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Subject: The first (and only) Battle of Artimisium rss

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Ryan Powers
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Basic strategy: the Greeks need to do some damage early on before the Persians can bring their full numbers to bear and then form North south line to limit flanking. The Persians need to prevent this, but without wholly giving up the initiative to the Greeks.

Even though the scenario doesn’t use them, I'm keeping a running VP count going. I messed up the points in a few spots, but finding the errors to fix them when the scenario doesn't actually use them was deemed not worthwhile. They should still provide a decent metric even if not perfectly accurate.

This is a big one. For an idea see the game setup but before any turn one activations:



Turn 1:

Greeks activate two squadrons. And close the distance in the middle.

Persians activate two extreme squadrons (West and 2nd from East) and fail their third beach activation. In an attempt to bring the fight closer to the Persian beached reinforcements and farther from the Greeks, the central Persian squadron veers to the west instead of going straight at the Greeks. Unfortunately for the Persians I miscounted, and instead of being just out of ramming range, they are just *in* ramming range. Whoops.

(Note this is actually after the speed determination portion of turn 2 as I forgot to snap a pic at the actual end of turn one. Nobody has been activated for the second turn yet though.

Turn 2:

The Greeks attack in the center, and generally do quite poorly but do ram a Persian galley (6 VP),



while the Persian counterattack goes somewhat better with one Greek galley rammed (5 VP) and one double teamed, boarded, and captured (5 + 1 VP).



The Persians fail another beach activation, while the Greeks succeed in activating their remaining beached squadrons. The odds will only get worse for the Greeks from here.

The rest is the squadrons moving into positions.
(once again, I mistimed the image, the image was taken before one of the Greek galley counters sunk at the end of the turn.

VP Greeks: 6 Persians: 11

Turn 3:

The melee in the center continues, with the Greeks capturing a Persian galley (6 + 1 VP) and recapturing their galley, and the Persians re-recapturing it (but with losses).


Most of the rest of the squadrons are still moving into position/being sucked into the vortex that is the current battle. But the Persians on the West drew first blood ramming a Greek galley (5 VP).

The Persians have failed a beach activation roll every turn (and so have only gotten 2/turn). This slowing of Persian reinforcement should mean a bit more time for the Greeks, but the Greeks so far are proving incapable of ramming and only slightly less inept at boarding despite. As the time ticks by, at some point the Greeks are going to have to go on the defensive, and they're not exactly building up a margin of safety as of yet. Barring at least two failed activation rolls, all of the Persians will be in play by next turn. Though some will be a fair distance from the action for now.

Another turn or two of the Greeks under-performing while more and more Persians show up and it will become very difficult to decide what to do with the Greeks. Do I go for the long shot to pull it out, or do I remember I need to fight with these guys again in Artimisium II?



VP Greeks: 13 Persians:16

Turn 4:

Now things start to really happen. The Persians start things off in the ongoing central melee by ramming and becoming fouled with a Greek galley. The Greeks respond with the right edge of another squadron hitting the edge of the main melee, ramming one Persian galley and capturing another.

The Persians activate next with their westernmost squadron and ram (and foul with) no less than three Greek galleys. This is a brutal blow to the Greeks as part of the plan was to pivot the line to run North-South narrowing it and lessening the impact of Persian numbers. The westernmost squadron had the longest way to go, and now is probably not strong enough to do the job. The Greeks board the Persian fouled ship and capture it a bit later in the turn.

The Greek center squadron was next and captures three galleys. One of which had the Persian central squadron leader aboard. One of these newly captured galleys is fouled to a previously rammed galley though.

As can be seen, the fighting now stretches from the westernmost edge to the original central mess.


After three turns of only one galley sinking, four come up 6s this time. And two of those are tangled in with others. One taking its captured enemy with it. Another taking both it's captured enemy plus more a Greek galley that assisted in the capture. So the four that sank turned into a seven.


With the western squadrons fully engaged, the eastern ones won't be far behind.


