barbarica conspiratio ; The Great Conspiracy 367AD   4 comments

In the winter of 367 and subsequently Roman Britain was thrown into turmoil by the Great Barbarian Conspiracy.  This is a mini campaign using Sword and Spear Rules to retell the story.

The Picts have crossed the Wall and united with their Saxon Allies causing destruction and terror across Northern Britain.

The Roman Dux Britanarium Fullofaudes has led a force of whatever troops he can find and his personal cavalry guard unit North to intercept the Barbarians.  This first scenario will utilise mainly poor quality Limitanei infantry to represent the units that Fullofaudes could have gathered from City Militia and Garrison units.  Fullofaudes will attempt to stop a larger barbarian force from crossing a river and put a stop on their predations whilst forces can be brought over from Gaul to intervene.  Victory in the first scenario will influence the second.

If the Romans win Fullofaudes and his Cataphracts can be added as a unit to the Second Roman Force.  “Historically” he was either killed or cut off and isolated in the North.  If the Barbarians win then the Pict warriors should both be upgraded to ferocious Attecotti for the second scenario.

Eventually better forces did cross over from Gaul led by Theodosius and including the famous commander and later usurper Magnus Maximus (the legendary Macsen Wledig of the Welsh tales).  The Second Scenario will therefore be a pitched battle between the two forces with the Barbarians  now laden with booty and slaves, unable and unwilling to get away without a fight.  The Roman infantry units here will represent fully armed Legionary troops with throwing weapons such as javelins and darts, all well drilled and disciplined (the veteran Batavi, Heruli, Iovii and Victores).

Dramatis personae

The Romans in Britain

Fullofaudes the Dux Britannarium, Commander of the Roman forces in Britain.

Tribune Octavius, an important Roman officer and landowner with influence in Southern British political circles.

Tribune Julius a Roman officer in command of a depleted garrison legion that has seen better days.

The Relief force from Gaul (Meet the Flavians!)

Comes Theodosius the Elder, high ranking Roman general despatched to Britain to restore order.  Father of future Emperor.

Magnus Maximus, Spanish Roman officer and the legendary figure knownto the British as Macsen Wledig who will one day usurp the purple and declare himself emperor in Britain and fight an ill fated campaign to capture Gaul and Italy.  Nephew of Theodosius.

Theodosius the Younger a Roman officer and the son of Theodosius.

The Barbarians

Aelle the Saxon King.

Drust the Pictish Chieftain.

Octa the Saxon Chieftain and nephew of Aelle.

The First Scenario: River Crossing:  AAR

The Second Scenario: Pitched Battle

As the Barbarians were victorious in the First Battle the Picts have been upgraded to Attecotti Warriors.  The Roman relief force however contains trained legionaries including the Veteran Batavi and Heruli.  This time it is a pitched battle with The Picts to the North.  A hill is to the East and a River defines the field of battle to the West.  Theodosius arrives at the Roman watchtower to find the Barbarians deployed for battle with the aim of defending their camp.  They have treasures and slaves gathered from their time marauding Britain since defaeating Fullofaudes and they won’t give those up without a fight!

Phil and Mike refought the battle as outlined in the pictures below. For some reason wordpress has jumbled up the order slightly, never mind.

The Romans defeat the charging Saxons led by Octha, who escapes.

The Romans defeat the charging Saxons led by Octha, who escapes.

The lines begin to clash

The lines begin to clash

Pictish light horse hold the hill (cowards).

Pictish light horse hold the hill (cowards).

IMG_6337

The Roman light horse hold back the large unit of Picts with ease.

The Roman light horse hold back the large unit of Picts with ease.

Picts advance

Picts advance

The field of battle as the Saxons press forward to close with the romans

The field of battle as the Saxons press forward to close with the romans

The view from the Roman side

The view from the Roman side

Magnus leads the cavalry forward

Magnus leads the cavalry forward

Barbarian advance

Barbarian advance

Saxon base camp

Saxon base camp

Theodosius the Younger leads the Cataphracts

Theodosius the Younger leads the Cataphracts

The Romans

The Romans

The battle field with the Romans deployed in front of their watch tower.

The battle field with the Romans deployed in front of their watch tower.

The view from the Saxon right wing led by Octha

The view from the Saxon right wing led by Octha

Aelle, the Saxon High King and Barbarian General

Aelle, the Saxon High King and Barbarian General

The Picts

The Picts

The Barbarians

The Barbarians

Aelle successfully breaks through the Roman central battle line

Aelle successfully breaks through the Roman central battle line

The battle field from the east

The battle field from the east

Drust regrets driving off the skirmishers.

Drust regrets driving off the skirmishers.

The centre, Magnus and Theodosius attempt to hold back the barbarian tide.

The centre, Magnus and Theodosius attempt to hold back the barbarian tide.

Aelle and Theodosius face to face leading the centre of the battle lines.

Aelle and Theodosius face to face leading the centre of the battle lines.

The view of the battle line as the Picts and Saxons push forwards.

The view of the battle line as the Picts and Saxons push forwards.

Eventually with Aelle breaking through the centre and his doughty Saxons holding against the mighty charge of the Cataphracts victory was awarded to the Barbarians as night fell. Theodosius the Elder and Younger retiring from the field. Magnus however would forever hold a grudge for the wounds received when Theodosius ordered him to leave his cavalry to join an infantry unit (already on 3 hits) which then routed and left him facing bloodthirsty barbarians alone. He would retire to a Romano-British Villa where he would be nursed back to health by the daughter of a native family. Eventually he will return, earn the name Macsen Wledig and found the Early British Kingdoms before attempting to seize Rome and sole supremacy in the Western Empire fighting against the agents of his Cousin the Emperor Theodosius.

Posted April 8, 2015 by wargamesdiary

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