By Teutates! Can the Romans really be so foolish as to camp on the shores of the same lake as before? I hear they do like to choose a new commander each year; perhaps they do not pass on to the new one the lessons the old has been taught. Dispatch the cavalry to investigate and perhaps drive them once more into the water!
Before dawn, the cavalry returned. The noise of cheering could be heard some way away, so all knew they had been successful and were not pursued by vengeful Romans. The first indication these were not Gallic horsemen came from the surprised cries of the sentries: Fabius rode straight over them into the Gauls’ camp with his 1500 cavalry and wrought havoc!
The previous day, Julius and Fabius had consulted and produced a plan of some cunning. They sent the same numbers they had last year to camp by Lake Trasimene and kept their extra forces in reserve, including all the cavalry. After night fell, the legionaries left their tents and camp fires, split in two, and quietly slipped a few miles along the lake shore in each direction, in full armour.
The Gauls, seeing nothing amiss, attacked just as they had last year. Their leader was no fool, so immediately signalled the retreat when they found no Romans to slaughter. By then it was too late. Hemmed in on the south and north by infantry, they found their route in blocked by cavalry. Again the lake flowed red.
Immediately the Roman cavalry turned and rode for the Gauls’ camp, to see what further mischief could be achieved. Later, greater Roman commanders would decry this course of action as glory seeking: why risk the cavalry when a strategic victory had already been achieved? But there was no need to rue the decision: the subterfuge worked well and the enemy was surprised.
To their credit, the Gauls rallied well; fully two thirds of their camp formed up and retreated to the north, but they could do nothing to stop the Romans harrying them all the way to the mountain passes.
1st Gallic War
The roll (3d6) is a 9.
Julius + Fabius + 12 legions make a total of 20 strength. The Gauls have a strength of 10, giving a net modifier of +10.
A total of 19 is a victory with no losses.
Unrest decreases by 1 to 0.
Julius’ popularity and influence go up by 5 each.
State treasury is increased by 20 talents.
Gallia Cisalpina becomes a province of Rome.
One legion becomes a veteran with loyalty to Julius.
Congratulations all, Rome tastes victory for the first time this game!
The other two wars are unprosecuted and will raise unrest next turn.