X32 Vosges (58 BC)
Caesar Against The Germans
The Battle of the Vosges 58 BC
Germans vs Romans (Caesar)
Scenario Note: This particular scenario probably requires the use of at least two C &C sets, however folks with access to miniatures can probably improvise something.
(A Selection from Caesar’s own “Gallic Wars” Book 1)
“Perceiving that Ariovistus kept himself in camp, Caesar, that he might not any longer be cut off from provisions, chose a convenient position for a camp beyond that place in which the Germans had encamped, at about 600 paces from them, and having drawn up his army in three lines, marched to that place. He ordered the first and second lines to be under arms; the third to fortify the camp. This place was distant from the enemy about 600 paces, as has been stated. Thither Ariovistus sent light troops, about 16,000 men in number, with all his cavalry; which forces were to intimidate our men, and hinder them in their fortification. Caesar nevertheless, as he had before arranged, ordered two lines to drive off the enemy: the third to execute the work. The camp being fortified, he left there two legions and a portion of the auxiliaries; and led back the other four legions into the larger camp. “
“ The next day, according to his custom, Caesar led out his forces from both camps, and having advanced a little from the larger one, drew up his line of battle, and gave the enemy an opportunity of fighting. When he found that they did not even then come out [from their intrenchments,] he led back his army into camp about noon. Then at last Ariovistus sent part of his forces to attack the lesser camp. The battle was vigorously maintained on both sides till the evening. At sunset, after many wounds had been inflicted and received, Ariovistus led back his forces into camp. When Caesar inquired of his prisoners, wherefore Ariovistus did not come to an engagement, he discovered this to be the reason-that among the Germans it was the custom for their matrons to pronounce from lots and divination, whether it were expedient that the battle should be engaged in or not; that they had said, "that it was not the will of heaven that the Germans should conquer, if they engaged in battle before the new moon."
" The day following, Caesar left what seemed sufficient as a guard for both camps; [and then] drew up all the auxiliaries in sight of the enemy, before the lesser camp, because he was not very powerful in the number of legionary soldiers, considering the number of the enemy; that [thereby] he might make use of his auxiliaries for appearance. He himself, having drawn up his army in three lines, advanced to the camp of the enemy. Then at last of necessity the Germans drew their forces out of camp, and disposed them canton by canton, at equal distances, the Harudes, Marcomanni, Tribocci, Vangiones, Nemetes, Sedusii, Suevi; and surrounded their whole army with their chariots and wagons, that no hope might be left in flight. On these they placed their women, who, with disheveled hair and in tears, entreated the soldiers, as they went forward to battle, not to deliver them into slavery to the Romans. “
"Caesar appointed over each legion a lieutenant and a questor, that every one might have them as witnesses of his valor. He himself began the battle at the head of the right wing, because he had observed that part of the enemy to be the least strong. Accordingly our men, upon the signal being given, vigorously made an attack upon the enemy, and the enemy so suddenly and rapidly rushed forward, that there was no time for casting the javelins at them. Throwing aside [therefore] their javelins, they fought with swords hand to hand. But the Germans, according to their custom, rapidly forming a phalanx, sustained the attack of our swords. There were found very many of our soldiers who leaped upon the phalanx, and with their hands tore away the shields, and wounded the enemy from above. Although the army of the enemy was routed on the left wing and put to flight, they [still] pressed heavily on our men from the right wing, by the great number of their troops. On observing which, P. Crassus, a young man, who commanded the cavalry-as he was more disengaged than those who were employed in the fight-sent the third line as a relief to our men who were in distress. “
" Thereupon the engagement was renewed, and all the enemy turned their backs, nor did they cease to flee until they arrived at the river Rhine, about fifty miles from that place. There some few, either relying on their strength, endeavored to swim over, or, finding boats, procured their safety. Among the latter was Ariovistus, who meeting with a small vessel tied to the bank, escaped in it; our horse pursued and slew all the rest of them. Ariovistus had two wives, one a Suevan by nation, whom he brought with him from home; the other a Norican, the sister of king Vocion, whom he had married in Gaul, she having been sent [thither for that purpose] by her brother. Both perished in that flight. Of their two daughters, one was slain, the other captured. C. Valerius Procillus, as he was being dragged by his guards in the fight, bound with a triple chain, fell into the hands of Caesar himself, as he was pursuing the enemy with his cavalry. This circumstance indeed afforded Caesar no less pleasure than the victory itself; because he saw a man of the first rank in the province of Gaul, his intimate acquaintance and friend, rescued from the hand of the enemy, and restored to him, and that fortune had not diminished aught of the joy and exultation [of that day] by his destruction. He [Procillus] said that, in his own presence, the lots had been thrice consulted respecting him, whether he should immediately be put to death by fire, or be reserved for another time: that by the favor of the lots he was uninjured. M. Mettius, also, was found and brought back to him [Caesar.] “
"This battle having been reported beyond the Rhine, the Suevi, who had come to the banks of that river, began to return home, when the Ubii, who dwelt nearest to the Rhine, pursuing them, while much alarmed, slew a great number of them. Caesar having concluded two very important wars in one campaign, conducted his army into winter quarters among the Sequani, a little earlier than the season of the year required. He appointed Labienus over the winter-quarters, and set out in person for Hither Gaul to hold the assizes. “
Leader: Caesar, Proconsul of Rome
Germanic Tribal Army
Leader: King Ariovistus
First Move: Once they draw cards and set-up the players each roll a six-sided dice for
first move—high roll goes first- on a tie Romans go first.
Romans must score 15 Banners—note: eliminating one block wagon units scores one banner each—Eliminating Ariovistus scores 2 Banners. forcing Ariovistus to evade off map scores 1 Banner..
