Wednesday, 25 June 2014

A Scrap in Thessaly

The veteran forces of Rome turn their attention southwards to the Achaean League after finally disposing of the Macedonians.  I constructed the Roman army and Simon made up their erstwhile opponents.  Photos are mostly taken from my position in charge of the left of the Roman army:
First up is the relative deployments at my part of the field.  I have some mercenary peltasts and slingers in a patch of rough, while my Latin legions are facing some low hills.  Fortunately for me, the enemy isn't here in strength - a lot of skirmishers plus some light horse.  Further into their centre, towards the right as you look at it, you can see some of their many Thureophoroi.  It's me against Simon here.
The shot above shows the armies' centres - lots of legionaries in the foreground commanded by Billy, facing a lot of Thureophoroi plus a couple of elite pike phalanxes (Graham).  At the top right you can just about make out a very large Thracian warband and some of the enemy's heavy cavalry.  They will be punching with their left, then...
Over on our right, all of the Roman and Latin Equites plus some Crtean Archers under Malcolm's control are facing the Thracians, heavy cavalry and light cavalry, including 'Tarentine' types (Gordon).  Our plan is going to have to be simple: wheel to the attack with the legions, and prey that our cavalry can hold up on this wing while the legions win the battle for us.
A long table shot from off to my left wing, showing the full deployments.  The armies are somewhat offset, with the Romans more in strength on our left, and the enemy's main force facing our right.  The winner will be whoever manages to get their leftmost weight in where it counts.  This is a very similar Roman deployment to one that went horribly wrong in Iberia due to a combination of attacks from woods and weighty Celtiberian warband assaults on the Latins.  I decide to try it here because I am expecting to face Thureophoroi and I reckon the legions can take them.  Basically, I have groups of Hastati and Principes in blocks of 24 figures (three ranks) with no Triarii - the legions are not at maximum strength after all that previous fighting in Epirus and Macedon.
I start off on my wing with boring regularity, as predicted.
A full table shot after the first turn.  All is, again, as expected.
Another full table shot after turn two.
A close-up of my wide open left.  My peltasts sweep forward, pressing the enemy light cavalry to retire, while the Latin legions advance upon the Thureophoroi.
And here they are, about to go and do what legionaries do best.
Some of my Latins and Billy's Romans crunch into the same unit of Thureophoroi.
Others attack the nearest pike phalanx.  Billy holds back his extreme right legion as the Thracians press forward against Malcolm's heavy cavalry.  No point in risking the endmost legionaries yet - we are a bit nervous on this wing.
On our far right, Malcolm's cavalry wisely stays out of contact for as long as possible.
Back on my wing, the peltasts continue their march.  Simon throws in one unit of light cavalry to try to stop the legionaries for as long as possible.  I don't even bother to waste pila on them.
Contact in the centre.
On our far right, Malcolm's cavalry are all still alive.
The legions have disposed of the first wave of Thureophoroi.
Now they go for the remainder.
A final shot of the action on our right, while it lasts.

The Thurephoroi are completely wiped out, and Billy's legions finish off the phalanxes as well, just as the enemy finally disposes of Malcolm's cavalry.  Gordon's forces here are just about the only Achaeans to make it off the field to run for temporary safety in Attica.  The Roman machine grinds on.

I have rolled for the next series of campaign events - mostly minor acquisitions.  However, the main event will be much further east as the Egyptians take advantage of the Parthian army being way out near Bactria.  The Ptolemaics invade and take Elymais.  The Parthian response, though, is vigorous.  Their army swings by their capital in Parthyene to pick up reinforcements, and the whole formidable host descends upon the invaders.  We'll play that one in two weeks' time.


  1. A splendid table! So the Thracian warband did its bit and everyone else failed, eh? ;-)

  2. Thanks for looking! Monty is right - the Thracians did their bit. Unfortunately for the Greeks, it just took them a while...

  3. Great looking game with beautiful the Macedonian one!

  4. Another great report. Wish I could be there to play. Romans, always hard to beat. I've been thinking about resurrecting some T1 type FV-6 Cataphracts to contend with my Romans.

    1. Hi Mitchm that's interesting - we are doing something similar. We would like to give cataphracts some more flavour, making them something more than just heavily armoured lancers with impetus. One idea we have tried is to give them FV 6 instead of impetus if they make a control test. Same points values, and they make the roll, not the opposition.

  5. The Roman legions certainly ground on, as in grinding their opposition underfoot.

    Great looking battle!

    1. Yes, I know. I apologise - after painting so many of them, I actually quite like it when they lose!