Solo Game - Persia versus Thessaly, 480 BC

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Solo Game - Persia versus Thessaly, 480 BC

Post by shadowdragon » Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:58 am

Persia versus Thessaly, circa 480 BC
(The on-going saga of a solo wargarmer.)

Not so long ago I posted an account of a battle between an Early Achaemenid Persian army and a Classical Greek Athenian army based on a scenario from “Programmed Warames Scenarios” by Charles Grant.


Since setting up (and taking down) the Geo-Hex terrain is a bit of a chore, I decided to use the same terrain with a couple of different options for the Persian and Greek armies. The first of these options was for a cavalry heavy Persian force with a motley collection of infantry from various subject nations within the Empire. The Greek option was also cavalry heavy (for the Greeks) and was therefore an army with a Thessalian C-in-C.

The army orders of battle were:

Thessalian Army (803 pts)
C-in-C, IC
2 X TC subordinate commanders
1 X TC allied commander
3 X 4 Thessalian LH
1 X 4 armoured allied cavalry
1 X 8 armoured, superior, drilled hoplites
2 X 8 armoured, undrilled hoplites
1 X 8 allied armoured, undrilled hoplites
1 X 8 Thracians (offensive spearmen)
1 X 8 slingers
3 X 8 Thessalian javelins

Persian Army (1004 pts)
4 X TC
1 X 4 elite Guard cavalry
2 X 6 Persian cavalry
1 X 4 Saka LH
1 X 4 Bactrian LH
1 X 4 other LH
1 X 2 Indian chariots
2 X 8 Persian infantry
1 X 8 Bactrian infantry
1 X 8 Paphlagonian infantry
1 X 8 Kaspian archers
1 X 8 Javelins (Syrians)
1 X 6 armoured Asiatic hoplites
1 X 6 Chaldean infantry
1 X 4 Phoenician marines
1 X 4 Egyptian marines
1 X 4 Indian archers

This game was my 5th game. The first three were War of the Roses games (two AARs posted on this forum), which were more “learn the rules” games. The last game (Persia versus Athens) and this one are turning out to be “learn the tactics” games. I was trying some things out (like the 6 base Persian cavalry BG’s – NOT recommended) plus using some of the constraints of the scenario.

The Battle

Both armies deployed with most of the cavalry facing each other on the Persian left / Thessalian right. The only other cavalry were 2 BG of Persian LH and the Indian chariots which were on the Persian right. The bulk of the Persian infantry was in 3 lines in the centre – an unwieldy formation to say the least (really it was a recipe for disaster).

Figure 1: Deployment

Figure 2: Detail of the Persian deployment in the centre and on the right

Figure 3: Detail of the Persian deployment on the left.

Figure 4: Detail of the Thessalian deployment on the left

Figure 5: Detail of the Thessalian deployment in the centre

Figure 6: Detail of the Thessalian deployment on the right

Turns 1 & 2 - The Persians mostly advanced straight ahead. The exception was their light horse on the right which moved to work around the Thessalian left flank – perhaps loot the Thessalian camp. On the opposite flank, the Thessalian light horse hoped to disrupt / delay the Persian cavalry – as it turned out they achieved all of that and more.

Figure 7: End of Turn 2

Turns 3 & 4 – The 6 base Persian BG proved very unwieldy and with only 1 BG of Saka LH to serve as the flank guard, they quickly found that the 3 BG of Thessalian LH backed up by the Thessalian allied BG of armoured cavalry and an anchor of hoplites was a tricky combination. The Thessalian swarm pounced on and destroyed the Saka LH, leaving the “red” regiment of Persian cavalry alone in the midst of the Thessalians.

Figure 8: End of Turn 4

Turns 5 & 6 – Attacked by a combination of LH, cavalry and hoplites, the Persian cavalry routed. The Guards very nearly went but managed to rally and retreated in good order. Elsewhere the Persian LH on their right flank had drawn off the remaining Thessalian reserves just as the Persian centre came to grips with the Thessalians.

Figure 9: End of Turn 6

Turn 7 – Alas, Persian hopes were dashed as light armour and light weapons proved no match for the Thessalian hoplites and Thracian spearmen. Persians, Egyptians, Syrians, Indians and Phoenicians all fled the field – ending the game.

Figure 10: End of Turn 7

Main Lessons:

Persians – 1 BG of LH versus 3 BG of LH are not good odds. Also the 6 base cavalry BG were unwieldy, as mentioned, nor was it practical to put them in a single line which would have allowed them to evade. The three lines of infantry just means that the 3rd line won’t get to fight – just as happened for the French at Agincourt.

Thessalians – losing their last reserve force to protect their camp against the Persian LH sneaking around the flank could have been costly.

Conclusion – another really enjoyable game using FoG; and I’m beginning to see the attraction LH armies. Welcome to the dark side!

More pictures of the game are here: ... -%20480BC/

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