German Player must score 10 Banners to win—eliminating Caesar scores 2 Banners—forcing Caesar to evade off map scores 1 Banner. The first Roman Archer or Auxillia unit eliminated does not count for German Banners.
The “Marian” Command Card Deck
Historical Note: Combat in the 1st Century BC along the Roman frontier 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 with the stakes being nothing less than the survival of the tribe or Legion.
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 who reorganized the Roman Legions in roughly 105-103BC (several years before Caesar was born) to meet the challenges of the Germanic Tribal invasions that threatened the Roman 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, Caesar, & Rally Special Rules:
Caesar can cancel both a retreat and a sword hit if present with the unit receiving such hits.
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, unless Caesar is the supporting leader---than up to two helmet hits may be counted
Caesar when moving & ordered by himself without an attached unit normally may move up to four hexes instead of the regular three hexes for Leaders in the rulebook.
Roman and German units and the Rally Card: No German unit can be rallied to beyond four blocks or its strength at the start of the game whichever is less. No Roman unit can be rallied to beyond five blocks or its strength at the start of the game whichever is less. If a Player rolls “swords” when attempting to rally he may freely chose which unit gets a block back.
Terrain Special Rules:
Hill effect on close-combat and battle-back: If a unit is close-combating or battling-back against a unit uphill—from a non-hill to a hill hex the “normal” maximum dice that unit may use is two (2). If a unit on a hill is close combating or battling-back against a unit not on a hill (i.e. at a lower level) the “normal” maximum dice that unit may use is three (3). If both units are on hill hexes and there is no other terrain considerations in play the units would use their standard dice as dictated by the rulebook and these scenario rules.
Rampart hexes are assumed to be at the same elevation level as any adjacent hills for purposes of this rule.
German Special Rules & Units:
German Elite Warriors: All German Medium Infantry units are treated as Warriors for all purposes, they are Elite Warriors—in addition they receive one extra dice the very first time in the scenario they battle back or engage in close combat as long as the unit still has three or more blocks at the instant it rolls in either combat or battle-back.
German Line Commands: The maximum number of units the German
Player may move/order with a Line Command Card is five units.
“Barbarian Rush”: Limits to German Momentum Combat: Warrior units, regardless of type, reduced to one or two blocks May Not Engage in momentum combat unless a friendly leader is attached to the unit in question.
“Barbarian Balk”: If a Warrior unit (of whatever type) moves 2 hexes (or 3 hexes using “Double Time”) to a hex adjacent to a Roman unit(s) to close combat it and then is unable to do so due to the Roman unit(s) being retreated or eliminated by other attacks, the German unit has failed its requirement to close-combat attack given the length of its pre-combat move.
Such units that fail to attack are said to have “balked”—immediately retreat Warrior units in such a situation one hex once all German close combats are finished. The one hex “Barbarian Balk” retreat is conducted in the normal fashion just as if the unit was forced to retreat one hex after a battle—and it is not optional and cannot be canceled in any way—even by the presence of a leader.
German Wagon Train
German one block Wagon units have the following special characteristics:
a) They have no movement capability, may not initiate close combat, or be ordered by a command card and if forced to retreat from the hex they start the game in they are eliminated. Roman Missile Fire never affects wagons.
b) Another German unit (and potentially a German Leader) may stack with a Wagon unit in the same hex.
c) Wagons may if attacked while alone battle back with one dice, if stacked with a German unit, that unit battles back in lieu of the Wagon at +1 normal dice- A
Wagon unit stacked with another German unit and in a hex attacked by the Romans in close combat, or missile fire is not affected by combat results while that unit is in the hex with them. Only the unit itself (and any stacked with leader) is potentially affected.
German Combined Arms:
The Germans detailed fit, young, and swift lightly armed footmen to operate with their cavalry on a one for one basis. Caesar noted this tactic in his Gallic Wars work.
German Medium Cavalry units located adjacent to a German Light Infantry unit may evade a close combat attack by a Roman Medium Cavalry unit per the normal evasion rules.
German Light Infantry units if located adjacent to a German Medium Cavalry
unit hits its opponent on a sword roll if involved in normal close combat or battle-back
Roman Legionary Special Rules & Units:
Each Roman Heavy & Medium Infantry unit starts with a Pilum Marker. The Pilum is a one-time use weapon that is generally fired right before a Roman unit attacks in close-combat or is itself attacked by the enemy in close-combat. Once the pilum is fired –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 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 the color, swords, 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 and may affect the number of dice available in the upcoming close combat.
Roman 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 Roman 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 units which are close-combat attacked by German units or which close-combat attack themselves during the first two German and first two Roman Player turns throw one dice to determine whether they can fire pilum normally. On a roll of “4-6” they do so—on a roll of “1-3” their pilum is “lost” (the battle started so quickly there was no way initially to pilum volley effectively or at all) and the marker is removed without any pilum fire taking place.
Roman Relief Moves & Cohort Maneuvers:
Adjacent Roman Heavy and Medium 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 Roman Player may order a pair of adjacent Heavy/ Medium 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.
Roman Veteran Initiative:
Up to Four Roman Heavy Infantry (and/or Elite Heavy Infantry) units per Roman Player-turn that are ordered by Line Commands or an “Order Heavy Troops” card may move two hexes and close combat at their option.
Roman Elite Mercenary Slingers
The Roman Light Slinger units hit on swords when executing missile fire & battle-back.
Roman-Allied Gallic Troops:
The Roman Auxillia units represent Gallic foot from allied Gallic tribes—these men were in general in terror of the German tribesmen. In this scenario they operate as normal Auxillia except a) These units have no missile capability. b) Their normal retreat distance per Flag hit inflicted is two hexes, unless the first hex the unit enters is a rampart hex—in which case the one hex retreat satisfies the Flag hit result.
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.