VP Greeks: 56 Persians: 44


Turn 5:

The carnage continues to mount as more and more forces are drawn in. The westernmost Greeks have somewhat recovered form the disastrous last turn, and the combat on that end is even, possibly even tilted towards the Greeks. At this point, however, any victory on that end is likely to by Pyrrhic. The Greek squadron on that end was supposed to swing north to allow the Greeks to hold a North-South line to lessen the numeric disadvantage. Now even with complete success, the Greeks likely don't have the numbers to seal the line without recalling a squadron from the east, which likely would not arrive in time.



The initial Persian center squadron has ceased to exist, all of its galleys either rammed or captured. However, two more squadrons have entered that part of the fray for the Persians, and the tired and disorganized Greeks will be hard pressed not to be the next victims of the central maelstrom even with reinforcements of their own.



To the east, the combat is just getting going. Fairly evenly so far, but there are far more Persians on the way than Greeks.



Overall it's turning into a swirling slugfest, with higher speed Persians getting more ramming attempts, and the Greeks utilizing their qualitatively superior boarding abilities to grapple and board the Persians in return.

I apologize that the detail is getting sparser, the game is getting mechanically harder to play largely due to the need to keep squadrons separate. This is impacting my notes, but I'm hoping that the pictures will help offset this.

Three previously rammed Greek galleys sunk, and one Persian at the end of this turn. But keep in mind, the Greeks are using their boarding advantage to capture stuff more often, so the sunk galleys don't really reflect this. Also note the Persian leader counter. He's the guy who was running the central squadron that no longer has any remaining galleys.



So here's the big picture for the end of turn 5 with a VP score of Greeks 87, Persians 64:



Turn 6:

The carnage continues. The Greeks boarding prowess is carrying the day so far, but every time they fail and suffer a depletion (or even succeed and suffer a depletion), their ability to continue boarding is reduced. And as the Persians close from the east, it gets tighter and tighter.

Speaking of closing from the east, note the fresh reinforcements arriving soon. OK fresh combat-wise. Some of them are awful tired:



On the other flank, both sides continue to duke it out to mutual destruction.



While the center continues to be a big tangle of ships, rigging and men.



Quite a few boardings, captures and recaptures this turn. Which boosted the Greek score, but as mentioned they suffered more than a few repulses, and took some depletions even when successful. It will be hard to push that boarding advantage with manpower ratings in the 0-1 range, especially when they have to start fighting more boarding actions against multiple Persian ships as the reinforcements arrive.

The Greek plan was to rush out and bloody the Persian nose, then retreat to a N-S line. Step one has gone well, step 2 is an abject failure so far. This failure came due to two reasons both the fault of a careless Greek admiral: Not supplying good enough ships for the westernmost squadron who had to swing north to seal the flank was one. The other was neglecting the speed advantage of the Persians, which is making it pretty tough to pull back after getting close and pissing them off.

VP at the end of Turn 6: Greeks: 135 Persians: 88



Turn 7:


The engaged forces in the west are approaching exhaustion. The clutter is making ramming difficult, and the depletion are making boarding impractical. Still, the Persians boarded and captured the galley with the Greek squadron commander on board in the far west.



In the center it has devolved into a big floating raft of people trying to cut themselves free before sinkings start combine with the occasional opportunistic boarding or ram.'



The engaged forces in the east are starting to wear out, but the Persians have two fresh squadrons closing. They're sending the third to the north to try to get to the other fights since it will likely be too crowded to use all the fresh ships in one place anyhow.



For the second turn in a row not much has sunk, just one lonely counter. There are plenty eligible to sink though. The delay has allowed other ships to mostly disentangle themselves though, so when they do sink it won't be as spectacular as it could have been.



VP at the end of turn 7: Greeks 155 Persians 117



Turn 8:

Greek resistance in the far west has collapsed. But in the next “pairing” of squadrons towards the center the Persians aren't doing much better. It's looking like the remnants of the westernmost Persians may end up facing the remnants of the next group of Greeks in the center as their respective opponents evaporate. Of particular note is the Greek replacement leader making good his escape in a captured galley. Not sure if this is legal, but he had no other ships left and it's no like he's really commanding anything anymore...



