Classical Rome & Greece at Brixham 2023
Spartacus' Slave Revolt vs Classical Greek
The final pasty-fuelled battle of the Spartacus Campaign in South Devon would be another matchup against a Classical Greek army, hopefully full of hoplites and certainly bereft of any nasty Cataphracts as well.
This would be a much better opponent for the wall of nonsense that was the Slave Revolt, with no nasty 4-legged types to spoil their simplistic linear attacks
The lists for the Spartacus' Slave Revolt and Classical Greek from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at Brixham can be seen here in the L'Art de la Guerre Wiki.
With almost no terrain to speak of, the two armies lined up ready to advance and roll dice, with the extra width of the Slave nonsense looking to counteract the generally well armoured and equipped quality of the Greeks
In the theatre of rebellion, the ill-fated slaves of Spartacus charged forward, their makeshift weapons clutched in grim determination, an orchestra of desperation echoing in their battle cries which rolled around the village hall environs of Brixham's Scala Hall.
Many pasties would be sacrificed on the altars of the Greek and Roman gods this day as the two armies wrestled for unsubtle frontal supremacy
What's Going on Here Then?
This is a much better matchup than the previous couple of games, with an army ready to fight frontally all along the line. If anything, the Greek army is narrower, and therefore of better quality (and armour) than I might have expected, which puts more emphasis onto the first round of combat in which the Furious Charge ability of my slave army renders the armour of the hoplites immaterial.
The downside of this narrow setup is that my third command, entirely of Impetuous Levy slaves which has been deployed on my far left may turn out to be too far away from the Greek flank to contribute anything to the battle plan.
The Greeks are already inching to their left, trying to close off any aspirations my Galatian horsemen might have of outflanking them, and in the process taking the all-levy command further out of the game
Armed with rusted implements and fervent dreams of freedom, the slaves on the right wing of Spartacus' army advanced at speed toward the squishier elements of the hoplite horde.
Their opponents were a mix of peltasts and spearmen, with the unyielding wall of armoured Greek hoplites forming their phalanx of stoic defence in the centre, their shields locked together like an impenetrable fortress
As the slaves were wasting no time getting into combat on the right, the clash erupted like thunder, the clanging of mismatched weapons against the better-trained and equipped Greek auxiliary warriors resonating through the air, a symphony of defiance against an unyielding shield wall.
Each clash was a dance of desperation, as the slaves attempted to pierce the defences of the peltasts with improvised weapons, only to be repelled by the disciplined thrusts of the Greeks' spears.
These were some of the best troops in Spartacus' army, against some of the lesser elements of the Greeks - this needed to be a breakthrough if slavery were to be abolished in the Hellenic sphere of influence this afternoon
Spartacus' Little Known Links to Torbay
Spartacus’ Southern Hike: To achieve the film's stunning panoramic views, the crew embarked on an unexpected trek across Dartmoor, claiming that the dramatic landscapes reminded them of Southern Italy.
This led to a peculiar rumour that the ghost of Spartacus could be spotted wandering the moors during foggy nights, accompanied by the Beast of Bodmin which he kept on a very short leash.
Battle was also about to be joined in the centre, as the slaves, with nothing but tattered garments and hope, lunged forward like a tidal wave of rebellion in their efforts to come crashing upon the apparently unyielding bulwark of the hoplites, who so far stood firm as the cliffs against the relentless sea.
What's Going on Here Then?
I've now already launched an attack at the far end of the line, where the faster-moving Medium Infantry slaves have raced forward to initially pin, and then very soon after to simply charge into the enemy line, creating time and space for the Galatian cavalry to burst past the hoplites left flank.
In the process of forcing the pace, and forcing this outflanking position, I've ended up leaving a bit of a gap between my right flank command and the best-quality Heavy Infantry in the centre - but this feels like a price worth paying to get those cavalry into open space behind an engaged enemy line.
The rest of the best-quality infantry are neatly lined up against the main body of Hoplites, leaving vast numbers of levy free on this near side - with no opponents to take on!
