Friday 3 February 2023

Battle of Magnesia and bench update

 I’ve really enjoyed returning to playing board games over the last year or so, it gives me the ability to play battles or campaigns that it’s unlikely I could ever do with figures. One such battle is the Battle of Magnesia, ( Seleucid v Roman) and is a battle I had started collecting 28mm figures for after having painted half the Seleucid army I realised the futility of it all as I would need a 16’ table to come close to playing it in 28mm so the figures went.

Having bought into GMT’s Great Battles Series their SPQR set does indeed have the Battle of Magnesia so over the last couple of Wednesdays Steve and I have been playing through the game.

I don’t intend to go through this one on a turn by turn basis it’s a big battle and although in real life the Romans won it’s a tough fight. The Seleucids have double depth phalanxes ( good going forward but penalised if attacked ), Cataphracts and quite a few elephants.

The Romans have a more flexible command structure, better quality infantry and a higher break point and that’s about it.

The picture below shows the initial deployment.

The Romans are at the bottom of the picture and as you can see their right flank hangs in air with the Seleucids extending way beyond .

Holding the flank are Pergamum Greeks and Legionary cavalry so my plan was to push hard in the centre and left and fight a delaying action on the right.

The plan didn’t last long Steve as expected advanced along the line bringing elephants to the fore and pushing hard with his left flank Cavalry an early attack with his heavy cavalry on my right didn’t go as well as he expected and enthused by the potential of a counter strike I engaged - big mistake, I had forgotten Roman Cavalry are penalised against other Heavy cavalry and my cavalry disappeared in a cloud of hooves and lances.

From that point on I had an uphill struggle I managed to refuse my right deploying Triarii and Greek infantry to prevent the Seleucid cavalry enveloping my line and I pushed hard to break through the centre of the Seleucid line, I managed to use the small number of elephants I had to put Antiochus and his Royal Guard under pressure and also destroy a number of Agryspiad units. I was also on the verge of destroying a couple of phalanxes when after 6 bounds I had reached my break point. The Seleucids were only half way to theirs. ( It didn’t help losing two Generals who contributed 20% of my points)

This shows end game

It clearly shows how the Seleucids have wrapped around my right flank and how the Roman infantry had almost split the Seleucid line. Lessons have been learnt and a refight will be had.

On the painting bench as always it’s been a mixed batch, I’ve almost finished the 28mm early French battalion, I cranked out some 15mm Thracians, and I’ve inked the 15mm Trireme I printed

In sorting out I found my 6mm Punic war armies and thought I’d have a little dabble with the Carthaginians

I’m pretty pleased with these and fancy trying them with Littlewars TV Age of Hannibal rules and or Strength and Honour which I really like the look of. Even possibly the second edition of Hail Ceaser ( who knows)

Also in the tidy up I was quite surprised to see how the ECW armies have grown 

Now filling 11 A4 boxes, the vast majority have been painted by Lee and I think it’s time I set up the Edgehill game ( still a few dragoons short 🤣)

York show this weekend which I’m looking forward to although looking at the web site there appears less games than previous years so I can’t see me staying long.

Take care.


Norm said...

York, always strong on trade, but weak on games, looks even more so this year. I think the show needs to get some better balance in that regard. Re SPQR, I bought the Great Battles SIMPLE rules variant (2nd edition) and that has helped me get the games to the table.

Graham C said...

Yes on your recommendation I bought the simple rules - far better although I still manage to forget the odd bit!

The Jolly Broom Man said...

Blimey Graham that Magnesia game looked a bit brutal. Better luck next time. Obviously like all the miniatures but the galleys look particularly ace. Have you settled on 6 or 15mm with them?

Graham C said...

it’s going to be 6mm for the ships, the 15’s are awesome but just too big for a sensible game 😁 although a few more Pentekonters may be printed.!
I have bought some Baccus 6mm Greeks to man the ships and the company are talking of doing some Persian ships and at a later date.Roman and Carthaginian

DaveD said...

Liking the trireme . Yes boardgames are something I’m revisiting as well for the same reasons. I agree re York . I’ve decided to miss it as the games are too same each year , and I can do the shopping on line l Have a good day out though! Will be interested to see a show report

MSFoy said...

Excellent stuff Graham. I've been thinking of using one of my (unplayed) boardgames as the basis of a map campaign, so have been reading through the rulebook. I have to say that reading rules is a lot heavier going than it used to be!

Maybe on a related theme, I honestly read the title of this post as "Bottle of Magnesia", so I'll smile bravely and move quickly on.