COE Action: The Batavian Revolt 70 AD

This past weekend WR travelled south for David K’s monthly Long Beach 28mm Clash of Empires game. The scenario this month was the Batavian Revolt of 70 A.D. Roman Early Imperial army under Quintus Petillius Cerialis vs. the revolting Batavian tribes and some romanized auxiliary defectors under Gaius Julis Civilis.

Rosters for each side: Roman Foot (Batavian Revolt)Roman Horse (Batavian Revolt)Batavian Foot (Batavian Revolt), and Batavian Horse (Batavian Revolt)

OOB game set up: Roman line (l to r) had elite cavalry, cohort cavalry, allied veteran WB, a Numeri unit, three veteran legionaries with Consul Quintus, 2 regular legionaries and then the untrained legionaries. Finishing the Roman right was deployed the allied Germanic cavalry and a small unit of Numidians. Some skirmishers before the legionaries and Numeri plus the scorpio bolt thrower between the regular legionaries.

The Batavi line (l to r) had auxiliary cavalry (defectors), the two Auxiliary infantry (defectors again), a group of warbands in right center extending out to right with Gaius, another auxiliary cavalry (defectors) and on the far right the light Germanic cavalry. Various skirmishers along the front lines. YouTube video on starting dispositions at: Link

Terrain notes: Woods and central hill are rough terrain. The hill blocked LOS till the unit was more than half way across the feature. 16’x6′ table is otherwise open fields with scattered ground shrubs. Romans move first after winning the dice off.

Game set up: Roman side on left. Deployment zones marked out and Consul Quintus in the center.

Game set up: Batavi revolt warbands and roman auxiliary defectors. Again deployment zones marked out. The unit markers behind some units help identify to the roster.

Turn I : Cunning Batavi hid their massive warband (WB) bodies behind the central hill. The roman scorpio unit must have caused great fear in their ranks (hold the laughter please). Opening movements on both sides had the armies approaching each other with cavalry seeking out their cavalry opponents. Consul Quintus rode over towards the left flank for a better view of the onrushing Batavi.

Turn 1: Rome advances towards the Batavian rebels. Large warband group beyond the rough ground center hill. Roman Consul Quintus at the bend in the roman line.

Turn II : More approach marching, some light skirmish fire between the skirmishers. Left flank cavalry about to charge home at top left of photo.

Turn 2: Advance contiunes….skirmishing on center hill with slingers. Cavalry ready to charge home at top left.

Turn III : Roman cohort cavalry with Tribune leading charges home on the auxiliary defectors. Breaking, the auxiliary cavalry flee towards their rear past the advancing warbands with Roman cohort cavalry in hot pursuit (on nags).

Turn 3: First clash with Rome’s cavalry (with Tribune) defeating the romanized auxiliary defectors.

Turn 3: Rome cavalry chasing the fleeing romanized auxiliary defectors past their supporting Batavi warband.

Across the table the armies continue to advance with the Batavi surging up the backside of the central hill….that “woodmen skill” comes in handy crossing the rough ground.

Turn 3: the armies approach slowly with the Batavi left flank holding back.

Turn IV : Chasing the fleeing auxiliary cavalry on the left, the elite Roman cavalry is charged by the hapless Germanic light cavalry. They hold on for turn four but Romans destroyed them on turn five. Battle is looking good for the Roman left so far except that the fleeing auxiliary rallied on their last chance. YouTube summary commentary for turns I-IV at: Link

Turn 4: Roman cavalry clears the Batavian cavalry from the field while chasing the romanized auxiliary.

Turn 4: Batavi and Germanic warbands surge up the rough terrain central hill.

Turn V : Romans stand before the lower slope of the central hill….awaiting the Batavi. The Roman right cohorts continue their advance while the inactive right flank cavalry watch the retiring auxiliary cavalry defectors. One lucky legion cohort had a brief warm up exercise on some stupid Batavi skirmishers

Turn 5: Opps….did we do that? Memo to skirmishers… never elect to stand ground think enemy outside of charge range and then successfully pass morale to hold position. Roman road kill.

Turn 5: Batavi with their Germanic allies crest the hill and look down on the tiny Romans legionaries & Roman auxiliary in left foreground. Slingers engage the advancing warbands as they retire. Consul Quintus sees the approaching Batavi lead by Gaius and makes his adjustments.

Turn VI : While the Roman right flank wheels into position, the Roman left flank cavalry is lining up again on the auxiliary defectors while being pincushioned by the nearby archers. Around the central hill little movement as both armies prepare for the big turn charge.

Turn 6: General view of the central hill positions. Hands of Tim position the disrupted Batavi right flank cavalry against the Roman cohort cavalry (at top).

Turn 6: Roman left flank cavalry facing down the battle disrupted romanized auxiliary again as a Batavi warband marches into the rear zone. Sticks above are pre-cut & color coded measuring sticks. The Roman cohort cavalry is peppered with arrows each turn.

As the Roman slinger retire, the bold Batavi advance across the hill till just out of charge range. Being veteran heavy armor romans….they have a limited charge range up the hill. Cunning Batavi again… Quintus watches.

Turn 6: Friendly Roman auxiliary prepare to meet the onrushing warbands.

Turn 7: Rome charges again….a tough Batavi chieftain holds the enemy horse in combat.

Turn VII : Roman disaster! While watching the advance of the Batavi across the hill, Consul Quintus rode to his allied Numeri and veteran warband left flank. the Batavi….sensing a “softer target” charged their warbands into the fray. Crash……Roman allied tribesmen are bowed over in numbers as the Batavi hack their way in. Too much…even with two excellent low morale rolls from Consul Quintus, the Roman left is totally crushed leaving Quintus in the middle of a serious bloodletting.

