Category Archives: Successor

Galatian Migrations

A distinct lack of time lately has meant my posts of battles has been less than it should, despite the fact I’m playing DBA games most weeks. I therefore thought it time I made a passing effort to resolve this lack of visual record of games after a local deployed an expanded army recently.

Ben, has had a Gallic army for some time back expanded it to model Galatians and most recently added a scythed chariot. Like the rest of his armies which are well painted and presented this addition is a striking, complete with Galatian crew with the front of the chariot adorned with Celtic shields. The two combine well to provide a Galatian feel to this captured hardware.

we actually played two games, but below is a brief summary our first game where I fielded a reasonably historic opponent in the form of a Successor army under Demetrius. Now I should have used an army under Ptolemy Keraunos, but I wanted to use some elephants.

The Greeks were found to be defending, as you do when the barbarians invade from the north. Demetrius deployed his army some distance from the city of Phileselis, which was lightly held by Greek mercenaries, with his right protected by the Aegean coast. His centre comprised his phalangites and his left his cavalry, a mix of xystophoroi extended by Greek subjects and comprising both heavy and light cavalry. Between his mounted wing and the phalangites he placed his elephants.

The Galatians deployed opposite with a significant portion of the Galatians deployed opposite Phileselis, clearly poised to attack the city by direct assault. The Galatian centre comprised the remaining foot and the scythed chariots, while the barbarian right comprised the remaining mounted.

Above and below, the Galatian host with the city of Phileselis visible on the Galatian left. In the photo below the Greek mercenaries have retired from the city.

While Demetrius advanced his main army his mercenaries retired from Phileselis, hoping that the citizens would delay the Galatians while the Greek main army destroyed the remaining Galatian army. Indeed, Demetrius hoped that should the Galatians attack the assault force would include their armoured veterans (4Bd) weakening their main line. The initial Galatian attack on Phileselis was thrown back. However, a more sustained attack soon after now supported by additional warriors, was successful. The Galatians warriors rushed in and began to sack the city.

Meanwhile while the Greek phalanx and cavalry pressed forward in the centre and left the Galatians unleashed their scythed chariots. A number of these vicious machines, originally facing the Greek left moved forward against the left pike phalanx which they hit with no result.

Above, the scythed chariots attempt to break the Greek line while below, Galatians are shown sacking the city of Phileselis.

Advancing over the broken chariots the phalangites continued their advance while Demetrius charged the Galatian mounted opposite. Alas, it was in the centre that the Greek plan unravelled when the phalanx began to waver under the massed frontal charge of the Galatians warriors.

Soon the left and then the centre taxis broke and with it Demetrius’ hopes of defeating the barbarian host. Above, the Greek phalanx collapses, a disaster for Greek arms. Now we just need to gather an army under Antigonus Gonatus or a few Aitolians to ensure the Galatians are sent packing next time…

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Sosthenes of Macedonia

What makes a good game? Well for me it’s well painted figures on visually pleasing terrain and against a pleasant opponent. Fortunately I have this in most games these days so last night’s encounter looked set to produce another excellent game. Indeed, Andrew and I deployed our 15mm figures for a Successor encounter using BBDBA and the game looked the part. I haven’t unfortunately many photos of the game but here at least are a few along with a brief description.

Facing Demetrius was Sosthenes of Macedonia (a Later Macedonian Successor variant) who positioned the right flank of his army on gently rising ground while extending his centre and left towards a rocky hill on his left. Demetrius, positioning himself on his left flank, ordered the advance. His initial focus was to be an attack against the enemy right where he hoped to destroy a large body of Galatians with his xystophoroi . Fearing this Sosthenes reorganised his right flank in a series of complex manoeuvres. As a result, the Demetrius’ early attack on the left, where he had massed his best troops stalled.

Below, another view of the battle, from Sosthenes’ centre looking to his right. A feature of this engagement included some desperate fighting between Macedonian heavy cavalry and a portion of the Galatian mercenaries.

Reorganised, his enemy now formed a resolute array on the gentle slope to Demetrius’ front. Unwilling to attack the infantry on this hill Demetrius looked to his right flank. Here his Greek and asiatic horse pressed the enemy left flank, but again the enemy reformed.

Below another view of Demetrius’ right, where his peltasts block the advance of Sosthenes’ mercenary Greeks. Finally the centres of both armies, which are to heavily engaged, are visible.

A desperate engagement in the centre ensued. Demetrius’ veteran phalangites slowly gained the advantage, only to be forced back. They rallied and pressed Sosthenes’ phalangites back again. However, as they did they exposed their own flank. Now, as they continued to press forward the enemy counterattacked. As a series of attacks unfolded Demetrius could only watch helplessly, unable to intervene, as his centre unravelled and with it all hope of victory.

