“Champagne! In victory one deserves it, in defeat one needs it” - Napoleon
Timurilank's 'Storm Within The Empire'
511 – 519 ADAccording to the custom of the Frankish kings, upon their death their domains would be divided among his surviving sons. Following the death of Clovis, Childebert, Chlothar and Chlodomer were soon devising plans for a campaign in the south leaving Theuderic alone to face an immediate threat to his borders; the Saxon incursions on the lower Rhine and a possible threat to Metz in the south by the Bavarians.
Before Bavaria could attack Francia, in 514, they needed to deal first with Thuringia, primarily to settle old scores and secondly, Thuringia had been paid to attack Bavaria. The battle between the armies of Thuringia and Bavaria took place near Hohenwald. Here, the Thuringian demonstrated superior tactical skill inflicting a crushing defeat on the Bavarian army with little loss to themselves.
Receiving news of the Thuringian victory, Theuderic proceeded forward with his campaign against the Saxons. Crossing the lower Rhine, Theuderic found the Saxons encamped near Noviomagus. Their camp was well protected forcing the Franks to negotiate marsh land and lake before forming a battle line. The Saxons struck first, but the Frankish lines held and overcame the raiders killing their chieftain to secure a decisive victory with little loss to themselves. Seizing the plunder taken by the Saxons, Theuderic returned to his capital at Metz.
Battles of Hohenwald and Noviomagus.
520 – 529 ADFor both Chlothar and Chlodomer, the planned invasion of Burgundy no longer carried any interest leaving Childebert fuming in disgust. Seeing an opportunity to expand his own lands, Theuderic expressed his willingness to share in the enterprise. In 522, both Childebert and Theuderic declared war on Godomar with the slimmest of pretext and marched southward to meet Gondomar near the former Roman town of Barbarensis. The battle was hard fought with Childebert facing a greater number of Burgundian tribesmen he finally succumbed to heavy losses prompting the rout of his command leaving Theuderic to cover the retreat. Childebert convinced that the defeat was due to treachery by Theuderic would seek revenge.
Taking advantage of the discord among the Frankish kings, the Visigoths invaded the Aquitaine in 523. Crossing the Garonne River threatening Argentomagus and the surrounding region, they met the army of Chlodomer which comprised mostly of Gallo-Roman and city militia. In the ensuing battle, the Franks were decisively defeated and sent retreating to Orleans.
Later that year, the Saxons landed near Bononia and began a period of destruction and plundering the lands held by Chlothar. The battle near Bononia was hard fought but the Saxons prevailed and won a conclusive victory leaving the lands of Chlothar with their plunder.
Each of the Frankish kings suffered setbacks during this period, the Visigoths occupied Aquitaine, Childebert had suffered a serious defeat in Burgundy and the domain of Chlothar was open to more raids by Saxons. Theuderic, who survived the Burgundian debacle with his army intact was pleased with the situation. News of the Bavarian victory over the army of Thuringia and the death of their king meant Thuringia would certainly seek revenge, thus keeping hostilities to the right bank of the Rhine. Anticipating a vengeful Childebert would seek the help of his brothers; Theuderic made his own plans and sent diplomatic missions to the Burgundian, Visigoth and Saxon kings.
Battles of Barbarensis, Argentomagus, Bononia and across the Rhine.
Battle of Hohenwald 514 ADIn the summer of 514, Bavarian warband invaded the lands of the Thuringi and met their army near the forests of Hohenwald. The battle, devoid of any tactical sense saw the Thuringi with their red dragon standards waving above their ranks crash into the Bavarian ranks.
Both lines buckled but did not break. It was not long before gaps appeared in the Bavarian line giving the Thuringi an opportunity to close on exposed flanks.
The battle quickly turned to a slaughter as many Bavarians could not escape the Thuringi fury, score 7 – 0.
