Another Battle in our Campaign. Mike’s Romano British yet again took on Phil’s Picts and Angles in another of Arthur’s battles. This time it was another one of the Twelve Battles of King Arthur: on the River Tribruit.
We used Mike’s official To the Strongest Battlemat and wooden counters. Excellent.
The Romano-British deployed first with Arthur’s cavalry appearing on the right flank as soon as the East Angles had deployed opposite the Romano-British infantry. This meant the Pict spearmen had to deploy behind the East Angles in a long line starting from the far left flank. One unit was left out of command and hardly moved all battle whilst another ended up drawing it’s in command status from the Senior general himself so as to support the East Angles flank.
The East Angles and Picts advanced rapidly towards the Romano-British who kept a tight line and a skirmish screen of infantry. Then Arthur’s cavalry surged forwards but the Pictish spearmen held their ground. They then pushed the cavalry back who evaded in disorder whilst the infantry lines closed.
Arthur was able to rally his cavalry just before they were pushed off the baseline at spear point and they in turn charged the spearmen. This time the spearmen were in disorder as reinforcements raced to close any potential gaps. Javelin armed Angle skirmishers slowed the cavalry enough to give the spearmen some time to rally.
In the centre the East Anglian Warband Hearthtroop smashed through the Roman lines, slaughtering the proud First Legion and threatened the camps. To the far Roman left the Pictish cavalry had been skirmishing and harassing all this time supported by the King and his Noble cavalry. Eventually a break through came when the infantry became disordered from javelin fire and the Pictish cavalry finally stopped evading and charged. The British held but the cavalry could now move around to the rear and threaten the Roman camps too.
As dusk fell Arthur withdrew his shattered infantry forces and victory was awarded to the Picts who now had even more booty to take North as they turned towards Eboracum itself intent on further plunder.
Notes: The Army Lists used were based more on the Late Roman or Post Roman Gallic lists than those in To the Strongest. This was based on my reading for example the Warhammer Age of Arthur Supplement, the idea being a force inspired by a Leader of Battles and Professional soldiers still existing in some form along the wall in Coel Hen, Northern Britain. So they were classed as Legions and Auxilia having some military training, living in Forts or Garrisons with access to old Roman methods and Manufacturing skills to provide arms and armour plus trade with Roman or post Roman Western Europe. I would not have classed them the same should they be fighting the professional soldiers from the Eastern Empire or the height of Roman Britain prior to Macsen Wledig.
However I think this better describes them compared to untrained/ poorly drilled militia troops who are correctly described as just Javelinmen. This makes quite a difference in the battle as saving on a 6 is much easier especially when facing cavalry and the extra manoeuvrability of the Legionaries also comes to play when making diagonal, sideways or rearward moves. Compare this to the difficulties faced by the Spearmen or Warbands especially. This led to a better game at least than simply brushing aside lots of militia with Elite Shock Armed Deep Warbands and Veteran Spearmen. Next time however it maybe that the citizens of the Roman North need to defend their lands alongside Arthur’s Cavalry, especially with the loss of the First Legion in the Battle of the River Tribruit described above!