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The Battle of Samarkand: The Second Encounter

We decided to give this introductory scenario another go before trying a more complex one.

The Macedonians (M) appeared in the south. The Persians set up their 3 Bactrian Cataphracted Heavy Cavalry (Cat HC) on the left (west) under Arsames, and their other 4 units (2 Cat HC and 2 Mounted Archers) on the right with Spitamenes and Mithradates.

Turn One: Orders Phase

Pharnaces(M) decided the enemy was too far away and wanted to get in a turn of quick advance before moving the Hoplite Heavy Infantry (Ho/HI) into the slow moving square formation. Therefore he ordered 1 Ho/HI North.

Arsames on the west was a nasty bugger and ordered 2 Cat HC to move their full movement east. He then succeeded in his momentum roll, caught up on the third Cat HC and launched a HC Cat into the Ho/HI flank. The resulting charge hit the Ho/HI hard, but didn’t break them (almost though, they received 4 cohesion hits by passed their Troop Quality check).

Andromachus (M), secure in the knowledge the west was (temporarily) safe from further attack, quickly marched the other 2 Ho/HI north to cover the leading Hoplites flank and they were facing NE against an eastern charge.

Spitamenes moved his two HC Cat SW near the southern edge of the board in attempt to line up the Ho/HI and possibly get behind them.

Caranus (M) took an incredibly aggressive charge and sent two Javelin Light Cavalry (LC) to attack Arsemes (who used reaction facing to take the attack head on) and he led the third LC to counterattack the Cat HC in the flank which attacked the Hoplites.

The former attack saw Pharnaces wounded in personal combat with Arsames. The cavalry traded cohesion hits.

The latter attack, with an attacker superior charge into the flank routed the HC Cat! The Macedonians drew first blood!

Turn Two: Orders Phase

Pharnaces (M) wounded had an initiative of 0 and couldn’t order anyone.

Arsemes moved his second cavalry into charge formation and the two Cat HC attacked the two Macedonian LC. The charge slammed into the LC and routed them pre-shock! Pharnaces, injured and seeing his troops rout said “I’m fed up and I’m not going to take this any longer” and fled the battle. The LC that wasn’t undergoing a shock attack under Caranus watched their overall commander flee and also routed! The second shock attack resolved, and the third LC somehow managed not to rout under the brutal attack by Arsames Cat HC.

Andromachus (M) should have ordered the flanking Ho/HI into square formation, but rather spent his time racing around on his horse performing recovery actions to Ho/HI. A momentum roll succeeded and he repeated his racing around performing recovery. He SHOULD HAVE ordered the flanking Ho/HI into square formation instead!

Spitamenes led his two Cat HC into the southernmost Ho/HI flank and read and easily routed it.

Mithradates, sensing victory and the collapse of the Macedonian eschelon led his mounted archers in the flank of the next Ho/HI who were now vulnerable (domino effect!). Pre-shock arrows filled the air delivering 1 cohesion hit, and the resulting shock combat delivered the final 4 hits to break the Ho/HI.

Caranus (M) rallied his Light Cavalry and tried to save the day, but failed in his second rally attempt.

Turn Two: End Phase

One of the LC (M) routed off the board (5 RPs) and the two routed Ho/HI were eliminated (20 RPs). The Macedonians, again by turn two, exceeded their allowed Rout Points, and the battle was officially lost.

Game Over.

This battle took almost exactly 1 hour to complete. Conclusion: Those Cat HC are hard to defeat! Mobile, strong, high quality, and they sure pack a punch. The Macedonians were happy with knocking one for a loop, but the error of Andromachus above in the second turn was pivotal. He really needed to move the Hoplites into square formation to avoid the collapse of the line from the southeast.
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