X55 Liris (90 BC)
Lupus’ Last Stand and The Battles of the Liris River 90BC
Romans vs Italians
Game Notes: This is an interesting two front battle situation wherein a different side has the advantage at each end of the map.
“On the Liris, Rutilius (Lupus) the consul and Gaius Marius were constructing bridges to cross the river not far from each other. Vettius Scato, who had encamped opposite them, but nearer to Marius, succeeded in setting an ambush by night in the ravines by Rutilius’ bridge. At dawn he allowed Rutilius to cross and then sprang the ambush, killing many of Rutilius’ men on dry land and forcing many others into the river. In this battle Rutilius himself was wounded in the head by a missile and died shortly afterwards. At the other bridge Marius, realizing what had happened from the corpses being carried down by the river, thrust aside the force that stood in his way, crossed the river, took Scato’s camp which had been left with a handful of defenders, and forced Scato not only to spend the night where he had won his victory, but to decamp at dawn because he was short supplies. When the bodies of Rutilius and many other aristocrats were brought for burial to Rome, the sight of the dead bodies of the consul and so many others proved grim and the resulting mourning lasted many days. After this the Senate decreed that the war casualties were to be buried where they died, so that the rest of the population would not be deterred from military service by what they saw. When they learnt of this the enemy made the same regulation themselves” (Chapter 43 Book1 from Appian’s Civil Wars) Expanded Map Setup: The Liris River scenario uses an extended two-section map to better allow for the Italian camp, and the maneuvers and movements of both Roman forces and Scato’s Italian army. Take a second C & C Ancients map and cut or fold it over lengthwise along the entire center of the “E” hex-row. The two maps are then abutted so that D1 on the now “half-map” is adjacent to A1 and A2 on the main full map; similarly D12 will end up adjacent to A12 and A13 on the main map. The play area is now 13 hexrows deep and 12 or 13 hexes wide depending on the hexrow. The main or full map is referred to as” Map 1” and the four row or half map is called:” Map 2” when charting the locations detailed below.
(Neither side may start with a Line Command Card in the initial hand !!)
Leader: Rutilius Lupus
Leader: Vettius Scato
Victory: 10 Banners for both sides—The Roman side scores 1 Banners for each Italian Camp Core Hextile they remove and 1 Banner for every two Italian Campworks Hextiles they removed. All other scoring is the same as normal, however see the rules below on the exit of Lupus’ force units from the map via the bridge on Map 2 at A5 below.
Special Scenario Rules:
The “Marian” Command Card Deck
Historical Note: Combat in the 1st Century BC between Roman/Italian Legions was somewhat different than the wars between civilized states in the 3rd Century BC. There was less room for combined arms tactics and maneuver, and battles probably tended to be more of the nature of hand to hand full bore slugfests.
This particular scenario utilizes a different Command Card Deck than the original C & C Ancients Deck. Eight (8) Cards are removed from the original deck leaving 52 Cards for scenario play. This new deck is called the “Marian Deck” and it is named after Caesar’s uncle Gaius Marius, a general in the Social War, and a reorganizer of the Roman Legions in circa 105-103BC (several years before Caesar was born) to meet the challenges of the Germanic Tribal invasions that threatened the Roman Imperial Republic of the time.
The following eight cards are removed before play and put aside to create the Marian Deck:
X4 “Order Light troops”, x1 “I Am Spartacus”, x2 “Move-Fire-Move”, x1 “Mounted Charge”---note that one Mounted Charge” card is still retained in the deck.
Leader Command & Rally Special Rules:
All Leaders may cancel a retreat or a sword hit if present with the unit.
Exceptions: Marius (the Roman) & Scato (the Italian) may cancel a retreat and a sword hit if present with the unit
Units on both sides involved in close combat with the support of a Leader may normally only count one helmet hit amongst those rolled to inflict a hit on an opposing unit, but Roman units supported by Marius may count up to two helmet rolls as hits.
The Italian Tribune may only provide benefits to and support Italian units he is stacked with.
Units and the Rally Card: No unit can be rallied to beyond its strength at the start of the scenario. If a Player rolls “swords” when attempting to rally he may freely chose which unit gets a block back.
