While the Visigoths were driving the Huns from the hill and halting the Ostrogoth advance, on Attila’s right, King Adaric was advancing his formidable force of mounded and foot warriors against the Roman/Frankish line. The streams seen in the photo below were purely decorative, although it is highly likely there were some on the battlefield as the Gothic historian Jordanes mentions brooks running red with blood afterwards.
The Roman Bucelarii and Armorican cavalry attempted to skirmish with the German cavalry but came a cropper when they did not roll high enough on their move dice when evading. The Roman cavalry commander had to charge forward with his Palatine Cavalry to shore up the situation - a close up of which is below.
Adaric’s foot warriors came on rapidly, too rapidly for Attila’s liking as they fell into disorder as they advanced. This gave Aetius’ Franks and opening and rather than stand passively they surged forward to meet the attack by their cousins from across the Rhine. This succeeded in taking the impetus out of Adaric’s attack.
The two pictures below show firstly the view from the Roman/Saxon/Frankish line as Adaric’s wing advances and secondly the moment as Adaric’s men charge forward.
The Huns had meanwhile been subjecting the Alans in the centre, to repeated volleys of arrows. As the morale of the Alan light cavalry was beginning to waiver, Sangiban withdrew them back behind his heavy lancers and was preparing to try to advance forward in an attempt to drive the Huns horse archers away.
This would have been the time for Attila himself to lead a charge by the second line of Hun cavalry. However he was already committed, having taken some of his reserves to left flank in an attempt to stop the Visigoth breakthrough. He led his own comitatus into combat with King Theodoric, and although he was able to stop the Visigoth king from advancing further, he was unable to force him to retire. By this point Thorismund had succeeded in routing the remaining Huns on the hill and, although he sustained a serious wound in the process, he was now in a position to come to his father’s aid.
As dusk was falling, Attila decided to break off from combat and, under cover of the Thuringian, Scirian and Rugian shieldwalls, begin a withdrawal back to the wagon laager. The picture below show the overview of the field at the end of the game,
There had been a lot of personal intervention by the various leaders during the battle, as is quite appropriate for the period. Theodoric, Thorismund, Attila, Adaric, the Roman cavalry commander and Visigoth foot commander had all lead at least one charge into combat. Yet, defying the odds there were no casualties other than Thorismund who was seriously wounded at the moment he broke the Huns on the hill. But of all the leaders, it was without doubt the old King Theodoric (pictured below) who played the most decisive part and whose praises the bards will be singing for many years to come.
The scenario worked very well indeed and I am looking forward to another go with multiple players and maybe a few more troops (keeping the proportions roughly the same). For the Society of Ancients Battle Day I am thinking of offering a prize to the player whose actions are most likely to be remembered by the bards.
More pictures, including close-ups of the varous leaders can be viewed on Simon Miller's blog