Legio Wargames

The Battle of Pydna 168 BC

Background

The Romans invaded Macedon with a Consular army (2 Roman and 2 Italian Legions) under Lucius Aemilius Paullus. They were supported by Pergamene and Numidian Allies, including Elephants. They were also joined by a number of Greek troops from friendly states.

 

The Macedonian King Perseus (with Thracian mercenaries and allies) offered battle near Pydna. At first the Romans refused battle but a skirmish broke out by a stream between Perseus' Thracian allies and some Italian cohorts. The skirmish escalated into a full scale battle as both sides reinforced the skirmish.

 

The Macedonian phalanx was initially successful but as they followed up over rough ground they lost coherence and the Romans pushed into the gaps and broke them. The elite Macedonian Peltasts (who were pikemen) fought to the death.

 

 

Pydna map

Macedonain Deployment Area

Roman Deployment Area

Thracians

Italians

Order of Battle          Approximate Scale:  1 Heavy Infantry stand = 6-800 men

                                     1 Light Infantry stand = 4-600 men

                                     1 Cavalry stand = 300 men

 

Although written for Legio VI Macedonica this order of battle can easily be adapted for use with other rules and scales. The scenario will work very well with Civitates Bellantes.

Macedonians

 

Organised into 3 Command under:

  General, King Perseus

  Thracian Contingent Commander, Kotys

  Subordinate Macedonian Commander, Milo

 

  3000 Elite 'Peltasts' (4 Pikemen stands A Grade in one unit)

19,000 Macedonian Pikemen (32 stands B Grade in 4-8 units )

 

14,000 'other' infantry composed of:

3000 Thracian Mercenary Peltasts (4 stands, C Grade in 2-4 units )

1000 Thracian Light Javelinmen accompanying cavalry

3000 Cretan Archers (6 stands C Grade in 2 units)

1000 Greek Light Javelinmen (2 stands C Grade in 1 unit)

6000 Mercenary Thureophoroi (8 Peltast stands C Grade in 2- 4 units)

 

   4000 Cavalry composed of:

1000 elite Thracian Heavy Cavalry (4 stands with integral infantry

             B Grade in 1 unit)

300 Royal Ile (1 stand Heavy Cavalry, A Grade in 1 unit)

900 Greek Light Cavalry (3 stands C Grade in 1 unit)

2000 Macedonian Heavy Cavalry (5 stands B Grade 1-2 units)

Romans

 

Organised into 3 Commands under:

  General Aemilius Paullus

  Roman Subordinate Commander, Scipio Nasica

  Roman Subordinate Commander, Lucius Pompeius

 

20,000 Romans + Italian allies composed of:

4800 Velites (8 Light Javelinmen stands C Grade in 2 or 4 units)

4800 Hastati (8 Swordsmen stands C Grade in 2 or 4 units)

4800 Principes (8 Swordsmen stands B Grade 2 or 4 units)

2400 Triarii (8 Understrength Spearmen stands A Grade, Armoured 2 or 4 units)

2400 additional Italian Cohorts (4 Swordsmen stands C Grade in 2 units)

1200 Extraordinarii (2 Swordsmen stands A Grade  Armoured in 1 unit)

 

12200 other infantry composed of:

1200 Achaian archers (2 stands C Grade in 1 unit)

1000 Numidian light javelinmen (2 stands C Grade in 1 unit)

1500 Pergamene Thureophoroi (2 Peltast stands A Grade in 1 unit)

2000 Mysian Peltasts (4 stands C Grade in 1-2 units)

1000 Cyrti slingers (2 stands C Grade in 1 unit)

1000 Greek light javelinmen (2 stands D Grade in 1 unit)

4500 Greek Thureophoroi (6 Peltast stands D Grade in 2-3 units)

 

4000 cavalry composed of:

600 Roman Heavy Cavalry (2 stands B Grade in 1 unit)

1200 Italian Heavy Cavalry (4 stands C Grade in 1-2 units)

2200 Numidian Light Cavalry (7 stands C Grade in 2 units)

       32 Elephants (2 stands C Grade )

Legion Organisation

I tend to field the the Legionaries in 2 Legions, each one representing a Roman and Allied Legion together. In this case each Legion would consist of 4 Velites, 4 Hastati, 4 Principes and 4 Triarii. Alternatively you could organise them as 4 Legions (2 Roman and 2 Italian) with each line consisting of 2 stand units.

6 x 4 foot table. Grid shows 1 foot (30cm) squares

Deployment

The Tracian Mercenary Peltasts and 'additional' Italian Cohorts are deployed as shown on the map above. The remaining troops may be deployed freely anywhere in the players' deployment areas up to 1 foot in from the back of the table and no closer than 1 foot from the sides.

mac rom1 mid res-1