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"Mons Graupius with Bella Contra Barbaros" Topic


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MichaelCollinsHimself22 May 2017 3:18 a.m. PST

The battle of Mons Graupius is next in the battles that I`ll be playing out and reporting regularly here with photos of course. So, one great, big get-out-of-here hill, not a puny mound thrown on the tabletop. This really requires a terrain mat. This will be the first time I`ve used my terrain mat with some large "real size" hills – I understand it takes a little time for the mat to settle after first laying it out on top of the material you place underneath it. Anyhow, today I`ll dice for terrain feature details and start to place the terrain on table….

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Engraving of Calgacus delivering his pre-battle speech.

MichaelCollinsHimself22 May 2017 6:46 a.m. PST

Right so, I`ve diced for the details in the terrain scrub, bog, woods small hills in the valley bottom, etc no farmsteads though!

Here`s the results:

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MichaelCollinsHimself22 May 2017 8:44 a.m. PST

I diced for both armies earlier today and this is what the battle will invlove: the Caledonians have 32,500 (including approximately 6,000 light cavalry and chariots) against the Romans who have three and a half legions, 3,000 Auxiliaries and 3,500 southern British warbands and skirmishers. The Romans also have around 4,000 cavalry. These figures were arrived at with 2 die rolls.

MichaelCollinsHimself22 May 2017 9:56 a.m. PST

The Caledonians in three commands…

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MichaelCollinsHimself22 May 2017 11:35 a.m. PST

The Caledonians are deployed for battle now (I`ve opted for the 500 per warband base game scale).

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The Roman army awaits on the separate board…

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Barry S22 May 2017 8:59 p.m. PST

Very nice!

MichaelCollinsHimself24 May 2017 5:24 a.m. PST

The Romans deploy for battle.

In the centre of the Roman line are 6,000 Batavian and Tungrian auxiliaries.

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The Caledonian left faces a half-strength Roman legion. Supporting the legionaries` flank are the army`s Roman legionary cavalry and then some auxiliary cavalry.

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On the Roman left a large body of auxiliary cavalry advance to engage the barbarian horse.

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The Roman plan is simple; both wings of cavalry are to defeat the Caledonian horse and then it will return to support the flanks of the Roman first line of battle against the enemy`s chariots and light infantry. Most of the early fighting will be carried out by the auxiliaries, the main force of the army, its three legions, will remain in reserve (off-table) until the enemy`s light troops have been dispersed.

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kodiakblair24 May 2017 1:57 p.m. PST

There was my first mistake when I attempted Graupius, never thought about keeping the Romans off table until the correct time.

I definitely need to get an opponent,way too rigid in my thinking.

MichaelCollinsHimself25 May 2017 11:03 a.m. PST

Yeah, it is just possible with a 6x4ft table – the Caledonians are just on the defensive and it`s the Romans on the attack and with the initiative so to speak.

MichaelCollinsHimself27 May 2017 8:11 a.m. PST

Battle of Mons Graupius
The quick reference booklet and scenario notes, dice and markers at the ready with the three Roman legions of the Roman second line on the board…

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It`s time to start the game!

The battle starts with clearing the Caledonian cavalry away from the flanks (I`ve rated them as light horse in this scenario).

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It doesn`t take long – the barbarian horse is no match for the Roman auxiliaries,

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…the next phase of the Roman plan of battle may now go ahead – the first line, with the auxiliaries and a half strength legion may now advance with its own mounted flank support.

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MichaelCollinsHimself28 May 2017 5:04 a.m. PST

In the centre the Tungrian and Batavian auxiliaries advance across the small burn (I must make a small stream for my table !).

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They soon come under fire from the British charioteers and their supporting light infantry…

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However, the Roman`s flanks are protected by the auxiliary cavalry who engage the chariots.

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The chariots are scattered as the Romans their auxiliaries, and allies charge up the hill.
With some loses the chariots are forced to evade to the rear… it`s doubtful that they will make a further contribution to the battle other than slowing the Roman advance on the lower slopes of the hill.

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Waiting on the upper slopes, the warbands will now probably charge down to engage the Roman infantry.
The main Roman battleline of three legions appears now on table following the first line…

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Agricola`s battle plan appears to be working!

kodiakblair28 May 2017 9:44 a.m. PST

Stirring stuff.
I know it's not in the scenario booklet but my plan is send the chariots to attack the Roman camp,keep the warbands on the hill to distract Agricola while this happens.

It's not easy as Agricola has plenty of troops he can pull out to support the camp.Even though he's getting well supplied by ship the further west Calgacus can draw him the harder supply becomes.

More a long term strategy idea.

MichaelCollinsHimself28 May 2017 9:56 a.m. PST

Right, sounds like a cunning plan!

Maybe a larger force would be needed to threaten the camp though not just chariots, but some warbands too?

