Saturday 24 September 2016

Severan Army vs. the Carpi

We move from the arid regions of Africa and northern Syria to the area now held by the Carpi. The Carpi superseded the Dacian as dominant group and would prove just as tenacious fighters as they would continue their struggle well into the Later Roman period.

II/64b Middle Imperial Roman (Eastern)
1 x general (Cv), 1 x cavalry (Cv), 1 x horse archer (LH), 4 x legionnaires (4Bd), 3 x auxiliary (4Ax), 1 x auxiliary archer (4Bw), 1 x Clibinarii (4Kn).

II/52 Carpi
1 x general (Cv), 1 x horsemen (LH). 6 x warriors (3Wb), 2 x Bastarnae falxmen (3Bd), 2 x javelinmen (Ps).

Game one
Rome found the Carpi army stretched from the foothills on her left ending at the woods on her right, formations were noticeably deeper in the centre and further behind were the mounted units and Draco standard of their commander. Rome deployed, in now a standard formation, legions to the front flanked by auxilia with the cavalry in reserve echeloned back.

The Carpi remained noticeably inert with the exception of troops moving through the woods. Rome countered by wheeling her battleline to the left as auxiliary units and light horse extended the line yet further.

From this position, Rome awaited the Carpi rush. This finally came. Only one barbarian column broke through while others were dispatched or sent recoiling and Roman cavalry were edging forward ready to strike at exposed flanks.  

The battle turned into a drill as Carpi warriors fell in great numbers, score 1 – 5 for Rome despite the valiant resistance of the falxmen.

Game two
The Carpi deployed with noticeable more cavalry on their right; it was later learned these were the Sarmatian contingent that joined the festivities. Anxious about the defile that opened on the Roman right auxilia were positioned on the hilltop to take care of any threat from that direction. The remainder of the army formed up in standard deployment.

Through a mis-communication between general and allied contingent the two forces moved forward in staggered lines. Carpi warband were seen reaching the hilltop and this would be soon cleared of any Roman resistance.

Reaching the Roman line first, the Carpi helped by a second attack coming from the hill.

The legion not only held buy beat back the barbarians sending some back up the hill. Throughout the action the Sarmatian remained motionless. Seeing a second Carpi attempt at breaking the Roman wall, the Sarmatians moved forward, unfortunately, the Roman left was quick off the mark and caught the Sarmatian in flank.

With the field now littered with dead, the Carpi called a general retreat, score 1 – 4 for Rome.

Game three
Rome deployed as usual with the cavalry reserve forming behind the left flank. The Carpi took advantage of the open plain and formed her cavalry and allies on the right and warband on the left.

The Carpi struck half the Roman battleline while the Sarmatian would eventually strike the other half. Rome, one step ahead, moved the legion to support the centre giving the Sarmatian a full view of a Roman cavalry charge.

The Carpi wave that crashed on the Roman breakers soon ebbed away, even the Sarmatian, now overlapped, were seen struggling. The battle soon turned into another slaughter; score 1 – 4 for Rome.


  1. Well, now we know why Rome was an empire and the Carpi....not so much. Grin!

  2. Joseph,

    That is one of the interesting aspects of the game.
    An army that may under perform as one command may do very well when increased by one or two extra commands.
    I would wager a different result with the Carpi fielding two commands plus one command of Sarmatian allies.