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Ancient Warfare: Chronicles of Lucius V  -by Paul Bruffell

Detach Formation & New Group

The swarm of Gallic Warriors poured in to the Roman second line. Battle had been intense now for nearly an hour and still more Gauls appeared out of the woods.

Another blue painted warrior collapsed to the floor like a rag doll as Lucius withdrew his sword from the dead body. A brief lull in the fighting to his front allowed Lucius to survey the battle. Lucius’ own Century was holding well but other parts of the line were looking decidedly thin on the ground. With the experience of a seasoned Centurion, Lucius immediately recognised the danger and saw the Gauls were about to break through and in to the rear of his unit. Looking to signal his Tribune, Lucius heard the trumpet call to the Triarii and knew it was too late.

The Triarii (veterans of the Roman Army) rose from their kneeling position, levelled their spears and began to move forward. Under Scipio’s command three maniples of Triarii were advancing with their Tribune to plug the gaps in the left of the line.

P. Cornelius Scipio soon to be called Scipio Africanus for his victories in Africa was already developing the skills that would label him a legendary commander. Scipio knew it unwise to commit all his reserve Triarii and so had formed a small new group of three maniples and it was these that he directed forward.

A player can achieve this by depressing the toolbar button ‘Create New Group’, left click on the first unit to form the new group then press the ‘G’ key. Repeat for the other units required in the same group then click again the toolbar button to switch off the create function.**

The situation was desperate; Lucius could see the bare torsos of the Gallic Warriors coming through the Roman Line to his front and on to his position.

A quick glance to his right told Lucius that his immediate commander, Primus Centurion Sempronius, was directing another Triarii maniple to stop the enveloping action on their right flank.

Lucius stood at the crumbling centre of the Legion.

One Triarii unit remained kneeling, impassive in the heat of battle, their shields rested against their left shoulders to protect them from missiles. Lucius got his signifier to call up the last reserve Triarii unit. ‘Thank Jupiter it’s a double maniple’ Lucius muttered.

The veteran Centurion of the last Triarii unit also saw the Line breaking at two different points. Dividing his unit in to two maniples, 60 men advanced to Lucius’ position whilst the other 60 with their Centurion moved to their right and fought the fanatical warriors in chain mail.

Left click the unit then click the toolbar button ‘Detach Formation’ and choose the strength of the detachment. This will create a second unit in the same hex at the required strength. The strength of the parent unit drops accordingly.

The clash of arms echoed all around him, then one then another of the Triarii arrived at his side, Lucius carried on fighting with the knowledge this was the final throw of the dice.

Suddenly and without warning, Gallic horns could be heard in the distance and the enemy to his front faltered then began to fall back. Within minutes they were running for the cover of the woods. Scipio had successfully turned the tide on the left flank and the Gallic chieftains had seen the signs of defeat. To avoid a massacre they had called their remaining forces back - to fight another day.

Exhausted the Legionaries did not follow up their defeated foe. Drained of energy, Lucius dropped his head and saw blood drip from his red covered gladius. He felt perspiration run down his cheek and saliva dribble from his mouth and down his jaw line. War made animals of all men.

Pulling himself together, Lucius ordered his men to form up. Livius came to his side and spoke: "This was a battle too close to want again". Lucius nodded for he found his mouth was dry and no words came out to respond.


** In version 1.02 this is simplified to:

Depress the toolbar button ‘Create New Group’, left click on each unit to form the new group then click again the toolbar button to switch off the create function.

To: Page I | Page II | Page III | Page IV


Related Links:

TJD's Gladius Blog

Ancient Warfare Series



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