Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Magnesia: Deployment

Long distance shot looking from the Seleucid central area across the front of the legions towards Eumenes at the top left of the picture.  The Pergamene cavalry are deployed well behind their skirmishers.
The photo above is taken from behind the Roman centre, looking towards the Seleucid left flank at the top right of the picture  (which faces the Pergamenes from the first photo).  You can see the powerful cavalry forces on the Seleucid wing, behind the scythed chariots.  At the top centre of the picture are the light infantry hillmen, linking with some Galatians and then into the massed phalanx at the top left of the photograph.  Evil nasty Roman legionaries are in the foreground, growling grimly at all and sundry, especially their generals: "We want loot! We want loot!  We want loot!  And some slaves wouldn't go amiss either.  Did we mention loot?"  And some people think these guys were civilised...
Shot number three is taken from the same position as the one above, but this time looking towards the Seleucid right flank.  In the immediate foreground is the mass of the legionaries, flank resting on a loop of river.  The Velites are out front to do what they do best.
A view above of those nice neat legionaries, taken from the left hand corner of the Seleucid deployment.  You can't see much detail in this one, but I think it gives a good impression of the massed legions.  Pergamene skirmishers are in the immediate foreground and you can make out the Achaean auxiliaries linking the legions with the Pergamene cavalry to the left of the shot.


  1. Phew, Paul! A lot of minis, very impressive.

    In plans of the battle, I often see the Seleucid left outflanking Eumenes by a fair distance- I don't think you have that? Are the two armies broadly similar in number of minis?


  2. Hi Simon, thanks for your stamina! I agree with you about most battle plans showing Eumenes to be well outflanked. I decided not to do that for several reasons. First, our rules really punish units that are even partially ouflanked. Second, I have my suspicions about the numbers that the (pro-Roman!) authors say were present. Third, even if Eumenes blows away the chariots and then the troops behind, that would still leave a whole load of stuff far out on the flank, and my feeling is that isn't what happened in the actual battle. Fourth is space: the table is already 12' wide as it is!

    So what I did was deliberately match up the forces on Eumenes' wing. The Pergamene units are in two ranks, but are of very good quality, while the opposition is in columns. To be honest, it was a bit of a guess, but it worked surprisingly well on the day.

    Numbers: 576 Romans in four legions plus 156 figures of various kinds on the Pergamene wing; that's 732 in total for Rome. 144 were skirmish infantry, leaving 588 tough guys.

    The Seleucids had 4 elephant figures, 10 scythed chariots (I used 5 on sabot bases) and 792 others. Of these, 84 were skirmish cavalry and infantry, so they had 708 heavier types.

    That's over 1500 figures, not including commanders - I hadn't counted it properly before. The numbers are about equal on both sides, but the Seleucids have a significant numerical advantage in non-light troops. Shame about their relative quality...

  3. Paul, what chariots did you use ? Company wise? Mike Adams

  4. Hi Mike, my four are by Essex. The one in the middle belongs to one of our club players, and it's certainly a lot smaller than the Essex figures. I have a feeling his could be an old Naismith Design, although I can't remember if they made any scythed chariots. I do know that many of his Macedonian and Successor types are by Naismith.

    I'm hoping to revamp my four at one point. They need some repairs, highlighting and varnishing.


  5. Cheers, Ray, and thanks for looking!