Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Cirensium or Arsuf or somewhere in Gaul?

I took my big red tool box to Ireland.  It's the box that contains my growing 6mm ancients collection and I planned to get in a game with Jamie.

On Simon Miller's recommendation I've been reading Harry Sidebottom's Warrior of Rome series and decided to have a go at setting up a game based on the battle of Cirensium in the second book.  It turns out that Sidebottom based the Romans' deployment on that of Richard I at Arsuf.

Now, I'd need to have some Sassanids if I was to do Sidebottom's Cirensium for real and I don't got none of them.  I do, however, have a number of recently painted Huns.

So our battle takes place somewhere in Gaul, where a Roman column has been ambushed by Hunnic cavalry and some Frankish allies.

On the left are the Huns - two commands each of one unit of lance-armed nobles and four of light horse archers.  In the distance are the Franks - two units of Warriors and two of light infantry archers.

We have to imagine a major river down the right hand side of the table and then a Roman road with the army's baggage.  Three units of legionaries (red uniforms) and three of auxilia  (off-white uniforms) form the main body of the column.  Three units of cavalry ride at the front...

...and three more at the rear...

So the battle begins with the Huns trundling forward into the Romans' flank whilst the Romans frantically turn to face the attack.

From this point the action degenerates into a confused melee.  Units surge forward and chase of enemies but are then taken in flank and disordered or even routed.

Hun nobles charge Roman auxiliaries

Franks versus Roman legionaries (the latter disordered)
Gaps appear in the Roman lines but those Huns are thinly spread too

Cataphracts versus Hun horse archers

One of the units of Franks is double disordered and that's a Roman
cavalry unit facing off against some Frankish light infantry
at the top of the picture - the Franks will soon be attacked
from front and rear!
In the end the late evening and the poor lighting in our holiday cottage defeated us.  The Romans had about seven victory medals left and the Huns about two.  Jamie's Huns could have been defeated at any moment but then again, my baggage train was looking very vulnerable.


Simon Miller said...

It's funny to see the scenario morphing! There are probably no end of possibilities for the scenario, right up to the present day.

Counterpane said...

It's certainly inspired me to build some table edge half river sections. And maybe some 6mm scale Roman ships.

Then there's those Baccus Sassanids....

Simon Miller said...


Richard Phillips said...

Good to the Big Red Tool Box getting an outing :-)