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.    

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