Some of the Lakonian warriors seen recently in a training video
The Taygetos Mountains in Spring
It is not wealth that the Lakonians desire though, it is slaves and the plains around Kalamata the capital city of their neighbors the Messenians have been fruitful hunting grounds in the past. King Lycidas who is leading this raid intends to travel light and to sweep down through the Lagadha Pass round up as many able bodied men and women as he can and bring them back to Lakonia. But the Messenians have lost too many sons to the hated Lakonians over the years and this year they have already despatched a sizeable force under General Dyclostomees to bar the way. Their mixed force includes units of the fabled Kalamata Heavy Chariots, mercenary Median Archers and a range of light troops who have travelled swiftly to block the Pass. But as the chariots are no use in the confines of the Pass itself they have had to deploy in the open ground just short of the Pass. The ground is still very confined but it will unfortunately allow the Lakonians to deploy for battle as well. Dyclostomees' objective is clear to hold back the enemy at all cost.........
The Lakonians spill out form the Pass, only to see the way ahead block by a sizeable force of Messenians, King Lycidas (seen here in his red cloak) immediately deploys the army for battle, he is not overly worried as the Messenians have been beaten before.
But this time the Messenians mean business, the heavy chariots trundle forward on the road, they are likely to be hampered by the difficult ground but they have plenty of other troops
Both armies surge forward with a hail of stones and arrows, with their discipline and heavy shields the Lakonians seem little worried
The ground of the battlefield rises into the distance and is dissected by an old river bed
Towards the top of the slope, a huge block of Messenian spearmen advance, whilst the Median Archers fire volley after volley at long range
The heavy chariots keeping clear of the rough terrain in the dried river bed, charge forward into the Lakonians, but they are a tough nut to crack and the chariots are initially thrown back, they swing round to attack again.
The Messenians have also hired in some Galatian warriors, whilst their custom to refrain from wearing clothes on the battlefield challenges Messenians sensibilities they are hopefully tough in battle and getting paid well enough not to run away.
Eventually the chariots which had regrouped and crashed back into combat chased off the elite Lakonian bodyguard, but the horses were now inevitably tired and were faced with another full unit of heavily armed Hoplites.
Whilst the chariots attempt to break through huge blocks of spearmen can be seen in the distance marching forward
Once the skirmish units have been chased away a titanic struggle starts in the centre
But as you can see from the wound counters the Messenian spearmen are getting the worst of it and are very close to breaking
On the far right wing the battle is being fought by light troops who are fighting in and amongst the rocks and tussocks
The battle is not all going the way of the Lakonians the large horde of Hoplites is also close to breaking
This much fighting will eventually break the units and the struggle in the centre briefly evens out but the Messenians are against the toughest Lakonian warriors closely supported by their King....the shame would be too great for them to break in front of the king so they push on !
On the left the Ephor Hipponicus has found himself caught in the open and charged by one of the remaining Messenian Hoplites unit, his body was recovered after the battle and carried back on this shield.
Things are now looking bad for Dyclostomees the Messenian centre has collapsed ! And the remaining Lakonians are marching down the hill to seal their victory. In the distance the Galatians have finally been charged down and scattered by the Lakonian Heavy Cavalry
A very fun battle, which could have gone either way...........