Thursday, 3 October 2019

The Battle of Trebbia 218 BC - To the Strongest - Batrep

Postie was given a well deserved rest last Sunday, as BigLee ( Lee's report here) took over the reigns as the Ref and cheif organiser. Lee had been planning for some time to introduce the rest of the Rejects to Simon Miller's excellent set of Ancients rules "To the Strongest".
Myself and Richard picked out the Romans, Postie and Surj got the Carthaginians. As this was a playtest (or so we thought?) it was just a meeting engagement and it was a simple clashing of armies.
We did find out halfway through the game we were infact re-fighting Trebbia!!!!
It was actually quite funny, I stood over on the Carthaginian side of the table as me and Richard talked tactics, I noticed the river behind the Roman lines??? "Are we refighting Trebbia?" I asked. Lee's top lip quivered as he lied through his teeth......." No this is just a playtest!"
Lying shitbag!
(I do infact own some never played with 15mm armies for both sides of the Carthaginian Wars, but I've never found a set of rules that I liked because of the dreaded Maniple formation and the swap Hastati and Principis) SO I do know a little about the period, which Lee never knew......

Pinched straight from Lee's blog (Why type it out again?)

Order of Battle
Romans  C/O Consul Tiberius Sempronius Longus  (267 Points)
1st Command - Sempronius    Mounted, Detached, Senior 
   2x Equites Romani           Cavalry, Javelin
   Equites Extraordinarii          Cavalry, Javelin, Veteran
   Italian Allied Infantry          Javelinmen
   Gallic allied infantry          Warriors, deep, hero
2nd Command - General         Mounted, Detached
   3x Velites                          Light Infantry, Javelin
   4x Hastati/Principes          Legionaries, Special
   3x Triarii                          Hoplites, Veteran, Small
3rd Command - General          Mounted, Detached
   3x Velites                           Light Infantry, Javelin
   4x Hastati/Principes           Legionaries, Special
   3x Triarii                           Hoplites, Veteran, Small
4th Command - General          Mounted, Detached
   2x Equites Latini                  Cavalry, Javelin
   2x Allied Light Cavalry   Light Cavalry, Javelin
   Italian Allied Infantry          Javelinmen

Carthaginians  C/O Hannibal Barca (234 Points)
1st Command - Hannibal   Great Leader, senior, mounted, heroic, detached and brilliant 
   2x Punic Cavalry                 Cavalry, Javelin
   2x Numidian Light Cavalry Light Cavalry, Javelin 
   African Elephants          African Elephants, Deep
   African Skirmishers         Light Infantry, Javelin, Raw
   Balaeric Slingers                 Light infantry sling, Veteran
2nd Command - General        Mounted, Detached
   2x African Spearmen         Spearmen, Veteran
   2x Italian Allies                 Javelinmen
   2x Iberian Scutarii          Javelinmen, Shock Weapon, Veteran
   3x Gauls                          Warriors, hero, deep, (two of the three are Veteran)
3rd Command - General         Mounted, Detached
   Punic Cavalry                 Cavalry, Javelin
   2x Numidian Light Cavalry  Light Cavalry, Javelin
   African Elephants            African Elephants, Deep
   African Skirmishers         Light Infantry, Javelin, Raw
   Balaeric Slingers              Light infantry sling, Veteran
4th Command - Mago             Mounted, Detached, Senior, Brilliant 
   Punic Cavalry                  Cavalry, Javelin, Veteran
   2x African Spearmen          Spearmen, Veteran

The Carthagian Centre - left

With some rather nice looking Elephants

The Roman right, my Command, we found out that this really should have been Richard's command as he was CnC.

The Carthaginian right, facing Richard.

The Romans moved first. We decided to move the whole army full move forward and get int conatct as soon as we possibly could.

The Carthaginian's kept their centre in place and moved their flanks forward.
They were trying to get their Elephants out of the way of the other troops. Which was probably a good idea?

We moved up again, pushing some Velites out in front to try and take a shot at the enemy.

Looks like Postie has freed up his Elephants.

Surg moves his light troops out, to counter ours.

Posties Elephants and Cavalry charge!!!
The yellow markers are casualty markers, most units (bases) can take 2 hits and are then destroyed.
Skirmishers can only take 1!

Postie takes the first casualty of the game when he destroys my Roman Equites!

I decided not to charge Posties Elephants, I threw my Javalins instead causing a casualty,
which Postie failed to save. So that was the end of the Elephants!
And to make things even worse for Postie, the Elephants rampaged back, straight into his 
Numidian Horse, causing a casualty on them, once again as they're skirmishers they too were removed from the table!!

Over on the Roman left, Richard moved up to shoot with his Allied Cavalry.

He threw very well and destroyed Surj's Elephants!
We were both very pleased with how it was going!!!

I held my Allied Infantry and Gauls back on our right, trying to tempt Postie forward.

The loss of the Carthaginians Elephants left a gap in their lines. We hoped Richard could take advantage of the flank next turn.

