Friday, 8 February 2019

This. Is. Spa … argh!

This week we decided to go for the Peloponnesian War, after Campbell requested a Classical Greek clash of shields. Also I proudly introduced Colin, a friend of mine who is normally into board games, to the joys of 28mm miniature warfare of the Classical Antiquity using Hail Caesar rules with some amends (Hoplite run (the little first fire tokens), phalanx movement and drift and a flexible rank deployment that has influence on the actual stamina). Campbell decided to go for the Spartans (and their Peloponnesian “friends”) while me and Colin took up the dori and aspis for the Athenians and their Delian empire.

After some prayers and reshuffling, the deployment remained pretty much conservative on both sides, from left to right form the best unit to the worst to fall upon the “open” enemy flank - all enclosed by some pelstast and helot rabble on the outer flanks, plus a dash of more or less ineffective Northern greek cavalry on both sides for a bit of fun. The Athenians had one unit of Hoplites more and one small unit of slingers.

The Delians had the first turn, but then both armies continued to “creep” in phalanx formation towards the opponent. After a while the inevitable peltasts peppered various units with javelins with less effect than both warlords had hoped for. Then the cavalry started to clash in a protracted dance that went for turns, backwards and forwards.

After some more turns just short before the expected “meet up” at the middle, half of the Delian line retreated in formation, which frustrated the Spartans so much that they charged using their Hoplite run token giving them 1d6” extra move. Melee ensued only on one side and the rest  of the Athenians narrowly escaped a clash to live another turn.

Then the a couple of Delian units countercharged the isolated Kings bodyguard, a heavy fight ensued with heavy damage on both sides, but the Spartans lost by one point. Both had to do a break roll, but the Kings body guard rolled abysmal and vanished. That in effect decided the game. The Peloponnesian melted away and the last (Spartan actually) Hoplite unit sued for peace in disgrace - which of course the Athenians gladly accepted.

It was a fun game, which I guess, all involved enjoyed. I’m glad that the Spartan King’s Bodyguard unit revealed itself that it is not a monsterous super unit and can actually die in combat. In retrospect, Campbell, or any Spartan player, should not let the Athenians linger on too long but press forward, any formation loss regardless, and then re-form into phalanx shortly before the clash after they crossed the battlefield. Dorians, do not dither! But, hey, it’s too easy to judge in hindsight.

Initial deployment

Spartans allies advancing

Athenians advancing 
... and then falling back again

the rabble on the right flanks fights
Slingers ... can hit sometimes ... something.

The King's Bodyguard attacks first
the other spartans don't reach their target

while peltasts pestering 
with luck the Delians hold the line

... then they counter charge into the King's bodyguard!

...and the fight ensues ...

... very bloody on both sides!

But the King‘s men get slaughtered (they break) 
its getting lonely for the rest of the Spartans

... and they might get honourable terms ... (for Athenians)


  1. Wonderful figures, shiedls illuinate the battlefield!

    1. Thank you very much, Phil! We had good lighting! :)

  2. Lovely looking armies! Sounds like a great game!
    Best Iain

    1. Thank you Iain! I think its an interesting era. :)