It seems fitting that we pay a brief homage to Caesar as we wrap up the series of conflicts between him and Pompey in the first Greatness Evolved Series.
Julius Caesar achieved the goal of his life – a fame akin to immortality. Born in 100 BC to one of Rome’s most noble families, Caesar was well aware that his family had lost its former political clout and determined to rebuild it. The Republic of Caesar’s youth was in decline: decades of increasing political stress between competing groups and classes led to civil wars, wars against the Italian allies, and recurring bloody coups d’etat. Underlying the turmoil was a struggle between the handful of noble families who had controlled the Republic for a century – the Optimates – and those wishing to extend power to other classes and allied states (the Populares).
From the beginning young Caesar firmly allied himself with the popular agenda. Then, in his ‘teens, came the terror of the Dictator Sulla, with proscription lists in the Forum of who would be killed and whose property would be confiscated. Rome appeared locked in revolution and counter-revolution.
Caesar’s early life reads like an adventure thriller. During Sulla’s dictatorship, the Dictator demanded that Caesar divorce his teenaged wife, the daughter of Sulla’s enemy. Caesar defied the dictator and was forced to flee Rome with a price on his head.
Well there it is. What did we just experience over the past several months? If you recall it all started about here: http://wp.me/p1yz7I-75VzI8
We looked at the maturation of 2 great Roman Generals, taking a sample of their battles and engagements to see what we can learn. While the Great Battles of History series from http://www.gmtgames.com is a fair representation for what it is, clearly nothing we have is a complete model.
Suffice to say many battles did not turn our historically nor did the “best man” always win. Some engagements were doomed, regardless of hindsight being applied. Many of Pompeys conflicts were situations where no matter what, Sertorius’s wily approach was going to beat out the younger Pompeys efforts.
We see this handily at the Baetis River engagement in 80 B.C. Little is known of Pompey as a fighter or a general prior to this time. We do know his self raised and privately funded army that rode to Sullas aid at the outset of the !st Roman Civil War involved combat. We however are unclear as to his role in direct combat or the totality of his involvement. Suffice to say at Baetis River, the outnumbered Sertorius used terrain and his better trained troops to beat Pompey in what should have been a victory for Pompey.
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Pompeys Skirmimishers move to the center to attempt assistance. Lentulus moves and a conducts a couple of wholesale attacks with the Cretan conscript legions versus the VII. This was not a solid idea. One group inflict enough suffering to force back the VII, but the units adjacent break and rout, fleeing the field. 10Rout points!
Pompeys Cavalry draw up to charge the flank of Caesar. In the Center General Domitus and his men attack the Syrians and Macedonian A Legion, with a continuation and Pompey failing to intervene via Trump, Domitus inflicts heavy casualties across 7 attacks. Caesar orders elements of the X th forward to engage the forming lines of Cavalry. This invokes the 2 hex LOS rule! Panic ensues along the line and 12 Rps are distributed but thankfully for Pompey no forces flee! A good portion of the cavalry are now combat ineffective. This was a nice way to reflect the surprise, and Caesars use of it, pre empts the Popepiian forces.
In the final Battle of Greatness Evolved; Pompey v Caesar [PvC] we are looking at the war waged between almost identical forces. Pompeys large cavalry force is a factor but his generals struggle to bring them to bear. The battle is Legion on Legion, Roman v Roman. Except where Conscript Legions are present!
Here in lies the problem for Pompey, he has the larger force, but less experience and lower morale for the Legions brought in hurriedly from Syria, Macedonia and Crete. This I think more than anything is going to be a telling factor in the Boss on Boss, Pilum v Pilum fighting that is taking place. Lets see what transpires in Turn 3. Full video on youtube tomorrow.
In the South the Galatians fight toe to toe and give as good as they get.
In fact forcing the VII to ease back and protect the flank from 2 squadrons of Roman Cavalry penetrating and running amok. However next door the Cilician and Cretan recruit level Legions are not faring as well. They quickly retire due to the aggressive stance of the forces in front of them and attempt to start doubling up so that their line has more upfront depth and size. The Caesarian forces cannot do this without leaving large gaps in the line. 2 Cohorts fall holding the line.