ways of warding off Skirmishers. But he kept his thoughts to himself. He made a mental note to sent skirmishers ahead to check out the farm.
The other Heavies, the Elephants would stand in the plains just near the Medusa's Eye, flanked by auxiliaries and javelin men. The push would have to come from there, and the bare flank beyond the Eye made Vinolcar uneasy yet again. Manubal smiled again. This subordinate of his was quick to notice things. But he didn't know his superior well enough. "Vinolcar, do you think that it has slipped my mind to keep a flank secure? What you see here is but what I wish the Selucids to see. Those Greeks will see an open flank, and try to grab it. But then, our boys will strike! For I have hidden a full four squadrons of my best light cavalry behind the Eye, with orders to appear as necessary, just to its right facing the woods! Those Greek fools are in for an unpleasant surprise". Vinolcar was surprised at the audacity of the plan. Now, he too could feel the eagerness growing in him. The battle was going to be good.
The Box Trap of Ravos Mohanos
Companions Barracks, Selucid lines, 0700 hrs: General Mohanos looked at the waiting group of his captains with an approving eye. These were the cream of the Selucid Army, his best Cavalry and Heavy Infantry. The Companions and Silver Shield pikes, no less. Marshal Fictitious, his Romano-Selucid subordinate waited nearby to get the orders. Mohanos spoke to the troops directly, as was his habit before every battle. "We have here an enemy who, with skill and some luck, can pose a serious threat to our forces. What I am bothered about are his elephants, cavalry and spearmen, in that order. It becomes necessary therefore that we should have a plan which exposes our best to his worst and prevents him from pulling the same trick on us."
He paused for a moment to scan the map and continued. "Fictitious here will take the Scythian horse we have to the ridge and hold his way there. Tragick hill is an all too dominant feature and it is but to be expected that the enemy will try to force their way atop in classic Manubal fashion. I intent therefore, to leave the hill alone and keep my companions behind and facing the hill." The companions were startled by the cunning of the plan, and grinned their approval. This was classic Mohanos all right. "And Xanthifuss will lead his heavies towards the cover behind the Ahemar woods and wait there. I expect you, Syacorss" said he pointing at the skirmish captain, who promptly nodded, "to provide cover for them." "We'll send some of the scythians ahead to do the harassing, and I think that the 3rd squadron deserves to get the chance this time." The captain of the 3rd squadron beamed. His boys were finally going to get their action. For weeks they had waited for their turn to skirmish and harass the enemy, but their position as the rearguard and several re-supplies had meant that they were denied that chance to skirmish the enemy despite being top notch fighters. "Our time has come!!"
"Take care," said the General in and end note, "that none of our men enter the forest. Wild animals are loose in there, and I don't want any of our own getting chewed alive." The whole gang chuckled. Everybody in the camp knew Galatix and his gang. "The WereWolves" they called themselves, and not one soul doubted its legitimacy.
The General was about to step down when a din broke out outside the tent. A bearded man with was shouting for an audience with "His Majesty". Mohanos grinned and waved him in. He had expected to meet this guy sooner or later. The other occupants of the tent wrinkled their noses at the new comer, who grinned at them and bowed before the CinC.
Fictitious was the nearest and took a good look at the new entrant. He was dressed in wild leather, had a huge beard and moustache. Assorted coarse copper and silver jewelry hung from his neck and clinked as he walked. His hair was unkempt and knotted into a horse tail just behind his neck. In his hand he wielded a scythe to match those on the wheels of his chariots. A bright red tattoo on his head proclaimed him to be Phobos of Thessaloniki. That name brought back memories to Fictitious' mind. So this was the famed Scythed Charioteer of Thessaloniki. Bloodthirsty soldier, fanatic charioteer and loyal mercenary of Mohanos. He was away on a mission when the army set out, and Fictitious hadn't expected him to turn up for the battle. He looked at Mohanos and wondered how the General was going to handle this guy.
