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-Greeks Fighting -by Paul Bruffell-


In Greece in the 5th Century BC conflicts between City States was common and hoplite warfare was the name of the game. The dominant formation was the phalanx with multiple rows of soldiers each carrying the famous hoplon shield and an 8 ft long spear.

Ancient Warfare demonstrates well the drift of a phalanx to its right as it advances to meet the enemy. Seen as a natural reaction of men as each tries to obtain maximum protection from his neighbour's shield held by the left arm the formation naturally moves slightly to the right.

This battle will show why the Spartans were such feared fighters. The wedge was a difficult formation to hold but the disciplined Regulars of Sparta held it well.

The Spartan wedge pushes the peltasts back in 1 turn of combat and can now turn on the flank of the Thracian phalanx. The problem is the Athenians on the other side of the battlefield are about to turn on the left flank of the Greek phalanx who are paying the penalty for no flank protection but some Light Cavalry seen fleeing from the field.

The flanks are turned by both sides leaving the battle in the balance with the main phalanx in the centre still pushing hard and casualties mounting.

Now the skill of the Spartans starts to take effect on the Theban phalanx left flank and the Athenians begin their attack on the rear of the Greek phalanx with devastating effect.

On turn 6 the phalanx in the centre collapses under the flank attack and by turn 7 the Spartans square off against the Athenians but exhaustion is setting in on the Athenian side and their army is liable to rout from the field.

The Spartan Greek allies and the opposing Thebans both flee the field leaving the Spartans to battle it out with the Athenians. This could end up a draw with heavy losses on both sides. The Athenian cavalry are chasing down the routing Greek hoplites (blue).

Scenario Result

The Spartans are in orange, the Athenians in white and the Thebans in pale green. Spartan losses were 152 hoplites and the Athenians 202 hoplites but the Greek allies and Thebans suffered badly each with over 1500 dead most when their phalanx broke and ran.

More to come...