Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The price of victory (campaign 63)

Tullus had attacked the province of Aples Gallica and taken it from Secundus. The victory had been won at a great cost and it would be some time before either side could mass another field army. For the time being, both sides were content to sit back and lick their wounds until new re enforces could be mustered and vengeance sort.

The Battles end ( campaign 62)

The last throws of Secundus's luck were lost when Tullus charged his one remaining Cohort into Secundus's battle weary Dacian Auxiliaries, crushing them and finally ending their epic struggle against the Auxiliaries of Spain which had lasted all day. Secundus could see he was now out numbered but stood his ground, forming up as best he could he repulsed an attack by the elite Spanish horse and waited for the end. Tullus, however was in little better shape and his units were exhausted and low in number. As the day finally drew to a close, both sides fell back in good order.
Secundus's force had been devastated, with all of it's cavalry and Auxiliary units destroyed. He had lost a Cohort of the Augusta but remained in control of two full strength Cohorts, the 1st and the 2nd. Whereas Tullus had lost two Cohorts of the VI and his Auxiliaries, including his Balearic slingers. Neither side could claim all out victory, they had both fought and lost valuable men that would cost them dearly to replace. Above, the exhausted men of the 1st Cohort repel the Spanish horse of Tullus........just.

Victory turns into defeat for Secundus (campaign 61)

Flushed with success the 1st Cohort of the II Augusta smashes into the 2nd Cohort of Tullus's force routing them and putting them to flight. Lost in the throws of victory, Secundus failed to notice the return of the Spanish horse. After regrouping the Spanish horse charged back across the field, with no cavalry left of his own, Secundus was powerless to stop them cutting down his remaining archers. With the cohorts all mixed up and confusion spreading across the field, Secundus found himself cut off from retreat and coming under heavy fire from the lethal lead shot of the Balearic slingers.
With Secundus's Auxiliaries still locked in mortal combat, Tullus could now concentrate all of his existing force against the remaining cohorts of Secundus. Secundus after breaking two Cohorts found himself trapped and out manoeuvred.
This picture shows the Battle standards of the II Augusta running for their lives. They could see the Spanish cavalry charging across the battle field and didn't hang around.

The Battle of Valentia (campaign 60)

Tullus saw the disaster unfold to his right and putting himself in the front line, personally lead another charge. The renewed attack on the 3rd Cohort caught them off guard and they too broke and started to flee the field. Tullus by his own actions had plucked his army from the jaws of defeat. Now the two sides were on level pegging again and victory was any ones for the taking once more. The battle continued to sway back and forth.

This picture shows Secundus with his brown cloaked 1st Cohort chasing the 3rd VI Gemina from the field. On the other side, Tullus's 1st Cohort like wise smashes the 3rd Cohort of the II Augusta. In the centre the lines of skirmishers still exchange volleys to no avail. On the far right, the two units of Auxiliaries slog it out, both winning and losing in turn.

The Battle of Valentia (campaign 59)

Finally, after prolonged pressure the 1st Cohort of the II Augusta pushed through and routed the 3rd Cohort of Tullus's VI Gemina. The Spanish Cohort broke and was cut down where it stood, the survivors ran for their lives. Secundus had won back the lead and was in a position to claim victory. Secundus now swung his victorious Cohort right, ready to flank Tullus's whole battle line.

The Battle of Valentia (campaign 58)

With all of his cavalry routed, Secundus knew his only chance of victory now lie in his British Legions. The Spanish Legions had built up a reputation over many years for being formidable fighters and Secundus could only hope and prey that his troops would stand their ground.
One by one the Cohorts met in battle, with the light troops fleeing before them, it was down to the heavy infantry to win the day. For half an hour the Legions hacked and cut each other to pieces, neither side gave or received any quarter. With shouts of encouragement, Tullus and Secundus urged their men forward, but the battle line held and both sides could not gain any ground.
Secundus knew that the Elite Spanish horse was still on the field and was now behind his lines, if they were to attack now while his cohorts were engaged, all would be lost. Luckily for him, the Spanish horse was blown after it's double victory and needed time to regroup. This window of opportunity was not lost on Secundus who pushed his men on with growing urgency.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The battle of Valentia (campaign 57)

With the tramp of the Legion's iron shod sandals in their ears, the reckless Celts charged on. Tullus had seen Secundus massing his cavalry and was prepared, he couldn't believe his luck as he saw the Celts race ahead of the Sarmations. If he was lucky he could meet them one on one and destroy them piece meal as they came on. He quickly sounded the order and his elite Spanish cavalry sprang forward. Armed with their razor sharp Falcata, the Spanish cavalry shrugged off the storm of javelins and sliced the unarmoured Celts to pieces. The Celts were shocked at the speed in which the Spanish could maneuver and they soon realised that their only advantage was lost. In a blind panic they raced back towards the Secundus line where they ran right through the massed ranks of the Sarmations. Having just cleared the rocky out crops, Stuba's Sarmations were still in a state of disarray, It was now that through their ranks poured the terrified Celts, riding for their lives. In the chaos that followed gaps started to appear in Stuba's line as the Celts pushed their way through and into these gaps rode the elite Spanish horse.

