On Wednesday I ran another display of pointy sticks. This particular battle saw King Croesus of Lydia (he who was not short of a few bob) invading the territory of upstart rival Persia under Cyrus II.
Prior to making war on Persia Croesus had invested heavily in a prophecy from the Oracle at Delphi. But more of that later.
Before the game I looked up the battle in my 1930 edition of Heredotus and was entertained to see that Croesus was warned by a wise Lydian by the name of Sandanis about attacking the Persians: "Thou art about oh! king, to make war against men who wear leathern trousers, and have all their other garments of leather..."
Not the image of Persians that I had!
The man himself at the head of the Lydian army. Though they may look a bit like Assyrians.
The field of battle. John and Martin commanded the Persians while Tim C, Tom and Graham led the Lydians.
The Lydian right - with actual heavy cavalry!
Cyrus II. Listen carefully and you can hear the squeak of those leather trousers...
The Persian left fielded a cheeky chariot - so surely a breakthrough was guaranteed?
Opening moves. The Lydian cavalry advanced and made a nice line.
After initial Lydian success the Persian left got stuck in and drove off the heavy cavalry, killing the Lydian assistant commander.
The victorious Persian cavalry doing some synchronized pointy stick waving.
In the centre things were getting interesting. Croesus had led the centre in an attack...
...but it was driven off with losses all round. Even Croesus's bodyguard unit was eliminated.
By now the Persians were well in the lead and needed only one more banner to secure a victory...
...so they surrounded an isolated Lydian unit and attacked it with four of their own!
The Lydian unit fought bravely and forced a couple of the Persian units to run away...
...but by now the end was never in doubt. A 6-2 victory for the Persians and Cryus - now know as Cyrus the Great.
Back in 547BC the battle was bloody but indecisive so Croesus marched off back to Sardis, his capital and there paid off his army all the time thinking "I'll have another go next year." What he hadn't reckoned with was that Cyrus would follow him home. The rotter.
And the Delphic prophecy? "If King Croesus should cross the Halys River, a great empire will fall."
One did. Sadly his own.