Sunday, 8 February 2015

Dux Bellorum Campaign Game 2 - The Battle on the Via Julian

The following is an account of the second battle in my solo Dux Bellorum campaign game.  
The Keynsham Chronicle
Many brave warriors fell at Bassa's Ford, their shields splintered, their armour rent and their ash shafts broken. Our Noble Tiern Cynwyl Cadarn vowed to avenge them and stood firm on the Via Julian, steadfast in his resolve to halt the pagan Hrothgar and send him and his men to back the whence they came or to hell, whichever they would prefer...
1 x Companions
1 x Nobles Warriors
2 x Ordinary (foot) Warriors
1 x Ordinary (mounted) Warriors
2 x Bow Skirmishers
1 x Monks

1 x Companions
4 x Noble Warriors
2 x Ordinary Warriors
1 x Bow Skirmishers
1 x Javelin Skirmishers
1 x Wardogs

Scenario 11 - The Roman Road
Agressor 33 pts plus one free Strategy & Tactics up to 3 pts.
Agressor deploys on the road up to the half way point. The objective is to get as many units off the opposite board edge as possible. One unit of skirmishers may deploy off the road up to the half way point.

Repellor 21 pts plus one free Strategy & Tactics up to 3 pts.
Repellor deploys up to 6" in from his board edge. One unit may be deployed in ambush in either the village or behind the ford.


The Saxons advance down the road towards the Welsh warband deployed blocking the road.
With so few troops, the Welsh deployed with skirmishers on both flanks, with the Companions in reserve. The Monks would add much need spiritual resolve and leadership points where required.
The Saxons had their skirmishers in front with the wardogs on the left flank.
"Away Shep!" Jan Nokes and his dogs ready for battle.
The Welsh placed a mounted unit of Ordinary Warriors in an ambush position behind the ford.

Turn 1 Saxons - 6 LP Welsh - 8 LP
The Saxons got off to what seemed to be a bad start as their wardogs blundered, but the Gods were obviously with them as they retreated back towards their table edge, to be in a perfect position to possibly counter the Welsh ambush unit. The rest of the Saxons advanced as best they could, determined to brush aside the Welsh roadblock.

The Welsh for their part moved forward to engage the Saxons as quickly as possible, except the Companions who failed their roll, leaving their line badly fragmented. 

Both sides advance as quickly as they can.
'Shep' doesn't want to play ball, but the Welsh riders are out of charge range so advance into the long grass instead.

Turn 2 Saxons - 6LP Welsh 8 - LP
The Saxon skirmishers deployed to the flanks and Shep and Co decided to come back and play ball with the others. The Saxons in the centre deployed into a battle line with a small reserve kept to the rear.

On the Saxon left flank the Welsh cavalry rolled a Double 1 and so moved to attack the Saxon skirmishers, only to be charged by Saxon warriors in turn who were also charged by Welsh warriors. This proved to be a costly mistake as although the Saxon skirmishers were destroyed, so were the Welsh riders. However the Saxons took 3 hitys and were pushed back by the Welsh who followed up.

On the Saxon right flank the Welsh charged the Saxon skirmishers who had advanced too far and were destroyed, but at least they caused 1 hit on the Welsh unit. However the road was open to a determined advance by the Saxons...

Battle is joined on both flanks.
Both sides clash on the flanks...
... with losses on both sides. The Saxon left flank doesn't have much to stop its advance, talk less of the centre.

Turn 3 Saxons - 4LP Welsh - 8LP
With both warbands so close to each other, their were lots of uncontrolled charges with some advances by skirmishers from both sides.

Battle is fully joined, although the Saxons still have a good reserve force in the centre.
Despite being outnumbered, the Welsh bravely attack...
... seeing the Saxon left flank unit destroyed and pushing back the Saxon right flank.. However the Saxon reserve is yet to be commited.

Turn 4 Saxons - 3LP Welsh - 7LP
With the Saxons now on only 3LPs, would this hamper their attacks or their ability to soak up hits? The Welsh archers manage to score a hit on the Saxon Companions, causing them to use their sole LP to soak up the hit. With both sides engaged in combat, there was some movement as other units joined the fray.

'Shep' and the Saxon reserve join the battle on their left flank.
'Shep' sees off the Welsh skirmishers and the Welsh warriors on the Saxon left flank are pushed back. In the centre the Welsh manage to push back the Saxons, whilst on the right flank the Welsh destroy a unit of Saxons and nearly a unit of Nobles.

Turn 5 Saxons - 3LP Welsh - 5LP
Only 'Shep' is able to move as all other combats stay locked. A potentially crucial turn as the Welsh are close to their breakpoint.

No finesse in trying to move round the road block, the Saxons are simply happy to try and smash their way through.
The Saxon left flank is open as they finish off a unit of Welsh warriors, putting the Welsh on a break test. The Welsh Companions in turn destroy a Saxon unit, but the Saxons are still some way off their breaktest.
With the breakpoint reached, the Monks promptly fail their Bravery roll and flee the table, putting the Welsh at 75% losses and therefore automatically breaking. Given the Welsh had so few units left on the table and would be unable to prevent the Saxons leaving the table, the Welsh would have conceded the game anyway.

Well to be honest I was suprised that the Welsh managed to hold out for as long as they did, given they were so outnumbered.So as always a few post game thoughts:
  • Using the 'Hail Caesar' blunder table  is fun and adds more uncertainty to the game.
  • Monks are very useful for the Repellor with their 2 LPs as they have to move very little and so their low Bravery roll isn't really an issue.
  • Wardogs are fun but due to the blunder I didn't get to use them as much as I'd hoped. However as with my 'Sheep', 'Shep' & Co are great fun to have on the table.
  • Moving the Welsh riders too soon into battle cost them in the first turn of combat. I didn't think that they would be counter charged by the Saxons warriors. I know next time to be more careful before commiting them to combat.
  • The game could have had a very different outcome if the Welsh had managed to finish off the Saxon Nobles on the Saxon right flank. This would have allowed them to turn into the centre and potentially roll up the whole Saxon line.
Next Game 
Depsite the Welsh losses, I decided that the Saxons won a close run victory, so in the next game which will be 'Cattle Raid', the Welsh will have 30LPs and the Saxons 34LPs. Due to the nature of the scenario, the Welsh cavalry might come in useful to head off the Saxons and the cattle they are trying to steal. I've plenty of time to ponder things before the next game though.


  1. Now that did look like fun.
    Thought the Welsh might just have nicked it - better luck next time.

    1. Yep, fun game as always and the Welsh came so close on that Saxon right flank. Next game should be a lot closer...

    2. Just been catching up on the Vikings on Amazon. I could be tempted.

  2. I do love a good bit o'dark age babarism. Always reminds me of commuting.