Extra Commands and Roman Force Coordination:
Marius’ force and Lupus’ force Units & Leaders may never be ordered in the same card play by the Roman Player. Only Units & Leaders of one of the two Roman forces may be ordered by play of a single card by the Roman player
This rule may prevent some Units from being ordered by a particular card play-in that case only Units & Leaders from one force are ordered per the card at the option of the
Roman Player-the other possible orders that would be available under the normal rules are lost and not used.
Each Player in the game (both Italian & Roman) may also order two additional Unit/Leader per own player-turn if Roman Player and one additional if the Italian—in addition to those ordered by the card played that player-turn. In the case of the Roman the ordered Units/Leaders may be from a different force than the force ordered directly by the card play in that player-turn.
Reduced Missile Range Special Rules:
a) Light Archers only have a range of 2 hexes in this scenario—and may missile fire at adjacent enemy units.
b) Auxillia & Light Infantry only have a range of one hex in this scenario—and may missile fire at adjacent enemy units.
c) An ordered unit may either missile fire or conduct close-combat in a player-turn—never BOTH.
Roman/Italian Legionary Infantry Rules:
The following types of infantry units in the game on BOTH sides are assumed to be Roman/Italian Legionaries: Heavy Infantry, and Medium Infantry. ALL of these units are considered to be Roman/Italian Legionary Infantry.
Each Roman/Italian Legionary Infantry unit starts with a Pilum Marker. The Pilum is a one-time use weapon that is generally fired right before a Roman/Italian Legionary unit attacks in close-combat or is itself attacked by the enemy in close-combat. Once the pilum is fired (or lost see below) –the Pilum marker is removed from the Roman unit to indicate that the pilum has been expended and the unit may not throw Pilum for the rest of the battle.
Just before a Roman/Italian unit with pilum is attacked or is itself attacked by the enemy for the very first time in the battle in close-combat it throws its pilum—roll one die and apply normal hits for swords, color, or a Flag/retreat hit Afterwards remove the Pilum marker. The act of throwing the pilum is not considered to be part of the Close-Combat—so any result of the pilum throw is resolved before the Close-combat. If two Roman Legionary Infantry units that have not thrown pilum yet engage the attacker resolves his pilum throw first. An attached Leader may use his special ability to cancel a “swords” hit that was inflicted via a pilum hit (see special Command rules) on the unit he is stacked with.
Roman/Italian Legionary units, adjacent to the enemy, that have not expended their Pilum may also be ordered to throw Pilum if the card “Darken the Sky” is played by their commanding player. The Player picks one adjacent enemy unit and throws two dice –apply the results just as one would before close combat—and remove the Pilum Marker.
Roman/Italian Relief Moves & Cohort Maneuvers:
Adjacent and on the same side Roman or Italian Legionary Infantry, instead of moving, may switch places in a “Relief/Cohort Maneuver”. Relief/Cohort Maneuvers may only be conducted through the play of Section cards ONLY. Instead of ordering one unit via a section card, the controlling Player may order a pair of adjacent Legionary Infantry units to switch hexes—at least one of the units switching places must not be adjacent to an enemy unit. A unit that switched places via the Relief/Cohort Maneuver into a hex adjacent to the enemy may close combat in the same player-turn.
Legionary Special Movement!!!: Legionary units ordered to move with any card except “Double Time” or “Line Command” may move two hexes as long as they do not start or end or pass through hexes adjacent to enemy units. (note: this rule was added to increase mobility on this extended map for both sides)
Lupus Roman Force Exit of the Map:
Roman Units and Leaders of Lupus’ force may exit the map if they occupy the Lupus’ bridge hex at A5 on Map 2, starting at the end of Roman Player-turn 3. At each end of Roman Player-turn starting Roman Player-Turn 3 one Roman unit (and one Leader if applicable—see below) may be removed from that hex (A5 Map 2) at the Roman Players’ option (they have fled the slaughter along the river). Such units (and leaders) removed do not count toward Italian victory, but may never re-enter the map during the rest of the scenario.
