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Battle Scenarios

Battle of Telemon (225 BC)

By Keith Finn

The defeat of the Gauls at the battle of Telemon was the last serious invasion of Italian Roman territory by the Gauls. From 225 BC and onwards, the Romans would start pushing the Gauls north, incorporating their former territory into the Republic.

The situation started with an invasion of Roman territory by 2 Gallic tribes, the Boii and the Insubres (with some other supporting tribes), who raised a force of 50000 infantry and 20000 cavalry. This force descended into the Po valley and advanced on Etruria.

After some the prelimnary foolishness at the battle of Clusium, the Gauls ended up marching north along the coast of Etruria, pursued by the legions of Lucius Aemilius Papus.

At the same time, the Roman consul Gaius Atilius Regularis was returning from Sardinia with his legions. Atilius landed at Pisa and began marching south to Rome. Unfortunately for fans of Celtic supremacy, this placed the Gallic forces between the two Roman forces.

When the Gauls were in the vicinity of Telemon, Atilius learned from some captured foragers of the proximity of the Gallic force, and the presence of the pursuing Romans.

Atilius immediately led his cavalry to occupy a hill, which was on the line of the Gaulšs advance. When the Gauls realized they were sandwiched between two armies, they deployed their forces back to back.

This is NOT a Big Battle DBA

The Roman armies need to act as independent commands ­ they cannot share PIPšs. The ideal replay would have 2 roman generals.

The Gauls should be fought as 2 12 element armies. The historical record shows that the Gallic commanders split the army faced each Roman force with one half of the total Gallic force.

The Players

This scenario is good for 2, 3 or 4 players.

For a two game player, the Roman general will control 2 armies (12 elements each), and roll a PIP for each army. The PIP cannot be transferred between armies. The Gallic general will control 2 armies(12 elements each), and roll a PIP for each army. PIPs cannot be transferred between armies.

For a 3 player game, the Gallic general will control 2 armies, and roll a PIP for each army. The PIP cannot be transferred between armies. Each Roman army will be controlled by a separate general, and each Roman general will roll their own PIP.

For the 4 player game, there will be 2 Gallic generals, and 2 Roman generals ­ each general will roll a PIP die.

Another variant (The I HATE Gauls option) the 2 Gallic armies (24 elements total) will be controlled by ONE general rolling ONE PIP die.

The Armies

  • Gallic -- 2x (1x3/4Wb or LCh (Gen), 2xLCh or 3Cv, 8x3Wb, 1x2Ps.) Only one camp!
  • Polybian Roman -- 2x (2x3Cv, 6x4Bd, 2x4Sp, 2x2Ps.) 2 camps.

Deployment

The gameboard for Telemon will be normal width, but double depth. The short baselines will be North & South, the long flanks will be East & West. The army of Gaius Atilius Regularis will set up on the North edge of the board. The army of Lucius Aemilius Papus will occupy the South edge of the board.

The Gauls get to set up between the Romans. Use the midpoint of the gameboard as the Gallic baseline. One 12 element Gallic army will deploy facing north, and one 12 element Gallic army will deploy facing south. One camp will be placed between the two Gallic armies.

Terrain

The board will be normal width, but double depth. Treat Telemon as an ARABLE gameboard.

There must be a large, gentle hill placed where the northern Roman army (The army of Gaius Atilius Regularis ) will set up. This hill was a major factor in the battle, and the Romans were occupying the hill before the battle.

Players will deploy terrain in a alternating Roman ­ Gaul order, with the hill on the northern edge of the board being treated as the Roman 1st deployment. There should not be any hills on the board larger than the Roman hill. There will be no major rivers ­ any rivers deployed will be easily fordable. BUAšs will be hostile to Gauls, if you are using the DBA 2.0 BUA rule. Use enough terrain pieces for 2 gamebords, but insure they are distributed across 8 squares, instead of 4.

The Roman army of Gaius Atilius Regularis (north edge) deploys first. The Gallic army facing north deploys second. The Gallic army facing south deploys third. The Roman army of Lucius Aemilius Papus (south edge) deploys last.

Victory Conditions

Each army is broken per normal DBA. The loss of the Gallic camp counts as a 2 element loss for both armies.

The Rest of the Story

The fighting broke out over the hill where Gaius Atilius Regularis (north edge) had deployed his cavaly. The first thing Lucius Aemilius Papus did as he arrived at the battle (south edge) was send his cavalry to support G.A.Regularis. G.A.Regularis was killed during the fight for the hill, but the Roman cavalry prevailed and retained the high ground.

While the cavalry fought, the infantry closed. During the fighting that followed, the "javelin throwers" (which I interpret as Hastati, not Velites) had a field day ­ particularly among the warriors of the fanatical Gasatea, who preferred to fight naked! The infantry fight developed into a slugfest, with the Gallic warbands getting mauled but standing their ground.

The end was brought about by the Roman cavaly, charging downhill and breaking the Gauls. The Gallic cavalry fled, and the foot was cut to pieces. Losses for the Gauls were estimated at 40,000 killed and 10,000 captured, with one Gaulish king captured, and another king committing suicide.

Special Rules

One Gallic Warband can be designated as Gasatae, and receive a +1 for fanaticism.

Background Resources

This scenario was developed from the description provided in Battles of the Greek & Roman Worlds by John Drogo Montagu (Greenhill Books, April 2000).

Gamer Feedback

Comments are welcome at orcafinn@core.com.


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Last Update: Jan. 6, 2001

My thanks to Keith Finn for this scenario. Gamer feedback is welcome. Send comments to Chris Brantley at IamFanaticus@gmail.com.