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The Battle of Dyrrhachium, 48 B.C. Breaking the Blockade

Introduction
Caesar has Pompey’s forces trapped behind a blockade. Pompey sends a marine force south to enter the walls from the water while the main of his force raced across the plains towards Caesar’s vallations.

Rout Levels
Caesar: 75 RPs
Pompey: 100 RPs

The Battle

opening setup

Pompey’s camp (NW) is trying to break out. Their goal is to infiltrate the vallations that run from Caesar’s camp (NE) to the shoreline (W). In the far SW Pompey’s marines have landed and enter behind the berm.

Pompey’s forces leave the camp and begin to race towards the berm.

Close up of the III Legion as it crosses the Lesnikia.

Pompey’s legion winds through the light woods, heading east towards the ditch & berm as the third trails behind. Alerted, Caesar’s forces begin to flood southwards from their camp (NE), but the gate and bridge make a bottleneck slowing them down.



As Pompey’s first nears the vallation, Caesar’s IXth lines up along the berm ready to repel them back. In the south, Pompey’s marines meet and rout Caesar’s patrol.



Pompey’s III Legion approaches the berm to the south of the I Legion. Meanwhile, the Pompey’s other conscripted legions begin to advance (West and NW).

The red arrow is bad news for Pompey. As his legions meet Caesar’s head on at the ditch, Pompey’s north flank is left open and Caesar crosses the berm and hits Pompey in the flank!

Pompey’s Cretan Legion races along the river’s edge in the attempt to stop Caesar’s flanking manuever.



But they are too slow, and most of Pompey’s I Legion is eliminated. Meanwhile, the Macedonian Legions enter the vallations to the south.



The Conscript Cretan legion is no match for the Veteran Xth and is quickly routed. They are eliminated as they cross the Lesnikia River.



The battle is soon over as Pompey has lost most of the I and Cretan Legions.

Grand Overview

RP Board/dead pile – 132:39, fuzzy picture, just look at the lots on the left and not many on the right

Final Board Position

Pompey’s casualties are too great and although he managed to break out, the price was too high. Victory for the day belongs to Julius Caesar!

Aftermath

Pompey made a couple of mistakes in this one. The biggest was leaving his flank exposed. Pompey should have ‘taken his time’ and therefore use his numbers to launch a full scale attack on the wall. Although having a much bigger army, half of Pompey’s legions never even saw action.

Pompey’s haste was due in part to the fact that Caesar’s forces were completely bottle-necked at the camp gate and bridge. Very hard to get out of. The pictures show Caesar’s forces jam packed moving between the vallations. Pompey wanted to take advantage of this and move in quickly, but I believe he would’ve fared much better had he bided his time at least a little.

Overall a fun battle, although somewhat “crowded”.

COMING SOON! – Lesnikia (Caesar’s Counterattack)
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Jon
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Thanks Randy. I enjoyed following along with your battle. I think Pompey is favoured in this one is he not? I played it myself once upon a time, but that was so long ago that I have no memory as to how it turned out.

Have you played a Roman army in a SPQR scenario? If so, how did you find the manipular army played as compared to the Marian legions found in this game? Just curious.

Looking forward to more session reports.
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Capt_S wrote:
Thanks Randy. I enjoyed following along with your battle. I think Pompey is favoured in this one is he not? I played it myself once upon a time, but that was so long ago that I have no memory as to how it turned out.

Have you played a Roman army in a SPQR scenario? If so, how did you find the manipular army played as compared to the Marian legions found in this game? Just curious.

Looking forward to more session reports.


Thanks Jon,

One of the big changes playing with these legions is staying mindful of "experience". Conscript/Recruit/Veteran. This is a bit tricky as the Vets are AS attacking the lesser experienced, so although Pompey's Cretan Legion was thinking they could protect the north flank, they melted like butter stuck with a hot gladius when the Veteran Xth advanced! The old velite/hastatii/principices/triarii etc (pardon my spelling) was a lot more visual, so not as "surprising".

The older legions had a lot more "depth", but honestly, how often did the veterans in the back line get involved? These ones are a lot more mobile from that point of view as the Tribunes lead their own 10 cohort legions as directed by the Section/Wing/Overall Commander.

I'm doing the "night raid" now. Which is another "odd" battle. I don't think I'll see the real performance until I play a more traditional battle.

Randy

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Jon
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Very cool. I could see these Marian cohorts being more mobile as you mention. Maybe less rigid too compared to their earlier Republican predecessors, but I am basing that on a guess more than anything.

It all makes me wonder if a tribune in a Marian-style legion would have found battlefield maneuver easier than the same in earlier days? In the real world I mean. You would have to think things would have been better logistically at least. Less mucking about with the particulars of the individual unit types for instance.

Back to Dyrrhachium for a moment. It has one of the characteristics of my favourite type of battle, the meeting engagement. Both sides rushing reinforcements onto the map. I like how that flows.
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Kev.
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Nice job as always. Just setting this up.
Your AAR give me hope for the 'value of the play given the size of force disparity.
That was a bold very Caesarian move of yours with the X launching across the berm to savage the conscripts! Love it.

Ok. keen to roll some d10s!
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Ryan Powers
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I sold of my copy of this one long before I discovered online play options due to lack of opponents, and this is making me very much regret it.
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