The center remains gridlocked but with the wings starting to fail this should change soon. Especially with the Persians moving around the north.



In the East, the Greeks are giving as good as they get but another Persian squadron is in position to enter the fray form the far south next turn, and a second will be in position to help out somewhere by turn ten. With no more Greeks en-route the long term outlook is not good for the Greeks. But the Persians will know they've been in a fight.



Finally some galleys started sinking again. With two galley counters sinking and taking another two with them. The group of three sinking really frees up some room.



So that brings us to just past the halfway point with the Greeks still leading 165 to 129 in VP. But remember, VP are not used in this scenario. I'm just tracking them out of curiosity.



Turn 9:

The battle in the west is officially done. The Westernmost Greek squadron has been completely eliminated and the second westernmost Persian squadron is down to one galley + a replacement leader.



Speaking of replacement leaders, observe thee fate of the Greek replacement who started a run for safety aboard a captured galley last turn.:



The original and early combatants in the center and east have managed to more or less exhaust one another, but the Persians reinforcement have arrived. The congestion has kept them from full usefulness so far but if I could manage to roll the occasional six to sink some counters things should free up.

The Center and East have merged into a single image now as the Eastern reinforcements have closed the gap and the two fights have somewhat merged.



For a while I was thinking this would be the turn where the Persians took thee lead in points, but it was not to be. At the end of the turn the Greeks have 164VP to the Persians' 151.



Turn 10:

The bloodbath continues, and now everyone is committed or at most one turn from being committed. The Greeks are running out of useful galleys, with no way to extract them and the Persians' biggest issue is being in their own way.

The melee in the middle has gotten truly epic. And really doesn’t suit itself to being split up in multiple pictures anymore. If you look carefully you can see that the replacement leader for Syennesis has had his galley rammed, demonstrating that the Greeks aren't completely toothless just yet.



Lots of sinking rolls again, but only two sinkings this turn.



Two thirds of the way though and I'm wondering if there will be enough Greeks leftover to even have an Artimisium II.



Turn 11:


Despite having one third of the game left, the Greeks have almost ceased to exist so now it's about mopping up. The biggest issue the Persians have now is getting the fresh ships in to go aftger the few remaining Greeks as the melee continues to be one big mess.



Zooming out a bit, we can see the various captured ships headed for the proverbial hills.



Now that a few captured galley counters have actually escaped, I'll be including them in the casualties picture.:



Turn 12:

At this point I called the game. The Greeks were down to half a dozen mobile galley counters. Since the remains were to be used for Artimisium II next, I called that one too.

Thoughts:

Wow, what a fight. If I had it to do over again I would have pretty much just focused on building a defensive line form the start for the Greeks and used the one early activator as "skirmishers" to interrupt any early on attempts to interfere. The reduced speed of the Greeks really makes it tough to go out and bloody the Persians' noses first as I had intended. Making the Greek leftmost squadron stronger would have helped too. It has a lot of heavy lifting to do.

Unfortunately I didn't think about putting the intact/captured/sunk galleys together in groups to show how the final numbers looked until it was too late and I had taken it all down. A shame because it would probably have been pretty cool.
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Kev.
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Credit to you for playing that many turns.
That is a difficult system to play for me. Even with the summarized version I found.
Well done.

Mind if I post it on our blog, lots of people will like this one!
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Ryan Powers
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hipshot wrote:
Credit to you for playing that many turns.
That is a difficult system to play for me. Even with the summarized version I found.
Well done.

I did find it a bit intimidating at first. But I've gotten the hang of the early stuff now. At some point it will be the later galleys with towers and fire and such. But not yet.
Quote:

Mind if I post it on our blog, lots of people will like this one!


Sure. What blog is that?
 
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