As Vespasian moves inland with the 2nd Legion with the expectation that allies would be quickly formed with the Atrebates, scouts hurriedly return informing him of an approaching large force of Celts. Clearly the Romans were going to have to stamp their authority on these barbarians from the start. An example would have to be made.
Crossing the South Downs Vespasian deployed in a defensive position and awaited the approach of the Atrebates warbands.
Table Size: 4'6" x 3'
Figures: 6mm Baccus and Rapier
Rules: My own (based on General de Brigade)
ORDERS OF BATTLE
1 x CinC + 2 sub-commanders
2nd Legion: 1st Cohort 60 figures. 9 x cohorts of 36 figures each
4 x Scorpios
1 x Medium Cavalry cohort 30 figures
1 x Light Cavalry cohort 30 figures
1 x Equitata cohort - 1 x 12 light cavalry + 1 x 24 Aux infantry
2 x Batavian cohorts each 1 x 12 medium cavalry + 1 x 24 Aux infantry)
3 x Auxiliary infantry cohorts each 36 figures
1 x Auxiliary archers cohort of 36 figures
Total 668 figures
1 x CinC + 2 sub-commanders
1 unit of 8 light chariots
1 unit of 24 medium cavalry
2 units of 16 light cavalry
2 units of 12 light cavalry
1 x warband 72 figs
1 x warband 60 figs
5 x warbands of 40 figs
2 x warbands of 30 figs
1 unit of 16 Slingers
2 units of 16 Javelinmen
Total 536 figures
|View from behind Vespasian's position. The bulk of the 2nd Legion occupied the centre with its right flank anchored on the river. The Equitata cohort and a Batavian cohort provided a reserve.
|Looking south east from behind Atrebates right flank.
|Vespasian place most of his Auxiliaries on the left flank.
|The Roman right flank was positioned on the high ground on the opposite side of the river. 4 scorpios with 1 Legionary cohort and 1 Batavian cohort.
|The Atrebates warbands are positioned in the centre with cavalry on the left flank and chariots along with light cavalry and javelinmen on the right flank.
|The 2nd Legion stares defiantly across the valley towards....
|....the warbands who shout obscenities in return.
|Atrebates javelinmen on the right flank.
|Light chariots prepare to move out.
|Although he occupied high ground the Atrebates tribal leader had no intention of waiting for the Romans. He was going to eject them from his land in short order.
|On the Roman left flank a unit of javelinmen had made to run up the hill but were intercepted by a cohort of archers who exchanged fire with them.
|The two units of Roman cavalry had cantered towards the Atrebates light cavalry unit ahead of them now aware of a second celt cavalry unit behind the hill (middle right).
|The slingers prove to be an irritation for the Scorpio crews who decide to give them a volley of bolts. Several slingers fall victim but their morale holds.
|Urged on by the tribal leader, the warbands surge on towards the Roman line. The chariots having downed a handful of Romans now pulls out leaving the way clear for the main force.
|The Roman Legionaries hold steady having been subjected to some irritating chariots hurling their javelins.
|Having endured a volley of Pilums all bar one of the warbands storm up the hill into the Legionaries.
|The Legionaries are rocked back on their heels with the initial impact.
|Ominously for the Atrebates the Roman Auxiliaries begin to sweep around the barbarian flank. The tribal leader looks anxiously towards the river. Still no sign of his cavalry on their flanking manoeuvre!
|Most of the melees continue into a second round with just one warband being pushed back.
|Having withstood the initial impact, the Roman Legionaries hold firm with cohorts in reserve feeding centuries forward to fill any gaps in the line. They then begin to inflict a terrible price on the disordered and tiring Britons.
|Tow auxiliary cohorts pile into the flank of the warbands and start to roll them up.
|All warbands in contact with the Romans suffered severely with the survivors routing. One large warband attempted to retreat out of the path of charging Roman cavalry (middle of photo) but failed with many cut down.