Monday 28 November 2022

Dont Look Back in Anger, Battle for The Oasis, Sassanids vs Romans AAR

Sorry cheesy I know, invited to the Barn to play a large Late Roman game. The Romans hold the Oasis and crossroads, the Sassanids need to take it, but Roman reinforcements are on the way.

Believe it or not the game had been reduced as a number of players could not make it. Each side having approximately 11 divisions with 5 regiments/cohorts or so in each division with supporting skirmishers.

The Oasis is held by John with 4 Infantry divisions and cavalry division supported by 4 batteries of artillery, 2 light and 2 heavy.

On the Sassanian right flank moving from the right table edge Andy has a light cavalry division, a Cataphract division, a medium infantry division and a Levy infantry division.

In the centre aiming to force the crossroads and Oasis I have a division of medium infantry another of heavy infantry and a third of Elephants.

Our left flank which is an open flank for the Romans is covered by Steve with a division of light cavalry, another of nomad horse archers, a third of cataphracts heavy cavalry and finally a fourth of Levy infantry.

So with me commanding most of the heavy infantry and the Elephants ready to smash into the Roamn centre and masses of cavalry on both flanks supported by lighter infantry we felt fairly ready to take on the Romans.

The Chris deployed his reinforcements on the Roman open right and we decided perhaps we hadn't got it right after all.

The mass of Roman cavalry filled the right one third of the table, outnumbering Steves cavalry fairly significantly. I began to wonder if the division of Levy infantry would provide enough of a speed bump to my left flank as I tried to close with the Roman centre.

Below we see Chris getting more trays of Roman Cavalry after deploying 3 divisions already, gulp!
In response Steve rolls for his Levy division and get a double six folowed by a further six forcing the whoel division to reture and take a casualty on each init. Great start!
No messing about in the centre, I push the Heavy and Medium infantry forward supported by the Elephant's hoping to smash through the centre whilst Andy and Steve keep the Roman wings occupied.

They have plenty of archers and 4 batteries of artillery to bash us on the way in and cause significant pain.
On the extreme left Steve throws his troops forward to block the Roman advance whilst screenin a division of infantry that sits between us with his nomad horse archers.

On our right Andy has the furthest to March and is a way off getting into contact, he is however pinning a division each of Roman horse and foot so doing his job no matter how long it takes.
A fine bash shaping up in the middle.
A long way to march on the right flank.
On our left Steve is getting the bets of the first encounters with the Romans, just as well with his levy cowering at the back.

The Romans have heavy cavalry to spare and begin to manoeuvre around Steves Cataphracts with only his horse archers to annoy them.
First blood on our right as Andy's horse archers begin to harras the Roman foot.
In the centre the foot are clsoing and the moment of decision is coming.
The Heavy infantry on my right are the first to impact and drive back the Romans they face.
Not  a moment too soon as the Roman Cataphracts are closing on our flank with not a lot in front of them.

Steve continues to hold his own but there are a lot of Romans to contain and only so much he can do.
My heavies break the first unit of Romans and push into the supports forcing them back too.
My medium foot have now also closed and have mixed fortunes against the slightly superior Romans.
Two units of my heavies have now pushed deep into the Roman line whilst we are beign held everywhere else.
Two units my medium foot are broken or forced back but the elephants are there to fill the gap and plow into an already weakened Roman line.

On my left Steve throws his Cataphracts at Chirs's Romans and a huge furious Cavalry melee ensues,
Steves best cavalry hit Roman Medium cavalry, the outcome is predictable and the Romans are destroyed, keeping our left wing intact for a further few moves.

The melee in the centre is reachign crisis point. My medium troops are being beaten by the Romans, a division break tests sees them hold their ground whilst the elephants push the Romans back.
The heavies smash another unit of Roman foot and plunge even deeper into the Roman line leaving nothign in front of them. But what to do with them next?
The third regiment of heavies meanwhile has overun the artillery units and captured the fort.
I decide to pull back the heavies and re-align, with the centre almost captured we need to be able to hold it.
The swirlign mass of cavalry continues to slog away at each other and the Sassanids under Steve continue to get the better of it just despite the numbers. But Chris continues to advance on our flank where a division of lvey are unlikely to provide much of a speed bump.

Andy's left flank is almost in position to attack the Roman left.....almost.
My heavies are realigned and advancing on the last remaining Roman foot.

In the centre a defeat of the Roman foot forces a break test, John roles just enough but for a break test against elephants I can make him re-roll his best dice, he does, he fails, the centre is gone and we hold the oasis, fott and crossroads.

Chris still has a huge dangerous cavalry force on the left but we probably have enough to stop him re-taking the oasis.

John has 2 intact divisions but cant use them on the oasis as Andy's 4 divisions of foot and horse are now in position to attack him and have the numbers to win.

Its a very hard fought but through Sassanid victory.

I am told the game was re-fought with a different group a week later and the Sassanids thoroughly destroyed, their commander claiming it was impossible to win, that does make me feel a bit better about how hard it was to overcome the Romans.

Fantastic game that could have gone either way right up until the end.

Thanks, guys, for a thoroughly enjoyable day.


  1. With different decisions made, I can see that it would play out differently. Good scenario. Cheers Chris

    1. Indeed Chris, I thought it was a great close game.

  2. Epic game. Really enjoyed it!

  3. Wow! What a wonderful looking game Roger!

  4. Kept this reader on the edge! Well done.

  5. A splendid looking and sounding game Roger…
    It’s good to see the Sassanids getting a win.

    All the best. Aly

  6. What a stunning looking game, Roger. Beautiful terrain and lovely figures....lots and lots of them!

    1. Cheers we are lucky to have acess to a collection like this to be fair.

  7. Really great report. Thanks for posting.