Within the above rules Roman units from Lupus’ force may exit the map freely at the rate of one per turn starting Turn 3. The Roman Lupus’ force Leaders, however, may not leave unless a certain number or fewer of Lupus’ force units remain on the map:
The Lupus’ Force Roman Legate may exit if five or fewer Lupus’ force units remain on the map at the end of the Roman Player-turn before a Roman unit exits.
Rutilius Lupus the Roman Consul may only exit if two or fewer Lupus’ force units remain on the map at the end of the Roman Player-turn before a Roman unit exits.
The above rules on Leader exit do not prevent a Lupus Force Leader from being forced off the map (via evasion) from map-edge hexes A1, A2, and A5 on Map 2 due to enemy action. Lupus’ force Leaders may not voluntarily evade off-map however.
Lupus’ force Roman units and leaders may only voluntarily exit the map from the Lupus’ bridge hex at A5 on Map 2 and from NO other hexes on either map.
Outflanking---This is an easy way of introducing facing and flanks to the game with little fuss—it can be retrofitted to other scenarios where appropriate:
A unit is said to be “Outflanked” if it is surrounded in all six adjacent hexes by either enemy units, or hexes adjacent to an enemy unit. The presence of friendly units or impassable terrain does not negate an “Outflanked” situation in any way. Units on the board edges (and not surrounded by six adjacent hexes) cannot be “Outflanked”.
Effects of being Outflanked: “Outflanked” units when battling back roll only half the normal number of dice they would be normally entitled to rounded up—to a
maximum of only two dice—“Outflanked” units when battling back never hit on helmet rolls even if supported by a leader. A unit’s “Outflanked” situation is judged at the instant it battles back.
Special Terrain Rules:
Italian Campworks: Italian foot Units occupying Campworks hextiles that are not in an outflanked condition Battle-back with one extra dice and may ignore the first Flag result inflicted upon them. Roman Cavalry units may not move or close-combat attack into such terrain. Campworks tiles are removed (and the hex reverts to clear terrain) when a Roman foot unit enters the hex for any reason. Campworks block line of sight.
Italian Camp Core Hextiles: Camp Core Hextiles confer no combat benefit to Italian units occupying them, but do block line of sight. Camp Core tiles are removed (and the hex reverts to clear terrain) when a Roman of any type unit enters the hex for any reason.
Crag Hextiles: All Crag Hexes are impassable
Bridge Hextiles: Lupus’ Bridge (A5 Map 2) and the Marius' Bridge (A12 Map 1)—Units attacking via close-combat or battle-back into or out of a Bridge hex do so at –1 dice from normal. Units may freely enter/leave bridge hexes from/to any adjacent hex that is not unfordable river with no impediment when ordered to move.
The Social War: 91 BC to 88BC
The Social War in Italy began in late 91BC when, after a long period of unrest over the issue of Roman citizenship, the Italian peoples, who had linked up as allies in the last two centuries to the Roman state, revolted and formed the makings of their own republic. They called their new polity Italia and inaugurated their nation and their capital in the city of Corfinium that was itself renamed Italica. They created their own coinage to both pay their troops and as gilded popular propaganda against Rome. Their coins displayed the Italian bull gorging and raping the Roman wolf. The Italian armies of the new state were trained and led by the battle-hardened veterans of Rome’s many wars, and were generally organized at the lower levels on the Roman pattern in Legions & cohorts. The peoples of Italia initially were able to field over a 100,000 men divided up into individual armies according to their positions within Italy.
The organization of the infant state of Italia mimicked the style of the Roman republic. Like the Romans the Italians selected two consuls to lead their armies and their new government. Lesser posts in the Italian republic were parceled out to prominent Italian nobles to head the forces newly raised from the various peoples of Central and South-Central Italy. The Italian consuls were Quintus Poppaedius Silo of the Marsi, and Gaius Papius Mutilus of the Samnites. The Italians also formed their own Senate of about 500 members.
