Alex brought his 28mm DBA armies along to the FBC on Friday. I arrived just in time for Alex’s Later Achaemenid Persians to lose against Greg, who was using Alexandrian Macedonians. I sat in Alex’s spot and set up a game. I had my spear and a psiloi positioned on a hill on my left, and my scythed chariot with light horse support on the right hand hill. Greg deployed his pike block on the left flank, with his light troops and mounted across the rest of the front.
We were playing on a 30″ mat, rather than the recommended 36″ one, so there was very little room to manouevre. Greg moved his troops down the table in an unbroken line which stretched from one edge to the other with no room for me to get around. In the first round of combat I lost three elements. I thought I was a goner but I managed to pull the game back to 3 all plus my scythed chariot. It ended up with my general trying to make a Greek LH flee across my base edge while Greg’s general tried to do the same with my cavalry. Unfortunately my general’s chariot was forced to recoil into my surviving spear, making it 4-3. I hadn’t realised that in 25mm, chariot bases are not square, so I thought that the general’s chariot had been based the way it was just for convenience. I was pleased that after the bad start I was able to hang on though.
Alex then sat down to command his Alexandrian Macedonians. At that point he realised at that point that the 4Sp element was still in its box, so Greg had just won two games with one element missing! Alex set up in a fairly compact formation. I set up with my spear on the left, hoping to mask Alex’s right flank while my scythed chariot and light horse group got around that flank. My other troops were going for the right flank with auxilia and psiloi to mask the centre.
My plan proved rather difficult to execute as I didn’t roll more than 3 PIPs in the whole game! My general killed a psiloi but was thwarted in his attempts to kill the spear that was behind them, even with my auxillia closing the door. I think I tried four times! Meanwhile my cavalry killed a pike element that plodded all the way out to the flank to catch them. But basically I was outmanouevred due to my lack of PIPs. My scythed chariot and light horse group sat on their hill spectating. In the end I went down 4-2.
The small mat made manouevre warfare quite tricky but it’s interesting that both games ended up quite fragmented. Although I lost both games I took a long time to go down, but the Alexandrian Macedonians’ six Pikes might have had something to do with that as they are slow and not wonderful in a fight if they don’t have their double rank bonus.