This is game 18 in play testing my ancient rules by replaying historical battles. The latest version of ‘Ancient Battlelines Clash’ is on its own blog page. I am play testing the rules by replaying all the Peter Sides scenarios from his Historical Battles books. ABC is designed to finish in under an hour on a 2'x2' table.
Battle of Chaeronea
Philip II invades Greece that is defended by a Theban/Athenian allied army. Philip II wins and finally gains control of Greece.
Here are some links of interest that I used to create the scenario:
I also used a number of books such as "Lost Battles" (Sabin) and "Warfare in the Classical World" (Warry).
Halved troops due to my smaller sized table. However, I did not halve the spear or pike units as the scenario units are for DBx that assumes in this case that the units will be rear supported, not the case with my rules. I used a deployment close to Warry (two lines) rather than Side's staggered setup. I did not include the hills and river, assuming they are on the edge of the table. The smaller streams did not seem to affect the battle so did not include them. I did keep the marsh.
|The Greek allies (SB= Sacred Band, Gen = General)|
3 Theban hoplites, HI, phalanx, some protection
1 Theban Sacred Band, HI, phalanx, some protection, high fortitude
3 Psiloi, LI, short missile
1 General (with Athenian hoplite)
1 Hypaspists/Agema, HI, phalanx, some protection, high fortitude
1 Peltasts, MI
2 Psiloi, LI, short missile
1 Heavy Cavalry, high fortitude, disciplined
1 Light Cavalry, LC, short missile
1 General, +1 command ability with Hypaspists
Note, in line with the rule changes (see below) Missile Protection +1 is now some protection, +2 is now high protection. Similarly -1 fortitude is now low fortitude, +1 is now high fortitude. The names are easier for army lists rather than using numbers. LI (Light Infantry) is relabeled MI (Medium Infantry) and SI (Skirmisher Infantry) relabeled to LI (Light infantry). Only the labels have changed to be more consistent with cavalry and chariot labels, the rules for them are unchanged.
It has been nearly a year since a historical game with these rules and I have been mulling over how to streamline them as I seem to have been adding a little bit here and there after my last major streamlining nearly 2 years ago. The rules were getting more bloated and I do not like it. I go into to much detail at this blog post. In summary:
- I reduced the number of modifiers for all the tests to 3 or less modifiers, except combat still has 4.
- I managed to combine the normal reaction to shooting, fired on, charged and proximity tests into one reaction table. This made it a lot clearer.
- I reduced some of the exceptions in the rules.
- I changed the general to always be part of a unit during the game, rather than being able to detach and detach from units. I also changed the army command ability to be not as powerful.
This is what playtesting is all about!
|Deployment. Note the only terrain feature on the table is the marsh on the Greek right flank.|
Greeks move first. Both sides advance their entire infantry line.
|Fantastically painted (not by me - I bought these from Andy Bryant who is responsible for them) Macedonian phalangites|
|Cavalry and skirmishers on the Macedonian right awaiting an opportunity. More amazing paint job from Andy Bryant.|
|Greek hoplite pursues a routed skirmisher. The sticks on the bases on the units indicate disorder.|
|A gap! But the Greek hoplite cannot pursue.|
|Activity on the Greek right. The Companions attack through a gap.|
|The Greek left is becoming depopulated duie to losses on both sides.|
|The victorious Hypaspists (again painted by Andy Bryant).|
|End game. All Greek units are circled (i.e. not many).|
More phalanx on phalanx battles but this time with the Companions. I did like playing this game. It showed that making the Athenians impetuous was a good idea. It also highlighted the difference the Companions make - without them, it would have just been a heavy infantry clash. Even so, the Companions never did make the final difference in this replay as they did not have time to shine. The Greek general routing was bad, but then I think he should have been with the Thebans (which I would do in a refight). The rules have changed, but they were only minor to the overall way the game worked. The only difference for this game was the the general being destroyed causing the entire army to undertake a morale check. Four more Alexander battles in the pipeline.