Armans mercenaries clash with the legions.

This summer we did a trip to Greece to enjoy sun, wine and old stone. We toured around the Peloponnese and had a look at the various fortifications and towns, all with their own interesting stories. We also brought a rpg scenario and some 2mm irregular miniatures to play out the next steps in our grand civil war campaign. This small battle would be in 1:1 ratio and the Irregular miniatures are perfect for this purpose.

The rpg scenario revolved around two characters competing with Vilmirian officers for the hired hands of a mercenary pike phalanx. After a late night with wine, olives and bargaining, the mercenary general chose to side with the rebels. This led to a confrontation between Armans mercenaries (carthage) and Vilmirian Legions (romans) with the pike phalanx (macedonians) trappet in the middle.

With the different officers competing with their tactical skills in order to gain advantages, the Vilmirans managed to get their light infantry in a forward position. This proved to be fatal for the pike phalanx mercenaries…

 

This was a fun game that lasted about 4 hours (we started late). The rebels should have placed the phalanx in squares to begin with or withdrawn them to their own lines. This would have added a great contribution of men to the rebel cause, but the legionaries cleverly prevented this with their superior tactics.

Over 1000 dead rebels littered the olive groves.

 

 

Dramatic rebel victory.

A strong rebel coalition give battle to the Baron of Krell and his legionaries. The rebels are represented by gallic warbands and hoplite infantry. The Vilmirians are represnted by the Republican Romans. Aprox 11 000-12000 soldiers on the rebel side and 9000-10000 on the Vilmir side.

Nothing went as planned for both sides in the battle. The Rebels had clearly underestimated their own cavalry and overestimated their oponents cavalry. When engaged they proved very strong, as i had feared. The Vilmir side had to engage the cavalry when the left flank failed in their task.

Despite the “high aggression” trait and superior troops, and the fact that the enemy divison was broken, the Vilmir left could not prevail. This was a large part due to unlucky order dice and some blasted skirmishers doing way more damage than is the norm. With both centers in hard fighting and the right center unable to engage early with the rebels, the battle plan fell apart. The resulting cavalry charge on the rebel left was a disaster for the Vilmir forces.

All in all a very fun game with all major protagonists present for the glorious moments. Hard losses on the Vilmir side due to pursuit and many cavalry units left them at aprox 4500 dead as opposed to the rebels aprox 1200-1500 dead.

Both armies have now bloodied themselves severalt times and we reward them with optional veteran abilities as “stubborn” etc.

Battle south of Kletch

As the Baron of Krell withdrew his forces back to Uhio, despite his victory against the barbarian army of Emilio, he is reinforced by troops sent from Vilmiro. The rebels join forces with Kalvan, Arman and Hasdrubal to form a larger army for the defence of their territory. The Rebel admiral left his marines on land and was forced to avoid engagement with the Vilmirian fleet. The rebels take their 10 000 prisoners aboard the trade fleet and escort the wealth to the southern slave markets to reinforce the rebel economy and to avoid uprising among the captured soldiers and sailors.

Reinforced, the Baron of Krell, once again sets out to confront the rebels and smash the rebel city of Kletch. Simultaneously legat Brakk and Graccus lay seige to Mariol and Lysander, holed up in his fortress.

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Naumachiae Naval battle Rome vs Carthage

We had ourselves a battle of Naumachiae to test some simplifications. There are some nice mechanisms that makes it a great game, but we are trying to scale down the book-keeping and make a large naval action playable in an evening.

 

We had a good game in the evening, landing on approx 5 hours.

The reason i like the rules so much is that they take in consideration how ships and fleets moved with communication limits and that speed and maneuver is crucial for success. I`m opposed to the idea that naval battles are just land battles at sea, and i think it`s important to try to emphasize the different tactical aspects of a land battle and a sea battle. So, that is why we simplify this good, but too complex game.

 

Battle in southern Uhio.

This battle is represented with Republican romans as Vilmir vs Greek hoplites and Early Germans as the rebels with allies. Names and places on the map is unfamiliar to most, but RED is ROME. GREEN is CARTHAGE with REBEL SCUM.

After the disaster at cape Mariol and the loss of Kletch, the Vilmirans have to consolidate and rethink their strategy. The rebels are now on the offensive.

 

Our battle is between Emilio and his Vargisians with Argimiliars Marines, VS Lord Hurlis of Krell and his two Legions with reinforcements. About 9000 rebels (Germans and hoplites) vs 11000 Vilmirians (roman republican army). As the Vilmirans have force marched they gain a -1 stamina disadvantage as they have not rested. This leaves the points a little more close, but they are still in far favor of the Vilmir side (romans). The points are about 850 vs 1100.

 

It had been a while since we had our last battle, so a few mistakes and silly things where done here and there, but it was great fun and exiting, although the Romans had the upper hand. The Romans won the field. And the rebels withdrew to a nearby fortress.

