454 AD Roman versus Suevi – A One Hour Wargames Battle Report

The sixth game in our Fall of Hispania Campaign occurred in 454 AD, 6 game years after the last battle. In fact we played both games in one evening using the Dark Age variant of Neil Thomas’s One Hour Wargames. Chris Harrod rolled Roman and I got Suevi.


The scenario

We played “Pitched Battle 2,” the second scenario from the book. Two equal sized armies (6 units) face each other. One sits on a Hill (Chris’s Romans) and the other on a crossroads (Steven’s Suevi). The Victor is the player that controls both hill and crossroads.

We rolled randomly for the army compositions:

  • Romans: 4 x Infantry, 1 x Skirmishers, 1 x Cavalry
  • Suevi: 4 x Infantry, 1 x Skirmishers, 1 x Cavalry

Deployment

Chris deployed first, in a single line, with his cavalry on his open flank and his infantry resting on the hill. Deploy on a hill had served Chris well in the previous game and I guess he hoped for similar success here.

I got the side of the table with the crossroads and deployed to have my cavalry overlapping his open flank and my skirmishers facing the hill.

454AD-01 Deployment

454AD-01 Deployment


The Battle

Chris got first turn and surprised me by moving his cavalry obliquely across the battlefield in front of his line. Presumably to get out of the way of my own cavalry and attack my skirmishers. Otherwise he sat on the hill.

Given Chris was probably going to stay sitting on his hill I figured I may as well attack. I advanced rapidly with my cavalry and the infantry followed. I left my skirmishers behind so it would be harder for the Roman cavalry to get at them.

454AD-02 the Suevi are off

454AD-02 the Suevi are off

On my right my cavalry charged the Roman skirmishers. On my left I managed to get infantry to attack the Roman cavalry frontally and have my skirmishers on their flank.

454AD-03 Roman cavalry fighting on both flanks

454AD-03 Cavalry fighting on both flanks

Chris decided he had to do something and moved one of his infantry units off the hill.

454AD-04 Legions comes off hill

454AD-04 Legions comes off hill

I countered the advancing Romans with a Suevi shield wall.

454AD-05 Suevi infantry advance

454AD-05 Suevi infantry advance

Being hit in the flank is pretty nasty in One Hour Wargames and Chris’s cavalry rapidly routed (or as rapidly as this game allows).

454AD-06 Roman cavalry rout

454AD-06 Roman cavalry rout

I rearranged my battle line to get my infantry facing Chris’s. This freed up my skirmishers and I sent them towards my right, behind the line.

454AD-07 Suevi reform

454AD-07 Suevi reform

454AD-08 Suevi advance on the hill

454AD-08 Suevi advance on the hill

As my infantry line formed on the left my right flank cavalry broke the Roman skirmishers. This exposed Chris’s flank.

454AD-10 Suevi break through on right

454AD-10 Suevi break through on right

So, of course, I charged. Infantry to Chris’s front and cavalry to his flank. My skirmishers continued to edge towards the Roman rear.

454AD-11 Suevi charge on right

454AD-11 Suevi charge on right

Rather than sit on his hill and get his line rolled up, Chris decided to charge down the hill. This left the front edge of his infantry on the flat and the rear edge on the hill. I argued that it was difficult to call this “on the hill” or “defending the hill” so we didn’t give Chris the benefit of the terrain.

454AD-12 Romans charge down the hill

454AD-12 Romans charge down the hill

Another kill on my right.

454AD-13 Visigoth success on right

454AD-13 Visigoth success on right

With Chris’s troops engaged frontally he couldn’t do anything to stop me swinging my right flank troops onto Chris’s flank and rear.

454AD-14 Closing the circle

454AD-14 Closing the circle

The Roman line continued to crumble to the flank attack.

454AD-15 Another Roman bites the dust

454AD-15 Another Roman bites the dust

In the last turn of the game I had Chris’s two remaining infantry stands surrounded.

454AD-16 Crunch time

454AD-16 Crunch time

Bang. Game over.

454AD-17 No more Romans

454AD-17 No more Romans


Observations

Another realistic outcome. Grindy, of course, because it takes a long time to kill things. Having said that flank attacks are relatively potent and only take a couple of turns to eliminate the target.

But, despite the fact I won and it was a quick game, it wasn’t much fun to play.

And the rules could do with elaboration so we didn’t have to make rules in an ad hoc manner. For example, the argument about what was on a hill was distracting from the game.

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