As the first battle of our Pyrrhic campaign, Ed and I played The battle of Metapontum, the first stage as Pyrrhus breaks out of Tarentum. We used the standard Pyrrhic list and the mid republican Roman list. It is probably more correct to use the earlier Roman list for the earlier battles of the Pyrhhic campaign, but I wasn't getting a new army for one game. We used the normal BI rules, but with the extra rule borrowed from Impetus that skirmishers could flee from contact. The vast bulk of the campaign rules are by Andy Badger, I drew up the maps in advance, so we had them marked down in case a battlefield was fought over twice we could make it identical. Ed made the symbol maps after the event to clearly show unit movements which may not be as clearly seen on the tabletop pictures. We set the terrain as per the map, Ed as the Romans deployed first and then I, as Pyhrrus, set up opposite.
Turn 1, Initiative Rome. Full advance for Rome, but Cav and skirmishers on roman right flank stay put. All Pyrrhic forces advance.
Turn 2, Initiative Rome, Heavy foot in centre and cavalry on Roman right advance, Cavalry on roman left disrupt while moving on a forward left diagonal. Pyrrhic Elephan moves to match cavalry and disrupts as well. Bulk of Pyrrhic forces advance, heavy foot in centre and their supporting cavalry stay put.
Turn 3, initiative Rome. Roman right hand cavalry charge Pyrrhus, no damage caused but Pyrrhus disrupted. The Roman right hand legion charges the samnites but falls short and is disrupted. The Samnites loose a volley of javelins, scoring 1 point of damage on the legion. Elephant reforms
Turn 4, Initiative Pyrrhus. Samnite volley causes 3 hits on right hand legion, Pyrrhus takes 3 damage and fall back, Romans pursue and hits tarantine light horse. No damage caused.
Turn 5 , Initiative Rome, Roman cavalry on left sideslip again, No effective combat. Heavy foot advance. Tarantine Llight horse score 2 hits on Roman right hand cavalry, they follow up, but are destroyed in second round of combat. The damaged legion are disrupted again by javelin fire
Turn 6. Initiative Rome. Legions charge, cause 1 pt damage on Medium cav who fall back. Velites disrupt Elephant
Turn 7. Initiative Rome, Foot slog to no effect. Elephant charge skirmishers who flee. Pike drives legion back, hoplites facing Roman general take 3 pts damage.
Turn 8, Initiative Pyrrhus. Elephant charges Roman left hand cavalry, Pike charges legion but no damage caused. Roman General kills hoplites, but takes 1 pt of damage in return. Velites cause 1pt damage on elephant with javelin volley.
Turn 9, Initiative Pyrrhus, Elephant charges cav and destroys them, follows up. Legion facing pike take 1 pt damage. Samnites wheel to face Roman Rh cav, javelin volley to no effect. Roman cav moves to rear, disrupts. Roman general reforms, no effective combat, Pyrrhic skirmishers move to rear of roman legion, javelin volley ineffective.
Turn 10, Initiative Pyrrhus, Elephant chases skirmishers off board, Samnites move to flank and disrupts, they destroy the Roman cavalry with a javelin volley. The pike destroy the legion facing them. This breaks the Roman army, who get to play out their turn, but to little effect.
The final result is a Roman defeat, and as Pyrrhus is still less that halfway towards his own break point, this counts as a major victory or Pyrrhus.So, a Pyrrhic victory, but not a pyrrhic victory ! This means Pyrrhus advances two spaces, so we skip the Heraclea stage of the campaign and Pyrrhus advances to Capua. As the Romans lost all their cavalry and half the legions, for the next battle, they will have to replace one of the cavalry units with medium foot ( Italian allies) and one of the legion units with a unit of light horse. This is a fairly poor trade for the Romans , and they will be hard pressed to stop Pyrrhus at Capua, and his attack may gain momentum. The Romans will be back to their normal army choice for whatever battle we fight after Capua, to represent troops called in from other areas after the disaster at Metapontum.