The two sides collided, and instantly the battlefield became a canvas of chaos, with the slaves' fervour painting streaks of defiance against the disciplined canvas of the hoplite formation, an artistry of resistance against an iron-clad foe.
The hoplites, stoic in their resolve, formed an unbroken line, their bronze helmets gleaming in the sunlight as they repelled wave after wave of the ragtag rebellion - but their efforts were being more than matched by the supposedly weaker peltasts who were trouncing the better-armed slaves, turning the whole battlefield into a forge of defiance.
That hamster's Spartacus!!!
The slaves, fuelled by the flames of insurrection, clashed with the hoplites like moths against a blazing torch, their rebellion flickering in the face of the unyielding shield wall.
The initial rounds of hand-to-hand combat was vital for the Slave army, but instead of dramatic breakthrough came a desperate struggle, as the slaves wielding farm tools and makeshift blades ineffectually against the disciplined precision of the hoplites, whose spears were the embodiment of lethal grace.
Hoplomacus vs Gladiator
The clash echoed through the annals of defiance, as the slaves, driven by the flames of rebellion, continually attempted to breach the disciplined ranks of the peltasts and hoplites, only to be met each time with a wall of unwavering determination.
But, as always, width finds a way, and Spartacus' Galatian cavalry had already outflanked the Greek line and now came roaring back into contention to wreak horrific horse-borne revenge on the unsuspecting Greek flanks and rear in a stunning example of learning the lessons of previous games and actually applying them
On the other flank, sheer numbers of poor quality slaves had also engineered the most predictable of outflanking positions, and now lapped around the end of the line of engaged hoplites like hungry patrons at a swan and peacock based buffet arrayed on a too-small table
In this culinary theatre of rebellion, the ill-equipped slaves of Spartacus now began to charge forward seemingly unopposed, their makeshift weapons clutched in grim determination, an orchestra of desperation echoing in their battle cries.
What's Going on Here Then?
My initial frontal assaults on the hoplite line on the right have been initially checked, but now the Galatian cavalry are re-joining the fray by charging into the rear and flanks of the hoplite line
In the centre the second wave of attacks has also struggled to make much in the way of an initial breakthrough, which is concerning given that subsequent rounds of combat are when the hoplites armour can start to come into play
Finally though, the uncontested waves of levy on my left have lumbered into position where they can start to pile into the exposed and unprotected right flank of the hoplite line - hopefully to tip the balance here as well.
Each clash was a chapter in the tragic novel of resistance, and even as the better-equipped slaves' ill-equipped revolt against the Greek yoke started to falter, a new narrative of courage and tactics was developing as the Galatian horsemen rode roughshod over the once-unyielding might of the disciplined Greek warriors resistance.
A second wave of slaves now girded their formerly enchained loins and prepared to charge home to support their cavalry
My Slave Revolt Army List
Ordinary Sub General
6 Almost-armed Slaves Levy Impetuous
This command as you have seen many times now is either condemned to serve as mobile roadkill to waste the time and effort of something truly dangerous in the enemy lineup, or is the ridiculous overload that turns the flanks when the enemy runs out of front line width, or runs down those enemy troops who normally lurk and don't expect to have to actually fight.
Basically its expendable comedy gold, with the potential to cause a 3rd round FA Cup upset on a dodgy pitch against non-league opposition on a wet Saturday afternoon, on six 40x30mm MDF bases.
The General is Ordinary because I really don't care if he loses control of them all, and he's not included as he's not allowed to be so I can't save points on him unless I strip some decent troops from elsewhere - which isn't going to happen for the benefit of this rabble!
The sounds of battle echoed through the annals of Greek defiance, as the former Gladiators, driven by the flames of rebellion, dramatically breached the disciplined ranks of the hoplites, sweeping away their pretence at building a wall of unwavering determination.
The end of the Greek line was evaporating at some speed as the outlandish weaponry and arcane armour of the Gladiators did it's deadly best
Suddenly, the lapping tide of second string slavery found it now had far further still to run in order to find the true, exposed flank of the Greek line !
The gladiators and slaves surged forward as fast as they could to try and make contact with the rapidly eroding line of embattled hoplites.
