Post by timurilank on Jun 23, 2017 20:39:05 GMT
Throughout this discussion of what tweaks would best help auxilia perform as they did at Cannae there is one area completely overlooked – that of command. Firstly, a Cannae would be very difficult to represent as a standard 12 element as side game, however with the addition of extra commands the battle can develop in the form that history records.
Let us for the sake of argument assume each side deploys four commands, each of 12 elements, as sketched below.
Left Flank: Consul Varro [allied infantry, skirmishers and allied cavalry]
Centre: Proconsuls Atilius and Servilius each have [Roman infantry and skirmishers]
Right Flank: Consul Paulus (C-in-C) [allied infantry, skirmishers and Roman cavalry]
Left Flank: Hasdrubal [Spanish and Gallic cavalry, skirmishers]
Centre: Hannibal (C-in-C) and Mago [Spanish and Gallic infantry, skirmishers, spearmen]
Right Flank: Hanno [Numidian light horse, skirmishers]
Following the account of the battle as described by our sources (Livy, Polybius) the cavalry of each flank initiate their attack. The cavalry on the Roman right are the first to suffer the loss of Consul Paulus and the Roman cavalry. In DBA terms this equates to 2g+2 which would result in that command reaching demoralization and the remainder must attempt to hold their current positions on their next bound.
Hasdrubal’s skirmishers now engage the Roman right wing forcing them to turn 90 degrees to face. Next, together with the Spanish and Gallic horse Hasdrubal crosses the Roman rear to help Hanno’s Numidians on the opposite flank. The Roman allied cavalry is crushed leaving the left wing command also to become demoralized. Consul Varro flees leaving his command to fend as best as they can.
In the centre, the proconsuls Atilius and Servilius are grinding their way forward pushing the Spanish and Gallic troops back. Again, according to the sources, here was the greatest concentration of Roman infantry with each command deployed on a narrow front thereby increasing the number of ranks (three element frontage by four ranks = principes, hastati, triarii and velites).
The situation now becomes a desperate race against the clock as the two proconsuls must inflict enough casualties to break through Hannibal and Mago’s centre before Carthage destroys the two Roman wings completely causing 50% casualties.
At this point, the African and Libyan spearmen close in to continue the slaughter of the Roman wings eventually meeting the two Roman central commands. Trapped and unable to recoil, more Roman elements would be destroyed bringing Roman casualties above the needed tally.
Next: Duplicating the battle.