Thursday, January 13, 2022


Apparently Republican Roman Legion Maniples could withdraw from melee to be replaced by Maniples from behind. No one knows exactly how this was accomplished. 

One guess suggests tired individual soldiers in the fighting line withdrew and were replaced by individual soldiers sent from waiting unengaged Maniples in the rear. 

Others say, no, an entire forward Maniple would withdraw to be replaced by a reserve Maniple from behind. The latter would move in filling the gap to continue melee. The following shows how the latter concept might work.


Two Numidian Masses (72 each) with mixed missiles and swords preceded by an Archer Screen (24). 

Our Numidians are late 19th Century Hadendowah Tribesmen who resemble ancient Numidians closely enough. The Archers are 18th Century Indian Sub-Continent warriors who look the part. --- We use what we have.

In the distance Legio II observes their arrival. Two more Hastati and three Principes Maniples were left out of the test game. Reason: Fewer Romans wanted.

Remember the bold Roman skirmish screen advance in the 1960 motion picture Spartacus? Here the Roman Javelin Screen (20) by card draw moves first with a throwing range of 8"  closes to 6". The foe chose to not move. 

Next by a new card draw, the Romans threw missiles first taking out one archer. The archers (24" range) replied with 24 -1 = 23 bows taking out three javilineers.


The Numidians got to move first in Turn 2. Their archers split to flank the Roman open order screen while the two masses advanced. Once the latter came within 6", a Roman morale check was triggered. They fled 12"+3D6 = 25" to the rear....  

Passing through intervals in the first line of Hastati Legionaries (black plumes). To the rear 36 Principes (green plumes) and 24 Triarii (red plumes) wait.

Roman Javelineers are 25mm Miniature Figurines from the mid-1970s. Ancients indeed! Legionaries are 1st Corps with Little Big Man shield transfers available from 1st Corps. The latter provides consistent superior service.

During the Roman portion of Turn 2 movement, the 36 Hastati closed up. No combatants were in arc, range or available to fire missiles.


The first move (black card) allowed the Numidians to move first. Their archers moved to give flank fire into the Romans while the two masses moved to within javelin range.

Legio II moved next. Their Javelin men did not rally and continued routing (green arrows) through intervals. The heavy infantry elected to advance (3 tan arrow markers) rather than stay in place. Had they remained in position, the sun would have been  blotted out by enemy missiles.

The three Maniple Hastati body (36 black plumes - top center) charged forward throwing Pilums before contact.

To the left and right, two Principes Maniples charged enemy archers.

The Numidians lost 14 warriors to Pilums. Surviving native missilemen cost Rome 3 Legionaries. Then the Romans marched forward into hand to hand combat.

Left Principes Maniple charging enemy archers. Action on the right is not shown.

Both Principes Maniples forced archer morale checks when coming within 6".  Both archer units fled. Had they made morale, they could have shot arrows and evaded. 

Turn movement is finished. 

Numidian archers are fleeing in the distance as the melee begins (center). Two Triarii Maniples (red plumes) marched forward supporting the Principes Maniple (green plumes --- center bottom). 

Melee Results

The Numidians filled in their losses from the rear meleeing with 48 warriors. The Roman Hastati body fought with 36 - 3 = 33 Legionaires.

Numidians: -14 warriors. --- Rome: -16 Legionaries. 

Losers suffering the most melee casualties are forced back 6" followed by opponents. Losers now check morale needing a 2D6 modified result of 6 or more to hold. The throw was:

2D6 = 10 + 1 Charismatic Leader + 1 Veteran -2 Under 50% -2 Most melee casualties = 8.

The hugely depleted Romans held.

Total Losses So Far:
Archers: 1 KIA + 23 Routed = 24  --- Warriors: KIA = 29 --- Total: 53 lost 

Javelins: 3 KIA + 17 Routed = 20 --- Legionaries: 19 KIA --- Total: 39 lost

A Second Round of Melee Commences Testing
The NEW Maniple Withdrawal Rule

The first move card was red and therefore Roman. Green arrows show withdrawal routes for the three heavily reduced Hastati maniples after passing a Morale Check for each to withdraw. Failure would have caused a Rout.

Next in the same movement phase, two red plume Triarii and one green plume Principes maniples move into the place vacated by the Hastati. On the flanks two green plumend Principes Maniples charge into the flank of the enemy mass. The Numidians are ruled disordered/disorganized. Reason: They were just in a melee.

Green plumes throw pilums taking out 12 Numidians. Red plumes have non-throwing thrusting spears. The Numidians throw afterwards taking losses into account. Their remaining missiles take out 4 Romans.

The Romans won the melee. The above image shows the Numidians pushed back 6" followed by the Legionaries. Losses in the simultaneous melee were, Numidians: 23, Romans: 8. It is hard to fight well when disordered if the D6 Disordered Throw is high. They could have thrown 1s in which case they would barely be disordered.

Since the natives lost the melee, required morale checks were thrown. 2D6 morale throws started below average before negative modifiers were computed. Both Numidian bodies routed as shown by green arrows.

