Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Raphia and other battles

...so last Friday I drove to the Wargames Holiday Centre and with Mark Freeth, set up the five games from the boxes in last Thursday's post. Along the way we set up the phalnx and Mark shot a video; here's a link to the video on Facebook with an explanatory voice-over.

The largest of the games was Raphia and I shot quite a few photos because, after six months preparation, I was more than a little excited about seeing it on a table. I should say that I have plans to make the terrain more arid for when I next run it, since the site of the battle was probably covered in sand and scrub. Jeff Jonas tells me there were limestone outcrops and cacti!

Here's the game set up, as the players were arriving, shot from behind Seleucid lines. We had sixteen or eighteen players over the weekend who each played around five games, which kept me and Mark very busy. All of the 25-odd battles were fought using my "To the Strongest!" rules.

Above is a shot of the Ptolemaic Machimoi, in three units each of 96 miniatures. We had a very entertaining rule to depict them; if they killed any enemy units, then the Seleucids would win a moral victory (as the cocky Egyptian peasantry would have revolted after the battle). I don't believe they did kill any units, but they came close! They were commanded by Sosibus the Eunuch, who died in at least one of the four games.

Below are the Seleucid Arab allies painted by Craig Davey, they got a lot of admiring glances.

Above are the Ptolemaic Galatians, who did sterling service, hacking their way through the Medes in all four games. Below; from behind; break out the Factor 40!

The below shot caught the spirit of the game in action. The Ptolemaic cavalry are desperately manoeuvring in the foreground, whilst a Seleucid elephant threatens a flank charge. 

My personal high was this charge by Echecrates the Thesslian which snatched victory form the jaws of defeat- we only had two victory medals left at the point of victory.

We fought Raphia four times; there were three Seleucid victories and one Ptolemaic. Antiochus Megas died twice and Ptolemy once; go figure!

There were other games of course, Leuctra with Epaminondas' phalanx (above) and below Sotium with Caesarians and, well, Sotiates.

And finally here are some of the players; the extrovert is Mark Freeth who runs the Wargames Holiday Centre and who is a super host. it was a terrific weekend, certainly the best so far. I shall return in the autumn with a new set of games!

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