Sunday, 2 October 2016

Dux Bellorum Late Romans v Saxons

Having finished painting some of the lovely 10mm Pendraken Late Romans recently I thought it time to give them a run out on the table. So I set up a solo game.
I did consider another trial of One Hour Wargames, but in the end decided I'd rather play Dux Bellorum and I had the time to do so.
I used the Saxon force from the campaign I began many months ago, and diced up a Romano British type force to oppose them.
The Saxons had seven units, the Companions, two units of nobles and four units of warriors. Their Romano British opponents had Companions, noble shieldwall, ordinary riders and three units of shieldwall. Both armies had an extra LP.

I decided on a basic annals battle and used some blinds to lay out the Romans and then gave them all a free move forward.

The game unfolded with both sides pushing forward and the Romano British occupied a hill on their left with a group of three shieldwall. Their right saw the companions and nobles also push forward whilst the cavalry, who had begun by shielding the left flank pulled across toward the centre to support them.

The main Saxon strength lay in the centre with two small units forcing their way through the woods whilst a larger mixed group held the right.





As the lines closed the Saxons moved to encircle the smaller group of Romano British warriors on their left. The Roman cavalry bravely moved to force the Saxon Companions to break ranks and charge them instead of the more inviting infantry target. On the Saxon right a stand off developed as the warriors opted to stay away from being forced to charge a shiledwall on the hill.



As the lines clashed one of the Romano British units on the hill hurled itself into the Saxon companions in support of the riders.



The battle now degenerated into something of a grind. The Romano British nobility braved the wild charges of the Saxons and held their ground, but were unable to make much impression in return.


Over by the hill a further large fight broke out as warriors and shieldwall alike were drawn into the combat.


The Romano British riders left the Saxons companions locked in combat with the shieldwall and instead added their attacks in support of their leader.
Whilst the fight by the hill ground on, with first one side, then the other gaining a slight advantage.



Finally the Romano forces gained the upper hand on the Saxon left, eliminating a unit of warriors and allowing the Companions to begin rolling up the flank.


With their enemies being eliminated the riders were able to throw themselves into the rear of one of the warrior units by the hill, tipping the balance in that area.



With the extra numbers now free to join the battle by the hill and LPs in short supply the number was up for the Saxons and they melted away.
This part of Britannia remains Saxon free for a while longer.


I had fun getting the toys out, and it scratched a growing Dark Ages itch. I'd forgotten the rather grinding nature of games of Dux Bellorum, and it was late before I remembered some of the tactics of throwing numbers at units near to collapse. Once a unit or two has gone the impact on LPs means the game rapidly races to a conclusion. It feels like a plausible simulation of Dark Age warfare - a bit of jockeying for position, followed by a long shieldwall huff and puff before the dam starts to break...

I am now eyeing (once again) the part finished Musketeer Late Romans and thinking if I get those finished maybe I can persuade Steve or General B to give the game and period a go.

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