Dacian vs Middle Imperial Roman
I don't play often Dacians, I think this army is too much sensitive to match ups and terrain. By the way Dacian history is interesting and in our club they have fought in campaigns and historical scenarios. Many friend of mine own romans armies, and dacians are a good opponent.
This time I wanted a competitive test in the second period, and again my opponents were Romans, a middle imperial army lead by inert Macrinus
Luckily I defended, this is very important for this kind of army. Furthermore I had ambush and concealed corps stratagems, so this let me test them
Few troops were deployed. I had a BdF/BwI corps concealed in the wood on the left, some IPsS hidden behind the difficult hill on the right, and a small Sarmatian corps behind the rocky hill in the center. The Roman concentrated most of his troops on the right, while the left wing was held but some mounted troops.
On turn 2 my concealed corps appeared on the table. I had some problems to coordinate the Sarmatians and the light horses, and the Roman tried to exploit this advancing on that wing. He refused the cavalry, preferring to avoid to face the massed archery. So I echeloned the attack, more by circumstances that by having planned that.
I made a mistake on the right, ambushing 10 elements of psiloi S. My opponent let me keep them in the formation.
Again I poorly coordinated my corps, and was not able to properly cover the gaps in the flanks. Sensing the danger on the right, I pushed forward the IPsS to stop the enemy advance and fight.
Finally the armies clashed, and my skirmisher screen paied off letting me deliver the first charge. The Roman had deployed well, with spaced lines and echeloning, so to do not let me charge his whole line. The warbands on the left were disordered having charged impetously. I killed three legionaries elements in this attack.
The Romans still moved back the cavalry, coordinating an effective counterattack that eliminated nine warband elements. In this moment the situation was tough for me, because the main wbF corps faced two legionary corps, each one absorbing part of the casualties, while mine were all taken by the CiC corps. The Sarmatians charge versus the third roman corps made no gain, but I was happy to keep the enemy engaged. The only positive note in this phase of th battle, was that the continous retreat from roman cavalry opened a gap in the enemy line, and I could infiltrate some BdF aiming to the rear of the legions.
A close up of the combat between roman legions and the dacian horde
With so many troops engaged and so many quick kill results, soon the battle was at the climax. The Sarmatians killed some roman Ax in the rman turn, and were able to exploit this charging directly the roman wing commander. The losses in the center were very high, and the Dacian CiC corps was disheartened, just 0,5ME away from the breaking point.
When the situation was quite desperate, the disheartened warbands were able to confirm a couple of kills, that summed up to the casualties made by dacian archery on the roman cavalry, broke first one command and then all the roman army. What tipped the balance in dacian favour were a couple of rear attacks made by falxmen infiltrated behind the roman line.
A close game, 22-3 to the Dacians. After the game we talked about tactics, deployment and composition of both the armies. We agreed that the roman cavalry tactic was too passive, and probably the roman would have won committing less troops in the wood, to prolong by few more elements the battle line and give more nfantry support to the mounted wing.
What would have happened should the Dacian having been the attacker?