Initial Spartan deployment looked like this:
The Macedonian battle line was set up like this:
Initial moves were fairly simple as both sides threw their centres forward and the Macedonian phalangites began a slow advance over rough ground toward the Evas Hill. The first casualties were sustained by the Illyrians under a hail of stones from the slingers on the hill.
On the far flank both sides infantry close up cautiously through the open woodland.
|Aftermath of the cavalry combat, the Greek cavalry break through the Spartan centre|
Beyond them under the trees the Achaian thorakite are smashed in a single round of combat by the hoplites, while the Thracians are broken by the thureophoroi.
|The overall situation at this point|
It is now that the disaster strikes for the Achaian League, Philopoimen is mortally wounded in combat with Pelopidas and his Xystophoroi are routed and slain to a man by their outnumbered Tarentine opponents, the centre of the battle line is smashed apart and the battle lost. The Achaian thureophoroi yield to their mercenary counterparts and the Macedonian phalanx forms hollow square and begins a slow retreat off the field covered by the Cretan archers.
Overall a good little battle this one. Despite not being able to fight the whole action there was sufficient drama and moments of tension in what we were able to do to make up for it.
The cavalry melee in the centre was the pivotal point in the action and the main hope of either side for a quick victory. If the Macedonian Companions/ Achaian Xystophoroi had succeeded in routing their Tarentine opponents there would have been three units of cavalry loose in the Spartan rear which would have effectively won the battle for me as Paul hadn't any cavalry reserves. As it was the fight wore on long enough to allow Paul to begin to move his victorious infantry over from the far side of the table to threaten my left rear making things damned ticklish and when his cavalry won that fight against all odds it was curtains for me. Admittedly Macedonian phalanx was still intact but lacking any support it was only a matter of time before disaster would overtake it.