Seen from the Persian side of the table, the Greek line of Battle (see above), Spartans to the left and Athenians to the right with a collection of "other" Greeks back in their Camp area. Note the disconnected front line, with a large "whole" in the middle of it (the "other" Greeks had historically retreated 'too far' in a night march) which would be so, so tempting to Persian mounted troops.
The Greeks OoB:
- Sparta: 1 x 4Sp (General), 10 x 4Sp, 1 x 7Hd (Helots)
- Athens: 1 x 4Sp (General), 9 x 4Sp, 1 x 4Bw, 1 x 2Ps
- Other Greeks: 1 x 4Sp (General), 9 x 4Sp, 2 x 2Ps
Meanwhile the heavy force of Persian archers (SparaBara and Immortals) edged their way into missile range (see below) of the Spartans. The only tactical adjustment made by the Spartans was to try and seal off a portion of the gap between themselves and the Athenians, trying to buy time for the "other" Greeks to catch up.
In the contest between Athens and Thebes the phalanxes pushed and shoved to not much discernible effect (see below - middle), traditional Greek stuff you could say. Creeping in from the bottom left unobtrusively is a Persian Auxilia element "full of evil intent" [sent by Mardonius himself, aka ME] (see below - bottom left):
"Gotcha" the classic DBA "closing the door" move hopes to see the end of those pesky Athenian archers (see below):
Now you see him and now you don't (see below), the Athens will shortly be recruiting for more archers, no experience necessary (Score: Thebes 1 and Athens 0):
The Athenian General on the hill is now starting to worry about a double envelopment as he has two rather open flanks. The Boetians have a Psilio overlap advantage to the left and a fast moving Theban cavalry element threatens the right. Will Sparta stand idle as the Thebans try to roll up both ends of the Athenian line (see below)? :
Reluctantly Sparta is forced into action off their nice safe defensive hill and into a maelstrom of Persian arrows as they "darken the sun" (see below):
Sadly (speaking as I was the Persian General [Mardonius] on the day) they had no effect on the bronzed phalanx of Sparta. Not surprisingly I was beginning to have a very bad feeling about all of this. Only the cavalry of my reserve force could be seen of the battlefield (see above bottom right), my infantry support was still far, far away and the terrible Spartans so, so near