Tuesday 1 November 2016

Severan Rome vs. the Picts.

This is a classical matchup between the barbarians of the North and the Roman army operating north of the wall. There are not many armies that field 3Pk types, but they are surprisingly effective even when used as a single element. 

II/64a Middle Imperial Rome (Western)
1 x general (Cv), 1 x equites (Cv), 1 x equites Illyriani (LH), 1 x cataphract (3Kn), 4 x legionnaires (4Bd), 3 x auxilia (4Ax), 1 x Sagitarii (4Bw).

II/68a Pictish Army
1 x general (LCh), 2 x horsemen (LH), 6 x spearmen (3Pk), 3 x archers (Ps).

Game one
This battlefield was one of the few areas where the Roman army could properly deploy. The woods were a minor worry, but auxilia would sweep them clean and in front of the Roman right, the rocky hill would be seized by the Sagitarii supported by a cohort of auxilia. All the Pictish infantry formed in front of the Roman battle line and in the distance horsemen could be seen forming up.

Quickly taking the initiative, the Picts surged forward to the contest the wood while the pikemen squared off with the legionnaires.

The battle settled down to a slugging match with the Picts noticeably tiring. Legionnaires were slowly drawing a large body of pikemen toward the cavalry reserve inviting them to participate.

Accepting the invitation, the cataphract trotted forward leaving the legionnaire to enjoy their party while they sought greater game, namely the Pict warchief crushing him against the rocky face of the hill.
Score 4 – 1 for Rome.

Game two
This time the Picts were caught in the open facing the Roman army deployed between a rocky hill and dense wood.

The Picts moved quickly to catch the legion from deploying properly and horsemen from the left flank moved to join others on the right. Together, the small group of horsemen might take the Roman army in the rear.

The rear attempt by the Pictish horse came to naught as the narrow opening was guarded by the equites Promoti. Elsewhere, bodies of auxilia were moving down the slopes of the rocky hill and wood, but not all was lost for the barbarian. In a surprise move two units of legionnaires were savaged and dispersed bringing the casualty figure including the loss of the Promoti to an even, 3 – 3.

The cataphract were given the signal to advance and their presence added another to the casualty roster.
Score 4 – 3 for Rome.

Game three
This time, the Roman deployment was hampered by terrain such that the army split into two groups with a legion each supported by auxilia and horse. The Romans would need to move quickly to avoid being caught in difficult ground.

Closely following the signals from their commander, the legion on the right were moving smartly forward and just may catch the Pictish horde in the flank. Protecting the legion’s progress the auxilia and Promoti moved forward to chase the Pictish horse away.

The battle taking place between the hill and wood moved back and forth with both sides matching casualties. The hill was completely in Roman hands and a Pictish victory would rest on what the spearmen could do against the legionnaires.

Despite the loss of a unit of legionnaire in the centre it was the second legion that came up victorious destroying a large body of spearmen. Score 5 – 3 for Rome.

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