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Friday, 4 September 2015

Battle of Paraitakene 317BC refight. Part Two: AAR


Battle of Paraitakene 317bc refight - Part One: Planning

With over 1500 points on the table this was ideal for three people per side; I took control as Eumenes with Steve Matthews (Steve 1) on my right flank to whom I gave all the light cavalry plus a unit of Mediums along with some Persian archers and the light infantry. On my left was Steve Land (Steve 3) who commanded all the remaining Battle cavalry supported by some more Persian archers. I positioned myself in the centre with all the Heavy infantry, what remained of the Persian archers and the majority of the skirmishers.


My opponent as Antigonos was Steve Huntsman (Steve 4) with all the infantry under his command, on his right was Nick with the Battle cavalry whilst across on the left flank was Ian with eight units of Light cavalry. 


I knew that as Eumenes I was outnumbered in both Heavy infantry and Battle cavalry so this was going to be tricky, in theory the infantry fight should be relatively indecisive given the Phalanx rule or at the very worst drag on for at least three or four turns once it got going. My best hope therefore was to stack my left with supporting troops to help the cavalry melee and try to win on the right where we had both heavier and more units, then it could turn in on to the enemy centre which would hopefully still be busily engaged in the infantry melee. 


Our side collectively hung back and I just sent out the skirmishers to see what damage they could do, Antigonos meanwhile was throwing for three moves every chance he got but with little success especially in the centre. Ian’s light cavalry did quickly get into range but upon arrival he was unsure whether he should be skirmishing or getting stuck in, so he did a bit of both. On this flank the sides were relatively similar however weight of numbers in support eventually swung the fighting our way helped by the Light infantry and the Medium cavalry I had given Steve1. With his cavalry now racing past him rapidly towards their storage boxes, Ian started to try and avoid any further hand to hand but Steve destroyed the fifth unit of Light cavalry or we had them all Shaken, I don’t remember which, anyway it meant that Ian’s cavalry division broke. Now it was time to save the centre.


Unfortunately on my left things weren't going so well. Nick’s line of Heavy cavalry charged into their opponents, both sides consisting of the cream of their armies forces; unfortunately our cream was rather runny.

Steve 3’s un-canny ability to continually throw a 2 and a 1 for any morale roll didn't help our cause and it immediately became known in the club from that moment on as “throwing a Land “. In fact he got worse and started throwing double Land‘s. It got to the stage were I was even considering having him executed so as to inspire the troops, unfortunately it wouldn't have had any beneficial effect as there weren't any troops left around to inspire. 


His wing broke faster than things that break very fast leaving me to split off whatever I could scrape together from my reserve lines to try and block Nick’s cavalry.


Fortunately Steve 3 had caused some casualties prior to immortalising himself in club legend so Nick didn't have a great deal immediately available to exploit his victory, he could only throw in two units of Medium cavalry against my hastily formed scrapings.  Finally some of those copious Persian archers actually did something positive by shooting Nick's charge to a halt and the cavalry decided to hurriedly rejoin their comrades currently rallying off the effects of smashing our left wing.


The centre fight went as I expected, my greater quantity of skirmishers successfully managed to drive off their opponents and then tried to slow up the oncoming juggernaut, however I too started throwing Lands and double Lands for my shooting and it was pretty derisory.


The two lines clashed together but the more numerous Antigonids couldn’t break through my more experienced troops and in some cases were even starting to lose the melee. Four rounds of fighting only resulted in the casualties piling up but on the extreme right of my phalanx some of the weaker light infantry broke, Steve 1 wasn't quite near enough yet to save me from having my line turned so I desperately threw in an Elephant to buy time and which promptly stampeded, the Antigonids seeing that things were going their way now ordered their infantry to close ranks across most of their line so as to prolong the fight which would then allow Nick extra time to reform his cavalry and to charge into my left.  


Steve 1’s victorious forces were however being blocked off by some of the Antigonids left centre preventing him from intervening in the infantry bash and it was now time for me to be sending for my fastest horse so as to get the hell out of Dodge. I knew that once Nick’s heavy cavalry had reformed enough for it to be of use then the game was up and that would be probably the next turn, so I conceded.

Fortunately it was only a game as I cannot actually ride a horse and therefore would have had to die with my men, which would have really ruined my day. 


In the Historical battle the result on the day was a draw, both sides centres slugged it out with Eumenes Silver Shields getting an advantage, the light cavalry flank got broken and Antigonus cavalry defeated their opponents as well (probably commanded by Stefanos Landinopolis) causing Eumenes infantry to fall back. All very similar to our game apart from the falling back bit of course, which I definitely would have done and not been horribly slaughtered like Mr Huntsman says. Like they say, history is written by the winners, well, most of the time.


Both sides met up again a short time later at the Battle of Gabiene where the Silver Shields ended up by handing over Eumenes in exchange for their captured baggage. If we do ever get around to re-fighting this battle then remind me to strengthen the guards around the baggage.



Hail Caesar forces:
Eumenes: 715 points

2 x
Asiatic Phalangite
Phalanx , Pikes , Levy
2 x
Guard Phalangite
Phalanx , Pikes, Drilled , Elite , Stubborn
1 x
Mercenary Hoplite Infantry
Long Spears , Elite , Phalanx
1 x
Mercenary Hoplite Infantry
Long Spears , Phalanx
2 x
Light Infantry Peltasts

5 x
Persian Light Infantry  Archers

4 x
Skirmishers with Javs
small
3 x
Skirmishers with Slings
Sling
1 x
Agema Heavy Cavalry
Drilled , Elite
1 x
Companion Heavy Cavalry
Lances , Drilled , Elite
3 x
Line Medium Cavalry
Drilled
3 x
Light Cavalry with javelins
small
2 x
Elephants

2 x
Light Infantry Elephant Guards
small , sub-unit

Antigonus : 790 points

2 x
Asiatic Phalangite
Phalanx , Pikes , Levy
2 x
Veteran Phalangite
Phalanx , Pikes , Drilled
1 x
Phalangite
Phalanx , Pikes
1 x
Lycians/Pamphylians Hoplites
Long Spears , Phalanx
2 x
Mercenary Hoplite Infantry
Long Spears , Elite , Phalanx
1 x
Mercenary Hoplite Infantry
Long Spears , Phalanx
2 x
Light Infantry Peltasts

2 x
Light Infantry Archers

2 x
Skirmishers with Javs

2 x
Skirmishers with Slings
slings
1 x
Agema Heavy Cavalry
Drilled , Elite
1 x
Companion Heavy Cavalry
Drilled , Elite, Lance
3 x
Line Medium Cavalry
Drilled
1 x
Macedonian Medium Cavalry
Drilled , Lance
8 x
Light Cavalry with javelins
small
1 x
Elephants

1 x
Light Infantry Elephant Guards
small , sub-unit

This has been a Mr Steve presentation