Monday, 1 May 2017

The Battle for the Lagadha Pass : Blood in the Sand

Whilst King Fartous of Bithynia fights for his throne in the East far to the West the early spring thaw has opened the Lagadha Pass across the Taygetos Mountains. The ruthless and isolated state of Lakonia ruled by their duel Kings Lycidas and Myceedes will use this opportunity to open the campaigning season early. The route across the mountains is difficult so any force they send will be predominantly on foot, but the harsh training regime they implement across the country breeds fine warriors.
 
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
In the centre of the battlefieldDyclostomees on his white horse urges the main part of his force forward, the battle will be lost or won in the centre !
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
It is now time to turn and retreat (run) for Dyclostomees after one final show of bravery, and with his army in tatters around him Dyclostomees turns his horse away. He has at least bought time for the Messenians to gather more forces from across their territory to attempt a further battle. The Lakonian pause to set up a trophy on the battlefield and to lick their wounds, it has cost more men than Lycidas would have liked, far more citizens than he would have liked.....but the way is now open to Kalamata and the army can march on to claim its prize.

A very fun battle, which could have gone either way...........

18 comments:

  1. That sounded epic, loved the training video

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    1. Thanks Martin, the video only works on certain players πŸ˜€

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    1. My own little slice of madness πŸ˜€

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    1. Thanks Michael we should all do more of the things we enjoy πŸ˜€

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  4. Another splendid and humorous report with fine pics, although I have one complaint, I clicked on the training video but it would not play ;~)

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    1. Thanks Phil....I am finally old enough to understand what I like and it is the story and the spectacle for me ever time. These ancients also take me right back to what I used to see in books and caught my imagination.

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  5. Splendid. Makes me want to look at ancients yet again.

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    1. Thanks Clint.......there is something wonderfully fun about ancients, the campaign which is clearly hardly historical in any way allows me to have fun which is after all what it is about !

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  6. Splendid effort all round!

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    1. Thanks David a pleasure to play and share πŸ˜€

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  7. An epic battle! Seems the Lakonians are unbeatable!

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    1. They were tough indeed, but let's see how they do outside the city walls and in the fields of Messenian I feel a perfect opportunity for a Rampant game. When you get into it the scenarios just write themselves πŸ˜€

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  8. Wonderful units, especially the Messenian Hoplites imo...a great looking game!

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    1. Thanks Phil.....quite a lot of variation developing in the collection which is how I like it πŸ˜€

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