Tuesday 6 February 2018

Later Imperial Roman vs. the Carpi

Rome invaded the northern regions formerly held by the Dacian and in this series meet their successors, the Carpi. The DBA lists give the Carpi and identical composition as the Dacian to include the Sarmatians as allies.

Home terrain for the Carpi is considered hilly which gives them two compulsory difficult hills and up to two woods and a river as a further option.

Game 1
The Carpi army defend and must deploy in an open expanse devoid of any significant terrain. As the attacker, Rome chose an ideal battleground with a river covering their left flank and a wood to protecting the right. Between, in the open ground, the Roman army deployed their infantry on the right and all the cavalry to the left.

Rome advanced but did not have to wait long before the full force of the entire Carpi army was engaged. First to feel the effect of the impetuous charge was the Roman centre followed by both left and right wings. 

Recoiling from the rapid charge, it took Rome nearly 30 minutes (two turns) to regain control over the battle and inflict significant casualties (2 – 1).

To prepare for a second attack, the Carpi chieftain placed himself and his guard in the front line. Seeing their chieftain’s standard move forward inspired the efforts of the Carpi infantry adding further Roman casualties to the tally (3 – 2).

The momentum generated carried forward into subsequent bounds as the Carpi infantry put an end to a unit of auxilia and half the clibanarii to end the battle. Score 5 – 3 for the Carpi.

Game 2
The Carpi were now on the offensive (the attacker) and caught the Roman army with a river to their backs. Positioning their entire force directly in front, they would launch again a quick assault and hopefully win another victory.

Moving forward in their well drilled formations, Rome met the Carpi head on. Unfortunately, this fell short of the intended result sending a few units recoiling; the remainder held firm their ground.

Redoubling their efforts, the Roman right made significant headway by eliminating Carpi light horse and skirmishers. Elsewhere, the auxilia contained the warband columns, even added Carpi dead to the tally. Score 4 – 2 for the LIR.

Game 3
The Carpi, now forced to defend their territory, called on their Sarmatian allies to join the final battle. Many of their nobles were eager for battle and three units of cavalry (3Kn) assembled for battle. These formed the left flank with the Carpi infantry forming their battle line at the base of a hill.

Rome took up a standard deployment with the clibanarii in the centre and infantry distributed on either flank as support.

The Carpi infantry columns and Bastarnae moved quickly forward to catch the Romans changing the direction of their approach and despite the furious attack, Rome held its ground.

The moment quickly came for the Sarmatians to earn their ‘geld’ and with lowered lances they charged the Roman right wing; mainly auxilia including a unit of sagittarii; all stood their ground eventually surrounding a unit of Sarmatians.

The resistance on the Roman right did not last long as both auxilia and archers were finally destroyed. Their destruction added to the loss of the clibanarii by the Bastarnae and other auxilia units gave the Roman general no recourse but to call a retreat. Score 5 – 1 for the Carpi.

II/52 Carpi 106 – 380 AD Terrain type: Hilly, Aggression 3
1 x general (Cv), 1 x horsemen (LH or Cv), 6 x warriors (3Wb), 1 x falxmen (3Bd), 2 x javelinmen (Ps), 1 x falxmen (3Bd) or Sarmatian (3Kn) or javelinmen (Ps). 


  1. We do not use the allied contingent option often enough as our primary focus is with the placement of terrain and its influence on the deployment of troops. As defender, you would like to place terrain such that you can reap some advantage no matter which board edge the attacker selects as his.

  2. And down comes the Roman empire ...