Miguel (working on TENNISmind...)
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I had already posted 15 scenarios involving ancient Greeks here, split in groups of 5 following three main themes:
- The 5th century BC.
- The second (great) Peloponnesian War.
- The rise and fall of the Sacred Band.

I thought that designing a few more could trigger interest in GMT for a 6th expansion, since many important battles were missing from the official list. By 2010 I prepared a booklet with 20 battles, the 15 that were already available here, with only slight changes, plus 5 more, and GMT accepted to take it as a starting point for developing a new expansion around Sparta. Many were selected, all of those modified (more or less), and in the end we got Expansion 6, so I think it played the role I had expected to.

However, I was a bit upset with many of the changes that were introduced, and some of the new battles did not make it through, so I thought that at some point I should at least upload the new ones here. They looked very good bound in a single booklet, and as I said some were the old ones with small changes. I came to the conclusion that the best way would be to remove the old files and replace them with a single file, containing the last version of the 20 battles I've designed:

http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/84628/hellenica-20-battles...

All these scenarios were designed before Expansion 6, so they do not include the newly introduced hoplite rules and the few new tiles. They were designed to be playable with the base set plus Expansion 1, though in some of them I took advantage of the other expansions to add some of their elements, like the Barbarian army in Olpae and River Centrites, the Baggage Wagon in River Centrites, the bridge tile in Amphipolis and Anapus River...

I like uniformity in general, I prefer when everybody plays the same scenarios better than when each one plays 'theirs' on their own. I thought therefore that, even if I liked the scenarios in Expansion 6 less than my original ones, from now on I would forget mine and play only the new, official ones. In fact I replaced mine with the new ones in my chronological binder. However, several months later I realize that I have not played Expansion 6 yet! It's not an opinion, it's a fact, I don't know why. I was looking forward it a lot, but after playing my scenarios so many times I couldn't find the will inside me to play those instead.

Anyway, I just wanted to share 'my view' on those battles. The Spartan army is represented by the gray Roman one, even if I used the alternate graphics I had designed long ago in the scenario picture, but it doesn't matter. Even if you own Expansion 6 you will need more heavies than those in the official Spartan army, since I took the approach of representing the Spartan hoplites by heavy infantry. Overall I prefer this approach, no need of new rules and they look more scary on the field. I'll stop here, this is getting long, later I'll post my view on the peculiarities of each of those battles.

Enjoy them!
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Miguel (working on TENNISmind...)
France
Caen
(from Valencia, Spain)
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My latest game: Big*Bang, a simple abstract about the first minutes of the Universe
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Some words about these 20 battles:

- I try to use as few and simple special rules as possible.
- The few elements from Exp2-4 can be proxied easily (baggage wagon, bridge tile).
- For the Spartan army you can use the gray Roman blocks.
- I don't like to force the historical play, but I try to at least 'suggest' it!

I'll say a few words about each of the battles, I'll cover them following the chronological list. For the 15 that I had already posted you can find a more detailed discussion in the original thread.

THERMOPYLAE - 480 BC

The most thematic one! The only time I thought I should add a specific card to each player's hand: Darken the Sky was obvious, and Rally because of the high price the Greek will pay for the loss of the heavy hoplite units. The Persian huge superiority in numbers does not need that many units on the board, but the units lost can be replaced on the Persian baseline (coming from the Persian camp to the north of the board). And I wanted to add the "Go Tell the Spartans" idea, the Greek can remove from the board light units that represent a risk, and the Persian has an extra reason to go through the mountains soon to cut the Greek withdrawal.

MYCALE - 479 BC

I included several historical facts reported by Herodotus: the shield wall between the Athenians and the camp, the Athenian urge to move forward under the Persian arrows before the Spartans arrive, and the waiting-to-see-how-things-go Ionians.

TANAGRA - 457 BC

I added this one in order to have a connecting point between the Persian Wars and the Great Peloponnesian War. The one I liked the least... and the one that has been modified the least in Exp6! The main change was in the desertion mechanic: as in Mycale, I prefer that the deserting unit recovers all its blocks (they are supposed to represent morale).

OLPAE - 426 BC

It took place during the first years of the Peloponnesian War, during which Athenians and Spartans tried to avoid direct confrontation. The main 'encounters' were between different peoples with neighboring issues, that looked for help on both sides. I thought it would be historically, and aesthetically, better to reflect it on the armies' composition, so I used brown and green blocks for the core of them and a few Athenians and Spartans to lead each of the sides.