Hastati, Principis and Triarii
Looking good!

Hang on a minute!!!!
It was at this point Lee admitted we were actually playing a re-fight of Trebbia!!
Which meant that Hannibal's brother Mago, appeared on Richard's flank!

AND what made it even worse was that Lee, let them charge into Richard's flank straight away!!!

Richard couldn't even fight back, as he was hit in the flank and destroyed!!

I could only manage to move up and face the Gauls in the centre of the Carthaginian lines.

Our plan on our left is in tatters, thanks to the attack from the flank.

Ricahrd, Lee, Surj and Postie

Postie gets the charge in, but I save everything. Postie also loses a Gaul unit, leaving a rather nice hole, in their lines.

With some good throwing, Postie manages to fill that hole with a unit of African Spearman.

On our left Richard tries to halt the flan attack by turning units 

There were many casualties caused in this turn.

Postie loses 2 units from the left of his line

What a mess, I can't even tell who's who????

All the Roman front line are in now!

My Hastati and Principes swap positions and get to throw their Pili

Richard's just managing to hang in on the flank

On the other flank Postie isn't having any luck.

Its a bloody affair in the centre. I need 2 casualties to be destroyed, while Postie Gauls need three.

We all lose units in the centre. This is gonna be close.

We both thought Surj would smash the flank, but his dice let him down.

Disaster for the Romans, in the centre, I lose a unit, then another units fails a test and also runs.
Have I just given the game to the Carthaginians?

No...........I managed to take the last casualty we needed to force the Carthaginians over their break point......phew!

The table at the end of play.


A hard fought victory goes to Richard and myself. We could so easily of lost the game. I have to admit our dice rolling was quite a bit better than Surj and Posties. This helped no end!
I enjoyed the game, as I think the other did. They're kind of a cross between a normal wargame and a board game? Although they look simple the rules are quite intricate and are gonna take us ol boys some getting used too, we all made mistakes, which I suppose we were going to as it was our first game. The question is.... we will remember the things to do and not to do in our next game???? Probably not!
Well done goes to Lee, for putting on a great and beautiful looking game and trying to control us 4 ruffians!!! 
We did test him and argue a few points. Fancy letting Skirmish infantry charge skirmish horse front on???? And letting them charge on the same turn as they entered the table!!!! Oh dear oh dear!!! Bad boy Mr H!

I shall look forward to our next game!!!


  1. Nice batrep Ray! Tricksy git, that Lee, isn't he? :)

  2. Hi Ray! I love how the board looks and the purple dice really pop. §o pretty.

  3. 6mm is unbeatable to get the feel of a large battle. Very nice setup and AAR Ray!

  4. What a big fibber, beautiful looking game though!

  5. This is a superb looking game. The lines of combatants looks great. Cool terrain mat too!
    As always, enjoyable storytelling, Ray.

  6. Looks like a bang-up game. I've never been as keen on 6mm ancients as I've been on horse and musket, but that table looks great.

    1. It certainly looked the part in 6mm. Just imagine how long it would have taken painting all these units up in 25mm.

  7. Might have been a replay, but at least you won.

  8. Great report Ray. We absolutely love playing To the Strongest and I think they are teh best ancients rules I have ever played. Very enjoyable read mate.

  9. Absolute carnage, but you seemed to have a blast!

  10. Great report Ray, I'm glad you got some decent pictures towards the end of the game because I was so busy I forgot to take any!

    As for being tricksy...well it had to be done. The next game will be different (maybe)

    1. Hmmmm? I feel a kick in the shins could be coming your way?

  11. Lovely looking game and I think that it's a nice playable set of rules!
    Best Iain

  12. Looks like it was good fun, I have just finished some maps for Simon's ECW rules.

  13. Great looking game and great battle report. Well done to Lee for springing the surprise on the Romans. You did well too recover and go on to win. The 6mm set up does look very good. I'm trying out the ECW version of these rules today. Very interested to see how they play.

    1. Richard, just managed to hold our left, giving my troops and his enough time to break their centre.
      I'll be interested in seeing how the ECW rules play?

  14. Great looking game and exciting report Ray. That was a *huge* effort to win Trebia as Romans. Lee springing the surprise made it more realistic, so the win is all the more impressive. One always needs a bit of luck, hey?!

    1. We did need a lot of luck, their dice rolling helped us win the game to be sure.

  15. Stitched up yet again, but not Posie this time !
    Great looking game game and a very good aar read, I could feel the tension as the game profressed after the flank attack.
    Well deserved victory given the underhandedness of the gm.

    1. I thought we'd had it when they appeared on the flank. Richard lost a few units and we were both relieved to hang on for the win.

  16. Marvelous looking game, Ray. Figures and terrain look great. The 6mm figures are beautifully presented and inspiring.

  17. That's one awesome looking battle report Ray, thanks heaps for sharing!

    1. No problem Sander. Glad you enjoyed the report.

  18. I'm currently starting a 6mm ancients project. Thank you for the inspiration!

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