Saturday 29 April 2017

Philippi Part 3

Finally. I have managed to squeeze time to sort through my photos from the final instalment of the big game from the Society of Ancients conference in October. Spring bank holidays - what a wonderful thing.
Above: the right wing of Antony's army: Numidians and lots of massed cavalry.
Moving in from the right wing, next up is an elite legion in duplex acies.
Then we have two legions in triplex acies.
And another two in triplex.
Towards his left wing, there is another elite legion in duplex.
His far left is composed of one unit of massed cavalry and some more Numidians. He he has gone for a symmetrical infantry deployment, with a cavalry-heavy right wing and a weaker left.
Unfortunately for the troops at Antony's left, Brutus has also gone for a strong right wing: all of his massed cavalry plus light infantry support.
 Next in the line is a couple of legions in triplex.
And another two in triplex.
The centre left of the Republican army has two legions in duplex, deployed en echelon slightly back from the main legionary fore - Brutus really is going to lead with his right.
His extreme left has a couple of units of mercenary Parthian horse archers, held even further back.
Above is a full table shot, taken from the right of the Caesareans, and from the left flank of the Republicans. Antony is on the left and Brutus on the right as you look at it. This one shows the relative weights of both sides, and gives a clear indication of Brutus' echelon deployment.
Another full table shot of the deployments, this time from the opposite end.
I was tasked with the left two legions and supporting Parthians of the Republican army. The action begins; most of the following pictures are taken from behind the Republican lines.
Movement in the centre.
The legions close at our centre right.
We already have combat at our far right wing - this is where Brutus is hoping to win the day.
A close-up of the developing cavalry melee here. The unit in the right foreground is Parthian, this time in massed formation; they are trading missiles with the Numidians at the top right as you look at it.
A full table shot from off to our far right after the first turn or so. You can hopefully see Brutus' echelon still in place, with me at the very far top left holding my thin red line back for as long as possible.
And here is the view that my legionaries have of the opposition.
My Parthians are doing their best to hurt the enemy cavalry, but there are just too many of them.
The enemy cavalry have angled inwards to put pressure on my leftmost legion. Cavalry are not likely to win against solid infantry in this period, but then they don't have to - the point is to weaken my infantry so that their legions can finish me off...
I am still trying to prolong the contact point.
A close-up of my Parthians in action. Time to evade, methinks.
The Caesareans have Celtiberian auxiliaries plus some Equites here against my legionaries.
A frontal shot of my guys. We are going to give a good account of ourselves. Note that the lines have closed up prior to contact. That's me at the back, waving them onwards.
Meanwhile, this is happening to the right of my forces.
Moving more to the right.
This is becoming a real grudge match!
The casualty counters are everywhere.
This one shows the far right of Brutus' legions, just at the point where they meet the cavalry command. The central cavalry unit is one of Roman Equites. Maybe there's a young poet called Horace in there somewhere.
The right punch is working, albeit rather slowly.
An angled shot at the same moment. The Republican cavalry are breaking through.
Another full table shot from our extreme left. My legions have still managed mostly to stay out of it at the very top left of the photo, but the enemy is closing.
A side-shot from my wing for a change.
My Parthians are falling back.
The superior weight of the enemy infantry has arrived.
The action to my right.
Success for the Republican cavalry.
The whole thing.
How it looks from my flank.
It's getting a bit nasty.
A desperate struggle just to my right.
And further along the line.
Antony's leftmost legion has quit the field, allowing some of our troops to start angling inwards.
Our right has been victorious.
However, my leftmost legion has given way, and my other legion is in trouble.
I'm in real trouble.
Casualties are piling up for both sides in the centre.
Our right is now very open, but in a very large battle it is difficult to exploit correctly. Just as this shot was taken, Antony's second leftmost legion managed to hold in with a high 'fates' roll, which means that it lasted a turn longer than normal. This was crucial.
A low-level shot of the centre. Both armies lost a legion here at this point, making the score two each.

At this point, my last legion and the leftmost heroes of the Caesareans both broke, making it three each. The next army to lose a legion would lose the battle, and unfortunately it was the Republicans, as another central legion gave way under the pressure. Another historical result, then, with Antony shading it over Brutus.