Equus: Cavalry Battles of the Second Punic War

Equus will be released as an Official SPQR Battle Module. The Module opponents, such as the Celts and
will include scenarios for five major cavalry encounters of the Hannibalic War. Epirotes. Nevertheless, Rome still
In addition to the Battle of Ticinus previewed here, the battles of Umbria, managed to win most of her battles —
Castrum Album, Agathocles' Tower and Cirta will be presented as official and all her wars.
scenarios for SPQR.
The Carthaginian military system had
evolved on an entirely different track.
The Battle of Umbria, 217 B.C., is a contest between the Propraetor Gaius The infantry was based on Libyan
Centenius with 4,000 Roman horsemen and Hannibal's Marshal, Maharbal. conscript peasants, but depended
This battle followed close on the heels of Hannibal's great victory by ambush even more on various mercenary
at Trasimene. contingents — including Iberians,
Celts, Ligurians, etc. But Carthage
relied to a much greater degree on
The Battle of Castrum Album, 214 B.C., takes place in Spain. It features her mounted forces — civic heavy
Publius Scipio (Africanus' father) attempting to lead a full double legion cavalry, Numidian light cavalry,
through a gauntlet of Carthaginian cavalry, elephants and skirmishers barbarian horsemen and,an of course,
commanded by Hannibal's brothers, Hasdruba
Hasdrubal and Mago. war elephants. Carthaginian armies
varied greatly in composition, but
usually had anywhere from 10 to 25
The action then shifts to Africa, where Scipio Africanus leads a force of Roman percent mounted.
cavalry to an astonishing victory over a much larger Carthaginian mounted
army at the Battle of Agathocles' Tower, 204 B.C.
Of all the enemy cavalry the Roman
Finally, the Battle of Cirta, 203 B.C., pits the Numidian light cavalry of King Republic had to face, none proved
Syphax against a combined Roman-Numidian
Numidian army under Scipio's deputy more formidable than the nomadic
Laelius and Prince Masinissa. At stake was the crown of Numidia, as well as horse warriors of Numidia led by
the crucial cavalry support that would decide the Battle of Zama. professional Carthaginian officers.
On Sicilian and African battlefields
throughout the First Punic War,
Numidian horsemen proved their
worth by confounding Roman
cavalry and harrying Rome's heavy
foot soldiers. Forewarned, the
Romans were, but they proved
unable, or unwilling, to do anything
to strengthen their weak mounted
While playing SPQR, have you ever had developed by the latter half of arm in the decades between the
tired of waiting for your ponderous the 3rd Century BC. Cavalry, once First and Second Punic Wars (241-
phalanx or leg weary legion to plod the dominant arm of the patrician 219 B.C.).
its way into contact with the enemy? aristocracy, had been progressively
Do you find the thunderous clamor of de-emphasized over the preceding
horses' hooves as your cavalry centuries. The Romans could no
smashes into the enemy's flank more longer field even one horseman out The Romans Meet Hannibal's
appealing? Fortunately for those who of ten soldiers — each legion of 4,200 Horse Soldiers
prefer the rapidity and decisiveness infantry had only 300 cavalry.
of cavalry action, there were many Reliance on allied Italian cavalry After his surprise crossing of the
battles and skirmishes of mounted rectified this shortcoming to some Alps, Hannibal entered Italy with a
troops during the the Second Punic degree. The allies normally mere 20,000 infantry. His real
War. A few of the most significant contributed 600-900 horsemen for strength lay in the body of 6,000
cavalry battles of the Hannibalic War every 300 Roman cavalry. Yet the crack, veteran cavalry with his small
are offered here. total of Roman and allied horse army. The Consul Publius Cornelius
seldom reached as high as ten percent Scipio, after missing Hannibal at
of any Roman army. What is more, Massilia (Marseille), sent his main
the Italian cavalry was generally army on to Spain and returned to
Historical Background
inferior in quality to that of Rome's Italy with a small escort. He took
Legionary infantry was paramount command of the praetorian army
in the Roman military system that stationed in Cisalpine Gaul which

player adds one (+1) to the dieroll. Velites (may occupy every (extraordinaire) of about 300 Map other hex) cavalry and probably less than Use the Cannae map from SPQR. from lack of forage and the elements Longus. on any and delaying any engagement seem with TQ points totaling 37 have been all TQ checks. the Carthaginian prudent. 218 BC Rome: To this he added his bodyguard 1. eliminated. Hannibal countered with a single line. When Hannibal's Iberian lancers charged. considered the circum. throwing the Roman cavalry into confusion.000 allied Celtic auxiliaries This battle was fought on a wide (with perhaps 1. and the Celtic tribes (including his own auxiliaries) might go over to the enemy en masse if they sensed Roman hesitation or weakness. Things did not go well for Rome from the outset. was enroute from Sicily to while crossing the snow covered reinforce him. .000 of these open plain near the Ticinus River.600 cavalry. Carthaginian Cavalry Fatigue stances. He knew little of the Carthaginian Army: Withdraws The Carthaginian horses (not to strength of his opponent. Scipio placed his velites. And his when units with TQ points totalling mention their riders) suffered severely colleague. the Cannae map works fine. The debacle at Ticinus was the first of many for the Roman cavalry. Hannibal had also set out with his cavalry on reconnaissance. The consul Scipio was wounded and only saved from capture by the resolute stand of the recovering Roman cavalry and the heroism of his teenaged son. However. A player wins by forcing his opponent to withdraw. For these reasons. Iberians in the center and Numidians on the flanks. Scipio. 2. The Great Battles of History Series: SPIN Module Preview included two double legions with The Battle of the Line Command Eligibility 18. the Roman cavalry were eventually flanked by the Numidians and swept from the field with heavy losses. so Carthage: being mounted). The 1. Iberian Lancer Cavalry Roman Army uses the Southwest 2. A second line was composed of all his Roman and allied Italian cavalry.000 infantry and 1. Numidian Light Cavalry map edge as its retreat edge. On the other hand. The Carthaginian Army uses the North. and the two forces collided along the Ticinus River. Scipio decided to lead out all his cavalry and velites to engage the Carthaginians immedi- ately. Hannibal's army had to be in terrible shape after crossing the snow covered Alps. To represent this. These factors made Roman Army: Withdraws when units Alps. Victory east map edge. the Consul Sempronius 46 have been eliminated. Ticinus River. Roman and Alae Sociorum Cavalry 5. the velites panicked and routed straight back. flanked by Celtic auxiliary cavalry in his first line. moving rapidly to confront the invader. later to be known as Africanus.