This is the second part of my after action review of this week's ancients game. We left the two sides deployed in long lines facing each other, the Athenians commanded by Strategos Shaun and the Spartans by Ephor Ian. Both sides had their better units on their right wing. A couple of light units, one on each side, were off-table due to Stratagem cards, of which more anon.
The Spartans had out-scouted the Athenians and so moved first. They advanced diagonally to the right, using "hoplite drift." Unfortunately their leftmost phalanx (in the foreground) failed to activate (on an Ace) and a gap opened in their line...
In the Athenian turn (below) they advanced their right but their activations weren't good enough to get into the gap. By the way, I'm using my new Deep Cut Studios mats. These are really good, particularly the cloth ones (the vinyl ones are too shiny for good photography). I marked the grid out by eye, using tufts.
Below is a shot of the test of the table, with the Spartan camp in the foreground. Note that the Spartan hoplites now outflank their Athenian equivalents. Beyond the hoplites the Spartan cavalry, on their nags, face their better-mounted Athenian adversaries, whilst light infantry lurk in the olive groves.
In their second turn the Spartans (below) managed to close the gap in the phalanx and brought on the light infantry unit that was missing at the start of the game to cover their extreme left. It turned out to have been in reserve off table (as per the stratagem card).
And finally, for today's post, the battle lines clash. The Spartan phalanx, having inclined right a second time, now outflanks the Athenian hoplites by two units (and two elite Spartiate units at that). Opposite them is just a unit of Cretans and the Athenian horse, who can't challenge a phalanx frontally with any hope of success... On the other hand, though, the incline has left a gap in the Spartan line that is held only by a unit of ekdromoi lights! A calculate risk, as Ephor Ian put it.
Stay posted for the conclusion of the battle, tomorrow...