So it turns out that a large Sassanian army is moving into Asia Minor and meets up with an equally large Roman force blocking their way:
The Romans are in red at the top of the map. From the left as you look at it:
Roman right wing: Armenian allied contingent. A large unit of 18 Cataphracts and six units of 8 Horse Archers. Photo:
Roman centre right: a unit of 24 elite Auxilia Palatina in three ranks and three legions of 36 medium foot armed with all sorts of javelins and darts and stuff.
Photo of the legions:
Roman centre left: two units of 12 Auxiliae light infantry and two units of 18 Auxiliae with bows.
Roman left wing: 18 elite Clibanarii on partly armoured horses with lance and bow and two units of 8 Equites Illyricani light horse.
Photo of these two commands:
The Sassanids, from their left:
Left wing: six units of 8 javelin-armed Arab light horse. Photo:
Centre Left: four units of 12 elite Cataphracts led by the King of Kings in person, and a couple of skirmish archer units out front. Photo:
Centre right: two units each of Clibanarii and horse archers, with a dozen light infantry out front. Photo:
As it turned out, Graham couldn't make it anyway. Fortunately, I had deployed my Byzantines to mark unit positions. The original intention was then to swap them with Graham's guys, but instead they could stand proxy. The gaps between the cork mats have been filled with cheap imitation furry type stuff to break up the look of the field a bit. Willie played the two right commands of the Sassanids; William took the central mass; and Simon had their elites and Arab allies. I played the left half of the Roman army, Billy the right.
That's the last of the useable photos - well, it was 4.00 in the afternoon by this time in mid-winter Scotland, so the light faded fast. Suffice it to say that the Auxilia Palatina performed wonders, as did my Clibanarii, destroying enough of the enemy's heavy horse to counter the eventual destruction of three of our central legions - a draw as both armies reached exhaustion point at exactly the same time.
Everyone seemed to enjoy it - setting up a large game in advance and then just getting on with it really seems to be the best way to run a multi-player. We haven't played this period in a long time - the closest was Chalons in the spring of last year. The Persians haven't been out since Callinicum. It was good to play something outside our current campaign setting. The legions are weaker in melee, but have some limited firepower to compensate, and the match-up produced a memorable game. Nasty, though...