X68 Forum Gallorum (43 BC)
Roman Civil War
The Battle of Forum Gallorum 43 BC
Antonian vs Senate
(the selection below is from Appian of Alexandria’s account) 65 Meditating thus to himself he (Octavian) performed the sacrifices appertaining to the command assigned to him, and said to his army: "I owe these honours of mine to you, fellow-soldiers, not now merely but from the time when you gave me the command; for the Senate conferred them upon me on account of you. Know, therefore, that my gratitude will be due to you for these things, and that it will be expressed to you abundantly if the gods grant success to our undertakings." In this way he conciliated the soldiers and attached them to himself. In the meantime, Pansa, one of the consuls, was collecting recruits throughout Italy, and the other one, Hirtius, shared the command of the forces with Octavian, and as he was secretly ordered to do it by the Senate he demanded as his share the two legions that had deserted from Antony, knowing that they were the most reliable in the army. Octavian yielded to him in everything and they shared with each other and went into winter quarters together. As winter advanced Decimus began to suffer from hunger, and Hirtius and Octavian advanced towards Mutina lest Antony should receive in surrender Decimus' army which was now weak with famine; but as Mutina was closely hemmed in by Antony, they did not venture to come to close quarters with him at once, but waited for Pansa. There were frequent cavalry engagements, as Antony had a much larger force of horse, but the difficulty of the ground, which was cut up by torrents, deprived him of the advantage of numbers. 66 Such was the course of events round Mutina. At Rome, in the absence of the consuls, Cicero took the lead by public speaking. He held frequent assemblies, procured arms by inducing the armourers to work without pay, collected money, and exacted heavy contributions from the Antonians. These paid without complaining in order to avoid calumny, until Publius Ventidius, who had served under Gaius Caesar and who was a friend of Antony, unable to endure the exactions of Cicero, betook himself to Caesar's colonies, where he was well known, and brought over two legions to Antony and hastened to Rome to seize Cicero. The consternation was extreme. They removed most of the women and children in a panic, and Cicero himself fled from the city. When Ventidius learned this he turned his course towards Antony, but being intercepted by Octavian and Hirtius, he proceeded to Picenum, where he recruited another legion and waited to see what would happen. When Pansa was drawing near with his army, Octavian and Hirtius sent Carsuleius to him with Octavian's praetorian cohort and the Martian legion to assist him in passing through the defile. Antony had disdained to occupy the defile as it served no other purpose than to hinder the enemy; but, eager to fight, and having no chance to win distinction with his cavalry, because the ground was marshy and cut by ditches, he placed his two best legions in ambush in the marsh, where they were concealed by the reeds and where the road, which had been thrown up artificially, was narrow. 67 Carsuleius and Pansa hurried through the defile by night. At daybreak, with only the Martian legion and five other cohorts, they entered upon the high road above mentioned, which was still free from enemies, and looked over the marsh on either side. There was a suspicious agitation of the rushes, then a gleam here and there of shield and helmet, and Antony's praetorian cohort suddenly shewed itself directly in their front. The Martian legion, surrounded on all sides and having no way to escape, ordered the new levies, if they came up, not to join in the fight lest they should cause confusion by their inexperience. The praetorians of Octavian confronted the praetorians of Antony. The other troops divided themselves into two parts and advanced into the marsh on either side, the one commanded by Pansa and the other by Carsuleius. Thus there were two battles in two marshes, and neither division could see the other by reason of the elevated road, while along the road itself the praetorian cohorts fought another battle of their own. The Antonians were determined to punish the Martians for desertion as being traitors to themselves. The Martians were equally determined to punish the Antonians for condoning the slaughter of their comrades at Brundusium. Recognizing in each other the flower of either army, they hoped to decide the whole war by this single engagement. The one side was moved by shame lest its two legions be beaten by one; the other by ambition that its single legion should overcome the two. 68 Thus urged on by animosity and ambition they assailed each other, considering this their own affair rather than that of their generals. Being veterans they raised no battle-cry, since they could not expect to terrify each other, nor in the engagement did they utter a sound, either as victors or vanquished. As there could be neither flanking nor charging amid marshes and ditches, they met together in close order, and since neither could dislodge the other they locked together with their swords as in a wrestling match. No blow missed its mark. There were wounds and slaughter but no cries, only groans; and when one fell he was instantly borne away and another took his place. They needed neither admonition nor encouragement, since experience made each one his own general. When they were overcome by fatigue they drew apart from each other for a brief space to take breath, as in gymnastic games, and then rushed again to the encounter. Amazement took possession of the new levies who had come up, as they beheld such deeds done with such precision and in such silence. 