Mohanos smiled and said: "Nice to see you here, Phobos. Guess you are lucky - we are yet to start the battle". Phobos waited in anticipation. "Get your boys to the base of the hill and hold them there, and yes; I do remember my promise: you will have a chance to fight today". Phobos retreated from the room, waving his scythe at the Guard. "What a creature" thought Fictitious. He was reminded of what ballads said of Ares, the God of war:
When Ares heard battle he put on his gleaming helmet, and leapt into his war chariot. With his sword, he rushed into the thick of battle, unconcerned who won or lost as long as blood was shed. A vicious crowd followed at him, carrying with them Pain, Panic, Famine and Oblivion.
...With his sword, he rushed into the thick of battle, unconcerned who won or lost as long as blood was shed. A vicious crowd followed at him, carrying with them Pain, Panic, Famine and Oblivion.
Carthaginian battle line, 0800 hrs: Manubal surveyed what he could see of his battle line from his position atop one of the elephants. He could just see General Vinolcar ordering the skirmishers forward towards the farm. They were going as a double line, moving quickly through a relatively easy terrain. The first few tentative moves towards the farm went smoothly, and Vinolcar started moving his warriors towards the Tragick hill ("what a name!"). Seeing their skirmish screen advance, the African spearmen lifted their heavy spears and took a cautious step forward in the skirmishers wake. They could finally see bits and pieces of the sky through the holes. And suddenly, one of the pointed at the sky and shouted: a boar shaped cloud was sighted! And the entire division was suddenly making the sign of the holy Boar Spirit in earnest. They needed no further proof that this place was the abode of the mightiest of all holies, the Boar spirit.
The enemy was unseen. Manubal decided to wait before sending in his Cavalry. Slowly, but steadily, the fog was clearing. The enemy would appear soon.
Deimos Kostanippolos, captain, 3rd Scythian Horse Squadron, Imperial Selucid Army, led his squadron in a slow trot towards the open space between the farm and the woods. His mission was clear. Harass and delay. A few hundred stadia brought them near the road close to where it left the farm. Moving further south, they picked up the first gleam of enemy steel. The Carthaginian skirmishers were breaking ranks and forming a lengthy battle line in preparation for advancing into the farm. Their focus was obviously the farm, for they failed to take note of the Cavalry who were now almost on their flanks. Demios quickly made a decision.The outline of spearmen was far behind, and once the skirmishers entered the farm, his boys would not be able to tackle them without dismounting. With a wave of his hand, he signaled the silent charge. The silent charge was a speciality of Demios's men. They did not remain silent through out, but started their bloody yell only when they made contact. Survivors testify that such a charge is highly effective.
In any case, the Scythians made a spectacular charge on this occasion. Lead by the ever eager Demios, the charge galloped straight past the end of the Carthaginian skirmish line and wheeled with impressive precision and speed to take them full on the flank. The clang of metal and flesh was instantly surpassed by the wildest of yells in volume as the fiery scythain horsemen hacked their way into the panicking Carthaginians. With hardly any cover and a flank caught in the open, the Carthaginian skirmish line virtually disintegrated. Demios whirled his horse around, and lead his men out with the same speed as they had come in. A few moments later, they were back in their positions. The scattered Carthaginians were stunned, bloody, and at the end of their wits. What had begun as a routine had gone terribly awry, with most of the troops dead or dying around them. Wails sounded all around, and some officers were trying to get things back in control in vain. The unit was broken and bloody. Those alive ran for their home straight down the road, hoping to make it to the camp and beyond.
Manubal and Vinolcar were shocked. The only person who was unconcerned was Vical, but then because he was atop the ridge, near the cavalry and did not see what was going on. But Vical too caught sight of them just as they flew down the road beyond Tragick hill, and set himself after the fleeing unit. He barely managed to stop it for a while. With persuasion and luck, he held back a few, whom he sent atop the Tragick hill, deeming it a better place for their skills. Still nervous and terrified, thee soldiers gathered their last vestige of courage and clambered up the hill.
