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Crossing of the Rhone (218 BC)

By Chris Jones

Prior to crossing the Alps, Hannibal had to cross the river Rhone against Barbarian tribesmen. He achieved this feat by keeping the enemy occupied by a show of force across the river while crossing elsewhere with a large force including cavalry. This force then attacked the Barbarians from the rear while his other forces crossed the river and destroyed them. Subsequent to this, four days march further on Hannibal got involved in a tribal war between two brothers at a place called "The Island." This was an area of cultivated land lying between the Rhone and Isere rivers. Hannibal helped one of the brothers defeat his rival and gained supplies, arms and guides to enable him to march across the Alps. The scenario below combines elements of the two events to give a different Hannibal battle.

Orders of Battle


15 Elements - break on 5

Gallic Tribesmen

12 Elements break on 4


Use normal terrain rules, except a river should run along the centre of the battlefield which the Gauls can be deployed defending. The river is fordable everywhere.

Victory Conditions

Hannibal's task will be to force a crossing without putting his forces at a disadvantage. The Gauls win if Hannibal cannot get at least two elements across the river. Otherwise normal DBA victory conditions apply with the above breakpoints. This battle gives something a bit different from the usual Hannibal against the Romans fight.

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Last Update: June 28, 2000

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