Sunday, 29 May 2011

Bactrian Greeks against Eumenes

The current pretenders to the lands of Persia attack the rebel power that actually holds it.  We used Bactrian Greek for the attackers, and the army of Eumenes for the defence.  Deployment map:

The defenders (in red at the foot of the map) have taken up position in a sort of long, shallow valley.  There is a steep hill on either flank, and a central gentle rise.  The attackers have one gentle rise in their centre as well.  Simon chose the attacking army, which was deployed by Mark.  I chose and deployed the defence.

The attackers have gone for what looks like a classic left hook.  Their right wing (another Paul) comprises two units of 12 Light Cavalry with javelins, a unit of 12 Peltasts with javelins, a large unit of 3 elephant models (facing backwards) and 8 slingers out front.  Their centre right (Billy) rests on the hill, and reads from left to right on the plans as you look at it: 32 Argyrapisdes-style elite phalangites; 32 phalangites; 48 Indian infantry; 32 phalangites and 48 Indian infantry.  All are deployed in four ranks.  8 Skirmish javelinmen and 8 skirmish archesr are out to the frotn edge of their end Indians.  Their left wing (Mark) comprises 12 Peltasts in front of 2 elephants; 16 Companion elite lancers; and at the extremity another unit of 2 elephants.  In front of these is another 8 skirnish archers.

I went for a symmetrical deployment, which is pretty typical for me on the defensive.  Our extreme left wing (Gordon)  has 12 Light Cavalry in column beyond the far steep hill, which is occupied by 12 Peltasts.  Inside those are 12 Companion elite lancers and a large unit of 3 elephants, hanging back.  In front is a unit of 12 skirmish archers and another of 12 skirmish javelinmen.  The centre (David) is basically a large phalanx formation.  From left to right: 24 Argyraspides in three ranks; 48 Asiatic medium phalangites in four ranks; 32 Greek heavy phalangites in four ranks; 48 Asiatic medium phalangites in four ranks; and 24 elite heavy phalangites in three ranks.  12 skirmish slingers are at the front centre.  I have a mirror image of Gordon's command.  My army deployment was based on a wait and see attitude: see what the attackers' deployment looks like, and react accordingly. So it looks as though I will try to hold on the right while Gordon attacks on our left.  The phalanx can pin the enemy centre.

Gordon advances on our left as the enemy light horse fans out into skirmish formation.  Rather than face him head on, a confrontation they will lose, they are going to try to do as much damage as they can with their javelins.

The imposing mass of enemy infantry in the centre.

The enemy advances towards my wing, as expected.  I am going to have to rely on the steep hill to break them up a bit.
Gordon's troops are getting quite far forward.  You can see that the enemy elephants at the end of their line have retreated as much as they can.  They have now turned around and re-ordered themselves.  This will presumably be their holding position as they anchor the enemy's oblique advance.
However, the enemy infantry remains in place, so David angles out our phalanx units into his own oblique advance, leading with the Argyraspides on the left of the line.
The situation on the right as my command awaits the opposition.  The terrain is forcing them to commit piecemeal, which I am hoping will cancel out their advantage in weight here.
Gordon's troops are closing on on the far end of the enemy line.
The enemy infantry starts its own oblique move.  the photo above shows the relative positions of the infantry centres at this point.
Lack of space at my end forces the enemy elephants to press ahead of their Companions.
The moment of truth arrives for my troops.  The enemy elephants have chased my light horse right past the hill; at the same time, their peltasts contest the hill itself.
I win, mainly because Mark's melee dice were terrible.
An angled view of the remainder of the field at the same time.
Contact.  My elephants take advantage of the enemy's traffic jam to help out against the Indians.  It will be only a temporary advantage, but every little helps.
A rare sight: elephants versus elephant combat.  Gordon's wing is making its main attack now.

The action at my end as the enemy's elephants come charging in.  By now, their unit that got around my hill has succumbed to a hail of missile fire.

Gordon's moment of glory arrives.  The enemy phalnax has had to advance due to their elephants losing, in case the rout spreads contagion.  Gordon's Companions have been waiting for just this eventuality, and swing in to threaten the flank of the enemy's engaged Argyraspides.  Pinned to their front, all they can do is await the blow.
To add insult to injury, Gordon's light cavalry join in as well.  The Argyraspides fight to the last.
But it is a lost cause, as huge gaps appear in the rest of their infantry line.
 In the event, ours was a crushing victory.  Quote of the night came when Billy desperately needed a good result to shore up the line.  Trying to calculate the odds, I put him off: "Just don't roll dice, Billy".  I was right - he missed.  Next up: Chandraguptra attacks the Bactrian Greeks, stabbing them in the back after their defeat here.  A good strategist takes advantage!  Should be good - Simon will at last be able to bring in his Indian army.

1 comment:

  1. Nicely done! A classic Successor "revolving door" battle. As always, great to see so many nicely painted and well used troops on the table, Paul!