Scenarios: 0-500 CE

Campus Catalaunius (Chalons) 451 AD

Hunnic Confederation: Attila (Blue)

Command Unit: 12 Veteran Hun Noble Lance/Bow Heavy Cavalry with Attila

Gepid Cavalry Command (Adaric)
  • Heruls: 18 Veteran Heavy Cavalry with Impetus in 3 ranks
  • Gepids: 18 Veteran Heavy Cavalry with Impetus in 3 ranks with Adaric
  • Archers: 2 units of 18 Light Infantry Bowmen in 3 ranks
Gepid Infantry Command (Sub-general)
  • Warbands: 4 units of 48 Close Formation Veterans in 4 ranks
  • Comitatus: 32 Elite Close Formation Warband in 4 ranks with sub-general
Hunnic First Line (Sub-general)
  • Huns: 5 units of 18 Veteran superior Light Horse Archers in 3 ranks
Hunnic Second Line (Sub-general)
  • Huns: 4 units of 18 Veteran superior Light Horse Archers in 3 ranks
  • Hun Nobles: 12 Veteran Lance/Bow Heavy Cavalry with sub-general
Ostrogoth Contingent Commander: Valamir with 18 Elite Gothic Heavy Lancers in 3 ranks

Ostrogoth First Line (Theodimir)
  • 3 units of 18 Elite Gothic Heavy Lancers in 3 ranks, one with Theodimir
  • 2 units of 18 Light Infantry Archers in 3 ranks
Ostrogoth Second Line (Vidimir)
  • 2 units of 18 Elite Gothic Heavy Cavalry in 3 ranks, one with Vidimir
  • Thuringians, Rugians and Scirii: 3 units of 32 Veteran Medium Infantry in 4 ranks
Hunnic Left Flank Command (Sub-general)
  • 12 Hunnic Noble Veteran Lance/Bow Heavy Cavalry with sub-general
  • Huns: 3 units of 12 superior Veteran Lights Horse Archers in 2 ranks

Patrician Romans: Aetius (Red)

Command Unit: 12 Elite Lance/Bow Heavy Cavalry with Aetius on left wing as comitatus

Cavalry Command (Comes Equitum)
  • Bukellarii: 12 Veteran Heavy Cavalry
  • Armoricans: 12 Veteran Heavy Cavalry
  • Equites Palatinae: 12 Elite Heavy Cavalry with comes equitum
Infantry Command (Comes Peditum)
  • Auxiliae Palatinae: 2 units of 32 Elite Medium Infantry in four ranks
  • Legiones: 3 units of 48 Veteran Medium Infantry in four ranks with integral archers
  • Franks: 2 units of 40 Veteran Close Formarion Warbands
  • Laeti et Limitanei: 48 Militia Grade Medium Infantry in four ranks
  • Burgundii and Saxons: 48 Veteran Medium Infantry in four ranks
Alans (Sangiban)
  • Alans: 4 units of 12 Veteran superior Light Horse Archers in two ranks
  • Alan nobles: 3 units of Veteran Lance/Bow Heavy Cavalry, one with Sangiban
Visigoths (Theodoric)
  • 2 units of 12 Veteran Gothic Heavy Cavalry 
  • 4 units of 40 Gothic Veteran Medium Infantry in 5 ranks with integral archers
  • Dismounted cavalry comitatus: 32 Veteran Heavy Infantry in 4 ranks
Detached Visigothic Right Flank Command (Thorismund)
  • 4 units of 12 Veteran Gothic Heavy Cavalry
  • Archers: 2 units of 12 skirmish infantry
The Hunnic Army
There are three main contingents.  The Gepids and friends are on the right wing, divided into a cavalry command and an infantry command.  The cavalry command consists of lancers with some light infantry bowmen in support; this is commanded by the overall Gepid leader, Adaric.  The infantry command is assumed to be led by an unnamed sub-general.  The Huns take the centre, in two lines.  The first is a large number of light horse under an unnamed sub-general.  The second consists of more light horse plus the nobility, again under an unnamed sub-general.  At the centre rear is Attila himself with his bodyguard.  There is also a detached sub-general with more light horse and some nobles facing off against the steep hill on the far left wing of the army.  Finally, there are the hard-charging Ostrogoths, led by three brothers.  The overall commander is Valamir.  Leading the massed lancers and some light infantry archers in support is Theodimir.  In charge of the second line allied infantry with more lancers is Vidimir.

The Roman Army
Again, there are three main contingents.  The Romans proper hold the left and are divided into a cavalry command, under an unnamed Comes Equitum, and the infantry under a Comes Peditum.  The latter includes the remaining three Gallic field legions.  Some of the less reliable troops are in the reserve position.  Aetius is stationed behind the cavalry with his own unit of retainers.  The centre of the field is where the Alans are stationed, led by Sangiban.  They have a line of light horse, with the aristocracy in reserve.  To the right are the Visigoths, led by Theodoric.  They have a solid infantry line backed up by reserve heavy cavalry squadrons.  They have also detached a large contingent of heavy cavalry screened by skirmish archers to seize the high ground to the right.

Winning the Battle
I suggest that the Huns break if they lose 18 of their 35 massed units.  Sub-generals and contingent commanders count as a lost unit.  The Romans break if they lose 16 of their 31 massed units.  This might seem to leave the Romans at a disadvantage, but they have fewer light troops plus the advantage of the hill.  The loss of either Aetius or Attila ends the game regardless.

The Table-Top
The battle is scaled at 12' by 6' for 25/28mm figures using DBX-style basing.  The only terrain feature is a large steep hill between the Roman right and the Hunnic left.  You could make the game smaller by halving the units and amalgamating some of them.

To give flavour, any general that starts with a unit must remain with it for the entire game - this represents the great man's bodyguard, comitatus or retinue.  All sub-commanders should give morale and combat bonuses, and the two overall leaders should be a step better.

Historical Notes
The battle was tactically indecisive.  It began late in the day when the Romans sent a contingent to seize the heights in front of their right wing area.  Attila responded in kind, and with a general advance.  The fighting was hard, but ended in a draw.  Strategically, it is one of the most important battles in history, marking the end point of Attila's career of conquest.  I have placed the high ground closer to the Romans in order to simulate their ability to take it.  The game should be relatively short: six turns, plus perhaps another two in dusk conditions.

Thanks are due to Simon MacDowall, who kindly gave permission for me to base this scenario on his own.  I differ from his in the placing of the hill and by increasing the numbers of lancers on the Hun side; these are necessary to make it a fair game in the rules we use.  Simon has a full description of the campaign and his conjectural orders of battle on his site.


  1. Very nice!. Been thinking about doing some Spanish myself as either Roman Allies or opponents. What rules are you using for your campaign? Are they mentioned on your blog anywhere?

  2. Hi Mitch, it's good to hear from you. We are currently using "Empire" by Phil Sabin. I bought a cheap copy from the Society of Ancients when it was available separately. Details are on the left hand column of my blog pages as you look at them, under the label "Empire". Unfortunately, the game is now only accessible as part of the large and expensive Lost Battles boxed game. However, you could probably take the basics and do a point to point campaign. We have almost finished the entire thing, playing pretty much every encounter it generated as a tabletop game. It kept us going for a few years...