Category Archives: II/42b Tamil

Lysimachus’ Indian Sojourn

I thought it time I place a few another DBA game on-line, this time a “Big Battle” game. I won’t attempt a blow by blow recount but I hope this short summary proves to be of interest. I opted to use my Lysimachid Successors which I have been using a little lately against other Successors as well as Polybian Roman. However, today it was deployed against Tamil Indian. Not an historical opponent, but given the Successor’s sphere of influence it seemed reasonablyplausible.

For this game Lysimachus was deemed to be invading. The Indians opted for minimal terrain resulting in a relatively open battlefield. While deploying second the Greeks had some difficult choice due to the equal spread of elephants. In the end I placed my main strike command, the one that would be allocated the highest PIP die, on the left in the hope it would engage what I expected to be the Indian strike command. Hopefully the xystophoroi would manoeuvre into the enemy cavalry and avoid the elephants. My centre, containing the majority of phalangites and my own elephants, would gain the next highest PIP die, while my smallest command, deployed on the right, would receive the lowest die.

No sooner had I deployed the Indians moved forward with great enthusiasm along the line. Above, taken after the Indian move the Indians have reduced the gap between the two armies. On the Indian right, top right of the photo, a number of elephants have wheeled further to the right.

Lysimachus’ response was command paralysis – low PIPs. With the few PIPs available the Greek infantry pressed forward, however any hope of manoeuvre on the left was gone.

Above, a view of the Greek left, which is extended slightly further by an additional xystophoroi and light cavalry. The phalangites illustrated are also from the Greek left.

Below, a view of the centre from the Indian perspective.

In the centre the Greek psiloi were thrown forward early to first pin and then draw the Indian elephants forward.

Below, a close up showing two stands of psiloi engaged. A lack of PIPs in the first couple of Greek turns prevented much of the planned manoeuvres from occurring. On the Greek right flank, despite low PIPs the phalangites and Thracians moved forward as well. The Successor elephants were repeatedly recoiled by Indian archery.

On the Greek left however things were taking a turn for the worse. Indian elephants pressed forward, as shown below, and crashed into the Greek xystophoroi with the expected outcome! Two stands were eliminated on first contact including Lysimachus!

Yet in an interesting turn of events the loss of Lysimachus inspired the army! The following Greek PIP roll was outstanding and the army advanced. On the left Greek auxilia countered the elephants while the remaining xystophoroi charged forward cutting down much of column of archers in ensuing turns.

In the centre Indian foot came under pressure from the Greek phalanx while Successor elephants clashed with the Indian pachyderms, with the result of some Tamil elephants fleeing. As the Greek phalanx pressed forward this amplified the impact of another elephant breakthrough, now in the centre. These elephants, pushing back the Greek psiloi, found themselves confronted by an organised line of phalangites who inflicted a horrific toll.

Above, the situation just prior to the Greeks pushing back Indian swordsman and before the elephants hit the phalangites. Note the Greek Silver Shields, the banners denote Greek generals.

However, not all was going well for the Greeks as their left was by now demoralised. Seeking every advantage the Indians lapped around the phalanx of the left and the entire wing collapsed. However, the Indian left was also under pressure. As the Greek left collapsed the Indian left became demoralised, mostly a result of elephant losses.

Casualties at this point were generally similar, while the Greek casualties were mostly on the Greek left, Indian casualties were distributed more evenly.

The Indian commander tried to prepare an attack using his victorious right wing while the Greeks, free of Lysimachus, aimed to crush the centre or Indian left, both of which were under serious pressure. Below, the Indian right (left) is reorganised while a portion of the Greek centre prepares to form a line. Note the thin Indian centre.

However, it was against the Indian left that success was finally achieved. Phalangites, Thracians and light cavalry all pressed the demoralised Indians who finally collapsed.

It seemed victory for the Greeks had been achieved, but only just…

Another outstanding game. Plenty of interesting challenges that kept both players on the edge of their seat from start to finish.