69AD. The Roman Empire is (once again) wracked by turmoil and so the Batavi decide it is time to exert their rights not to wash, drink beer (and not girly wine ) and cede from the union, or to put it more bluntly tell the Romans to bugger off back south of the Alps. Independence and all that.
Local Roman commmander Kent Galpinius and his side kick Stephanus Malonius thought it was time to show those upstart Germans a thing or too about aquaducts, law and order, not to mention the benefits of a good forward defence- never mind that the Romans hadn't even heard of cricket (but then again neither had the Germans).
Simon and I hatched sneaky scheme to throw off the yoke of Roman oppression and once again claim our mud huts, and swamps, as our own. Simon was to take the cavalry wing of our brave army, I'd command the rest of the rabble. We have had maybe 6 games of Celts or Germans vs Imperial Romans and the warband forces have yet to win- would this be their day in the sun?
2x large warband
2x javelin skirmishers
I took the rest of our force
3x elite warband
2x large warband
4x skirmishers (javelins)
My plan (plan? what plan) was to attack in depth. Skirmishers screening then the macemen and small warband in the second rank to try and wear down the legonniares and and finally the triarii- er I mean elite warband, leading from the rear in a rather unGermanic fashion to polish them off. Nothing else had worked for us so time to try new tactics! Meanwile Simon would take one of the flanks and turn it. A doddle really.
The Romans had
4x auxillia (2 in ambush)
2x light horse
I deploy in a bunch but intend to spread out as I advance. Simon's (camera shy) command is in the distance.
Simon sends the cavalry to exploit the hole in the Roman lines. While Stephenus sends his reserve legions to counter the threat- reserves? Since when have we used reserves?
We regroup for another crack- but realise Simon's command is now in trouble- he's lsot all his warband ( a single badly damaged auxilia seeing them off) and so only needs to lose a single unit of cavalry to reach his brreak point.
Our warband units have yet to gain a victory over the Roman but it was a hell of a fun game, and closer than the final result suggested. Kent had originally taken two commands but decided to unify them under a single commander and this worked in his favour as we rippedd to pieces what would have been his "Non legionnaire" command (he had put the legionnaires under one command, everything else in another) and the non legionnaire commmand would have been well and truely broken from our initial successes.
Once again the battle see-sawed and both sides were in with a chance to the very end, but again the dice- or luck- deserted us. Kent's dice were woeful in the beginning (my skirmishers accounted for both his light cav units when they imploded by rollings 6s on cohesion tests), Simon's dice ran hot, then cold, while Stephen's dice started average and ran hot in the last round of desperate fighting vs the cavalry and my warbands.
The layered attack almost paid off and meant our heavy hitting units got into combat fresh but alas bounced off the stubborn bows that refused to die. I feel the tactic was sound, just the dice didn't go our way at the end. We had a good mix of harder troops (large warband) and seveal small manouvre units as well, probably next time I'd look at having all our foot in one command and the cavalry + a couple of units of skirmishers in the other (metagaming to get the commands VD to 13 or 14 meaning they' have to lose 3 cav to fail a break test).
Great fun though and I really enjoyed the crazy, no subtlety approach of the Germans.
We'll be back.