2nd Punic War    
  3 - The Trebbia, Dec 218BC   1 unit = 1500 HI, 750 LH, 1000 LMI & Cv, 500 LI
     
 
Background:
After the clash on the Ticinus River, Scipio's Gallic cavalry deserted and the tribe of the Boii in Scipio's rear went over to Hannibal. In an untennable position, Scipio retreated to the Trebbia River where he made camp. A few days later, Sempronius arrived with additional legions, having covered a distance of 1780km in 40 days. Shortly thereafter, a skirmish between the two sides threatened to grow into a battle proper and Hannibal, not wishing to lose control of the situation, recalled his skirmishers. This elated the Romans who saw the retreat as a sign of weakness, and they clamoured for a decisive battle. This hot- headedness played right into Hannibal's hands, and after despatching his trusted cavalry general Mago into the hills with an ambush force of Numidian cavalry and infantry, he sent more Numidian light horse towards the Romans, to taunt and lure them. Sempronius, no doubt eager for glory now that his superior Scipio had left the army to nurse his wounds, took the bait and attacked and pusued the Numidians who again retreated. Soon the entire Roman army was called to arms and urged forward across a freezing Trebbia River, early in the frosty December morning, without breakfast. Hannibal did not strike when the Romans were halfway across the river. He waited for their full deployment, secure in the superior condition of his troops and greater numbers of his cavalry. The Romans were shivering and hungry while his men were fed and oiled. His ambush was waiting to be sprung. It would still not be an easy battle against a large Roman army, but he had given his forces every opportunity for victory.
 
 
 
When the two forces came within distance, the light armed troops in front of the two armies closed with each other. In this part of the battle the Romans were in many respects at a disadvantage, while the Carthaginians had everything in their favour. For the Roman spearmen had been on hard service ever since daybreak, and had expended most of their weapons in the engagement with the Numidians, while those weapons which were left had become useless from being long wet. Nor were the cavalry, or indeed the whole army, any better off in these respects. The case of the Carthaginians was exactly the reverse: they had come on the field perfectly sound and fresh, and were ready and eager for every service required of them. As soon, therefore, as their advanced guard had retired again within their lines, and the heavy-armed soldiers were engaged, the cavalry on the two wings of the Carthaginian army at once charged the enemy with all the effect of superiority in numbers, and in the condition both of men and horses secured by their freshness when they started. The Roman cavalry on the contrary retreated: and the flanks of the line being thus left unprotected, the Carthaginian spearmen and the main body of the Numidians, passing their own advanced guard, charged the Roman flanks: and, by the damage which they did them, prevented them from keeping up the fight with the troops on their front. The heavy-armed troops who were in the front rank of both armies, and in the centre of that, maintained an obstinate and equal fight for a considerable time. Just then the Numidians, who had been lying in ambush, left their hiding-place, and by a sudden charge on the centre of the Roman rear produced great confusion and alarm throughout the army. Finally both the Roman wings, being hard-pressed in front by the elephants, and on both flanks by the light-armed troops of the enemy, gave way, and in their flight were forced upon the river behind them. After this, while the centre of the Roman rear was losing heavily, and suffering severely from the attack of the Numidian ambuscade, their front, thus driven to bay, defeated the Celts and a division of Africans, and, after killing a large number of them, succeeded in cutting their way through the Carthaginian line. Then seeing that their wings had been forced off their ground, they gave up all hope of relieving them or getting back to their camp, partly because of the number of the enemy's cavalry, and partly because they were hindered by the river and the pelting storm of rain which was pouring down upon their heads. “They therefore closed their ranks, and made their way safely to Placentia, to the number of ten thousand. Of the rest of the army the greater number were killed by the elephants and cavalry on the bank of the Trebia; while those of the infantry who escaped, and the greater part of the cavalry, managed to rejoin the ten thousand mentioned above, and arrived with them at Placentia. Meanwhile the Carthaginian army pursued the enemy as far as the Trebia; but being prevented by the storm from going farther, returned to their camp. They regarded the result of the battle with great exultation, as a complete success; for the loss of the Iberians and Africans had been light, the heaviest having fallen on the Celts. But from the rain and the snow which followed it, they suffered so severely, that all the elephants except one died, and a large number of men and horses perished from the cold.” -Polybius
 
 
     
  Game notes:
The Roman troops were sent into battle on an empty stomach and were forced to cross a near-freezing Trebia River in chest-deep water. They had lost some function of their limbs as a result and have been downgraded to mediocre. - Sempronius Longus behaved rashly in every way and his troops may not stand on the defensive but must attack.
 