Hide and Seek
Tragick hill, 0815 hrs: General Manubal decided that their first step had gone awry. The farm was still un scouted, and they had seen only a part of the enemy cavalry and all too briefly. But Manubal wanted the Tragick hill to be taken before any further action. He ordered his Light Cavalry forward. These were unarmored swordsmen, many riding bareback. For some reason, the significance of their (lack of) equipment was lost on Manubal. He simultaneously ordered the poojappura Warriors forward towards the hill.
Taking advantage of the growing visibility, the Carthaginian horse quickly cantered forward towards the western side of the hill. They had but gone a few hundred stadia when the enemy was spotted for the second time. Straight down their path stood a mounted host, silent and steady. They looked like scythians, but were unnaturally silent given their traditional way of behaving in battles. Vical did not like it one bit. For all his lack of finesse, he had the sense to know when something fishy loomed. But his orders were explicit: to advance. The last thing Vical wanted was another showdown with the CinC, so he tightened his reins and ordered an advance. They moved close to the silent watchers.
To the surprise of Vical, the Scythians turned when they neared and trotted back, again all too silently. Vical was surprised and suspicious, but decided to test his luck and press on. He waved his hand and they advanced further. Again, the scythians did their cool about turn and trotted out of range, still silent and brooding. Near the Carthaginian horse, the poojappura warriors were approaching Tragick Hill and still advancing.
Medusa's eye, 0820 hrs: Manubal got reports of Vicals advance by fast courier. He decided to press on with his elephants and bring down the auxiliaries and javelinmen from the hill top. The auxiliaries who were flanking the spearmen also advenced, bolder now in the growing visibility. Their intention was to seize the farm and hold it. Manubal waited tensely as the auxiliaries entered the farm. they were soon moving across the farm, and finally nearing the edge. and the enemy failed to materialize. The auxiliaries who had come down from the Eye fared little better. They were now abreast with the forest, elephants to their left and spearmen past the elephants. And all that was visible to the whole troops were two hosts of cavalry, one on the left and one in the center. Where was the enemy?
Unknown to them, the "enemy" was at the very moment grinning as he discussed with his aides the next steps. Demios's action had gone well, and he was pleased a the way the battle was turning out. Soon, the Carthaginians would advance well into his trap. Mohanos let out a chuckle. "Tell the Scythians to stand by".
A very worried Vinolcar eyed the Auxiliaries as they waited for orders in the farm. To his left side, he could see the poojappura warbands racing ahead to the hill. He was shocked to see them being exhorted their captains to run. Warriors were hard put to keep battle lines in the plains and this was very hilly terrain which even his best trained found difficult to handle. But the Captain seemed ignorant of all this and soon, there was a milling crowd atop the hill, pushing and jostling for places in the incline. Vinolcar spurred his horse on towards the hill. He would have to contain this before it got worse.
Un seen to him from his position to the south of Tragick hill, the skirmishers had crossed the hill top and were being recalled to make way for the warband/warriors. Their nerves broke down, and used the retreat call to scramble for camp. In typical skirmisher fashion the terrified soldiers burst through the warriors and ran past the hill top toward the road. Vinolcar was caught by surprise, and only his skill in handling the horse saved him from the stampede. He knew that he was too late. ahead of him, the warriors were now totally out of control and surged past the crest and down onto the plains.....and found the enemy waiting.
General Vical was tired, puzzled and afraid at the same time. His squadron had been playing hide and seek for a long while now and the Selucid horse was still out of reach, yet so tempting. The fog was visibly thinning, and he could see his enemy more clearly now. Vical made a decision. He would wait no longer. He ordered a full gallop...
The farm search party had decided that they had enough. As soon as their orders arrived, they moved out into the open, beyond the farm. To their left they could see the warriors yelling as they descended the hills. Soon, they were in the open, beyond the meagre protection of the farm...and found the enemy waiting.
