Mount Vesuvius 73 BC (C&C Ancients)

Historical Background: The greatest slave revolt against Rome was led by a gladiator named Spartacus. He was a Thracian slave, trained as a gladiator by his owner, Lentulus Batiatus, at a gladiatorial school near Capua. Spartacus escaped from the school with 78 fellow gladiators. After some successful skirmishes with local guards, his force set about raiding the countryside, freeing more slaves to join their ranks. Spartacus set up a base on the defensible slopes of Mount Vesuvius. Remembering the earlier Slave Wars in Sicily, the Senate in Rome took this outbreak seriously. They dispatched Praetors Claudius Glaber and Publius Varinius with 3,000 men to suppress the uprising. Glaber and Varinius blockaded Spartacus at his base on Mount Vesuvius, intending to starve out the slaves since their camp was only accessible by a narrow and difficult passage. The wily Spartacus did not intend to be starved into submission, so he devised a daring plan. He ordered ladders to be made from the vines that grew on Vesuvius. Spartacus and most of his followers quietly descended the vine ladders, undetected by the Romans. Soon, a picked force of the slaves rushed the Roman camp from the mountain. Once the Romans were fully occupied by this attack, Spartacus and his force struck unexpectedly. Attacked from both sides, the Roman camp fell in short order. This victory over regular Roman forces allowed Spartacus to expand his operations and recruit a massive slave army.

Spartacus sends some warriors after Varinius alone in the middle of the camp, but he eludes them long enough for his troops to mount a defense in the rear. Meanwhile, Spartacus troops to the North crash unsuccessfully on the walls of the camp. (Spartacus 0, Romans 1)

A force of Spartacus' warriors managed to breach the walls and burn part of the camp, but are repelled at some cost to the Romans. (Spartacus 2, Romans 3)

Spartacus then attempts another push from the south, but once more the Romans stand firmly their ground and the attackers are nearly wiped out with minor casualties on the Roman side. (Spartacus 2, Romans 4)

Desperate, Spartacus charges back into the fray with some of his best men, but he is cut down by Roman legionaries in the fighting. With this Roman victory, his forces scatter. (Spartacus 2, Romans 5)


Aquae Sextiae 102 BC (C&C Ancients)

Historical Background: Following the disaster at Aruasio in 105 BC, Rome elected Marius as Consul to deal with the emergency. He was granted a reprieve as the Teutones and Ambrones decided to invade Spain rather than Italy, and spent the years 104-103 reorganizing the Roman army. Then in 102 BC, the Germanic tribes once again moved toward Rome. They reportedly numbered over 110,000 men, but half that number is a more likely estimate. Marius crossed the Alps with an army of over 40,000 legionnaires and Ligurian auxiliaries and set up camp near the coastal route being followed by the Teutone and Ambrone tribes under their King Teutobodus. Marius allowed the two tribes to pass and then followed them until they came to Aquae Sextiae. He occupied the high ground in view of the enemy, after posting an ambush force under Marcellus. Hostilities began almost immediately. The tribes charged up the hill but the terrain was in the Roman favor and they forced back the barbarians. At this time Marcellus’ ambush force appeared, and charged into the enemy rear. The entire horde broke and fled. Tens of thousands of the barbarians were slain, and many captured, including Teutobodus. Hundreds of the Germanic women committed mass suicide rather than become slaves of Rome.

Teutobodus launches warriors from his center and left at the Romans, both sides take some casualties but the Romans keep their strong position. (Germanic Tribes 0, Romans 0)

Teutobodus' warriors from the right advance on the Romans, while they sally forth and push back the initial Germanic advance. (Germanic Tribes 0, Romans 1)

Teutobodus intervenes personally and creates a gap in the Roman center. Marius counter attacks on the left and puts some Germanic warriors to flight. (Germanic Tribes 1, Romans 2)

A general Roman assault finishes off all of Teutobodus' depleted warriors, leaving the Germanic chieftain isolated. Defeated, the Germanic horde takes flight. (Germanic Tribes 1, Romans 6)


Crimissos River 341 BC (C&C Ancients)

