MAGNESIA ad Sipylum (3)

The Scenario & Background

Based upon the scenario Magnesia. Click <here> to see the scenario we used.

I played this scenario for the third time. On the 8th of september 2007 at a Crusade 2007 game day in Leopoldsburg, Belgium, a member of the 'De Witte Ridder', Dieter,  joined me to play this demo game.

Bird view of the battlefield

The Setup

(Magister Militum & Gripping Beast)

The Romans were taken from the HatPW supplement and Pergamum (Greeks) from the AoA supplement

The Seleucid army (Successors) was taken from the AoA supplement.


The armies were designed on a 1:100 scale. The Seleucids outnumbered the Romans by 2:1.


A Battle report

The Plans
The Romans had no missile fire. So Dieter decided to advance with his legions as quickly as possible. The Pergamese allies on the right were hoping to hold this flank long enough for the Romans to deal out the decisive blow in the centre. He knew his drilled legions were the champions of the ancient world. The camp guard would have to defend his left flank, were only a small Roman unit was situated.
Antiochus III wanted to make good use of his light troops, to inflict as many missile casualties as possible. The elephants and scythed chariots would charge the flanks, and do some more damage. After that, the Cataphracts and Phalanx could sweep the rest of the Romans of the table. At least, this is what I hoped for.

Roman Equites (1st Corps)

The Skirmish combat
The Seleucid skirmishers did what was expected of them. Shoot, shoot, and shoot again. Dieter saw his troops decimated under the large enemy missile fire.
But them the Velites came into action. The Seleucid levy troops were no match for them, and the first line of the Seleucids evaporated.
The Scythed chariots killed a few enemies, but the structures were destroyed during the impact. I decided to use the elephants more cautiously. They advanced side to side with the heavy cavalry.

Antiochus III

The Roman Right
The Pergamese troops were loosing the flank battle. But they made good use of their feigned flight ability to hold up the Seleucid troops longer than they had wanted.
In the end one Roman legion was needed to make sure that the Seleucids could not overrun this flank.

      Cataphracts (Old Glory) overrun the Roman line (Gripping Beast)

The Centre
The Romans advanced as quickly as possible. The Seleucids waited, hoping for the flanks to be able to encircle the enemy.
Due to the trouble with the Pergamese line faltering, the Romans had to redirect one legion to this flank.
On the other flank they also needed extra forces, when the Seleucid wedge threatened to break through.
But the troops that actually got into contact with the phalanx of the Seleucids in the centre, fought a very good battle. Only because of their numerical advantage, the Seleucid troops good fall back in good order a few times.
The Galatians, fighting with the Seleucids, were charged by an elephant in the flank. The immediately lost their fighting spirit and fled of the table. But most of the levy phalanx of the Seleucids held their formation.

Most of the 950 models (=over a thousand hours of painting!)

The Roman left
The small, but brave, roman detachment on this flank held out almost to the end of the battle, making it very difficult for the Seleucids to advance quickly here.
Antiochus got attacked by the elephant from the camp and decided to retreat tactically (or rather flee in horror). The centre of his army was in desperate need of his leadership, and felt uneasy seeing their general retreat.
In the end the wedge of the Seleucids got into the rear of the Roman troops threatening every unit.


The Result

Pergamese Cavalry

The result
In the end both armies lost more that half their soldiers. But the battle was still raging on. Generals lost overview of their troops, and things were getting very messy. A tactical retreat on both sides, to fight another day, was the best option. So ended a bloody day.
In a historical point of view, the Seleucids may have proved this day, that the Romans were not unbeatable after all. So this could have had a significant impact if the Seleucids had not lost so very decisive as the have in the real battle of Magnesia.
In a gameplay point of view, this was a very good battle. Exiting to the end, with lots of chances for both sides to come up as a winner.

Many thanks to the players of the club 'De Witte Ridder' and their perfect gaming day 'Crusade 2007'.

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