Gracchus, Flaccus & Maximus

Like much of the world here in New Zealand we are under a lockdown in an effort to control the spread of Covid-19. For many weeks now all wargaming, at least face to face, has been on hold. However, my son and I decided to attempt some virtual DBA games using Skype. In the ensuing weeks we have played around five games. In the end the majority of engagements comprised battles involving Rome, so these are presented here in something of a campaign, though at the time we had no such plan.

Frustrated by the ever growing restlessness of the Gallic peoples north of Rome the Senate determined to move against the Cisalpine tribes despite the ongoing threat Hannibal posed to Rome. The Consul Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus was dispatched and pressed north engaging a large Gallic army in the Spring of 215 BC.

Above and below the view of the engagement with the Gallic cavalry and chariots massed on the Gallic left.

Gracchus was particularly aggressive and exploited ruthlessly the gaps in the Gallic lines.

However, the Punic threat could not be ignored and in 212 BC Rome moved against the Carthaginians in the south. Having assembled a large army the Consul Quintus Fulvius Flaccus marched south.

The Carthaginians, commanded by Hanno the Younger, deployed along the coast their flank resting on an occupied Italian city. Reinforced with a number of pachyderms Hanno hoped to break up the Roman lines with these beasts. Soon a dramatic battle developed with the elephants repeatedly pressing the Roman centre.

Above and below the Carthaginians are engaged against the Romans.

However, Roman determination was unwavering and slowly the Roman infantry gained the advantage until finally the Punic veterans were overwhelmed. 

Yet before the Punic threat could be overcome events in the north required attention. Therefore in the Spring of 211 BC a new Consul, Gnaeus Fulvius Centumalus Maximus, marched north to confront the Gauls.

Maximus hoped the campaign would be short and therefore planned to suppress the tribal alliance before moving south again. However, the old Gallic commander undertook a series of complex manoeuvres and fell on the overextended Roman right.

Above, the move against the Roman right, while below the Gallic main effort seen from the Gallic right.

The Gallic attack against the Roman right had clearly surprised Maximus whose attack temporarily stalled. This now allowed the Gallic centre to decimated the Romans opposite and secure a clear Gallic victory. 

Yet undeterred Maximus reinforced his army and by autumn was prepared to again move on to the offensive. In due course the Gauls offered battle and again the Gallic commander attempted a series of complex manoeuvres.

However, this time his cunning only created a series of gaps in his own line which he was unable to plug.

Maximus struck with deadly determination, shattering the Gauls and handing them their worst defeat since Telmon.

In the course of three years the Consuls Gracchus, Flaccus & Maximus had inflicted three defeats on the enemies of Rome. Now Rome, emboldened with confidence, could focus on the final defeat of Hannibal…

6 thoughts on “Gracchus, Flaccus & Maximus

  1. Such a pleasure receiving these – now more than ever – despite Roman victories (yes I am a hairy pro ‘barbarian’ sympathiser). Encouragement to clear the table and do some DBA solo outings. Many thanks.
    Darklinger AEldridge

    1. Indeed, sometimes you don’t realise your actions, or wargames, fit a pattern. Our other game found Sparta engaged against Thebes, but unfortunately didn’t fit our Roman theme.

  2. There I was imaging the same battles with 6mm troops on the bases and I noticed your list of 38 DBA armies. I have to lift my game and stop splitting time among multiple projects. I have about 13 or 14 6mm DBA armies in the lead pile. I think I will just finish these aircraft and start back on the ancients.

    Great battle report however. Have been thinking of a few solo DBA games myself … if I get a break from all this Work from Home stuff that keep arriving in my inbox!

    1. Alas not all the armies in the list are mine!

      I’m not actually sure how many 15mm armies I can field to be honest. It’s hard to decide when an actual army counts and when morphing one doesn’t count.

      However, planning armies, reading history, enjoying building armies and of course playing games is what it’s all about.

      The last series of games was very enjoyable!

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