Against the Middle Imperial Roman and Early Byzantine, the Later Moorish have not won any matches but have made their opponents battle hard for their victories. Difficult hills will hamper command efficiency and this will be a matter of greater concern for the Roman commander than his wily opponent.
The terrain comprised of the compulsory difficult hills (2x) and woods (2x) and a BUA with an option to exchange the latter with a river in game three.
Rome deployed its forces in a standard formation between a village and a series of high hills; an infantry line with the legion in centre flanked by auxilia and a second line comprising of cavalry and a detachment of auxilia to act as a flank guard.
The Moorish bandits formed two wings with all its cavalry formed up on the open plain and on the hill tops could be seen a horde of various infantry.
On the Roman right, auxilia and skirmishers would keep the Moorish infantry occupied while the infantry line moved steadily forward against the Moorish horse.
Unexpected as a desert sand storm, the Moorish lines surged forward to attack the Roman infantry. These easily repelled the Moorish light horse but on the right the skirmishers were now deprived of their auxilia support (1 – 1).
The skirmishers withdrew to a suitable spot on a second hill. This had the desired effect of luring their infantry forward exposing an open flank; an opportunity seized upon by the equites Illyriani. The Moorish cavalry were now is disarray as the infantry line pushed forward with the support of the cataphracts driving the light horse back. This left their chieftain and supporting troops exposed.
A desperate struggle ensued with the Moorish chieftain falling destroying the heart of the army. The bandits fled the field. Score 4g – 2 for LIR.
A line of hills cut through both deployment lines, such that Roman infantry were positioned in few open spaces available. One hill offered a good defensive position and the legion deployed between the hill and a small village.
The Moors, deployed in three groups concentrated their effort on seizing the Roman held hill. The assault would be covered on both flanks by light horse.
The Moorish infantry gained a foothold on the hill while below, Moorish light horse were heavily engaged with a unit of Roman heavy cavalry.
The Roman centre and right finally stirred into action and moved forward (low pip scores). Unfortunately, the effort came too late as the hill on their left was covered with jubilant bandits waving Draco standards and vexillum. Score 4 – 0 for the Moors.
Rome, now defending, deployed its infantry on the forward slope of a hill leaving the open ground below for the cavalry to form their battle line. From their hill position, the Moorish infantry formed a centre ‘division’ with cavalry deployed on either flank.
Noticing that the Moorish cavalry were a diversion, the Roman infantry moved forward in the direction of the Moorish held hill and Roman cavalry, moving in two groups, moved in support.
Emboldened by their previous victory, the Moorish cavalry hurled themselves against the Roman left wing and while Moorish infantry moved forward to occupy the second Roman cavalry wing. The latter were encouraged as they could see a column of Moorish light horse had infiltrated the Roman rear.
The Moorish chieftain leading the charge severely mauled and dispersed a unit of Roman heavy horse. Next to fall were the equites Illyriani (2 – 0).
The savage fury did not relent as the Moors brought down a second equites wiping out the Roman left flank. Seeing a unit of auxilia broken, the Roman commander called a general retreat. Score 4 – 1 for the Moors.
II/57 Later Moorish 26 – 496 AD Terrain type: Hilly, Aggression 1
1 x general (LH or Cv), 5 x horsemen (LH), 6 x javelinmen (3Ax or Ps).