Late in December 2012 or 400 B.C. local year, the Etruscan state of King Mic met the Early Republican Romans (of Consul Tim) on the field of battle. History will record some notion of a border dispute, a kidnapped-captive lady, some “lost cattle”, or that the Romans were late with their field dispatches, but these armies were spoiling for a fight.
The clouds parted to give a sunny day on the Italian peninsular. The armies had marched into their starting deployments with a line of small hillocks separating the shield pounding infantry. Some scattered grain fields near a ruined temple (to an old relative of Mic?) completed the scene as King Mic joined his bodyguard near the rock of Mic. With a hatred of Rome, a late arriving Samnite force joined the Etruscans on their distant right flank.
Turn One…The armies march forward, well sort of, the Romans wheeled right… and after the first movements both cavalry wings of Etruscan citizen cavalry rode forward to engage their opposites. A group of Italian citizen light chariots led by Son of Mic Two trotted forward on the Etruscan right flank.
With Turn Two on the royal scribe’s tablets, the armies show themselves in different character…. Proud Etruscans in a solid line of hoplites, Romans showing disdain as they flank march to their right…. securing the grain fields zone since maybe the classical hoplite formations tend to avoid that terrain type. The Roman allies on their left flank hold ground as the Etruscan cavalry, light chariots and Samnites approach.
Turn Three. After advancing, the Roman allies charge home to meet the Etruscan chariots and Samnites.
Hard fighting…. chariots upended, horse and riders fall. The Samnites find out that the Roman allies include a crack unit of Extraordinarii with HtH4 skills. Still, the Samnites hold on.. (lucky rolls) and fight fiercely.
Turn Four. As Rome marches right, the Etruscans hoplite line passes the rock of Mic.
Fighting continuing on the Etruscan right flank. The Etruscan light chariots shatter the Spanish cavalry as the Samnites slowly give ground even after winning one round of combat.
Turn Four. The Samnites break, first unit then the other. One is totally destroyed as the other run for their lives to be rallied and destroyed later. The Etruscan chariots chase down the Spanish cavalry and break into the rear area of the Roman left flank.
Turn Four (b): While the other flank fought their battles, the Etruscan citizen cavalry on their left flank are engaged by their opposite Roman number. Like our other previous Roman cavalry fights…this donkey fight will go for 5 rounds. The temple skirmishers engage the Balearic mercenary slingers with pointed wood sticks (javelins). The leading units of the Roman Hastati (armed with pilum) and Principes (armed with long spear) line can be viewed heading for the temple ruins.
Turn Five: Etruscan chariots roll forward as the following Etruscan citizen cavalry unit charges the Roman allied Spanish cavalry. Skirmishers charge their opposite number to enlarge the fight.
Back on the left…Roman vs. Etruscan citizen cavalry fight goes on…. Mic side wins, Rome side wins, it’s a draw…. sword and donkey show. The Balearic mercenary slingers laugh as they pull their short swords and make quick work of the javelinmen.
Pushing the Roman allied Spanish cavalry, who look over their shoulders as the light chariots trot forward.
Etruscan news video pool feed for set up deployment and turns one to five: Set up and Turns One to Five
Turn Six: Remembered for the pulping of the Spanish cavalry. The Etruscan hoplite line “bends” to match the Roman flanking march. King Mic’s bodyguard is the rightmost unit.
Another view as sunlight baths the battlefield.
Turn Seven: The Etruscan citizen left flank cavalry break from the “donkey fight” and are run down. Roman infantry approach the temple ruins (anything to loot?).
King Mic and bodyguard detach from the main hoplite line to face off the Roman left flank allies, along with the chariots and Etruscan cavalry. Finding the isolated Roman Consul Tim, the light chariots chase and toss javelins…. we missed.
Turns Eight to Twelve: The Roman army turns to face the Etruscans. On the distant right flank the last of the rallied Samnites are destroyed by the chasing Roman allies before the chariots could help. The next few turns are covered by the pool video since the Etruscan news service lost the static photos…. Several charges and retirements on the low hills.
Etruscan news video pool feed for turns six to twelve: Turns Six to Twelve
Turn Thirteen: The rest of the battle ranged across the left hills. Son of Mic lead his 1st class citizen hoplites while the 2nd class citizen hoplites did all the fighting. The big surprise was the 3rd class citizen hoplites…. they went on a tear through the Roman lines. Part of the problem was the Etruscan classical hoplite formation couldn’t turn or retire without a reform DL roll… some units passed, other failed for the moment. This created a disjointed battle line which the Romans tried to exploit with partial success. One unit of the 2nd class citizen (#3) rolled and stacked up Romans formations like cord wood…. finally running out of stream and forced to retire.
The bitter fighting on the low hills continues. A Principes unit fights on the larger left hill with Etruscan 2nd class citizens. Son of Mic and the 1st class citizen hoplites looks on. Roman Consul Tim “assists” the Etruscan #3 hoplites to rout from the Romans. As the reader can see, the former neat lines are gone…. it is unit on unit and open flanks everywhere. No photos of the right flank actions exist, but some video can be seen from the Etruscan news service.
Battle rages on…… turns 14, 15…..17, then 20. Neither side was giving in and finally the word that King Mic was killed on the right flank. Turns were going fast and dice flew. The Etruscan news video feed was the only recording of the action as the static camera team was pushed aside by the dice bearers.
Son of Mic charges in as he learns that his father is dead on the distant right flank. All hail King Mic!
Etruscan video pool feed for turns thirteen to game end: Turns Thirteen to game end
Gallery of the above photos:
Rosters using the Clash of empires lists found on the COE forum site: Clash of Empires
Battle was one of our group’s monthly Clash of Empires 28mm ancients games. With very large collections, our small group try to stage near historical battles on a large-sized 16 foot by 6 foot table. WR wishes to thank David, Tim and Doug for completing this long and hard-fought Roman win. Guest are always welcome to join in, to toss dice, and try their luck sub-commanding their favorite ancient army. Contact WR for next event information.
A copy of the Clash of Empires blank roster we use: COE Roster blank spreadsheet (.xls)
Cheers from the Long Beach warren,