Saturday, 24 December 2011

Hydaspes replay number 1 - Rally Round the King

This is the first game of four replaying the Battle of Hydaspes with different rulesets.  Go to this post for background, troop descriptions, deployment and comparison to the other 3 rules.

The battle report is a bit more detailed than I would do normally do just for a report, but I needed the detail as to who did what as it helped to write the rules comparison.  I did take out about two-thirds of the detail I originally had!  It may be easier just to read the picture captions :-)
The Game
I have given Alexander a war rating of 3, Indians only 2.  Alexander is with the Companions, Porus is in a lead elephant (could be dangerous as elephants are fragile).
Bit of fire, retiring and charging between the horse archers and the Indian mounted left flank.  Very little achieved.

Indian left flank


On the Indian right flank, the Indian chariot and Elephant advance on the peltasts but nothing happens. 
The Indian archer line advanced and then halted as in range of the enemy skirmishers, but the the elephants (advancing with the same single group activation) individually continued to advance.

Porus and his elephant causes two enemy skirmishers to fire and rout, but takes a hit; continues to advance (which is converted into a charge) into phalanx line.  Note elephants are treated as foot units,not mounted, so do not automatically retire from charging a phalanx (which is what mounted have to do).  In melee the phalanx causes 2 hits; Porus causes 2 hits as well. Involved in melee test has the phalanx giving ground and Porus passing (unlucky roll for phalanx, lucky roll for Porus!).

Porus undamaged, not like the opposing pikes

Another elephant advances on the skirmishers whom fire and retire (which is a rout as they bounce into the phalanx line - skirmishers do not interpenetrate friends if retiring - they rout instead), inflicting three hits on the elephant that retires.

Elephant retires into archers
On the Macedonian left flank the horse archer fires at chariot that retires (woo-hoo - first hit scored on the Heavy chariot after all the two'ing and fro'ing).
A few hits are taken by both sides on the Indian left flank

The pike line advances.  The Hypaspists are charging an elephant (another pike stays with it in support) but the Hypaspists decide not to (pass one dice).
Another two pikes manage to charge the middle elephant that routs and goes on the rampage.  The Elephants melees the friendly unit behind it, caused some damage but they both carry on.

Rampaging elephant attacks their own sides archers

Hoplites charge the opposing elephant, no damage on either side and melee carries on into next turn.

Elephant locked in melee with hoplites

The right flank Indian chariot charges the peltasts who inflict a hit with missile fire.  Melee sees one hit taken for each side; the subsequent involved in melee test has the Peltast with the hit rout, the other stays and the chariot retires.  The remaining peltast does not pursue. 

The remaining peltast facing an heavy chariot and elephant

The Porus melee  - one hit each. Phalanx routs but so does Porus who rampages directly back.
The other rampaging elephant in melee with own side inflicts another hit and then the elephant routs permanently. 

Hypaspists finally charge the Elephant, who stands. In melee the Hypaspists inflict two hits; Elephants inflict 1 hit, melee is carried on to next turn.

Elephant ad Hypaspists locked in melee

A few Pikes charge some archers (including the one with all the hits inflicted from the rampaging elephant).  The archers manage to stand and fire back to inflict 4 hits! Pikes retire.

Pikes retiring from the archer missile fire

Hoplites Vs elephant (from last turn); elephants routs and rampages directly back into an archer, who stands and fires, inflicts a hit on the elephants that then routs again and so is removed. 
Porus and the rampaging elephant is fired at by is own side and routs again and is removed.
A pike unit routs when being fired at.
Hypaspists cause an elephant to routs  and rampage back towards an archer who fires and causes the elephant to rout again. Hypaspists pursue.
Indian cavalry charge the horse archers that fire and retire.

Near game end looking from the Indian side.  Indians still have an intact archer battleline.

The archers clean up another pike unit and a Hoplite.  They are slowly succumbing to missile fire.

The end game setup
Indian archers and the chariot charges the horse archers, one horse archer routs; the Indian cavalry routs itself while attempting to charge.
Excellent - now for the Heavy Cavalry to charge in and save the day (or that is the plan).  Horse archer moves out the way.  Thessalian cavalry and Companions (with Alex) charge the Heavy Chariot, which retires into the Heavy Cavalry coming up behind (oops).  Companions charge again, Chariot again retires but cannot and then Companion pursues into the chariot that then automatically rout (pursuing units recontacting retiring units rout them).

The Companions looking down the archer battleline from one flank.  They then roll the line.

Rolling up the line:
Next turn the Companions charge the flank of the rightmost archer unit, who rout.  Companions pursue, which is converted into a charge against the next archer unit in the line.  The archers fail the charged test, and rout.  Companions pursue and charge into the next archer unit  that pass the test but cannot fire back.  Straight to melee: both inflict a hit on each other, archers fail melee test and rout.  Companions pursue into the next archer unit...anyway, you can see where this is going - 3 archers down already.  7 to go.  Even if they do not rout others, there is the Thessalian cavalry, and the Indians are down to war rating 1 so movement is not great, and the 2 heavy cavalry units will run rings around the archers.

Play time (excluding note taking) was about 2 hours. There is only around 300 points each but the archers/Hoplites interaction really slowed it down (lots of pass 1 die for the Hoplites which resulted in them not getting into melee), and also the wings did quite a bit before I decided to involve the battlelines.


  1. Love your RRtK after action reports. But I would have liked an overall analysis of the battle with pictures of the whole battlefield.

  2. Yea, sorry about not so many overall battle shots. i did that a lot in the Callinicum replays and got some positive comments on it. I know there are more overall battle shots with some of the other Hydaspes replays. Just not with RRtK. I find I was getting bored doing the overhead shots and so that is why there are not so many. I did a summary of the overall battle in the context of comparing all the rules in the original blog post on Hydaspes, and did a bit of analysis of the rules in previous replays of Warrior Kings/RRtK. But I do see your point, and it is something that is lacking in this battle report particularly. The Justified Ancients report for Hydaspes is probably closer to what you are looking for. I am still finding my way on what a battle report should look like - mt original focus was to provide detail on how a ruleset works, so if I play with the rules again, what do I post? I haven't yet found a satisfactory balance between report, pictures and what level of analysis I want to do. It changes with every report!

  3. Thanks Shawn for answering me. I think your report I prefer is: Rally Round the King: Persians V Romans. I like having report of the battle AND notes. BTW I'm a RRtK fan but have issue playing it because of my long micro-managing experience with DBM.

    Merry Christmas.


  4. I've just re-read the RRtK: Roman Vs Persians (it was a year ago and have not looked at it since). It is the most popular blog post I have - it gets about 20 hits a week, even a year on. I must of been on fire that month. I see what you mean. Thanks for the feedback. I will try and get back to more that type of report, as it lines up more the reason I am blogging battle reports in the first place. But as I have drafted the other three for Hydaspes, it will have to wait until the reports after that. Merry Christmas and happy new year to you as well!