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Subject: Battle of Gandhara, Played With Men Of Iron Rules rss

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Juan Valle
United States
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Hi Folks,

Just to post a review on the Battle of Gandhara, a session of which I had the other day, using the rules from Men Of Iron series.

The battle setup was the same and the units taking part also the same as per the Battle Book.

The battle opened with the Sibis tribal units on the left flank attacking the Seleucid Indian Merc units there; thanks to effective arrow fire and their elephants, the tribals were wiped out immediately.

Next the whole Mauryan elephants line charged at both flanks; the Indian Merc lost one elephant and one archer, and the rest of them got pretty disorganized; in the right flank the Seleucid javelin armed LC moved away and backwards. About this right flank I'll elaborate in a moment.

In the left flank the Seleucid SK units attacked the elephants but were unable to inflict any damage; realizing the threat of being out flanked, the Seleucid OC Seleucus ordered the HC to charge, and things started getting grim for the Mauryan Elephants there. Charging from flanks and rear the Seleucid HC was able to get the Mauryan elephants into rampage one after the one; in one case, a rampage elephant shocked from the rear an already disordered colleague of the same formation and eliminate it! The Nayaka EL-LF got killed and the EL as battle formation ceased to exist.

In the right flank the elephants maneuver was interesting in that it cornered and choked both the LC (javelin armed) and LN units there; simply these mounted units had no space to move around and carry a counterattack as HC did on the left; they got intermingled with each other (LC/LN) and spent several precious activations reorganizing as to mount an effective counter attack, which came only too late as to influence the outcome of the battle.

It was in the center where the battle got decided, and it happened when the Mauryan formation of chariots and heavy chariots charged against the Seleucid phalanxes; in their first charge, three phalanxes got slain and in the following turn two more got eliminated as well; the accompanying Mauryan infantry dealt with the SK which were able to make only one flank attack against the advancing chariots.

The Mauryan cavalry came into action in the right flank, moving like a wedge between the chariots and elephants thus contributing to the 'cornering up' or 'choking up' of the Seleucid LC/LN. Although an interesting duel of cavalry vs cavalry ensued, the Mauryan had the support of the elephants, while the Seleucid had support of no one and were forced to move back due to the mounting combined pressure of elephants and cavalry.

With their center crumbled after the phalanxes got slain, the chariots and heavy chariots veered to the left as to hold back the Seleucid HC units. At this point the battle got over, with the Seleucid getting 180 FP compared to Mauryan 86.

A lesson from this battle is that phalanxes are effective against infantry, but definitively at a disadvantage when receiving a head on charge from a fast moving attacker like the chariots. By the same token the HC was very effective against elephants (their flashing attacks made the elephants look slow) but the HC was unable to decisively influence the battle outcome.

The whole session took close to five hours and was very interesting, specially the interaction of different units like elephants/HC cavalry/LC-LN cavalry/phalanxes/SK/infantry.

I was unable to take some pics, but by following the initial setup at the battle book you can follow on the developments of this battle.



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