I've tried to win battle of Asculum by following this strategies:
1) Send my troops to the mountain situated at the south of the initial position and then defeating the elephants. Light troops and missile troops are used to stop the initial phalanxs. Other heavy infantry is used as a reserve to attack phalanxes at their backs. Cavalry only dies (I only have one unit!)
2) The same of 1 but right at the initial deployment point.