The game was a large one and we both fielded almost every unit we have, the Carolingians had three cavalry units one or two of which were elite and a large infantry force with several elite units in the line, two skirmish units and one of massed archers. I could not afford to bring my elite infantry so all the Roman units were average and one unarmoured, in support I took two Foederate Goth warbands, one of nobles. My plan was to strike with my elite cavalry so as well the generals Hunnic Bucellari I had Alan and Germanic nobles, I was hoping the nomads would pepper the enemy with arrows before having to charge in.
|Romans left, Carolingians right.|
As we deployed we had the infantry opposite each other as well as the cavalry all on the one flank, it was here I thought Stewart had made a mistake as he had had the opportunity to put his massed archers in support of his mounted troops but instead he put them in his line of battle. In fact it was a mistake but one he recovered from with some good generalship. My plan was to strike quickly with my cavalry and turn the Carolingian flank, I was hoping for a little time but the enemy cavalry came straight at me. At the first clash I found my cavalry on the back foot while my third unit was now being outmaneuvered as an infantry unit peeled off to approach them and the enemy cavalry started to pelt them with javelins, oh oh. I held my infantry back for the moment as did Stewart.
|The cavalry clash.|
All the action was now on my left as my cavalry eventually stood and began to push back, however one combat all but destroyed my Alans, leaving them victorious but basically useless as a fighting force. My Bucellari eventually broke their foes but the pursuit took them away from the battlefield and they basically took no further useful part in the action. My last cavalry were now forced to charge the Carolingian infantry but died to a man in a very one sided affair. My left and Stewart's right were now both finished as far as the battle went, honours were probably even here although I had expected much more from my horsemen.
|Break them, damn it!|
I now felt that I had to push my infantry forward or they could be outflanked by some marauding Carolingian skirmishers if they managed to reform. Again I was forced to charge the enemy although I was not yet ready, I expected to be beaten but the Lanciarii Gallicani fought like Trojans and began to push back their foes, an unexpected turn of events for me. Meanwhile just as I was ready to throw the Goths in Stewart won the initiative (again) and charged me, I cursed the Foederati as their javelin volleys fell short, this must have galvanised them as they stood their ground, no quarter was given. I now managed to get my remaining troops into action and the fight rippled along the battlefield, both sides gave as good as they got, albeit I thought my days were numbered.
|Slight confusion on the Carolingian left.|
|The Goths advance.|
|Forward for Rome!|
Slowly my boys began to gain the upperhand despite excellent Carolingian morale, and although my Goth nobles eventually ran they had stood their ground and gained the rest of the army valuable time, it was now that the enemy began to break. Desperately wounded with his army beginning to flee Charles Martel offered up his sword, my Tribune leading the Roman infantry breathed a sigh of relief.
|Battle is joined.|
|Carolingian victory so close, yet ............|
|Quinta Macedonica defeat the enemy.|
What a fantastic game, hard fought by both sides although I did my fair share of shouting and sighing at both my dice and my boys. I was very disappointed with my cavalry but my infantry more than made up for it albeit not until two thirds of the way through the battle, until then I was sure I was heading for defeat. My missile fire never got off the ground while Stewart had some success with his, his morale also held up until the end no matter what got thrown at him.
|The end is nigh.|