This was a double opportunity not to be missed - not only could they play a decisive part in the game by rolling up the enemy's flank, the units involved also had a rare, elusive opportunity to be photographed from the front in this situation, and so they were very keen not to miss out!
Spartacus' Little Known Links to Torbay
Torquay's Failed Gladiator School: After filming wrapped, Torbay briefly hosted a gladiator school, hoping to capitalize on Spartacus' success.
Unfortunately, the school failed to attract students, with locals preferring the comforts of their seaside homes and work in ice cream parlours over the rigors of Roman combat training
The site, facilities and some of the residents of the school were finally taken over in the early 1970's, and now form the core sections of Torbay Zoo. The last resident tiger to have appeared in the film Spartacus passed away in 1983.
Everyone was being drawn into combat by now, with all pretence at tactics firmly out of the window.
The Greeks could clearly see the carnage that Spartacus two units of Galatian horsemen were inflicting on their left flank, and so hoplites stepped forward smartly in waves to engage anyone they could secure in the knowledge that a frontal fight against Levy would surely be better than being rolled up by barbarian horsemen
The metallic clatter of mismatched swords and shields echoed through the air as the rebels, armed with little more than the scraps of their enslaved existence, collided with the rolling thunder of the Hoplite's unyielding wall of spears and shields.
Last night's fish and chip shop waitress is Spartacus!
The right wing of Spartacus' army suddenly paused to draw breath, as its men realised that Greek resistance had all but collapsed in this part of the battlefield.
The exhausted yet well-equipped slaves, their faces etched with the scars of oppression, had swept away the Greek's mercenary wing with the help of their Galatian horsemen, and were now poised to clatter into the Greek centre, the very embodiment of an ancient martial ballet which was now being played out on the canvas of rebellion.
The hoplites, their armour resolute and bronze gleaming like the wrath of the gods, now only could try to hold their ground in the centre against the relentless surge of the rebellious tide lapping round them from both flanks.
Spears clashed with makeshift blades, and hoplite shields bore the weight of the slaves' defiance and anger as the battlefield transformed into an ever smaller pocket of metal and mayhem, with the remaining hoplites marking time as they were crushed in the vice-like assaults of Spartacus' countless hordes.
What's Going on Here Then?
Both ends of the hoplite line are now being swarmed by my troops, and as a result are eroding rapidly under the waves of attacks from all directions.
My supposedly "best quality" heavy infantry in the centre are really struggling to deal with the quality of the hoplites and their armoured resilience in the sustained melee, but these setbacks are being rapidly outpaced by the advantages that numbers and width are now delivering for my army on both flanks.
It's a classic envelopment, and the losses in the centre look like they will be a price worth paying if the result is that the hoplites are kept busy long enough for the rest of my army to roll them up from left and right
With Spartacus' right wing now poised to launch a fatal assault, the central body of hoplites justified their decision to attack by breaking through the thin and flimsy resistance of the levy making up the centre of the revolting army they faced.
These last few Homeric and Heroic spearmen still stood like an unyielding wall of bronze, and they had weathered the storm of the rebellion, their disciplined ranks standing firm against the onslaught of the ill-equipped but battle-hungry horde.
Spartacus vs Pepsi
Against all odds (apart from those that favour weight of numbers and flank attacks against frontal combat ability) the ill-equipped but battle-hungry slaves of Spartacus surged forward once more to try and finish off the Greek army's resistance.
They were a tidal wave of desperation that came crashing against the once-solid line of resolute Greek hoplites, now reduced to defensive pockets of solidity in a sea of slave rebellion
The battlefield then became a chaotic canvas as the slaves, driven by the relentless drumbeat of liberation, launched themselves for what should surely be a final assault against the initially unyielding, but now fragmented and bent out of shape wall of armoured Greek hoplites.
In the midst of the melee, the Galatian horsemen darted hither and thither, picking off the isolated packets of hoplites in coordination with some of the better equipped former gladiators amongst Spartacus' downtrodden warriors and generating the conditions for victory against the disciplined phalanx.
Last night's fish and chip shop waitress is Spartacus!!!
