Tuesday 28 November 2017

Later Imperial Roman vs. the Early Vandal

The Vandals have appeared in the ‘Migration to Kingdom’ campaign series which focused on the crossing of the Rhine and ending with their reaching Hispania. In this match series we will have an opportunity to add allies, principally the Alani.

Rome are defending an arable region of the empire in the first game. The compulsory plough has replaced the BUA and a river, one wood and difficult hill are the additional selections.  

Game 1
Rome as the defender placed the infantry facing the hill as this would be the primary objective for the auxilia palatina. The legion would support the effort while all the cavalry were positioned as a reserve. 

The Vandals would use the hill to secure their left with their warband while all the cavalry and Alani allies extended the line toward the river.

The auxilia reach the base of the hill seeing light opposition they will ascend the height. The Vandal chieftain finding the Alani less than cooperating (low pip score) moves his cavalry in support of his warband columns.

Leaving the warband to contest ownership of the hill, the Vandal cavalry attack the legion.

The Vandal effort is repulsed and the Roman general and Illyriani add their weight to the conflict in the centre.

After several bounds of locked combat, Roman units begin to waver and the auxilia are slowly being pushed off the hill. The Vandal chieftain and other nobles take advantage of the moment to charge the exposed flanks to secure a decisive victory. Score 4 – 0 for the Vandals.

Game 2
Finding them in similar terrain, Rome made use of the river to secure their right flank. The cavalry, deployed in two ranks echeloned back on the left as the open terrain would prove ideal for the Vandal cavalry.

Wheeling the infantry line to the left, Rome advanced toward the Vandal position. The cavalry reserve moved up in support.

Vandal assaults were less than ideally coordinated, but the ensuing combat did create casualties for both sides. (1 – 1).

Too late to save half the legion, the Roman reserve cavalry added their arms to the conflict in the centre. The Alani, seeming awakened from their lethargy struck a unit of equites in the flank and after a long struggle the remaining half of the legion fell beneath the swords of the Vandal infantry. Score 4 – 2 for the Vandals.

Game 3
For the final battle, Rome extended their entire force in one long line. The Vandals formed theirs in like fashion with their infantry on the right and Alani allies on the left.

The Roman centre and left flank engaged the main Vandal force. The Auxilia forced the warband back as did the Roman cavalry. The legion feeling the full force of the Vandal chieftain and his guard broke leaving a gaping hole in the Roman line.

Leaving the Vandal leader to the reprisal of the remaining legionnaires, the Roman cavalry surged forward to try and destroy the remaining Vandal cavalry with the Illyriani on their way to seal their fate from the rear.  

Single handed, the Vandal chieftain and guard had destroyed the entire legion (2 elements), but elsewhere Vandal losses were mounting quickly (3 elements). Turning his attention to the fighting near the field, the Vandal leader closed in on the rear on a unit of auxilia and was rebuffed for his effort.

Likewise, the Alani were able to pick off an isolated unit of equites bringing the score even (3 – 3).

The decisive blow came when the last Vandal cavalry were destroyed by the joint effort of the Roman general and the clibanarii. Score 4 – 3 for the LIR.

II/66    Early Vandal 200 – 442 AD Terrain type: Arable, Aggression 3
1 x general (3Kn), 2 x nobles (3Kn), 7 x warriors (4Wb), 1 x Alans (LH), 1 x dregs (Ps).

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