Approach March Rules - Grand Strategy Ancients

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Bill Hupp
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:55 pm
Location: Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Approach March Rules - Grand Strategy Ancients

Post by Bill Hupp » Fri May 12, 2017 6:29 pm

Being relatively new to ancient gaming, I admit to not being a big fan of the terrain set up process. While the Triumph! board and system are a signficant improvement in the resulst of the set up process over the leagacy system, I still wish for someway to replicate the story line behind so many ancient and medieval battles, where the action before the battle really set the scene for the battle.

As an example, below is a brief narrative related to the pre-battle actions at the battle of Ilipa.

I started playnig with a grand tachtical/approach march process and was nudged by one of my long time ancient-playing friends and shown the approach march process in WRG-7 and Warrior. So we tried a Kriegspiel version of this with a couple of 60 element Successor armies using C&C Ancients to adjudicate the battle itself. It worked great. The 'generals' meeting for each side and the discussion of how we decided to set up our forces was a lot of fun.

I started to come up with a generalized version of this and was wondering what other people's interest in this would be?


Pre-battle maneuver at Ilipa 206 BC (from Wikipedia)

The next spring, the Carthaginians launched their last great effort to recover their Iberian holdings. Mago was joined at Ilipa by Hasdrubal Gisco, creating a force estimated at 54,000 to 70,000, considerably larger than Scipio’s army of 43,000 men, which was composed of a large number of Iberian allies who were not as seasoned as Roman legionaries. The two opponents spent the next few days observing and testing each other, with Scipio always waiting to lead out his troops only after the Carthaginians had advanced from their camp first. The Roman formation always presented the legions in the center and Iberians on the wings, thus leading Hasdrubal and Mago to believe that this would be the Roman arrangement on the day of battle.

Believing his deception had taken a firm hold on the Carthaginian commanders, Scipio made his move. He promptly sent his cavalry and light troops against the Carthaginian outposts at daybreak, while advancing with his main force behind, all the way to the front of the Carthaginian position. This day his legions stood at the wings and the Iberians in the centre.

Surprised by the Romans' sudden attacks, the Carthaginians rushed to arm themselves and sallied forth. Still believing that Scipio would arrange his force in the earlier fashion, Hasdrubal deployed his elite Africans in the centre and the Iberian mercenaries on his wings; he was not able to change formation after discovering the new Roman arrangement because the opposing army was too close, as Scipio had ordered his troops to form for battle closer to the Carthaginian camp.

With his wings advancing at a faster pace than the Iberians in his center, Scipio formed a concave, or reverse Cannae, battle line. Furthermore, the Roman general expanded his wings by ordering the light troops to the flanks of the legionaries, and the cavalry to the flank of the light troops, thus enveloping the whole Carthaginian line on both sides.
Bill Hupp
Thistle & Rose Miniatures
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