Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Delium BC 424 : Part VI (The Athenian Hoplite Charge)

An opportunity arose on the Athenian right wing cavalry (or rather the one remaining stand of it) when an over zealous pursuit/exploitation by the victorious Theban cavalry left a flank exposed in an "no recoil possible position" (see below):

The Athenian C-inC seized upon this moment and scored the "first victory" in the game for Athens. Could this be the turning point and reversal of fortunes? (See below, as the recoil result becomes a kill because the Thebans stands are not facing in the same direction) 

Note: This was the first time the "generals" had seen the turn to face an attack from the flank rule in conjunction with the DBA legal recoil restrictions.

Given the auspicious start to the turn the emboldened Athenian C-inC raised his arms in divine supplication to the heavens and committed his sixteen stands of hoplite warriors to assault up the hill hoping to shatter the Thebans.

What would the 'Fates' deliver unto the supplications of the Athens?

"Like grain the Athenian hoplites were harvested by the Theban farmers". In a series of disastrous dice rolls that will live long in the memory of Athens and her allies, two thousand of the finest Athenian hoplites were lost (four stands in all). Hoplites alas Athens could ill afford to lose and losses inflicted which left the Athenian left wing totally demoralised and the Athenian army almost to breaking point (having lost 10 stands, 12 breaking the army, see below):

Note: The moment happened so fast that only the aftermath was caught on camera for posterity.

Meanwhile at the other end of the battle line the Athenian high point of the battle was recorded.

Akin to Picket's Charge at Gettysburg well over a millennia later, the Athenian C-in-C "budged2 the Thebans off the crest of the hill. Alas this was a very localised victory was insufficient and unrepresentative of the day to be anything other than an allusive footnote "on what perhaps could have been" (see below):

Further disaster followed as the Theban Psilio returned to the camp and this time pillaged, looted and burned it to the ground (see below)

The sight of the their camp burning finally broke the Athenian army (taking the total Athenian army losses to 12, the official BBDBA army break point for a twenty four element force): 

Spelling out the final act of this Athenian tragedy, and playing the turn out in full, the final Athenian casualties (another two hoplite stands) caused the demoralisation of the Athenian right wing as well (see the gap in the line below):

As means of a final reckoning the Athenians had lost 14 stands to 1 and both Athenian wings had been demoralised as well as the the Athenian army break point being reached (surpassed). It was a comprehensive Theban victory (as per history but through rather different circumstances).

Full thanks and credit must be given to the generals who gave their all to the battle, played it in great spirit and all generals were in no way disgraced by their endeavours (as it is a very hard battle for the Athenians to win). The generals have now progressed fully into the ranks of the wargaming hobby with battle deeds to recount (or rewrite) at length when tankards are full.on long winter nights.

The campaign is scheduled to continue in the autumn with the battle of First Mantinea 418 BC when the Argives will take on the Spartans. 


Lee Hadley said...

Very cool indeed.

Monty said...

Enjoyed this Geordie, great stuff ;)

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Thanks Lee

Glad you liked it

Best Wishes

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Hello Monty,

Glad you liked the saga
The Peloponnesian War goes on

I hope to do the follow on First Mantina in the autumn

Best Wishes