Thursday, 30 June 2016

Battle of Zama in 54mm - The Last battle of Hannibal , Roman Scipio Africanus triumphant

Sunday June 26th 2016, we played the battle of Zama  October 19, 202 BC, the last battle of Hannibal Barkas. We used the "About Caesar" wargame rule. 
Steven and Alex on the Carthaginian side, Patrick and Siegfried as Romans.  Dirk as referee.

The Historical battle was a heavy defeat for Hannibal, and the greatest victory for Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus.
Hannibal had 80 elephants  3000 cavalry and 50.000 infantry, the latter formed in 3 lines:
first the mercenaries, Gauls and Ligurians (all medium infantry). Balearic slingers formed a skirmish line between the elephants.

The Romans had little less infantry but, in contrast to previous battles more cavalry than the Carthaginians. This because the   Numidian cavalry , commanded by Masinissa had switched sides And fieldedwith  the Romans (right flank)

The elephants had to charge in a straigth line. The Romans troops on the path had to test if they were able to avoid contact. In the rael battle, almost al elephants apssed trough due to Scipio's idea to deploy in an open formation that permited opening the lines.   
The test was introduced to give the Carthaginians a little more chances in this battle they are doomed to lose.

All Roman infantry is veteran, except the 3th line of Triarii, who are all elite. The hastaii received medium infantry status, all other Roman infantry heavy.
The carthaginian second line of citizens are all greens some medium, others heavy infantry,  the 3th line are 50/50 veterans and elite.
This line was composed of the remains of Hannibals veteran army.

On the Roman right, all test (chance of 1/2) favored the Romans, all units able to step aside.

On the roman left, three elephants made contact. One with a cavalry unit, two others with infantry.
It desorganised the Roman cavalry, Without cohesion, their fight with the outnumbered opposing  cavalry without prgress for a number of rounds.

The hastatii in the first line took on the Carthaginian first line. The Gauls did hold ground, their opponents numbers also melting away. The druïd raising their fighting spirit .

The first lines on both sides almost gone, the second lines took one the fight. 
The green citizens were no match for the veteran principes.
Two elephants remained on the field stampeding arround.
Hannibals veterans were now on.

In the meanwhile all Carthaginian cavalry was defeated, the roman cavalry  obliged to go into pursuit and quit the field.
They could come back the first round afterwards on a 6, the next on 5-6, etc. 

The scorpion took down the last elephant on the field.

The Carthaginian left came into trouble as Hannibal's veterans had to take on the principes, the triarii still uncommited.

On top of that, the Numedians came back with a 6.

On the Romain left, the battle was more balanced, Hannibals elite troops making progress.

But in the end, also on this side of the table, the Roman cavalry returned.

Alex and Steven had put a a great fight in this battle they had no real chance on victory, but a fun game to play.

all Carthaginian figures are from Steven, as most of the roman troops and the elephants. Romans on white cards are from Siegfried. Gauls and some cavalry from Dirk


  1. I wish I could be there... Beautiful figures.

    1. Thanks for the comment Pedro. If you come to Belgium, welcome to join for a game.

  2. WOW- missed this last year. WHat a fun-looking battle!

  3. It certainly was Simon. But for having more fun in the game for the Carthageian players, we should have made the odds better for their side too. In the end, fun for everybody, and not an accurate historical outcome must remane the goal.

  4. Seen you had quite a battle at Salute this year.

  5. Had a similar subject a few years ago,.. on a smaler scale: 1/72 Battle of the War of the Diadochi

  6. Very nice- I really like gaming with the Successor armies.

  7. Excellent battle, and account of the battle. The troops look great as well. I hope you refight that one.
    Very inspiring. I've started to collect some of the figures in 54mm to do similar. How did you like the "About Ceasar" rules for this?

    1. Well Stephen, know... I'm the author, so i'm not an objective party to give you an opinion.

      Hope you try it out thow.