Sunday, September 23, 2012

Wagon Train Thrace

This month's Saturday Afternoon Wargame TM saw us assaying another of Charles Grant's Table Top Teasers from the long-dead magazine Battle for Wargamers.  This was the second time we've done this having previously tried Bridge Demolition with Principles of War but the first time we've tried using Basic Impetus in this way.

The scenario was set somewhere in northern Thrace in the late third century of the current era.  A Roman force was trying to fight its way to a fortified town through countryside overrun by wild Goths. Here's the Roman briefing

Somewhere in northern Thrace, late third century CE.The Roman garrison of the fortress at Annonia in northern Thrace has been cut off for several months without supplies after large numbers of Ostrogoth tribesmen swarmed over the Imperial borders from Dacia. 
General Nautius Maximus is leading a relief column aiming to push through to the fortress.  The relief party includes a long train of wagons loaded with supplies for the fortress. 
The garrison of Annonia, under Biggus Diccus, can be expected to sally out in you support as you draw near.

Gus (Romans) brings his wagons up the road while Jamie (some
of the Goths) awaits. 
One of the six wagon elements (Irregular Miniatures)
The entry of the Goths was randomised both in terms of location and time of arrival.  Both of the first two arrivals (on turns two and three) were on the left of the roads as the Romans looked at it.

Bucellarii (heavy cavalry) followed by skirmishers.
Both Irregular Miniatures (Normans and Norse standing in as Goths) 

As the Bucellarii approach, Roman medium cavalry deploy into line to
meet them.  Meanwhile, behind the Romans, more Goths forming of
a large warband, have arrived (rear right). 
My newly painted Equites Promoti Seniores (Roman light cavalry)
advance to protect the right flank of their heavier brethren.
(Baccus 6mm miniatures)
Just before the cavalry melee.  Sadly for the Goths, Jamie would roll a
six at the wrong moment and the Bucellarii routed from the field!
Meanwhile Rob had arrived, having been delayed by traffic.  He took over the Goths coming from the Roman's right flank.  This included another massive foot warband.  As luck would have it, the warbands were both coming from behind the wagon train and, being no faster than it, would need it slowing down if they were to rear it.  This job fell to the Gothic medium cavalry and skirmishers (two units of each).

Goth skirmishers threaten the head of the convoy.

Whilst Rob's warband threatens the rear.
At this point Gus thought the battle was lost!

I took on the role of Biggus Diccus to lead out the reinforcements....

Spotting the arriving wagon train, Governor Biggus Diccus sends out
his troops; the Equites Promoti Iuniores (left) and a Legio cohort.

The Roman light cavalry hits a unit of Goth mediums from the flank.
Despite the Goths being disordered (green die) I still managed have the
lights routed immediately!
The Goth warbands approach the rear of the wagon train
with only the Equites Promoti Seniores to oppose them.
Meanwhile there was a confused melee further forward.  The lead wagon
changed hands several times.
The final position.
The battle ended on game turn 21 when the Goths reached their break point.  In the end the Goths managed to make off with one wagon-load of supplies.  Another was captured but would be easily recovered by the Romans.  A pretty clear Roman victory then!

The game was fun, moved quickly, and seemed to be enjoyed by all concerned.

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