Pachydermatitis (Carthaginians v. ‘Classical Goblins’)

27 May, 2010

Thinking about all the mistakes that contributed to the Carthaginians failure against the Classical Indians last night, I decided to refight the battle solo. I don’t have any Classical Indians, so I resorted to my Goblins, as I’d done some time ago. The Goblins this time used wolves for the HCh, but were otherwise led by a Giant along with ogre and troll cohorts (3xEl) and had goblin archers (4x3Bw), wolf riders (2x3Cv) and as I didn’t have enough archers to replicate Joel’s army, I took a 5Bd(!)—I didn’t have any 3Bd, as they’d been cannibalized for SBH.

The Carthaginian leader, one of the numerous Hasdrubals, was in retreat from India. Fortunately most of his casualties had been skirmishers. But he still wasn’t looking forward to explaining his defeat to his superiors. After all, now that the Carthaginian Republic was the supreme power in the Mediterranean and was even extending its influence east beyond the Hellenistic world, it took a dim view of unsuccessful generals. Hasdrubal was hoping for some success on the way back to balance this defeat. He reinforced his army with some Gallic mercenaries that had been foraging during the previous encounter, so there were two 3Wb instead of two of the 2Ps. These Gauls brought some disturbing news, claiming to have seen a Giant with a horde of hideous green-skinned people. Hasdrubal was disinclined to take such a report too seriously, given the Gallic propensity for exaggeration; he also suspected that their foraging had gained them a little more wine than was wise. Nevertheless, he sent forward his Numidians to confirm this report.

The Numidians brought back news that there was indeed a host of these foul creatures and they were camped near an area strangely similar to the battlefield on which they had met the Indians. Upon ascertaining the nature of this army and drawing on his experience in the previous battle, Hasdrubal succeeded in forcing the Giant to deploy with the marsh in the middle of his line. This gave Hasdrubal a handy wood on each flank. This time he took care to position his camp centrally and watch the Goblins deploy. The Giant chose to deploy on his left of the marsh, so he would have clear ground in front of him. He put the wolves to his left and the archers to his right with the wolf riders in reserve and the blades on the end of the line. After he saw the Carthaginian deployment he shifted one archer to the left to try to meet the threat of the Spanish Scutati.

Hasdrubal deployed with the Libyan spear on his right flank with the Spanish Scutarii ready to go out wide from them. In the centre were the elephants with Libyan skirmishers in support. On the left were the Gauls and in reserve were the Numidians and Hasdrubal’s Libyphoenician cavalry.

Initial Deployments: Goblins on the left and Carthaginians on the right.

The opening manoeuvres favoured Hasdrubal, who had good PIPs, while the Goblins started very slowly, struggling to get out of the marsh. However, Hasdrubal moved his spear and elephants a little closer than was sensible before they had support on the left flank and the Giant was able to launch a general attack. Shooting in Hasdrubal’s turn had recoiled one of the spear, but the archer was not able to advance with the line, being ZOCed by the Scutarii. The Giant started by having the psiloi in front of the trolls put to flight. This left the elephant on the left overlapped against archers, who destroyed it. Elsewhere it did not go so well. He was recoiled against elephants, as were the ogres against spear. The poor wolves faced long odds and were routed when the dice went 1-6 against them.

The Giant's charge sees each side lose an element, but the Carthaginians can be relieved to have got off so lightly.

In Hasdrubal’s turn he attacks the archers with his Scutarii and brings the Libyan psiloi in front of the spear. He also advances to reform the line on the left along with the Gauls. In the only combat the Scutarii rout the opposing bow.

With good PIPs Hasdrubal restores some order to the Carthaginian line.

The Giant advances his archers to shoot at the Gauls, destroying one warband with concentrated fire. He advances on the Libyan psiloi, but only recoils it, rather than making it flee.

Accurate shooting sees some Gauls break and run.

Hasdrubal decides to gamble on a charge into the archers. The Gauls use a move sideways to join him (avoiding the archers’ ZOC), and then uses their second move to charge into combat. They are followed by Hasdrubal and the Libyan psiloi, who on the right have overlap support from the spear. Hasdrubal goes first and destroys the archers in front of him, the Gauls then recoil the archers they face, but the Libyans, despite overlap support on both sides, get a ‘stick’ against the trolls and are recoiled again against the ogres.

