The historical gaming club met on Saturday for another Warhammer Ancient Battles game, this time pitting 1000 points of Marian Romans against the same strength of Gauls. Seven students came to the game, but we only had room for four commanders, so we ended up playing two seperate games. I provided the figures.
1st Game Gallic Commanders: Matt and Josh
Gauls Destroy the Roman Right, Sweep into Roman Rear
The first game resulted in a resounding Gallic victory. The Gauls used their weight of numbers to crush the Roman left flank. Some astonishingly unlucky Roman dice rolls resulted in the complete destruction of their line.
I often read how hard it is to win with barbarian armies. That hasn't been our experience.
The individual barbarian warrior has the exact same combat stats as a Roman legionary. He has a saving roll of 6, while the Roman saves on a 4, 5, or 6. The Romans fight their first two ranks if they're charging, but since the barbarian warrior's charge range is 10" and the Roman legionary's only 8", the barbarians should be able to negate that advantage every time. The warrior costs 5 points; the legionary costs 16! The legionary just is not three times as effective as his counterpart. They're very nearly equal.
The result is that a 1000 point Roman army has 48 legionaries. A 1000 point barbarian army has 100 warriors. The Romans don't stand much of a chance.
Now consider that the Roman skirmishers, armed with javelins with an effective range of 4", cost 6 points each. The barbarian slingers, with an effective range of 9", cost only 5 points each. In both our games, the barbarians won the skirmish battle rather easily and inflicted real damage on the Roman main line.