Timurilank's 'Storm Within The Empire'

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DBA 3.0 armies, projects and campaigns set in the ancient, medieval and fantasy periods. Timurilankhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/12856114016218310524noreply@blogger.comBlogger374125
Updated: 29 min 16 sec ago

Cimbri and Teutones vs. Celtiberian

October 10, 2017 - 10:35
Following their victory over Rome at the Battle of Arausio, the Cimbri and Teutones crossed into Hispania.

From Livy, Book LXVII, fragment. "The Cimbrians, having ravaged all the country between the Rhine and the Pyrenees, pass into Spain; where they continue like depredations. The Cimbrians are put to flight by the Celtiberians: and returning into Gaul, they join the Teutons."
The Historical Match up. Re fighting the confrontation between the Celtiberians and the Barbarian coalition is challenging as so much remains unknown. Both combatants have diverse home terrain (hilly and forest) so I opted for a compromise and placed the three matches in arable terrain; this still offers both sides the use of difficult hills and forest. More importantly however, this would give me an opportunity to use my newly constructed Celtic village.
Game 1The Cimbri had sufficient room to deploy their army between the village and wood. Facing them were the Celtiberians in a line which easily extended beyond Cimbri line.

The Celtiberians right flank moved ahead of the main body as they were eager for battle. The supporting caetrati had outstripped them to make first contact.  
The Celtiberians on the right encountered stiff resistance with one dense column driving the scutarii back. The Celtiberian left were driving their opposition back and rapid slaughter of one warband left a gaping hole in their line.

Regaining their composure, the Celtiberians on the right counter attacked the exposed flanks of one dense formation of the Cimbri to quickly roll up the Cimbri left flank which prompted a general retreat. Score 4 -1 for the Celtiberians.

Game 2This time, the Cimbri deployed closer to their camp leaving the Celtiberians no choice but leave their position near the village. Due to the constricted nature of the terrain, the Celtiberian formed in deeper ranks.

The Cimbri shuffled forward giving time for the scutarii and caetrati to deploy into a line.

The battle became general up and down the line with neither side giving much ground. During this and the previous bound, there were a high number combats with even scores. Here, the denser formations of warband repelled the looser formation (‘fast’) Celtiberians. Both sides experienced light casualties (1 – 1).

The battle now took a fiercer turn as both sides were taking advantage of exposed flanks and isolated units to bring the number of casualties to a critical level (3 – 3).

The situation favoured the nimble Celtiberians as they inflicted a few more casualties to save the day. Score 5 – 3 for the Celtiberians.


Game 3For the final match, the Cimbri rested their flanks on the two dense wood. It was hoped the cover would work to their advantage.

The rapid approach of the Celtiberians gave the Cimbri just enough time to set up position in time to see caetrati closing the distance.

The edge of the wood on the left were easily held by the Cimbri warband. The wood on the right was in question as scutarii were supporting the caetrati. To counter this, the Cimbri sent a unit of warband to even the battle.

The Celtiberian effort in both woods now stalled it was time to move the majority of the army into battle.

In the ensuing conflict the Celtiberians lost most of their caetrati, but Cimbri casualties were not far behind (3 – 2).
The battle turned as Celtiberians were streaming out of the wood followed by victorious Cimbri warband. This heralded a general retreat and first loss for the Celtiberians. Score 4 – 2 for the Cimbri and Teutones.


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The Witcher Project - Skellige Confederation

October 9, 2017 - 16:38
The Skellige Islands are located off the western shores of Temeria and the Nilfgaard Empire. The six major islands are inhabited by Nordic-like clans each ruled by an elected monarch or Jarl. 

Seafaring and raiding are their principle pastimes and they were keen to fight on board their long ships or on land as foot soldiers primarily armed with axe and a minority with bow. The islands are mountainous and are not ideal horse-breeding areas and as their number would be limited to agrarian requirements, there are no mounted units. Their army composition would not be dissimilar to Leidang Vikings.

Each island is home to a clan and  at the Witcher Wikia you can read background information for each clan as well as their colour preferences which make them distinct from other clans.

