|The end of turn 2 from behind the Persian lines as my camera batteries die.
|The cellphone camera comes out as I decide the Persians have no chance of winning this one.
While the Persian cavalry and light infantry cleared off the Spartan skirmishers, the main clash came again on the Persian right against the Athenians. The Thebans, who had also tried to hurry across the river were stranded in disorder in the mud (4 1's in a row ), only the presence of their general stopped them heading full speed for the board edge). The Phyrgians had their blood up though and headed straight for the Athenians, supported by a unit of Caduscian Light Infantry. Heedless of the disparity in numbers and a few straggling casualties from bowfire, the Omega Battalion charged down into the enemy. They sent the lightly armed archers reeling but the heavily armed Phyrgian spearmen struck hard and the Athenians themselves recoiled in disorder.
The Phyrgians followed up on the next card but aided by the hill the Athenians sent them back down the hill. Next turn was another tense card draw and again the Greeks won. No problem except suddenly the difference between elite troops led by a general and an ordinary unit on its own came into play. The officers were unable to steady the ranks, and only 1 casualty rejoined while 1 left the field for good. The Corinthians who had also charged down the hill and driven back some Saka, fell back onto the hill.
On their turn, the Phyrgians ordered their ranks and not pausing to rally, charged back up the hill, this time forcing their way onto the top. One more push on the next turn and the Athenian battalion dissolved under the pressure and headed for the hills. On their right, the Corinthinians were dismayed and recoiled in disorder.
|The Athenians break and I wonder if I was wrong.
On the Spartan end of the line, it was the same old story, the Persians plied their bows, inflicting a steady stream of casualties and the Spartans shrugged them off and just kept rallying back the hits. On one turn only the Persians had a chance, a faint chance of causing a morale check but couldn't get through. Finally, Pausanius decided the omens were right and the Spartans swept down the hill, once again after a short struggle, the shield barrier was broken and the Persians forced to recoil. This time, however, the Persians had cavalry around the Spartan flank and rear and after the desperate fighting, the Beta battalion was down to near 1/2 strength. Charging in from the flank, the Crescent Light Cavalry smashed into the Spartan flank, they recoiled in good order but Pausanius went down in the struggle. In came the Horsetails, the Spartans recoiled in disorder only now they were below 1/2 strength. Under a hail of arrows they broke, The Alpha battalion formed to charge the now rallied Immortals but the storm of arrows from all sides threw them into disorder and finally the Crescent light cavalry rode down the survivors.
|The Spartans are ridden down and I start wondering whether Carthage or Sicily would be next.
So, unlike Marathon, (see January refight) this battle, the Persians were able ro turn the tables. Would they have been able to do it if the Spartans and Athenians had maintained their Elite status? Possibly, especially if I had promoted the Immortals to Elite. But 2 replays is enough for me. On to something different.
Sometime this fall the Lydian Campaign will resume, but for now its back to horse & musket.