Deployment and plans
For this week's battle the Romans adopted a different strategy than previously. On their left they massed all the infantry and cavalry to mount a single determined thrust, relying on deploying deep to prevent themselves being swept away by the Dacians / Sarmatian charges. On their right was a sacrificial command of entirely non-key Auxiliary troops who would delay the enemy long enough for the legionaries to do their bloody business.
|The Roman left - mostly non-key Auxiliary troops|
|The heavy metal - legionaries and cavalry ready to attack|
The Dacians adopted a more balanced approach. They massed the bulk of the tribesmen in the centre with more mobile forces of Falxmen and cavalry on the flanks. The fearsome Sarmatians were located on the Dacians right with a large force of skirmishers to their front to soften-up the enemy.
|Dacian right - Sarmatians lurking at the back|
|Dacian centre / left - tribesmen sir, thousands of um'|
The BattleThe Roman plan was a simple one - to rapidly engage the Sarmatians and tribesmen with their best troops whilst hoping to hold-off the remainder of the Dacians through a delaying action, aided by their poor movement when wheeling. The Dacians immediately spotted the danger and so threw their skirmishers forward, held the right (Sarmatians) and tried to engage with their mobile left flank units as quickly as possible.
|Roman attack begins|
|The Dacians start their slooow wheel|
|Pesky Dacian skimishers|
|Roman cavalry catch the Falxmen|
|Legionaries grind forwards|
|Emperor's eye view|
|Sarmatians wait in the distance|
|The lines clash|
|Sarmatians engage the Romans|
|The Romans see-off the outnumbered Sarmatians|
|The Dacian centre crumbles.|
The Auxiliary deployed to protect the flank of the main advance and also in the area of the camp. They were able to keep-up a good barrage of fire on the advancing Dacians and prevent them wheeling rapidly to engage the flanks of the main Roman attack. Although were mostly destroyed by Dacian charges, they did score a couple of valuable kills and buy the time needed for the Legionaries to win.
|Dacians home-in on the Auxiliary troops|
ReflectionsNow we are becoming more familiar with the rules the games are progressing rapidly with long movement distances and quick mechanics. We certainly felt the Romans exploited their superior initiative and manoeuvrability to gain an advantage. Despite the 6-2 result the Romans had several units within 1 hit of dying so it was closer than the raw numbers make it appear.