Historical Background: The Carthaginians learned from earlier defeats in Sicily that they had to field reliable, trained heavy infantry of their own. They formed the Sacred Band, a force of about 2,500 excellently trained Carthaginians, as good or better than the best the Greeks or Syracusans could field. They formed a part of a large army under Hasdrubal, advancing eastward to subjugate Sicily. Opposing him with a much smaller army was the able tactician Timoleon. Ever aggressive, Timoleon anxiously awaited an opportunity to strike the Carthaginians a hard blow on his terms. He got that chance when, on a foggy morning, Hasdrubal carelessly ordered his army to cross the Crimissos River without bothering to send out scouts (who would have reported that Timoleon’s army was arrayed on the bluffs just beyond the river). Waiting until about half of the Carthaginian army had crossed, Timoleon unleashed his excellent heavy infantry phalanx against the surprised Carthaginians. Most who survived fled, but the Sacred Band stood their ground and were annihilated by superior numbers, (aided by a sudden rainstorm that slowed Carthaginian reinforcements crossing the river). Seeing the disaster unfolding across the river, the remainder of Hasdrubal’s army broke and fled. The loss of so many citizen soldiers had a horrific effect on Carthage. The Sacred Band was reformed, but only once was it ever dispatched from Africa again, and then only for a very short campaign.

Timoleon charges forward with some heavy Syracusan troops supported by cavalry and clashes with the Carthaginian Sacred Band. The result is disastrous for the Syracusans as they are routed and Timoleon is killed. Meanwhile, the other Syracusan commander, Marmecus, moves his heavy troops to block the river crossing. (Syracuse 0, Carthage 3)

What little remains of the Syracusan right is crushed by Hasdrubal and the Sacred Band. Even though Marmecus still holds the crossing, the surrounded Syracusans are forced to withdraw or face annihilation. (Syracuse 1, Carthage 5)


Cronium 376 BC (C&C Ancients)

Historical Background: In 410 BC, Carthage invaded Greek Sicily, ending seventy years of peace. In the turmoil surrounding the Punic invasion, Dionysius I was able to establish a tyranny in Syracuse in 405. Dionysius initiated a series of wars against Carthage and neighboring Greek cities. In 377 Dionysius won a crushing victory at Cabala, capturing 5,000 men and killing over 10,000, including the Carthaginian general Mago. His son, Himilco, rebuilt the Punic army and sought a re-match at Cronium in 376 with his army of over 30,000 foot and 4000 horse. Dionysius was confident that his army, of about the same size, would easily defeat this Punic army a second time. Dionysius commanded his Greek mercenaries in the center, his brother Leptines led the Syracusans on the right, while the left was held by allied Greeks and Gauls. Himilco formed his center with Libyan levies, placing heavier Greek and barbarian mercenaries on the wings. Dionysius drove back the Punic center, but Leptines was killed during his assault, and the Syracusan right wing buckled. Himilco's mercenaries also broke the Greek left. As both wings collapsed, the Syracusan center was enveloped and a great slaughter commenced. Himilco had won an unexpected victory, avenged his father’s death and forced Dionysius to sue for peace. Cronium was the greatest open field Punic victory in three centuries of combat with Syracuse.

Himilco orders his cavalry to charge both Syracusan flanks, routing the left while inflicting moderate damage on the right. (Carthage 2, Syracuse 0)

The cavalry of the Syracusan right under Leptines counter attacks, inflicting some damage. On the Syracusan left, the Carthaginian cavalry is repelled and a standoff ensues. (Carthage 2, Syracuse 0)

The Carthaginian left destroys almost all that was left of Leptines cavalry before advancing on the Syracusan right. (Carthage 3, Syracuse 0)

Himilco brings up more troops on his left while the Syracusans regroup. (Carthage 3, Syracuse 0)

The Syracusan right under Leptines weathers an attack, before countering with the help of Dionysius' center of heavy troops. The Carthaginian left is scattered, but not without inflicting many casualties among the Syracusan hoplites. (Carthage 5, Syracuse 3)

