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Sunday, 9 February 2014

Second Battle Of Cremona 69 AD

View of the table - Vitellians L,  Flavians R

View from the other end

Antonius Primus leads the Flavian centre up the Via Postumia

Flavian centre advancing with the Suebi to the fore

Vitellian left flank advances towards the vineyards

Flavian left flank advances

Action in the centre

Fighting on the Flavian right flank

On Sunday we met at the Vikings Club in Lanyon for the monthly meeting of The Capital Region Wargames Club. There were quite a few interesting games going on with 15mm Napoleonics, Chain of Command, a Carlist War game with Regimental Fire and Fury, a naval Axis and Allies game, and a Dark Ages game as well. I bought some painted, second hand A&A Middle Imperial Romans from Doug and the bring and buy stall has become a regular feature of the meetings.

Six of us were playing a Hail Caesar refight of the Second Battle of Cremona (also known as Bedriacum), the final battle in the Year of the Four Emperors 69 AD. For the order of battle we used Michael Lane's excellent, Society of Ancients publication, The Roman Empire Order of Battle for the Civil Wars 68 -70 AD, available in CD format from the SoA website: Publications. Craig, Garry and I were the Flavians while Bern, Gary and Josh were the Vitellians. In case anyone is interested, here are the army lists we used for the game: Second Battle of Cremona Army lists spreadsheet. Here also is Tacitus' description of the battle (The Histories, Book Three 1-35), in case you haven't read it:

The battle was fought at night but there was a full moon, so visibility wasn't too bad and we discussed special rules for this but decided not to worry about it and just get stuck in! Initially the Flavian centre  met with success and the Suebi surged forward with support and managed to break a Vitellian unit but  the tide was to turn swiftly! On the Flavian right flank Craig and Josh were locked in to a tense struggle around the vineyards. On the Flavian left flank Garry G and Gary A held off warily around the stream but Gary A did sneak in a few cohorts from his command to bolster the Vitellian centre.

Back in the centre the battle was starting to unravel for the Flavian cause and several sweeping advances from Bern soon had the central division broken. On the Flavian right Craig had been engaged in a prolonged struggle with Josh but fortunata had deserted there too and he was also broken. Garry G and Gary A finally had come to grips on the Flavian left but it was all over red rover! The Flavian survivors headed for Bedriacum comforted by the knowledge that Vespasian still held all the grain ships from Egypt...

Special thanks to Ian, a true scholar and gentleman, for the loan of all his beautifully painted legionaries and the Via Postumia - the game wouldn't have been possible with these and thanks to everyone for a fun game.

The Flavian centre starts to unravel

Action in the vineyards

Vitellian Legio XXII Primigenia get stuck in

Vitellian artillery on an embankment causes mayhem

Survivors from the Flavian centre head for Bedriacum!


  1. Gorgeous looking game - thanks for posting the army lists!

  2. Great looking game, your battlefield is huge, beautiful and impressive!

  3. Fantastic looking game Cyrus!

  4. Beautiful troops on a huge table! Fortuna is very fickle. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Great looking game and figures. I like how using Hail Caesar allows for definitive outcomes and in good time. Dean

  6. That's a massive looking game and looks good too!


  7. Thanks guys, it was a fun and fast game with a crushing victory for the Vitellians.


  8. Thanks Mike, it was a fun game even though we got slaughtered!