Thebes tries its best to worry the end of the Athenian line by increasingly cunning manoeuvrings with their cavalry element, while the rest of the hoplites push against each other in a "manly" Greek fashion. No sudden collapse but bad dice for Athens eventually tells as Thebes wins here [Athenian losses = 4 while Thebes losses = 2] despite the Athenian benefit of the uphill slope (see below):
The Persian success on the right is slow a coming while the Persian collapse that comes on the left is sudden as the Spartan battle line hits the massed ranks of archers in hand-to-hand combat (see below). Gaps immediately start appearing in the Persian ranks [Spartan losses = 0 while Persian looses = 2 from first contact].
Sparta pushes its advantage homes as the "other" Greeks quickly appear, comfortingly plugging the gap in the center and to help the Athenians who in unhistorical fashion are on the verge of collapse thanks to the afore mentioned bad dice rolling (see below):
The Greek sides "wobble" moment. The Athenian hoplite mass now huddles in a demoralized mass but is still useful remaining on the field as the "other" Greeks start to flank the Thebans (see below):
The Persian BIG BANG .. [Persian losses = 4 (break) with no casualties on Sparta] and nothing to stop the Spatans from cutting through even more weak Persian infantry coming up in front of them (see below, urgh, nasty memories come flooding back). The Persians start to flee the field (as I didn't roll enough PiP's to hold them all) and it's bad news all round.
The last line of Persian resistance easily is brushed away. Thebes claims it still has the ability to "fight on" but in reality the future Spartan combats will send the "combined Persian forces" across their break point, by killing more hapless weak Persian infantry. The game is called at this point. Thebes will struggle just to align itself to face the new threat of the "other Greeks" before the Spartan destroy the remaining Persians.
So a good game and a fairly historical result, but not so one-sided as the true History reported via our old friend and companion Herodatus. A few interesting points to take up though in the after battle discussion (see below).
Some thoughts ... and comments from the players
- There was no real need to have three DBA armies aside, two were enough..
- As importantly, without wanting to just 'replay' history, it remains a fact that the 'reserves' did not take part in the historical battle as they were too far away so forget about them.
- The reserve activation (and in a sense reinforcing the first point) was just a distraction and wasted more time than adding to game play) and in the end it was "too" easy to get the reserve forces into play "too" early (see Greek "others" appearing in the above photographs).
- As the game was a 'fun' play test with 'experienced' players, run before the main event for 'novice' players, the consensus was that again two armies would be more than enough for novices to worry about on the night.
- The Persian infantry (combat factor of two) are no match for the Spartans (combat factor four) so my artificial division of all the archers in the Persian infantry in one DBA army and all the cavalry in the (reserve) DBA army exacerbated this and actually hindered game play, limiting the options for the Persian player (ahem, ME - stabbed by my own sword, arggh).