Theuderic attacks the Saxons 514 ADThe Saxons plundered the Frisian coast and continued their raid by sailing the inland waterways reaching Noviomagus. Gathering his Riparian Franks and local militia, Theuderic approach the Saxon encampment in the early morning hours. The approach was broken by marsh forcing Theuderic to form three battle groups to approach the Saxon encampment.
Dividing their force into similar groups, the Saxons advanced to meet the Franks .
The fighting was heaviest in the centre as Theuderic had foreseen and here the Frankish tribesmen were positioned. The battle was decided when gaps appeared the Saxon line presenting the Franks an opportunity to roll up their line.
Frankish cavalry on the left flank left their opposition flat footed and moved toward the struggle in the centre to bring the battle to a close, score 4g – 1.
Childebert and Theuderic invade Burgundy 520 ADThe armies of the Burgundi and Franks were of equal size, but due to the broken terrain the Burgundi were able to form a massive wall to meet the two brothers. On the Frankish side, Childebert formed on the right and Theuderic on the left.
The Burgundi approach place the heaviest concentration of troops in the centre leaving the two kings undecided as to which of the two would be struck first. Noticing a widening gap between the two Frankish groups, the Burgundi struck Childebert first throwing a screen to occupy Theuderic.
Childebert signalled his brother to hurry his attack as he was taking on casualties, but the attack from the left never came. In 30 minutes (2 bounds) the entire right wing collapsed ending the battle with Childebert in full flight, score 4 – 0 .
Childebert would never forget the treacherous act played his brother.
The Visigoths invade the Aquitaine 521 ADSensing the discord among the brother kings, the Visigoth marched north to retake their lands lost two decades earlier. Reaching as far north as Argentomagus, they confronted the army of Chlodomer formed and ready for battle.
The Visigoths placed all their infantry on their right with all their cavalry stretched across its centre and left wing. The Franks formed a shield wall and slowly advanced toward the Visigoths. The Visigothic cavalry approach was slow so as to give time for their infantry to strike first. In a daring move the Visigothic king moved from his command position to lead the infantry attack cutting the Frankish left to shreds.
This act set the Visigothic cavalry in motion and charge home. The Franks held their ground well enough, but seeing their left wing collapse they fled leaving the Visigoths the field, score 4 – 0.
Saxon raid on the Frankish coast 522 ADThe Saxons avoided the lands held by Theuderic and now set their sights on those ruled by Chlothar. Moving inland, they encountered Chlothar and his Franks near Bononia. The Franks formed two wings with the militia on the right and the tribal infantry on the left, Chlothar slowly advanced. The Saxon position looked strong as their flanks were protected by woods and difficult hills, but Chlothar set his sight on the Saxon centre as there is where their chieftain would be.
The Saxons had formed deep columns at regular intervals and as the two lines met, these deep columns succeeded in pushing the Franks back on their heels. A breakthrough in the Frankish line caused a panic and Chlothar quickly formed a second line to contain the Saxon breakthrough
Exhaustion plagued the Franks and slowly their line gave way leaving a victorious Saxon host the field, score 4 – 0
The Thuringi invade Bavaria 524 ADThe Bavarians, at the top of the photo, formed their battle line using the river to secure their left flank.
The distance between the river and woods would restrict manoeuvre thus creating a deadly arena. Both armies moved slowly forward with each periodically adjusting their lines. The battle proved long and hard with both leaders fighting in its front ranks. Slowly, the Thuringian line began to erode and a panic swept through their ranks when their chieftain’s standard fell. Demoralised, the Thuringian fled leaving the Bavarian holding the field, score 5g – 1.
SourcesMost of the events recorded here come from two primary sources for the Merovingian period, ‘The History of the Franks’ by Gregory of Tours and the ‘Chronicles of Fredegarby Fredegar of Burgundy. The former can be found online in English, however, The Chronicles of Fredegar I found only a French versions or brief citations in English by modern authors. The work of Gregory ends in 591 and that of Fredegar in 642 which cover the Merovingian period well enough to produce a timeline and to improve its clarity, especially regarding dates, I found The Merovingian Kingdoms 450 – 751by Ian Wood and The Dark Ages 476 – 918by Sir Charles Oman useful . The Merovingian government is well covered in Oman, pages 121 - 127.
