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Saturday, 1 September 2012

Die is Cast Carthaginians vs Republican Romans

Another of our small scale games using DBA lists and the Die is Cast rules. The game was played with 15mm figures, mostly Donnington Miniatures.
The Carthaginian army; 2 bases of Spanish cavalry, 2 of Numidian cavalry, an elephant, a base of slingers, 2 bases of Gallic warband, 2 bases of spearmen and 2 bases of peltasts.
The Republican Roman army (under my command); 3 units each of 2 bases of hastati/princepes, 2 bases of spearmen and 2 of cavalry. I decided to use the 2 bases of velites as separate units to both give me extra flexibility and because I believed that under the rules once these light units had taken any casualties they would fairly much be useless, so best give my opponent two units to target.
After the first move. All the Carthaginian cavalry move over to the left to face the single unit of Roman cavalry, whilst I push my Roman infantry forward as fast as they will go.
View from behind the Roman front line.
The Roman infantry press forward but the Roman cavalry turns back and moves away from the Carthaginians hoping to delay combat but still remain as a threat to stop the Carthaginian cavalry and elephant from attacking the Roman infantry in the flank. The Numidian cavalry and a unit of velites hurl javelins at one another. With only 1 die per base firing (as they are light troops), all dice hit, the velites are destroyed and the Numidians take a hit. The Numidians fail their morale test and rout, rallying at the end of the turn. 
On the left, the Carthaginian (Spanish) cavalry charge, supported by the elephant. Rather than face that lot, the Roman cavalry try to evade and are caught by the cavalry – they outdistance the elephant. Under many rules that would mean that the Roman cavalry would be automatically broken but is not the case in the Die is Cast. The Roman cavalry will fight back but count as shieldless and unformed. With the charge bonus and fighting shieldless enemy, the Spanish cavalry needed 7’s to hit but only scored one hit (see picture above), the Roman cavalry needed 3’s to hit (no charge bonus and they were fighting unformed and with only one die per base, as they were hit in the rear. The Romans scored no hits and lost the melee by one hit.
However the Romans roll good morale dice (keep the 6, 4 and 2. Discard the 1) and stay in the melee. But they cannot turn to face the enemy and can take no action (unless it is to run away) when the elephant charges in.
On the next turn the elephant duly charges in, the Roman cavalry pass their morale check and fight on. This time the combined attacks of the Spanish cavalry and elephant inflicts 4 hits on the Romans whilst the Romans get really lucky and to do 2 back on the Spanish (rolling 2 dice and needing 3 or less!). So the Romans lost the melee and are now down to half strength, so they roll 3 dice and discard one of those. As can be seen above, they rolled well, kept the 5 and the 4 and Retreated out of the melee. pursued by both the cavalry and elephant.
In the centre at the same time as the cavalry charge is taking place the Roman infantry charge along the front. The Carthaginian light infantry and cavalry are driven off and the peltasts totally wiped out (although causing 3 hits on the Roman infantry on the far right of the picture). In the centre the Gallic infantry take 4 hits (the blue die) and lose a base, half the unit strength, roll 3 for morale and rout. The Roman infantry took 1 hit and pursue into the Carthaginian spearmen behind (who have their flank to the Romans).
The routing Gauls can be seen in the background, running away. The Carthaginian spearmen have been hit in the flank with another unit of Romans coming up behind them. On the left the Numidian cavalry have returned and are throwing javelins into the Roman infantry, causing another hit (the yellow dice are hits taken throughout the game).
On the next turn, the Roman infantry charge into the rear of the Carthaginian spearmen and the Roman spearmen replace the previous Roman unit fighting (using the Legion special rule). These combined attacks reduce the Carthaginians to 50% strength and they lose the melee, roll 3 dice (5, 4, 3) and discard the 3. Even with a roll of 9, the Carthaginians flee and are pursued by both Roman units.
To the left of the picture, the Roman infantry have charged and driven off the Numidian cavalry.
The end in the centre, the Romans have broken through. So even though the Roman cavalry has been destroyed, their sacrifice allowed the Roman infantry to get into combat and do what they do best, fight.


  1. Nice report Justin, glad to see the rules coming along well. How long (time wise) to play a game at this scale and what's the board size your using? Sorry if you've answered these questions elsewhere.


  2. This game took an hour and we were using a 4x4 foot board. Using one of the spare tables at Portcullis Games in Bolton.

    The recent changes to the rules system has made the game more decisive. I think the new system of only allowing routing troops to use the result of 2 dice rather than the usual three means that all things being considered, routers will not rally easily.

    One thing from this small sized game is that 'units' are easy to damage (as I anticipated with by single base velite units). So the next game will be a mini game with points, then we can use full sized units (the light troops in 6's) and units will be harder to break in the first place. I might even be able to have a triple line Roman army!