448 AD Roman versus Visigoth – A One Hour Wargames Battle Report

Chris Harrod came over and we played two games of our Fall of Hispania Campaign. The first battle occurred in 448 AD, 2 game years after the last battle. Chris rolled Roman and I got Visigoth.

I had intended to use Basic Impetus, and even revised the army lists to do this, but we ended up using the Dark Age variant of Neil Thomas’s One Hour Wargames instead. Both armies had six units and we used first Pitched Battle scenario. And we played on a 2’x2′ table as per using my big bases with One Hour Wargames.

The summary is: Grindy rules that are very predictable. Might be accurate but not much fun. Chris won.


The scenario

We played “Pitched Battle,” the first scenario from the book. Two equal sized armies (6 units) face each other on opposing hills. The Victor is the player that kills more enemy units within the time limit.

We rolled randomly for the army compositions:

  • Romans: 4 x Infantry, 1 x Warband, 1 x Skirmisher
  • Visigoths: 4 x Infantry, 1 x Warband, 1 x Cavalry

Deployment

Chris deployed first.

448AD-05 Roman army

448AD-05 Roman army

The strong point of Chris’s line was the hill.

448AD-02 Romans defend their hill

448AD-02 Romans defend their hill

I deployed second trying to line up my cavalry against Chris’s skirmishers.

448AD-04 Visigothic army

448AD-04 Visigothic army


The Battle

Chris’s strategy was to sit tight and benefit from being up hill in any combat. I followed suit for two turns but changed my mind because it was rapidly turning into a very dull draw. Better to lose gloriously than be bored. So on turn 3 I advanced off my hill into the open.

448AD-01 Visigoths Move on Turn 3

448AD-01 Visigoths Move on Turn 3

448AD-06 Visigoths close the gap

448AD-06 Visigoths close the gap

The crunch came pretty quickly, when I charged up Chris’s hill. That was about as exciting as the game got. After that it was dice rolling grind. You see, in these rules, there is no instant kill, there is no recoil and follow up, there is no break off. You stay in contact until one side or the other is dead.

448AD-07 Charge

448AD-07 Charge

It took four turns of grind for me to kill the Roman skirmishers with my cavalry. Huzzah!

448AD-11 Roman Skirmishers break

448AD-11 Roman Skirmishers break

So I turned my cavalry to line up with Chris’s flank. All I needed was for my infantry line to hold a little bit longer.

448AD-12 Visigoth cavalry line up on Roman flank

448AD-12 Visigoth cavalry line up on Roman flank

Unfortunately, they didn’t. Chris punched a hole in my shield wall.

448AD-13 Visigoth sheildwall breaks

448AD-13 Visigoth shieldwall breaks

And with the shields down the Romans started hacking at my internal flanks.

448AD-14 Romans exploit the gap

448AD-14 Romans exploit the gap

It didn’t take very long before Chris had slaughtered all my infantry. That left my cavalry to face three Roman infantry units.

448AD-15 And then there were no Visigothic infantry

448AD-15 And then there were no Visigothic infantry

I decided not to go for death or glory, but instead chose a moment to kill one of the enemy infantry units in the last turn of the game. With the game clock ringing Chris took the victory; he had two units left standing to my one.

448AD-16 Visigoths score last kill

448AD-16 Visigoths score last kill


Observations

Chris picked a sensible strategy by sitting on the hill. I accepted the challenge to avoid a stalemate, but knew the odds were against me.

The One Hour Wargames rules were okay. Two big stodgy armies grinding away at each other. Yup. That feels kind of Dark Age. So, the rules score alright there. Where they fail is on, well, excitement. Dice rolling grind. Might you, what can you expect from a set of rules that only stretches to 3 pages.

It was quick. Probably within the promised 1 hour time limit.

3 comments to 448 AD Roman versus Visigoth – A One Hour Wargames Battle Report

  • Dick Bryant

    I’m quite sure, based on this report, that I would never play these rules! Why not DBA in its latest incarnation?
    Dick Bryant

    • Steven Thomas

      Yup. Me too.

      I like DBA much better. Although I’m not a super big fan of DBA 3.0. It got more complicated when I think it should have got less complicated.

  • Julian Donohoe

    Great report and superb looking armies. DBA 3 is not that complicated, but there are some glaring paper/rock/scissors issues now in the rules. For dark age battles, see if you can find anything that can stop the charge of knights – I can’t.
    I remain a big fan of HoTT. No need for Magicians, Flyers, Airships, Gods & Dragons in this era while the Heroes, Paladins and other regular troops are right at home.

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