Battlefield three is near the city walls of Carnuntum. Offering the Roman player a similar defensive position as option 2, there is in addition the Gladiator school offers (fort) located table centre. Further to the Roman left are fields and farms and to the east and off table are the suburbs of Carnuntum. Those citizens living outside the walls of Carnuntum are now in full flight for their lives and heading east to seek shelter in the mountains beyond.
Here you will make your last stand for the honour of Rome and the XIV Gemina.
Test game three.
Rome deployed in two nearly equal sized commands; the right wing under the command of the Governor had half the legion positioned behind the tributary while the left wing formed the remaining half of the legion in support of its auxilia. The legate had one unit of LH in addition to his bodyguard as a cavalry reserve for the left, while the bulk of the mounted units were now positioned on the Roman Road behind the right wing.
The Marcomanni leader decided to forego any flank manoeuvre and concentrated all three commands between the Gladiator School and the Danube to crush the main command with sheer numbers.
The Roman right wing did not venture further than the tributary leaving the Marcomanni the initiative to reach the opposite bank unmolested. Needing three turns to do so, the legion with auxilia interspersed remained inert behind the river bank, but did shift half the cavalry reserve to form up near the bridge as the Marcomanni were intent on crossing as quickly as possible with their cavalry. The Marcomanni cavalry ceased their initial plan when Roman cavalry were seen deploying at the bridge. The hesitation of the part of the Marcomanni cavalry forced the Quadi on the extreme left in a bottleneck between them and the Danube River.
From the outset, the Roman left wing command facing no opposition took the initiative and moved the auxilia and light troops across the river. Four elements abreast, the auxilia gave an impression of a holiday stroll as they slowly wheeled across the battlefield. Supporting this manoeuvre was the light horse. The remainder of the command moved to support the right wing.
“Not a good day to be called Herman.”
The next two turns (four bounds) the crossing turned to a grueling shoving match as Rome succeeded in forcing back five of the six columns with the lucky one finding itself now isolated across the stream. Fortuna favoured neither side as both barbarian and Roman were matching die casts. Out frustration, the Marcomanni cavalry launched their attack across the bridge incurring their first loss.
In succeeding bounds the Marcomanni lost cohesion as warband columns forced auxilia back but found their flank supports pushed back by the legionnaires. The Marcomanni body count was now accumulating.
The auxilia and LH could not have timed their attack any better. The LH caught Balomar in the rear and forced him to recoil. An attempt to break out of an encirclement resulted in a second recoil. The auxilia sealed Balomar’s fate with the LH ensuring no escape.
At this time the right wing was busy cleaning up any barbarian presence on the east bank. Roman cavalry took care of a second bridge crossing and killed the last Marcomanni general.
Two commands now demoralized, the was game over and Carnuntum saved.
We spent a good amount of time afterwards assessing the three battles.
Battle one fought six miles from Carnuntum held a high risk factor for the Romans, but if won would garner the highest level of victory.
Battle two, located three miles from Carnuntum offered the Germans an easy victory. Behind the river line, the Romans felt secure, but an open flank would prove difficult to deal with. With greater numbers better deployed, the Marcomanni could hold the stronger Roman right wing while rolling up the weaker and exposed left wing.
Battle three was fought outside the walls of Carnuntum and unlike the Battle of Dara (530 AD) offered the Roman player better defensive positions. A losing Roman player would still have the walls of the legionary camp and Civilis to fall back.
Revise the draft scenario and draw maps for all three battles. Set victory conditions for both sides and establish the consequences of a victory or defeat at each battlefield. There should be an incentive for the Roman player to select battlefield one with its high risk aspect.
For the Glory of Rome.