Himilco moves up the Carthaginian center, while Leptines and the Syracusian right continue their push, but fail to kill the Carthaginian general opposing them. (Carthage 5, Syracuse 4)

The Carthaginian center under Himilco manages to drive a wedge between Dionysius and Leptines, seperating the Syracusan center from the right. Meanwhile, Dionysius' heavy hoplites manage to thin out the Carthaginian center, while the Syracusan left finally moves up to engage. (Carthage 6, Syracuse 5)

Himilco goes for the kill and the Carthaginian centers destroys Dionysius' heavy hoplites, forcing him to withdraw with the remnants of his forces. (Carthage 7, Syracuse 5)



Sword of Rome 

Setup from top to bottom: the grey non player Transalpine Gauls, the blue Gauls, the yellow Etruscans, the red Romans, the orange no player Volscii, the green Samnites, in light blue the Greeks and in purple the Carthaginians. In the South of Italy there are also two tribes in brown, the Lucanians and the Bruttians.

End of turn 1: Rome allies herself with the Etruscans and the Samnites, while the Gauls also ally themselves with the Etruscans. The Gauls raze the Roman city of Narnia but are themselves beset almost immediately by the Transalpine Gauls who want some of their plunder. A battle ensues between the two with the Gauls victorious but also the only ones to lose any significant amount of men. Meanwhile, in central Italy the Volscii besiege Capua while their home city of Antium is likewise besieged by the Romans. In Sicily, the Carthaginians take Messana causing the Greeks to sign a treaty with them for the meanwhile. Unfortunately for Carthage, this victory is marred by a rebellion of their mercenaries in Africa.

End of turn 2: The Etruscans don't renew their alliance with the Gauls, while the Romans keep their alliance. The Transalpine Gauls completely destroy the Gallic army that had previously attacked them. It is then the Etruscans and Samnite strike, each destroying another Gallic army. The remaining men from the battle with the Samnites die from attrition while trying to bring back a newly Etruscan area to their control. In central Italy, the Romans continue the siege of Antium and the Volsci, now depleted by losses due to attrition, abandon the siege of Capua and return to lift the siege of their city. The battle is closely fought, but the Romans emerge victorious and the Volscii capitulate. In Sicily, the Greeks, having built up a formidable force and seeing the Carthaginians preoccupied with rebelling mercenaries, decide not to renew their treaty. Instead they go on the offensive driving out the Carthaginians from Messana, Hamilcar is crucified for his failure to keep the city. The Greek then press on to Panormus, where a much smaller Carthaginian force succeeds in wiping out two thirds of the much bigger Greek army, which withdraws to Messana in shame. The Greeks ally themselves with the Samnites to protect their possessions in Italy.

End of turn 3: The Transalpine Gauls still seeking plunder avoid the large Etruscan army in the North and conquer Pisae. The Etruscans then fall back to mercilessly crush those Transalpine Gauls, liberating Pisae. Meanwhile, the Gauls take advantage of that battle to plunder the Northern conquests of the Transalpine Gauls. Unfortunately, while raiding, Brennus and his small band are destroyed. The Etruscans and the Samnites occupy the last major sites of the Gauls, eliminating any further threat. In central Italy, Rome decides to look to the South, conquering Neapolis and Tarentum from the Greeks. Tarentum had been left open when the Greeks brought almost all of their troops to Sicily. The Carthaginians attempt to stop the gathering of this large army in Messena, but are soundly defeated. The Greeks then pursue them to Panormus and then to Lilybaeum where they hole up in the city which falls after some time, giving the Greeks mastery of Sicily, if not yet complete control. As the dominance of the Etruscans and Samnites becomes closer to reality, the Romans begin questioning their alliance. A fierce debate rages on the senate, with some pushing for an attack on the nearly defenseless Samnite lands. In the end, Rome decides to remain true to its allies and no attack is made. 

Thus, in the end, the Etruscan and Samnite emerge as the new major powers, with Rome being second. Carthage despite its losses is third because the Greeks, for all their victories in Sicily, have been almost pushed out of Italy. In the wake of this contest, nothing remains of the Gauls in Italy save for stories to scare little children.