Following hot on the heels from my first rekindling of Strategos II, I had the opportunity to run The First Battle of Mantinea (418 BC) again on a second outing with another wargaming newbie (albeit with a degree in history including modules covering the ancient Greek period). The by now familiar set-up is shown below before hostilities started (see below):
Randomly drawing lots for sides I found myself acting as good king Agis with his chief adviser Hippeis (see below, phew I am glad not to be on the receiving end of he Spartan phalanx, the newbie gets the tough assignment - who said war is fair?):
After talking things through with the Argive commander he launches into a fairly historical solid advance into the center and with his strong right flank (the historical point of honour for the best troops), the Argive weak left hanging back in conspicuous Greek fashion (see below, looking at the Argive advance):
In response the Spartans go for it, throwing their powerful right as far forward as it can go (double timing) against the weak Argive left (just two paltry average hoplite units). The Spartan king's guard unit also severely spanks the cheeky Argive center (obtaining a double hit) that dared to come within reach of his spear. (Note: the bulk of the veteran Spartiate hoplites now come to his assistance, it would not do to replay a Leonidas scenario here). In customary Greek fashion the Spartan left flank is also slow to move/engage the more stronger Argive right [even Peloponnesian's can show discretion] (see below):
Time for the Argives to show their mettle. They boldly advance deep against the Spartan left (aka the Argive right with their best troops), setting up a powerful attack for the next turn. Meanwhile in the center and Argive left they attack, in addition bring up their sole unit of the cavalry onto the flank the most advanced Spartan units. These Argives attacks bruise the Spartans but this serves merely to whet the Spartan appetite for punishment and relish their turn in the combat to come. The Argives also suffer with casualties this turn, as per the hoplite "all out attack rule" leaving them 50% spent against a very powerful force of veteran Spartan hoplites next turn. (see below):
Across the board the hoplite lines are in contact (see below, as viewed from the Spartan side, Agis in the center square amidst the chaos of war):
The battlefield as seen from the Spartan far left flank viewing across the battlefield (see below):
The Spartan young king Agis knows that he must effect a "ruthless round of combat" to secure his advanced right from an Argive envelopment. A good result in the center is the key and will be the main focus of his command point distribution .
Next: "This is Sparta!"