Sunday, 13 May 2018

Barbarian Raid AAR

We had our monthly game at Chris Flowers barn last weekend, Chris had put on a late Roman vs Barbarians game using Hail Caesar.

There are usually 5 to 10 players in these big games at Chris's but for some reason a few dropped out leaving Just Chris to umpire whilst Chris Charlton and I played. We still had the full 14 foot by 8 foot table to play over despite this and Chris just reduced the figure count slightly.

A cracking game with multiple pointed objectives rather than a large slogging match.

Two forces of Barbarians launched a very large raid into an area protected by a large Roman fort.

I had the Barbarians, with 10 units of Hun horse archers at the end of the table furthest from the fort and a Goth force nearer the fort with 5 units of heavy foot and 6 units of heavy cavalry plus a couple of archer units in support.

We gained points for Killing Romans but double points for stealing cattle and slaves, plus a bonus point for any building burned down.

The Romans were a bit simpler gaining double points for killing Barbarians.

You can see below from left to right the fort, a large farm and then a small market town. Hun entry point was the side road opposite the town ad the goths entered where the woods were broken by the large stream, you can see the bridge just near this point.

All looks peaceful and tranquil but looks can be deceiving. There are some Romans at different points already on table. We dont know where or how many but have a good guess that its where we dont want them to be and theres probably lots of them.

Move 1 and the Goths come piling on in two big blocks either side of the river. I have decided that my foot will go for the farm and try and get some cattle away whilst my horse try and distract the forts Garrison.
There is only minimal defence near the farm so this looks like a decent enough plan. Unfortunately I bargained without the artillery in the fort, two scorpions and an Onager. They all fire at one unit of Goth horse and drive it off. I dont think we will be distracting anyone so now its all about extracting not distracting!
At the other side two units of Roman light cavalry watch a horde of Huns debouche into the open fields, unfortunately they are not alone and the town turns out to be teaming with Roman cavalry.
A couple of bad die rolls and the Goths have barely moved, unfortunately they are also still in artillery range and take even more casualties as they skulk away.
The huns have got moving for the most part but the town is very heavily defended, and a brisk fight breaks out. Fortunately whilst they are open order cavalry so dont do too well in hand to hand, they can evade and their archery proves to be pretty good.

I start to worry a little as the Romans advance they may be 6 against 10 but most of them are much heavier than the huns and the huns are penned in to a small area.
Mean while the Fort commander (Duplicitus Maximus) has sent a small rescue party out to defend the farm. He is a political appointee and his command rating is not great, falling further every 12 inches he moves from the fort.
Hun archery drives some of the Romans back and the rest of the Hunnic force is now able to deploy and use their superior firepower to make an impact on the Romans, the first of the Roman light cavalry now breaks which is a bonus. This all very well but we don't look like lifting any cattle today.

As the Romans re-form for another go the front of a column moves on the far end of the table, things are not looking too Rosy for the Barbarians.
AT the far end the Goth foot have steadily progressed whilst a blunder by the Horse sees them go back to take some more hammer from the Roman artillery, really my dice at this end are just awful.
The Huns are pushing out and giving the Romans some stick but I think it might be too late with what turns out to be a heavily guarded supply column coming down the road, the Romans have plenty of reinforcements.The first of my Huns breaks at this point.
The Goth foot meanwhile have got into the field next to the farm, and the column of Romans turns out to be three units of veteran legionaries, marching down the road the save the Lady of the house and her servants.
Despite some hard work and excellent archery the Huns are now being pushed down the table in a fighting retreat towards the Goths, a second unit of Huns breaks at this stage.

As we fall back I send the lead unit of Huns to lift a few head just for forms sake, we can at least say we got some cattle from the raid.
The Goths meanwhile seem to be having a stand off with some disgruntled looking long horns as the Legionaries arrive, two failed movement dice see them sat here trying to out stare the cattle for far too long, whilst the Romans deploy.
Getting frustrated with the lack of well anything at all happening the Goth archers set fire to the farm in a fit of spite.
At the far end the cavalry battle  is forming into two distinct lines across the width of the table with the Huns trying to hold off the Romans with archery whilst slowly pulling back towards the Goths.
One unit trys its hand at slowing the lead infantry from the column down, light casualties are caused but the Romans shrug this off.

The Goth cavalry finally get a good dice throw and are off over the fields to lift the cattle from the far edge whilst everyone else is throwing insults at each other. The Goth foot have finally rounded up the cattle and passed them back to the Huns to deal with.
Duplicitus decides he should go and get help and leaves is men to it, escorting the lady of the farm and her slaves a she goes.

The Goth cavalry are on fire now and charge over the river picking up a large herd of cattle to bring home.
Unfortunately whilst they are at it the Legionaries form up and charge the Goth foot and drive them back.

The poor old Huns have lost another unit and have been forced back onto the flank of the Goths, they are starting to get boxed in and its clearly time to leave as things start to seem exceedingly unhealthy.

One unit of Goth foot is destroyed and the rest pull back, the cavalry meanwhile charge past the Romans intent on taking the cattle back home.
The Romans cannot catch the retreating Barbarians who are now leave table with their ill gotten gains.
Meanwhile Duplicitus surveys the scene and composes his victory letter to the Emperor.
This was a really fun game, the objectives for me lift cattle and cause general mayhem meant that the focus on one big battle was gone, Chris had to both drive me off, save the Farmers and escort the waggon train to safety so again this was a bit of role play almost. We totted up the points and it was a pretty convincing win, the inability for the Goths to get moving meant low scores from them were inevitable and having chosen to picket all of his cavalry in the town(where unbeknown to Chris most of the potential slaves and cattle were held) meant I was unlikely to get enough points to win the game.

The poor rating of Duplititus hamstrung the Romans coming out of the Fort but the artillery caused havoc with my Goths.

All in all one of the best games I have played for a while, thanks gents.


  1. It sounded amazing...oh and looked grand too!

  2. Absolutly superb, what a spectacular table (love the splendid walls, and these animals are a fantastic addition!)...Roma Victor, revenge soon?

    1. Thanks Phil, I am certainly hoping for a re-match with some more enthusiastic allies for the Huns. The cattle belong to chum Mark who has a special affinity for them. They are lovely.

  3. Looks great and a very interesting scenario. It’s been a long while since I’ve played me a game of HC.

    It’s always great though when a game is as much fun as you seemed to have. 😀

    1. We will be having another HC on Sunday at the Partizan show Newark.

  4. A superb looking game. Sounds like it was fun to play

  5. Great game! The size of the battle made a great impression.

    1. To be honest we kept the numbers down so we had lots of room on the table which worked really well.

  6. Crikey. Really sorry I missed that game. Sounds very interesting and great fun. I hope there is a rematch and a chance for me to join. Great report as usual. Well done.

    1. Cheers Andy, looking to get a couple more Hail Caesar games in, see you on Sunday for Hail Cid at Partizan!