Taking advantage of the crisis situation that struck the Roman Empire, hordes of Goths, Vandals and Sarmatians led by King Kniva crossed the Danube intent on pillaging and capturing slaves. The Carpi joined the venture but directed their attention further west to the province of Moesia Superior. Before confronting the Gothic horde, the Carpi must be dealt with and Emperor Decius led a mobile column to join the provincial governor Gallus near Naissus.
Securing both flanks on a village and wood, Rome deployed in three lines; the first to slow the barbarian rush, the second to shatter the warband and a third, to clear the field of any left standing.
The auxilia did performed their task but a number of barbarian columns were able to pass through and surprise the second line. To help contain the situation, elements of reserve cavalry were ordered forward to restore order.
The charge of the Sarmatian lancers proved devastating and to remian on the field would incur a severe set back. Decius called for a retreat. Score 9 -3 for the Carpi (35”).
Reinforced, Decius resumed the campaign and met the Carpi on an open plain. Placing the majority of his cavalry on the left, beyond the woods, the main body formed two lines. The entire auxilia component formed the first line with units of legionnaire interspersed among them. A second line consisted of the remaining legions and guard cavalry.
The Carpi gambled on a quick victory and marched forward their warbands at Rome’s first line. Seeing the dust cloud created by Roman cavalry, the Sarmatian allies halted their advance. To contend with the flanking attack, a screen of Carpi light horse and falxmen were positioned to delay them.
Not waiting for the barbarian assault, Roman auxilia moved forward to intercept the Carpi left wing. Despite Roman losses, this had the effect of greatly reducing the number of Carpi that eventually reached the Roman line. To add further complication to Carpi plans, Roman guard cavalry advanced forward.
The situation for the Carpi proved threatenning as the flank attack scattered the Carpi screen. Recovering their order, the Roman cavalry resumed the advance on the Carpi commander's reserve.
Despite the situation to their rear, the Sarmatian lancers charged the Roman line. The legions held their ground and further effort destroyed a number of Sarmatae cavalry and Carpi warband. Sensing the battle was lost, the Carpi fled the field. Score 10 – 6 for Rome (45”).
Both armies are double sized single commands.
Middle Imperial Rome
1 x General (Cv), 2 x equites (Cv), 1 x equites (LH), 4 x legionnaires (4Bd), 4 x auxilia (4Ax).
1 x general (Cv), 1 x horsemen (LH), 6 x warriors (3Wb), 2 x falxmen (3Bd), 2 x javelinmen (Ps)
2 x nobles (3Kn) + 1 x javelinmen (Ps).
Historical side note:
Decius did repulse the Carpi invasion to continue his campaign against the Goths of King Kniva. His reign as emperor came to an abrupt end at the Battle of Arbritus.