Taking to the field against a Gepid army is always a challenge for a Roman army that lacks auxiliary cavalry support. No German cavalry, no Gallic cavalry, no Sarmatians, just a few equites cohortales and equites alares. That’s not a matchup the Romans are going to win on an open field. And so it all comes down to terrain.Supervark wrote: ↑Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:16 pmDivision D
Supervark (Lombards) yes the horsey types, Beat MikeMarchent (Romans) the footy types 49%-9%
The terrain did not favor the Romans being open on his right flank and middle while the left flank had scattered trees. Whittling the superior Roman units down with light troops was a boon even then they put up an incredibly tough fight when I attacked them. Fortunately, his right flank took a mauling and I was able to get some of my units in behind his army. Though his CinC performed heroics, at one point holding off 4 of my units, it was not to be for the Romans. Eventually, he attacked with a lot of auxiliaries from the woods but it was too little too late as I had finally managed to rout a couple more legionary units. A very interesting and enjoyable game thanks Mike
It wasn’t the worst, a flat open field, but nor was it the best. The Roman line anchored its left flank on a wood, but the right flank was open. An auxiliary heavy Roman force deployed medium foot in the woods on the left flank, in the woods even further left of those and in woods to the Roman rear near the right flank, to attempt to challenge any encirclement from the right.
And then the Romans waited.
The Gepids, clearly suspicious of the trees, kept well away from the Roman left and sent massed skirmishers to the Roman front backed up by vigilant lancers, and a strong force to encircle the right.
The Roman second line was stripped as they turned to meet the threat to their right flank, and the front line was scourged by Gepid skirmishers. It was a tough fight on the right flank, and Rome can be proud of its sons for the way they fought to protect the army, but they were always too few and too late. Even with support from the auxiliaries in the woods, the Gepids finally broke them down.
In the meantime, tired of the rain of missiles, the main line had advanced to push the lights away, but even a small advance was to put the army in danger. The Gepids skirmishers fled, but then returned to continue the harassment as they had before. The Romans could do nothing but fall back and reform their line.
The attrition on the legionaries was beginning to tell and while all of the Roman reserves were tied up in the battle for the Roman right, the Gepids started a tentative probe against the right side of the Roman main line.
Seeing what appeared to be a fairly helpless situation the Roman legatus ordered a general advance before it was too late. Remaining as they were the skirmishers were going to continue to slowly destroy the line and there was not much longer to go before the Gepids defeated the Roman forces fighting to preserve the Roman right and then the Romans would be surrounded and slaughtered.
The legions advanced at the same time as auxiliaries poured out of the woods to their left, taking to open country against Gepid lancers. Gepid lights and Gepid lancers retreated ahead of the advance and looked threatened by an encirclement themselves.
But it was too late.
The Roman right flank crumbled and Gepid lancers swarmed to the rear. Caught between hammer and anvil there was only one outcome and that was an outcome that would be met with the gnashing of teeth and the tearing of hair in the Forum Romanum.
A really tough battle this one, and yet again highlighting the weakness of Roman armies against horse armies without either solid cavalry support or sympathetic terrain. Supervark marshalled and manoeuvred his forces masterfully. I suspect the Romans were handicapped by my timidity too. I was left feeling that I ought to have advanced two turns earlier. If I had ordered that advance a little earlier we might have stood a chance – not a big chance, but a chance nonetheless.
Well done, Supervark, a well deserved victory and really fun battle to fight.