The once-resolute hoplites, now disarrayed and overwhelmed by the sheer tenacity and numerical advantage of the slave rebellion, played witness to the turning of the tide
The ill-equipped but battle-hungry slave horde triumphantly overran their opponents ranks to claim victory, and in the process rewrote once and for all the cinematic narrative of an oppressed people reclaiming their destiny!
The Result is a great victory for Spartacus!
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 Spartacus
My victorious comrades, my brothers and sisters in liberation, today, as the dust settles on the battlefield, we stand as free men and women, triumphant over the Greeks who dared to stand against us. We have achieved a victory that will echo through the annals of history, a testament to the indomitable spirit of those who yearn for freedom!
In the heart of battle, our finest troops, the former gladiators whose training and arcane equipment set them apart, clashed with the formidable Greek hoplites. It was a struggle that tested our mettle, a dance of steel that resonated with the echoes of our determination. But, my comrades, we prevailed! Through skill, through tenacity, through the very essence of our collective will, we drove down the middle and shattered the wall of hoplites that sought to confine us.
Yet, let us not forget the unsung heroes of this victory – the less well-equipped slaves, the women, and the children who flooded around both ends of the Greek line. Their courage, their sheer numbers, turned the flanks of the Greeks at a critical juncture, securing our triumph just as our best infantry began to falter in the center.
On the right, the Galatian cavalry, those valiant riders who circled the engaged Greek line like a tempest, played a decisive role. Their repeated charges into the rear of the hoplites sowed confusion and fear, paving the way for the gleeful onslaught of the rest of our forces.
And let us not forget the unconventional might of those equipped with anachronistic gardening and kitchen implements. With hoes and ladles in hand, they stood side by side with warriors, proving that the spirit of freedom can turn even the most humble tools into weapons of defiance.
As we revel in our triumph, let us reflect on the transformative power of a well-maintained garden and a clean house. It is the foundation upon which the successes of this campaign have been built. A garden grows not only plants but the seeds of rebellion, and a clean house harbours the clarity of purpose that propels us forward.
I stand before you, my brothers and sisters, not just as Spartacus, but as a symbol of the unyielding spirit that yearns for freedom. Let this victory resound in the hearts of those who believe in the power of collective defiance. Our journey is not over, but with each triumph, we carve a path to a future where chains no longer bind us.
Onward, my comrades! Onward to the next horizon of freedom, for we are the architects of our destiny!
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
Oh, Spartacus, thou art a commander of men, and yet, thy victories seem but a recurring tale of a shepherd leading his flock down the same path. Congrats on thy triumph against the Greek hoplites, but methinks thou hast merely repeated the tactics of battles past, a dance with predictability that lacks the nuance of true military genius.
Thy best troops, those former gladiators, did prevail in the end, but at what cost? A long struggle, lives spent like coin tossed in a fountain, and for what? Frontal assaults, the brute force of a charging bull – a strategy so lacking in imagination that even a village fool could predict its outcome.
And lo, the less well-equipped slaves, women, and children flooding around the flanks of the Greek line – a maneuver executed with the grace of a tired mule. True, it turned the tide, but at what cost? Thy best infantry faltering in the center, a testament to the disregard for the lives of those thou claimest to lead to freedom.
Thy Galatian cavalry, a glimmer of tactical acumen amidst the fog of predictability. A rare stroke of inspiration that turned the battle in thy favor. Yet, let us not forget that I, Hannibal, have been singing the praises of cavalry for ages, like a philosopher shouting wisdom to the wind. 'Twas not a revelation but a belated acknowledgment of a lesson that took thee too long to learn.
And what of thy choice of weaponry, Spartacus? Anachronistic gardening and kitchen implements wielded by those who once tilled the soil and stirred pots. How dost thou expect to lead an army to freedom armed with ladles and hoes? Verily, it is a jest, a comedy played out on the stage of rebellion.
In conclusion, Spartacus, thou art a commander of men, but thou hast yet to master the symphony of strategy. Learn from thy victories, for the echoes of predictability shall not always lead thee to triumph.
Fare thee well, thou shepherd of rebellion, and mayhaps thou shalt find the spark of true genius amidst the mundane dance of warfare.
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