Sunday, September 27, 2009

Breaking the Siege at Tyre

We had our third battle in the Syrian campaign on Saturday. It was a 2000 point Breakthrough battle. The Ptolemaics were trying to get supplies and troops through to the Tyre. I went with a besieging type army, so quite a bit of light troops, little cavalry, and some siege engines.

I took:

A Startegps as general with Army Standard Bearer to accompany him. I also had a Taxiarch to help out leadership wise in units that would be too far away from the General. I had two 28 man Phalanx and one 28 man Silver Shields phalanx. One 10 man unit of Euzonoi skirmishers also came from the Infantry section of the army list.

For Specials I had an armored African elephant with extra crew and a Heavy Ballista. For Mercenaries I used an 18 man unit of Thureophoroi, an 18 man unit of Thracians with Rhomphaia, 12 Arab Tribesmen with bows, and 10 Arab Cavalry.

Jeff had two 24 man Kleruch Phalanx, a 24 man Mercenary phalanx, a unit of Agema cavalry, some Border Garrisons, an African elephant, a unit of 16 Thureophoroi, some Tarentine Cavalry, the hated Cretan archers and some Expert Slingers.

Here are the battle lines. Seleucids on the left side of the table and Ptolemaics on the right.

The game started with the Ptolemaics shifting their main battle line to their right and running the Tarentine cavalry in front of my phalanx to keep them from shifting left to counter. On my left I spent a couple turns firing everything I had at the enemy Thureophoroi to try to get them to panic . They were solid as a rock though marching through the arrow and bolt firestorm. They chased my Arab Cavalry (far enough to get out of he way and rally with their feigned flight) but that opened up an avenue to my ballista and they slammed into that instead. The lowly artillery crew broke and ran as expected but them loosing panicked my Thureophoroi behind them causing them to leave the field. Ouch they were in perfect position to take care of the Ptolemaic Thureophoroi. My only hope on my left was the Arab cavalry.

Everyone shooting the Thureophoroi!!

My Thureophoroi feeling from the broken siege engine. The Arabs hold fast though!

In the middle not a whole much happened. The Tarentines caused a casualties to the Phalanx but had to move out to the flank before they got trapped between the two battle lines. I did manage to shift enough of my battle line to the left to keep in front of the Ptolemaic phalanx.

On the right, the enemy slingers and Border Garrison troops climbed a hill and started lobbing missiles down on my Arab archers. I had my Thracians move up to make room for the Elephant and to threaten the hill. Jeff decided to gamble and charged his Agema cavalry in the middle of my undamaged Thracians. With the most amazing rolling I've seen in quite a while, the 10 man Agema caused 9 wounds to my Thracians and drove right through them. My poor Thracians are starting to get an inferiority complex with the beatings they've taken lately. The Arab archers held with a roll of a 2 on their panic check and shot at the Agema for a few turns to no avail. The elephant had to turn around and spend the rest of the game blocking the cavalry from pulling an Alexander and rear charging my phalanx.

The Thracians about to clear the hill of the poor Border Garrison.

The Agema cavalry charging the Thracians since they were blocked by the elephant and Phalanx.

Which turns out well for them! The Thracians didn't even get a chance to fight back.

The next few turns the elephant kept the Agema cavalry at bay and the Arab archers manned an old temple wall trading missiles with the slingers. The Tarentine cavalry chased the elephant around, trying to get it to panic from multiple little pin pricks but no luck. Finally the Agema had enough and decided to take out the Arabs but facing the wrong direction they were out of the rest of the battle. On the left, the Arab cavalry kept pelting the Ptolemaic Thureophoroi as they turned to get a flank on the Silver Shields. In the center, the battle lines met and started the grind. The Arab cavalry ended up charging the Thureophoroi but didn't break them. They did bring their numbers down to 4 before they were driven off by the combined force of the Cretans and Thureophoroi. All this time the camel caravan is sneaking down the flank with the Ptolemaic elephant next to it.

Elephant / Agema showdown!

Arab cavalry fighting to keep the Silver Shields from getting rolled up.

Silver Shields wearing down the Ptolemaic Mercenary phalanx.

Battleline seen from the Seleucid right flank.

With my flanks done but the Ptolemaic flanks beat up enough they wouldn't cause too much touble, I had to hold the middle and try to keep the camels from crossing my table line. I had move my General and the ASB over to the left to break through the Cretans and hit the camels behind. This left my right Phalanx without any leadership support though. My Taxiarch was fighting with the Silver Shields (and didn't do a thing the whole game! My Arab archers put up more of a fight than this guy) so I had to hope they held (with their leadership of 6...). Well the Cretans held, the camels got away, my right Phalanx broke, and that was pretty much it. The Tarentines escaped with the camels and my phalanxes held a few more turns before we called it.

My General trying to break through the Cretans.

The battle line getting rolled up after the right Phalanx breaks.

My General and ASB chasing off the evil Cretans.

My Silver Shields did well this game (never broke) as did my Arabs. They passed all their panic tests and held up a lot of troops. I'm getting some Companions painted up for next game.

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