PYLOS - 425 BC

One of my favorites! A landing that works extremely well. The only change with respect to the old version is that I shifted the shore two rows up, because all the fighting took place around the beach and I didn't want a lot of empty ground to the top of the board. In addition, now there is room for the three cards/triremes on the board itself!

SPHACTERIA - 425 BC

The follow-up of Pylos. With respect to the official format, I think that it is very important that the Athenians have room to evade from Spartan sorties, it reflects better the peculiarities of this "light vs heavies" fight. And afterall they had all the island behind them to evade to!
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Miguel (working on TENNISmind...)
France
Caen
(from Valencia, Spain)
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My latest game: Big*Bang, a simple abstract about the first minutes of the Universe
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And on into the big battles of the Peloponnesian War!

DELIUM - 424 BC

There is an oversight in the official format: the Sacred Band did not exist in the 5th century BC. Pagondas was Theban, and for the first time he chose an asymmetric formation with more depth on one side, but the hoplites that formed that way were 'normal' ones. As I note in the historical background, this battle inspired the Deep Echelon formation that Epaminondas used in Leuctra, but had nothing to do with the Sacred Band. And a minor issue, I took the liberty to add Alcibiades with the Athenian cavalry because I had finished reading Pressfield's "Tides of War" (highly recommended), but at that time he was a soldier, not a leader.

AMPHIPOLIS - 422 BC

Brasidas took the best men he had to make the sortie, so I gave him the best unit of the 'Spartan' army (they were mostly Amphipolitans) and the ability to charge the Athenian column with a 'virtual' Double Time.

MANTINEA - 418 BC

The official Argive Thousand seem too strong to my taste, 5 heavy blocks: if the Argive player attaches a leader to them they become the strongest unit of the whole CCA series! They were well trained, but not better than the Spartans. In my scenario the Argives look weaker, but if they maneuver wisely they have their chances.

ANAPUS RIVER - 415 BC

I designed this one as the 'companion' of my Epipolae scenario for a small Sicilian campaign. I represented the deeper but less experienced Syracusan phalanx with a mix of mediums and auxilia, and the destroyed bridge is there only for historical flavor, it does not play a significant role.

EPIPOLAE - 413 BC

A night battle! The only one I'm aware of, I used a photoshop filter to give the night feel. With almost no special rules it plays extremely historically. I designed this one right after ending Pressfield's "Tides of War", the battle description is terrific.
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Miguel (working on TENNISmind...)
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Around the 10,000:

CUNAXA - 401 BC

Already when I opened Exp1 I went through the list looking for it (I had read Xenophon's Anabasis), and when I saw the list of Exp6 this was the biggest disappointment: two Greco-Persian expansions and no Cunaxa? I like the mixed look of Cyrus army, the asymmetry that the 10,000 Greeks give to the battle line (and to the flow of battle), and how the starting conditions lead to almost historical play: Cyrus looking for Artaxerxes, who tries to hide behind his bigger army and outflank the shorter rebel battle line, the Greek 'steamroller'... The scenario I have played the most for fun, after playtesting had ended.

RIVER CENTRITES - 401 BC

I wanted a battle to link the travel of the 10,000 from Cunaxa to Coronea, but the Anabasis tells the story of many small scale ambushes. Finally I decided to take the epic crossing of River Centrites to the board. The most difficult scenario I've made, but the one I'm the most proud of. There were two things I wanted to reflect. First, the crossing was specially hard because the 10,000 were traveling with their wounded and women, and Exp4 baggage wagons were great for that.

And second, the Carducians outnumbered vastly the Greeks, so for Xenophon once he found themselves blocked by the river it was crossing or dying. The victory condition had to take this into account. The Greek ONLY wins if he takes the wagon and the main part of their group to the other side. And quickly! He should not afford to wait calmly on the lower side to kill enough Carducian units for the win, the more he fights the more he will lose units, until the victory condition will not be attainable. The Persians can afford loses, as soon as they avoid the main group to cross.

Other things were easier. Each Persian army has its own baseline, while the Greeks have the river. And as a consequence, I used two different army colors so that the Persian player can track the origin of the units, since crossing during the fight is not forbidden.

