COE Spartans vs. Persians

WR has been busy either tossing dice, painting miniatures, or ballroom dancing this last quarter so his written AAR effort has taken a back seat. Time to correct my poor literary efforts with three AAR for the blog sphere gaming world. First up, the classic ancient clash of Spartans with Greek city states vs. their eternal foe, the Persian hordes.

With the linear Persians horde overlapping and positioned before the smaller Spartan-Greek city-state army, the classical ancient scenario of two battle lines crashing, shield to wicker shield, spear to spear, was about to commence. The Spartan plan was simple. Advance quickly, shoulder to shoulder with the Greek city-state hoplites, crush the Persian center infantry, and hope the Persian flanking cavalry is held briefly by the weaker Greek flanking cavalry. Cunning Persian plan…. hold the center to allow the Persian wing cavalry (3:1) to engage and roll up the Spartan and Greek flanks. Nothing very original here and truly reflective of the poor COE generalship ratings rolled for.

YouTube video link of the starting line up: Spartan and Persian set up

Starting positions for Spartan and Greek army in foreground, Persians in distance.

Starting positions for Spartan and Greek army in foreground, Persians in distance.

Another view of Spartans vs the Persians starting positions.

Another view of Spartans vs the Persians starting positions. Flat, open spaces with fields in foreground. Low, line of sight hills in the distant background.

Opening movements per carefully designed plans….. quick march forward for the Spartan-Greeks. Try and flank the Spartan line while giving the Greeks a taste of Persian arrows. Simple and so ancient. Add in a little skirmisher on skirmisher action to clear the center sums up the opening game movements. 

After some skirmisher brawls, the main battle lines approach each other.

After some skirmisher brawls, the main battle lines approach each other.

The two Spartan hoplite blocks, at each end of the main battle line, had charmed lives during the game. The Persians never threatened their exposed flanks, dreading the sharp Spartan reaction and close drilled combat. Mobile arrow cushions they became instead. As for the weak Greek cavalry flank guards, one unit was shot apart by Persian arrow storms, the right flank unit was able to charge twice and eventually destroy one Persian cavalry unit near game end.

Greek right flank cavalry retires before the Persian left flank advance.

Greek right flank cavalry, at left of photo, retires before the Persian left flank cavalry advance.

The main battle lines close to charge distance. Two Persian units have surged temporarily forward to chase the remaining Greek skirmishers away.

Nearly in contact. Persian archery having minor effect on the Spartan-Greek infantry advance.

Nearly in contact. Persian archery having minor effect on the Spartan-Greek infantry advance.

A Persian cavalry unit comes close to the right flank Spartan hoplite unit. With lowered spears the Spartan infantry charged, causing the Persian javelin armed cavalry to rethink their action, and promptly flee away to a safer distance.

Contact is made as the Spartan infantry reach the defending Persian and mercenary Greek infantry.

Contact is made as the Spartan infantry reach the defending Persian and mercenary Greek infantry. Wind machine in background heard on video but kept the army commanders cool.

Reaching charge distance, several Spartan and Greek hoplite units surge into the Persian ranked formations (upper right of photo).

Close up of the two warring sides before major contact. The initial shield crash occurs upper right corner of photo.

Close up of the two warring sides before major contact. The initial shield crash occurs upper right corner of photo.

Spears on shields, both sides start the close combative actions to determine the fate of each army.

The "naked" Spartan perioikoi hoplites surge into the Persian infantry as neighboring allied Greek hoplites advance alongside.

The “naked” Spartan perioikoi hoplites surge into the Persian infantry as neighboring allied Greek hoplites advance alongside.

A tough fight. Slowly the Spartan perioikoi hoplites grind forward.

A tough fight. Slowly the Spartan perioikoi hoplites grind forward.

Link to YouTube summary video: Spartans vs. Persians Turns 1 to 5 summary

Following turn the rest of the Spartan Greek hoplites attempt charges against the Persian adversaries. Valiantly the Persian spara formations attempt to hold their positions as supportive archers shoot into the Spartan Greek massed formations. Greek mercenary hoplites, in Persian King’s pay, brace themselves to hold the Persian central position.

