Tuesday 12 December 2017

Later Imperial Roman vs. the Suevi

Like the Burgundi, the Suevi have as home terrain 'forest' until 406 AD. That year benchmarks their migration through Gaul and Hispania giving them use of arable terrain. In this series, the Greuthingi serve as allies. 

The selection of terrain is similar as with the previous matches, but marsh is now added to the optional selections.
Game 1
Rome secured their deployment having both flanks secured with woods; each held by auxilia and skirmishers. The legion positioned in the centre had the support of the clibanarii on its right and the remainder of the cavalry formed an ample reserve.

Facing them, the Suevi placed all its infantry to form a strong right flank and in the centre were all the archers with the Greuthingi allies protecting their left.

The Suevi warband were given the primary task to clear the wood to their front. The legion and auxilia wheeled their formation to meet the warband threat. This movement by the legion appeared to expose their flank, but as the gap widen, the reserve cavalry could be seen moving forward. In that same instant, dust clouds could be seen forming on the left flank announcing the arrival of Roman light horse.

The combat on the Roman left became critical as half the legion fell to the Suevi fury. The arrival of the Roman light horse prompted the Suevi chieftain to hasten his Greuthingi allies into action.

To counter the barbarian breakthrough on the left, Roman heavy cavalry crashed into the dense column of infantry. On the right, the light horse surprised a unit of Greuthingi cavalry. The nobles were saved by the timely arrival of Suevi skirmishers. The clibanarii, now exposed, became victim to Suevi archery leaving the Roman commander to call a retreat. Score 5 – 3 for the Suevi.

Game 2
Rome as the defender was caught in the open with only a river and marsh to cover their right flank. The Suevi could be seen deploying their dense columns into a battle line while on the opposite bank, Suevi archers could be seen moving forward into position.

Rome took advantage of the restricted ground and quickly moved forward; this would also lessen the chance of casualties caused by archer fire.

Dense columns of Suevi warriors hurled themselves at the legion as Greuthingi cavalry attacked the supporting unit of clibanarii. Either the wind or dust clouds were a problem as Suevi archery proved ineffective.  

The inconvenience of the weather did not last long, as Suevi archers quickly found their mark and the barbarian warband obliterated the legion leaving the Roman command stunned. Score 4 – 2 for the Suevi.

Game 3
Rome deployed in two lines using the woods to anchor their right. The lines were formed oblique to the Suevi deployment. The Suevi positioned their warband columns facing the legion and to their right the Greuthingi mounted with the Suevi archers deployed on the extreme right.

Maintaining a steady advance was difficult as the Greuthingi were eager to attack and so the Suevi archers had to quickly move forward or lose targets to an overeager ally.

As was planned, the earlier deployment in oblique lines forced the Suevi to commit piecemeal attacks. The attempt to clear the wood by Suevi skirmishers and warband failed leaving the dense columns to other option but to move forward. The Greuthingi rushed forward seeing the auxilia with no cavalry support; they had encircled the Suevi line and were now in a position to attack.

After a few desperate moments, the legion held their ground against the Suevi warriors and their chieftain, even the auxilia held their own against the Greuthingi cavalry, but would the light horse make their presence felt?

The Suevi chieftain, in desperation, attacked the Roman commander who was quickly assisted by a unit of skirmishers. The chieftain held his own against odds, but the field around him became vacant of friendly troops. With nearly all his infantry gone, he called for a retreat. Score 4 – 3 for the LIR.

II/72c  Suevi 250 – 584 AD Terrain Type: Forest until 406 AD, then Arable, Aggression 3
1 x general (3Kn), 8 x warriors (4Wb), 2 x archers (3Bw or Ps) or 4Wb if Frankish, 1 x javelinmen (Ps).

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