Monday, 29 December 2014

Battle of Gaugamela 331 BC using Ancient Battlelines Clash

This is game 21 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 Gaugamela
Darius prepares a level plain battlefield.  Alexander rises to the challenge.
Here are some links of interest that I used to create the scenario:
Wikipedia article
Ancient History Encyclopedia article
Giant DBA scenario
DBM scenario
Society of Ancients 2004 Battle Pack - Gaugamela

Scenario changes
Reduced by about half the troops due to my smaller sized table.  However, I roughly halved 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.

Alexander’s Macedonian
Macedonian deployment
4 Phalangites, battle infantry, phalanx
1 Hypaspists, battle infantry, phalanx, some protection, high fortitude, drilled
2 Hoplites, battle infantry, phalanx, some protection, low fortitude
2 Thracians, aux infantry, high fortitude
3 Psiloi, skirmish infantry, short missile
1 Companions, aux cavalry, high fortitude, disciplined
1 Heavy Cavalry, aux cavalry
2 Light Cavalry, skirmish cavalry, short missile
1 Camp
1 General with Companions
Exceptional command ability

Breakpoint: 13

Late Achaemenid Persian
Persians.  Cavalry is mostly poor and on their right.

1 Heavy infantry, battle infantry,some protection
1 Archers, auxiliary infantry, long missile
2 Mardi, skirmish infantry, long missile
2 Elite Cavalry, aux cavalry, high fortitude
2 Heavy Cavalry, aux cavalry
5 Persian/others heavy cavalry, aux cavalry, low fortitude
3 Light Cavalry, skirmish cavalry, long missile
3 Scythed Chariots 
1 Elephant
1 General with high fortitude cavalry

Breakpoint: 13

Note that the Peter Sides scenario starts after the Macedonians have advanced. I have chosen to go back to initial deployment.  I enjoyed researching this battle but when it came to deployment, I found it really hard going.  How to convert the units into a 2'x2' board and what deployment to use did my head it.  I spent way too many hours thinking about it.

Persians on the left; Macedonians on the right.
The Game
The Macedonian plan is to advance on the right flank and use the Companions to punch a hole through the Persian line.  The Persian plan is to advance with both flanks and try an envelop the Macedonians. 

Alexander move first and right flank advances.  Persian right flank fails their order roll and so does not move (they are far from Darius and rolled a 1).  The centre elephant and scythed chariot advance, the scythed chariot comes into range and cause pikes to advance (the pikes units should not have advanced - I read the result table wrong - or rather, I did not read them at all! and I wrote the rules.  I was tired and sick),  The scythed chariot loses combat (not unexpected), the pikes pursue into elephant proximity zone but the elephant does not charge.  The right flank scythed chariot does little better - charges into a skirmisher, scythed chariot destroyed, skirmisher disordered, retreats and destroyed.

Scythed chariot charges the pikes, for no effect other than being destroyed.
The Persian left flank advances and contacts the Macedonian Light Cavalry.

Persian left flank (top) begin to advance on the Macedonians; initial contact is the Macedonian light cavalry on the right.
The Macedonian Light Cavalry retreats and the Persian cavalry pursues and charges the Peltasts.  The Peltasts halt the charge.  Alexander retaliates by charging two skirmishers screening some Persian Heavy Cavalry. One  Persian Heavy Cavalry is routed.

Alexander (centre) clears some screening skirmishers and charges into some Persian heavy cavarly.  One is subsequently routed.
To the left of Alexander, the Hypaspists and a Pike unit get close to two Persian Heavy Cavalry, one   charges in and is eliminated.  The Pike unit pursues into the other Persian Heavy Cavalry unit that routs in the next turn.

Hypaspists (centre) and a pike unit (left) beating some Persian heavy cavalry.  Alexander is to the right.
At about this time, the last Persian scythed chariot charges for no effect.

The Hypaspists wheel and move (they have the drilled attribute; normally heavy infantry can only wheel OR move)) towards the Macedonian right flank that really needs bolstering.  Alexander is locked in melee for another turn but routs opposition next turn.  The Persian cavalry on their far left also locked in melee for another two turns until both the Peltast and Light Cavalry routs. The Persian cavalry is free on the Persian left - the Macedonian right is wide open.:

The Macedonian right - a skirmisher. The remaining Persian cavalry owns this flank.
The Macedonian right flank is overloaded with Persians - it is almost like a rag-tag of Macedonian units are there for defense.

The Macedonian left - more Persians than Macedonians.
A Pike unit in the centre routs the elephant. The rest of the Persian right manages to get into contact.  Nothing much happens - a few disorders.

Persian left in contact but the melees carryover.  However, the Macedonians do lose units soon after.
Meanwhile the centre pike unit contacts the Persian infantry - routs the archers and then pursue into melee with the poor Persian infantry.

In melee with the first Persian infantry unit (it routs)
That are also routed.

Pikes pursue into the other Persian infantry.   Both disordered (represented by the javelin markers) but the Persian infantry routs next turn.

The Persian right manages to rout a lot of the opposition - Parmenion, a skirmish infantry and a Peltast.  Not much left on the Macedonian left.  However, a phalanx unit manages to rout a Persian Heavy Cavalry after a few turns and the Persian's have reached their breakpoint.

The Macedonian centre and left at end game.  There is still a lot of Persian cavalry around but the pikes are closing in. 

Like Issus, there was a lot of options for deployment.  This kept me from playing the game, although it was interesting to read the discussions on the whys and wherefores on the different deployments.  Other than that, the game still surprises me on how fast it goes!  Once there is some shooting or melee, events take care of themselves with just a few die rolls. 

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