     
 
     
 
 
 
    The River Trebbia on a chilly morning
 
     
 
CARTHAGINIAN ARMY Carthaginian - list 55
Command: +8 Army demoralisation value: 69
  Command 1         command strength 39.5
CinC Hannibal detached supreme  +3 CP Range: 8UD      
units Troop description type Quality move strength Range M ft M mtd Abilities & notes
6 9000 Punic & African spearmen HI spear Elite 2UD 5   4 5 armour
4 4000 Iberian scutarii LMI javelin Elite 3UD 4 1UD 3 2  +1 impact vs foot; no armour; evade
10 10000 Gallic warriors LMI warband Ordinary 3UD 4   3 2 no armour; +1 impact vs inf; +1 rear support; furious charge; impetuous
3 1500 Numidian skirmishers LI javelin Ordinary 3UD 2 1UD 2 1  -1 fire; +1 javelin vs LI & LH; evade
3 1500 Balearic slingers LI sling Elite 3UD 2 1UD 2 1  -1 fire; evade
2 37 elephants EL Mediocre 3UD 5 1UD 4 5  -1 fire
  Left Wing         command strength 11
Sub Hasdrubal detached competent  +1 CP Range: 6UD      
units Troop description type Quality move strength Range M ft M mtd Abilities & notes
1 1000 Gallic cavalry HC Ordinary 4UD 5   3 3 armour; evade
2 2000 Gallic cavalry MC Ordinary 4UD 5   3 3 no armour; evade
2 1500 Numidian light horse LH Elite 5UD 3 1UD 2 2 no armour; evade
3 1500 Numidian skirmishers LI javelin Ordinary 3UD 2 1UD 2 1  -1 fire; +1 javelin vs LI & LH; evade
  Right Wing         command strength 12
Sub Maharbal detached brilliant  +2 CP Range: 8UD      
units Troop description type Quality move strength Range M ft M mtd Abilities & notes
1 1200 Punic and Spanish cavalry HC Elite 4UD 5   3 3 armour; evade
1 1200 Spanish cavalry MC Elite 4UD 5   3 3 no armour; evade
2 1400 Gallic cavalry MC Ordinary 4UD 5   3 3 no armour; evade
2 1500 Numidian light horse LH Elite 5UD 3 1UD 2 2 no armour; evade
  Ambush         command strength 6.5
Sub Mago Barca detached brilliant  +2 CP Range: 8UD      
units Troop description type Quality move strength Range M ft M mtd Abilities & notes
2 1500 Numidian light horse LH Elite 5UD 3 1UD 2 2 no armour; evade
1 750 Numidian skirmishers LI javelin Ordinary 3UD 2 1UD 2 1  -1 fire; +1 javelin vs LI & LH; evade
 
     
 
Hannibal and his generals
 
 
 
 
Respective positions of the armies' camps and deployment of the forces after the Roman crossing of Trebbia River.
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
 
ROMAN ARMY Republican Roman - list 53
Command: +3 Army demoralisation value: 39
  CENTRE         command strength 17
CinC T. Sempronius Longus detached competent  +1 CP Range: 6UD      
units Troop description type Quality move strength Range M ft M mtd Abilities & notes
8 4000 Roman Leves LI javelin Mediocre 3UD 2 1UD 2 1  -1 fire; +1 jav vs LI & LH; evade
4 5600 Roman Hastati HI swordsmen Mediocre 2UD 5   5 4 armour; +1 impact vs foot
4 5600 Roman Principes HI swordsmen Mediocre 2UD 5   5 4 armour; +1 impact vs foot
2 2800 Roman Triarii HI spear Ordinary 2UD 5   4 5 armour
2 2200 Roman & allied cavalry HC Mediocre 4UD 5   3 3 armour; evade
  Left Wing         command strength 11
Sub Caepio detached competent  +1 CP Range: 6UD      
units Troop description type Quality move strength Range M ft M mtd Abilities & notes
4 2000 Allied Leves LI javelin Mediocre 3UD 2 1UD 2 1  -1 fire; +1 jav vs LI & LH; evade
2 3000 Allied Hastati HI swordsmen Mediocre 2UD 5   5 4 armour; +1 impact vs foot
2 3000 Allied Principes HI swordsmen Mediocre 2UD 5   5 4 armour; +1 impact vs foot
1 1500 Allied Triarii HI spear Mediocre 2UD 5   4 5 armour
3 3000 allied cavalry MC Mediocre 4UD 5   3 3 no armour; evade
  Right Wing         command strength 11
Sub Lucius Manlius detached competent  +1 CP Range: 6UD      
units Troop description type Quality move strength Range M ft M mtd Abilities & notes
4 2000 Allied Leves LI javelin Mediocre 3UD 2 1UD 2 1  -1 fire; +1 jav vs LI & LH; evade
2 3000 Allied Hastati HI swordsmen Mediocre 2UD 5   5 4 armour; +1 impact vs foot
2 3000 Allied Principes HI swordsmen Mediocre 2UD 5   5 4 armour; +1 impact vs foot
1 1500 Allied Triarii HI spear Mediocre 2UD 5   4 5 armour
2 2500 Cenomani Gallic warriors LMI warband Ordinary 3UD 4   3 2 no armour; +1 impact vs inf; +1 rear support; furious charge; impetuous
1 1000 Roman cavalry HC Mediocre 4UD 5   3 3 armour; evade
 
 
 
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