The timeline is by no means complete, but it does fulfil this wargamer’s need. The civil wars of the Merovingian period are too numerous to duplicate on the game table, but the incursions by the Avars, Saxons, Visigoths and Byzantines will add spice to the campaign game.
After the death of Clovis I, the Frankish kingdoms are named after their ruling city; Paris, Soissons, Reims and Metz with Burgundy becoming included in 532 AD. The territories take on a stable form after the unification of Francia by Chlothar II and are renamed Neustria, Austrasia, Aquitania, Provence and Burgundy (632).
Map: The Division of Gaul in 511AD
511 Death of Clovis, kingdom is divided among his sons. Childebert I rules from Paris, Chlothar I rules from Soissons, Chlodomer from Orleans, and Theuderic from Reims.
Theuderic begins expanding toward inner Germany which begins a long struggle against the Thuringians while Childebert I and Chlodomer bring their attention to Burgundy. Operations in Germany were delayed by piratical raids led by King Hygelac of the Danes. 516 Death of Gundobad, king of Burgundy and rule is passed to Sigismund. He is later replaced by Godomar. 523 With his brothers, Childebert wages war against Godomar of Burgundy. 524 Chlodomer dies in the Battle of Vezeronce. His three sons inherit the realm, but Childebert Iand Chlothar I conspire to oust them. The Franks eventually leave Burgundy, Godomar resumes rule until 534.531 Hermanafrid, king of the Thuringian offers part of his kingdom for Frankish assistance to depose his brother, Baderic. Theuderic accepts. Chlothar continues the campaign as Theuderic sustains injuries in an early battle. With the death of Hermanafrid, the campaign continues as a conquest of Thuringia. Southern Thuringia comes under the rule of Theuderic while Northern Thuringia is overrun by the Saxons. 532 Second Burgundian war, Childebert I and Chlothar Iseize Autun (Burgundy). The death of Althalaric(successor to Theodoric the Great) of the Ostrogoths was followed by a crisis of succession. Lacking Ostrogoth support, Burgundy fell in 534. 534 First Visigothic War was meant to recover lost territory from the Spanish Visigoths. Chlothar I sent his eldest sons to reclaim the lost territories. The strongholds of Dio-et-Valquières and Cabrières are taken. 536 Civil war erupts between Chlothar I and Theuderic. Theuderic dies and Theudebert (eldest son) continues the struggle and with the aid of Childebert I a peace is made. 537 To secure a neutral Francia in the upcoming war with the East Roman Empire, Witiges the Ostrogoth cedes Provence to the Frankish kings and secures the help of 10,000 Franks to assist with the seizure of Milan. 538 Conquest of Thuringia and marriage between Chlothar I and Radegund (princess of Thuringia).
With the forces of Witiges and Belisarius locked in their struggle, Theudebert brings a large army to sack Genoa and plunder the Po Valley reaching Venetia. The Frankish army is struck by disease forcing their return to Francia.
Theudebert campaigns against Duke Garibald of Bavaria and in four years successfully adds the southern realm to his kingdom. 542 Childebert I leads an expedition against the Visigoths in northern Spain, seizes Pamplona and besieges Zaragoza. He is defeated before the walls of Zaragoza by King Theudis and forced to retreat over the Pyrenees.
A Frankish army led by Alemmani generals, Buccelin and Chlothar, invaded Italy while King Baduila was engaged with the Byzantines under Narses.
