Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Hydaspes replay number 4 - Ancient Warrior Battles

This is the last 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.

Ancient Warrior Battles is a homegrown set.  Think of Ancient Warrior Battles as Justified Ancients with some RRtK reaction tests to determine enemy reaction to events and you will get the general idea of the rules. Sort of.  As per Justified Ancients replay, Alexander has a rating of +2, Porus of +0.
Horse archer advance, Chariot and cavalry attempt to charge horse archers but fail.  Horse archers fire. Cavalry pushed back; chariots forced to charge, one horse archer fires at the chariot - no effect- and evades, chariot automatically pursues but does not catch them.  Results are similar to Justified Ancients, but reactions to events occur a bit like Rally Round the King.

Horse archers pushing back the chariots

Porus moves to an elephant closer to left flank (maybe should have done this in the JA game as well as their is a distance modifier to order roll) and advances the right flank chariot and the archer battleline.  In the Macedonian turn, the horse archers advances to within range of the disordered cavalry and the chariot; missile fire causes the chariot to retreats (retreat is like flee in Justified Ancients so chariot is disordered and depleted).  The skirmishers, battleline and peltasts all advance.

The Indian left flank - note how far the cavalry has retreated.  The chariot is disordered and depleted.

The Indian battleline from the Macedonian side.  Macedonian skirmishers are in position to harass the Indians.

The Indians fire at the advancing battleline. Four skirmishers gone for only one archer pushed back in return fire.

Porus cries out "Release the elephants" does not receive the order (rolled a 1 - the only chance for a failure), but the rest go in.

First elephant contacts skirmisher and the latter rout. Elephants pursues into a phalangite unit who stands.  Combat will occur next turn.

The Elephant charges and contacts the phalanx line after routing a covering skirmisher.

Second elephant (with Porus) causes the contacted skirmisher to run away, the elephant continues into the phalanx line that stands. The last elephant in the line charges the Hypaspists who retreat in the ensuing combat.

Hypaspists retreating from an elephant unit.

The Chariot rallies off their disorder and the Indian cavalry fails to charge the horse archers.  The horse archers fire at the Indian cavalry that then retreats to edge of board.

Two pike units are in melee with the Elephant and Porus.  The Elephant loses and is pushed back.

Elephant with Porus retreats from pike line - a pike unit pursues and recontacts.

Another pike unit is in combat with an Elephant.  The elephant also loses and retreats.
The Indians advance all the archers within missile range of pikes (12cm).  Elephant on the far right still waiting for a successful order to charge!

Porus moves off the elephant that retreated and moves to an undisordered undepleted elephant - he can see the writing is on the wall for his old mount.
Elephant (now without Porus) Vs pike sees the Elephant destroyed, and also depletes the archers in the rout path behind.

Elephant (now with Porus) charges the Hypaspists, the latter that retreats and depleted.  As the Hypaspists were already depleted, they are destroyed.  The Elephant pursues.  The Chariot charges a horse archer that retreats.

Elephant pursuing the destroyed Hypaspist.  Horse archers retreating from the chariot.

The Macedonians move the horse archers to in front of the cavalry and chariots. The Thessalian Heavy Cavalry wheels to face the elephants that is now next to them after pursing the destroyed Hypaspists.

Thessalian heavy cavalry turn to face the Elephants.

The pike line advances and gets fired on by the Indian archers. One pike unit is disordered.  One pike unit charges and elephant - the elephant routs and depletes the archer unit behind it.

The battlelines.  Note the Indians are worse off with some depleted archers.

My three year old helping me out, here rolling dice off the end of a ruler.

The Indian right flank chariots charge a peltast unit that decides to stand and take it.  Both end up disordered.

The right most elephant then charges two peltasts who both rout.

The Elephants and Chariot on the Indian right flank.  There were two peltasts in front of them, but they routed.

Indian archery fire: All the pike units roll high for their fired-on test...except the last one to test that fails and retreats.