The Skellige Islands becomes the final battleground in the third game, the Witcher - Wild Hunt. 
Clans of Skellige (Wither Wikia)


Skellige Confederation
1– 3 Household (4Bd)
3 - 6 Raiders (3Bd) or (3Wb)
1 - 3 Archers (3Bw)
1 - 2 Scouts (Ps)


Update (09-10-2017)
The seafaring clans of Skellige raided both sides during the four wars covered by this project; the Southern Conquest and the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Northern Wars. These raids are mentioned in passing conversations in the books but no detail is given as to which clans were the more enterprising. On a side note, as the empire annexed kingdoms bordering the coast, raiders confronted with frequency the fleets of Nilfgaard protecting their supply and troop convoys. 

Plans are under way to adapt the DBA naval variant, De Bellis Navalibus, for use with this project. This may take some time as ships and suitable terrain must be scratch-built.  
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Cimbri and Teutones vs. Consular Rome

October 7, 2017 - 09:30

The Cimbri and Teutones crossed the Alps to invade the Roman Province of Gallia Narbonensis in 109 BC. In 107 BC, their forces defeated a Roman army and later that year a second army sent against them at the Battle of Burdigala, killing its commander.
Two new Roman armies, each led by a consul and totalling 80,000 troops marched to meet the barbarians near the Rhone River. The battle that followed was a disaster (Arausio) for Rome with losses matching the defeat suffered at Cannae, but like Hannibal, instead of pressing on Rome, the Cimbri and Teutones moved elsewhere and crossed into Hispania.
The Historical Match up. The composition of the Roman army followed list number II/33 (Polybian) and the Cimbri coalition (II/47a).  In keeping with some semblance of historical accuracy, a Roman army comprised of a citizen legion and an equal number of ‘allied’ troops forming a second legion; these can be seen carrying white shields. The troop types follow the DBA army list to the letter, but are deployed in the game as two separate groups.

Terrain, although arable, was kept to a minimum, one BUA and two woods. 
Game 1Rome has deployed its force in two wings, the allied are on the right and the Roman legion on the left nearest the wood. The Cimbri have positioned three dense columns with smaller units of warriors filling in the gaps and deployed thus, their army would match the Roman line in length.

As the battle commences, Rome moves forward as one massive group with skirmishers thrown forward on the wings. The Cimbri have moved two of their dense columns toward the Roman legion holding the third back as support.

The ensuing clashes Rome drives both dense columns back, but somehow missed the barbarian breakthrough that now endangers their exposed flank.

The situation becomes desperate as the supporting Cimbri column charge the allied wing, Cimbri warriors assault the rear of the Roman hastati and the Cimbrian chieftain delivers a personal message to the Roman Consul.

The battle was in question as the allied legion had collapsed the Cimbri left, but elsewhere, the Cimbri spurred on by their general brought the decisive blow to the conflict. Score 4 – 3 for the Cimbri.   


Game 2The Roman force caught in the open deployed in their standard formation, but held all the cavalry in a second line as a reserve. The Cimbri, positioned between the village and wood arranged their troops in the same manner as the previous battle.

The battle took an encouraging turn as the allied legion repulsed every assault by the Cimbri. On the left, the Roman legion had a harder time dealing with the two columns losing a unit of hastati for their efforts.

On the Roman right, the allied wing now supported by the cavalry were ready to roll up the Cimbrian left when the horns and drums signaled a general retreat; resulting from the quick collapse of the Roman legion. Score 4 – 0 for the Cimbri.


Game 3Rome deployed first but kept the citizen legion in the centre with the allied troops split evenly and positioned on both flank. The consul taking a centre position placed the allied cavalry on the left flank. Although inconvenienced by the village and wood, the Cimbri kept to their battle winning deployment but positioned their cavalry on the left flank.

Through mixed signals only the Cimbri left started the battle and this was easily countered by the Roman right. Fearing an ambush, the Roman centre moved cautiously forward.

The battle quickly escalated with the Roman right heavily engaged with the warband and cavalry. The Roman centre was under pressure by the dense columns sent against them, but they held their ground.

The drill and discipline of Rome was beginning to whittle down Cimbrian resistance as they slowly caused more casualties than the Cimbri could inflict. Score 4 – 1 for Rome.

