Pompeus versus Mithridates

This game was a sort of test for a team scenario that my club was organizing, having as subject games representing the campaign marian romans fought versus the assorted enemies of late roman republic.

We wanted to see if it would be fun or balanced to play with romans versus Mithridates, Late Judeans, Commagene, Ptolemaic, all games where the battle would be focused on blade versus blade fight, with roman having better quality.

With these premises, I took a Mithridatic army that is quite easy to morph from a Roman and Hellenistic core. I choosed the late period pontic, with Mithridates himself leading the troops, imitation legionaries supported by a mix of asiatic mercenaries and subjects. My opponent, knowing what I was going to use, choosed the brilliant Pompey, the last of a long list of roman generals the Pontic army fought.


I attacked and this is the battlefield. My army was the irregular version, that is huge. I picked two 1FE scrub hill, because I wanted some terrain to be used by my psiloi, but not dense enough to hamper my cavalry superiority or my close order troops.

The Roman, went for some difficult going to deny my mounted arm and reduce the fight to a frontal slog where his legionaries could win.

As can be seen the battlefield was good for the Roman, with my right wing that was cut off from fighting, except few troops. To note the care choosing the dice, red for roman and gold-silver-bronze for the irregular and very rich Mithridates :))


Roman started the battle with an aggressive advance of their center. I replied holding my center and with a bit of management of the wings.


Pompey was angry for this passive pontic attitude, and decided to use a brilliant stroke to redeploy his center and bring two legions against the mercenary teurophoroi on the left, while his right wing would cover the center.


Mithridates led the trusty Sarmations to the left to reinforce the wing, while the pontic infantry advanced


Pompey then revealed his trick. He bring back part of the heavy infantry from left to center. The manouver was made just as feint to force a misplacement of the IKnF



Pompey's idea was a good one, but there is nothing a good 6 die roll can fix, and I duly proceeded to roll it and bring back the sarmations. Roman army now was outdeployed with the pontic infantry advancing in multiple lines


The combat was opened, as often happens with roman armies, by auxilia and light troops.


Pontic troops suffered some losses, but where able to brush aside the roman first line


Pompey then ordered his three legions to advance


The clash was terrible, with pontic lines pierced in many spots by the legionaries.


Mithridates sent in the reserves, Sarmations and galatians charged the romans but were repulsed everywhere


The Sarmatians disengaged with a feigned flight. So far the Romans fought well inflicting a lot of casualties. But Mithridates was not yet beaten and ordered also the Pontic heavy cavalry to attack.


After several charges finally the asiatics pierced the roman lines. Roman right wing broke.


The Romans reorganized, while Mithdridates prepared the decisive charge all along the line.


The battle was not yet over, because the proud spanish cut to pieces the pontic auxilia, while the Romans held again the Sartmation charge. Both armies had suffered huge losses


Mithridates saw that the fighting was at its climax, and sighting the enemy commander, charged him. Would the duel between Mithridates and Pompey decide the battle? Yes it would...

Mithridates died, his command broke and the pontic infantry center disheartened, but the Sarmations trampled the white legion breaking a second roman corps and the army too. 16-9 for the Pontic, that suffered too many losses including his commander.

A great game.