View Full Version : Roman campaign

08-20-2006, 07:08 PM
I know I've told a lot of you about the Roman campaign we are playing in Pittsburgh. Here's a sample of a "Huge" BattleDBA battle report from our gamemaster...

Conscript Fathers,

We have mixed news in the conclusion of this year's campaign in Gaul. Cassius Spurius exploited his victory over the Treveri and their allies by moving next into the lands of our allies, the Aedui and Averni. In the land of the Aedui he had considerable success, sacking a Cimbric laager and driving the survivors out of the lands of our allies. But in the land of the Averni, a large army of Cimbri and other tribes coalesced, forcing Cassius Spurius' legate Sextus Flavius to withdraw. Next, Spurius moved rapidly south to Narbonesis where he had reports from his legate Lucius Spurius of imminent attack on the Greek towns of the coast. Reports of Spurius' march apparently reached Notarix of the Ambrones, and displaying the same generalship as in his previous defeat of Sextus Flavius, he choose to withdraw rather than attack Spurius' concentrated forces.

Spurius could ill-afford to allow a large undefeated army of Germans to move at will in Narbonesis, and the direction of the Ambrones march implied an early start over the Ligurian Alpes next year. So Spurius moved quickly with five legions that he had immediately at his disposal, as well as large forces of auxilia, to attack Notarix. Spurius' total force included 25,000 Gallic and Spanish auxiliary foot, 19,000 infantry from the Numidia, Thrace, Italy and Greece, as well as 18,000 horse in addition to his 18,000 legiones.

Notarix had received some Cimbri reinforcments as outlying clans came in, an so had 19,000 Teutones, 59,000 Cimbric warriors, and 47,000 Ambrones. His superiority in cavalry kept Spurius completely in the dark as to the disposition of his forces. To draw Spurius in his force looted, burned and raped their way across the rich farmlands of the Narbonese coast. Eventually the entreaties of the Greek landowners to put a stop to these depradations combined with reports that the Teutones warband had drawn away from Notarix provoked Spurius into attacking.

Spurius caught up with the Ambrones host at a crossroads known as Gatius' Vicus, where the Via Domitia crosses the new Military road to the north. The battle was joined at the seventh hour. Spurius deployed his legate Lucius Spurius on the left, holding a rocky hill known locally as Circus Topicus Parva, and with instructions to support the center while watching for the arrival of the Teutones. The center was held by Sextus Flavius and Lucius Luccullus. Quadratus Spurius led the cavalry, a choice that proved ill-considered. Spurius took his position on the exposed right flank, occupying a gently sloping ridge known as the Crypticus Ridge. The praetorian governor of Narbonesis, Titus Varus, led the reserve.

Notarix placed two fractuous Cimbric clans on his left, massed his Ambrones in the center, and placed the remaining Cimbri on his right. The Teutones were not really detached, but instead had located themselves on the eastern slope of a large wooded hill known locally as Cirucs Topicus Major. The Teutones were ordered to remain out of sight until Spurius' center was closely engaged, then attack directly into his left flank.

Notarix and Spurius both advanced for different reasons. Spurius hoped to defeat the Ambrones and Cimbri before the Teutones arrived, while Notarix, having lost his son and several thousand warriors when Sextus Flavius had responded quickly to a flanking attack, wanted to be sure of tying up most of Spurius' troops before the Teutones lost patience and attacked.

The clash in the center of the two armies pitted dense warbands and Germanic cavalry against Quadratus Spurius' cavalry supported by auxiliary infantry from Lucullus, Flavius and augmented by a few units from Lucius Spurius. As the din of battle rose, both sides claimed brief advantages, then rolled back. Cavalry losses proved heavy when the Germans threw in their own horse, which outclassed much of the mercenary light cavalry in Quadratus' command. However, as cavalry casualties mounted, the auxiliaries from the other commands moved smoothly forward and took their place. One of the Cimbri clans suffered 40 percent losses, and halted its advance but the survivors refused to budge, repelling cavalry charges and forming a bulwark against Quadratus Spurius and Lucullus breaking through the Cimbri lines. The legions largely remained as spectators through this phase.

Trouble first began on the right flank, where part of Cassius Spurius' forces had moved forward to cover the flank of Sextus Flavius. When the battle was joined in the center, the Ambrones' cavalry moved forward, then began deploying to outflank the line. At the same time some 19,000 Cimbri warriors moved up behind the left of the Ambrones cavalry. Cassius Spurius fought a masterful delaying action here, slowly falling back to Crypticus Ridge, but losses were heavy. Then the sound of warhorns from the far right announced the entry of the Teutones chieftain and his 19,000 warriors into the battle. From that point nothing seemed to go right. In less than an hour the Teutones had routed Lucius Spurius' force, although his light horse formed an effective screen to prevent pursuit. Heavy casualties shook the morale of Quadratus Spurius' troops. Cassius Spurius, watching the battle from his position on Crypticus Ridge, could see the unblooded Cimbri warriors on his right moving forward to assault positions and look behind him to see a pitifully few cavalry units rushing back to stem the flood of Teutones into his rear. He knew the battle was over, and ordered a general retreat. However, the Cimbri and Ambrones cavalry came howling forward, and Spurius had to commit his triarri, who fell to the last man along with several thousand more auxilia.

From the north of Gaul we also have reports that the Rhaeti treacherously retook their capital and two cohorts of Italian prisoners were slaughtered in the night. Meanwhile the Gallic Treverii have made their peace with Rome. The Aedui report their tribal lands free of Cimbri, but there are many thousands in the Averni tribal area.

Despite this the mob is wild with joy over Spurius' campaign, and wait for yet another installment in his personal history 'De Bello Cimbri'.

Biblius Bassus, Junior Consul

John Meunier
08-21-2006, 01:23 PM
Sounds like an interesting campaign.

Do you have the rules posted anywhere?

08-22-2006, 04:50 AM
Cool report :) It was very interesting to read. NOw those greeks might need to protect themselves :)



Mike Demana
08-28-2006, 08:28 PM
Awesome...more details, more details!

08-28-2006, 08:45 PM
You can get the rules here:


Jim is having an article published in an up-coming NASAMW Spearhead...so you'll just have to wait!! <G>

Here's a "before" pic of one of the massive battles we played: