On Tuesday, Mike and I drove across to Graham's place in Thaxted for a game of Hail Caesar. I had packed my Carthaginian Infantry and Elephants, Mike said he had a few Romans and Gauls.
Graham was also fielding Carthaginians so he and I joined forces against Mike's army. As you can see, we were still far outnumbered (Gauls and Romans on the left).
Mike had six large ferocious Gaul war bands advancing behind clouds of skirmishers
This did not bode well for our thinly spread Carthaginian army.
Still, at least we had a couple of elephants !
Mike's Romans are left of his centre, arrayed behind their shields
Graham's new cavalry look splendid
as do his spearmen out on our right flank with more cavalry
The Romans have placed two bolt throwers up on the high ground where their general surveys the field
I push forward my skirmishers ahead of three infantry units
Mike responds with hordes of screaming Gauls, behind archers
Graham considers whether to advance the cavalry in the centre
His wonderful Carthaginian command group
The Romans march forward
With Gaul war bands to their right
Graham obtained this ruined temple from a fish tank accessories supplier !
His cavalry do begin to advance
Is this wise ?
My Carthaginians await the onslaught
Mike's left flank is his weakest position where only one unit stands
My slingers try to inflict a bit of damage on the advancing war bands
Crash ! Grahams cavalry have charged Mike's which have responded with a counter charge
But Mike has Roman infantry in support
Three more of Mike's war bands wait in reserve
How many can squeeze in the gap between the temple and the oasis ?
The bolt throwers fire at cavalry trying to come up and support the cavalry melee
The Carthaginian cavalry fight on grimly
but eventually break
Graham has now pushed forward his infantry supported by the two elephants to tackle the Roman legionaries
There do seem rather a lot of them !
War bands now advance left of the temple to add to the pressure
Our right is already looking dangerously exposed
Here's a view from behind our infantry position in the centre. The Romans have thrown their pilum which are difficult to defend against
The setting winter sun is now playing havoc with my photos !
One of my Carthaginian units was sent to help Graham's men in the centre
but wherever we look, we are outnumbered
My skirmishers have been thrown back disordered behind the oasis by the Gaul archers
Can our infantry hold in the centre ?
Those irritating bolt throwers keep up a steady stream of missiles
Graham's light cavalry have changed into extended lines to make them a harder target to hit
My Carthaginian infantry are steadily pushed back by the enemy war bands
Indeed, our formation is broken as units are thrown back
Our "backs are to the wall" by now
Graham's infantry have broken leaving the elephants and the Commander-in-Chief to fight the Romans
which they do !
Not only have I lost a unit but also my Commander has been killed in the fighting !
With our left and centre broken, this heralded the end of the battle.
Here's a few more random shots taken before the sun interfered.
Our left wing awaiting the war band attack
The plucky elephants
Its animal cruelty if you ask me !
War bands smashing their way through in the centre
This is how many Gauls you can fit between the temple and the oasis - too many !
Half my force had been destroyed at this point
Now I'm down to one unit and some skirmishers
Nevertheless, we really got the feel of "up close and dirty" ancient fighting.
Thumbs up once again for Hail Caesar.