The Indian left flank - only one Macedonian pike unit (the leftmost one in the centre of the picture) retreats from the archery.

The elephant with Porus (next to the Thessalian cavalry) tests to turn to face the cavalry. The order will fail on a roll of a 1.  Rolls a 1.

But, on a whim, the heavy chariot charges the horse archer unit in front who retreat, already depleted so dispersed.

The other horse archer that is pushing the Indian cavalry close to the table edge, fires at the cavalry who are pushed back off the board.

The Companions charge the heavy chariot. The Chariots retreats but already depleted so destroyed.  Companions pursue.

Companions and Alexander against the chariots (that are destroyed)

The Thessalians cavalry charge the elephant (with Porus) in the flank. Poor rolling by the Thessalians see them retreat.

The pike battle lines charge the Indian archers. One pike is forced to retreat but four heavy archers are dispersed (two were already depleted that did not help).  Indians have reached their breakpoint (50%) and so I call it for the Macedonians (who were 3 units away from their breakpoint).

At game end from the Indian side - not many archers left in the centre.  Companions are off stage to the left.

A great game and a good outing for my rules.


  1. Nice report Shaun. Have you tried DBA or DBM for fast play ancients?

    1. Phil,

      I have tried both DBA and DBM100 (I used DBM 2.2 as that is the version I was most familiar with). I played DBA twice with my Callincum replays and once with the Zama replays:

      Callinicum with DBA

      Callinicum with DBA slight mod

      Zama with DBA

      I played DBM100 with Callinicum. I liked it, but then I don't mind DBM:

      Callinicum DBM100

      I recommend that anyone that is looking for fast play rules on a small board check out DBA first. If you like that, stick with it. If you don't like it, or think it is just OK (I think it is OK), then check out other ones. I am checking the others out. 16 so far! RRtK and JA are my current favourites.

  2. Oh, Phil....

    BTW Shaun, any chance I might snag a gander at those rules, or the Bill Banks ones?

    1. Send me an email at shaun AT wizkid DOT com DOT au and we can work something out. Both need more playtesting and a technical writer type review. And some examples. But they are close.

  3. Hiya Shaun,

    Like the look of the game. Stuff started getting disrupted as the Elephants started to falter. Kind of gave a good feel for ancient warfare. Do I still have the latest or has there been changes since you last sent them...sometime in the fall I think.


  4. There is a later version that has improved grammar, some revised sections (mostly for clarity) and also the action tables have been revised slightly. I'll get a copy to you.

  5. Shaun, I'm curious, what kind of cabinet is it you're using for gaming? I dig your use and want to try to find one in my area but I'm not sure what you're using. Looks deeper than letterpress drawers so not sure what you're using. Thanks!

  6. The short story is is a a one-off architects cabinet. About 10 years ago my wife and I went looking for map drawers to store her wood veneer in. So walking into a second hand office furniture place there is lots of the metal map drawers, and this beautiful silky old timber map drawers about 4 times the price of the metal ones. So we ended up with it, but it is a piece of house furniture, rather than a metal drawers stored under the house. I cannot help you but I have seen similar things in second hand stores - specimen drawers (ex-museum), dentist cabinets etc. But you ae right, the drawers are 2 1/2 feet by 2 1/2 feet and just over 3" deep; most drawers are shallower than this. So I can't help you too much except to search through used furniture/second hand stores.

  7. Excellent, thanks! I've been eyeing a few of the antique/second hand shops in the area (there are a ton of them) with little luck, but with spring coming comes the roadtrips to other towns with more shops to dig through. Thanks!

  8. The URL for Crusader Miniatures in the US isn't correct. According to a TMP article, that site has closed.

  9. Kent,

    Thanks for that (re Crusader minis blog post). When I started drafting the blog post late last year, crusaderminiatureusa was still a valid URL. As you correctly point out, it is not now and I have updated the blog post.