Friday, 7 December 2018

The Battle of Onomatopoeia 423 BC

This Thursday we fought a battle the Classical way – Greek Hoplites, 28mm, Hail Caesar with some useful add ons for Phalanx (a bit toned down), Othismus (push of pike and drift of units), Hoplitodromos (free run of hoplites(+1d6") OR one sweeping advance once) ... I brought my newly painted Plastic Greek army and Mike brought his old "dusted" Metal Greek army and we fought just to test and and see how it would develop. Later Bart joined my Spartans, as for the lack of cavalry in the game, I had to give him the King and his bodyguard.

The Deployment was slowly (I-go-You-go) and fairly classical as well, light skirmishers and horses at the flanks the hoplites in the middle. Mikes Athenians would take the 1st turn, both parties "prayed" and got a dice worth of units that they could change in positions before the start.

Then we slowly ploughed forward. Initially the skirmishers were fighting, and like a hay fire, they were quickly used up. Then the "line" of moras, more or less consistently, clashed in the middle. In my add on, Phalanx is a status, one can loose by movement (vs simple command test, that does not bind blunder or command to stop). Also the Phalangites would move always one inch to the left (apart from the spartans of course). I must say it worked! In contrast to my strategy, or the lack of it. My army befell the fate of all new armies, it got slowly hacked to pieces!

Even Barts cavalry attack went downhill, so that at the end just the Bodyguard of the Spartan King and himself were fighting agains all the odds. Heroic they took down even the mega-phalanx of the Thessalians! And one unit after the other of Mike‘s old army ... the tide seemed to have turned ... but too good to be true, the Spartans were encircled, shaken with 6 stamina points and near the table edge surrounded by enemies and lots of missle troops ... but Bart would not have it ... alas we must close up because of the time ... still, he refused to be beaten ... in truly spartan way, even if a bit delusional. He probably has to hear about Iphicrates - maybe the next battle!

We had a lot of fun and agreed that this will be repeated another time for sure ... maybe Olpae or Delium ...

Initial deployment

the Delian line

The Peloponnesian line 

First peltasts skirmishing 

The Spartans in phalanx advance (the white tokens will someday be exchanged to shields)

The Delian line in chaos 

The Spartan Bodyguard attack the cavalry!!! 

Spartans allies holding the line 

The spartans suddenly stop moving ...

the Delian pick the Spartan allies apart

... one after the other ...

... but the Spartans (the lacedaemoni)

still don‘t move ... 

The Delians push for victory – but still Bart fails his command

... until they are isolated 

the Spartan allies melt away

... and retreat ... 

... to no avail ...

and then they crush on the last men standing

The Spartan king

And his Bodyguard

the noose gets tighter

still  ... they never break ... 
... Bart insists that they had a chance ...


  1. Superb report Michael, wonderful figures (love the Spartan Bodyguard!) and great looking battle!

    1. Thank you, Phil! Bart loved them as well, they are a hard nut to crack! Yes, agree it is a nice change on the usual Romans vs anything we have in our club ... :)

  2. The problem with the Spartans is to be beaten, they have to be killed. King's bodyguards did not, so a draw ;), because 'This is Sparta!' Anyway it was great game and your house rules worked very well.

    1. Yep they are a bit too tough ... but then , hey they have to, they never came in big numbers. Thanks - next time we do an actual historical battle.