View Full Version : Donohoe's Mediterranean Campaign

Bill Sumruld
06-30-2005, 04:45 PM
This looks like a very interesting campaign. I was, however, pretty instantly puzzled by one of the minor powers. I don't think Massilia was particularly Gallic. I remember it being founded as a Greek City State, one of the western outposts of what is sometimes called "Greater Greece." With that small modification I think I wouldn't mind trying to play in this kind of a campaign.

Chris Brantley
06-30-2005, 05:41 PM
Room for interpretation here. Massilia was an coastal urban center located in Gaul, but founded as a colony of Greek Phokia. Like the neighboring Ligurians, the bulk of locals were supposedly "celtic" in origin, which I suppose gives you a rationale for using a Gallic list. But the city dwellers were a mix, including descendents of the original Greek colonists, other Greek traders/settlers, Iberians, Phoenicians/Carthaginians, and others who washed up on their shores on trading expeditions. What did their army look like? The historians don't really say...just that they were soundly thrashed by Caesar for siding with Pompey.

If you prefer a more Greek army, then you get to puzzle what kind of Greek army given that the Phokians were short on hoplites and long on skirmishing peltasts.

Also from the histories, the Massilians did most of their fighting on the sea and on their city walls, rather than in the open field.

[ June 30, 2005, 15:31: Message edited by: Chris Brantley ]

Bill Sumruld
06-30-2005, 09:15 PM
Thanks for the further info Imperator. I usually do a bit more research before I put my foot in it that badly. But, I still am a little uncomfortable with calling Massilia Gallic since it was a well established and civilized city which has survived into modern times. After all the Roman Bonifatius gained some of his fame leading the defense of the city against the Visigoths and the French still have a famous anthem named for it, dating from Napoleonic times.

How about this for a Massilian army then?

1Cv or Sp (Gen) (Greek Cav. or Hoplites)
1Cv or LCh (Local Gallic Nobles)
2Sp (City State Hoplites)
4Wb (Local Gauls)
4Ax or Ps (Sailors or other Citizens)

I think it would make an interesting, if somewhat apocryphal alternative list, including all the things discussed below. :D

Chris Brantley
06-30-2005, 09:51 PM
I don't think your post was off-the-mark at all...actually I think you hit it on the head. My (obtuse) point was that Massilia was indeed in Gaul, but not really a Gallic kind of place. By the same token, not entirely Greek either.

There is no obvious choice for a DBA army list to represent the city. Same for the cities of the Ligurian coast, or Liguria for that matter.

I think your proposed list is reasonable.

If pressed to choose a "legal" list from the DBA books, I would tend toward an auxilia army, something like Bruttian/Lucanian, Illyrian, Iberian or Italian Hill Tribes (sans WB). My rationale is that this is how Barker classifies the armies of the adjacent Iberian coast...and also because well-fed city dwellers are "second rate" foot compared to hardened Roman legionaries.

There isn't a Hellenistic Greek list for the Phokians in the Roman-era, but you could also impress the Later Hoplite Phokian list, which as a few spear, but mostly aux and ps. Ballista were used by the Massilians vs. Caesar, so that fits with the Phokian list as well. Another option is to use the Later Hoplite Italiot list, although it has too much horse IMO.

Here is Lucan on Caesar's seige of Massilia: http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/OMACL/Pharsalia/book3.html

In his commentaries De Bello Civili, Caesar mentions that the Gallic Albici came down from the mountains to fight with the Massilians, providing a significant contingent of DBA auxilia or possibly warband.

[ June 30, 2005, 19:21: Message edited by: Chris Brantley ]

Bill Sumruld
07-01-2005, 02:29 PM
OK Lets make the first list the classical period Massilians. This second list will be in the period starting with the beginning of Hellenistic period and running until the city became part of the Roman Republics overseas empire.

1Cv (Greek Cavalry) (Gen.)
1Cv (Local Gallic Nobles)
2Ax (Greek Peltasts or Thureophoroi)
4Wb (Local Gauls)
2Ax (Iberians)
1Ps (Greek style Psiloi)
1Ps or Hd (More Psiloi or alarmed citizens)

This would then be the army for the campaign if this alternative were chosen. What do you think?

Bill Sumruld
07-01-2005, 02:47 PM
Maybe so many Wb are a bad idea. So here is a third possibility.


1Cv or Ax (Gen) (Greek and Gallic style)
1Cv (Gallic or Iberian)
3Ax (Greek style Peltasts or Thureophoroi)
3Ax (Iberian style
1Ps (Greek style Psiloi)
1Ps (Iberian caetrati or Balearic Slingers)
2Wb or Ps or Hd (Gallic Merc. or armed citizens


1Cv or 4Sp (Gen) Greek Cav or Hoplites
1Cv Gallic or Iberian
2Sp City State Hoplites
4Ax Greek Peltasts and/or Iberians
2Wb or Ax Merc. Gauls or Iberians
1Ps Caetrati or Balearic Slingers
1Ps or Hd Greek Psiloi or armed citizens

I wonder which pair of lists would be better? :D

01-16-2009, 01:32 AM
Ah, the Massilian problem - I encountered it today while cataloguing Mediterranean (and Mediterranean-adjacent) armies contemporaneous with the Corinthian and Boeotian Wars. And sure enough, I drop by Fanaticus, and discover I wasn't the first...

The Greek, Gallic & Iberian combination seems intuitively right, producing a spear, warband & auxilia army with cavalry and psiloi adjuncts - the problem is that there just aren't that many existing lists with all those types. There's the 'Hannibal in Italy' Cartho army, but it has more mounted elements than seems quite right (of the 'parent' lists, only Thessalian has four, and that's a famously cavalry-oriented region.) Loosening the parameters, Campanian gives a nice half-Greek/half-subject or ally look with the spear and auxilia mix. And if you prefer a lighter-weight lineup, and a more Gallic/Iberian flavour, your second Hellenic list could be legally fielded as Umbrian (I/55e). Looking at Xyston for a Campanian or Umbrian-based list, I'm thinking Greeks & Gauls for cavalry, generic Greek hoplites (ie, the chaps with a variety of helmets), a mix of Gallic warband and Iberian scutarii for the auxilia, and generic Greek peltasts for the psiloi (probably with a couple of spares filling out the Ax if necessary.) If you're using a constructed list, two or three Gallic elements could easily be redesignated as 3Wb.

I'd figure Massilia to be Littoral, like all the other western basin Greek city-states, but I'm not sure about aggression - is it a Syracuse-style '2' or a Taras-style '1'?

Bill Sumruld
01-17-2009, 07:18 PM

I have never noticed much about any aggressive behavior from the Massilians. I think they should probably have no more than a 1 or maybe even a 0.

I was not trying to fit any existing lists but create alternatives just for them but so much the better if it sort of fits a nearby existing list.


01-18-2009, 02:47 AM
My impression is that the Massiliots were heir to a pretty aggressive maritime tradition, and of course they had a very bitter and long-running rivalry with Carthage... but in the context of DBA-type battles, I guess they would have been restricted to their zone of influence in coastal Gaul and Catalonia. (They certainly weren't hauling off and invading Africa.) So a '1' would probably work.

I like creating alternative lists myself - especially for somewhat offbeat composite statelets like Massilia - but I'm so parsimonious when it comes to actually purchasing figures that I feel better if there's a legal list to fall back on.