Tuesday 19 September 2023

The Huns meet Alaric

DBA3 have the Huns listed among the enemies of Alaric. The sub-list for Alaric is dated 408 – 419, beginning with the first sack of Rome prompting the Greuthingi (3Kn) join the Goths followed later by the freed slaves (7Hd). During the eleven years, the Goths were led by Alaric, Athaulf and Wallia, the latter establishing the Goths in Aquitaine with the capital at Toulouse. The saga continues further as the Later Visigoths. 

This was the first opportunity to use the Alaric sub-list and contrary to expectations, they performed well against the Hun. Well worth further tests against the Patrician Roman.  

Game one

The Gothic infantry formed deep columns to allow the nobles ample room to deploy; the congestion formed offered the Huns a golden opportunity to cause chaos among the enemy ranks.

Forming a line, the Huns charged the head of the dense column, hoping to cave in the first row of infantry. This worked, but the effort had cost the Huns casualties, luckily, Hunnic horse archers were successful elsewhere to bring the score even.

The battle quickly fragmented into smaller contests and one which required the assistance of Alaric. Personally, routing a unit of Huns, his pursuit brought him face-to-face with the Hunnic reserves. Quick thinking, he wheeled his bodyguard to catch a second unit of Huns in the rear before any Hunnic reserves could intercede. Alaric’s bold action destroyed the Hunnic right and signalled the end of a hard-fought battle. Alaric 4 – 3.

Game two

The Goths, no longer constrained by terrain, were able to deploy in extended formation to meet the Huns. The Huns formed three seperate groups.

Probing both Gothic flanks, searching for any weakness, the Huns were somewhat surprised as the Goths continued their advance against the Hunnic centre.

The situation on the flanks became critical forcing Alaric to join the battle on his right flank.

The Goths, revitalised by the presence of Alaric, destroyed the Hunnic left to send the rest of the Hunnic horde off the field. Alaric, 4 – 2+Hd.


The Goths, performed surprisingly well for their debut, managing to fend off attacks to its flanks. Both battles benefited with the participation of Alaric to tip the scales in their favour. Attacking both Gothic flanks did not seem wise, a better option should focus on one flank and pin the army centre. The encircling maneuver of four Hunnic elements was misplaced. Live and learn.     

Thursday 14 September 2023

The Huns and the Tervingi

A further exploration of light horse strategies brought the Huns in contact with the Tervingi. Lacking any mobility to speak of, their infantry could prove formidable defending their forest regions. To add an extra level of difficulty, a river was to be used in these tests.

Game one.

The Huns had made a partial crossing of the river, yet the Tervingi made a rapid advance to catch the bulk of the enemy as the crossed the river. Fate was against the Tervingi as the Huns quickly crossed the river to contact a disordered infantry. Casualties fell on both sides, but the toll was greater on the side of the Tervingi. A Hunnic victory, 4 – 2. 

Game two

After pillaging a village, the Huns find their exit barred by the Tervingi. Forming on the opposite bank of the river, the Huns planned to cross at a number of spots, hoping to catch the Tervingi off balance. Unfortunately, each attempt to cross was foiled by small groups of Tervingi. This did gain time for the Tervingi to shift their reserves and improve the defense of the river bank. Confident of beating the Huns, the Tervingi general joined the melee seeking the Hunnic leader. This proved a fatal move, yet, the Tervingi continued the fight for another hour. Overcome by exhaustion, the Tervingi fled. Another Hunnic victory, 3+g – 3. 


Both games were hard fought, especially game two as the river was well defended. Combat factors for LH and Wb were similar, but the Tervingi had the advantage of the river bank. Crossing in column was particularly risky, as flight would mean the death of the lead element. Game one ended in four turns, this was not the case for game two, requiring ten to complete. Despite the loss of their general, the Tervingi held out for another three turns inflicting casualties on the horsemen.