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VALLEY OF DEATH 57BC
THE GALLIC SECOND REPULSE OF ROME
Origins of the Campaign Gaul: the Arena of Conflict The Coming of Rome The Opposing Leaders The Gallic Commanders The Roman Commanders The Opposing Armies The Gallic Army The Roman Army The Gallic Order of Battle The Roman Order of Battle The Opposing Plans The Gallic Plan The Roman Plan The Campaign The deployment The Initial Gallic Advance on all fronts Julius Caesar Ken’s Counterattack The Warband Attack in the Centre Roman Left Wing Crumble Roman Centre Broken Final Victory of Gallic by breaking Roman Left Wing and Centre Aftermath and Reckoning Performance of the Gallic Army Performance of the Marian Roman Army
Origins of the Campaign
The battle of Hamburger Hill in 60BC was a serious setback of Rome in the Gallic War. Although Julius Caesar Ken had routed its Gallic opponent and kept most of his army intact, the German intervention on the Roman’s left and the crushing defeat inflicted by the German save the day for the Gallic tribe. With Lorento committed suicide in his bath and Proconsul Chu cut down by the barbarian in the Battle of Hamburger Hill, Julius Caesar Ken assumed overall command and raised a small but powerful army to invade Gaul again. Peace was short-lived. In spring 57 BC Julius Caesar Ken executed his plan and led the army into the Gallic territory again. King James this time did not receive any help from his German allies and had to face the onslaught of Rome alone. James’ army composed mostly of newly raised cavalry tried to stop the Roman advance in a valley later known as Valley of Death.
3 . Unfortunately both hills were rolled at the wrong side of the table. The result was. as can be seen from the photos. King James needed open ground to let his warband fighting in full potential and thus selected 1 FE of wood and 1 FE of marsh to protect his flanks and also several hills to reinforce his position. Each side also has a marsh at the center rear and the Gallic also enjoyed an extra benefit of having a small wood covering his left flank.Gaul: the Arena of Conflict Photo of the terrain Julius Caesar Ken might probably want to copy his success at the Battle of Hamburger Hill and thus he chose 2 1FE size of hill and 1 FE size of marsh. that the battlefield was very open with some hills at the edges of the table.
4 . His loyal ally.The Coming of Rome The Battle of the Valley of Death was the second battle of a series of battles fought between the Marian Roman army and Barbarian armies at HKSW meeting. Chieftain Neil in the course of battle. helped King James.
Note that nearly all the figures used in this game were painted by Dragon Painting Service Co (“DPS”).com. 5 . Should you be interested to order painted figures from DPS. Members of The Hong Kong Society of Wargamers are entitled to 15% discount. King James and Chieftain Neil after the battle James was the Commander who commanded the Gallic army and Neil the left wing sub-general commanded the cavalry wing.hk. DPS has sponsored our Society’s activities for four years. please contact: dragonpainthk@yahoo.The Gallic Commanders Photo of the Gallic Commanders. King James and Chieftain Neil during the battle Photo of the Gallic commanders.
The Roman Commanders Photo of the Roman Commander Julius Caesar Ken during the battle Julius Caesar Ken was the overall Commander with his newly raised Roman army. His army was recently painted by DPS and just been delivered to him. 6 .
The Gallic Army The Gallic Warband 7 .
The Gallic Cavalry 10 .
The Roman Army The Legions 12 .
The Spanish Foot and Thureophoroi 14 .
Spanish and Gallic Roman Ally Cavalry 15 .The German.
5 Command B 1 Army Baggage 1 Sub-general 4 Cavalry 10 Cavalry Type Irr Irr Irr Irr Bg(I) Cv(O) Cv(O) Cv(I) Cmd Train SG AP 1 17 7 5 Total 1 17 28 50 ME 1 4 1 1 Command C 1 Army Baggage 1 Sub-general 11 Cavalry 10 Cavalry Type Irr Irr Irr Irr Bg(I) Cv(O) Cv(O) Cv(I) Cmd Train SG AP 1 17 7 5 Total 1 17 77 50 ME 1 4 1 1 Train Command 6 Army Baggage Type Irr Bg(I) Cmd Train AP 1 Total 6 ME 1 16 .The Gallic Order of Battle Gallic (Belgae) A Total ME >1/4 ME Lost >1/3 ME Lost >1/2 ME Lost Cmd Points 58 15 19.5 302 B 20 5.5 * Shattered 0 Command A 2 Army Baggage 1 C-in-C James 16 Cavalry 64 Foot warriors 5 Javelinmen 3 Archers Type Irr Irr Irr Irr Irr Irr Bg(I) Cv(O) Cv(I) Wb(O) Ps(I) Ps(O) Cmd Train CinC AP 1 17 5 3 1 2 Total 2 17 28 192 5 6 ME 1 4 1 0.5 14 146 D 0 0 0 0 0 Train 6 2 Break Points * Disheartened 2.5 29.5 97 C 27 7 9.5 0.5 7 10.5 0.5 * Broken 3.