The Roman Senate and people were caught by surprise at the sudden onset of the war and the genesis of Italia. They had to hastily cobble together Legions, recruit volunteers, levy taxes on the wealthy classes, and call for the help from their outer Imperial provinces as well as the Roman client kingdoms. Italia’s very existence posed a dire threat to the integrity of what remained of the Roman confederation. Non-Roman or partly Roman/Latin areas of Italy, particularly in Umbria, northern Campania, and Etruria, as
well as scattered & initially besieged cities like Alba Fucens, Acerrae, and Asernia remained precariously loyal to Rome, but almost all of Lucania, Apulia, and parts of southern Campania quickly moved into the Italian column via both Italian invasions and diplomacy. It was necessary for the Romans and their remaining loyal allies to survive the first onslaughts, and quickly recover from their early defeats as this would discourage further defections and allow time for Rome’s ultimately superior resources and greater cohesion to be brought to bear.
The initial trigger for the start of the Social War in late 91BC was the assassination of the Roman Tribune Livius Drusus, who had proposed laws for the enfranchisement of the Italians and the purchase & distribution of land in Italy to settle lower-class Romans. He was struck down on the poorly lit portico of his house while conducting business with his clients one evening. A knife was discovered driven into his hip.
The Course of the Social War in 90BC: The Scales of Victory and Defeat
The consuls of Rome for the year 90BC were Sextus Julius Caesar and Publius Rutilius Lupus. Sextus Caesar took command of the southern front in Campania, while Lupus commanded an army in central Italy opposite the Marsic homeland. The first months of the war featured a series of stunning Roman defeats—Strabo was driven into Firmum Picenum, Sextus Caesar was defeated by Scato in the Melfa gorge with the loss of 2,000 men, Gaius Perpena was ambushed in a mountain pass where 4,000 Romans fell. The survivors of Perpena’s force were incorporated into Gaius Marius’ new army.
But the worst was yet to come. Asernia and Nola fell to the Italians---Publius Lupus, the consul for Rome, was killed along with his legate and the force with him virtually wiped out by Scato. This defeat was partly retrieved by Marius’ arrival the following day. Scato’s camp was over-run and his army was forced to retreat from the site of their victory with the loss of 2,000 dead. Another Roman army under Quintus Caepio, after a successful skirmish, near Varia, was lured by Silo, the Italian consul, into an ambush and utterly destroyed. In Campania the initial advances of the Italians were balanced out by a victory won by Sextus Caesar at Acerrae. The other Italian Consul Mutilus was defeated there via a sudden counterattack out of the gates of the Roman camp. Sextus, however, was himself badly defeated in turn during his second foray into the Melfa gorge, and the Italian stranglehold over southern Campania was hardly disturbed.
Meanwhile in faraway Lucania, P. Licinius Crassus, commander of the local Roman garrison, was driven from his burning camp with the loss of 800 men and forced to take refuge behind the walls of Grumentum. Much of Apulia was also lost to Rome through the sudden raids conducted by Vidacilius, with many cities, including Canusium and Venusia being won over to the Italian cause.
On the central Marsic front the scales finally tilted toward Rome in the latter part of the year. Gaius Marius led a successful campaign against the Marrucini and the warlike Marsi** under Silo. In the final battle Marius managed to push the Marsi out of an area of rolling vineyards, over stone walls, and into the shields of Sulla’s legions, perhaps 15-
20,000 Marsi were killed or taken prisoner. Pompey Strabo too won a major success against Lafrenius and the Vestini thereby breaking the siege of Firmum Picenum. Strabo sent his legate Sulpicius behind the enemy camp. When the two main armies engaged the Italian camp was set alight resulting in a panic. The Italians fled in rout back to Asculum and their general, Lafrenius, fell in the fight.
As the year ended the military situation had, at the very least, reached a condition of stalemate. The Romans had suffered hard blows, but on the whole maintained themselves in the field, and had prevented wholesale defections among the still loyal Italian and Latin communities. In fact, among the many Latin cities, only Venusia had turned coat.
The surviving consul, Sextus Caesar, returned from the war to Rome at the end of the year to conduct the consular elections for the next year (89BC). More importantly he pushed through the so-called “Lex Julia” law which offered full Roman citizenship to all communities in Italy which had not revolted. This necessary political concession took much of the wind out of the Italian rebels’ cause and prevented any significant future defections from the Roman confederacy.
** Note: It was a saying among the Marsi at the time, who had fought as staunch allies in all of Rome’s many wars for the last two centuries that: ‘It is impossible to celebrate a triumph either over the Marsi or without them.’