Having dealt with Baduila, Narses confronts Buccelin and defeats him at Casilinum. Chlothar and his army perish possibly through the plague in Apulia. 555 Acquisition of Metz gains an alliance with the Lombard. A Saxon rebellion is suppressed by Chlothar I. Auvergne submits to Frankish rule. Chlothar I sends his son Chram to take possession of the area. Chramdeclares independence from his father leading to war. Chlothar I sends his Charibertand Guntram to seize Chram, but a rumour announcing the death of Chlothar I in the Saxon war sends both sons marching back to Burgundy. 556 A second Saxon revolt, perhaps instigated by Childebert I lead to a brutal confrontation. Peace is made between the Saxon and Franks. 558 Childebert I dies childless giving Chlothar I the opportunity to unite the Frankish kingdoms. Chram flees to the Bretons and with their help wages war against Chlothar I. Chram is captured and executed in 560.561 Chlothar I dies and succession is divided among his four surviving sons; Charibert (the former kingdom of Childebert I - Neustria), Guntram (Burgundy), Sigebert I (kingdom of Metz - Austrasia), and Chilperic I (kingdom of Soissons). 562 Chilperic I waged war against Sigebert I over the division. Defeated, Theudebert, the eldest son of Chilperic is imprisoned. 567 Following the death of Charibert, Chilperic Iinvaded Sigebert’s new lands, but is defeated. Marriage of Sigebert I to Brunhilda, daughter of the Visigothic king Athanagild. 568 Chilperic I marries Galswintha, the sister of Brunhilda. The suspicious death of Galswintha instigates more wars between Sigebert I and Chilperic I. Brunhilda and Fredegund continue the feud long after the death of their kings. 569The Lombard invasion of Gaul prompt Chilperic I and Sigebert I to cease their feud and assist Guntram. The conflict lasts four years with Mummolus, a Gallo-Roman patrician serving Guntram, finally defeating the Lombards. 573 Chilperic I allies with Guntram against Sigebert I, but Guntram changes sides ensuring another defeat for Chilperic. 575 Following the assassination of Sigebert I Brunhilda rules the kingdom (Austrasia). Chilperic I wages war against her protector, Guntram of Burgundy while seizing Tours and Poitiers from Austrasia.578 Chilperic I attacks the Breton ruler, Waroch II. The army of Chilperic came from Touraine, Anjou, Maine and Bayeux; the latter are Saxons. Following a three day battle, Waroch submits giving his son as hostage and agrees to pay an annual tribute. 580A plague sweeps through Gaul claiming two sons of Chilperic I. 583Two campaigns in northern Italy by the Austrasian army are beaten back by the Lombards. Following a major setback against King Autauri, Austrasia signs a peace treaty. 584 Chilperic I is murdered following a hunting expedition. 593Following the death of Guntram, his nephew, Childebertis now ruler of Burgundy and Aquitaine. Freed from Guntram’s restraints, Brunhilda coerces Childebert to invade Neustria. Despite their loss at Droisy, the war continues. 594Childebert suppresses a rebellion beyond the Rhine in Swabia (Warni). 596The death of Childebert(26 years) suspends military operations. His young sons, Theuderic II and Theudebert II now become heirs under the regency of Brunhilda. 597 Following the death of Fredegund, Chlothar II becomes king of Neustria and continues the feud with Queen Brunhilda of Austrasia.
Map: Kingdom of Chlothar II at start of reign.