One body threw 2D6 = 4 -2 most melee casualties - 2 disorganized = 0. 
The other threw 2D6 = 5 -2 most melee casualties -4 disorganized = -1.

A modified 6 was needed to hold to allow a third and last round of melee.

Legio II let the Numidians go and reformed on the ridge.
Decimated by combat.

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Final Losses:

Archers: 1 KIA + 23 Routed = 24  --- Warriors: KIA = 62 --- Total: 86 lost 
168 warriors -86 lost (51%): 82 survivors

Javelins: 3 KIA + 17 Routed = 20 --- Legionaries: 31 KIA --- Total: 51 lost
116 soldiers -51 lost (44%): 65 survivors

Numidian Advantages
Enemy javelin screen easily chased away without being able to fire/evade.

Two very large melee units armed with mixed missiles/swords.

48 warriors meleed the foe in two rounds by filling in from the back. The foe always fought with fewer men.

Neither mass fell below half original #s which helped morale checks.

Numidian Disadvantages
Archer screen easily chased away without being able to fire/evade.

Warrior saving throws/hit = 1D6 5-6.

Deep formation caused some extra missile losses.

Disordered after the Hastati withdrew.

Each mass was flanked in melee.

Unlucky card draw to fire missiles before the foe.

Maniple withdrawal rule brought in fresh Romans.

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Thursday, December 16, 2021



Bethlehem, Judea

Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus

"...while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn." 

"...for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!"

Merry Christmas

The Innkeeper made room for Jesus. Please always make room for Jesus too.


Closing Remarks

Ignatius Holy Bible Verses: Luke 2: 6-7, 2 and 14.

Figurines: King and Country The Life of Jesus 1:30 Scale


Friday, October 22, 2021

Chapter III Concludes Legio II's Battle on Sardonia


When?: Late Roman Republic Era Date Uncertain
Location: Sardonia Island
Situation: King Sardonicus III Contests Legio II
Miniatures: Using What I Have
Rules: Adapted from Batailles de l'Ancien Régime
Solo Game In An Imagineered Ancient World

See Chapter II

Wherein King Sardonicus III began the battle at his southern shore to hurl Republican Roman invaders back into The Middle Sea. Pompeous Augustus Pettygree and Legio II were handled roughly. Sardonian "Mighty Men" believe victory is in sight. 

Let us now return to the cavalry battle on....


The Roman Far Right Flank

Where Marcellenius Alexander Pettygree, son of the commander of Legio II, took command of the Light Numidian Cavalry and Medium Roman Cavalry to break through heavier Sardonian horsemen. The melee had been indecisive with equal losses per side. It raged on.

"Draw your sword and fight! What kind of insult do you cast without a weapon? Are you a Mighty Man or a wretched Sorcerer?"

"Now  I know. You are a coward. My Numidians! They have turned to follow their fleeing leader. After them for honor and spoils. To the enemy baggage train!"  

Sound the pursuit!"

"Follow me!"

"Ah. I see King Sardonicus III atop an elephant. He will make a fine spectacle in our victory procession upon returning to Rome."

"Sire, I beg to bring unwelcome news. Our cavalry force has been beaten and has fled."

"Preposterous. Surely you exaggerate."

"He does not lie Your Excellency. Look into the dust on our left. The Romans are coming for you --- I mean, us."

"I see the cloud and horsemen. --- Do something Craxus!"

"There are two counsels my King. The first is post your Household Swordsmen between the Romans and thee awaiting the outcome of the infantry battle in the Center. If that engagement goes well as I said it would, enemy horsemen will achieve nothing galloping here and there wearing out their horses."

"And the second, Craxus?"

"Immediately send messengers to the Romans declaring the battle is ended and proclaim absolute unwavering obedience to Rome again."

"Never! My guards will stand and obey me."

"As you wish, Sire."

Charging Sardonian Green Sashed Swordsmen (image top) were indeed winning the day pushing the Legionaires back. Pompeous Augustus Pettygree rode forward taking personal command.

"Romans! Stand your ground. Whom do you think these impertinent Barbarians are? --- Reserve Cohorts advance along our sides and attack the enemy flanks."

They did as ordered.

"It goes well General. The Barbarians are quivering."

"Bring up the Catafractarii to discourage the foe more."

"They are already here, My Lord, awaiting your pleasure."

"Good. Now let's see what will happen to the Barbarian infantry."

Sardonian Green Sashes suffered huge losses and are.... 

Pushed back and then break.

Running back to their astonished King.

Meanwhile, the five Cohorts on the far Left Flank no longer protected by their Javelin Screen, became weary of enemy Archers to their front and.... 

Charged. The Archers fled (not shown) without loosing another arrow. Sardonia's monarch (upper left) was initially unaware of this new developing disaster. His Orange Sash Swordsmen were though.


The battle then paused taking a breath before resuming. The distant Sardonian Army contracted itself into the shape of the Roman Numeral L. Craxus knows they are finished. Now so does Sardonicus III. Messengers were sent to the Roman Commander in Chief requesting a parlay.

