Ancients in Salamanca, at The Worlds 2017
Alexandrian Macedonian vs Christian Nubian
Suddenly a whole day has passed, and after a night of debauchery in the town square at a level unseen since I accidentally burned down my palace at Persepolis just for a sh-ts and giggles it is Sunday.
The lists for the Alexandrian Macedonian and Christian Nubian armies from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at Salamanca The Worlds can be seen here in the L'Art de la Guerre Wiki.
Christian Nubian - unique for it's massed Elite Camelry, terrifying to horses yet terribly vulnerable to archery, combined with a horde of ravenous arabian warriors, fresh from the desert on foot and keen for something to charge into..
Me and my brave men have fought our way across continents, climbed mountains, hacked our way through jungles and journeyed into the far future.... but now we were in a different place entirely.
Mountains, hills, forests and a river cluttered the landscape as my men arrayed themselves for battle against the Christian Nubians - yet another new army for me to face, or more accurately, another country for me to conquer and reign over more like.
With so much terrain I had left the Indians back in the camp and instead brought out a solid army with two blocks of pikemen and a load of javelin skirmishers.
My aim was to break the aggressive charge of the enemy infantry on the anvil of my Pikes and Elephants whilst plugging the gaps through the terrain with Medium foot.
The Opening Speech... inspiring the men to battle
The Nubians were a vast army, numbering in the low 30's of units against my more normal low 20's. That did give them the oddity of a command of massed Light Horse - who immediately set off on a route march along the riverside, outflanking my javelinmen in a fashion which didn't wildly concern them...just yet.
The Camelry of the Nubians was parked completely on the opposite side of the battlefield - clearly no-one as talented as me had planned their deployment and they would have many miles to march to rejoin the fray. My Phalanx and Companions looked on with some disdain...
The Nubians were arrayed in countless hordes, with swordsmen facing my Phalanx between the terrain and a wall of bowmen perched precariously on the mountain top to their right.
When Alexander was Posh
By now the irritant of the enemy Light Horse across the river had necessitated me peeling off my Javelinmen to line the riverbank, using the +1 for defending it to psych out the Nubians across the water.
On the right wing my Phalanx were relentlessly advancing against the odd-looking camel-beasts. My sub general urged them on, knowing the Camelry would struggle to get out of the way if their command and control was impacted by my men's frantic forward momentum.
Pictures of Makedonian troops from my Ancients Photo Directory
(Click any image to see details of the manufacturer, and a larger version of the photo)
I meanwhile was preparing the ground for the bravest and most difficult task any general can undertake - a frontal assault on a prepared position. Skilfully shuffling my deck of troopers I moved the Elephants and Thracians from two different commands forward to be the spearhead of my attack, and ordered my Agrianians to cleanse the woodlands of enemy troops at the same time.
Gaugamela - The Battle
The Agrianians were some of my favourite young men of the army - firm of thigh, and with skirts which hung temptingly just above.....anyway, they were also proud fighters and soon they had started to clear the wooded slopes of enemy bowmen.
The devilish Camelry had turned tail and fled at the sight of the impressively firm and erectly-held shafts of my loyal Pikemen! Clearly they felt it might still be possible to scoot all across the table and join in the fray against my other wing, and nothing now faced the Phalanx other than the odd skirmisher and thin air./ Yet another moment when I realised yet again how brilliant I am
The Original movie version - Charonea
The main business was about to go down between the plump buttocks of the two hills, as the brilliance of my loudly-barked orders had now sent two elephants units forward to lead the attack into the narrow defile. Those Christian Nubians would soon feel the weight of the impressive trunks beating them about their ears !
Sensing victory, and conscious of the potential arrival of the Camel Corps I drove my men and beasts forward, planning a two-wave attack to break through the Nubians line. The Elephants would go in first, followed up by Pikemen and Companions to mop up any survivors.
And, cleverly enough, the second line was immediately justified as one of the Elephants came badly unstuck at first contact. Bad news for his mahout, but good news for the Pikemen who now had a chance to claim glory!
As one Elephant stumbled, the other triumphed - blasting a huge gap in the Nubian infantry line along with the Thracians beside them as well
The Nubian Camelry were however advancing swiftly towards my men, and I saw that quick thinking would now be needed to shore up this salient.
