Tuesday 20 June 2023

Roman Tour – Nomad Arab

The Arab tribes of the pre-Islamic era roamed the arid regions from the southern tip of the Arabia peninsula to the Euphrates River. Those tribes that settled along the trade routes would eventually become the ruling dynasties of many city-states. Other tribes, made their livelihood breeding domestic animals (camels, sheep) and supplemented their wealth by plundering the caravan routes. Both types have their own sub-lists under the Nomad Arab.

Emperor Augustus found the city-states were best able to deal with the tent-dwellers of the eastern frontier, but on rare occasions, a punitive expedition would be equally effective.  

Game one

The Roman legion and auxilia formed their line on the open ground between two gentle hills to face the Arab host opposite. Eager to clash with the beardless ones, the Arabs launched its entire camel corps against the Roman left. 

This assault did not have the desired result and after incurring heavy losses among the camel mounted troops and elsewhere, Arab will collapsed. Rome 4 – 0

Game two

Availed of another opportunity, the Arabs revised their deployment. Camel riders were evenly distributed to both flanks and tribal swordsmen were placed in centre to face the legion. 

Rome held its ground and awaited the Arab assault. To avoid the missiles from bold-throwers, the Arab swordsmen drifted toward the Roman right. To pin the Roman left, the Arab right wing made its advance. 

The Arab attack on the Roman left flank proved a feint as the entire column changed direction to support the main assault. This forced troops from the Roman left to follow in pursuit. 

The Roman pursuit proved a mistake as the wily Arab changed direction again to catch their pursuers off guard. The blunder was costly and tallied with those suffered on the right forced the Roman general to call a retreat. Nomad Arab 4 – 0. 


In game two, the feigned attack on the Roman left and change of direction was an inspiration delivered by high pip scores. Realising the threat, archery fire proved effective at splitting the Arab column in two offering pursuing Romans an opportunity to catch the head of the Arab column. Mistake.      

Early Imperial Roman

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

Nomad Arab

1 x General (LH), 1 x light horse (LH), 1 x scouts (LCm), 4 x camel riders (Cm), 3 x swordsmen (4Bd), 1 x archers (3Bw), 1 x skirmishers (Ps).

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