It was the turn of our group of ancients players to host the traditional multi-player game on the first meeting of the month, so we tried out the scenario for Chalons. This is a scaled down version of my original; thanks are due to Simon MacDowall for graciously allowing me to adapt his scenario. Map of the field:
Right Wing: a column of 18 Gepid and Herul heavy lancers; 18 Gepid light foot bowmen; a large warband of 48 Gepid foot warriors; the Comitatus of King Adaric, led by the man in person (24 elite Gepid warriors); and another large 48-figure Gepid warband.
Central Initial Wave: 5 units of 8 Huns
Central Reserve: 4 units of 8 Huns and a unit of 12 Hun nobles led personally by Attila.
Left Wing: the Ostrogoths of King Valamir. Two large columns of 18 heavy lancers to either side of a large unit of 48 foot, with 18 light foot archers off to the side. Valamir leads a reserve of 12 elite heavy lancers in person.
Hunnic detachment: two units of 8 Huns with a unit of 12 Hun nobles
The Romans, in blue:
Extreme Left Wing: 18 Elite Heavy Cavalry led by the Comes Equitum
Left Wing: 32 Elite Auxilia Palatina in column; two Legiones of 36 figures, including integral archers; and 32 Frankish loonies in column. A second wave is comprised of 24 Limitanei Militia Grade troops and 24 German foot. This large command, which is the most 'Roman' part of the army, is led by the Comes Peditum.
Lurking at the rear: Aetius with his Bukellarii, 12 Elite Heavy Cavalry.
Centre: two units of 12 Alans and a large unit of 18 Alan Nobles led by King Sangiban.
Right Wing: the Visigoths of King Theoderic. Two large units of 36 Visigothic foot (including integral archers) are deployed to either side of the King's Comitatus, led by the old king himself (24 elite warband). There is a small reserve of a dozen heavy horse to the rear.
Detached command: Theoderic's son Thorismund leads two units of 12 heavy cavalry, with an advanced screen of 12 skirmish archers sitting on the large steep hill to the front right of the army.
The battle starts late in the day, with only six full turns of daylight left. Turn 7 will be dusk, and night falls at the end of Turn 8; these final moments will see progressive penalties applied to movement, shooting and melee. Each army has nine breakpoints, with each unit and each general counting as one point. The light cavalry and light infantry archers in the Hun army are worth half a point. If neither army is victorious by nightfall, the Romans win by default.
The Romans can therefore afford to play a holding game, although they have placed a detached Visigothic command off towards the high hill, which is the only terrain feature present. The Huns have likewise detached some troops in the same direction.
Some photos of the starting deployments:
I thought it went well; we managed to keep a dozen players going for over two hours. The Gepids were unlucky against the Equites, failing to make enough of an inroad after killing the general there, and the left flank of the Hun army eventually came unstuck. The centre was not nice. The Romans more or less just held their position, not even bothering to take the hill; they probably reckoned that it would slow down any enemy rash enough to come across it, so why bother committing oneself?
My own feeling is that this represents the historical battle quite well. The Huns don't need to attack on their left, but can simply mask the hill and use their firepower to shoot anything that rears its head. The Ostrogoths can push against the Visigoths, especially if they aren't forced to move further into the centre. The Huns themselves can probably just shoot in waves, although the players on Tuesday quite rightly felt that this wouldn't give them the time they need to win the battle. And of course the Gepids can always do what Gepids do best and charge everything in sight. It will be interesting to see how it plays again at Carronade; here's hoping we get a Hunnic victory this time, because that would show that the scenario and the mix of troops are rightly balanced.
Giants and What's Next - No pics this time. I worked a bit on the remaining giants. Frosty, the mini-giant, is almost done. As for the big Warploque giant... I doubt he's going to...
1 hour ago