5 251 B 24 6.5 136 D 0 0 0 0 0 Train 12 3.5 21.5 148 C 26 7 9 13.5 1 1 0 Train Command 6 Army Baggage Type Reg 17 Bg(O) Cmd Train AP 3 Total 18 ME 2 .5 2 0 Command B 2 Army Baggage 1 Roman Sub-general 16 Legionaries 2 Ditch and rampart for camp Type Reg Reg Reg Reg Bg(O) Cv(O) Bd(O) TF camp Cmd Train SG AP 3 28 7 1 Total 6 28 112 2 ME 2 4 1 0 Command C 2 Army Baggage 1 Roman Sub-general 4 German and Gallic cavalry 4 Spanish javelinmen 6 Thracian foot 6 Thureophoroi 4 Ditch and rampart for camp Type Reg Reg Reg Irr Irr Reg Reg Bg(O) Cv(O) Cv(O) Ps(S) Ax(S) Ax(S) TF camp Cmd Train SG AP 3 28 8 3 4 5 1 Total 6 28 32 12 24 30 4 ME 2 4 1 0.5 12.5 4.5 8.5 0 Break Points * Disheartened * Broken * Shattered Command A 2 Army Baggage 1 Roman C-in-C Julius Caesar Ken 8 Legionaries 4 German and Gallic cavalry 4 Spanish cavalry 4 Spanish javelinmen 8 Legio X 4 Ditch and rampart for camp Type Reg Reg Reg Reg Irr Irr Reg Reg Bg(O) Cv(O) Bd(O) Cv(O) LH(O) Ps(S) Bd(S) TF camp Cmd Train CinC(B) AP 3 53 7 8 4 3 9 1 Total 6 53 56 32 16 12 72 4 ME 2 4 1 1 1 0.5 6.The Roman Order of Battle Roman army under Julius Caesar Ken A Total ME >1/4 ME Lost >1/3 ME Lost >1/2 ME Lost Cmd Points 42 11 14.
Charged home before the arrival of Roman flanking force if any. kill. psiloi at the front while his legions were positioned behind.” The Battle started at noon (12:00). Therefore the deployment of his force was complex. James hoped that the open terrain would help him achieving his goal. Photos of Roman deployment from right to left 18 . The Roman Plan The plan of Julius Caesar Ken was rather complex. eat. A small detachment of cavalry was also place on its left wing to protect the flank while a larger detachment of cavalry and light horse was positioned at his right wing. From his past experience at the Battle of Hamburger Hill he knew that his auxilia were hard to crack by warbands.The Gallic Plan The plan of King James was simple. eat and waaggh. Thus he had a lot of faith on these units and wanted them to stem the tide of the warband attack. waaggh. He placed his auxilia. “Kill. He expected James to field all of his available foot warband (actually only 64 out of possible 96 were field). Frontal attack in the same old barbaric fashion.
James also placed a large cavalry wing on his left.The Deployment Situation at 12:00 . Unhappy with the result at the last battle. James this time recruited more cavalry to deal with the troublesome Roman auxilia. Typically he placed all his foot warband at the center. James commanded a smaller cavalry wing on the right wing and to have watchful eyes on any outflanking movement of the Roman force. Thus the cavalry were to cover the advance of the warband. 19 . He had 64 elements of foot warband positioned in 16 elements width and 4 ranks deep.Gallic side Last time James was unable to completely surrounding the Hamburger Hill due to the suborn resistance of Roman auxilia. The purpose of the deployment was that should there be any auxilia found in front of the warband the raw cavalry would pass though the warband to deal with it. Right behind the warband there were also 16 elements of raw cavalry in single rank. Neil was ordered to secure the hill and then turn the Roman right flank.
eat and waaggh. kill. waaggh! 20 .Kill. eat.
Situation at 12:00 . the legions could counterattack at the desired moment thus routing the warbands. The cavalry wings were to skirmish only and to protect the flanks. The first line of light troops was deployed to absorb any possible initial charge of the warbands which was deadly and with them giving ground gradually rather than suddenly. 21 .Roman Response As mentioned before. Due to being out numbered. Roman deployment was rather complex. the Roman deployed deep instead of a more linear fashion.
