AAR: Battle of Varigani 495 BC

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Temple
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AAR: Battle of Varigani 495 BC

Post by Temple » Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:12 am

The (hypothetical) Battle of Varigani occurred in 495 BC somewhere on the border between the Achaemenid Persian Empire and the Indian Empire. Luckily I was in command of the Achaemenid Persian forces so I can give you a report on the battle. Our extremely talented scribes have created what they call "screenshots" to illustrate the battle.

This is what our traditional scrolls of deployment suggested for the battle. Yet on review, I could see several terrain features that gave me pause. There was a large, rocky top hill on the left, a forest on the right, and a deep stream between us and the enemy. I could expect the Indians army to include many archers, some elephants and maybe chariots. So something different was called for.
20171210214052_1 pre-deploy.jpg
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Temple
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Re: AAR: Battle of Varigani 495 BC

Post by Temple » Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:23 am

This is the deployment I used for the battle. From left to right, or as we say in Persian, از چپ به راست, here are the forces.
  • To the left of the hill, three light horse, to move across the stream and attack his rear.
  • On the hill, all our Sparabara Bowmen, the odd Irregular Foot, plus a couple of Light Javelinmen up front, all ready to occupy the hill.
  • Just to the left of the pond in the center, two raw hoplite units, a camel unit, and behind them, myself in command of a unit of Iranian Armored Cavalry (Bow).
  • Just in front of the pond, two more Iranian Armored Cavalry (Bow)
  • And off on the right, three Iranian Armored Cavalry (Bow) units
20171210214932_1 deployed.jpg
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Last edited by Temple on Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

Temple
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Re: AAR: Battle of Varigani 495 BC

Post by Temple » Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:27 am

This is the enemy formation after the first phase of the battle, what you readers might call a "turn'. Such a silly name!

As our scribes have represented, there are four elephant units, a couple of artillery, a couple of chariots, some people on horses, and lots and lots of archers.
20171210215316_1 enemy after turn 1.jpg
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Temple
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Re: AAR: Battle of Varigani 495 BC

Post by Temple » Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:33 am

After a few more "turns", our brave forces are advancing on all portions of the field. On the far left, the three horse units are crossing the stream almost unopposed. On the hill, the Sparabara Bowmen are marching towards the crest facing the enemy. Although I was down in the valley, my subordinates up on the hill told me later that all of the top of the hill was covered with rough ground. This did not hinder my mighty bowmen! And the hill had very steep sides.

In the center, my mounted troops, including my headquarters, are advancing to shoot at the elephants as they cross the deep stream. And far over on the right, the three armored cavalry are crossing the stream to distract the enemy chariots and horse.
20171210220453_1 end of my half turn 3.jpg
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Temple
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Re: AAR: Battle of Varigani 495 BC

Post by Temple » Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:40 am

As can be seen by this wonderfully colorful "screenshot" created by my scribes (they are such talented people!) we can see the battle as it appeared some time later. My three horse who crossed the stream on the left are now behind the enemy line, they will be causing mischief!

On the hill, my Sparabara Bowmen are on the crest, shooting down at the Indian Archers. Sadly our two Javenlinmen units are destroyed, but they served their purpose in forcing the Indian Archers to waste their arrows.

In the center, the enemy has unleashed three of his elephant units against my cavalry. And on the right, two of my cavalry are in melee with the enemy. They are doing just what is expected of them, they are tying up four enemy units.
20171210221902_1 end of my turn 5.jpg
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Temple
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Re: AAR: Battle of Varigani 495 BC

Post by Temple » Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:45 am

And sometime later, the battle has reached a critical moment. After spending some time exchanging arrow volleys, the Indian Archers are now assaulting up the hill against my Sparabara Bowmen. They are at a great disadvantage, even though they outnumbered us there. My three light horse continue to cause chaos in the enemy rear.

In the center, the three enemy elephants have been joined by an enemy cavalry unit, but my camel unit and my three cavalry units avoid contact and continue to fire arrows into the great grey beasts. On the right my two armored cavalry continue to fight hand to hand.
20171210222730_1 end of enemy turn 6.jpg
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Temple
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Re: AAR: Battle of Varigani 495 BC

Post by Temple » Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:50 am

And now we see how the arrogant Indian commander has paid for his folly! One of his three elephant units has broken and run. My cavalry continues to pour arrows into his other grey beasts. And my two Raw Hoplites stand just behind some rough ground and do the best thing they can do, which is nothing. On the hill, the enemy is losing archer units faster than I lose my Sparabara. On the far right, my two cavalry units still fight.
20171210223905_1 end of my turn 8.jpg
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Temple
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Re: AAR: Battle of Varigani 495 BC

Post by Temple » Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:53 am

The enemy on the hill is wavering! I see their banners change from green to red, which my advisors assure me is a good thing. We continue to make pincushions out of their elephants in the center. On the far right, my two cavalry units are now calling their enemies by their names, they have been in contact for so long! But of concern is the enemy elephant who broke and ran; he has rallied. I must send some men after it to convince the mahouts of their folly in trying to return to the battle.
20171210224819_1 end of enemy turn 9.jpg
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Last edited by Temple on Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

Temple
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Re: AAR: Battle of Varigani 495 BC

Post by Temple » Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:57 am

Ha! Another elephant runs! They are now just great grey cows running away! On my left, on the hill, the enemy continue to attack, but they have lost so many units, far too many. And on the right, my two cavalry units have fought hand to hand for so long they barely can raise their arms to, err, raise their arms!
20171210225800_1 end of my turn 11.jpg
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Last edited by Temple on Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

Temple
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Re: AAR: Battle of Varigani 495 BC

Post by Temple » Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:59 am

The final tally. We have defeated the enemy. And it is elephant steaks for everyone!
20171210230014_1 final losses.jpg
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SnuggleBunnies
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Re: AAR: Battle of Varigani 495 BC

Post by SnuggleBunnies » Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:09 pm

Well done! It's a great matchup, I'm playing a couple in mp right now. It puts the Persian infantry in the unaccustomed position of being better off closing into melee with the enemy foot.

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Re: AAR: Battle of Varigani 495 BC

Post by roguedjack » Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:10 pm

You did well in securing the hill and neutralizing/delaying the elephants.
Also give a raise to those scribes, they did a pretty good job on their paintings.

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