On the other hand, having so many auxiliary cavalry and scouting strength, the Romans might not fall for a deception like this, but the Calgacus is a good commnader and this makes for some good ideas for scenarios based on this campaign anyhow!

MichaelCollinsHimself29 May 2017 9:07 a.m. PST

The Battle of Mons Graupius (continued).

The Roman advance continues with the cavalry supporting the flanks of the allied auxiliary and Roman infantry divisions, the Caledonian light chariots and skirmisher infantry are pushed out of the way, some sustaining casualties as they retreat though the warbands.

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The allied southern British warbands attack up the steep slopes – all of the Caledonians hold their positions.

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The attack does not go very well; already partly disordered, only one warband base gains impetus and most of the allied warband`s first line bases are disordered.

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Things the move along very quickly… the Romans and their auxiliaries advance up hill and the warbands lose control and make impetuous advances.

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The supporting Roman cavalry make support charges and the Roman cavalry wings react by counter-attacking – the left makes contact with the barbarian right.

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On the Roman right, auxiliary cavalry move around the small wood there preparing to attack the barbarian flank…

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Will the Romans withstand the onslaught of the Caledonian warband`s attack?

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The rules used (Bella Contra Barbaros) are at:
link

MichaelCollinsHimself08 Jun 2017 10:22 a.m. PST

The battle of Mons Graupius continues…
As the Caledonians charge down hill, Roman troops close up to receive them. Not all the cohorts manage the manoeuvre however and consequently the Romans are thrown into some disorder.

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But the Romans do have good discipline and so they may well recover to continue the fight. The auxiliaries are most affected by the impetus of the barbarian charges and the initial fighting.

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The southern British allies, whose flanks were attacked are made to rout and are pursued downhill by the Caledonian warbands. On both wings, Roman and auxiliary cavalries have bounced back.

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On a small hill across the Clachie Burn, the Roman regulars watch the southern British run, they think they will soon be sent into action…

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MichaelCollinsHimself12 Jun 2017 7:45 a.m. PST

The Battle of Mons Graupius continues…

Roman and auxiliary cavalries attack the Caledonian left flank.

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In the centre, although all disorders have been rallied and the troops are in open order to fight more effectively, the auxiliary foot are flanked; the warbands lapping around their formation.

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Auxiliary cavalry attack the Caledonian right as it pursues the routing southern British.

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Agricola takes up position with the centre legion in his second line of battle; he will advance in the next turn to aid the auxiliaries who look to be in some trouble.

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The mounted Roman attacks are successful several warband bases are routed and pursued.

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Their attack on the Caledonian left (supported by Roman legionaries) seems to have been more successful.

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The battle is in the balance still; will the barbarian wings crumble before they can inflict serious damage on the Roman auxiliaries?
The rules, Bella Contra Barbaros are at: link

MichaelCollinsHimself14 Jun 2017 11:26 a.m. PST

The Battle of Mons Graupius – decision time.

The battle is in three parts; the wings and the centre.

In the centre, the attacks by the Caledonians are being held up by a staunch resistance by the Roman auxiliary infantry; barbarian hopes of a swift victory are now diminishing.

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On the Roman left the southern British warbands have routed through the open order legionaries. The legionaries have opted to recieve the charge without closing order. The Caledonians are disordered after their pursuit and are unlikely to make much headway against well-ordered Roman heavy infantry (only two warbands get impetus).

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Meanwhile the auxiliary cavalry attacking the highlanders cause the whole command to test its morale.

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On the Roman right the pressure on the Caledonians also results in a morale test – cavalry on that flank have also caused much damage!

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The results of the morale test are that the Caledonian right fails, turns, and runs, but what remains of the Caledonian left wing holds its position. But it is surely a matter of time before it also breaks and then the victory would be Agricola`s.

Agricola leads the line moving in support of the centre.

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MichaelCollinsHimself15 Jun 2017 6:33 a.m. PST

Battle of Mons Graupius – A Stunning Victory for Agricola (not just according to one of his relatives)…

The battle was won, but it was a close-run thing. Had it not been for some solid resistance put up by Batavian and Tungrian auxiliary infantry in the centre of the Roman first line of battle, the barbarians may have had a chance to prevent further operations against them (their victory conditions were simply to inflict damage on the Roman`s auxiliary foot and they could then retire from the battlefield to heavy woods behind their position).

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The battle winners however, were the Roman and auxiliary cavalries, who launched some devastating flank attacks on the Barbarian wings as they came forward to attack the "bait" that was the Roman first line!

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The only Caledonian success was the breaking of one of the auxiliary cohorts in the centre of the battlefield. This however came too late to save the day; at the same time, their left wing also collapsed and routed.

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The rules used, Bella Contra Barbaros are at: link

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