A day out with Lost Battles -
Work's finally starting to ease up, and yesterday I headed off down the road with my 15 mm Successor armies in the boot of the car to play a couple of battles of Phil Sabin's rules (Lost Battles). Since Aaron was keeping the record of what went on, he'll no doubt be posting a proper write up on his blog soon, but here's my brief recollection. (edit: Here's the link to his first post, on Raphia)
First up was Raphia. We followed the scenario booklet OOB, despite my misgiving about it in several key points; most notably in that Phil arbitrarily reduced the fighting abilities of the Seleucid phalanx to give the Ptolemaic side a better chance of winning the battle. I took the Ptolemaic side while Aaron played the part of Antiochos III. My left crumbled as in real life, forcing Ptolemy to seek shelter behind my phalanx; unlike real life, Aaron wasn't forced to pursue my defeated troops, and thus his cavalry were free to sweep around my rear.
On my right, I broke his left, although not as swiftly as was required, and the central clash of pike was resolved in favour of the Seleucids, as my army's morale was shot by being surrounded and having my camp ransacked (there is no possibility of defending a camp in Lost Battles with just "baggage guards", a very different handling of things to one of Phil's previous rule sets: Legio ; you need to leave out some of you normal troops to do the job in Lost battles - a point I had forgotten). As a result my entire army routed (i.e. real-life surrendered) with the exception of a single pike unit on my right, giving Aaron a comprehensive victory.
|Here's the scene just before my army broke and ran. The unit on my left didn't make it off the board in time; that pesky elephant on the Selecucid left held up my victorious right. Not a great day out for my lads!|
Next up was Ipsos. This isn't one of the scenarios featured in Lost Battles, due to the lack of decent sources - numbers and troop compositions can be ascertained reasonably reliably, but deployment details are very murky, so we used the free deployment rules. I took the Antigonids while Aaron took the allies. Each side had two generals, and the Fighting Values were somewhat larger than for Raphia: 72 for the Antigonids and 79 for the allies.
Here things also went well for the underdog - which happened to me this time around... Demetrius' charge on my left was well supported by high dice rolls, and Seleukos was killed attempting to rally his cavalry. The Allied elephants were deployed across the battle field, but didn't achieve all that much, and my right also put in good work, so Lysimachos was well boxed-in in the allied centre.
|Hmm, this scene looks familiar! Obviously Antigonos being on a horse instead of a litter has lifted his army's spirit!|
Once Demetrius's horse swept around the allied rear, with the allied elephants in front of their phalanx rather than behind it, the allied morale collapsed, handing me as big a victory as Aaron had extracted from me in the previous game. A great couple of games.