Another festive season over and the first of our two festive refights out of the way. I hope you enjoy the following tale of woe and despondency that follows, at least for the territorial hopes of one of the great Hellenistic dynasties acted out on the sandy plain of Raphia c. 217BC.
Below the two hosts arrayed for battle.
To the left we have the Lagid army of Ptolemy IV:
8no Hetairoi plus Ptolemy
1no African Elephant
18no Mercenary Hoplites
2x28no Line Phalangites
28no Machimoi, Levy Phalangites
6no Greek Cavalry
1no African Elephant
Seen below in birds eye view.
To the right is the Seleucid army of Antiochus III.
9no Dahae Horse Archers
8no Hetairoi and Antiochus III
2no Indian Elephants in full barding.
32no assorted levy
1no Indian Elephant in full Barding
Below a birds eye view.
In the centre the Galatian warband charges the front of the Argyraspids, coming off worse in the ensuing melee.
In the distance Ptolemy's archers take massive casualties in a firefight and flee whilst the slingers vainly take on one of the Indian elephants. See alternative view below.
In the centre the Galatians are in full flight having lost their fight with the Argyraspids.
The Ptolemaic Tarentines are loose in the rear of the Seleucid army but suffer heavy casualties from the archery of the Dahae.
Above we see a view from the other end of the battlefield showing the phalanx clash in the centre. beyond that in the distance we can see Ptolemy has joined his Thureophoroi having lost his companions to his own stampeding Elephant, who in turn is about to spook the Seleucid xystophoroi from the field.
In the foreground the Seleucid levy line up for a charge on the Machimoi.
In the distance the Seleucid xystophoroi flee the field whilst their lighter brethren continue to skirmish with the Ptolemaic tarentines. A minor Ptolemaic victory was declared.
The other wing with my light troops and Paul's Elephants & Hetairoi turned into a proper buggers muddle, but again it worked to my advantage by slowing things down for him. The congestion stopped him from using his General and Hetairoi until right at the end of the game.
The upshoot of these delayed flanks was the time it gave me to get my heavy infantry into combat and break their counterparts.
So what did we learn this time:
1. Barded Elephants are worth the extra points. It makes them really tough to stampede by virtue of missile fire.
2. Elephants on flanks really do muck up effective use of cavalry, we may have been better off using an 8' table but space precluded this. Alternatively one less elephant on each side may have been a better option. Having said that the earlier successors used elephants for precisely this reason so at least the game mechanics work in this respect.
3. Making use of light cavalry with parthian shot to harass heavier units works really well, this is one of the best mechanics in WAB.
4. Once again the only characters we used were our generals. In hindsight our respective warband units may have benefitted from the inclusion of characters to toughen them up. However using them to attack phalanxes frontally is not a good idea, those double ranks are just too formidable.
Anyhow we both feel that the games we play should be about the strengths & frailties of the units not to just provide rank bonuses to front ranks of competing champions, at least not in this period. Having just the one character challenges you to decide whether to use him to boost leadership to the maximum number of units by lurking in the rear of the army or to be truly an heir of the great Alexander and deliver the pivotal charge with their Hetairoi.
Enough ramblings for now, I must away and plan for Panion 200BC as our next excursion into Hellenistic warfare.