Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Rome tries to expand

This is the latest in our ongoing campaign. The Romans in red try to destroy Etruscan influence once and for all. A standard Camillan consular army deploys for the attack in an area of gently rolling hills. The Roman commander places his Italian allies to the left near the only steep hill, and all of his cavalry on his right. The opposition sets up with a central Etruscan phalanx. To its left is a unit of Italians, a unit of light infantry, and two large units of Etruscan horse. To the right of the phalanx are more Italians, plus light infantry and light horse; there are also some skirmishers out front. I produced both army lists as Tactica II variations, so I was content to fill in the numbers and play a minor role; I ended up as the commander of the right wing light troops against Rome. Gordon played the Etruscan centre, and Mark was the left wing. Facing him was Billy; William held the Roman centre; and Simon had their left against me.

The Romans advanced purposefully as is their wont. The Italians on their left held back a little, somewhat slowed by the steep hill. The Etruscan horse was stronger than the Romans facing them, so elements of the rightmost (socii) legion peeled off to stop their flank being turned. They needn't have worried, since the Etruscans drove the equites from the field and followed in hot pursuit, effectively taking themselves out of the game. However, this gave the Etruscan phalanx the edge against the Roman legions in the centre. The two Roman legions grudgingly gave way and then finally crumbled, just as the Etrsucans' Italian allies were destroyed. The Roman consul of the day went down fighting bravely with the Triarii, taking his opposite number with him. Both armies reached their breakpoint at the same time.

Doing a re-count afterwards, I realised that if the Romans had not committed their leader, they would in fact (just) have won, the loss of two legions plus all of the cavalry being outweighed by the survivial of the socii legions and Italian allies. The death of the general swang it to a draw, which in campaign terms means that the Romans retire to build up for their next attempt.


  1. I call that true Devotio! what sort of a Roman could return to Rome with a victory, if it was the Romans who died, and the Socii who receive the triumph ?

    Bettter to die in combat oneself, and prevent the socii claiming a vitory.

  2. I think you're right! It seems strange, but as this campaign goes on more and more events are happening that are almost like role-playing.

    Thanks for the comment.