599 Battle of Dormelles, Chlothar II is defeated by Theuderic II (Burgundy) and Theudebert II (Austrasia). 605 Theuderic II and Theudebert II took up arms against one another giving Chlothar II an opportunity to invade Burgundy. Unable to subdue Burgundy, the conflict lasted for nearly a decade. 610 War between Austrasia and Burgundy, Theudebert II won initial victory forcing Theuderic II to seek an alliance with Chlothar II. Together they defeat Theudebert II at the battles of Toul and Talbiac in 612, near Cologne. 611 Chlothar II reunites the Frankish realm.613 War between Chlothar II and an Austrasian Burgundian alliance. Neustria is invaded but Theuderic II of Burgundy dies essentially ending the campaign. Charged with the murder of ten members often Neustrian royal family, Queen Brunhilda is put to death ending the long standing ‘royal feud’. Chlothar II unifies the Frankish kingdoms. 614 The Edict of Paris changes several aspects of appointments and administration of the kingdom. 617 The role of Mayor of the Palace becomes a life time appointment. 623 Dagobert I, son of Chlothar II, is made king of Austrasia at the behest of the nobles of that region.629 Chlothar II dies and is buried the Saint Vincent Basilica in Paris. Dagobert I inherits the Neustrian and Burgundian kingdoms. 631 Eliminating potential rivals, Dagobert I strengthens his position to become a respected ruler of the west. Waged war against the Slavs, but is defeated at Wogastisburg. 632 Rebellion by the nobles of Austrasia led by the mayor of the palace force Dagobert I to place his son, Sigebert III, thereby ceding power to the eastern realm. 634 Dagobert I places a second son, Clovis II as king of Neustria and Burgundy. 649 Death of Dagobert I effectively ending Merovingian rule over the Frankish kingdoms.
Map: The Division of Gaul in 511AD By Romain0 - Travail personnel sur un fond de carte de historicair : Image:Blank map of Gaul 1st century BC.svg. D'après Paul Vidal de La Blache, Gaule à la mort de Clotaire (561) Image:Division of Gaul - 561.jpg, Atlas général d'histoire et de géographie (1894), Frédéric Armand, Chilpéric Ier, La Louve éditions, 2008, p. 77 et Bruno Dumézil, La reine Brunehaut, éditions Fayard, 2008, p. 536., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9732597
Map: Kingdom of Chlothar II at start of reign.By Paul Vidal de La Blache - Paul Vidal de La Blache, Atlas général d'histoire et de géographie (1894)., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3330432
Recommended reading.Much information can be found on the internet by searching for the individual kings but the following books are recommended for readers wishing more detail.
Gregory of Tours, History of the FranksFredegar, The Chronicle of FredegarOman, C. W. C., The Dark Ages 476 – 918 ADWood, Ian, The Merovingian Kingdoms 450 - 751 AD
Continuing the ‘Migration to Kingdom’ project it will now focus on the events surrounding the formation of Francia Latin or the Middle Frankish of the DBA army list (III/5). Over the next 143 years the Middle Franks will expand their control over the territory of former Roman Gaul to reach parts of the Pyrenees, the Italian Alps and large territories to the east of the Rhine.
From a campaign perspective, the sixth century AD would provide players with frequent external wars followed by internal conflicts to keep it. Beginning with the partitioning of Francia into four realms following the death of Clovis in 511 AD we slowly find the realms taking a definitive size a century later with the creation of Aquitania, Provencal, Burgundy, Austrasia and Neustria.
Map; Frankish Territories at the time of Clovis's death. (Wiki Commons)
Readers wishing to delve deeper I can recommend The Merovingian Kingdoms 450 - 751 AD, by Ian Wood.
The Miniatures.I have Franks in my collection, but I wanted to build an army that would best reflect the transition from the multi-striped tunics to the fashion worn by the Carolingian. I followed a similar approach with the shields.
To distinguish the tribesmen (4Wb) from the Gallo Roman militia I used the Old Glory Goths with oval shields for the militia and kept the smaller round shields for the tribesmen.
In the photo these can be seen in column formation with lighter coloured shields. Further back are the tribesmen with a variety of darker coloured shields. The cavalry or nobles (3Kn) are also Gothic heavy cavalry from Old Glory painted in a similar style. The commander lacks his banner, but as soon as I find something suitable, this will be added. Looking at the two army sub-lists, the only difference between them are the number of spear armed Gallo-Romans (Sp) present in each. The armies of Neustria, Aquitania and Provencal may field more militia and have an option to have their tribesmen as 3Wb.