"Greetings my Lord Pompeous Alexander Pettygree, Supreme Commander the Roman Republic's vaunted Second Legion. I am Craxus Maximus, Chief Minister of Sardonicus III. The King and I congratulate you about your honorable victory. Behold, Sire, I am before you to request terms."

"I am honored to consider your surrender and plea." 

"First, let it be known that the Third Legion arrives within days. Further resistance by your Army would be unwise."

"Second, before the mid-day Sun, your forces will discard every weapon and shield where they stand."

"Third, bonfires will be lit in front of my Legion at sunset. Your Army will parade in front of it."

"Fourth, on the morrow your forces will disperse taking such sustenance as necessary to return to the capital."

"Fifth, King Sardonicus III will remain in my camp enjoying our courtesies until you return from the capital with triple the tribute not paid to Rome this annum. You have ten days to return."

"What is your response Minister Craxus?"  
"Your generosity General, will be remembered for all time. We accept your terms."



1. Roman Tallies
60-25 Light Infantry* = 35
60-4 Hastati = 56
60-18 Principes = 42
24-2 Triarii = 22
30-14 Numidian Cavalry = 16
16-2 Medium Cavalry* = 14
4-0 Medium Cavalry* = 4
12-0 Very Heavy Cavalry = 12
8-0 Siege Crewmen* = 8
9-0 Leaders = 9
283 Miniatures At Start
-65 Lost (-23%)
218 Miniatures At Finish

2. Sardonian Tallies
72-20 Archers = 52
72-0 Red Sash Swordsmen = 72
72-0 Orange Sash Swordsmen = 72
72-45 Green Sash Swordsmen = 27
24-0 Household Guards = 24
11-0 Household Misc. = 11
10-10 Light Cavalry = 0
24-24 Medium Cavalry = 0
11-1 Leaders = 10
368 Miniatures At Start
-100 Lost (-27%)
268 Miniatures At Finish

3. Craxus Commentaries
Our Right Flank forces were to move swiftly forward and engage Legio II. However,

After Marcellenius Alexander Pettygree swept our horsemen from the field on the opposite flank and headed for our rear, we were taken out of our battle plan. It required the Red Sash Swordsmen that were posted near there (not even mentioned above) to retire to cover us. Half our archers and the Household Guard of the King were also called to help.

The Orange Sash Swordsmen adjacent to the mutilated Green Sash Swordsmen were supposed to attack with the latter and push the Romans back to the coast. However, they paused as our leaders contemplated what enemy cavalry might do in their jubilations.

Our sole happiness came from our archers single-handedly ruining the enemy Light Infantry Screen. 

4. Raison d' Être
(a) Action for my mostly new Republican Romans.*
(b) Had to conscript close enough foes outside Antiquity.
(c) Get in a solo game. Real opponents preferred.
(d) Test the rules and fine tune them for next times.
(e) Casualty rings used to accelerate play.**

*   Some were very old pards: 1970s Mini-Figs.

**Table needs clearing for 1942 Burma tomorrow!

5. Your interest and remarks are appreciated very much. Thank you for looking in.


Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Chapter II: Legio II's Battle On Sardonia

When?: Late Roman Republic Era Date Uncertain
Location: Sardonia Island
Situation: King Sardonicus III Contests Legio II
Miniatures: Using What I Have
Rules: Adapted from Batailles de l'Ancien Régime
Solo Game In An Imagineered Ancient World

See Chapter I

Wherein King Sardonicus III hastened to his southern shore to throw Republican Roman invaders back into The Middle Sea. Pompeous Augustus Pettygree and Legio II had come ashore demanding the renewal of tribute. At the end of Chapter I, all forces were in motion with screens about to engage thusly.

And now observe the upper right of this image at....

Roman Auxiliary Numidian Light Cavalry and Slingers stop advancing Sardonian Light Cavalry as Marcellenius Alexander Pettygree arrives to take command bringing more....

Numidians shouting, "Hail Marcellenius!" as Sardonian Lights fall back and heavier enemy cavalry arrives (upper right). He roars back, "Charge!"

Both bodies of horsemen surge forward as more Roman red-clad horsemen arrive in support.

The two leaders face each other in the tumult.

Realizing the initial clash was indecisive, reserves charge in. (Sardonians in the upper left and Romans at the image bottom.)


King Sardonicus III and Minister Craxus Maximus

"Let us cross the stream to be near our advance."

"Yes, Highness and to better observe the Romans. See...."

"Those Javelin men on the Roman Left Flank."

"With Archers to their right slaying our bowmen." 

"But, Majesty look! The enemy Center opens. Their Javelin Screen right of their Archers runs. It runs!"

"Surely a happy omen, Craxus, but...."

"Ten Cohorts are coming toward our lines."

"Five march left. Five others joined by two more are marching straight. The entire body is coming resolutely toward us."

"All should be well, Your Excellency. Our Orange and Green Sashed Swordsmen are advancing." 

"The Green Sashes charged pushing the Roman infantry back! BACK! Their Archers have even fled."

"Great King Sardonicus III, Ruler of All The Middle Sea, things go well. In moments the Romans will be thrown back into the water."