Friday, 11 May 2012

Plataea game - full report

I finally managed to put some time aside so that I could sort the photos I took of the Plataea game last Saturday at Carronade.  Army deployments:
The first photo shows the Thebans and medizing Greeks on the right wing of the Persian army, from the opposing perspective.
Moving along into the Persian centre, we have the mixed contingent of Bactrians, Indians and Sakae.
Then the massed ranks of the Persian spear and bow units.
Finally, the best troops in the Persian army, arrayed on the left of the army.
Now from the other side, starting with the Spartans on their hill, Perioikoi and then, hanging back a bit, the Tegeans.  These constitute the right wing of the Greek army, and are directly facing the cream of the Persian army.
The Greek centre is still marching to the field, hence the columns.
And finally we have the Athenians on the far left of the Greek army, trying to anchor their force against the river that runs past Plataea and Mount Cithaeron, which are off table at the Greek left rear.
And the action begins.  Above, you can see the Spartans coming off their hill to pre-empt any attempt by the Persian cavalry to swing around the flank.  I ended up running the Persians here, so most of the remaining photos are taken from my position on this wing.
Looking into the centre, you can see that some of the Greek columns have arrived and deployed into line.  At the very far end of the Greek army, the Athenians have remained in place, waiting for the others to get into position.
I manage to get one unit of cavalry off to the side of the Spartan flank, at the cost of lots of damage from pesky Helots.  I'm trying to follow suit with the second large unit, which I am willing to sacrifice so that Mardonius can retire with the guard horse, which you can see at the bottom right of the photo above.
Just to my right, the Tegeans have lined up with the Periokoi.  The whole of the Greek army is now on the field, and they start an advance en echelon, with the Athenians leading from their left.
On the right of our army, the Thebans advance aggressively, pushing their cavalry as wide as possible.
Back to my wing.  My wide sweep with the cavalry is a failure, but at least their demise hasn't bothered the Immortals.
Above is my attempt at an atmospheric, low level shot of the action down the table from my post at the left rear of the Persian army.  At the bottom right of the photo you can see one unit of Persian elite infantry hanging back.  This is to give Mardonius the space he needs to pull back with the guard cavalry.  I like this photo because it shows what I was trying to achieve with the cork tiles.
The Spartans have caught my second cavalry unit, but I have managed to pull Mardonius back out of danger.  It's going to take the Spartans a while to regain overall cohesion and restore their battle line, which will give me plenty of time to shoot at them.
Above is another long shot of the rest of the table.  The lines are closing in the centre, and the Thebans and Athenians are already hard at it in the distance.  You can maybe just make out the lone unit of Thessalian horse starting to line up with the Athenian rear.  They have ridden hard and managed to disperse the Athenian archers, which means they can now come into the battle proper.

On my flank, the Spartans have despatched my second cavalry unit with clinical efficiency.  The Persian arrow storm begins.
Above is a close-up of the same situation as in the previous shot.
Just at my right, a unit of Periokoi has made it into contact.  The Tegeans are hanging back a little as the rest of the Greek centre moves up into position.  The Tegeans are taking a lot of missile fire.
I manage to sneak over and take a close-up of the Hoplite shoving match on our right.  The Athenians are getting the better of it, but the Thessalians have made it into position.
Back to my post as the lines come together in the centre of the field.
Contact all along the line.
The honours are even between the Athenians and the Thebans as both lose a unit.  However, their mutual hatred fires them up as neither comand breaks morale.

At this point we had to call time.  Units were beginning to rout on both sides, and the Persians were ahead by about six units to four as both sides took losses in the centre.  So we called it a winning draw for the invaders, a far better showing than they managed on the day.  A combination of factors helped with this: keeping Mardonius out of harm's way; good morale dice by Simon at the centre right and right of our army; and the destruction of the Athenian archers that permitted the Thessalians to even things out against the Athenians.  For Claymore in August I'll make the tiles bigger to stop them shifting around, and we will try to take advantage of the capacity to set up in advance the night before the show itself.  Looking forward to a re-run...


  1. Beautiful figures and pictures, damn nice game!

  2. Thanks for the batrep and pics, the game looked great on the day but I didn't get much of a chance to get a good look at the time. I can have a good gander at the piccies now. Cheers

  3. Great pictures and report. It was great to meet you and I hope to see you at other shows in the future.


  4. Great pictures and report. It was great to meet and I hope to see you at other shows in the future.


  5. Absolutely incredible scenic vistas on that table. I dearly wish I'd seen it in person.

  6. Good report! It's good to see that the game was actually played at the Show rather than just the figures being shuffled around the table which can quite often be the case with other demo tables!

  7. Excellent battle report and some great looking figures on display

  8. Thanks for looking everyone. It was good to meet Ross, since it meant I could see the person as well as the blog! If any of you make it to Claymore, do come and say hello and maybe join in the game. There's plenty of space...

  9. Wargamerabbit popping in. Game looks great and the miniatures truely show the ancient battlefield.
    Even the palm tree. Corp like terrain boards for the ground texture. Interesting.

    Michael aka wR

  10. Great looking game. Enjoyed the battle AAR.

    Cork textured game tabletop?

    Michael aka WR

  11. Hi Michael, thanks for looking in on us. You're right about the tabletop; it's made from natural cork wall panels. I wanted to try to avoid the billiard table look, so the textured effect plus some flocking was what I was after. It wasn't perfect on the day, because the tiles are quite flexible and hard to pin down. I'm planning to glue them onto larger boards to make them sit better.

  12. Looks great, and glad to see an offshoot of Battle Day thriving in Scotland. Another Persian getting the better of things - we had the same broad theme emerging from the Battle Day at Bletchley. I am sure the Editor of Slingshot would welcome a write-up for publication..

  13. Hi Richard, thanks for taking a look. I've been thinking for a while about an article for Slingshot. Rather than produce another Battle Day write-up, I might develop an idea I've had for a while for an article, maybe in two parts, that looks at historical scenario design for ancients, especially large multi-player battles. We have been building quite a bit of experience over the last few years...


  14. hey,
    This blog is very nice. I love this picture & this information.

    Pewter Push Pins Texas