Spartan bodyguard and allied Greek hoplites charge home. The receiving Greek mercenaries will break and flee.

Spartan bodyguard and allied Greek hoplites charge home on next turn. The receiving Greek mercenaries will break and flee before the eyes of the Persian Great King.

Out on the left flank the arrow target…aka Spartan hoplites, march forward to push away the Persian cavalry. Even with totally exposed flanks, the Persian horse archers were content during battle to loosen arrows into the shielded Spartan infantry.

On the left spartan flank a lone Spartan unit marches surrounded by Persians.

On the left spartan flank a lone Spartan unit marches surrounded by Persians.

First combats done, the disjointed Persian and Greek mercenary infantry attempt to reform and face the still advancing Spartan and Greek hoplites.

The Persian mercenary Greeks and supports rally up after avoiding the first Spartan charge.

The Persian mercenary Greeks and supports rally up after avoiding the first Spartan charge.

Pushing deeper into the Persian central position, the Spartan and Greek hoplites crash into the reformed Persian infantry again. Persian levy infantry just crumbles before the menacing spears of the Greeks.

Wheeling left, the "naked" Spartan perioikoi hoplites and supporting Greek hoplites charge home on Persian levy infantry.

Wheeling left, the “naked” Spartan perioikoi hoplites and supporting Greek hoplites charge home on Persian levy infantry.

As the left center of the Spartan Greek infantry battle line wheel outwards, sweeping all before them, the remainder of the Greek infantry march forward into arrows and javelins. Closing to charge distance, the Spartan and City state Greek hoplites charge with shields and long spears. Persian courage fails as unit after unit turns and flee their positions after sharp combats.

Grand view of the later stages of the battle. The Greek mercenaries are wise to avoid melee with the Spartan King with bodyguard.

Grand view of the later stages of the battle. The Greek mercenaries are wise to avoid melee with the Spartan King with bodyguard.

Out on the flanks the Persian cavalry loosen arrows into the exposed Spartan hoplites. Occasionally a Spartan hoplite falls from arrow or javelin. The lone Greek allied cavalry, attacked by two Persian cavalry units and facing massed bow fire, decide to charge for glory. They utterly destroy one Persian cavalry unit and chase the survivors.

The Greek allied cavalry crush one of the flanking Persian cavalry formations.

The Greek allied cavalry crush one of the flanking Persian cavalry formations.

As the battle winds down, the last of the Persian levy infantry break before the thinned Greek hoplite ranks. The remaining Persian infantry, seeing their center broken, start to retire from the battlefield along with their flanking cavalry.

Persian levy breaks... and out legs the pursuit back to Persia homeland.

Persian levy breaks… and out legs the pursuit back into their Persian homeland.

The Persian army is "withdrawing" before another Spartan hoplite charge.

The Persian army is “withdrawing” before another Spartan hoplite charge.

Link to YouTube summary video: Spartan vs. Persians Turn 6 to 8 summary

Greeks seemed to have better luck with the close combative rolls overall. Persian archery, except for an occasional arrow storm into a Greek hoplite unit, had little effect on the flank Spartan hoplites. They saved rolls themselves from severe losses and kept the Persian cavalry at a distance until the central position infantry battle was won.

The Clash of Empires (COE) rules with the Rise and Fall of Persia supplement used. The usual 6D dice collection, some measuring sticks or tape measures, open terrain with low hills (LOS only) and, for some reason, fighting the Persians on an open flat battlefield. What happened to those famous Greek mountain passes, with secured flanks, WR wondered while playing with Spartan Tim. David commanded the Persian horde as King of Kings. The 28mm miniatures from the collections of WR and David.

The Clash of Empires COE rules and Persian wars supplement book.

The Clash of Empires (COE) main rules and Persian wars supplement book.

Next battle should be our classic ancient Indian vs. ancient Indian brawl for bragging rights in Los Angeles. Last battle was won by northern Indians of WR but rumors have David’s southern Indian army enlarged. Stay tuned….but first the AAR for the battle of Dego April 1796 next.

Link to previous ancient Indian brawl: WR vs. David’s Indians

WR

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