Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Latest work in progress

Battle of Carnuntum 170 AD (Marcomanni Wars).

Scenario design.
The Battle of Carnuntum is one of the many conflicts between the barbarians and Rome’s frontier garrisons. From the time of its construction of the Limes Germanicus and the Danube Limes, the barbarian tribes have made frequent attempts at crossing the river barrier to wreak havoc within the provinces. Most often, Roman troops were able to successfully beat back these attempts and followed up with a punitive expedition to punish the recalcitrant tribes. Carnuntum was one such battle that ended differently. {1.}

Location: Nearby Carnuntum.
Using Google {2.}, Mapper {3.} and Bing Satellite {4.} tools I was able to narrow down three possible areas where an engagement could have taken place. Mind you, the region was heavily forested then than it is today, but the location mountainous terrain have not changed.  

Carnuntum, located on the Amber Road, became the capitol for the province of Pannonia Superior. At the time of the battle, the population had reached 40,000 with a legionary garrison and gladiator school.{5.}

The size of the Civilis Carnuntum, legionary camp and suburbs can be seen in a documentary video of the Carnuntum museum and displays. {6.}

Excavations have revealed a German trade centre and settlement directly across the Danube from Carnuntum.
The crossing of the Danube by the Marcomanni and Quadi took place between Vindobona (Vienna) and Carnuntum, a distance of roughly 30 km. In between the two major cities are two auxilia forts and a host of signal and watch towers along the river bank. Records are sketchy as to when the battle took place but most agree this was during the early Spring.

Facing overwhelming numbers the auxilia would have fallen back toward Vindobona and Carnuntum bringing news of the invasion with them. Within the narrow confines of the Rohrauer Forest, the Marcomanni moved toward Carnuntum. By the second day of the invasion, enough Roman troops could be assembled to defend the city.

Troop strengths.
The Roman Player.
The Antonine Plague had dealt the Roman Army a major setback, but by 170 AD, troop strength were slowly returning to standard levels. Nonetheless, they were handicapped by a lack of training and as DBA does not make distinctions between troop classification, I have handled this differently which will be explained further below.
Carnuntum was garrisoned by the XIV Gemina and with the exception of a vexillation serving in a Parthian campaign would most likely have at least 4,000 legionnaires present. Auxilia located along the Danube and the Amber road could equal that number and further in reserve are a number of cavalry units to include the Ala I Ulpia Contariorum M.C.R.

Using the historical ratios set in the rule book this equates to two commands. Several options have been chosen to give the Roman player some local colour; from the Gladiator school (3Bd), the Contariorum (3Kn) and numeri (Ps).

The Romans.
2 x Generals (Cv), 2 x Equites (Cv), 8 x Legionaries (Bd), 6 x Auxilia (4Ax), 1 x Equites (Cv), 1 x  Urban Cohors (4Ax), 1 x Gladiators (3Bd), 1 x Slingers (Ps), 1 x Lancers (3Kn), 1 x Bolt Shooter (Art) = 24 elements.

The German Player.
Several years before, the Langobardi and Obii made an attempt to cross the Danube with 6,000 warriors but were beaten back. Balomar (King of the Marcomanni) served to negotiate a peace between the tribes and Rome. Now in 170 AD, “Friend of Rome” returns but with a better plan to deal a severe blow to Rome.

To reflect the lack of training on the Roman side, the German player will have three commands, two of Marcomanni and one of Quadi. At first glance this may seem extreme, but a cunning Roman player, but the deployment and victory conditions serve to give both sides a good game.

The Marcomanni
2 x Generals (Cv), 2 x Cavalry (Cv), 16 x Warriors (4Wb), 2 x Cavalry (Cv), 2 x Skirmisher (Ps) = 24 elements.

The Quadi allies.
1 x General (Cv), 1 x Cavalry (Cv), 8 x Warriors (4Wb),  2 x Skirmisher (Ps) = 12 elements.

The Battlefields:
Rather than select one possible location for a battlefield, I decided to offer players three possible locations to game. Below links will take you to the respective tests for each option.

Battlefield three.


{6.} Carnuntum Documentary (Video): http://www.historvius.com/carnuntum-1909/