Sunday 26 September 2021

Battle of Calama

Note, both commands were increased to 24 elements giving Count Bonifatius 8 mounted and 16 foot. Keeping the majority of his foot warriors, Gaiseric held back the dregs (Ps) and a unit of Alan (LH) to accommodate the contingent of Moorish troops.. 

The Battle

Straddling the road and barring the approach to Calama, the Roman army were arrayed in two lines; the first comprised of auxilia with light horse extending their line and the heavier armed equites and legionnaires were positioned in the second line. Among the latter, the vexillum of Bonifatius and his subordinate general could be seen. 

Eager for battle, Gaiseric formed his Vandal warriors in two wings with Gaiseric commanding the right and his brother in arms, the left. Positioned further to Gaiseric’s right could be seen Vandal heavy cavalry and Alans. The contingent of Moorish cavalry and skirmishers were positioned on the opposite flank. 

The battle opened with Bonifatius sending his light cavalry to deal with the Moors while the remainder of the army held their position to await the Vandal advance. 

Moving forward at a steady pace, the Vandal infantry approached the Roman line, unfortunately the light cavalry action brewing up checked the Vandal left from advancing any further. That slight delay did not deter Gaiseric as he crashed into the Roman first line with devastating results leaving half their number cut down. 

To retrieve the situation, the legion counter charge was as effective gaining time for the Roman left to recover from its setback. Roman skirmishers, among the grain fields, held the Alani in check as reserves from the second line were brought forward. 

One the Vandal left; the cavalry action ended with the Moors falling back to reform their line. Having no further orders, the Roman light cavalry did not pursue and so held their position. 

Following this, the Vandal left resumed their march to reach the Roman line, however, the loss of momentum diffused their expectations as the Roman line held its ground. 

Over the course of an hour’s fighting (4 turns), casualties mounted heavily on both sides. Seeing the inactivity of the Moors, the Illyriciani circled the rear of the Vandal horde to support the legion in their fight nearly shattering the Vandal left. In a desperate gamble, Gaiseric launched his cavalry in an all-out assault to deliver a crushing blow on the Roman left. This action was decisive as it tipped the balance leaving Bonifatius no other option but to retreat to Hippo Regius.

Final score 8-7. 

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