After seeing my Spanish army convincingly whipped the first time I put them on the table, I had some nagging doubts. I suppressed these by working up a Sertorius' Lusitanians
list. This ancient Spanish army allows you two Legionaries and an Inspired Commander. Most importantly, you can take your Medium Foot as drilled.
My Lusitanians were facing Klay's Early Carthaginians. Sertorius proved his worth in the early game with a +2 to my initiative roll. I won initiative and chose Hilly terrain as it suits my Medium and Light Foot army. Most of the terrain landed on Klay's side, forcing him into an unorthodox deployment. His chariots formed on his left wing as that was the only large clearing. His center was composed of Medium Foot in the brush and Heavy Foot deployed in a narrow clearing.
I was very concerned about the heavy chariots with bow. I put a unit of cavalry in a single rank so they could evade and a unit of legionaries to stand the chariots up. To their right, I put scutarii in difficult terrain, where chariots can't operate. If the legionaries could stand, I'd do a 90 degree turn with the scutarii and take the chariots in the flank. Of course, that only works if the legionaries stand!
In the early game, Klay sent his cavalry to threatening my flank. I had no cavalry on my left flank to counter this move so I was sweating. I sent the bulk of my foot straight at the Carthaginians while taking my other legionaries out of the line to respond to the flanking cavalry. As I pushed forward, Sertorius paid dividends with his ability to command a battle line of 6 battlegroups. And I had exactly 6. On the double, men!
At this point, I charged his skirmishers with mine. If Klay stood to meet my charge, our melee would block his troops and allow my main battle line to hit him before he cleared the terrain. If his skirmishers evaded, I'd get 2 turns of missile fire to soften him up before I charged home. Klay chose to evade one unit of skirmishers but stand with a unit of Balearic slingers. This cleverly tied up 2 of my skirmishers, where he could walk up medium and heavy troops into combat. My charge was looking like a mistake.
It was to prove an act of genius as my skirmishers somehow stood firm for 2 full turns of melee against heavy foot, allowing my main line to come up and hit the Carthaginians before they cleared the rough terrain. That meant the Sacred Band was stuck in the rear.
On the other flank, the chariots were having a hard go. My skirmishers were giving a good account against his chariot bowmen, managing to reduce a unit by a base. Klay had me overmatched to his front but he could see my forces waiting on the flanks to beat him should he charge.
Sertorius lead from the front and my Spaniards gave a good account of themselves. They hit and broke a unit of African Spearmen, the Sardinians behind them and finally the traitorous scutarii mercenaries in the Carthaginian 3rd line. The Sacred Band and the flanking cavalry never got into battle.
With the game slipping away, the chariots make a series of charges. Our lines hold up and down the line. When one of the chariots breaks, Carthage hits their army break point. Sertorius wins!
Key to the game was the terrain, which forced the Carthaginians into an unconventional deployment. The heroic stand of the caetrati and slingers in the early game allowed me to hit the Carthaginians before they redeployed beyond the rough terrain. After every game, Klay gives a debriefing and today, he agreed the Sertorius' Lusitanians
list is a keeper.