X60 Vineyards (90 BC)
“The Battle of the Vineyards”
‘Marius vs the Marsi’ 90 BC
Romans vs Italians
“Cornelius Sulla and Gaius Marius were attacked by the Marsi, but thoroughly routed them, until they met an area of vineyard walls. The Marsi climbed over the walls suffering heavy losses, but Marius and Sulla decided not to follow. However, when Cornelius Sulla whose camp was on the other side of the vineyards saw what was happening, he met the Marsians as they ran out, and killed many of them, with the result that 6,000 of them were slaughtered and the arms of a much greater number captured by the Romans that day. But the Marsi, like wild beasts, became enraged by their failure, armed themselves afresh, and made preparations to attack the Romans, who did not dare to make the first move or initiate battle. For the Marsi are an extremely warlike people, and this is reportedly the only occasion which furnished the Romans a triumph over them, it being previously said that it was impossible to celebrate a triumph either over the Marsi or without them.” (Chapter 46 Book1 from Appian’s Civil Wars)
Victory for both sides is 8 Banners scored in the normal fashion.
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.
If Marius is the Leader in question he may cancel both a retreat and a sword hit if present.
Units on both sides involved in close combat with the support of a Leader may only count one helmet hit amongst those rolled to inflict a hit on an opposing unit, if the Leader is the Romans’ Sulla or Marius up to two helmet hits may be counted.
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.
Sulla’s Force Special Rules & Sulla Camp Features:
a) No unit or leader of Sulla’s force can be ordered during the first three Roman Player-turns
b) No Italian unit or leader may voluntarily move, retreat, or evade adjacent to Sulla’s force or attack it with missile fire until after the first four Italian Player-turns.
c) The Italian side may never enter or attack via move, retreat, evasion or close-combat attack into any hexes adjacent to Sulla’s camp tiles—however the Italians may missile fire, or battle-back into such hexes adjacent to Sulla’s camp hextiles, but may never missile fire into a Sulla camp hextile.
d) The Sulla force Medium Cavalry unit may never evade close-combat—but its normal retreat range per Flag result is reduced to one hex per Flag.
e) Sulla force units and the Sulla Leader block retreat/evade on Flag & other results only towards the edge of the map where the Sulla camp is located per the three-hex retreat compass directions laid out in the three examples below: Marius force Roman units/leaders retreat/evade normally towards their edge of the map per the normal rules.
Examples: #1 The Sulla Leader was with a Heavy Infantry unit that was eliminated in B11 and survived his Leader evasion roll. He may evade initially into hexes A12, B12, and C12 per the three hex retreat compass and continue on in the same directions.
#2 A Sulla force Heavy infantry unit is forced to retreat one hex from hex C9 after coming under close-combat attack from vineyard hex C8—it may retreat into hexes
D9, C10, B9 per the three hex retreat compass if those hexes contain no friendly or enemy units.
#3 The Sulla Force Medium Cavalry unit is caught unsupported in hex E10 and has two Flag hits inflicted on it—it must retreat 2 hexes—the first hex of the retreat must be to one of hexes F10, E11, or D10 (if vacant of units) the second hex of the retreat can be to any currently eligible hex in relation to the 3 hex retreat compass—for example if the first hex of the retreat was E11 only F11, E12, and D11 would be eligible for the second hex of the retreat.
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 even if it switched into a vineyard hex of either type.
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:
Level 1 and Level 0 Elevations: The map now, in effect, has contour lines of hexes showing different elevations. Basically there are two Terrain elevations in the scenario: Level 0: which includes all clear terrain and the stone wall, Sulla camp, vineyard, farm building & broken terrain hextiles on the map, and Level 1: which includes all Level 1 Hills, and Level 1 Vineyard/Hills.
Elevation effect on close-combat and battle-back: If a unit is close-combating or battling-back against a unit at a higher elevation (or level) the “normal” maximum dice that unit may use is minus one (-1) normal. If a unit is close-combating or battling-back against a unit at a lower elevation (or level) the “normal” maximum dice is used. If both units are on the same level and there is no other terrain considerations the units would use their standard number of dice as dictated by the rulebook and these scenario rules.
Vineyard and Level 1 Vineyard/Hills: Ordered Cavalry units must cease movement in the first of either Vineyard type hex they enter. Ordered Units entering either vineyard type hex through normal movement may not close-combat attack from a vineyard-type hex in the same player-turn they enter via the ordered move. Units in a vineyard hex of either type always ignore the first sword hit inflicted on them in an individual close-combat, battle-back, or pilum fire, regardless of who is attacking or defending.
A Level 1 Vineyard/Hill combines both the combat and movement effects of a vineyard with the elevation close-combat/battle-back effects of being at a Level 1 elevation. Both types of Vineyard also Block Lines of Sight. Vineyards do not inhibit or stop the ordered moves of foot units or leaders. Vineyard type hextiles do not inhibit Momentum Moves
or Combat of foot units—however cavalry units may only Momentum move into the vacated by combat enemy vineyard hex and no further, and may never Momentum attack if the defender who was turfed out was originally in a vineyard type hex.
Farm Buildings: Foot units battling back from a Farm building hex do so at +1 normal dice. And may ignore one swords result if defending only. Blocks Line of Sight
Stonewalls: Foot units on a Stonewall hex tile attacked from a hex the stonewall is facing battle-back at +1 normal dice and may ignore one swords and one Flag result when defending only. Does not block line of sight
Broken Terrain: Use normal rules—and do not consider relative elevation when close-combating or battling back in or out of broken terrain. Does not block line of sight.
Sulla Camp: See Special rules above—Italian units may not move or close-combat adjacent to the Sulla Camp tiles. The Sulla Camp tiles do not inhibit Roman movement in anyway. Blocks Line of Sight.
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 Eturia, 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, up to
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.’