CORONEA - 394 BC

The remains of the 10,000 fight back in Greece. In a battle at a bigger scale, the several heavy units become one, medium because they are a bit worn by their odyssey and not so fresh as the other Spartans, but as a special unit for their experience in battle. The respective objectives, the camp for the Thebans and pushing the enemy towards Mount Helicon for the Spartans, make the battle flow very historical, with both armies wheeling their right flank towards the center.
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Miguel (working on TENNISmind...)
France
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The rise and fall of the Theban Sacred Band:

TEGYRA - 375 BC

This is a big zoom on a small battle. I wanted the Sacred Band to stay together if they wanted to break the two Spartan companies away from each other and then attack them on their flanks, and with one simple special rule I succeeded! Historically they didn't escape, they won the battle on the field. The official scenario is too short, the zoom not big enough, and it asks the Thebans to do something they did not, and didn't want to.

LEUCTRA - 371 BC

I thought this was a good opportunity to give an alternate view of the Exp1 scenario. More fun to play and with more room to manoeuver. And most importantly, with the thing that put this battle in all history books, the Deep Echelon formation that hit the Spartans, more than the Sacred Band that just avoided their drift. The Deep Echelon Thebans were normal hoplites, but massed in a 50-deep column (compared to the standard 8-12), so Jim Duncan's idea of creating a medium 'double unit' of 8 blocks was perfect for that. And a minor point, the oblique line was the Theban one, not the Spartan.

MANTINEA - 362 BC

I applied the same improvements I had found for Leuctra. Plus the obvious one: killing Epaminondas gives victory to the Spartans. At this point of the war, it was clear that it was Epaminondas, and not his soldiers, that was making the difference, leading Sparta to their doom. The Spartans tried to kill him explicitely and succeeded, making a victory out of a defeat.

CHAERONEA - 338 BC

This battle had many good things to have been skipped in Exp1: Philip with his Hypaspists, Alexander with his Companions, the last appearance of the Theban Sacred Band, the newly-formed Macedonian phalanx... I followed the historical flow: Philip's oblique formation (he had been a Theban hostage), the Greeks running after him when he withdrawed, Alexander hitting the gap... It seems the battle field was crossed by dry river beds, for that I added two broken ground hexes, that as a bonus make the Greeks advance! If they want to battle the Macedonian heavies in more level ground. I don't know why Alexander block and rule do not appear in the official scenario, he was young but had already a strong impact on his Companions.
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Miguel (working on TENNISmind...)
France
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(from Valencia, Spain)
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My latest game: Big*Bang, a simple abstract about the first minutes of the Universe
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And I wanted to close this series with the two battles that certified the end of the Spartan power:

MEGALOPOLIS - 331 BC

The Spartans misscalculated the Macedonian reaction power, with most of the army away in Asia under Alexander, and had to look for a narrow pass that negated the Macedonian superiority in numbers. Unfortunately, the official scenario has changed the hills from impassable to normal, and therefore they don't have an effect on movement at all. I chose to follow history: a bigger Macedonian army, with the few phalangites remaining in Europe completed with Barbarian allies from the north, facing a shorter Spartan line but able at the start of the battle to fill the gap between two impassable hills. As in history, the fight will create holes in the Spartan line and allow the more numerous Macedonians to finally outflank them, but not through the hills!

MANTINEA - 207 BC

Sparta stopped being a main power in Greece after Megalopolis, but the man who finally destroyed them was Philopoemen, who was considered by the Romans "the last of the Greeks". Therefore, I thought that this battle was a perfect closing for the second, and surely last, Greek expansion. In addition, it has some interesting features: the phalanx clash through the ditch, the use of war machines to soften the enemy before the assault, the race to Mantinea... I liked the result a lot, but it was not selected.


And that's all! A quick survey of the 20 battles, I'm happier with all of them together in a single file. I don't think there are other significant battles missing, so I'll stop here.
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Miguel (working on TENNISmind...)
France
Caen
(from Valencia, Spain)
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My latest game: Big*Bang, a simple abstract about the first minutes of the Universe
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My best-rated game: TETRARCHIA, about the tetrarchy that saved Rome
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Thanks for the thumbs and GG!

Some pictures of this scenarios (Pylos' old version):


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Chris Rice
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Truly excellent work. Many thanks.
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