Tuesday 27 February 2024

The Huns vs. the Burgundi

Following the end of the Roman civil war of 432, Aetius, now comes et magister utriusque militiae, devoted his attention to restoring the political situation in Gaul. The Burgundi of King Gundacar would be a first priority; however, some sources indicate this was completely executed by Hunnic forces. No Roman forces are mentioned in the sources nor strengths listed other than the alleged figure of 20,000 Burgundi killed, including King Gundacar (Hydatius). 

These games bring the Huns (II/80d) in contact with the Burgundi (II/70a) both are double size commands of 24 elements each. Terrain pieces placed by the defender are one village, a difficult hill and two wood and road. 

Game one

The Burgundi take a defensive position using a difficult hill and wood to secure their flanks. As an extra precaution, troops are positioned on the far right to deal with any enemy flanking attempts. This proved prudent as the arrival of the Hunnic horde extended beyond that of the Burgundi.

As anticipated, the Huns probe the Burgundi right for any weaknesses.

In a surprise move, the Burgundi advance their battle line exposing their left for a brief moment. The gap was quickly sealed tight by warriors from the second line.

The approaching Burgundi threatened the Hunnic centre, but this did not deter the fighting on the flanks. Casualties mounted equally for both armies.

In a desperate attempt to deal the final blow, the Burgundi charged the enemy centre with convincing effect. The Huns withdrew from the field to make plans for another day. Burgundi 8 – 6.

Game two

The Burgundi formed two wings of equal strength and positioned them on either side of a village. The Huns placed the majority of their force facing the Burgundi right while a second force, led by a sub-general, would probe the Burgundi left.    

The Burgundi began the battle by sending skirmishers to seize the hill. From there, they could harass the enemy cavalry on either side, however, the attempt proved fatal, as they were intercepted near the base of the hill. Pressing an advantage, the Huns engaged the Burgundi left.

The majority of the battle took place against the Burgundi left with the Burgundi right remaining in position as the Hunnic main body remained still. During the battle, the loss of the sub-general meant the collapse of the Burgundi left. A general retreat was called and with the majority of the Hunnic force not employed, they would be eager for the pursuit. The Huns 8 – 3.



Game one proved a challenge as the Burgundi took the offensive to assault the Hunnic centre. This created a dilemma for the Huns being committed to a two-pronged attack against the Burgundi flanks leaving its centre inert. Scrambling to recover, the Hun readied its centre leaving the flanks vulnerable. This proved fatal forcing the Hun to retreat.  

Game two was a complete disaster for the Burgundi. Low pip scores resulted in the Burgundi remaining motionless throughout the battle in contrast to the Huns, who enjoyed the day. In close combat, warband fighting mounted have the same combat tactor, however, Hunnic mobility proved effective to strike exposed flanks or supporting an element already engaged.

Thursday 15 February 2024

Late Imperial Rome vs. Sassan

In response to recent Sassanian transgressions, Rome crossed the frontier of Northern Mesopotamia. Ultimately, Rome was surprised and promptly deployed on a plain situated between difficult hills and a deserted village. Under a cloud of dust, the Persians amassed its elephant corps and Immortals to form its main assault against the legions and the Asavaran cavalry, forming a secondary group would strike the Roman right wing.

The Persians advance closing the distance to the Roman formations.

The elephant corps and Immortals successfully brave the storm of arrows and bolts to crash into the Roman line, the impact destroyed a major portion of the enemy line to expose the Roman CinC and staff.

Initially unsuccessful, the secondary assault regrouped to repeat their charge to mirror the effect created further up the line. The Roman centre ceased to exist, putting the army to flight. Sassan 8 – 3.

On a subsequent engagement, Rome formed a solid line, legions on the right, bowmen and artillery in the centre and the majority of the cavalry on the left. To counter Rome’s intended assault against its left, the Persians placed its levies to face the legion and placed the elephant corps and supporting Asavaran cavalry to face the mobile Roman wing.

To complete the deployment, both sides formed independent groups and positioned them beyond the village.

Determined to sweep aside the levies, the legions advanced. Supporting their effort, the archers and artillery wreaked havoc among the Asavaran left of the levies. At this time, the Roman mobile wing remained in position awaiting the assault to come.

The legions encountered stiff resistance from the levies, which seriously delayed the overall plan to destroy the Persian centre. Nonetheless, Roman cataphract and archers proved effective at disrupting the Persian formations in centre.

The situation changed when the Persian centre recovered well enough to counter the Roman effort. The initiative now in hand, the elephant corps and cavalry support continued their advance.