Hasdrubal succeeds in his charge on the Goblin archers.

In the Giant’s turn, he flanks the Gauls and advances on the elephant and spear. He rather foolishly leaves the trolls in combat with the psiloi, though with his overlap the odds are now better (3-2 rather than 2-2 of the turn before). The Gauls shrug off the attack of the archers, chasing after them. The Libyans facing the trolls finally prove too much for them, and although the Giant recoils the opposing elephant, it’s not enough to help the ogres against the Libyan spear, who recoil them. With their battleline now in tatters the goblins take to their heels.

The trolls have had enough, and with their departure the goblins flee.

Hasdrubal has a victory, and some strange trophies to restore his standing in the republic.

  • Review:

I had a plan this time, and the Giant didn’t really counter it effectively. His wolf riders were not really effective on the right flank, and should probably have been on the left where they would have made a very useful reserve. However, they had the hope of flanking the Carthaginians, which they had neither the PIPs nor the time to do.

The idea of facing the elephants with elephants was one I got from the Fanaticus Forum. I thought putting the psiloi in the middle would be a good way of neutralizing the general and keeping it safe from other mounted. Otherwise, the dice were kind to me this time, though it made a difference that the psiloi were only exposed to elephants (of sorts!) this time, as they were my downfall in the last game.

The Carthaginians were overdue for a win, even if a solo one. I should get to use them again this Friday when I visit John. After that there won’t be many battle before my trip overseas removes me from gaming for a few weeks. Then I hope to get them down to Christchurch for the Christchurch Wargames Club’s DBA Open Championship. After all, I need the practice before the IWC competition.

8 Responses to “Pachydermatitis (Carthaginians v. ‘Classical Goblins’)”

  1. TWR Says:

    Interesting how the table now looks different.

    The woods are nearer to the “Indian” base line than I realised. In the previous report they seemed more central.

    • Mark Davies Says:

      Yes, I think the camera angle from a corner does that. I set the table up again as for the previous game and even deployed from the same edges, and then decided that I should also take a different edge. I think I got the woods in the right place, even though it looks different.

  2. Craig C Says:

    I liked that deployment- some good ideas on that Fanaticus thread you started- will try a few of them myself.

    I know of at least one classical Indian force locally that will be at the CHCH comp- my Numidians bounced off it a few weeks back in a doubles game.

    I’ve trying to get the Timaru players to do an Elephant theme (everyone take at least one) but I think we’ve one splitter out of the 5 of us heading up to CHCH.

    I hope to get a game in at the comp and look forward to more reports in the meantime.

    May this be the start of a winning streak for the Carthaginians!

    Finally, I like way you converted the Goblins to DBA rather than the Carthaginians to HoTT


    • Mark Davies Says:

      Yes, that thread’s been a big help. Look forward to seeing you, and possibly playing against you at the CWC comp. As I’m going overseas in a fortnight’s time there may soon be a hiatus in games; that’s why I’m trying to get in as much practice as possible before then!

      I’m hoping the Carthaginians have turned a corner now too. Of course, I’d love to take the Classical Goblins to CWC, but I think there might be some objections!

  3. Craig C Says:

    I like the classical goblins!

    In a comp where non-historical matchups’s get to play what’s a slightly green tinged horde going to do except adda touch of greenness? Perhaps you could claim them to be sea-sick Indians

    If not, I’m sure I could arrange dispensation for TAGCON later in the year.

    • Mark Davies Says:

      I was hoping to get to TagCon, but it clashes with an aunt’s 70th birthday; maybe next year! I’d work on some more appropriate chariots for the Goblins for that!

  4. Little Odo Says:

    A great write up once again. Any chance of some close ups of the miniatures you use on the fantasy side of things?

    I am currently busy building three fantasy armies and just need a little more inspiration on what types/makes of minis look good on the table together. I am up for using all my old Ral Partha etc minis, but will need to add to them with more modern ones. I’d like to see what is on offer before purchasing any new ones in case I miss out on some great minis.

    • Mark Davies Says:

      Thanks; are the pictures in the ‘Armies’ section of this blog close up enough? These are Chariot figures from Magister Militum.

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