The Battle of Noviodunum 468 AD   2 comments

Riothamus the High King of the Britons and Prince of Dumnonia has been called to Gaul at the request of the Western Roman Emperor Anthemius. Riothamus is a mighty warlord who holds lands on both sides of the channel. He is famed as a victorious leader of battles, popular with warriors and defender of the peasants and slaves who have fled to his lands seeking safety from the ravages of war torn Gaul.

Arvandus is the Prefect of Gaul, charged with defending the lands in the name of  Anthemius. He is a soldier risen from low birth to high command though military advancement. He has received orders however to follow the command of Riothamus, who he sees as a tyrant, a Rex and little better than the barbarians themselves.  Arvandus fears that Riothamus will use his position of favour with Anthemius to increase his power in the northern empire to make himself effectively the High King of all of Britain and Gaul. 

Hengest and the Saxons have been driven from Britain by Riothamus after the Saxon Rebellion culminated in a series of bloody battles and taken refuge with other saxons who have already made their home on the banks of the Loire. They have formed a strong alliance with the Franks from the north of the Seine and the Attacotti, a group of wild Celtic raiders from an island in the the far north of the known world, Alt Clut. Together they have attacked the lands of the Dumnonians in Armorica  (Brittany) and begun to lay siege to the Fort at Noviodunum. Riothamus has marched  to relieve the siege with his British veterans, supported by the troops of the Roman Field Army and the conscripts and garrison troops of the local Civitas.


This is a scenario written for the Hail Caesar rules.


The battlefield is mainly open ground, with scattered rocks, fields, roads and trees for aesthetic purposes only.  In the central ground between the two forces, on the (Roman) left  are two hills and to the right is a Wood.

The Barbarians deploy first and the Romans then march on from their baseline.  The Romans can hide a unit of skirmishers in the woods.  On the Roman first turn the troops are allowed one free 9″ move even if the orders fail and no blunders can occur. 

The skirmishers hidden in the wood can deploy to shoot on their own turn.  If they shoot at a unit in the woods that unit must take a break test as if 2 6’s were rolled if it takes any casulaties. 


Use the standard rules to determine which side is the victor. 

Personal victory for the individual leader can be gained through the following outcomes:
Hengest wins if the barbarians win and Riothamus dies or is wounded.
Coroticus wins if the barbarians win and his division loses less than Hengest’s.
Riothamus wins if the Romans win and Hengest dies or Riothamus’ division loses less than 1/4 formed units.
Arvandus wins if the Romans win and Riothamus dies or his division loses less formed units than Riothamus’.

Riothamus rides out to face his old foe, Hengest.

After Action Report

Mike played as Riothamus in charge of the Roman cavalry and Andy as Arvandus in command of the Roman right flank.  The Roman cavalry on the left flank advanced aggressively whilst the barbarian cavalry opposite seemed to be in disarray.

The Roman Cavalry receive their orders.

Noviodunum, Gallia 468 AD

The Saxons on the Roman right however advanced steadily in Swine Array. 

The Roman cavalry with Riothamus leading in the front rank scattered the confused Hunnic and Attacotti light horse and thundered in to the Frankish Medium Cavalry.  These were supported by the Frankish nobles.  Faced with such a fearsome charge both broke and fled leaving the path open for a sweeping advance into the hapless Attacotti Infantry.  These also broke. 

Riothamus and the British Cavalry sweep down on the Attacotti.

Hengest and his Saxons however fared better.  They smashed into Arvandus’ division and within two turns the Roman right flank had fled.  Arvandus cursed Riothamus under his breath and plotted his revenge.  At this point both sides had lost their right flank command.  Attention turned towards the centre.  The Saxon warband had thundered into the Roman heavy infantry.  However the Roman Shieldwall held.  On the next turn the Romans broke out of shieldwall and counterattacked.  The warband had not expected such resistance, unarmoured and without the momentum of their wild charge they were defeated, shaken and broke. 

The Saxon Warband clashes with the Roman Shieldwall.
The Franks attack the British Veteran Heavy Infantry

All that remained therefore in the barbarian centre were the brave Franks.  Undaunted these advanced towards the British infantry and the Roman cataphracts, driving the cavalry off in disorder under a hail of deadly javelin and Angon fire. 

Sadly their victory was shortlived.  The British infantry retired in good order and the cataphracts, led once again by the mighty Riothamus thundered into the unsupported Franks shattering their shieldwall and sweeping into the flank of the Medium Infantry, already reeling from heavy casualties inflicted by the Light Horse.  With two commands broken the wounded Hengest had no choice but to make terms with the hated Riothamus, giving tribute and surrendering hostages. 

Victory to the Romans, well done Mike and Andy with the individual victory being awarded to Riothamus.

It's all over for the Franks!

Posted April 19, 2011 by wargamesdiary

2 responses to “The Battle of Noviodunum 468 AD

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  1. Pingback: Saturday 23rd April 2011 « wargamesdiary

  2. Was a good battle. Look forward to next instalment.

    72 figures for a large warband was a hefty thing to wheel around………..


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