As dusk approached, Rome successfully destroyed the Persian centre, but found both its own flanks shattered, forcing Rome to retreat. Sassan 8 to 6 + 4Hd.



Persia was extremely fortunate in game one, needing five turns to destroy the Roman army. Rome was at a disadvantage deploying first enabling the Persians to ideally place its elephant corps.

Game two was hard fought and could easily have ended in a Roman victory. Despite the plague of low pip scores for Rome, it could make effective use of the artillery and archers.    

Thursday 8 February 2024

Rome against the Goths

From their recently established kingdom in southern Gaul, the Goths plundered nearby Roman lands and lay siege to the city of Arles in 427. The Magister Equitum assigned to defend Gaul, collected troops to relieve the city. Aside from the scant number of field army units, Germanic troops made an additional portion of the army as well as an independent tribe of Huns. The Goths, who had established themselves a decade before in Aquitania and Novempopulania, had supplanted the Roman governors and other bureaucratic officials, yet many Roman citizens opted to remain behind, among them included garrison and auxiliary units. 


Both commands, Patrician Roman and Early Visigoths, are double size and include a sub-general.


To be placed by the defender, a BUA (hamlet), a road, one gentle hill and two wood.


Game one

The Visigoths amassed their cavalry on the right, preparing to encircle the Roman flank resting on the village. At the same time, Visigothic infantry in centre and citizen auxilia would hold the legions at bay.

The encircling maneuver floundered against the wily Huns, prompting the Visigothic warlord to change his attack plans.

The lines clashed and buckled, eventually the Visigothic heavy cavalry broke the Feoderati, breaching the Roman line. 

On the Roman right, the cavalry could make no impression on the auxilia and were repulsed with each effort. The conflict changed when Gothic skirmishers emerged from the wood to seal a victory for the Visigoths, 9 – 2.


Game two

A subsequent battle found the Visigothic infantry defending a gentle hill in centre and flanked to either side, the Gothic cavalry. Auxilia infantry and skirmishers protected the rear area in anticipation of a Hunnic encirclement.

Rome closed the distance to approach the Visigothic centre. This left their left flank exposed, an opportunity the Visigoths seize upon. As the Visigothic cavalry moved to strike the exposed Roman flank, Hunnic cavalry appeared around the wood.

Committed to the attack, the Visigothic cavalry struck the Roman equites, but with fewer number. The entire battle line shuddered with the clash of sword on shields.

Roman lancers and legionnaires streamed through the gaps in the Visigothic centre effectively breaking them to continue the fight. Rome 8 – 2.


I have not used this matched pair, Patrician Roman and the Later Visigoths, and was therefore pleased with the results. Strengths and weakness were balanced for both sides, despite the high percentage of barbarian troops employed by Rome. The Huns tied down Visigothic reserves and in game two, arrived in time to reduce the enemy cavalry of their full potential.

Sunday 4 February 2024

Late Imperial Rome vs. the Huns

The recently completed Huns had their baptism against an equally new Late Imperial East Roman army. Both armies were double size commands giving a decided advantage to Rome of two ballistae and two elements of solid bow. 

Deploying its force between wood and village, Rome viewed a Hunnic horde spread across a broad front.

Probing the Roman left, the Huns met stiff resistance from the auxilia infantry and light horse posted there. The fighting soon escalated as more Huns joined the conflict in progress.

Seeing no breakthrough on the Roman left, the Hunnic warlord opened a second attack on the Roman right. Both efforts failed to bring the desired result, the warlord broke off the battle to leave Rome the field. Rome 8 – 3.

 In a subsequent engagement, both sides deployed similarly. However, Rome emboldened by their recent victory, marched their battle line forward to bring their ballistae and archers in range.

The hail of ballistae bolt and arrows provoked the Huns to attack the Roman line, but these were beaten back with the help of supporting troops. Casualties among the Huns rapidly escalated, leaving the Hun searching for a desperate solution.

Sensing the presence of Tengri, the Huns redoubled their effort and in 30 minutes (2 turns), shattered both Roman flanks even the carnage (7 – 7). Regaining the initiative, Rome beat back the Hunnic fury to claim a Pyrrhic victory, 8 - 7.


Rome eager for battle, left its defensive position to advance toward the enemy in game two. This brought ballistae and archers in range and within a relative short period Hunnic LH were quickly destroyed to bring the score 6 – 1 for Rome. This provoked a number of suicidal attacks by the Huns resulting in the destruction of all Roman cataphracts and an element each of auxilia infantry and archers., bring the score to an even 7 – 7. Worth replaying another time.