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Building a Generic Celtic Village – BUA

October 3, 2017 - 09:40
I have a number of villages for use with our DBA games in differing architectural styles, but none are truly suited for my Early Germans, Gauls or Iberians. Therefore, between painting projects, I decided to rectify that deficiency and build a small hamlet. 

A quick search of Celtic housing did find differences between Iberian, Gallic and structures east of the Rhine. Much of the Celtic buildings found in Northern Spain made use of stone. whereas timber walls would be prevalent east of the Rhine. Rather than building a set of huts for each style, I opted for the general ‘look’ – a circular structure, walls covered in wattle and daub with a roof of thatch. 

My plan was to construct six buildings so I could select any of the BUA templates to vary the size of my Celtic hamlet. 
ToolsPink Foam – roughly cut into 40mm cubes.MilliputModeling knifeDish with water; tacky fingers will pull completed work off the foam core. Sewing needle (long), useful to score doorways, posts and thatching.
ShapingI used standard pink foam and cut six cubes that would eventually shaped into Celtic huts. Starting with the walls, these are roughly 10mm high and trimmed back to leave a few millimetres of roof protruding beyond the wall.

Shaping the roof as a pyramid, round the corners by gradually shaving excess to form a circular cone. Each cube is 40mm high, so you will have some room to experiment with; the completed huts are 30 – 35mm in height. The photo shows an interim step; sharp edges were trimmed further with another blade. 

MilliputThe walls are applied first and with a sewing needle (or modeling knife) score a doorway and wooden supports (5x) around the structure. Using an old toothbrush, I gave the walls some texture that will be picked out during painting.
Before covering the roof, I based each of the huts on 1.2mm triplex wood as scoring the thatch would be easier if holding a base between fingers than smearing tacky Milliput over the completed walls.

ExtrasSome bases were cut larger that others; these would have wattle fencing added around the base.  I used 1mm brass rod for the support and brown string following a similar method used for my vineyard. 
The entire structure was given an undercoat of white paint. The hut and fencing were painted next. After drying, the base was covered with a white glue and sand mix. After painting the ground, where necessary, items were highlighted or dry-brushed and finally electrostatic grass was added to complete the base. 



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Historical Matches – Abbasid vs. Arab Indian

September 27, 2017 - 11:04
Following the Abbasid overthrow of the Umayyad Caliphate in 750 AD, the Sindh became independent. The Sindh foiled two invasions by the Abbasid in 769 and 785 AD. Between the invasions, the Abbasid launched a number of naval sorties along the coast of Sindh.
At its core, the Sindh army retained something of its former organization with auxiliaries supplied by Hindu troops. The Arab Indian has ‘tropical’ as their home terrain and it is in this terrain that all three battles will take place.
Game 1Wood flanking their left, the Arab Indian deploy in two lines with their cavalry formed in the second. Light troops have secured the wood and from this position they will harass the Abbasid right. The Abbasid have formed an extended line with their cavalry taking a position on the open left flank.

The Abbasid bring their cavalry into action on the left forcing the Arab Indian to contract their line. Abbasid spear advance steadily while the light troops of both sides are now actively engaged on the right. Casualties are light on both sides (1 – 1) as the battle progresses in earnest.  

The Abbasid advance now becomes fragmented as Arab resistance stiffens and isolated battles now take the place of formed lines. Fighting from interior lines, the Arab Indian rapidly set reserve cavalry into action; these shift the battle in their favour. Score 4 – 2 for the Arab Indian.



Game 2Using a wood and river to protect their left flank, the Abbasid deploy in a standard formation with all their heavy cavalry in reserve behind the infantry spear and archers. The Arab Indian adapts a similar formation with their heavy cavalry supporting their left and right wing.

With archers deployed in each battle line, the advance becomes slow and steady.

Arab Indian archery has a devastating effect as they bring down the entire Abbasid bow. This sets a critical moment for the Abbasid as casualties mount faster than they can develop their battle.

Desperate charges by the Abbasid had little effect than deliver more opportunity for the Arab Indian. Calling for a general retreat the Abbasid left the field. Score 5 – 1 for the Arab Indian.



