Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

The Battle of Magnesia 190BC

As I have mentioned before, Lee and myself are planning on putting an Ancients battle at Joy of Six 2018 and we have finally selected the Battle of Magnesia between the Seleucid and Roman armies. I have used a OOB from the internet . This is a truly massive force so I have cut it down to a third of the size as offered there. This still gives Lee 50 units and 77 units!

Whilst Lee has just about all his units to paint I at least have just 31 Four of these will be phalanx units (yes I know I said 20, turns out I need 22). These are a mix of cavalry, mostly cataphract and light infantry so will not be an issue painting them in time.

Lee's Romans are obviously mostly infantry and the units will be a lot less figure heavy than mine, this is the spectacle I was looking for in a game. My massed phalanx eight deep with 96 figures a base fronting up to about 36 figures a base. With the phalanx making up just over 25% of my force they will be a focal point but not the whole battle.

I have also worked out what figures I still need to buy and it's just under £120 worth of castings. Lee I am assuming will have still more to buy so Baccus will be getting a visit at some point. Most of what I am buying can be used in other armies so will not be one shot wonders though just how much use they will get post game is uncertain.

As for Lee's well I guess it depends on how fast the game will play. If fast enough to get a large game played then they should all get out in future games, that is if we can paint up enough opposition outside the Seleucid armies.

Rather than make up a set of new boards we are thinking about battle mats, the battle took place at the turning of the year (could have been 189BC) so we are looking at semi arid. That will come later as we still need to work out the actual size of the table we will need. It should be smaller than the Waterloo game which ran to 16x6 feet. The only two natural features is the Hermos River that the Romans fixed their flank to and a hill behind the Seleucid positions that was fortified but could be left off the table if desired.

So not a massive amount of work for me to do with plenty of time to get it all done. Lee on the other hand has lots of painting to get done, ideally we will get the figures bought before Salute as that is when Baccus put up their prices. I will await Lee's reckoning before making a move.

We will have to start playtesting the battle at some point as we have to balance the larger Seleucid army against the fact that the Romans actually won the battle. The trick I think will be a few special scenario rules that will have to be used to make this more even. Firstly bow troops will be less effective than usual as the day started with poor visibility and was misty and damp that would have effected the effectiveness of the bows at least until the weather improved later in the day. Reducing the bows effectiveness will harm the Seleucids more than the Romans . Most of the other SSR's will probably be worked in to give the Romans advantages rather than take things from the Seleucids.

6 comments:

  1. 31 units to paint? Well, that should keep you busy for a couple of weeks at least ;)

    Good choice of battle :)

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    1. Most of what I need to paint will be quite quick though the dreaded phalanx's will be a slightly different story.

      Ian

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  2. 31 units won't take you long in 6mm Ian, I reckon a man with your skills will have them done in a couple of weekends??? I do like the gaming mats, not sure if you'll get one the same size as your Waterloo game and gawd knows what it'd cost?

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    1. Cost will be a factor but space is another that has to be taken into consideration. Another is that if we use mats then we can do the show in a car rather than a van

      Ian

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  3. mats are a good idea. there are lots of good options out there

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    1. At least we don't need hexes printed on them, yep trying to make use of all possible positives.

      Ian

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