Saturday, 20 October 2012

Seleucids Fight Again

This Tuesday saw the latest Empire campaign battle, the second in a row for the beleaguered Seleucids.  After seeing off the Ptolemaics last time, they have to turn around and face another attack, this time from the Bactrian Greeks.  As with the previous battle, all photos are taken from my position behind the Seleucid lines:
 The photo of the enemy's deployment facing our left didn't come out too well, but later fighting shots did, so not to worry.  The first picture (above) shows their right centre: a unit of elephants with two units of light infantry in front,preceded by skirmishers, and then moving more into the middle of the field (to the right of the photo as you look at it) are three phalanxes.  These are deployed three deep; it's just that Simon's figures are based four deep, hence the look of the units.
Their centre left is next, with more phalanxes and elephants with light infantry helpers.  This is a mirror image, so their entire centre is arrayed symmetrically.
Their left wing is powerful: a phalanx, a large unit of medium horse, and two units of horse archers.  A unit of elite heavy lancers is in reserve.  Simon commands the right half of their army, Gordon the left.
As with the previous game, I roll randomly to see what kind of set up we would adopt, and it turns out that we are going for a left hook.  And here it is: two units of light horse with javelins, one behind the other; a unit of line heavy cavaly, with a unit of catpahracts behind them; and two units of elephants, each preceded by light infantry.
Our centre comprises five divisions of the phalanx.  Pretty straightforward stuff.

Our right is weak.  Stationed at the flank of the central phalanx units are the Argyraspides, held slightly back, with a large unit of Galatian medium horse en echelon.  We do have quite a few skirmishers, but I'm just going to have to hope that these Galatians perform much better than their predecessors did against the Ptolemaics.  David runs the left wing attack, I run the defence on the right and we split the phalanxes between us.
David begins the battle as planned with an advance on our left.  Facing us, the invaders have exactly the same troops as they have on the opposite flank.  This time, they are the ones who have a symmetrical army deployment.  They throw forward their horse archers to try to wear down David's powerful attack a little, while holding back with the rest of their troops here. This is shaping up to be a standard Successor battle.  Will David's strong left win it for us?  Will my weak right lose it for us?  And what will happen with the phalanx units in the centre of the line?
Both centres advance, although I hold back a little with the phalanxes to the right of our line so as to echelon properly, in keeping with the plan.
I also angle the Argyraspides somewhat so as to present a less open flank, and the Galatians stay where they are.  Sporadic skirmish shots begin to pepper the enemy on the flank a little.
On David's wing, the cavalry clash occurs pretty quickly.
The centres continue their relative advances.
I am well outmatched on the right.  I just have to hope I can hold here as long as possible while David wins the game for us on the other side of the field.
Contact between my Galatians and Gordon's horse archers.
Even more combat develops on David's wing.  Simon rolls really badly for his medium cavalry, so things are going well for us here.
Back at my end of the line, Gordon holds back his equivalent unit of medium cavalry as the rest of his troops start to catch up.
My Galatians don't take too much damage, but they don't inflict much either.
Disaster strikes the invaders facing David.  Their large unit of medium cavalry is easily destroyed, and their phalanx unit on this flank is disordered on morale.  In front of elephants.
And at the same time, the disordered unit is fighting one of our phalanxes, just to make things even worse for the attackers.  They throw in their light infantry in a vain attempt to slow down the remorseless advance of our pikemen.
This is the last photo I managed to take as the decision point arrived.  Gordon throws his cavalry and phalanx into my Argyraspides, and at the same time his lancers move in behind them to threaten our central phalanxes, which are off picture to the left.

And then, suddenly, it was all over.  David had real problems against Simon's reserve lancers, but the rest of his troops wiped out everything in front of them.  In the centre, Gordon's lancers helped to destroy two of our phalanxes.  But on our right, my Galatians finally destroyed the enemy light cavalry; flanked and destroyed the enemy medium horse; disordered the enemy phalanx on morale; and then destroyed them too. They suddenly remembered how to fight on horseback!  Game over, and a second successive victory for the Seleucids.

We rolled for the next event, and the Romans have increased the strength of their legions in central Italy.  We then rolled again, and next time the Later Macedonians will attack the Ptolemaics in Syria.  If the attack succeeds, the Macedonians will cut off the Ptolemaic forces further north and link up with their Seleucid allies, who have held out so valiantly.  Only time will tell if this is the high water mark of Ptolemaic aggrandisement.  And in the meantime, the Roman juggernaut gathers force under a certain Cornelius Scipio.


  1. Nice report Sir, waiting for more.

  2. Hi Andrew, thanks for looking!

  3. Impressive game and report, as always!


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  5. Very nice armies and pictures!