Back on the banks of the river the Nubians were trying to infiltrate African bowmen unto my rear areas, as the skirmishing LH took the plunge and tried to get across the river. The battle would not be won or lost here, but the Thracians has a good chance to knock off a few bowmen and help the rest of my army record the huge number of bases needed for victory...
With the Elephants having crashed through the enemy line the Phalanx and Hypaspists were teeing themselves up to follow up the attack - once my loyal Companions has widened the breakthrough of course... Everyone was set for a shuffle across and a charge home to deliver the coup de grace !
Well, another partial success... the Hypaspists and Phalanx charged in, only to see the exhausted pike-carrying young men of Northern Greece evaporated at contact by some high-rolling Nubian swordsmen! Suddenly my Hypaspists didn't look quite so cool and clever as their flanks became exposed...
The only solution was one of my favourites - hurling one of my Generals into combat at the front of a flying wedge of Companions! This fellow had left the rest of his command behind on the right flank to doodle around with enemy skirmishers and had rushed post-haste across almost the entire table to throw himself into the fray and achieve a decisive - I hoped - breakthrough !
The Nubians were starting to fall apart against the better quality of my men - their bowmen had collapsed in the face of the Thracians and Javelinmen on the riverside, and now these fine rough terrain troops were eyeing the enemy Light Horse as possible targets !
Elsewhere the irrelevant part of the battlefield was drifting aimlessly around, as enemy skirmishers picked cheeky shots at my men from the safety of terrain. With their General trying to win the battle on the other side of the table the Pikemen had little will to respond, although the Bactrian Light Horse were more eager
My main attack was building momentum - in fact, very few things have more momentum than a charging Elephant heading at full speed straight for the enemy baggage camp!
The Nubian infantry had been almost entirely eliminated by the rapid arrival of the Companions, and now only a couple of lone units skulked at the top of the mountain, reluctant to come down and face my men like, erm, men.
With Elephants munching baggage, and both my men and the enemy army dangerously close to breaking the Nubian Camelry attempted what must surely be a suicidal move, charging home against the Hypaspists and Phalanx in order to get in a lone base against the somewhat exhausted Companions.
The devious mountain men then emerged from their hilltop retreat and ended the day badly for the Companions. My army had come within one unit of breaking the desert-dwelling god-botherers, but in the end sheer numbers has overcome us in a compelling and crazy battle. A defeat by the narrowest of margins where we had killed almost 25% more enemy units than we had lost ourselves!
The Result is a narrow defeat.
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition, or read on for the post match summaries from the Generals involved, as well as another episode of legendary expert analysis from Hannibal
Post Match Summary from the Alexandrian Macedonian Commander
A massacre, in which my men took apart a vastly more numerous force yet through the vagaries of mathematics I appear to have lost yet again by the narrowest of margins! I will go back and have harsh words with Aristotle and see if he can re-work and re-think this ridiculous science so that I can win games like this by changing the rules of adding up and taking away!
Having captured baggage and carved a hole as wide as the Euphrates through an army who follow a religion that is not about worshipping me in the future, I feel rather aggrieved to have only ended up with a handful of points out of this battle.
They were not even sartorially exuberant - what is that all about? When I captured great deserts and penetrated Egypt the Persians and Egyptians were clad in silks and colours, but this lot were a pale imitation of their possible ancestors all dressed in white. They attacked like dervishes, and owned the hillsides but by jove it was a slog to take them down.
I hope that I have a smaller army to put to bed in the next and last game
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
Excerebrose hyperbole and pointless complaining will not mask that fact that this game was lost yet again by your relentless focus on style over substance - and more accurately the inexplicable choice of a river rather than a waterway.
The river left your flank open, and you had no plan about using the far bank of the river, and no troops to exploit that in your toolkit. If this had been a waterway you had been able to advance alongside you would have had more Thracians and more javelinmen with which to assault the mountain stuffed with bowmen. And in such a cluttered field it is hard to see where all of those enemy LH would have gone other than to skulk around uselessly at the back
The end result would have been that the attack - which you also over complicated by the way - against the enemy swordsmen would have been executed with secure flanks and therefore with much more success.
You were only one or two hit points away from a famous victory here, and that difference can be attributed to your hubris, nothing more nothing less. Lets see if you can keep it simple in the last game
Click here for the report of the last game in this competition