220 Teutoburger Wald P1 (9 AD)
Julius Caesar had established Rome’s northeast boundary as the Rhine River a half century earlier. But the Emperor Caesar Augustus decided to extend imperial control all the way to the Elbe. A task that seemed easy on a map in Rome proved far more difficult to the commanders in the field. Yet, despite difficulties, Rome’s control was extended to the Elbe. The warlike Germanic tribesmen, temporarily subdued, lacked only an inspirational leader to spark an uprising. Arminius was that man. As a young German noble of the Cherusci tribe, Arminius had been placed under Roman tutelage, a common practice. He served in the Roman army as a commander of auxiliaries. This only served to fuel his hate, but he bided his time and learned their tactical methods. His opportunity to strike arose when Publius Quintilius Varus was leading three legions on a march through Germany. Arminius knew it would be difficult for the Germans to defeat a well-led Roman force in the open, so he devised a plan to lure Varus’ legions toward Kalkriese Hill, where he would launch his ambush. The Germans constructed a camouflaged sod wall to improve the already ideal ambush site. The seemingly loyal Arminius accompanied Varus’ march column until one night he and his German auxiliaries disappeared. A good tactician would have sensed trouble, but Varus arrogantly elected to march on without adequate reconnaissance. At dawn the next day, as the Romans undertook to march through the area on a narrow track between woods and swamp, the Germans attacked from the woods. In a scene eerily reminiscent of Lake Trasimenus, the Romans were pinned where they could not properly deploy. Roman counterattacks proved ineffectual and all the Roman infantry could do was endure the constant assaults. As night fell, Varus’ survivors constructed a fortified camp.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. The rest is history.
• Leader: Arminius
• 5 Command Cards
• Move First
• Leader: Varus
• 5 Command Cards
• Marius Legions Rule is in effect.
The Romans recovered and pushed some units forward on the right to screen that flank whilst moving units towards the left to stabilise their line. The German Warriors charged forward again but were caught by a Double Time move as a Roman general bravely led his unit in to kill off one last Warrior band.
This game really produced the panic of a surprise ambush, but the Romans managed to recover well.
First game I was the barbarians, and Bill the Romans. We were right, the poor Romans got slaughtered. If the barbarian player starts with a couple of 3 or 4 unit move cards, they can very quickly roll up the banners needed where ever they attack. That, combined with an opponent that seems to have forgotten how to roll dice. The Romans maybe got a banner or two.
So we swapped sides... And the Romans this time did much better. This was the beginning of a string of poor luck for Bill (that carried into other games we play, aka - ASL) that not even the most hardy and patient of characters could survive. You know, the sought of rolling like "Aha! I need one hit against your unit to win! Roll 4 dice and miss them all, leader directed even... and then the battle back does four hits...". It was a true testament to Bill's character that all he did was sigh.
Hopefully soon, Bill will remember how to roll dice again