Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Late Romans versus Sassanids Dux Bellorum Game

 


Late Romans and Sassanids deployed


Sassanid left flank


Late Roman left flank


Late Romans charge


Sassanids charge on their left flank


Sassanids retreat


Mixed result on the Sassanid left flank


Elephants charge the Late Roman infantry


Back at it on the right flank


Casualties are mounting


On Tuesday afternoon I played a solo Dux Bellorum game out in the shed with my Late Romans versus Sassanids. Each side had 45 points and six leadership points with the Sassanids as the aggressors. The game went on for quite a few turns, as Dux Bellorum games tend to do, and although the Sassanids won quite convincingly, it was a lot closer than the end result indicated.  A big advantage for the Sassanids was their firepower and this really wore the Romans down. 

The ability to fire at the start of the turn before any movement really worked in their favour as retreats from the previous turn's combat meant they could actually fire as units were separated. It was certainly good fun for my Sassanids' first outing and I will try another game but more play testing is required. Below I've cobbled together a brief overview from the MeG Sassanid lists and some ideas for a Sassanid army list and unit stats that I used to play the game.

Sassanids for Dux Bellorum

 

Brief Overview

 

Early Sassanid Armies were similar to later Parthian armies and retained the use of cataphracts and horse archers. Ardashir I, founder of the Sassanid Persian dynasty, introduced elephants. Sassanid infantry were usually, unarmoured, with spears and wicker shields (Paighan), equipped with bows (Kamandaran) or skirmishers (bow, sling and javelins) and unable to match Roman infantry. The Savaran or Aswaran (mounted Iranian aristocrats) were always the core of Sassanid armies but over time they relied less on the fully armoured cataphract and more on the armoured horse archer. Later seventh century Sassanid armies had quality Dailami guard infantry and Armenian allies before they succumbed to the early Arab conquest armies.

 

Special Rules

 

Parthian Shot


Horse archers can shoot in any direction but have a 2 BW range. They will attempt to evade when charged and may shoot at full effect but will suffer -1 in combat if caught.

 

Elephants


Mounted troops are reluctant to stand when charged by elephants and will usually attempt to evade if possible, they suffer -2 if caught in combat.

 

Elephants who suffer casualties from shooting or combat must make a bravery test, which if failed will result in a stampede. Roll 1 D6 = 1 forward, 2 90 degrees left, 3 90 degrees right, 4,5,6 to the rear. All troops contacted will suffer the loss of a cohesion point.

 

Elephant crew can shoot in any direction with bows or javelins but only have a 2 BW range. They are able to shoot over intervening friendly troops because of the elephant/howdah height advantage.

 

Sassanid Army List

 

A suggested army list taken from the unit stats table below. Take only one fully armoured Savaran unit, they’re very powerful, with more the game may be unbalanced.

 

1 Leader’s Savaran either fully armoured with kontos , or armoured with bow @ 6 points.

0-1  Savaran fully armoured with kontos @ 6 points.

0-4 Savaran armoured with bow @ 6 points each.

0-1 Elephants@ 6 points.

0-3 Foot spearmen @ 3 points each.

0-2 Foot archers @ 3 points each.

0-3 Horse archers @ 2 points each.

0-2 Foot skirmishers @ 1 point each.

 

Sassanid Unit Stats

 

Unit Type

Move

Bravery and

(Morale)

Aggression and (Missiles)

Protection

Cohesion

Notes

Points

Full armoured

Savaran with kontos

3

9

6

6

4

+1 on contact

6

Leader’s Savaran

4

10

5(2)

6

5

2BW range

6

Savaran 

4

9

5(2)

5

5

2BW range

6

Elephants

3

7

6(2)

5

4

Crew with bow and javelin 2BW range

6

Foot

spear

2

7

4

5

4

 

3

Foot archers

2

7

2(3)

4

3

4 BW range

3

Horse archers

4

8(6)

2

4

2

2BW range

2

Foot skirmishers

3

8(6)

1 (2)

4

2

4BW range with bow and sling, 2 with javelin

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Ellies survive a bravery test and don't stampede


Sassanids are wearing the Romans down


Another round of combat on the right


Another retreat 


Sassanid clibinarii shoot at the the start of the turn


Late Roman cataphracts rout


Late Romans still hang in there on the right


Roman right flank is disintegrating


Sassanid infantry charge in the centre



Late Romans finally rout


14 comments:

  1. Cool! Nice adaption of Dux Bellorum. Your elephant rules might just be the ticket for a Punic Wars adaption. Hope things are going well for you!

    Cheers,
    Aaron

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Aaron, the elephant random direction rules are from ADLG, they would probably be fine for the Punic Wars. I can't complain on this side of the ditch, I hope things are going well for you too!

      Delete
  2. A beautiful Sassanid victory, lovely armies!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Phil, it was fun for the Sassanids to win in their first game.

      Delete
  3. Great looking game Cyrus! The Sassanid and Late Roman battles are so interesting. One day I'll have my armies up-together and ready for action!
    Best wishes,
    Jason

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jason, they are indeed, it has taken me ages to get mine going, good luck!

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Michal, it was fun with a victory for the Persians in their first game.

      Delete
  5. That was cool, I always like this kind of expansion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks fmb,DB is a fun set, it’s good to increase the options for army lists.

      Delete
  6. Great looking game, although I would have loved some close ups,the armies look so good! It reminds me I have a primed late Roman Dux Bellorum army sitting waiting in my sideboard, might make a nice change from Napoleonics!
    Best Iain

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks Iain, I’ll try and get some better close ups of both armies at some stage. The Late Romans are hard to beat in DB, cataphracts and shieldwall infantry are tough!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wonderful looking game. Beautiful figures.
    The elephants stolew and it looks like they 'stole' the game too in a rare show of effectiveness!
    Regards, James

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks James, I’ll try a smaller game with a few tweaks and see how that goes. They did well, but with the random stampede rule can be just as much a danger to their own side.

      Delete

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