69 All put forth superhuman exertions, and the praetorians of Octavian perished to the last man. Those of the Martians who were under Carsuleius got the better of those opposed to them, who gave way, not in disgraceful rout, but little by little. Those under Pansa were likewise in difficulties, but they held out with equal bravery on both sides until Pansa was wounded in the side by a javelin and carried off the field to Bononia. Then his soldiers retired, at first step by step, but afterwards they turned and hurried as if in flight. When the new levies saw this they fled in disorder, and with loud cries, to their camp, which the quaestor, Torquatus, had put in readiness for them while the battle was in progress, apprehending that it might be needed. The new levies crowded into it confusedly although they were Italians, as well as the Martians; so much more does training contribute to bravery than race; but the Martians for fear of shame did not enter into the camp, but ranged themselves near it. Although fatigued they were still furious and ready to fight to the bitter end if anybody should attack them. Antony refrained from attacking the Martians as being a troublesome business, but he fell upon the new levies and made a great slaughter. 70 When Hirtius, near Mutina, heard of this flight, at a distance of sixty stades, he hurried thither with the other legion that had deserted from Antony. It was already evening and the victorious Antonians were returning singing hymns of triumph. While they were in loose order Hirtius made his appearance in perfect order with his legion complete and fresh. The Antonians got themselves in line under compulsion, and performed against this foe also many splendid deeds of valour; but being wearied by their recent exertions they were overcome by the fresh army opposed to them, and the greater part of them were slain in this encounter by Hirtius, although the latter did not pursue, being apprehensive of the marshy ground. As darkness was coming on he allowed them to escape. A wide stretch of the marsh was filled with arms, corpses, wounded men, and half-dead men, and some even who were unhurt mistrusted their strength by reason of their fatigue. Antony's cavalry, as many as he had with him, went to their assistance and collected them through the entire night. Some they put on horseback in their own places, still others they urged to take hold of the horses' tails and run along with them and so secure their safety. Thus were Antony's forces, after he had fought splendidly, destroyed by the coming of Hirtius. He encamped without entrenchments in a village near the plain, named Forum Gallorum. Antony and Pansa each lost about one-half of their men. The whole of Octavian's praetorian cohort perished. The loss of Hirtius was slight.
Neither Player may start with a “Line Command” in his initial hand
5 Commmand Cards
4 Command Cards
Banner Victory is not used in this game Victory is won instead by eliminating enemy troop unit blocks, enemy leaders, and for the Antonian side over-running and removed the Senate Army’s Camp Hextiles. Eliminating an enemy unit block counts as one block for the Victory Levels listed below:
Victory for the Antonian side: 44 Blocks
Victory for the Senate side: 40 Blocks
Eliminating an enemy Leader unit counts as 4 blocks (6 blocks if Antony is eliminated for the Senate Player) towards victory.
Eliminating a Senate Camptile scores 4 blocks for the Antonian side
Both sides receive one bonus block score for totally eliminating an enemy cavalry unit.or an Elite Praetorian Heavy Infantry unit.
Scenario Special Rules:
The “Marian” Command Card Deck
Historical Note: Combat in the 1st Century BC between Roman 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 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, Anthony, & Rally Special Rules:
Antony can cancel both a retreat and a sword hit if present with the unit receiving such hits. All other Leaders may cancel a retreat or a sword hit if present with the unit.
Units on both sides involved in close combat or battleback with the support of a Leader may only count one helmet hit amongst those rolled to inflict a hit on an opposing unit, unless Antony is the supporting leader---then up to two helmet hits may be counted.
Leaders may only support in close combat or battleback in the scenario units they are stacked with, except Antony he can support units adjacent to his location.
Units and the Rally Card: No 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.
Line Command Limit:
No more than six (6) foot units can be ordered by play of a single Line Command Card in a given player-turn.
Roman Legionary Infantry Rules:
The following types of infantry units in the game on BOTH sides are assumed to be Roman Legionaries: Heavy Infantry, and Medium Infantry. ALL of these units are
considered to be Roman Legionary Infantry. The combatants in this era of civil war often recruited non-citizens from different areas of the Roman Republican Empire into their Legions and as a result the quality of such forces varied widely.
Roman Pilum:Each Roman Legionary Infantry unit starts with a Pilum Marker. The Pilum is a one-time use weapon that is generally fired right before a Roman 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 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 Senate Medium Infantry units, however, do not hit on ‘swords’ when throwing pilum.
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 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 ordering 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 Relief Moves & Cohort Maneuvers:
Adjacent and on the same side Roman Legionary Heavy 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 Heavy 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. The Senate Medium Infantry units may not utilize this rule since they are actually very recent recruits
Senate Recruit Levy-Legionary Medium Infantry: The Medium Infantry in the game represents the recent recruits the Senate was able to levy for the campaign against Anthony—Treat as normal Legionary Medium Infantry, but for the following changes:
1) In their battle-back they only roll three dice normally—not the normal four dice
2) The first swords result they roll in an individual combat roll is always ignored in close-combat or battle-back—treat as a miss. Apply the second and subsequent normally in all such combat situations.