Before Stuba knew what was happening, the Spanish were in amongst them and the long Kontus lances of the Sarmations were useless against the swords of the Spanish, in the close quarter melee that followed. The Spanish seemed unstoppable as they hacked and slashed the Sarmations to pieces, aiming for the only vulnerable place in the Sarmations armour, their faces. Stuba had no choice but to flee for his life, taking only a minor wound he fled the field together with the rest of Secundus's cavalry. Tullus had won through, his elite cavalry had proved their worth again.
Above the Spanish horse charge to victory and smash the forces of Secundus.

The Legions advance (campaign 56)

With the Legions striding towards each other Secundus launches his master plan and gives the order for the Celtic and Sarmation Cavalry to charge. However, the broken ground prevented the two squadrons from joining properly and the head strong Celts saw their chance of taking all the glory. The Celts set off with a British war-cry, before Stuba had even dressed his ranks. Secundus watched in horror as his lightly armoured Celtic cavalry charged the Tullus line, way out in front of any supporting troops. Still, thought Secundus the rashness of the Celtic charge can sometimes bring victory, who knows they might just pull it off.

The Battle of Valentia (campaign 55)

Secundus knew that to make his plan work, he would first have to tie up all of Tullus's forces and defeat his renown Spanish horse. For this reason, Secundus massed all of his cavalry on his left flank. With the combined force of his Celtic light horse and his heavy Sarmations, he would crush the vastly out numbered Spanish cavalry, with this, his huge cavalry force would then wing right and slam into the flank of Tullus's committed legionaries, victory would soon follow. The plan was an old one and the difference in numbers would surely play there part, but Secundus didn't take into consideration the close ground and the rocky out crops which funnelled troops into narrow gorges. He would soon find that numbers can sometimes work against you in confined spaces.
The order was given and the mighty Legions started to advance across the plain, with veterans on either side the two commanders held their breath, the hammer was about to hit the anvil.
The above picture shows the heavy cohorts starting to advance. With lines of slingers and archers locked in a deadly that the slingers, were getting the upper hand.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Battle of Valentia (campaign 54)

Here's the battle board set up and ready to go, with a fighting force of 2000pts (warhammer ancient battle rules). In true Roman style, the force was arranged with the cavalry on the wings, the heavy Infantry in the centre and the light troops out in front. All was in readiness..."let the dice fly high" to quote Caesar, lets go. The battle started slow with both sides waiting for the other to show his true intentions. As the skirmishers spread out in front of the legions neither side could claim any success, as the two sides took ground only be lose it again a moment later. With this frustratingly slow progress, Secundus passed word to one of his renowned officers, Stuba Bowmonica to prepare his men for a charge. The main strength of the Army of Brittannia was it's Sarmation heavy cavalry and with it Secundus planned to sweep away the left flank of Tullus, then roll him up from left to right. If any man was up to the job, it was Stuba and his Sarmations.

While Stuba was preparing his attack, news of a victory reached his ears. Secundus's Dacian Auxiliaries had trapped and wiped out a unit of Gallic auxiliaries against a steep incline of a hill, with their Superior numbers, the Dacians had cut them down to a man. The first blood had gone to Secundus, but the battle was far from over.

The Battle of Valentia (campaign 53)

The months had passed slowly on the border of Aples Gallica, as both sides eyed each other with contempt. Secundus felt secure in his new province which had happily flocked to his cause three months earilier and with it's support he knew he could repulse any attack made by Tullus's African and Spanish legions. All Secundus had to do was to sit tight for a week or so, until his German legion arrived from the north, then he would use their combined strength to push Tullus back into the sea and end the war in one single stroke.

Tullus could see that time was running out and word had reached him of the XXI Rapax marching down from It's Rhine posting, He would have to act first before the Germans arrived and he found himself backtracking all the way back to Spain. So It was that on 13th of August the forces of Secundus awoke to the sight and sounds of thousands of Spanish troops mustering for battle.
Secundus eyed the scene with amusement and quipped "This should take a mornings fighting and no more, then we can toast the victory over dinner" As his generals laughed, they knew the fibre of Tullus's Spanish troops and their laughter soon died away. However, the endless drilling and training of the last few months were not been wasted and the army of Secundus was in field by mid morning. At last the time had come, the two great generals would meet face to face in battle, the future of the Roman Empire hung in the air above a hot, humid field in Gaul. Above the XXI Rapax Legion marches down through Gaul to secure a victory for Secundus.

"Did your wife help you with your war paint again Carl?"

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Evocati details

This shot shows the sculpted extras from behind, I payed a lot of attention to their rear views because on the battle field as a player this is the view I will see the most.
This veteran has bought himself a whole set of Gladiator segmented arm armour....nice if you can afford it. His buddy has brought along a bag for all that battlefield blunder, he must be an old campaigner!
With the extra Gladiator embossed shields the battle line gives off a motley appearance, uniformed but embellished. Perfect for old boys brought out of retirement to march behind their old standards again.


Here is the first batch of veterans to march off the work bench. I managed to dig out some old Gladiator shields with embossed designs on them to add to the veteran look. Also, this is the only unit to carry helmet crests in my collection.....apart from the Praetorian guard of course. Which I think gives them a very honored and veteran look indeed.

Here you can see their military awards and decorations displayed with pride for all to see. When a Centurion fell in battle, the victors would often fight over his much priced valor awards, this lot will have to be careful. These awards were called Phalerae and were greatly prized.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The long lived Evocati

This sketch was worth doing, for as I sketched away I remembered another piece of roman armour I had over looked. The leather strips over the arm would be easy to sculpt and I had left them off my long list of possibles. These tough leather strips were called pteruges and they are about as Roman looking as you can get.