The Spartans push hard as only they know how. In the center successive hits from the 'seven' (ow) veteran hoplite units capable of attacking, rock the Argives. As the hits roll in the Argive force quickly becomes totally spent. This means another hit would mean a shattered (dead) unit and a dangerous Army Morale Test for the Argives. The Spartans make that kill, an Army Morale Test is required and the Argives pass, but only just and it is not over yet. Another Spartan kill (ow, ow) and this time the Argives luck does not hold, the average spent hoplites have had enough and break en masse, routing to the rear. This clears the Spartan right from a dangerous Argive envelopment and (without that penalty DRM of -1) they pummel and destroy the weak Argive left wing. The final command point is spent on the weak Spartan left as it makes a spoiling attack on the powerful Argive right with some limited success )just to add insult to injury). Sparta seems to have done enough, well done Agis (see below):
The Argive commander looks forlornly at his shattered army. All he can do is push on with his right wing but with reduced command points (as a lot of his officers are now running to the rear) it lacks impetus to drive forward and the Spartan left bends but does not break. Ominously on the Spartan turn, the central phalanx of Spartan veteran hoplites turn as one readying their spears for a terrifying flank attack "next turn" on the remaining Argives. Meanwhile the Spartan left is not inactive and again has limited success in wearing down the Argive elites (those "chosen men" veteran hoplites of Argos). The Argives have one last chance of a push on these cheeky average Spartan (Peloponnesian allied) hoplites before the hammer-blow catches them in the flank (see below):
The Argives remove two of the three Spartan commanded hoplites, but as a point of honour Sparta passes its Army Morale Tests and can proudly claim that their hoplite line did not break even in its weakest sector [which is better than their historical counterparts] (see below, the Spartan left just to say holds on):
The Argive commander requested this 'swan-song' picture of 'what could have been' were it not for this brave Spartan (or Peloponnesian allied) hoplite unit. Seven Argive hoplite units are about to receive a death blow from the Spartan killing machine coming in from their left (see below, Spartans coming in from the right of the picture):
The Argives first become spent and then as the first Argive hoplite unit is shattered they spectacularly fail their Army Morale Test and the remaining six units, even the "chosen men" of Argos, are routed off the field (see below, "where have all the Argives gone?")
The Spartan (levy") cavalry sensed 'their wargaming moment' was at hand and charged the Athenian (Argive led) average cavalry in an "all-out attack" and succeeded in making the Athenian force spent (see below):
The already victorious Spartan right now turned to face the Athenians to make them be under no allusions as to what fate awaited them if they did not "get out of dodge" next turn and retire (see below):
Rubbing salt directly into the wounds of the bloodied and broken Argive army, the surviving Spartan left flank hoplite unit (an unnamed Peloponnnesian allied unit), although spent from its efforts, moved onto the Argive "key terrain square" and started building a victory monument from the cast off Argive arms and armour that littered the field (see below):
Meanwhile the Athenian cavalry quietly slipped away in search of their ships and a safe passage home to Athens before Argos changed sides in the Peloponnesian War and once their once friends & hosts became enemies (see below):
The result, a clear Spartan win, not only on the tabletop (which was expected given the force composition) but also according to the Victory Point off-set chart. A good game played in great spirit with a lovely educational narrative throughout the night. Looking forward to another game with my old friend, he just might have been bitten by the wargaming bug? The game flowed well and was not perceived as "chancy" or a "fidgety fiddle" with a good intuitive "what you see is what you get" feel to it (oh and the Spartan dice rolling was very good).
This is a good set of rules from the Society of Ancients and Phil Sabin!
Note: I will have to dig a little deeper into changes to the Strategos II system refined in Lost Battles and move forward with their newer rule system, but I have been assured the core concepts play the same.