The Battle of Adrianople, 378, is one of the more decisive battles of the late empire, sometimes mistakenly called the “beginning of the end of the Empire.”
While its effects are well known, its details are surprisingly vague. We can be confident that the battle started before the Romans had their army entirely ready, due to an impatient subordinate commander, but reports vary on whether this happened on the right or the left flank! Perhaps the details are murky because so many of the Roman leaders died, including the emperor himself. What we do know is that the Romans blundered their way into the fight.
We therefore present two Commands & Colors: Ancients interpretations of this Epic historical battle for your gaming pleasure.
Richard Borg & Kevin Duke.
A collection of mostly Goth tribes with some allies petitioned Valens to be allowed land and foederati status to escape the Huns. Valens badly needed allies and agreed, aided in the decision because the Goth leader, Fritigern, had accepted Christianity. Unfortunately, the greed and brutality of the provincial commanders quickly prompted a Goth rebellion. Two years of running battles against subordinate Romans ensued, with no clear winners or significant victories. Valens petitioned the Western emperor for help and took the field himself. In August, his scouts reported finding a large Goth camp and Valens moved in for the kill, electing not to wait—as requestedfor the supporting Roman army Gratian was leading to help. We can surmise Valens wanted to gain the victory himself and recognized he had significant superiority over the Goth camp and laager. We do not know if he believed the Goth cavalry were off on a raid or what, but clearly he aimed to defeat the camp quickly. His troops made a seven-hour march over difficult terrain and met with a variety of emissaries and delaying tactics from Fritigern. When a hasty attack began on one (or the other) flank, Valens launched a general attack on the position. His army was heavily engaged all along the laager position when the Goth cavalry returned, hitting first one flank and then the other. The Roman cavalry was first to rout, leaving the infantry to be surrounded and cut down. About 2/3 of the entire Roman army was destroyed, including Valens and most of the top generals. The disaster changed the very character of the empire and made certain the Goths would be major players for the next several centuries.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
Goths (Use green Barbarian blocks)
• Leader: Fritigern
• 7 Command Cards
Roman Army (Use purple Roman blocks)
• Leader: Valens
• 7 Command Cards
• Move First
• A Roman unit that occupies an enemy camp hex at the start of the Roman player's turn, may remove the camp hex and gain 3 Victory Banners that cannot be lost. Remove the camp hex before playing a Command card.
• Imperial Legions rule is in effect for the Romans.
• The Laager is controlled by the Goths and may be destroyed by Roman units.
all materials from C3i Magazine is Copyright ©Rodger B. MacGowan (RBM Publication)
all C&C Ancients Scenarios in C3i Magazine are Official and Approved by Richard Borg