Thursday 23 November 2017

Later Imperial Roman vs. the Tervingi

The Tervingi are listed as enemies for both the western and eastern halves of the Roman Empire. Since both matches would place them in arable terrain, we will have this match series set in the west for the first two games. Game three the ‘c’ sub-list or the Alaric option will be used to add variation.

The Tervingi have crossed the Danube, therefore Rome is defending. The terrain is arable and uses the compulsory BUA (hamlet) with hills, wood and rocky ground as optional choices.

Game 1
Rome as defender deployed in front of a small hamlet with the infantry lining the crest of a gentle hill and the equites Illyriani protecting the open left flank. The remaining cavalry were positioned as a reserve behind the main battle line. To match the Roman line, the Tervingi reduced the number of dense columns. This measure still came up short and so the Tervingi chieftain decided a brisk attack toward the Roman centre would compensate for their smaller front.

The move forward by the Tervingi took longer than expected, but this did offer an opportunity to expand their formations.

The Tervingi nobles drove the clibanarii back but their supports were experiencing difficulty in keeping up.  On the left flank, the Tervingi warriors could make no impression on the legionnaires and auxilia they were swept off the hill incurring high casualties and costing the battle. Score 0 – 4 for the LIR.

Game 2
The Tervingi were now defending a gentle hill where they positioned the bulk of their infantry and the remainder of the army formed a refused line. It was here, the Tervingi chieftain expected a cavalry assault. As expected, the Romans formed two groups; an infantry group deployed between the hamlet and wood and a second, consisting of all the cavalry, formed on their right flank.

Noting a hesitation on the Roman side, the Tervingi moved off their hill position to attack the Roman infantry.

The decisive move forward did flat foot the Roman infantry, losing a unit of auxilia, but the remainder of the line did hold.

The battle moved to and fro for both groups and the clibanarii placed them as the critical linchpin to block the Tervingi chieftain’s attempt to flank exposed Roman units.

This lasted for a few turns with both sides experiencing casualties, but by now, the Tervingi were gaining the upper hand (3 – 2). The final blow came when the clibanarii were destroyed leaving a gap too large to restore. A general retreat was called. Score 3 – 4 for the Tervingi.

Game 3
For this last game Rome meet the barbarians from list ‘II/65c’ which represent Alaric and his successors. These field fewer foot warriors, but more mounted nobles (Kn) which should prove a greater threat to Roman infantry.

Rome is defending and secured their right flank on a hamlet and the open left flank was guarded by all the cavalry. To meet the Romans, all the Visigothic noble cavalry are positioned on the right flank opposite the Roman cavalry while all the infantry are deployed facing their infantry.

The Visigothic cavalry rein in their horses and keep pace with the infantry forming one large division aimed at the Roman centre.

As the distance closes, the Visigoths reveal their true intent by wheeling their group toward the infantry line. Rome has initiated their own countermeasures by sending auxilia on the right to sweep the barbarian supporting units away.

Well timed, the dense columns together with half the cavalry crash into the Roman line.

This results in a fearful loss of the legion and supporting auxilia. The loss of Visigothic skirmishers is small compensation for a devastating turn of events (3 – 2).

Seeing their comrades, the clibanarii reeling from Visigothic fury, the equites Armigeri join the melee bringing an end to a ‘near run thing’. Score 3 – 4g for the LIR.

II/65b Tervingi & Early Visigothic 200 – 407 AD Terrain type: Arable, Aggression 3
1 x general (3Kn) or (4Wb), 1 x noble cavalry (3Kn), 8 x warriors (4Wb), 2 x archers (Ps).

II/65c Alaric and successors 408 – 419 AD Terrain type: Arable, Aggression 3
1 x general (3Kn), 2 x noble cavalry (3Kn), 1 x cavalry (3Kn or LH), 4 x warriors (4Wb), 2 x freed German prisoners of war and other ex-slaves (4Wb or 7Hd), 2 x archers (Ps).

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