So, our seasoned reporter ventured back to Mesopotamia in the 3rd century AD to witness the superpower of Rome, and the “new kid on the block”, the Sassanid Empire slug it out for domination of the Middle East. Phil and Tony commanded the Romans, Dave and Rob the Sassanids. A nice surprise was the return of Fred who volunteered to draw the Sassanid chits. Was this a good idea?
Both sides advanced aggressively. The Romans were in a classical formation with a heavy infantry centre, a cavalry-heavy left wing and a balanced right. The Sassanids favoured their centre and right with the left being held by archers and light cavalry. The raw units of “deep spear” seemed to be holding the camps. The Sassanids soon lost a light cavalry unit, plus took a few disorders on their cavalry and the cataphract unit including the senior General. This seemed to un-nerve them completely, and Fred’s appalling chit-pulling plus the plethora of Saves for the Romans didn’t help the Sassanid mind-set.
By the drinks break Sassanid morale seemed to have collapsed, despite the Romans pointing out that their centre was in a “bit of bother” due to its advance. If the Sassanids could turn into the exposed Roman flanks the day could still be saved.
However no-one had reckoned with Fred’s chit-pulling. The rumour that he was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with “The Spirit of Greg” was untrue, but his unerring ability to pull crap chits was mightily impressive. The Sassanids failed to land a blow...
and the Roman Legionaries settled down to do what they did best…..kill their enemies.
Rob’s senior General first relocated to his elephants after the Cataphracts were destroyed, and then when they were in turn killed moved on again. Eventually we heard the plaintive cry of “what happens to a General when his command is wiped out”?
The answer was to hand the Romans two more coins!.
With both Sassanid flanks also under heavy pressure and in danger of buckling the Sassanids gave up.
The score when the towel was thrown in was 13-0, but 14-0 was on the cards. The heaviest margin of defeat we have seen in a game of TTS.
Afterwards Simon and Fred mused on the evening’s play. Yes the Goddess Fortuna had certainly smiled on the Romans, but the 3rd century Roman army is a mighty, and much under-appreciated army compared to its 1st and 4/5th century counterparts. It still retains good Legionaries and Auxilia, but with decent heavy and light cavalry, plus more missile troops. The “Crisis of the 3rd Century” was more due to calamitous and draining civil wars coupled with the hammer-blows of barbarian invasions in the West and the rise of the Sassanids as an aggressive force in the East, rather than the army being essentially crap!