Phokian DBM !
Another year, another Warfare and my general DBMalaise had caused me to trust the will of the gods and put myself up as a floater for the Alexandrian, Hairy European and Chinese periods at Readings premier November timelined competition
After a trouble free drive I loitered around until it became clear which period I had actually been selected to play in - and it was the potentially tedious, but not with my comedy army, Alexandrian Macedonian section.
For this I had submitted a Hoplite Greek list, as many of my hoplites hadn't really seen action since Grandson, the Spartans had never seen competitive action at all (as Spartans) and I had a yearning to use 6 Art (S) and last but not least the idea of using loads of Phokian spearmen was pun-tastic. Hence the Phokians were born as a competitive army...
Game 1 saw me facing Chris Proudfoot and his superbly painted Later Achemenid Persians who I had had the pleasure of facing earlier that year at Ascot.
A lack of sleep, the complicated nature of Chris's army list and the fact that I had realised that I had never even deployed my own army and so had no real idea what to do with it or how wide it would be meant I forgot to record the locations of the troops, however I deployed a line of spearmen punctuated by Art (S), and Chris deployed some cavalry and auxilia
With much of the Achemenid army largely toothless against the wall of spears, things looked tough for them, and indeed some had elected to take the easy way out and go on a flank march on my left - opposite to my own flank march of the comedy "17Ps (I) + General" command.
The Phokians decided that attack was the best form of attack and ploughed forwards, as I discovered just how difficult it was to advance with Art (S) - especially with very low initial pips and the Spartans being unreliable.
|The Persians then decided that facing an unreliable ally was an opportunity, and their flank march arrived immediately!|
This gave the Spartans the opportunity to re-enact Thermopylae, and combined with the menace to their flanks their King appreciated the gravity of the situation, and became immediately reliable in turn 2.
Volunteers were called for to rush back and defend the narrow mountain pass in which the Phokian baggage was hiding. There were no shortage of volunteers.
|But only one element was selected to allow him to make haste and bypass the revised +1 pip for the 4th move by a group rules!|
It was all happening now, as the Greeks pushed recklessly forwards seeking to drive the Persians from the field.
But would reliability be enough to save the screen of Ps (I) from the mounted wing of the flank march - who were also rather undergunned, having left a multitude of horde off table
Then, in my third turn the excitement continued, as my comedy flank march arrived !Ps (I) are not too scary, however 17 of them arriving on your flank, as you are dealing with 32 spearmen to your front is rather a different proposition!
The Spartans continued to plough on as their Ipakratean Peltast mercenaries and stone throwing peasants fought a rearguard action against the Persian flank march.
Would they trap the Persian cavalry against the anvil of the mountain range?
The Load of Phokian Rubbish Flank march had also exposed some more Perian light horse, who were waiting out of sight behind a hill. Again, Ps(I) suddenly became a fearful enemy as their King attempted top marshal a defence on 2 fronts
Things were getting seriously sticky for the Persian leaders followers - caught between a rock and, well, some Ps (I).
Time was also running out for the Ipakrateans - Persian - employed Thracians swept down from the hills to chew them up as their Spartan paymasters left them to their fate and ploughed on
The jaws of the trap closed on the Persian Kings retinue, as the Imperial Cavalry suffered the ignominy of being mugged by rock throwing plebians ! The CinC was broken !
And the King was no-where to be seen - his attention was fully occupied avoiding yet more peasants hurling stones at the back of his chariot from the slopes of a steep hill
Hoplites were by now charging forwards in a headlong rush to capture and kill enough other Persians to force an even larger victory. There was a small command to be had, and we had suffered few losses so could afford to take some risks
With the over-extended Spartans holding on desperately, the clock ran down and at the final count the Greeks had recorded a famous 8-2 victory ! A good start to the Phokian weekend !
Post Match Analysis
Hard to see what the Persians could have done in this one - hemmed in by terrain, and with nothing to hurt the Greek Spearmen the flank march was the only answer. Unfortunately it came against some regularly drilled Spartans who also fought heroically to delay their own collapse until beyond the end of the game.
The Phokians had proved surprisingly wide even with only 48 spearmen - but it had been a hard job for the Artillery to keep pace with the spears! And the flank march had worked well - but again, had to be marshalled very carefully, as 7 Ps (I) can be dead very quickly!