Manubal looked at the hour glass and nodded. Time for reinforcements. He nodded at an aid, and soon a signal horn was blaring out the messages for all to hear. The heavy cavalry were the first to emerge. They were surprised to find the cavalry far away, almost near the Selucid lines, and lingered for a while. Then, the Squadron leader made a decision, and they formed up into a column to ride for the farm. They would have to find General Manubal. The light cavalry emerged into the space near the right flank of the Carthaginians and waited. Thier route was clear. They would ride straight ahead, past the forest and join lines with the Elephants who had by now advanced several stadia past the Medusa's Eye. Squadron Leader Bomilcar spurred his horse on... and the enemy watched, as silent and brooding as the forest which hid them.
Springing the Trap
Mohanos read the reports one by one in quick order. He closed his eyes and the battlefield came alive in his mind. He could see the Carthaginian horse, flanked by raging, unruly, indisciplined warriors, facing his scythian horse. His companions were staring down the faces of Auxiliaries who had emerged from the farm. The elephants snorted in the sun, in full view of his Galatian ambushers, flanked by light cavalry who had emerged a few moments earlier. The party which had come down the Eye had for some reason halted, and now waited near the base. His plan had materialized admirably. An invisible tactical trap "box" had formed around the Carthaginians, unkown to them. They were stuck beyond chance of retreat, surrounded by the terrain and his troops. He would now squeeze the lid shut firmly and finally.
Opening his eyes, he looked at the signalmen standing nearby and drew his palm across his neck with a grin...A line of trumpeters raised their golden trumpets which flashed Golden in the rising sun. A single sharp note sliced through the last of the mist on the battlefield, echoed off the trees and the hills.
As the note died away, the Carthaginians heard a new sound...the steady measured tread of thousand s of Pikemen, led by the Silver Shields, advancing steadily behind a moving forest of menacing pike points.... as the Carthaginian troop quailed and scrambled to face the new threat. a second Bugle blast was drowned by a roar from the forests as the hidden Galatians burst forth in a tide of ferocity onto the flanks of the Carthaginian cavalry.....
With an unmatched violence, the Galatians blasted a path of destruction through the ranks of the horsemen, and finding them rout without a counter charge, directed their energies onto the unfortunate Pachyderms which stood directly in their way. Still raving with battle lust, the Galatians pursued the routers through the plains for miles...
The Companions too heard the signal. Their Captains' immediate reaction on hearing the trumpets was to raise his lance and shout a single sharp command: "Form Wedge!!!!". With the precision gained from the hundreds of hours spend in the drill field, the Companions smoothly whirled and twirled and moved to form the deadliest of their formations: the wedge, facing the flank of the troops to their front. The next order was felt rather than heard. "Chaaaaaaarrrrrrrgeeee!!!!" With a rush of hooves, the Companions drove into the flank of the "farm scouts". There was a single crunch, and the victims ceased to be. Tearing through the ranks, the selucid lancers wreaked havoc and mayhem. When the Companions' lances broke, snapping off and twisting deeper into fleeing Cartaginian flesh, they drew their great double handed swords and charged again, cooly and clinically but with great violence. As one observer mentioned later it looked more like a ballet than a battle. The Carthaginian auxiliaries routed and scattered.
Even as the Companions were finishing off the flanks, the scythians to their right took on the enemies from the front, doubling the effect of the charge. What little had remained intact of the group stood no chance as the second charge plunged steel into their ranks...
To the right flank of the Selucids, their own Line cavalry executed a plain old battle line charge. But a charge is charge is a charge, and especially so when it comes from the flank. The warrior line disintegrated, and drove itself into the flanking Carthaginian horse as it did so. Their charge was a success by all counts. General Vical was taken aback by the way the rout forced the warriors into his troops. The fierce rout and the pursuit ripped through the ranks of the horsemen, causing a subsequent rout therein which proved beyond Vical to control. He did the best he could, but the flank was broken and fleeing.
