Friday, 11 June 2010

The Battle of Platea - 479BC

On Wednesday night Martin Rapier and I played another scenario from Phil Sabin's Strategos II rules.  After my drubbing as Darius at Marathon a few months ago we swapped sides and I commanded the Greek coalition facing Xerxes' Persian host.  The Persian were still full of themselves after the burning of Athens and the battle started off as a confused skirmish which intensified as more troops were fed in on arrival.  All of the photos (for the illustrated edition of Heredotus!) were taken from the Greek side of the table.  The Persian host was enhanced by a recent ebay purchase of a painted Baccus army.  These are the chaps on the darker bases.

Below - the early arrivals square up to each other.  Pausanius with his Veteran Spartans and Mardonius with a load of cavalry.  The King of Kings, Xerxes, went off back to Asia Minor in a sulk before the battle.
More arrivals - hoplites in the centre and Persian cavalry on both flanks.

The Spartans had the worst of an exchange with Mardonius and now the Persian centre begins to solidify.  In true Persian fashion their line is anchored by treacherous Hoplites!

The Greeks (on both sides!) begin to get stuck in.

Pausanius fights a desperate battle against the Persian cavalry to secure the Greek flank.

The blood flows in the centre while Persian cavalry heads for the flanks.  Pausanias has legged it after the demise of his bodyguard.  Mardonius has been killed in battle but the rest of the army seems not to mind!

The Greek line finally solidifies as the Persian host starts to feel the pressure.  Shortly afterwards both Persian flanks crumbled and the host fled the field.  Greek civilisation is secure (credit crises aside!)


Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Excellent report

Strategos II and the hardback Lost Battles are the most impressive grand tactical simulation rule set around for ancients

Well done, a glass of wine raised in triumph to the Greeks

Tim Gow said...

Thanks Geordie - I'll have my glass later!

This is a period I dabbled in years ago (WRG 5th Edition!) but never really got to grips with. Although I'm no expert Strategos seems to look and 'feel' right. It is very difficult to control armies, even relatively competent chaps like my Greeks. Every game that we have play with these rules has hung in the balance until the final turn.


Robert (Bob) Cordery said...


I am no great shakes as a player of ancient battles, but when I played Strategos II with Phil Sabin I was so impressed by the way the rules worked that I went and bought a copy of his book.

All the best,


Tim Gow said...

Same here Bob. I seem to only ever play games written by people I know these days!


Geordie an Exiled FoG said...


You've met the author :)
I'm envious

Even better you saw a rules test with the author present

I am now green with envy ;)

I wish I could get away to such events :(

Tim Gow said...


I was fortunate enough to pay a game umpired by Phil Sabin. This, and an illustrated talk he did helped me to make more sense of not just his rules but the classical warfare in general.


Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Double green jealous with envy

It is nice to get to talk to an expert

Frederick Forseyth when researching his novels never got stuck in a reading morass he arranged interviews with experts who breathed the subjects

I hope you have a good COW :)

Tim Gow said...

Thanks Geordie - can we expect to see you at a future COW?

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Heck, I would love to but too many real-life commitments at the moment

I looks/sounds good high quality stuff

I'll have to keep track of yourself, Bob and others purely online for the moment