Neil also advanced his large cavalry group and was able to secure the hill on Roman’s right. the cavalry in the front also reported that the Roman auxilia was actually smaller in numbers than they seemed to be. James also advanced his smaller cavalry group on his right to support the advance and to crush the Roman left wing. After seeing the Roman initial deployment. The advance of the auxilia also gave room for Ken’s legion to deploy. Thus James had nothing to worry about and lined up all his cavalry as well as those commanded by Neil (more than 30 elements) in order to execute a La Grand Charge. At 12:10 Ken withdrew his psiloi to the marsh and allowed his legion to advance to deal with the Gallic cavalry. both cavalry commands advanced cautiously and had some cavalry elements held in reserve to deal with any unexpected situation. James wanted to use his cavalry to defeat those Roman psiloi and auxilia and clear the way for the foot warband. However. Ken sent his auxilia forward hoping that they could brunt the charge of the Gallic cavalry. uncertain whether there was any outflanking force sent by Julius Caesar Ken. 22 . King James stationed with the foot warband so that he had a tight control on these unruly fighters. At 12:20 a Roman deserter (Herbertis Wongius) revealed to James that there was no outflanking force sent by Ken (Ken rolled 3 command dices instead of 4). He also advanced his other legionaries behind the auxilia in order to support them. Moreover. Facing such a formidable cavalry formation. James immediately advanced his cavalry in the center to cover the advance of his foot warband.The Initial Gallic Advance on all fronts Situation from 12:00 to 12:30 The battle started at noon. In support of the advance in the centre.
The charge killed 2 units of auxilia. It left a hole in the cavalry line and let Ken to exploit it. James could not achieve a breakthrough there but in return had one of his cavalry units killed. This was quite unlucky for the Romans as they should be able to hold for a longer period. However. 23 . thing did not go smoothly at James right wing.Situation at 12:40 and the initial Assault Surprised by Ken’s advance of the auxilia. Although James’ cavalry had also overlapped Ken’s smaller cavalry detachment. James and Neil nevertheless ordered their cavalry to charge home. It seemed that Ken’s hope could not be fulfilled.
24 . However. It seemed that Ken could stabilize the front.Roman Response Ken advanced his legions in the center left to counterattack James’ cavalry. His cavalry on both wings also counter-attacked and managed to inflict some losses on James and Neil’s cavalry. the threat on Ken’s left did not remove as James was going to turn Ken’s left using his vast number of cavalry.Julius Caesar Ken’s Counterattack Situation at 12:50 .
Eventually James had let go his foot warband. James decided whether to commit his foot warband into the fray. The Roman auxilia were also giving way from the pressure of both James’ cavalry and warband. They charged through their cavalry and soon 4 legions were destroyed. The situation was grieved and his smaller commands were close to dishearten point. Once disheartened the legion and auxilia were easy prey to warband.The Warband Attack in the Centre The high tide of the battle came at 13:00. Actually James had little option as he threw 1 PIP for that command and the target was also tempting. There were a lot of legion positioned within the strike range of the foot warband and they were all caught in double ranks. 25 . Ken wanted to stabilize the situation but already a hole was created in his center. Thus the foot warband could kill 2 legions in a row. Immediately a wave of warband in 16 elements wide and 4 ranks deep had surged forward for their victim. Seeing his cavalry being repulsed by Ken’s counterattack. He had no option but to commit his Legio X (Bd(S)) into battle.
Roman Left Wing Crumble At 13:20 the legions at the Roman left wing were broken after suffering terrible losses. In one stroke James’ warband was able to kill 1 auxilia and 2 legions. 28 .
29 .Roman Centre Broken At 13:40 Roman center also crumbled and everything was lost.
Situation on the Roman left wing at end of 13:40 Hope peace can 33 .Final Victory of Gallic by Breaking Roman Left Wing and Centre At around 13:40. this sparked a panic in the Roman files and the whole army started to flee. last forever. Julius Caesar Ken could not do anything but to flee with the remaining part of the army back to Italy to fight for another day. The Gallic losses were minimal and James claimed a major victory. the veteran Legio X started to take casualties Since the left and the center of the Roman army were already broken.
I positioned the warband at the centre and two cavalry wings at the extreme left and right. The cavalry had disturbed the position of the Roman legions before the foot warband charged home. However.Aftermath and Reckoning Performance of the Gallic German Army Extract from the Gallic King James: The battle again was straightforward. this time the foot warband were also supported by newly raised raw cavalry and these cavalry played a crucial role in the crumble of Roman centre. 35 .
Having been caught in the open ground the Roman had little chance to withstand the onslaught of the Gallic warband especially the Gallic enjoyed a vast superior advantage in the number of cavalry.Performance of the Marian Roman Army Julius Caesar Ken fought the battle in unfavorable terrain. What if Julius Caesar Ken’s had received his field fortifications and his Gallic Auxiliaries reinforcements before the battle 36 . Further more the Roman did not dig field fortifications in such unfavorable terrain. The original plan of having the auxilia to brunt the charge of Gallic cavalry did not work and the trick to create an exaggerating army was also unable to fool James. In addition. the Roman logistic department misread the army list and thought that no Gallic auxillaries are available. .
org 37 .Editors: James Cheung and Lawrence Ho Writer: James Cheung and Ken Chan Copyright © 2011 The Hong Kong Society of Wargamers www.hksw.
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