Saturday, 11 November 2017

Late Imperial Roman vs. the Alani

All three battles took place in Alani homeland, the steppes. This would raise the level of difficulty for the Romans and that was the point of the exercise. A a bolt-shooter was selected as an option. Two gentle hills are compulsory and two pieces of scrub were added to the selection for the defending player to position.

Game 1
Rome took up a position at the base of one gentle hill with a second line positioned at its crest in reserve. Both front and flank were covered by scrub but aware of the mobility of the Alani, these would be easily traversed without difficulty.


A strong Alani left wing moved to threaten the Roman right prompting its general to dispatch units from the reserve to strengthen the right. At this moment the Alani elite levelled their lances and crashed into the legion and successive ranks added to the impetus helping to grind the legionnaires into the ground (2 – 0).


Recovering from the shock, the Roman general recalled troops from the inactive left to fill the exposed position and the equites Illyriani bested the Alani to front were rallying on their commander.


The battle now resembled a brawl with units concerned with their isolated conflicts, but this worked to the advantage of Rome (2 – 2). The following bound, the situation became desperate as Alani could not evade the increasing number of Roman units assailing them from different directions. Score 4 – 2 for LIR.




Game 2
For the second engagement Rome deployed its infantry in defensive formation around a gentle hill. From a central position the Roman general could view the entire battle array of the Alani cavalry; elite formations in the centre flanked by light horse archers.


Out of the range of the ballistae, the Alani elite snaked their way toward the refused Roman wing. This same wing was assailed by waves of Alani horse archers. Shortly thereafter, Alani were attacking all up and down the Roman line.


The equites Illyriani overtook and mauled the horse archers but by this time the Alani horse were covering the slopes of the Roman held hill (3 – 2).


The situation took a critical turn when the Roman general was unhorsed sending a cheer from the Alani elite. To add to the confusion of the moment shouting and cheering could be heard at the other end of the hill bringing the score even (4 – 4g).


Rome responded to the loss of their general by falling on nearby Alani and cutting down enough Alani to send them fleeing off the battlefield. Score 6 – 4g for LIR.


Game 3
The final battle found Rome in an exposed position with no nearby cover.


Forming a defensive line Rome was pressed on all sides by an aggressive Alani attack. Those horse archers on the right bested a unit of Illyriani while on the opposite flank the ballistae scored its first kill (1 – 1).


The small victory by the ballistae was short lived as the Alani levelled their lances and crashed into the Roman line and those Alani on the left joined the general attack. This time, Fortuna was nowhere to be seen as the Alani quickly dispatched Roman light troops, equites and legionnaires in short order. Score 1 – 5 for the Alani.




II/58 Alans 50 – 1500 AD Terrain type: Steppe until 400 AD, then Arable, Aggression 1
1 x general (3Kn or LH), 2 x nobles (3Kn) or horse archers (LH), 8 x horse archers (LH), 1 x peasant archers (Ps).

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