Army of Neustria
Army of Austrasia
Flags/bannersI did find a reference to a ‘red’ banner carried by the Neustrian army, but no detail was given describing size, shape or other design features. Using a wargamer’s logic the size and shape could follow a similar style carried by other armies; the Byzantine come to mind as they did interact with the Merovingian Franks.
As to what designs or features formed a blazon on such flags, we do know the Merovingian were an Orthodox Christian kingdom and therefore a cross would seem a likely feature. I would not rule out the lesser mobility carrying standards depicting animals such as a bull, eagle or boar.
Following the death of Clovis, the kingdom was divided among the surviving sons, again it may be possible a common design was kept for the family with each son having a differing background colour.
In this match series, the Late Imperial Roman army of Constantine III are seen with their white banner and the Patrician forces (purple banner) are noticeable by the addition of both mounted and infantry foederati.
Game 1 The battleground despite the wood and hamlet securing the left flank of each army was relatively open. The Patrician army (left of photo) have positioned their legion in the centre flanked by foederati troops and Hunnic allies are positioned further to their right. Constantine III positioned his legion opposite their counterpart with the auxilia and cavalry extending the battle line further. Both armies held a small reserve force withing bow shot of their front line troops.
Both centres advanced quickly forward as troops on either flank squared off to meet their opposition.
Following the clash of battle lines, the Gothic foederati on the left made brisk work by cutting down two units of auxilia but this setback was meet with equal ferocity with the Britannic legion and clibanarii destroying their opposition (2 – 2).
The battle now lost its cohesion as a breach in the line offered flanking opportunities. In this situation, the Britannic forces gained an advantage and crushed the Patrician army bringing the battle to a close. Score 5 – 2 for Late Imperial Roman.
Game 2Now on the offensive, the army of Constantine III caught the Patrician forces on an open plain with one wood offering meagre cover. Here, the Britannic forces made good use of the surrounding difficult hills and hamlet to set up a defensive position while also secured their rear.
Seeing the Britannic forces were not willing to leave their position, the Patrician army moved forward with their right flank leading in echelon.
Both sides now seemed hesitant to engage and hesitantly moved forward (low pip scores for both). A feeble attack by the Patrician forces was easily countered by Constantine III.
In a desperate move to regain the momentum, the Patrician general launched the Gothic foederati crushing a unit of auxilia for their effort. The Britannic legion held their ground and drove the Goths back on a supporting column of foederati infantry. Having no further room to recoil, the Goths were destroyed in place thus ending the battle. Score 4 – 1 for the Late Imperial Roman.
Game 3Maintaining the offensive, Constantine III was able to repeat his good fortune and catch the Patrician forces on an open plain. This time, the Patrician deployed its foederati troops as part of the main battle line with the Hunnic allies positioned on each flank. The Britannic force rested its right flank on the difficult hill and all its infantry filling the open space between hill and the village. Heavy cavalry formed a second line and all the light horse were positioned further behind as an extra reserve.
The Patrician general seeing no threat on this left flank moved the Huns to a new position. Both battle lines now move quickly forward.
The armies met head on with both sides pushing and recoiling but neither side could make a breach in the other's line.
In time, gaps that did appear were quickly filled by units held in reserve. Even Constantine III was seen in the thick of enemy troops.
Casualties were beginning to fall evenly on both sides but the Britannic line was steadily seen moving back.
The battle was becoming desperate as neither side would break leaving the small arena between hill and village littered with dead. (3 – 3).
The Gothic Feoderati had broken through the Britannic line but they were held to a standstill by the Illyriani LH. On the right flank, the Britannic forces were able to recovery the initiative and strike a decisive blow. This brought an end to a hard fought battle. Score 4 – 3 for the Late Imperial Roman.
II/82a Patrician Roman 408 – 493 AD Terrain type: Arable, Aggression 01 x general (Cv or 3Kn), 1 x equites (Cv), 2 equites (Cv or 3Kn or LH) or foederati (3Kn), 1 x legionnaire (4Bd), 2 x auxilia (4Ax), 3 x auxilia (4Ax) or foederati (4Wb), 2 x archers (Ps).
