Monday 9 February 2015

Parthians meet disaster

Parthians against Indians in the campaign. The Indian army deploys:
Their right wing, from the Parthian viewpoint. Malcolm in command here.
Their centre, run by Graham.
Their left - Gordon.
The Parthian left: all light troops, but high quality. I am running this part of the army.
Billy has a large mass of Cataphracts in the centre.
Willy has our right - a mirror image of my command.

Simon constructed the Indian army list and supplied them from his own collection. He also laid out their deployment: a large line of mixed infantry and elephants stretching as far as possible, with cavalry and more elephants on the flanks. I constructed the Parthians and supplied the light troops; Willy brought in most of the Cataphracts. I set up the Parthians so as to make the Cataphracts the anvil - the two wings are to practise finesse and subtlety by degrading the enemy as much as possible. Finally, a grand charge will finish them off. That's the plan, anyway. It fails spectacularly.

A long side shot. I am being cagey in the foreground. The Parthians need to be very careful in how they go about things in order to strip the Indian wings before moving into the centre. As you can make out in the distance, though, the Parthian right wing seems to have other ideas - they are simply advancing en masse.
A closer shot of a developing traffic jam on our right.
The second long side shot shows how much damage I am not doing. The mass at the top is being cut to bits piecemeal by the Indians in a combination of foot archers and elephants.
An atmospheric ground level shot of my missiles missing.
In goes my first wave, with horse archers waiting to see where they might be needed.
In the meantime, the Indian centre advances to within bow range of our heavy cavalry.
Another full table shot. Our far right seems to be thinning out.
A close-up of the combat on my wing. I hit very little.
My wing is positioned to do what Parthians do best - extend the enemy lines, shoot them up, weaken them further and then finish them off with a lethal combination of more archery and judicious attacks. Shame it doesn't work. The Indian centre and left simply keep advancing. My original intention was that both of wings would be like mine above, but my guys can't hurt anything and our right has almost completely been wiped out.
I finally finish my opponents, but it will be too little too late.
Graham supplied the shot above of the Parthian cataphracts...
...and this one of what is about to happen to them.

The cataphracts charged after taking quite a lot of shooting damage, well aware that they would receive no support from their right, and that I have not been able to do my job on the left. They died to a man.

This was one of the most comprehensive defeats we have seen in the campaign so far: the Parthians lost 75% of their army, the Indians 10%, all of them killed by my clan on our left. The deployment seemed fine, but the Parthians require extreme patience, especially when they are not getting the results they need. The Indians on our far wing were able to pick off the attacking Parthians a unit at a time, which is kind of what I was hoping we would do to them...

Not a disaster for the campaign, though - the Parthians have done very well picking up loads of vacant territory, and are busy replacing the losses.

Next up: hosts of Germans have appeared in the High Alps in Rhaetia and Noricum. The Romans send a consular army to deal with a people called the Cimbri in Noricum. It is the autumn of 113 BC.


  1. Very, very impressive! Stunning collection of soldiery and lovely table top. Love the close-up shot of the action - with elies involved too.

  2. Epic and beautiful report, love thes lines of battle!

  3. Thanks, both. We had a very civilised little war in my corner of the table, but it didn't do my side much good!

  4. Great looking game Paul, good to see the Indians got up!