Monday, January 19, 2009

Historical Gaming Club: Caesar in Gaul

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

1st Game Roman Commanders: Sam and Caleb

Romans Advance the Skirmishers

Gallic Cavalry Charges the Numidian Horse

Gallic Battle Line Advances

Roman Battle Line Moves to Engage

Gallic Cavalry Destroys the Numidians

Roman Infantry Try to Shore up the Flank

Gallic Cavalry Break and Run

Gallic Infantry Charge Roman Skirmishers!

Gauls Destroy the Roman Right, Sweep into Roman Rear

Gallic Veterans Lap around Roman Legionaries

Gallic Infantry Break the Roman Left

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.

Game 2 Gallic Commanders: Jonah and Parker

Clash of Infantry in the Center

Roman Legionaries v. Gallic Warriors

The Romans Start to Break

The Roman Line Collapses

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.


  1. Scott,

    Don't Romans with throwing spears defend with two ranks in the first turn of a charge?


  2. Very nice looking battles!

    I think the Romans are on 20mm square bases, and it looks like the Gauls are on 25mm frontage. Do you find that that causes any problems in WAB?

    Also, how deep are the Gaul's bases? It looks like they might be deeper than they are wide, 30mm perhaps?

    I'm just starting to base my WF Celts.