Saturday 6 January 2024

Battle of Mons Graupius 84AD using When Warriors Collide


This is game 66 in play testing my ancient rules by replaying historical battles.  I am using another set of my rules, When Warriors Collide (WWC).  I am in the process of writing up the rules but the current draft is here:  When Warriors Collide V3.0e, .  I am play testing rules by replaying all the Peter Sides scenarios from his Historical Battles books.  WWC is designed to finish in around 30 minutes on a 2’x2’ or smaller table; I am currently using a 40cmx40cm table.

Battle of Mons Graupius

The Caledonians attack the Romans when the latter march on the Caledonian grain supply.


Some battle reports:

Command and Colors scenario:




4 HI Legionaries

4 MI Auxilia

2 HC Heavy Cavalry

2 Leaders

Breakpoint: 3


4 WB Warbands

2 LI Skirmishers

2 CH Chariots (poor so x1/2 in melee)

2 LC Light Cavalry

1 Leader

Breakpoint: 3

Scenario changes

Reduced the number of units.




Roman auxilia move and split into two groups to be able to block the opposing 6 units.  Some Light Cavalry and Light Infantry fire at the approaching right flank auxilia for no effect.  The Light Cavalry retreats but causes the opposing auxilia to advance into a light infantry.  Subsequent melee sees both disordered.

Action on the Roman right flank

On the Roman left flank the Light Cavalry fires for no effect and the Light Infantry fire, disorder the auxilia and then retreat.

Action on the Roman left flank

The Caledonian Light Cavalry fires and disorders another auxilia on the Roman right flank.  The right flank auxilia destroys the Light Infantry in melee.

Overview of first battleline status

An auxilia charges a Chariot and it is disordered.  Another auxilia charges another chariot and it is also disordered.  An auxilia charges the Light Cavalry, the Light Cavalry fires at the auxilia and routs it.  The Light Cavalry retires.

Auxilia causing some disorders, but the rightmost auxilia is disordered.

Heavy Cavalry moves to within range of the Light Cavalry. Light Cavalry fires and retreats.  Missile fire causes the Heavy Cavalry to retreat as well.  Light Infantry charges Auxilia in the centre but is disordered.  Light Cavalry fires on Heavy Cavalry and Heavy Cavalry disordered.

Current battleline

Roman right cavalry continues to try and close with Light Cavalry but is routed by missile fire in the end.  Most unexpected.

Roman Cavalry routed by British Light Cavalry

The auxilia move up to harass the Light Cavalry and the Light Cavalry are forced to retreat.

Auxilia harassing the Light Cavalry

On the Roman left flank things are going better with a chariot and the Light Infantry routed by the efforts of the auxilia and advancing Heavy Cavalry.

Clearing the British right flank

Auxilia rout the chariot and move to the flanks to let the Legion line advance.  The Roman Cavalry on the left charges the Light Cavalry that retreats.

Romans have cleared the first line and ready to assault the hill.

The Roman Heavy Cavalry manage to pin the opposing light cavalry and disorder them.  The Roman legions charge up the hill.

Legions advance!

It was all 1:2 (except the Roman leader) so mostly the legionaries disordered.  Now the Warbands do not get the 1st melee bonus The Romans are now mostly 1:1. Managed to get an auxilia on the left flank and that warband was routed.  Next turn it advanced to the flank of another warband and that too was routed.  The Heavy Cavalry also managed to rout the Light Cavalry.

Tenacious Auxilia on the Warband flanks.

The Britons are at their breakpoint and so retire from the field.  The Romans have won!

End game

Rule changes



A long game as there were two battlelines to get through.  Otherwise an interesting battle with some new troop type interactions tested.


  1. Seems the auxilia did a fine job of saving the flanks, as they should.

    1. Yes, I was glad that they worked like they were supposed to historically.

    2. Indeed.

      In other news, did you get any sort of assistance on the OGRE backerkit issue?

    3. No. I have tried a number of different email addresses and address changes but I have resigned myself to buying them once they hit Warehouse 23 post-backerkit release. It may be as I have ordered via backerkit before and so can't change shipping country as some older campaign is lingering and so preventing it. No idea really. I am over my frustration now though - I don't need them that urgently, but I *want* them ASAP. lol.

    4. I have managed to back it! The suggestion from SJG support last week was to try a different browser and/or email address but that did not work last week. But did today. Yay!

  2. Nice game. It is always pleasing when you get through a game without the need to modify the rules.

    1. Thank you. It is a good feeling when writing rules and it just works for a game.

  3. Magnificent that you are going steadily through this large number of games. I love the 'official' account of this battle where, without using the legions and for the loss of a few auxilia with a cut finger or two the Romans dispatched a force of 10s of thousands of Caledonians! Your own version went pretty close to this (save for some more 'reasonable' losses to the Romans).
    Regards, James

    1. Thanks for the comments James. So at least my game followed the account written by the victors :-) I have been sick for the last few months (much better now) that has slowed me down in playing more games. Hopefully back to them soon!