Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Early Seleucids versus Lysimachids

This is last night's match-up: Lysimachids in blue above, Seleucids in red below. This time I'm able to show both armies because Simon and I came up with a variant on the Lysimachid army that removed subject hoplites and Thracian light infantry from the list, replacing them with Thracian warbands. All of which means that for a change I have the army lists in detail for both sides.
Army of Lysimachus:
X1 and X2: 12 Xystophoroi elite heavy lancers in two ranks
T1-T3: 12 Thracian medium cavalry in two ranks
LI: 12 Peltasts in two ranks
E1 and E2: 2 Elephants
P1: 32 Elite phalangites in four ranks
P2 and P3: 48 Phalangites in four ranks
LC1 and Lc2: 12 Thracian light horse in two ranks
WB1 and WB2: 36 Thracian Warband figures in four ranks
SI1: 10 skirmish javelinmen
SI2: 12 skirmish archers
SI3: 12 skirmish slingers

The Seleucid army:
P1-P4: 12 Light Infantry in two ranks
SK1 and Sk2: 8 Skythian horse archers in two ranks
E1 and E2: 2 Elephants
C1-C3: 12 Elite Companion heavy lancers in two ranks
Ph1-Ph3: 24 Elite Pikemen in three ranks
Ph4 and Ph5: 36 Pikemen in three ranks
T1 and T2: 8 Tarentine light horse in two ranks
J1 and J2: 8 skirmish javelinmen
A1 and A2: 10 skirmish archers

Both flanks had some pretty rough terrain stretching between the two armies in front of our light infantry, but in the event the terrain didn't play much of a role in the battle. It did restrict the available room for the central heavy troops, though.

I played the left wing and some of the centre of the Seleucids, and William the rest. I was facing Billy, and William was up against Simon. It was embarrassingly easy for us, as we won on our left and centre right. Our rightmost troops did a sterling job in holding up the large Thracian warbands. Eventually our phalanx went in to pin theirs as we enveloped their centre from both flanks. Technically, it was not a major victory in terms of our breakpoint, since we lost so many light troops plus the elephants, but our entire phalanx and elite heavy cavalry were still fully intact by the end of the game.

One of the interesting improvements in Tactica II over the first edition is the ability to divide up troops into various unit sizes. For example, the Seleucids could have had two large units of Companions, and Lysimachus could have had three smaller Warbands. With hindsight, the two large warbands placed together on the one flank gave William an opportunity to tie them up with judicious use of light troops, as well as his elephant unit. Large units are powerful, but there comes a trade off with inflexibility. I was expecting Simon to set up with one warband on each flank facing the rough terrain, forcing us to try to win centrally, perhaps dividing the warband troops into three smaller units, which would give one extra to help influence events in the centre.

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