“Great Battles of History – Alexander” was till recently kind of the neglected position in my boardgames park – I had supported P500 reprint by GMT but did not have enough time to familiarize with the rules and play this title. Now it is changing and with my fellow wargames partner – Kuba – we had already chance to play decent number of scenarios.  Of course I would not be myself if I did not turn them into session reports 🙂

We started with “Erigon Valley 358 BC” – small scenario, but already with possibility for some tactical maneuvers. And the initial engagement in long path of Macedon supremacy in Greece as Philip II had to throw the Illyrian yoke imposed on his nation.

Macedon was never prominent as far as Greece is concerned – you heard about Athens, Greece, Thebes or even Corinth. But not that backward part of Greece – was it really still Greece by the way? It is not surprising that this country was constantly under “influence and direction” of their neighbors. As it is known from history, when Philip the Second ascended throne he thoroughly modernized the army. As they say “necessity is mother of invention” – Philip lacks money for standard hoplite set for his troops so he invents a much lighter armor with long, very long spear – Sarissa (6 meters long!). That way he creates much more mobile formation, more deadly – 4-5 rows of hoplites fight thanks to length of spear – and cheaper. That is how the Macedonian phalanx is created.

But enough of this historical introduction. It is time to lift the “Illyrian supervision”! Here is the initial set-up:

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Kuba will be playing first time so he gets Macedonians. And I – playing Illyrians – will try to surprise him and take down as many foes as possible!

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Below short summary of main developments:

(1) I am destined to lose? Oh, I like such battles! The only way then is to attack – which usually surprises opponents confident of their victory. That quick attack by my barbarians on Kuba’s left flank where he has mainly light units gives my forces a morale boost 🙂

(2) Macedonian Companion Cavalry and elite Heavy Infantry (Hypapists) counterattack on another wing, pushing my units back. The losses start to amass…

(3) You should follow-up on your success rather then try to win clash which you are doomed to lose. That is why instead of putting additional units on endangered wing, I am following-up on right, which allows me to route some of the Macedonian units.

(4) Ha!, but Kuba counter-attacks on that wing on my exhausted and losing cohesion barbarians. Unfortunately, they start to run..

(5) A window of opportunity emerges for a moment – my quick, medium units can flank the phalanx. Without hesitation I attack – my unit will disintegrate soon, but will also take phalanx down!

(6) Well, but in the meantime my left wing was finally broken by Kuba’s cavalry and heavy infantry. Then he turns toward center and starts to sweep whatever comes into his path…

At this moment in time we finished second turn and decided to end the game as it was getting very late. The final loses:

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The result was so far pretty even – 35 route points to 34 in favor of Kuba. Next round would be the final as both our armies collapses at 40… Still, it was very interesting and exciting game – I especially like the way game represents realities of ancient warfare.