Strange as it may seem, but this is the first time these two armies have met as the Sassanid have fought the Middle Imperial Roman and Early Byzantine in earlier battles but passed over the 4th century Roman Empire. In this series Rome is the invader and the Sassanid has marshalled their forces to include an elephant and levy. Terrain selection for both sides is arable but will have an arid look to it.
Game 1Rome selected a relatively open plain with a gentle hill and from its slight rise, the magister militum arrayed his infantry along its base and positioned the cavalry to the right flank. Facing the legion was the Persian levy and elephant and in centre was their commander flanked by Asavaran cavalry and horse archers.
Rome initiates movement and quickly moves to intercept enemy light horse threatening the right flank, while the clibanarii supported by the legion and auxiliaries advance toward the Sassanid centre.
The ensuing clash brings heavy casualties to both sides, two auxilia are destroyed as are the Sassanid horse archers bringing the score even. Elsewhere in the centre, the clibanarii hold the Asavaran cavalry and the elephant having moved beyond its support is struck in front and flank but manages to hold its ground.
Having destroyed the elephant, the legion closes the distance on the isolated unit of cataphract and destroys it sending the Sassanid in retreat. Score 4 – 2 for Eastern Rome.
Game 2Rome continued their campaign and found the Sassanid deployed in open ground with scrub to their right. The village located between the two armies would become a focal point in this contest.
The Sassanid advanced slowly allowing all its troops to maintain their alignment. The task of capturing the village was left to the levy and the elephant corps and the remainder of the army would concentrate on the Roman centre.
Ever eager to cross lances with Roman cavalry, a few units of Asavaran cavalry charged ahead. Elsewhere, the Sassanid closed the distance to the awaiting Roman line.
The Sassanid, in successive waves of cavalry attacks brought down a unit of clibanarii and half the legion.
With the loss of the legion the magister militum had no other alternative than to join the battle. His left flank kept the levy and elephant corps at bay while on the right, events took a grim turn with the further loss of the clibanarii. Up to this point Sassanid losses had been minor, 3 – 1.
Units on the Roman left were successful luring the elephant corps away from battle and some even managed to destroy the levy supporting the elephants. The Roman centre held its ground, but the cavalry on the right were overwhelmed by the tenacity of the Asavaran and horse archers. The magister militum called for a general retreat, score 4 – 3 (+2Hd) for the Sassanid.
Game 3For the final battle Rome were caught on open ground with scrub located nearby. Placing the auxilia on the right to make use of the scrub the legion was positioned in centre with the heavy cavalry and clibanarii in support on its left. A third line held a unit of light horse as a reserve.
The Sassanid deployed in open ground between a village and a low hill. Positioned on the hill were the levy flanked by the elephant corps with all the Asavaran deployed in two lines.
The Sassanid initiated the battle by moving its centre forward. Rome countered by positioning archers in the scrub and left wheeling the entire second line to link up with the bowmen.
The Sassanid centre held its position giving time for the flank units to march up; the levy made a bee line toward the archers and the horse archers on the far right advanced quickly to threaten the Roman left. Rome made good use of the time to strengthen its left flank and tidy up the centre.
With both Roman flanks now threatened, the Sassanid launched their full might against the Roman centre.
The elephant corps managed a breakthrough by destroying the legion to its front, but it found itself alone as the Asavaran on the right recoiled and those on the left were destroyed. That positioned was quickly filled by the Asavaran of the reserve line. Not wanting the elephant to run rampant along the Roman line, the magister militum attacked it.
The turns following can be described as a titanic struggle. Despite the loss of its cavalry, Rome slowly gained the upper hand to bring the score to 3 – 2. The final blow came when the Sassanid general fell under the lances of the clibanarii ending the game. Score 5g – 2 for Eastern Rome.