Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Battle of the Weser River, 16 AD

The Battle of the Weser River, sometimes known as a first Battle of Minden, was fought in 16 A.D. between Roman legions commanded by Emperor Tiberius' heir and adopted son Germanicus, and an alliance of Germanic tribes commanded by Arminius. The battle marked the end of a three-year campaign by Germanicus in Germania.

The Germanic chief, Arminius, had been instrumental in the organising of the Teutoburg Forest massacre, in which three Roman legions, moving east to winter quarters, were ambushed and annihilated by allied Germanic forces in the deep forests of western Germania. This loss loomed large in the Roman psyche and revenge for this defeat, as well as the neutralising of the threat of Arminius, were the impetus for Germanicus' campaign. In the year before the battle, 15 AD, Germanicus had marched against the Chatti and then against the Cherusci under Arminius. During that campaign, the Romans advanced along the region of the Teutoburg Forest where the legions had been massacred and buried the bones of the Roman soldiers that still lay there. A Legionary standard from the battle was also recovered. Skirmishes with the Germans were constant but the Romans could not draw them into open battle. (Wikipedia)

The scenario was very loosely historical in nature since we used whatever minis we had that were close and terrain is somewhat of an unknown since the exact location of the battle is not recorded. We used DBA rules with some minor modifications for 24 stands instead of 12 since there were 3 of us playing. The first side to reach 8 victory points would be the winner.

Battlefield Layout.
The Romans are on the right side of the picture in the open the way they like it and the Germans are positioned on a hill and taking advantage of some wooded areas on the left side of the picture.

The German cavalry advance through a break in the trees to charge the Roman leader on the left flank. The appear to have the upper hand as far as numbers are concerned.

The Romans advancing toward the German line waiting on the hill.

The Roman line infantry have done their job but are out of position to save their leader. The Germans slayed the Roman leader on the left and paralyzed the Roman advance.

The Germanic troops on the hill would deal a few more blows against the Romans and in the end the Germanic tribes would gain a very close victory over the Romans.

Not a historical result but fun none the less. This was a very fast game and we had enough time to teach a game of Commands and Colors before the evening was concluded.

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