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Frustrated Persians invade North Africa

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:20 pm
by shadowdragon
In the spirit of laziness (i.e., fighting several games on the same terrain set up with Geo-Hex) I played a game with the Early Achaemenid Persians attacking a Carthaginian defender. The terrain had earlier been used to play my first games with FoG:R:


The tactical situation is that the Persian have to clear a pass by nightfall; so they have a limited number of turns to defeat the smaller Carthaginian force.

1 X IC
2 X TC
1 X 4 Chariots
1 X 4 Liby-Phoenician cavalry
1 X 8 Sacred Band
2 X 6 African spears
1 X 8 Sicilian Foot (used Illyrian figures)
2 X 6 Light Foot
1 X 6 Slingers
1 X 4 Archers

4 X TC
1 X 4 Gd Cavalry
2 X 4 Persian Cavalry
2 X 8 Immortals
2 X 8 Persian Foot
1 X 4 Saka Horse Archers
1 X 4 Bactrian Horse Archers
1 X 4 Other Horse Archers
1 X 8 Kaspian Archers

The board was 6' deep by 4' wide. The right of the Carthaginian position was a gentle hill rising to difficult hill terrain. On the left was a gentle hill covered with open woods (plantation). Terrain off board on both sides was "difficult" and therefore precluded flank marches. To the rear of the Carthaginian position was a village.

The open woods presented a bit of a problem so the Carthaginians deployed just outside of the woods with their Sicilian foot as their cavalry, slingers and archers. While the Persian archers would have cover they'd be reduced to a single rank for firing. In addition, the 4 MU visibility meant that the Persians would have to come within charge reach of the Sicilians to shoot at the Carthaginians. The centre and right of the Carthaginian line are shown in the picture below:


The Carthaginian centre had the Sacred band and one of the African spear BG. The chariots were a reserve but deployed to check any Persians coming through the brush (Broken ground). Spanish light foot provided a screen for the chariots. The extreme right had another African spear with its flank on the 2nd tier of hill (difficult hill) with Libyan light foot out front screening the spearmen.

Time did not allow the Persian a plan of outflanking nor one of a long drawn out shoot and scoot. With a larger army, the Persians decided to apply pressure on all fronts with the right wing clearing the open woods and falling on the Carthaginian centre. The Saka and Bactrian cavalry supported by the Kaspians would advance on the left, the Immortals and Persian cavalry in the centre, and the Persian foot and other horse archers on the right. The Guard cavalry would be in reserve. Below is a picture of their advancing forces showing their centre:


The end result was that the Persian army was defeated. On the right the Persian foot were attacked by the Sicilians, who despite taking on 2 Persian BG defeated both. This caused the Persian plan to unravel as the Immortals in the centre had hoped to eventually see their junior brethren coming to their aid by attack the Sacred band and African spears in the flank. Alas, that wasn't to be. The Immortals advanced within effective firing range with the intention of disrupting the Carthaginians. However, the Carthaginian charged the Immortals and eventually broke them. On the left the Persians were having some success by temporarily disrupting both the Libyans and the African spears, but they didn't seem to have enough arrows as the Carthaginian commander there bolstered his troops before they Persians could another successful round in.

It's a bit of a challenge for the Persians as the Carthaginians have interior lines and the terrain is very limiting. However, next time I would have paired up a horse archer BG with a Persian BG, instead of sending to LH BG against the Carthaginian right. An LH BG paired with a cavalry BG would have allowed the Persian cavalry to have attacked once the African spears were disrupted. The risk would have been that the Africans could have charged the cavalry as there wasn't room to deploy the cavalry in a single line. On the Persian right, things should have gone better - losing 2 BG to one BG of Sicilian MF! Will have to give those Sicilians (actually Illyrians pretending to be Sicilians) as this is the 2nd game they've beaten the odds.

Picture of Persian foot entering the woods - unaware of the Sicilian devils awaiting them:


Finally, a gratuitous pictures:

The Carthaginian chariots deployed for a prior game on the same terrain against the Persians.


A view of the Carthaginian centre (chariots, Spanish LF, Sacred Band) from the front:


Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:05 pm
by Strategos69
Very good report! And the miniatures look great. Certainly FoG seems a better game when terrain is modeled and miniatures are painted. I will try to post in a few days an AAR of my own, but testing 2.0 rules.

By the way, you seemed tempted to frontally charge the spearmen. If Mardonius could have done so in Platea :lol:

Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:36 pm
by shadowdragon
Strategos69 wrote:Very good report! And the miniatures look great. Certainly FoG seems a better game when terrain is modeled and miniatures are painted. I will try to post in a few days an AAR of my own, but testing 2.0 rules.

By the way, you seemed tempted to frontally charge the spearmen. If Mardonius could have done so in Platea :lol:
I'll look forward to your AAR.

And, the Persians (not me as I played both sides :lol: ) did not charge anyone frontally or otherwise. True the Persians were on the strategic offensive and the Carthaginians on the defensive but here's what happened in the centre. The Immortals advance to within 4 MU but outside of 3 MU and fired to no effect. The Carthaginians advance to within 3 MU. The Immortals fired to no effect. The Immortals decided to stand and not retreat (after all there was a time limit - if they didn't defeat the Carthaginians within the time limit it was a Carthaginian victory). The Immortals fired to no effect. The Carthaginians charged (Sacred Band 4 wide by 2 deep and the African Spear 2 wide by 3 deep). The Immortal BG on the right beat the Africans who fell to disrupted but lost overall and fell to disrupted as well. The Immortal BG on the left was okay. During melee the Immortal BG on the right fell to fragmented and routed in the following turn leaving the other Immortal BG to their eventual fates.

The Persians did a lot of firing and only on two occasions got a disrupted.

As their commander might have said, "there's something wrong with our bloody arrows today". :lol:

Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:20 am
by shadowdragon
Continuing on with the Persian frustration....

In the woods, 2 BG of Persian foot (8 bases each) move into the woods - 4 MU away from the Sicilians who are just outside waiting. The Persians shoot - to no effect. The Sicilians charge both Persian BG - really a move of desperation to hold up the Persians. The Sicilians have a commander in the front rank, but so does one of the Persian BG.....but the Persian BG with the commander drops to disrupted in the impact phase and fragmented in the melee phase - routing the next turn. The remaining Persian BG is facing an untouched Sicilian BG (with a commander in the front rank). The Persians do what they can - killing 2 bases of Sicilians but they too rout.

Against the Spanish LF and the chariots, the cavalry was to blow away the LF....after all it shouldn't be that hard with 6 shooting dice by superior troops and no effective return fire. Then weaken the chariots before going in. Well, shouldn't have been hard...turned out to be real hard to do.

The only success was the LH against the African spears but they just didn't have enough time.

I would have checked the dice if I wasn't using the same dice for both sides. Average dice (or even just slightly below average) would almost certainly have led to a Persian victory as the Carthaginians had no real reserves left. Everything was committed - just enough to hold the line but hardly anything left to plug any holes in the line.