Background as to why I am interested to game "The Battle of Platea 479BC"
Having slowly accrued the DBA armies for a "Greeks in Peril" Campaign over the best part of a decade I am keen to see these toys put to some good use. I still have high hopes to run the full campaign in 2012/13 but as an immediate "wargaming fix" I opted to stage the major land battle of the campaign. That is Platea 479BC as a BBDBA (Big Battle DBA) "event" for some wargaming virgins (an elder brother of mine, two of his friends and an old school friend of mine [who had done some RPG with me a long,long time ago]).
However I had some major scenario design questions to answer. Would it work with two DBA Armies aside with a third in reserve? Platea was notorious for a third of both armies (Greeks and Persians are both guilty of this) "not getting involved". Therefore I elected to have the third DBA army for each side resident in their army's camp area, fairly dormant until it was somehow "activated". Each turn they would roll and accrue activation points until a target had been reached/passed. A simple enough suggestion but how would it work in practice?
Before I put the game before the 'virgins' I chose another group of wargaming 'Grognards' to blood my beta-test scenario set-up ... read on (another excuse to get the toys on the table).
The Persian BBDBA Force: 2 x DBA Early Achaemenid + 1 x DBA Early Hoplite (Thebes)
Thebes: [1 x 4Sp (Gen) + 9 x 4Sp + 1 x 2ps + 1 x 3Cv] facing the Athenians on a "hill"
Note: A pretty compact force but fielding a useful 3Cv element
Design Note: I decided to mingle both the Persian DBA armies together. I took the bulk of the Persian Infantry and blocked it as "one" DBA army force (Mardonius on the Persian left) with remaining mounted Cavalry/Light Horse plus the remaining Hoard and Psiloi infantry as the reserve "camp based" force
Persian Main Infantry Body: [1 x 8Bw (Gen) + 7 x 8Bw + 2 x 3Bw + 2 x 3Ax]
Note: I had demoted Mardonius (C-in-C) from his Cavalry and stuck him with the Immortals, despite him being mounted he was attached to a unit of a thousand infantry. Arrayed as thus, it did not look too bad (in the very words of a veteran DBM/DBMM Grognard gamer). Note: See the Spartan "long thin line" on their hill in the distance.
Persian Reserve: [1 x 3Cv (Gen) + 3 x 3Cv + 2 x 2LH + 4 x 2Ps + 2 x 7Hd]
Note: I had assume that the cavalry were being rested after all the activity they had been put to in the previous weeks of campaign and that the camp "bric-a-brac" infantry were being slowly roused.PS Please note the fortified camp/stockade complex.
To activate the Persian reserve, at the start of each Persian go a d6 is rolled. The Command activates on a 1, or else the score is added to an accumulating total. When the score reached 18 then the commanding General wakes up. Until then everything costs double points to move. Note: The infantry and cavalry were deliberately lined up in separate blocks.
Next: The Groovy Greeks