Battle of Cremona - Fall 68.A.D.

Vindex the usurper's army was intercepted near Cremona while advancing in northern Italy to reach Roma and depose Nero the Emperor. Vindex army was quite different from Vitellius one: being composed by gallic militia, all the Bd were of inferior quality. This made the army of inferior quality in infantry, but larger than Vitellius' one.

Being the attacker, Vindex choosed a defensive approach, to force Vitellius to attack and expose himself.

 

The picture is taken from Vitellius side: two rough hills on the right, a BUA on the far left, and two gentle hills on loyalist side. The one in the center was well positioned.

 

Vitellius army set up and moved first. The two legion were in the center. On the righ a cavalry wing with some auxilia acting as flank guard on the RH, and more Ax near the BUA.

Vindex didn't want to attack uphill troops of better quality. He enjoyed  the advantage that a bloodless result would have been a 13-12 for him, giving a winning draw and the possession of the battlefield and of the area in the campaign. He decided to assume a defensive stance to force his opponent, a notoriously defensive player, to attack.

 

Vitellius advanced. The first turn he pushed harder on his left, to move away the enemy screen

 

Vindex response was to send the Lh on a wide outflanking manouver, and starting to redepoy the Cv.

Both the player had the higher pip dice on the left, lower in the middle, and average for the corps facing each other in the RH sector.

 

This picture is taken after the end of turn 2. Vitellius decided to send his cavalry to the left to parry the outflanking. As soon the Cv left the right wing, Vindex AxS sallied out of the RH to attack the weakened loyalist right while the numidians were passing through the city to go round the enemy.

 

Vitellius reacted immediately, sending his LhO to attack and pin the enemy AxS, and countermarching back part of his Cv to gain superiority in the right wing sector.

 

Vindex tried to readdress his lines, but now he risked to be overwhelmed. The PsO are marching to provide support n the extreme left and keep honest the enemy AxS

 

The numidian are behind the city while the Roman Cv engaged the enemy infantry to slow it.

 

Vitellius tried to quicken his attack in the BUA sector, He enjoyed numerical superiority and tried to use it to overwhelm the few cavalry he faced.

 

He pushed hard the attack on the RH sector too. Vindex AxS are taken off balance after leaving the RH protection, menaced by two directions by superior numbers.

Vitellius was in a better tactical position on both wings. Vindex center was immobile and his unsupported wings risked to be defeated piecemal

 

This was the situation at the end of turn 3. Vindex AxS on the left try to regroup and resist, while the Numidian Lh on the righ finally are near the rear of Vitellian infantry.

 

Vitellius turned part of his line to cover the rear. The rear attack was not well executed for there was almost no troops to pin the front of the vitellian AxS and sandiwich them. The only advantage was to stop the infantry and force it to fight.

 

Vitellius attacked in the RH sector. The situation of Vindexžs AxS seemed hopeless

 

 Vindex in BUA sector finally gathered some troops to attack the enemy from two directions. He was one turn late.

 

Battle situation after Vitellius turn. The centers were not engaged and Vindex AxS near the RH started to take losses.

 

 

Second charges by Vindex  in BUA sector, well executed. Vitellius infantry is in a dangerous position.

 

The gods of wars were on loyalist side. Many 6s later, Vindex failed all attacks and Vitellius fell on flanks and rears. The crowd looking at the battle howled disappointed

 

Vitellius was methodically smashing Vindex's left wing, and the rebel took a decision that would prove its importance later. He disengaged the surviving Ax and Ps to pull back to the RH.

 

Up to this moment Vitellius enjoyed the advantage. Vindex wing corps had lost both 4 ME out of 24, but more important, in the BUA sector wasted the opportunity to destroy with a two side attack the vitellian Ax. It seemed just a matter of time the destruction of the rebel army. Vitellius had lost just 2 ME in all his army.

Vindex decided to use his few Cv to charge head on the enemy legionaries

 

And the charge made an hole. Vitellius covered the gap and used some infantry to menace the enemy flanks, regrouping the scattered Ax to kill the few remaining enemy troops on the far right. Well played.

 

On the left he mopped up the few enemy elements not able to disengage

 

In Vitellius turn another Bd goes down. Vindex, desperate and reckless, charged the enemy general looking for a 6-1 kill, exposing his Cv rear.

 

Vindex failed, and the Cv was saved by repulse.

 

The situation 1 turn later. Vitellius started rolling awful pips, and his attack against the RH stopped. Vindex was able to save his 24 ME corps with 6 casualties, on the verge of disheartening. Finally Vindex infantry moved on to support the Cv. The Axs on the left of the picture made a couple of kills, and let the Cv to slip with individual moves to the right. Now the situation changed and Vitellius was in dire straits.

 

The heavy infantry clashed, and the mounting casualties disheartened Vitellius right wing

 

The last charge by Vitellius. His army started to crumble

 

The withdraw gave no possibility to Vitellius pip starved corps to pick the few needed element to break the enemy

 

Vitellius wing is broken by rebel troops.

 

The game is over, Vindex won 14-11. Vitellius army is repulsed back in Germania superior, while Vindex kept control of northern Italy.

The way to Rome is open.

 

A nice battle, with some very tense moments and well played by both the players. They had two different offensive styles: Vitellius was methodical, slow, looking for advantages to steamroll the opponent. Vindex was faster, reckless, quick to charge.

Both seemed afraid to engage the legionaries: Vitellius fearing enemy numbers, Vindex his lack of quality. Someone was wrong.

The highlights in the battle were Vitellius feint that hooked and nearly destroyed Vindex left wing, Vindex's left wing skillful retreat back to the RH, and his right wing reorganization and renewed attack after being mauled on first charge.

 

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