Losses landed on aprox:

2665 dead romans and about

3300 dead rebels.

The Lord of Krell will have to turn back to Uhio, to avoid beeing attacked by the Rebels further north. Great fun as the campaign rolls on.

 

 

The storming of Kletch

The rebels that landed in Uhio would, at the same time as the battle of Mariol, try to storm the city of Kletch, defended by 1600 levies and 400 veteran soldiers that had colonized the rebel city. The rebels, led by Kalvan, Arman and the allied Hasdrubal from Argimiliar started building the storming equipment. The attackers numbered about 7050 men.

The 5000 Argimiliarites was represented by the Syracuse list. Kalvans 550 men are Gallic war bands. Armans mercenaries was represented by the Carthage list, the 6 elephants was held back.

The attackers have enough ladders for 3 points of attack, two battering rams and four medium bolt throwers.

The defenders have 2 heavy artillery, 2 cauldrons of hot sand, 4 medium bolt throwers and 2 small bolt throwers.

We allow the unit climbing ladders to be supported and the units on the walls to be supported to the flank. We declined the rule from “the Dacian wars” that you can tear down the walls with units, as this is a little too abstract to our taste.

 

 

Conclusion:

The battle was hard fought and i am glad we could try a siege like this before the big ones commence. We need to get the balance right as there will be quite a few of these in the future. We both agreed on that the defense was too strong. Mainly there should have been more ladders, as the attacker could not use their superior numbers to outmaneuver the few defenders. The amount of artillery should be less for a small city like Kletch. Four light artillery and two medium should be more appropriate, but i think the attackers should still have the four medium.

The siege rules in “Dacian wars” suggest that units can attack the walls themselves and tear them down. I think this should only happen with wall  breaking machines and catapults sapping tunnels and things that have been prepared over time, as weakening a wall takes time. The “attacking the walls themselves” rule could be used to simulate the amount of ladders in an army, though, and the trouble of having them erected. The amount of troops carrying the ladders and equipment will also be determined by the size of the army. Half of the units in the army will then have such equipment. Then the superior numbers can be utilized properly. The attackers will also be facing the ditch rules then. During this battle we forgot the -1 to hit defenders on walls, but had the charge bonus included.

The defenders on the walls will, according to “the dacian wars ” siege rules be able to stretch their defense line by shrinking in size. Medium become small etc. We did not use this, but will in the future. We will lean a little more to the original siege rules, as they seem sound, but will scrap the “tearing down walls with swords” rule.

All in all a good game, but a little frustrating for the attacker. The civilians may have time to escape as the defenders prepare themselves for the inevitable last stand as the victorious enemy fleet will approach within days.

losses

attacker : 401 men

defender : 45 men

 

The battle of Mariol

Dux Elgar Esholta, Ongar Octaviar, Admiral Rhesus and Legat Castor attacked the main argimiliarite (Carthaginian) fleet with vigor and aggression. Loaded with heavy equipment, this proved to be a disaster for the Vilmirian (Roman) navy. We used the Naumachiae rules to fight the battle. This was a challenge as the rules are quite complex and we had no greek book-keper slave available.

The fleets seemed to be balanced, but I would swap speed for heavy equipment any day, I realized. The Vilmiran (romans) had heavy threes, quinqeremes stuffed with marines, catapults, corvus and towers mixed about. The argimiliarites (carthage) had incindiary ammunition and more ships of a lighter and faster class.

Each model represents 5 ships.

Tragedy at sea! What now?! The rebels will have won the seas and to rebuild the fleet will be expensive and time demanding. The battle was fun, although the complicated rules slow things down too much for a large scale action. Naumachia is probably best suited for fleets of five to ten ships per side. I guess these rules are some of the more precise and correct rule- sets when it comes to movement and behaviour, lots of good ideas and mechanics. But, we clocked 22 hours doing this game over a weekend. That is 18 hours continous play. It is not possible to achieve that more than once in the century so we will have to either simplify the rules (they do have great elements) or to find something else. Hail Agrippa have been considered, but since it pretty much removes the way a naval game is different from a land battle, it seems a little pointless. Maybe Poseidon`s Warriors will be a good substitute for naumachiae. I guess we would still use the rules for small scale engagement as the rules are so detailed. There is simply too much book-keeping and to many factors to remember to have an efficient game of 30+ ships per side. I wish there was a fast play version of the game as there is with the other games available from Langton minis.

Anyway, the battle was exiting (although the exitement beeing stretched out). We had guests during the battle, Mercenary Mike from England borrowed my Monteforino helmet and a gladius from our host and supplied the Vilmirian fleet with support and spirit. The phrase “sir, where are our support sir?!” Will be remembered until the next battle. Big thanks to our host whom held the event in this 30c + environment.

Then to the coclusion:

Vilmiran marines

Dead 1590

Prisoners 1435

Vilmirian sailors

Dead 5096

Prisoners 6404

Argimiliar

marines dead 887

sailors dead 1384