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Pontic vs Romans

Introduction

This game was played on 22 December 2002 using Warhammer Ancient Battles rules and Boon's massive15mm metal armies.  The battle report follows:

Mithridates’ Pontic army had taken all of Greece and the defense of Rome depended on Sculla. Sculla’s army deployed under the cover of the early morning mists (that looked suspiciously like tissue boxes). 

The Romans had 15,600 infantry and 4,800 cavalry

The ranged weapons were arrayed on the left flank:

  • 2,400 Auxiliary archers behind a small wood

  • 2,400 Auxiliary light infantry next to them

  • The artillery – 1 stone thrower and 3 ballista

  • 2,400 Auxiliary archers

The legions held the center:

  • General and Army standard

  • 4,800 veteran legionnaires in 2 units

  • 2,400 Praetorian Guards

  • 1,200 skirmishers screened their front

 On the right the cavalry:

  • 1,200 HC Equites Alares

  • 1,200 Cataphracts

  • 1,200 HC Equites Alares

  • 1,200 LC with javelins

 As the mist cleared the Pontic army came into view just 400 m ahead. It totaled 21,000 infantry and 4,400 cavalry

 In front of the Auxilia:

  • 800 horse archers

  • 2,400 companions in 2 wedges, 1 led by Mithridates himself

 In the center the huge phalanxes:

  • 9,600 phalangites in 2 units

  • 2,400 guard phalangites

  • 2 bolt shooters deployed between them

  • 1,800 Thracians were held in reserve

  • 100 scythed chariots

  • 3,600 skirmishers with bows and slings screen the pike men so only the tips of the pikes could be seen

 Facing the cavalry:

  • 1,200 LC screening

  • 3,600 peltasts in 2 units

 The Battle  

Turns 1-3

On the left, the Pontic flank cavalry, screened by the horse archers, marched across the front of the artillery towards the Legionnaires and archers in the Roman center. Before the screen became effective, the Roman stone throwers showered Mithridates’ wedge with a hail of rocks killing nearly 300 horses or riders.  The stone throwers all broke down simultaneously soon after. The roman archers and bolt throwers fired to little effect being screened by the horse archers.   In the center both armies walked slowly forward with a cloud of 4,800 skirmishers shooting to little effect between them.  All the action was on the right, the Pontic light cavalry marched forward and was charged by the Roman Cataphracts and HC Equites. They broke immediately and fled through the peltasts. The Roman HC pursued and contacted the Peltast who also broke and were wiped out. The Pontic phalanx, threatened by the flanking cataphracts, turned to face them,

Turn 4

On the left one Macedonian wedge hit the auxiliary archers who stood and held for 1 critical turn. Mithridates lined his other wedge for a charge against the left most legion.  In the center the scythed chariot drove through the legion harmlessly and then turned to face the rear of the legion. The leftmost legion turned to face the Pontic wedges while the rest of the armies edged ever closer. The Pontic right phalanx turned to face the threat of the Roman cataphracts.  The Pontic slingers flung a flurry of stones at the 2nd unit of HC Equites dispatching 300 of the horsemen. Undaunted, the Roman HC charged the slingers and then as they fled, on to contact with the flank of the phalanx on the right. The disordered phalanx held the HC.  On the right flank, the Pontic Thracians had moved to reinforce and the cataphracti turned away from the phalanx to face them and the returning Pontic LC. While the Roman HC Equites saw off the second Peltast unit.

Turn 5 

On the left the archers broke and were ridden down by the Pontic wedge. Mithridates’ wedge charged the legion while the other wedge and the chariot lined up to join in the next turn.   In the center the Roman Praetorian Guard and Legion charged the Hyspapist. The HC continued to battle to phalanx. All the battles were indecisive.  On the right, the cataphracts charged and destroyed the last of the Pontic LC

Turn 6

This turned out to be the decisive turn as the scythed chariot unit charged the engaged legion killing and wounding nearly 400 legionnaires. Despite the horrendous casualties, the legionnaires wiped out the Macedonian wedge leaving Mithridates to flee the battlefield.   In the center, the remaining phalanx charged the legion in support of its Hyspapists. Again the combat was indecisive.  However, the HC on the flanks of the phalanx finally broke them. With that the Pontic army lost heart and conceded the battle field to the Romans.

Battle Report by Ancients Nut:  Boon