Saturday, June 22, 2013

Impetvs (8cm based) Batrep: Cerialis vs Civilis AD 70

AD 70: After the conclusion of the 'Year of the Four Emperors' - the Pax Romanum is all but restored. Vespasian, backed by the veteran Eastern and Balkan Legions, is Imperator. There is one small loose end. A tiny detail really: the Batavi - originally supported by Vespasion, are in open revolt and have rebuffed even the offer of independence. These were the fortissimi, validissimi of the Roman army but now they must be crushed, along with the craven I Germanica and XVI Gallica. It is so on. Jason has the role of the rebel Civilis and I command the spearhead of Cerialis' force - a mix of experienced and newly raised legions, along with the Praetorians. 400 points, two commands each, 28mm Impetvs on 8cm frontage bases.

The Imperial left wing, under Gen. Cerialis, received a nasty surprise as their outriders began to race toward the unprotected Rebel stone-circle. The craven traitor Legionaries had sited massed artillery there and one of their scorpion-bolts took out the lead cavalry, at extreme range. Meanwhile, a large amount of Batavian and Gallic cavalry was spearheading the rebel push to the Imperial right.

Hidden amongst the stones and hollows of the hillside near their camp, the Imperials had a surprise of their own. Loyal Eastern Auxilia first peppered the rash Gallic Cavalry with arrows then held them up long enough for more of their fellows to charge them in the flank. This sent the lead elements of Civilis' Rebels back, reeling in confusion.

Gen. Cerialis then split hi main command. Some Equites and Auxilia were sent to see if they couldn't overrun the rebel baggage and camp-followers skulking in the stone-circle. Light-troops were sent to hold the flank at a sizable patch of broken ground, then the bulk of the Legionary Cohorts began to wheel as a line. They aimed to engage the center of the Rebel army, allowing fresh Praetorians from the camp to then be hammer to their anvil and crush Civilis' dogs.

All did not go immediately to plan, though. the left flank was held up while some of Civilis' elite Batavians held up twice their number of Imperial troops. The rebel Gallic Cavalry too proved a constant foil to Roman plans. Some of their light horse got within spitting distance of the camp and even forced the Praetorian cavalry to retire. In the Imperial center, it was a bloodbath. The Imperials had the initial upper-hand but were now committed and starting to take losses.The hope was that a close-win on the 'butcher's bill' there, could be turned into overall Imperial victory, if only the left could break through and sack the Rebel camp...

The one bright spot was that, for some reason, the craven rebel Equites and Gallic cavalry were entirely unwilling to expose their flank to the Eastern Auxilia on that hill. The Praetorians also remained entirely fresh.

As the roman center began to wear, Gen. Cerialis somehow fought off repeated assaults by several enemy units bent on claiming the glory of taking his head in battle. Gen. Quintus gave the order for the Praetorians to advance from their positions guarding the camp and engage the Rebels. Their contribution was immediately felt. At the same time, the Imperial left managed to see off the Batavians opposing them and finally race for the now unprotected enemy camp. However, the screaming women and children proved surprisingly adept at holding them off... 

Just when it seemed that Gen. Civilis was invincible, somehow under Jupiter's Aegis, the last wave of Civilis' rebels brought him down. There was suddenly a sizable hole in the Imperial centre. However, they had given better than they got and the fresh Praetorians were dealing body blows to any enemy they could reach.

Roma Victor! Cerialis' rebels were broken in the field and those who could were forced to flee to Islands on the Rhine delta.

Great game, thanks Jason.  I loved giving my Romans another run and am glad I can survive (somehow) without my Cataphracts. I just need to get some more archers and javelin-men and they can come back as Armenia allies!