Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Ruspina 46BC

I fought the battle of Ruspina 46BC, with mate Ian, tonight (all pics clickable).

Ruspina is a really interesting engagement, as the forces were asymmetric; Caesarian Roman legionaries fought against very large numbers of Numidian light troops, under Labienus, who encircled them on a featureless plain.  I wanted to see whether the rules I am developing would work with this unusual engagement, and they did, rather well.  I set up a relatively large table with open flanks and a complete lack of terrain.

Initially the Numidians moved forward, but a bit too fast; they were soon pushed back by Roman charges, and several units were caught and destroyed. It wasn't going at all well!

Later, however (as shown below), gaps emerged in the thin Roman line, and Numidian units penetrated through these, and lapped around its left flank. The consequent flank and rear charges, and Numidian superior numbers, told, and we judged Labienus and Petreius would have been victorious in a turn or two. 

Learning points were that the Caesarians need to be in a double line (rather than a single one), the next time we try it. Reading between the lines of the Caesar's Civil Wars text, I really do think that they must have been in a double line, on the day, rather than the single line suggested in my translation. 

'Twas an enjoyable game, which threw up a few ideas that I'll build into the rules, tomorrow.
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