The Dance of the Boar Spirit
Phobos the charioteer was quick to lead his men into the kill. Despite the speed with which he managed to find the action, the Galatians were already working their way through the elephants by the time he reached the battle lines. He simply turned direction and went for the hapless African tribesmen who stood waiting for orders. To the africans (as one survivor later put it)the charge of the scythed Chariots resembled the Boar Spirit in full fury. Too late, they realised the "true meaning" of the omen that they had seen earlier in the morning. The grinning face of Phobos and the terror striking wheels with deadly scythes flashed through the ranks of the spearmen. The revolving blades cut the warriors feet off and sliced their bodies into mangled pieces and as the chariots rushed on, their entrails were pulled out and severd bodies were dragged behind the clattering wheels which crushed crawling men under them.
The battle lusty charioteers slashed and cut, singing the most bawdy of battle songs all the while as the tribals broke ranks and ran for their lives. Phobos was quite pleased with the whole effort. His trip down south to ahemar had not been wasted after all. "Trust Mohanos to entertain you well", he thought in admiration.
General Vinolcar moved through the fleeing flanks in a desparate attempt to hold the routs. But the effort was useless against the massive collapse that was happening. The steadily advancing pikemen marched on marching as one the rising sun glinting on their armor and silver shields. The last of the survivors knelt and begged for quarter, when they saw that great mass of steel descending on them. But the Pikemen showed no mercy, gave no quarter. They scarcely slowed, pinning and crushing all that came before them. The pikes dripped red as the Pikeman moved on tightening the box, trampling the wounded underfoot, pushing the rest onto the scythed chariots...
With the flanks fleeing around him in all sides, Vinolcar found it difficult to reach the heavy cavalry, his last resort. But when he did find them, they were in a postion seeking help, not fit to give any. The scythian horsemen, riding across the now empty farm without danger had caught them in a unplanned ambush. Flanked and cut down by the scythians, the heavy cavarly too was fleeing the scene. Vinolcar finally realized that the inevitable had happend. The battle was lost.
The Pike columns on the one side and the rampaging chariots on the other crushed the remains of the Carthaginian army before them and ground Manubals' dream into the blood drenched dust.
Manubal Castablaga stood dazed and stupefied. He was assisted off the elephant observation post and onto his horse by a quick witted aide. Still dazed, Manubal looked over his shoulder at the carnage as the horse took him to safety...
Military tacticians would argue about the merits and demerits of the participants for years to come. But to the African tribals, the outcome was clear and simple. One of the more educated tribals explained to the guards while being led away in chains that "The mighty Boar Spirit - he not pleased with Manubal. This is His Valley, and the General did not do well to make His tribals fight here".
The last sight the tribals saw as the Guards led them away to the camps was a Full Roast Boar, dressed with apple topping and all, being taken into the tent of Genaral Mohanos. And the boar, in the fading light, seemed to wink at them....
The Audience says that Ravi always seems to win with his skirmisher and/or 5% of his army! This is infuraiting. In the next battle he gets only skirmishers. That way the rest of us have a chance" ;)
Ravi says that Abandoning an "obvious" terrain feature and choosing to fight elsewhere yields good results. Inexperienced players seem "hypnotized" by terrain features. Of course once in a while one does defend the "obvious" very strongly to keep everyone off balance...
Most inexperienced players either move blindly (because they can) or don't move at all. This makes it easy to set traps, "boxes" etc. Always MOVE WITH TACTICAL INTENT ONLY (and stay still for the same reasons) An envelopment IS fun, when your enemy lets you do it !! ;)
Manoj (Umpire) says that If stuck in a game without a plan, create a plan at once. Setting a visibiltiy limit changes the perspective of the game. Beware and plan extra carefully.
Madhav says that When you lose, blame the rules, not your poor playing Choose allies who don't know the rules either, so that one can constantly argue with and blame the umpire.