Tuesday 9 May 2023

Roman Tour – the Alani

In retaliation to recent Alani incursions, Rome gathered an army and crossed the Danube. Against the advice of senior officers, the expedition marched deeper into the steppe heartland to find the encampment of the Alani.

Approaching the camp, Rome deployed the legion and auxilia infantry on the forward slope of a hill and to protect both flanks of the army, the cavalry were positioned there.

Despite the rough ground in front of their camp, the Alani dispersed its deployment around it bringing most of its force to face the legion.

Advancing at a steady walk, the Alani intended to pin the Roman troops on the hill’s while light horse probed for weaknesses on both enemy flanks. To counter the threat, Rome extended its line on both flanks.

The action on both flanks were repulsed with the Alani suffering the majority of casualties.

Further attempts to reinforce the attacks on the flanks were repulsed by archer and artillery fire. Incurring more casualties, the Alani broke off the battle and wait for a better opportunity. Rome 4 – 1.


That opportunity came when Roman forces were caught on open ground. Amassing its nobles in centre, the Alani would turn one flank bringing the main assaulting on the Roman centre.

Anticipating the flanking maneuver, auxilia infantry and cavalry adjusted their front to meet the expected threat while the remainder of the Roman line held its position.

Roman archers moved forward to provoke the enemy. This worked and standing their ground they fired with deadly effect causing casualties among the enemy cavalry. Elsewhere, the auxilia lost their cavalry support, but fresh troops were sent to help restore that part of the line.

At that moment, the ground shuddered with the pounding of hooves as the Alani lancers bore down on the legion. The effect was devastating sending a shock wave throughout the army to send them off the field. The Alani 4 – 1.

 Early Imperial Roman

1 x General (Cv), 1 x equites (Cv), 4 x legionnaires (4Bd), 3 x auxilia infantry (4Ax), 1 x archers (4Bw or Ps), 1 x light horse (LH), 1 x artillery (Art).


1 x General (3Kn), 3 x nobles (3Kn), 7 x horse archers (LH), 1 x peasant archers (Ps).

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