I am finding the Great Battles of History as a very well suited system for a solitaire play. It is pretty straightforward to lead both sides, with some randomized elements – like trumping opponent leaders – which has to be taken care of. The actual fight, maneuvers and orders in many cases are evident and does not need a deeper system / flowchart / decision matrix. You can take them all by yourself.
With that in mind I sit down to the latest addition to the series – the Deluxe Edition of Julius Caesar. As presented in above material, box is full of great content, interesting battles and beautiful materials. I decided to start from the Gallic War. Let me invite you thus now to a picture-rich session report!
My Great Battles of History Campaigns: (SPQR) Bagradas Plains (255 BC) (Alexander) Erigon Valley (358 BC) (Alexander) Crocus Fields (353 BC) (Alexander) Sellasia (221 BC) (Alexander) Mantinea (207 BC) (Alexander) Sellasia (222 BC) (Cataphract) Callinicum (531 AD) (Cataphract) Tricameron (533 AD) (Cataphract) Casilinum (554 AD)
So what was the reason for the battle of Bibracte (58 BC)? Migration of Helveti tribes endangering Roman Republict interests? Or unfulfilled ambitions of one 42 years old patrician? Let us see:
Gaius Julius Caesar, an ambitious Roman noble, had entered into a political alliance with Gnaeus Pompey and Marcus Licinius Crassus, which became known as the “First Triumvirate.” Caesar used these connections to obtain an appointment as proconsul for Gaul. As Caesar arrived to govern his province, the Helvetii were migrating from what is now Switzerland into Gaul to find new lands.
Caesar surprised and defeated one detachment of the Helvetii. He then doggedly followed but avoided conflict with the main body, as he was badly outnumbered by the barbarians and needed to find an advantageous position for a decisive battle. After a fortnight, Roman supplies were running short and Caesar fell back toward Bibracte to replenish.
The Helvetii followed and formed for battle against the Romans. Caesar withdrew and formed his six legions on a nearby range of hills – his four veteran legions in front, and his two newly raised legions in the rear. The Helvetii charged forward and were met by a shower of pila. The Romans then counter charged downhill with swords drawn. The disorganized barbarians started to fall back when allied Boii and Tulingi tribesmen marched forward and gave the retiring Helvetii the heart to continue.
Caesar again led his legions forward against the combined tribes, and they fled in disorder back to their camp. During the night Caesar attacked the enemy camp and completed the rout. The next day, envoys from the tribes offered to surrender and Caesar ordered them to return to their own lands, knowing that if their former country were left unpopulated, hostile Germanic tribes would fill the vacuum.
Without delay let us jump to the report. First things first – The Setup.
Remember, you can always click on the image to enlarge them in the new window.
And now let us have a look at the situation at the end of the game:
That was very enjoyable experience and interesting tactical challenge. Both the barbarian reinforcements (Boi & Tulingii) and orderly withdrawal special rule (for Helveti) makes this scenario very interesting and enjoyable. This is not simply a barbarian charge uphill which will be easily crushed, broken and routed – game over. No, this is a tactical challenge in which good planning is of essence.
Stay tuned for more such session reports!
Sometimes it looked close – but I never doubted Caesar would prevail!
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He did, although that was closer than anticipated!
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