Game 3The open ground between river and wood offered minimal room to deploy effectively and so the Abbasid deployed a light skirmishing force on the right bank to harass the Arab Indian approach.

The wood, situated on the Abbasid left become hotly contested with the Mutatawwiá fighting at 1 to 2 odds. The main battle lines approach slowly as both sides archers were trying to find their mark. The Abbasid troops on the opposite bank were having their intended effect as Arab Indian troops were sent to cover any intended crossing.

With their attention diverted the activity across the river, the Abbasid launched a coordinated attack by their spear and heavy cavalry. Arab Indian resistance crumbled as their archers were struck down leaving gaping holes and exposed flanks, ending the battle in a decisive victory for the Abbasid. Score 6 – 3 for the Abbasid.


III/38 Arab Indian 751 – 1206 AD
1 x 1 x General (Cv), 3 x Arab cavalry (Cv), 2 x Arab spearmen (Sp), 2 x Arab archers (3/4Bw), 2 x Hindu archers (3Bw), 1 x Hindu javelinmen (Ps), 1 x Hindu swordsmen (3Bd). 
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Battle of Callinicum, 531 AD - the re-fight

September 21, 2017 - 09:01
The Battle

The Byzantine army face east with its left wing resting on the Euphrates River. To secure the army’s flank, General Ascan has placed all his infantry there with all the cavalry under his command to their right. In the centre, Belisarius deploys his cavalry to extend Ascan’s line and to support his heavy cavalry are the Hunnic light horse. Completing the Byzantine deployment, the Lycaonian infantry are positioned furthest to the right adjacent to the Ghassanid allies.

Across the field, Azarethes has deployed his heavy cavalry with light horse archers to face each of the Byzantine commands. Behind each division are reserve cavalry units forming a second line. 

The Ghassanid Arabs are deployed along the rising ground forming the Byzantine army’s right wing. Across the field the Lakhmid Arabs can be seen deployed in equal number. 

The ground is ideal terrain for cavalry and marked only by small patches of rough ground. As the battle commences, the Arab allies on both sides demonstrate unusual energy and close the distance between them. The rocky ground in front of the Lakhmid position forces them to split their effort; their light troops must first secure the ground leaving their cavalry back in support. In contrast, the Ghassanid are not hindered by the terrain and so move forward on a broad front. 

Both opposing centres move cautiously forward placing their initial effort on their flanks closest to the Euphrates River. Ascan has moved his infantry ahead of his cavalry line confident that they will push the light horse away from the river bank..

Nearly an hour has passed (turn 3) and the first casualties can be seen dotting the hill slope on both sides of the line. The Lakhmid skirmishers, making good use of the rocky ground could now harass either Ghassanid taking place on either side. 

The Byzantine infantry were able to force the horse archers to withdraw so now their efforts would focus on the Asavaran cavalry. At this moment, a unit of skutatoi moved into the rocky area separating two Persian cavalry lines. 

Approaching mid-day (turn 6), the Arab allies on both sides have fought well and inflicted an equal number of casualties (2 – 2), yet neither side could manage to turn the other’s flank and take advantage of the higher ground. Further toward the river, the Byzantine and Sassanid were fully engaged along the entire line with casualties beginning to fall among  each of the four commands. 


Despite the long period of skirmishing the Byzantine were steadily pushing the Sassanid cavalry back and with Ascan's the infantry turning the Persian right away from the river bank the prospects for a victory looked good.

After hours of skirmishing to and fro, dust clouds had obscured the activity taking place behind the Persian line. Both Azarethes and his subordinate had slowly moved their reserves further south and the vassal horse archers were recalled from the far right flank to join the battle in centre. 

Mid-day had passed (turn 10) and on the hill Ghassanid troops could be seen fleeing along the slope as they had been dealt a deciding blow by the Lakhmid (4 – 2). This did not bode well for Belisarius as both centre commands had reached a tipping point (3 – 3). Calling on his troops to renew their effort Belisarius with his Bucellarii joined the battle.  

Both army banners could be seen in close proximity of one another, but both commanders were focused with fighting their separate battles. The laughter of the muses could be clearly heard as both centre commands reached demoralisation on the same bound, but it was the timely arrival of the light horse from the right wing that tipped the scales. With the Ghassanid in fleeing the field and his own command broken, Belisarius was forced to order a retreat. 