Turn 7: Horns sounding, the Batavi and Germanic warband charge home on the Roman left line. The Batavian Gaius cheers on his fellow tribesmen…. Go..Go…Go….(in local dialect of course).

Roman disaster as pictured in the Roman Times below…..front page news before the gladiator sports page.

Turn 7: Batavians crush their romanized opponents by cutting down the front rank. Both Roman auxiliary unit crumble and are destroyed by the Batavi warbands. Roman Quintus watches as his left flank disappears around him.

YouTube commentary summary covering turns V-XI at: Link

Turn VIII : The left flank cavalry fight finally ends with the auxiliary defectors fleeing again off the table, chased by the remains of the Roman cavalry. In the center the victorious Batavi warbands attempt to wheel into the exposed Roman flank as Roman drilled cohorts attempt to plug the open flank.

Turn 8: Finally the Batavi chieftain is killed and his cavalry flees the table chased by the remains of the Roman cavalry. The “empty” movement trays show the heavy losses in this cavalry fight.

Turn 8: With the left infantry flank shattered, the Roman Consul Quintus rejoins the Roman legionaries as they face the wheeling Batavi warbands.

Turn 8: Meanwhile, the quiet Roman right flanks sees some javelin action as the skirmishing Num cavalry toss their sticks and are chased away.

Turns IX and X : Little other action across the battle as both side readjust their positions with the battle lines. The fleet-footed Batavi atop the hill easily avoid the veteran heavy Roman legionaries charging up the hill slope.

Turn 9: With Roman efficiency, the open left flank is supported by shifting legionary cohorts.

Turns XI & XII : Roman generals in discusion…..what to do? Massed Batavi warbands hold the central hill and left flank legionaries in position. Maybe the Batavi left is weak….Tribune David says….attack! He launches the Roman right flank cohorts forward as Quintus completes the repositioning of the Roman legionary left.

Turn 11: The Roman line is stabilized…..the Roman commanders discuss plans….Attack? Hold in place?….Much discussion on future plans. Meanwhile…the Batavian march about facing the thinned Roman line.

Turn 12: The right flank Roman general (Tribune David) says…charge forward Legionaries! He spots an opening against the defector auxiliaries. Roman Consul Quintus rides to see whats going on….

Turn XIII : Tribune David’s cohorts find their opponents….the defector auxiliary. Lead by Consul Quintus himself, roman scutum and gladius finish the job quickly as the auxiliary flee the enraged legionaries.

Turn 13: Charging into the former romanized auxiliaries, the legionaries led by their general better win fast as the warband with Batavian Gaius approach their open flank.

Turn XIV : Another Roman disaster….what is up with the legionaries today? Germanic tribesmen led by Gaius crush another legionary cohort in pursuit. More Roman Times front page news….. as Batavi warbands hold the central hill position.

Turn 14: Rome disaster again! With the legionary crushing success against their former auxiliary, the Batavian Gaius hears his tribesman charge uncontrolled out against the nearest Roman legionary cohort…..and won! Roman legionary cohort destroyed.

Turn XV : We left the legionaries with Consul Quintus breaking the auxiliary…wheeling the cohort, Quintus is faced by another Batavi warband charge. Hoping for another Roman “disaster”, the Batavi warband charges home. But these Romans know their business, having crushed the auxiliary just the turn before. Scutum and gladius ready, the legionaries tear into the surprised tribesmen. Rumor has it that Quintus and Gaius faced each other….but the fight was lost in the melee. Suddenly, the cry that Gaius had fallen sounds from the throats of the Batavi…..

Turn 15: The victorious legionaries with their Consul Quintus turn to face attack by another Batavian warband led by Gaius. Batavians hope for another easy victory…but instead these Roman legionaries know their business. Personal combat is rumored when the Batavian Gaius is killed.

The Batavi army reacts to the loss of their leader, several warbands decamp from the field and start retiring. Once started, the ability to rally is hard for these tribesmen. Quintus and his legionary cohort are surrounded by fleeing warbands.

YouTube coverage for turns XII-XVI; Link

Turn 15: With the death of their leader, Batavian warbands turn and retire while the lone (behind the lines) Roman cohort with Consul Quintus chase fleeing Batavi.

Turn 15: As Batavi warbands decamp the field, the “shadow” is seen on the tabletop….Clash of Empires rulebook.

Turn XVI : End of game as the Batavi stream off the table. The much reduced Roman cavalry arrive in the rear to chase tribesmen. The final warband is cornered and soon crushed at the base of the central hill.

Turn 16: Batavi fleeing the field….the Roman elite cavalry returns among the fleeing tribesmen.

End game….the stranch Batavi warband is soon crushed between the advance veteran Roman legionaries.

Another great game from the hands of David. Handshakes for all….David, Tim, Doug as the Long Beach COE gamers travel home till next month. Miniatures and terrain from the collection of David. If interested in 28mm Clash of Empires, join us in Long Beach CA for a game. Contract information found at “About the Wargamerabbit” blog site.

General information on the Batavian Revolt of 70 A.D.: Revolt of the Batavi & The Batavi

Coin image Gaius Julis Civilis

Cheers from the warren…….WR


One thought on “COE Action: The Batavian Revolt 70 AD

  1. Nice report! Looked the Romans were on the ropes, but dispatching the enemy general with the resultant effects pulled it out of the fire for them.

    I like the you-tube idea, but I’m not sure it really works all that well in execution. Tried doing something like it myself 10+ years ago by making a video, and as for how I liked the final result, well, never tried one again, LOL!

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