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DBA Scenarios

Battle of Ilpa (206 BC)

By Bob Beattie

The following is a Big Battle DBA scenario for the battle of Ilpa, which pits Carthage and Rome in a contest for control of Spain.

The game was fought on February 4, 1997 under the watchful eye of gamemaster David Potter, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Greek and Latin, Department of Classical Studies, University of Michigan (so he knows what he is talking about)

In the historical battle, Publius Cornelius Scipio (soon to be Africanus) commanded the Romans and Hasdrubal, son of Gisgo, commanded the Carthaginians. The battle seems to have been fought on the right bank of the Guadaliquivir river on a relatively flat plain. The Roman camp was on a hill to the rear of the Roman position. The Carthaginian camp was similarly disposed on a hill to the rear of the Carthaginian position.

What historians have missed, as did the participants, is that there was an area of rough going on the left side, about halfway between the two camps, and that the small town, from which the encounter derives its name, was located in the middle of the plain across from the Cathaginian camp and about 1/3 of the board width from the Carthaginian base line. The Roman auxilia would have been Spanish at this point.

The Armies

Roman Commands:

  1. 8xCv, 2xPs
  2. 9xBd, 3xSp, 2xPs
  3. 9xBd, 3xSp, 2xPs
  4. 8xAx, 2xPs

Carthagian Commands:

  1. 4xEl, 4xPs, 2xCv, 2xLh
  2. 4xSp, 4xWb
  3. 8xAx, 4xWb
  4. 6xCv, 6xLh


Roman Players: Jeff, Justin and Dave.

Carthage Players: Lou and David

Overview of battle, Rome on left.

Carthaginian Right
(with Ilpa in foreground)

The Crunch on the Roman Right

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Last Update: Jan. 25, 2000

My thanks to Bob Beattie for this scenario. Comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome. Send them to Chris Brantley at IamFanaticus@gmail.com.