Sunday, 10 April 2011

Marathon 490 BC battle report

At the Wargames Club last Wednesday night we gave some of my 6mm toys an outing, using Command & Colours Ancients to refight the battle of Marathon.  I oversaw proceedings while John Armatys donned the crested helmet of Callimachus and led the Greeks.  The Persians were led (from a rather effete chariot) by Martin Rapier as Datis.  Martin and I had previously fought this battle using Strategos (see when I managed to produce an historically authentic disaster through my leadership of the Persians.
Most of the photos are taxen from my position on the Persian left/Greek right.  Hereafter and for clarity, left and right refer to the Persian point of view.
The initial set up from the Persian side.
On the Greek first turn, a load of hoplites led by Callimachus ran forward (even as a bystander it looked scary|) and engaged the Persian left.
A couple of Persian units were pushed back and a modest quantity of blood was spilled.
Top right can be seen Datis in his chariot (the round stand).
The Greek centre.
The Greek attack continues against the Persian left - the opposing leaders are now in adjacent hexes!
The Greeks press forward against the Persian auxilia and archers.
Under pressure, Datis runs off across the stream.
Meanwhile, in the centre/right, the Persian archers twang away furiously.
Datis's bodyguard after an unequal struggle with some Greeks.
Datis finds himself unexpectedly in the front line!  As the King of King's representative was heard to say at the time - "about bloody time, I've been trying to lure the Greeks across this river all f***ing game!"
The Persian centre/right advances.
Datis leads his cavalry against Callimachus and not very many hoplites.  Disappointingly, both leaders survived.
While the Persian left crumbled, Artaphernes led the rest of the cavalry in an impressive sortie against the Greeks
At this point, a further Persian unit died and the Greeks claimed victory.  European civilization has been saved!


Conrad Kinch said...

Glad to hear the Eastern hordes were held back, Mr Hanson will be pleased.

Your setup is a fine one and would tempt me to play ancients, a game I bought but never took to. I suppose its because I never had the same emotional investment in the period. And yet, I became interested in the American Civil War *after* I bought Battlecry!

That said, sometimes when I'm in a brown study, Mrs Kinch will appear with a cup of coffee and a biscuit and ask with a look of sweet concern, "Do you think you might need a new war darling?"

Tim Gow said...

Conrad Kinch
You are clearly tempted! My ancients toys were bought for use with Strategos - a game we still enjoy - and I already had the 3 sets of Hexon (green/desert/snow) for other games. Like the Napoleonic version, I find that CCA gives an entertaining game on a smallish in the two hour time slot that is generally available.
Mrs K sounds like a proper treasure! I benefit from frequent encouragement to go and 'cock about' in the wargames room.

David Crook said...

Hi Tim,

That looks really good with the 6mms - I am looking to give the Ancients version of C and C a spin myself at some point and seeing this kind of set up is hugely inspirational!

All the best,


Tim Gow said...

David Crook
I was introduced to C&C as a toy soldier game and that's what sold it to me - I have no interest in playing it with the blocks provided!

Conrad Kinch said...

Which merely copper fastens your credentials as one of the cognescenti.

Paul´s Bods said...

That´s one large looking battle. the figs look great.

Tim Gow said...

Paul's Bods
It does look bigger in the photos - but the table is only 4 feet (120cm) long!

Ross Mac said...

Just goes to show that small bodies can still have brave hearts. Have the Persians ever won a Marathon refight?

Tim Gow said...

Ross Mac
The Persians have never won at Marathon in my experience. Mind you, I've usually been commanding them. There may be a connection...

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Men in skirts triumph (again)

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

PS The 6mm's looked fantastic

Tim Gow said...

Glad to hear you're an admirer of small men in skirts!

Martin Rapier said...

"The Persians have never won at Marathon in my experience."

Well, maybe they will one day.

I did enjoy leading the cavalry charge in my chariot though. Who needs men in skirts when you have horses.

Tim Gow said...

Martin Rapier
"Who needs men in skirts when you have horses?"
Well, given the result of the games we've played, I'd say the answer is definitely 'The Persians'.