This is game 20 in play testing my ancient rules by replaying historical battles. The latest version of ‘Ancient Battlelines Clash’ is on its own blog page. I am play testing the rules by replaying all the Peter Sides scenarios from his Historical Battles books. ABC is designed to finish in under an hour on a 2'x2' table.
Battle of Issus
Alexander defeated the Persians under Memnon at the Granicus. The Persian army, now led by Darius, the King of Kings, marches behind the Macedonian advance and cut their line of supply. Alexander is forced to turn around and the two armies meet at the River Pinarus.
Here are some links of interest that I used to create the scenario:
WAB very comprehensive scenario and forces detail (particularly Part III discussing the Kardakes)
Giant DBA scenario
Reduced by about half the troops due to my smaller sized table. However, I roughly halved the Spear or pike units as the scenario units are for DBx that assumes in this case that the units will be rear supported, not the case with my rules.
4 Phalangites, battle infantry, phalanx
1 Hypaspists, battle infantry, phalanx, some protection, high fortitude, drilled
2 Hoplites, battle infantry, phalanx, some protection, low fortitude
2 Thracians, auxiliary infantry
4 Psiloi, skirmish infantry, short missile
1 Companions, auxiliary cavalry, high fortitude, disciplined
2 Heavy Cavalry, auxiliary cavalry
1 Light Cavalry, skirmish cavalry, short missile
1 General with Companions
+1 army command ability
Late Achaemenid Persian
3 Hoplites, battle infantry, phalanx, some protection
4 Karkades hoplites, battle infantry, low fortitude, long spears, some protection
2 Kardakes peltasts, auxiliary infantry
10 Psiloi, skirmish infantry, long missile
1 Heavy cavalry, auxiliary cavalry, high fortitude
4 Heavy Cavalry, auxiliary cavalry
2 Light Cavalry, skirmish cavalry, long missile
1 General with high fortitude cavalry
Note I have gone for the 60,000 Kardakes being 40,000 hoplites and 20,000 peltasts as discussed here as part of the WAB scenario.
This game was quite difficult to determine how the deployment should be, and also the forces to allow for the game to work on a 2'x2' table. There are significant variations in the interpretation of how the units were deployed and where along the Pinarus river - did Alexander cross at the ford? Did the battle include the escapements? I went for what Peter Sides had, with a dash of the Tactica one (based on a Slingshot article). I also found that the troops for the Persians would not fit, so there are less units on their side than the numbers would indicate.
On the positive side, after spending a long time looking at deployment options, I played this over one day and during daylight, so the photos are clearer than most of my other posts.
|Persians on the left, Macedonians on the right.|
Alexander move first. The Macedonian plan is the same as in 333BC - use the Hypaspists to create a gap, and follow through with the Companions. The Persians will launch across the river into the weaker Macedonian left flank.
|A view from the Macedonian side towards the river.|
|Peltasts advance and draw a heavy cavalry out.|
|Battlelines clash. This is before the Hypaspists entered the fray.|
|The Persian Heavy cavalry charge over the river.|
|Persian heavy cavalery in combat with Parmenion's Heavy cavalry.|
|Parmenion retreats, Persians follow up and Parmenion subsequently routs|
|Persian heavy cavalry charges a skirmish cavalry. Latter evades, former routed by missile fire.|
|Alexander, charges through two units and make it to the Persian side of the river. Hypaspists to the right in the picture.|
|Battleline losses. There are no units in front of the Persian cavalry - that flank is theirs!|
The lone Macedonian Greek hoplite that is on the far left of the battleline (actually the leftmost Macedonian unit!) routs the opposing Karkades; and Alexander forces a skirmish cavalry off the board.
|The Persian centre is looking quite bare.|
|Game at end. Still unit on both sides at the top (Macedonian right flank) but Persian have the Macedoniam left; Macedonians effectively control the centre as well.|
The rules are working well. Changing cavalry to move slower has not worked as well as I thought and have moved it back to 16cm (20 for skirmishers). Also, and it has been in the back of my mind for the last 5-6 games - cavalry wheel and move much like line infantry. I have increased the manoeuvrability of cavalry so they can wheel a little more and move. Cavalry that chased after routing cavalry are never be able to turn around in time to come back the the battle. Now they have a chance.