domenica 26 ottobre 2014

Caesar Julian under siege!

Gaul, 356 a.D..
Julian, appointed Caesar by the Emperor Constantius II, has been sent to Gaul with the task to defeat the Alamans, who crossed the Rhine river and invaded the Roman Empire.
The first part of the campaign hasn't been so succesful for the young Caesar, and Julian has decided to better organize his army during the winter.
Now he is in a big camp in Sens (France), with a Legion, five units of Auxilia palatina, plus some archers and cavalry; the small army is about 10.000 men strong.

But the enemy is not far, and an Alaman army is approaching.
It's a quite big army, about 23.000 men strong, with archers and cavalry; Alaman chiefs have noticed that the Caesar is inside the camp with a small force, and now they try to conquer the castra and possibly capture him!

But the roman camp, despite the small garrison, is ready to resist: the palisade is in good shape, the towers are there and the Alamans totally lack siege machines.

The Alaman chief decide to split his infantry force in three divisions, plus the cavalry at the very left in the picture:

Two Alaman infantry divisions strike the frontal fence of the camp, while the  cavalry heads to the left side:

The first two infantry divisions approach the wall, while the third division points to the right, in order to disorient the Roman defenders: 

But moves inside the camp are very fast: when the first Alaman division begins the assault against the fence, that side of the palisade is guarded by two roman auxilia divisions, with archers attached and a ballista: 

The same happens for the second Alaman divisions: against it there is a Roman legion (not at its best under siege) and an auxiliary unit, plus archers and ballistae:

The Alamans suffers many casualties from archers and machines, then they lose the melee and the first division flees, having lost half of its men and having failed the "morale check":

The same happens to the second Alaman division:

At the left side of the palisade, the Alaman cavalry dismounts and tries to storm the ungarnished side of the camp; but the Roman auxilia are fast enough to face them:

And also the Alaman cavalry flees (without horses ...):

Noticing that there are many Alaman divisons fleeing, a small unit of mounted Roman cavalry (the rest is dimounted and is over the walls of the camp) attempts a dangerous sortie outside:

The Alaman chief tries to regroup the nearest division, in order to face the Roman cavalry, but he fails:

The Roman cavalry (along the road) wipes out the nearest Alaman division, so the Alaman army loses half of its men and the battle is lost:

So, the outcome????
The army points were 150 for the attacker Alaman and 80 for the defending Roman, but probably a proportion of 2:5 could have been better to balance a defender well fortified inside a camp as the Roman was.
Apart this, the Alaman probably faulted his tactic: he splitted his infantry in three, plus dismounted cavalry; he could have been able to storm together the four sides of the Roman camp, but he wasn't so fast and he stormed only the two half front sides, allowing the Roman to goup his forces.
In addition, the Alaman didn't use his big third infantry division, which retired after watching his camerades fleeing insted of attempting a "stand alone" attack.
The Roman has been able to stay cool, to ignore the diversions of the enemy and to concentrate his small force against the current attacks.

In the next future there will be a second chance for the Alaman to capture Julian: the game has been enjoyable end the rules are flexible enough to govern a siege without problems.

Last but not least: a special commendation to Gianni for the wonderful battlefield!

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