Conquest BBDBA

Having had a busy week following Conquest I’ve delayed posting the last selection of photos I have. Now as we head into a long weekend it seemed an ideal time. The following photos are the BBDBA games all played on Conquest’s second day.

Above and below, Pyrrhus engages the Classical Indians. You can read an informative summary of Mark’s games at Conquest on his Hesperiana Blog. The photo below shows an interesting reserve deployed in the event of an Indian breakthrough. It also illustrates the massed Indian elephants in play. Some nine elephants is an impressive site! Pyrrhus in contrast fields only three.

The Indians weren’t the only army with a considerable number of pachyderms in play. Gordon’s Seleucids fielded six with four in one wing command and two in the other. They were further supported by three scythed chariots. The Seleucid centre comprised all the phalangites and a mounted general. The Seleucids can be seen below engaged against Jim’s New Kingdom Egyptians. I suspect the scythed chariots have fled from Egyptian archery.

While the other two games were going on my own Successors were engaged against Andrew’s Akkadians. The week prior Andrew and I had a practice game with him using Sumerians. However, for Conquest the Akkadians and their 3Pk were too tempting. Unfortunately, Andrew didn’t complete the basing for the weekend. Despite this it was a fascinating army to face being particularly mobile.

Two steep hills broke up an otherwise featureless plain that stretched inland from the coast. The cunning Akkadian plan to position a large edifice was thwarted by the combination of the waterway and steep hills.

However, one of the hills was to play a further critical part in the battle where Greek light troops countered an attack by Akkadians in the centre. Caught in the hills the pike were disrupted by the Greek light troops eventually resulting in the collapse of the Akkadian centre. Below, as the situation develops in the centre.

The Greek left however was itself under significant pressure. Eventually Demetrius was driven back by aggressively advancing spear armed Akkadians supported by battle carts. Indeed, the Greek left eventually broke. As time was called a narrow winning draw was achieved by the Greeks.

From an organisational perspective the allocation of 2 1/4 hours per game seemed to be adequate with most games being completed. Completion of games was further encouraged by the scoring system which rewarded points for casualties inflicted rather than draws. However, irrespective of scoring and the final results nine excellent BBDBA games were played involving a variety of armies. An enjoyable outing for the larger armies. I’m looking forward to future encounters…

Antigonos’ Invasion of Aegyptus

The following is a battle report from our Empire Campaign. The armies involved were Antigonid (II/16a) and Ptolemic (II/20a). The battle found the Ptolemy defending and therefore setting terrain. The following report has been supplied by the Antigonid player.

With Satraps based in Macedonia, Babylon and Aegyptus all campaigning to bring neighbouring provinces under control Antigonos Monophthalmos decided to move to extract Egypt from Ptolemaic control in 315 BC. Recent Antigonid support for the defence of Cyrenaicia and Ptolemy’s seizure of the Alexander’s body were factors in this decision.

Strong naval support helped the army move through Giza and a landing was effected on the coastal plans of the Nile Delta. A camp was established on the firm ground to the west of a major Nile distributary. Significant marshy ground to the east of the river was a major factor in siting the camp and the decision to deploy for battle along the coastal shore.

Ptolemy’s camp was sited inland of the coastal marsh. With a preponderance of mercenary peltasts and other light troops in his army Ptolemy opened the battle with a major thrust of these troops through the marshes. Antigonos and a major portion of his phalanx deployed on a strip of firm ground between the river and the marshes with light troops covering their eastern flank while his young son Demetrius commanded the mounted troops on the western bank. Consummate drill from the Antigonid veteran infantry repositioned the phalanx to cover the flanking troops whilst still remaining on firm ground.

A move by Demetrius to cross the rivers and cut the lines of communication between Ptolemy’s heavy troops and the attacking light infantry in the marshes was confounded by rising water levels in the distributary. Above, Antigonid troops can be seen expanding east and west. Below, Antigonos commands his Silver Shields while to the left Ptolemic phalangites prevent more troops crossing.

Antigonos continued to lead his phalanx on foot and eventually manoeuvred a body of Ptolemaic peltasts out of their marshy ground. An uncontrolled pursuit of the defeated peltasts (below) mired Antigonos’ foot companions in the marsh and a subsequent counter attack led to general being severely wounded.

Although dragged from the marshy ground before the defensive line collapsed the wounded Antigonos’ remained in an extremely vulnerable position. A valiant stand by the remnants of his body guard provided just sufficient time for Antigonos to escape to the banks of the river. A charge across the river by the companion cavalry, led by Demetrius himself, into the teeth of the Ptolemaic phalanx secured a crossing for the injured Antigonos.

With news arriving of a victory by Eumenes in the hills of Armenia, and unable to bring Ptolemy to battle on an open plain, the decision was made to withdraw from Egypt. The need for Antigonos to recuperate and with Demetrius still a very young man, although gifted cavalry commander, the leadership necessary for further campaigning was thin on the ground.