Tally Ho!

Saturday 14 April 2018

Aramti - Dacian Wars

This week we had been due to start our refight of the Pyrrhic Wars, but the Successor general was still mustering his forces so we settled on a war-up game to refresh the rules. As the Dacians rarely get an outing we pitched them against the forces of Imperial Rome.

The Romans settled on a simple plan - a solid line of infantry flanked by a unit of heavy cavalry and skirmishers on each flank.  The unusual feature was the mixing of legionaries and auxilia in the main battle line, but the high number of commands available to them allowed this.

Roman lines from the Dacian right

A reverse angle

L'order mixed - Roman style
Having fewer commands available the Dacians compromised. A single large command of Sarmatian cataphracts, with supporting light troops deployed on the right. Three commands of heavy warbands occupied the centre and Falxmen with additional skirmishers the right.  

Long view from the Roman right

Falxmen on the Dacians right

Heavy metal - the Sarmatian cataphracts

Dacians - 1000's of um

The battle began with both sides advancing rapidly on their lefts with their cavalry. This quickly forced back the Dacian skirmishers and led to the Roman horse routing one unit of Falxmen. At this point the Dacian right looked in severe danger!  

Falxmen slice and dice the Roman horse

On the Dacians left they pushed forward the Sarmatian's against the outnumbered Romans, but were forced to bring forward a command of warbands to protect the flank. This led to them having to assault the advancing Romans as they lost their cool and charged uncontrollably.

Praetorians are engaged

Meanwhile their Sarmatian comrades crashed headlong into the Roman horse, with the supporting skirmishers adding their weight to the fight.

Romans somewhat outnumbered

Over on the Dacian right the gods favoured the Falxmen and despite being outclassed they were able to vanquish the Roman horse and rescue the flank. as relatively mobile light-heavy infantry they would even be able to threaten the Roman main line.

As the main lines clashed the Romans began the bloody butchers work they specialise in, of slowly beating back the enemy. Head-on the Dacians could barely dent them but did punch holes in the line where the weaker auxilia were positioned.  

Legions get stuck-in

With the main lines engaged it was now a race between the grinding match and the flanks. The Dacians managed to isolate and flank attack the Pretorian Guards whilst the Sarmatian cataphracts wrapped-up the last to the Roman horse.

Praetorians succumb

Pick on someone your own size

At this point it was 3 losses a piece but with the Roman break-point at 4 and the Dacians at 7 it was looking dicey for Rome. The next turn brought an additional casualty each , and so a rare win for Dacia.

The final moments
Our post match analysis was that the unusual Roman infantry deployment probably caused them issues in the battle, by allowing gaps to form in the line. A stronger deployment would likely have been all Roman horse on one flank, the non-key auxilia on the other, and a solid mass of legionaries focusing on one end of the long Dacian line.

Better luck next time Tribune!

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