The Sassanid king surveyed his army deployed on the plain. A horde of Parthian vassal horse archers, Iranian horse archers, Lakhamid horse, elephants, Arab and Iranian infantry all subordinate to the Sassanian Noble clibinari.
The nations of the empire were all here, the army was vast and it was a good day to slaughter the barbarian invaders.
Then the Khazar horde rode out of the heat haze onto the field. Innumerable horse archers were screening solid blocks of noble cavalry and a group of infantry with yurts. "Tents, why have they brought tents to a battle ?" the Shah of Shah's mused. No matter he thought and waved the Sassanid army forward to attack.
Battle was joined by the opposing horse archers and a swirling melee in the centre led to a large number of Sassanian cavalry fleeing the field. Clibinari charged horse archers along the line firing as they went and saw the retreating skirmishers feign flight as they fired over their shoulders.
On the left Steve M and the Khazar allies under Steve H danced around each other firing as they went. Many saddles were emptied but not one would come to close quarters.
On the right Andy meleed the Khazar light cavalry under their war leader Chas and both sides saw warriors flee the battle.
Frustrated at chasing shadows, a unit of clibinari rode down the yurt guard only to lose half their number to a cloud of arrows from skirmishing horse archers. The elite of Andy and Chas's army came to push of kontos, Andy's elephant stampeded (surprise, surprise !) and Steve M started to get the better of Steve H's cavalry in the shooting contest.
End game came with Steve H's forces boxed in and losing the resulting melees. My clibinari joined in and were glad of the rest from the continual pinging by nomad cavalry commanded by Malcolm. Chas had routed Andy's clibinari but, seeing no answer to the large blocks of untouched infantry, quit the field roundly cursing his allies.
The Sassanids held the field and remarkably their infantry was intact, but neither side had got off lighly.
I thought it was an enjoyable game, played in a good humoured fashion and it reminded me why I hate being pinged by nomad horse archers !