Note:The battle did flow as history is recorded. In actuality it was a long series of low pip scores that held the Persians back from developing their game plan. Despite the low scores, both Persian reserves slowly moved south toward the anticipated weak link; the area between the cavalry of Belisarius and the Lycaonian infantry. It was here that the Hunnic light horse was destroyed which prompted the recall of the Persian light horse from the right flank. Their rapid relocation tipped the balance to help win the battle.
In retrospect, one-third of the Byzantine army was infantry which limited any use of reserves to the commanders and their immediate guard. This became a critical issue as the Byzantine could not counter the Persian relocation of troops.    
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Battle of Callinicum, 531 AD

September 20, 2017 - 09:16
Following the Persian defeat at the Battle of Dara (530 AD), King Kavadh I continued his campaign the following spring by sending another force to probe deeper into Byzantine territory (Commagene) with intent to capture a number of Syrian cities. This force, led by Azarethes, consisted of 15,000 cavalry had an additional 5,000 Lakhmid allies. Trailing the Persian force, Belisarius had insufficient troops to bring Azarethes to battle, but reinforcements arrived on Easter Friday giving Belisarius a slight advantage in numbers.

Map: By Cplakidas 

Having defeated the Persians on two occasions, Byzantine commanders were naturally eager for battle, but rather than risk battle, Belisarius preferred to drive the Persians back across the frontier. Further, the Easter weekend would be an inauspicious moment to fight as many troops would be fasting. The general consensus wanted battle, so relenting, Belisarius drew up his forces the following day. 

The battlefield.The battle is described as having taken place on the south bank of the Euphrates River and for the most part this offered level ground for half the battlefield rising gently for the remainder of the field. No further description of the terrain is given, but gathering from the disposition of the Byzantine infantry we might conclude there was suitable cover for infantry to operate against cavalry. 

The game board.
1 x Waterway (Euphrates River), 3 x rocky ground, and rising ground stretching across the depth of the board (starting 12BW from the board edge and gradually rising every 4BW).


The Byzantine forces.     
Left Wing1 x Ascan, subordinate general (Cv), 5 x Kavallarioi (Cv), 4 x skutatoi (Bd), 2 x archers (Ps).

Centre1 x Belisarius (Cv), 5 x Kavallarioi (Cv), 2 x archers (Ps), 2 x Lycaonian javelinmen (3Ax), 2 x Hunnic horse archer (LH).

Right Wing (Ghassanid allies)1 x Al-Harith (LH), 1 x light horse (LH), 1 x scout (LCm), 4 x camel riders (Cm), 2 x swordsmen (4Bd), 1 x archers (3Bw), 2 x archers and slingers (Ps).

Byzantine infantry on the left secured the south bank of the Euphrates and on the right, the Lycaonian infantry formed on the rising ground with all the Byzantine cavalry positioned in centre. The Ghassanid Arabs under Al-Harith were deployed further up on the rising slope.

Sassanid Persian force.
Right Wing1 x subordinate general (Cv), 8 x Asavaran (Cv), 3 x vassal horse archer (LH).

Centre1 x Azarethes (Cv), 8 x Asavaran (Cv), 3 x vassal horse archer (LH).

Left Wing (Lakhmid Allies)1 x Al-Mundhir (LH), 1 x light horse (LH), 1 x scout (LCm), 4 x camel riders (Cm), 2 x swordsmen (4Bd), 1 x archers (3Bw), 2 x archers and slingers (Ps).
Sources describe the Sassanid as an all cavalry force, so an adjustment to the DBA Sassanid Persian list II/69c should be made for this battle. No elephants, levy or Dailami are mentioned as being present, so Asavaran cavalry and vassal horse archers are substituted for these. The Persian Azarethes placed the Lakhmid Arabs under Al-Mundhir to face the Ghassanid and the Sassanid Asavaran faced the Byzantine troops. 

Note:Both Arab allies are described as mounted and for this re-fight we may conclude that those foot troops present have left their mounts (mules, camels) to the rear of their deployment. 

Tomorrow, the battle.

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