Saturday 3 May 2014

Pila against Pike (Again)

The rotten Romans attack the magnificent Macedonians.  The latter have done well against the Roman juggernaut so far, but how long will it last?
As campaign umpire of sorts, I put together the army lists and rolled for the terrain, before knowing which side I would play.  As it turns out, I would be the Macedonians and Gordon and Billy would run the red tide.  The photo above shows most of the table, with my guys on the left.  At the top end of my line is a wood, with some peltasts inside, then comes the phalanx, and then all of the cavalry.  Skirmishers out front.  The Romans went for a variation on their deployment manual.  Their far wing (their right) has a couple of units of mercenary peltasts and some light horse.  Their legions are deployed in duplex acies, with the Triarii brigaded off to the sides of the whole infantry formation.  Their left, nearest the camera, has all of the their Equites plus some more light horse.  They have a larger number of skirmishers, what with Velites plus mercenary slingers and archers.  As the Macedonian general, it looks as though I'll be trying to smash their centre while holding the flanks.  Off we go, then, merrily ignoring the woods and a couple of low hills.  terrain is not going to matter much in this fight.
The picture above shows my left.  The peltasts stay in the woods for now, and I drop one part of the phalanx back to protect the flank of the main central advance.
Both sides advance in the centre.  At the top right of the photo, you can see some Latins heading off to try to pressurise my right even more than it already is.
It looks as though my cavalry will need some help here.
A full table shot from the same position as the first one shows the relative positions at this point.
Back on my left, my peltasts have to come out from their nice safe wood to protect the all-important flank of the advancing phalanx.  I may have more strength in the infantry centre, but my flanks are weak.
The central phalanxes continue their advance.
On the right, I am going to have to sacrifice my units as judiciously as possible to try to hold up all these Romans as long as possible.  It looks as though the Romans are going to try to do a Cannae to me.
Full table shot at this time.
The situation on my left as the main phalanx goes in.  My skirmishers here are now ex-skirmishers, and are nowhere to be seen.
A quick switch over to the right to see my cavalry retiring in the face of superior numbers.
A full table shot a little later.  Phalanx versus legion in the centre, while on  my right I have to feed in my cavalry a bit at a time to try to cause an Equites traffic jam to buy time for my centre.
Some of the phalanxes are sklowly beginning to prevail in the centre of the field, albeit more slowly than I would like.  The picture above shows a couple of blocks advancing into a space that used to be full of Hastati.
Above is a gratuitous shot of my general being rubbish.  I put him with his elite heavies in order to bolster their morale.  It didn't work.  All of my other cavalry have been destroyed, and I needed the reserve to maintain cohesion in order to swing past the advancing Triarii and attack the Equites.  Not now, I won't...
This is what I was trying to prevent.  My disordered heavy cavalry are skulking shamefully just off to the bottom of this picture.
And here they are retiring even further, leaving the rest of the army to its fate.

The phalanxes surged through the relatively weak Roman centre, but my two wings collapsed and the Romans scraped a victory on points.  They are, however, not strong enough to pursue and the campaign grimly grinds on...


  1. Fun battle.I must paint up my phalangites.

  2. No! The Romans won, it can't be. Just don't let it happen again :0)

    1. Thanks for the reprimand, Anne! Unfortunately the good guys will run out of able bodies first...

  3. Lovely tabletop, it's great to see so much lead in action! You played it well but once again, fortuna favors the Romans.

  4. Fantastic looking game Paul! It's hard to beat a big pike vs pila game and it's always tough against the Roman juggernaut...

  5. Quite a spectacular battle!

  6. Thanks for looking everyone.