Impetus Scenarios I – Magnesia

I thought to start with Magnesia, but instead or relying the assumption that Romans were overwhelmed 2:1, I think it more realistic that both sides had roughly 50 000 troops. Assuming that the information is more or less correct, we could further expect that FP equals 2500/5000 troops, FL 1200/2500, cavalry 1000/2000 and skirmishers about 1000/2000.

 Seleucid force composition

  • 16,000 strong phalanx in 32 deep formation. (FP)
  • 3,000 Galatian mail clad cavalry (CM)
  • 3,000 companion cavalry and agema (CP)
  • 1,200 horse archers (CL)
  • 5,500 Cretan and Trallean light infantry, slingers and archers. (S)
  • 7,700 Gallograecian infantry (Gauls) (FL)
  • 1,200 Gallograecian light cavalry (CL)
  • 3,000 Cataphracti. (CP)
  • 1,500 Carians and Cilicians (FL)
  • 8,000 Peltasts (FL)
  • elephants (EL)
  • Scythed chariots

32 deep phalanx would, in impetus terms become 3 deep – substantial but bulky and hard anvil that relies entirely on the success of flank cavalry hammer. Therefore, in Impetus terms, above forces would become something along the following lines:

Commander: Antiochus

  • 3x CM Gauls
  • 3x CP Companions
  • 2x Elephants
  • 3x FL Peltasts
  • 1x S Gallic javelin

Commander: Philip

  • 3x FP phalanx, 3 deep
  • 1x CL Horse archers
  • 3x S Short Bow

Commander: Antipater

  • 2x S Slingers
  • 3x FL Gaul warbands, 2 deep
  • 3x CP Cataphracts
  • 1x Scythed chariots
  • 3x FL Peltasts

Smaller version of the same would then become approximately following:

Commander: Antiochus

  • 1x CM Gauls
  • 2x CP Companions
  • 1x S Gallic javelin
  • 2x FL Peltasts
  • 1x Elephants

Commander: Philip

  • 2x FP phalanx, 3 deep
  • 1x CL Horse archers
  • 2x S Short Bow
  • 1x S Slingers

Commander: Antipater

  • 2x FL Gaul warbands, 2 deep
  • 1x CP Cataphracts
  • 1x FL Peltasts
  • Scythed chariots

Roman force composition

Roman army would be quite bit more conservative than the Seleucid one and compose only two commands. It is likely that Pergamese infantry included not only javelin armed infantry but also thureophoroi with long spear:

  • 20000 legionnaires (most likely 35000 and counting accordingly)
  • 3000 peltasts, thureophoroi (most likely double that)
  • 3000 cavalry, equites and pergamene
  • 500 light cavalry
  • 2000 Macedonian volunteers (likely more)

Commander: Scipio

  • 5x Hastatii
  • 5x Principes
  • 3x Triarii
  • 5x Velites
  • 1x Elephants

Commander: Eumenes

  • 2x CM Roman
  • 1x CM Pergamene
  • 1x CL javelin
  • 3x Peltasts (javelin)
  • 3x Thureophoroi (long spear)

Smaller version of the same would then become approximately following:

Commander: Scipio

  • 3x Hastatii
  • 3x Principes
  • 1x Triarii
  • 3x Velites
  • 1x Elephants

Commander: Eumenes

  • 2x CM Roman (including Pergamene contingent)
  • 1x CL javelin
  • 4x Thureophoroi (long spear)

The greatest disparity of forces is in the cavalry, and the Scythed chariot disaster that spelled doom in the battle is unlikely to occur in the simulated one. It may force the Romans to adopt more maneuvering battle, since head on attack against the Phalanx is unlikely successful and cavalry can overwhelm the Romano-Pergamese contingent with ease.

So, now done, we’ll see how the scenario works in practice.

This entry was posted in Impetus, scenarios and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Impetus Scenarios I – Magnesia

  1. I look forward to it!

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