Wednesday 3 December 2014

We've never played this before: Parthians vs Indians

Yesterday saw a match-up I've certainly never seen on the tabletop before, thrown up by campaign events in Bactria: a battle between Indians and Parthians. It sure looked purty...
Massed panzer division on the Indian right wing, screened with huge numbers of skirmishers and with cavalry in reserve. Run by Gordon.
Moving more into the Indian centre, the massed foot archers make their appearance, run by Graham.
Their left, run by Simon in person. This is the second time in a couple of weeks we have managed to get the Indians on the table.
The Parthian left, with Billy in shot - he insisted! He doesn't look too happy at having to face all those elephants...
My command is in the centre.
Willy ran our right.

Terrain was pretty basic, comprising a large low hill and a large high hill. I had no idea what to do with the Parthians except hope for the best, so I went for a symmetrical deployment. The Indians, of course, will be leading with their right, straight towards Billy.
Above is a long sideshot, taken from Willy's wing, our right. He does have superiority here, but did I mention all those elephants at the far end?
Staying at this side for the moment: the opening moves.
Same perspective a little later.
More of the same.

I wasn't feeling great, with a headache that developed later on into a really bad night (don't worry, I'll spare you the details). So I'm having a sickie today and trying to concentrate enough to type this. Basically, Billy was pressed back relentlessly on our left, with many of his horse archers having to flee off table. In our campaign, this means that the units automatically survive the battle, but count against army break point - it's a way to try to simulate horse archer armies. I had some limited success in the centre, breaking a unit of foot bowmen but having to sacrifice horse archers to do it. Willy had rotten luck on our right, suffering from very poor morale. The Indian elephants and archers did well, sandpapering our army away until it fled the field, but they did take significant casualties amongst their supporting cast.

With the dust settling, I toted up the damage to both sides and while the Indians won handsomely, they didn't have enough weight to conquer the province, so they have retired whence they came. I think they would be quite happy with a continuously devastated Bactria as a buffer against the Parthians, though. The latter have also retired to lick their wounds, vowing a rematch.

Next up will be a large game at the end of the year: the Gallic incursion of 121 BC into Provincia. We are hoping to get to the club earlier than usual on Tuesday December 30th and try a 50% or even 100% larger game.


  1. Great looking and massive battle. Getting much enjoyment following your campaign and clashes.

    Game night often gives me a headache too!

    1. Hi Jonathan, thanks for looking. Our players are pretty regular, and looking forward to the seemingly interminable Roman civil wars that are due soon...

  2. Nice pics and great looking game...waiting for the Gallic incursion!

  3. Thanks, both. The good thing about a campaign with this kind of scope is that no two games are alike. Soon there will be Gauls, Germans, North Africans and Pontics ...

  4. Just the odd elephant there, Paul? Wow!

  5. Fantastic looking game Paul.
    Is that the largest number of elephants on a table in the 'history of ever'?! No wonder they gave you a headache :)