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Monday, 10 August 2015

Battle of Watling Street




View of the table

Opposite end

The Iceni and Romans on the hill

The Iceni and Trinovantes surge forward

Approaching the River Anker

Roman Scorpios and auxilliary cavalry are early casualties


The Roman right flank is threatened


Auxilia to the rescue



Last Sunday Garry, Bern, Gary, Craig and I met at the Vikings Club for a Hail Caesar refight of the Battle of Watling Street. The scenario we used was pretty much the one described in the Britannia supplement (pp. 54-57 ) but the Romans had two divisions, while the Britons had four. Garry was Boudicea and commanded two divisions of the Iceni and allies, while Bern and Gary had a division each of the Trinovantes and allies. Craig was the Roman general, Suetonius Paulinus, and I was the other Roman divisional commander, dubbed Perfidius Maximus.

The only slight modification we made to the standard Ancient Briton army list was a reduction of the Wild Fighters rule to one re-roll on the first turn of combat rather than up to three. This reflected the debilitating effect of Romanisation on the Britunculi and the fact that the Boudiccan army was nearly a rabble by this stage of the revolt. The game proved to be hard fought and protracted with the Britons launching repeated charges on the Roman forces ensconced on the hill.

The River Anker while completely fordable, did disrupt the coordination of their attacks, as it counted as a linear obstacle, making it difficult to charge with supporting units. The Romans managed to hold firm repelling all attacks, though on more than one occasion it looked as if it was curtains! In the end the Romans just managed to sneak home, breaking three divisions, but the Britons didn’t have much luck and came very close to breaking both Roman divisions. Thanks to Garry, Bern, Gary and Craig for another fun game.



Boudicea urges on her Iceni tribesmen

The Iceni launch a frenzied charge

A Trinovantes warband fearlessly charges uphill

The Roman line holds firm

An auxilia unit repels a cavalry charge

The Britons launch another wave of attacks

The Iceni divisions break

The Romans finally charge off the hill to claim victory

24 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Aaron, it was a fun and very close game.

      Mike

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  2. T'was a great game Mike. Terrain was very effective both in form and function (esp. for the Romans slinking around on that sodding hill). 3 times I tried a combination of archery, javelins and slingshot to get Craig's shaken roman legionary unit to test for hits (I rolled a few 6's during shooting) but they always braved my fire and, to add insult to injury, would rally from shaken during the following roman turn. Then that final Roman charge off the hill - so so close...Maybe next time!
    cheers
    Gary (former Trinovantes general now budding Roman lackey)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Gary, it was a tough scenario for the Britons to win but they came very close. I thought it was curtains for the Romans a number of times!

      Mike

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  3. Outstanding visual display! Romans on high ground having protection behind a river, that is a formidable position for the Britons to assault.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Jonathan, it was a tough position for the Britons to attack but they did come close.

      Mike

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  4. Lovely game. Shame that the forces of civilisation lost against the brutal imperialists...

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Paul, it was touch and ago, the Britons nearly overcame the Roman oppressors.

      Mike

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  5. Spectacular game, Mike! The masses of troops are most impressive. Great photography too.

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    1. Thanks Dean, it was a fun game for both sides as it was so close. The massed warbands do look good.

      Mike

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  6. A great looking game! Attacking Romans uphill is never going to be an easy job.

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    1. Thanks Simon, it was tough for the Britons but the minor tweaks worked well for the scenario. The Romans won fairly easily in the real battle.

      Mike

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  7. Hi Cyrus, That looks like a splendid game! Really very inspirational!
    Best wishes,
    Jason
    ps I did laugh at the name 'Perfidius Maximus'! :-)

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  8. Thanks Jason, it was a lot of fun and quite close in the end. The Britons were calling me other names when I made 5 out of 6 possible saves in one round!

    Mike

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  9. Thanks Rodger, it was a fun, close game and the Romans only just managed to save their bacon.

    Mike

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  10. Thanks Tom, it was a cracking game to play.

    Mike

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  11. I must come and see one of your big games, it looks very well done as always. Glad the battle was close.

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  12. Thanks Chris, it was quite a gripping and close game. Rick and I hope to run a C&C Ancients participation game of the Battle of Zama on Sunday 8 November at Little Wars Canberra at the Vikings Club in Lanyon if you're interested?

    Mike

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  13. Wonderful looking game! Always nice to see a table groaning under the weight of figures!

    Christopher

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  14. Thanks Christopher, screaming hordes of Britons does look good.

    Mike

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  15. Excellent looking game! Really like the shape of the river - very natural looking. Currently painting up my own Ancient Britons and hope to play this battle one day...

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Lee, Watling Street is definitely a good one to aim for with your Britons.

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