Saturday 2 December 2017

Later Imperial Roman vs. the Ostrogoth

The Ostrogothic army are an unusual combination of knight class cavalry and skirmishers. The cavalry pose a definite threat to Roman infantry and if supported by skirmishers they can quickly roll up a Roman battle line. While Roman cavalry can counter the threat of the cavalry, they are not of sufficient number to sustain a long engagement against them.

Home terrain for both armies is arable; BUA (hamlet) is compulsory with two difficult hills and a wood are the selected options.   

Game 1
Rome is defending and form their infantry line near the base of a difficult hill, while the cavalry have taken a position on the open flank. The Ostrogoth has evenly distributed their skirmishers on each flank and all their cavalry have formed in the centre.

As a result of poor communication (low pip scores) the Ostrogothic advance did not move as quickly as planned. Rome took advantage of the delay to secure the hill. Once secured, the Roman infantry line advanced forward. In the meantime, the Ostrogothic skirmishers on the right occupied the Roman cavalry long enough for one of their noble cavalry to catch them in the flank.

In two successive bounds, two equites were destroyed leaving a sole Illyriani stunned. In an attempt to retrieve the situation, the Roman commander moved his infantry line forward supported by the clibanarii.

The Illyriani retreated away from the immediate threat leaving the Roman left entirely exposed while on the right, the auxilia were holding their own against the Ostrogothic skirmishers. Emboldened by the success on the right, the Ostrogothic chieftain led his nobles against the Roman line eliminating half the legion and a unit of auxilia. With a third of his army destroyed, Rome called for a general retreat. Score 0 – 4 for the Ostrogoth.

Game 2
Rome defending this time, the Ostrogoth selected a position denying Rome the use of any terrain. It was a questionable choice as the noble cavalry could only find sufficient ground to deploy on the extreme right flank leaving the skirmishers to hold the hamlet and hills.

Rome set a quick pace leaving the Ostrogothic chieftain no choice but to set priority on holding the high ground and hamlet.

The moment came when the Ostrogoth could deploy his noble cavalry, but this was only half of their total number.

Rome easily countered the Ostrogothic threat and was making headway against the skirmishers positioned on the hill and centre.

The effort proved decisive as Rome destroyed half of the Ostrogothic skirmishers and scattered the rest. The loss of one noble cavalry convinced the Ostrogothic chieftain tomorrow is another day. Score 1 – 4 for the LIR.

Game 3
For the final battle, the terrain was ideal for both sides. The Ostrogothic army formed their nobles in the centre and skirmishers taking positions on either flank. The Romans for their final battle mimicked the Ostrogothic deployment which caused some consternation.

Unencumbered with armour, Ostrogothic skirmishers kept pace with their cavalry while Rome marched steadfastly forward leaving a small distance between battle lines.

The clash of arms echoed across the valley as the battle lines quickly dissolved into smaller battles. The generals on both sides were in the thick of the fight with both sides experiencing casualties (2 – 1) but the Goths were gaining the upper hand.

The defenders in the small isolated battles quickly became overwhelmed and this earned Rome two more casualties, but the Goths held their own scoring an equal number bringing the battle to a close. Score 3 – 4 for the Ostrogoth.

II/67b Greuthingi 200 – 493 AD Terrain Type: Littoral if Herul, Arable if not, Aggression 3
1 x general (3Kn), 5 x nobles (3Kn), 6 x archers (Ps).

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