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Cataphract: Great Battles of History Volume III (Second Printing)
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Cataphract is defined as a heavily armoured cavalryman modelled either on the Sarmations (cataphractarius) or the Persians (clibanarius). He was the ultimate mounted armoured warrior of the ancient world, trained in both shock and missile combat.
Cataphract portrays the development of the art of war wrought by the early Byzantine Empire, during the reign of the Emperor Justinian, under his great Generals Belisarius and Narses. During this period the Byzantine Empire, also known as the Eastern Roman Empire, for a brief period of time, re-captured a large portion of what was formerly the Western Roman Empire. Although successful in its attempts to reconquer Italy and North Africa, the Byzantine Empire's resources were insufficient to hold onto its gains.
Cataphract covers all of the major battles that defined this era. To place these battles in their proper historical context, the Campaign Game Justinian is enclosed, which covers the quest to reconquer the Roman Empire under one ruler.
Thus, Cataphract contains the decisive battles of the era, a Campaign Game plus the battles from the Attila module: Utus River, 447 AD and The Catalaunian Fields, 451 AD.
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- DARA (530 AD) Dara covers a critical battle that helped stabilize the Byzantine Eastern frontier with Persia. The operational problem facing the young Thracian general, Belisarius (505-656) is how to defeat a Persian offensive intent on capturing the fortified town of Dara. As commander in the East, with 25,000 men he defeated a combined Persian-Arab army of 40,000 by entrenching his infantry in a refused position in the centre of his line, then carrying out a cavalry envelopment to culminate a classic defensive-offensive battle plan - considered the height of Byzantine generalship.
- CALLINICUM (531 AD) Callinicum is a classic Byzantine counter-raid battle. Byzantine doctrine against raiders was to allow the raiders to plunder the countryside then bring them to bay as they tried to leave Roman territory, In this most unusual of encounters the raiders come off as victors.
- TRICAMERON (533 AD) In 533 AD Justinian launched a campaign to reconquer the western portions of the Roman Empire Belisarius, commanding an army of approximately 15,000 men, began his campaign by first invading Vandal North Africa. He landed South of Carthage and marched on the city. His advance elements were attacked ten miles from the city, at Ad Decimum, and a sudden charge by the Byzantine cavalry routed the Vandals. Belisaruis took possession of the city. Gelimer, the Vandal king, was encamped with his army 18 miles from Carthage, while Belisarius rested and reorganized his army. In 534 Belisarius rode out and attacked the Vandal encampment that was positioned behind a stream. A back and forth battle was resolved when Gelimer fled the field.
- TAGINAE (552 AD) Having reconquered Italy in 540 the Byzantines subsequently lost it to a resurgent Goth counter offensive. In 551 Justinian ordered another Italian campaign under his General Narses. Narses took 20,000 men up the Balkan Peninsula into Northern Italy. In July of 552 AD, near the village of Taginae, Narses encountered the main Goth army under King Totila.
- CASILINUM (554 AD) After having reconquered Italy in 553 Narses was immediately faced with a Frankish invasion under Buccelin. The Frankish horde swept through Italy as Byzantine troops barricaded themselves in the various cities and strongholds. Finally, at Casilinum (Capua), 20 miles north of Naples, Narses brought the Franks to battle.
- SENA GALLACIA (551 AD) The naval battle where the Romans broke the Ostrogoth blockade of Ancona. (Note: You need War Galley to play this Bonus scenario.)
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