3) They cannot execute or participate in Relief/Cohort Maneuver Moves.
4) They never hit on swords when throwing pilum.
Missile Ranges & Effectiveness in Forum Gallorum:
a) Archers and Slingers only have a range of 2 hexes in this scenario—and may missile fire at adjacent enemy units.
b) An ordered unit may either missile fire or conduct close-combat in a turn—never BOTH.
c) The Antonian Slinger unit hits on swords when missile firing at Medium or Light enemy foot units.
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.
Arrival of Senate Reinforcements:
The Senate Reinforcements are as follows: x1 Elite Heavy Infantry (5 blocks), x4 Heavy Infantry, and x1 Leader (Hirtius). The Infantry arrive with their pilum markers.
The Senate Player should keep a careful count of how many Player-turns he has played since the start of the scenario. At the start of his 7th player-turn roll one six-sided die: on a “1-2” ALL Reinforcements are available. On his 8th and 9th player-turns on a “1-3”. Turn 10 or later on a “1-4”. Once they become available no further turn start rolls need be made. The Reinforcements cannot be entered on the map until they are available.
Entering Available Senate Reinforcements: The Senate Player enters the available Reinforcements at the start of any Player-turn in lieu of playing a Command Card. Start by placing Hirtius in any vacant mapedge hex from A1 to A3 or A6 to A13. All the Reinforcement units are placed in any vacant hex within one or two hexes of Hirtius, except one of the units must be placed in the hex with Hirtus. The units that were just placed may then close-combat any adjacent enemy units. After those combats (and any Momentum move/combat) takes place the Antonian player conducts his normal Player-turn. Senate Reinforcements may enter the map in the same Player-turn that they become available.
Terrain Special Rules:
Marsh: Foot units must stop when they enter a marsh hex and may only enter a marsh hex when ordered from a starting hex directly adjacent to the marsh hex moved to. Mounted units and Leaders moving alone pay 2 MP for only the first Marsh hex entered during that move. Close-combat and Battle-Backs into or out of a marsh hex is at a “normal” 3 dice maximum (with any of the normal + for cards). Marshes do not block
line of sight. Units located in Marshes do not count for ‘support’ for preventing retreat by adjacent units and cannot receive support themselves from adjacent units when in a marsh hex. Cavalry units in Marsh hexes may not evade if attacked in close-combat, and retreat one hex less than normal per Flag if their retreat started from a Marsh hex.
Senate Campworks: Senate 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. Campworks tiles are removed (and the hex reverts to clear terrain) when an opposing unit enters the hex for any reason. Campworks block line of sight.
Senate Camp: For combat and removal the Senate Camp Tiles are treated exactly like campworks—the only effective difference is that the Antonian player receives four blocks credit toward victory for each Senate Camptile removed from the map.
Elevated Roadway: Close-combat or Battle-back into or out of an Elevated Roadway hex tile is always one less die than normal when conducted between Elevated roadway hexes or between Clear and Elevated Roadway hexes. Units in Marsh hexes may not close-combat into an Elevated Roadway hex although they could battle-back into such hexes if attacked from them—these battle-backs & the original attack into the marsh from the roadway is at the normal 3 dice maximum for marshes (with any of the normal + for cards). Elevated Roadway blocks the line of sight, but does not inhibit movement.
Crags: These two hexes are impassable
Hills: Use normal rulebook rules.
Senate Campworks Building: Senate Medium Infantry units in a clear terrain hex stacked with a Leader and ordered by a Section Card may in lieu of moving and attacking can instead “dig in “ a Campworks tile. The ‘dig in’ option is not permitted if the Senate Medium Infantry unit in question is adjacent to an enemy unit. Place a Campworks tile in the hex that ‘dig in’ occurred at the end of that Senate player-turn. A maximum of two such ‘dig in’ options in two clear hexes may occur per game.
Octivian’s & Antony’s Elite Praetorian Heavy Infantry Cohorts: The sole Elite Praetorian Heavy Infantry (6 block) unit in each of the opposing armies may ignore the first Flag result inflicted upon it from missile fire, close-combat, or battle-back.
OB Notes: Each Legionary unit in the game represents from one to three cohorts. Anthony had two crack Legions engaged (20 Cohorts), and probably a separate double-strength Elite Praetorian Cohort so he starts with 11 Legionary Heavy infantry units in the scenario plus some cavalry, of which he had a surplus, in support. The consul Pansa, who was mortally wounded in the battle, entered the marsh with a total of 15 Cohorts and had behind him an additional force of at least one to two Legions of new levies. Another Senate Legion (the other veteran one that had also deserted Anthony) arrived with other consul Hirtius at the end of the fight to save the day.