By Chris Hahn
Inspired by the Chalons-centric issue of Slingshot (July-August 2013), I decided to stage a similar, but rather different, battle on my tabletop. In very brief summary, I set up a fictional contest between Late Roman armies representing the directional halves of the Empire. I used a variety of rule amendments and despite the occasional gaffe or two, can report that a very good wargame was had by all (meaning just me). I’ve included a few photos of the engagement for those who might be interested in taking a look. Be warned! This is not the typical miniature-works-of-art fare that you will see gracing the pages of WI, MWBG, etc. Instead, this is the purely functional work of a soloist who recognizes the visual import of the hobby but plays within his financial means as well as painting ability.
Photo A presents the battlefield prior to the first arrow, javelin, or sling stone being launched. The forces of the Eastern Empire are in gray; the Western formations are in blue, on the opposite side of a shallow river. Each side had three core armies with a total of 280 bonus points.
Photo B shows the center of the field from the Western Empire’s point of view. The Eastern Empire did not have a lot of troops in this sector but they did OK when all was said and done. In fact, the heavy infantry of both sides never made it across the river — at least not in the center of the field.
Photo C depicts the heavy fighting on the Eastern right flank. This was the side of the field where both commanding generals and the largest contingents were deployed. The Eastern formations were able to get across and engage the flanks of the Western force while the Western commander pushed his heavy infantry across to engage the enemy heavy foot. (The red markers indicate casualties; the yellow markers indicate fatigue. These are key aspects in any “Armati” wargame.)
I intend to post the full narrative to the Solo Wargaming forum on TMP (cross-posted to Ancient Battle Reports, of course) as well as to the Battle Reports section of the SOA website.