Wednesday 18 January 2017

Improving the campaign system – Thebais

While looking for an inspiration for our Wednesday punch up, I decided to stay within the timeline and move our conflict to the desert arena of Thebais. Briefly, the region has been plagued by roving bands of Nobades and the Dux Thebais is forming a punitive expedition to put a stop to the banditry.

This game will offer us a chance to experiment with two new features; the effects of plunder and the transportation of spoils. And to reflect the clan structure of the Nobades, the army deploys as two groups which move independent of one another; much like "allied contingents".

Looking at the Notitia Dignitatum, it lists the following number of units in the region.  
2 x cuneus equitum, 6 x equites, 8 x vexillationes Legio and from a lesser register (1 x Milites, 16 x ala, 10 x cohors). This corresponds nicely to the DBA list noted here, although the Clibanarii might be better replaced by cataphract (3Kn), see note below. 

II/78b Eastern Roman Army
1 x general (Cv), 2 x clibanarii (4Kn), 1 x equites Illyricum (LH), 1 x horse archer (LH), 3 x legionnaires (4Bd), 2 x auxilia palatina (4Ax), 1 x archers (4Bw), 1 x equites (Cv).

II/55b Nobades
1 x general (Cv), 2 x cavalry (Cv), 1 x camel riders (LCm), 2 x spearmen on camels (Cm) or on foot (Sp), 2 x spearmen (Sp), 4 x archers (3Bw or Ps).

Map: The campaign map shows five of the six administrative areas of Egypt. As Roman forces are deployed throughout the provinces, the first priority of the Dux is to begin assembling troops and supplies. At the start of the year, their placement will follow roughly the distribution of troops according to the Notitia Dignitatum. 

Further, battlefields will vary between arable, littoral (Nile) and dry types.

In Aegytus: 1 x cuneus equitum (Cv), 2 x clibanarii (4Kn) {1}
In Arcadia: 1 x cuneus equitum (Cv), 1 x legionnaire (4Bd), 1 x auxilia (4Ax).
In Thebais: 2 x equites sagittarii (LH), 2 x legionnaire (4Bd), 1 x auxilia (4Ax), 1 x archers (4Bw).  

{1} Following the ND, these should represent the Ala prima Iovia catafractan, stationed at Pampene. 

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