Saturday, June 11, 2016

Pyrrhus vs Romans - DBA AAR

My first experimental battle with my DBA 3.0 armies: Pyrrhic vs Camillan Roman!

Rome went onto the attack, with Pyrrhus occupying a hilly & wooded region close to a small town - causing him some problems with his deployment.  His centre was blocked by the woods and so was occupied by the Auxiliary and Psiloi; his left saw the Phalanx deployed on a hill; while on the right his cavalry had to advance in a column to access the open plain in front.  

Rome deployed with the Principes and Triarii forming a 'hoplite' phalanx, the Hastati Blades on the flanks, and the Auxiliary & Cavalry in reserve.  

Pyrrhus advanced forward and deployed his cavalry, while bringing his phalanx forward on the opposite flank and threatening a pincer movement.  The Roman Consul sent his Psiloi off to screen the pikemen, and the rest of the line headed for the crossroads to engage the cavalry.  

In response, Pyrrhic Auxilia dashed out of the woods to try and drive off the Psiloi, with limited success.  The Roman line closed in on the Pyrrhic cavalry wing...

The Pike Phalanx, abandoning the slow-moving Elephants to press ahead, linked up with the Auxilia to push away the Psiloi with heavy losses - while Pyrrhus moved his cavalry to threaten a local outflanking on the end of the Roman line.  Rome, in response, split their line into two sections - with an impressive manoeuvre, their left engaged the Cavalry while he right portion of the line caught the Auxilia in the open and routed them.  The cavalry fight was a see-saw affair: The Latin Allied Cavalry swung out of reserve to counter the overlapping Pyrrhic Light Horse and rout them.  Pyrrhus was repulsed at the head of his Companion cavalry, while his Greek cavalry broke the Hastati opposite.  

Pyrrhus realised the climax of the battle was imminent, and threw his army forward in a last push - the Phalanx hit the Roman line with Hoplite Spears and Psiloi covering its flank, pushing into the Hastati and Psiloi, forcing them to give ground.  Rallying his cavalry and companions, he charged against the Roman Allied Cavalry and drove them back.  

The Roman army struggled to respond, merely pulling back the left infantry wing to confirm to the Allied Cavalry.  The battle raged on in the right, as the Phalanx pushed on against them and reserve Auxilia added support to the hard-pressed Hastati, enabling them to force back the Pikemen.  

Pyrrhus charged again at the Roman left - although his Greeks were driven back, Pyrrhus - with his own presence proving decisive, charged and broke the Principes.  Summoning up the Hoplites, Psiloi and belatedly bringing up the reserve Elephants, the main infantry lines clashed along their full lengths.  
The Pike phalanx was pushed back yet again by the Hastati, along with the Hoplites on their flank - the Psiloi fled back into the woods for protection.  

Rome pulled its Allied Cavalry back out of engagement range, while its remaining Triarii and Allied Auxilia engaged the Companions.  By the narrowest, Pyrrhus broke the Roman Triarii.  In the main battle-line, the Principes pressed ahead to keep pace with the Hastati, while the Auxilia and Psiloi engaged along with the Consul and the Roman Cavalry.  All along the line the Pyrrhic infantry started to give way, being forced to concede ground to the Roman attack.  

With this, the battle came to an end.  The Roman main line was steadily pushing the enemy back and gaining the advantage, but with the collapse of the left they were exposed to the charging Companion cavalry of Pyrrhus bursting into their left-rear.  The Roman army was defeated, and retreated off the field.  A hard-fought Pyrrhic victory then, as the Romans lost 4 elements to his 2.  The victory was close as the Romans seemed set to begin turning the flank of his infantry and ultimately rout the Pike Phalanx, while Pyrrhus had to personally risk himself in combat to gain a victory - in at least two 'quick kill' battles his '+1' modifier for the General's element proved crucial at either avoiding a defeat or tipping a draw into a victory.  


  1. Thanks for an interesting report.