Miniature Addiction Wargaming with miniatures

Rome invades Spain


This 28mm game of Impetus took place on an eight by five table and is the first in what I hope will be a series of battle reports loosely themed around the second Punic war. A relative newbie to Impetus I’m constantly adjusting my play style as I become more familiar with the rule mechanics. The troops used in this battle are listed below and constitute pretty much everything I have currently painted and based at this stage. For more information on the armies featured in this battle report please click the following links Republic Romans, Celt-Iberians.

The Spanish and Roman Order of Battle.

  • Spanish Left: 1x Light cavalry(CL), 1x Medium cavalry(CM), 4x Skirmishers(S), 6x Light war-band (General)(FL).
  • Spanish Right: 2x Light cavalry(CL), 1x Medium cavalry(CM), 2x Skirmishers(S), 8x Light war-band (General)(FL).
  • Roman Left: 1x Numidian cavalry(CL), 1x Medium cavalry (General)(CM), 3x Legionaries(FP) 4x Heavy war-band(FP), 1x Velites(S).
  • Roman Right: 2x Numidian cavalry(CL), 1x Medium cavalry (General)(CM), 3x Legionaries(FP), 1x Velites(S).

 The Spanish right wing seizes the initiative and advances towards the Roman battle line.

On the Spanish right wing a large mass of light war band rush towards the high ground in the centre of the battlefield. Keeping pace with these warriors is a strong force of skirmishers which advance into the rough ground between the forest and central hill.

The Romans order their Numidian light cavalry forward on the wings while their heavy infantry advance at the double towards the high ground.

Spanish Caetrati engage the legionaries as they seize the high ground

In the centre a large detachment of Roman heavy infantry quickly falls into disorder as they rush forward. Forced to stop and dress their line they fail to claim the main hill which dominates the middle of the battlefield. Under heavy fire from Spanish skirmishers a second group of legionaries (despite some losses) successfully secures the high ground on the left flank.

 First bloody to the Romans

Left: A Spirited charge from the impetus Iberian warriors fails to dislodge the Roman infantry stationed on the hill. As the Spanish recoil down the slope in some disorder still more warriors move through the central valley destroying a unit of Velites as they advance.

Above: A unit of Spanish light horse engages the Numidian light horsemen advancing on the Romans left-wing and is destroyed.

Iberian & Gallic War-Bands clash in what becomes the valley of death.

On the left flank the Spanish cavalry are out classed and destroyed by the Numidians

Unable to fully deploy between the forest and rough ground the Spanish cavalry are caught unprepared and defeated in detail.

The battle hangs in the balance

The Roman left flank begins to fragment as the Spanish war bands beat back the Gauls in the valley and surge onto the hill in the center of the field. Only by committing the last two units of legionaries do the Romans manage to stabilize this section of the battlefield. On the Roman right a strong force of Spanish skirmishers successfully contain the Numidian light horse while their war bands destroy two elements of Principes in heavy fighting between the hills and rough ground. The Roman wing commander along with his sole remaining unit of heavy infantry rush to plug this new gap in the line. Unfortunately for the Spanish these gains have come at too greater cost for their troops to bare, their morale fails and the army quits the field ending the game.

Some final thoughts on the rules and Roman victory.

A combination of bad dice and bad tactics saw the Spanish cavalry quickly succumb to well timed Numidian missile attacks. While the brutal slogging match in the center could have gone either way it was the initial loses on the wings that cost the Iberians the game.

Apart from a couple of mistakes with the movement rules and one army list oversight which led to the Romans having an extra light horse element there weren’t any other issues that popped up during the battle that I can recall. All in all another very enjoyable game although I do feel I still have some way to go before developing a decent understanding of how best to employ specific units on the table top.