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Subject: First match: Gaugamela rss

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Gabriele Stecchi
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First try for the 2nd edition of Strategos, rules for refighting ancient battles. The battle selected was Gaugamela with historical setup, without any terrain feature and thus simpler to manage.

Darius has a very poor quality army, primarly levy cavalry, both heavy and light, on the wings, with a center composed primarly by levy heavy infantry. Alexander has phalanxes in the center, while veteran hypaspists, companion heavy cavalry and his own guard are deployed in the right wing, with a lone average light cavalry to protect their flank. Parmenion is held behind on the left, guarding the phalanxes flank.

Darius starts, low on command points due to the levy quality of the Persians. His plan is to try a strike on his left, hitting the macedonian light cavalry hard thus menacing the companions and hypaspists flank, but this attacks fails, due primarly to the poor quality of the troops involved. The following engagement versus the Alexander group drives away the light infantry screen and fatigue a companion unit.

Alexander turn, with plenty of command points. The phalanxes advances but cannot strike in the center yet, due to the scarce infantry movement allowance. In the right, the hypaspists, companions and Alexander guard strike hard but the persian cavalry manage to resist.

Being a brilliant leader, Alexander decides to flip-flop, playing immediately a new turn instead of Darius. While the phalanxes in the center plays a static attrition fight with the opposing heavy infantry, in the right Alexander renew his charge, and the levy, spent persian cavalry is quite totally wiped away. A good morale roll keep the persian army steady.

Darius retreats the lone cavalry left, tries to maneuver on his right menacing the phalanxes flank and relaunch an attack of his left where the macedonian light cavalry screen, even if spent, resists.

Alexander pursuit the retreating persian cavalry and shatter it, causing the remaining levy persian units to rout.

Even with an initial victory bonus of more than 40 points, Darius has many units shattered and routed, with the macedonian heavy cavalry in his rear blocking withdrawal attempts, and surrenders.

Minor researches through the rules apart, the game was a 2 hours smooth and enjoyable experience, with plenty of choices and moments. The victory system give a chance to win even at an historical beaten opponent, while preserving the simulation. Really fresh and elegant.
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