Monday, 5 January 2015

Battle of the Indus 425BC

Spurred on and inspired by a couple of articles in Slingshot number 297,I decided to put on a river crossing game last night,with Alexander's Macedonians facing a couple of Indian armies.

These photo's show the scenario and map plus the table before any movement,and without the "boat troops" who would appear on move number 4.
Paul was in command of the main Indian army,and Brian was in charge of the reserve/flank force of King Akbar-I was the exalted personage of Alexander!!

It was a daunting prospect to have to cross the river with these beasts waiting at the other side-however I had two catapults,which got rid of two of them,and this was my cue to advance the phalanx-hurrah!!

My plan was to attack both the defended hills,disrupt the Elephant lines,sweep around the right flank with my Companion cavalry,to arrive on the far bank at the same time as my "boat troops" arrived-master plan,master tactics,master optimist!!-as though the opposition would let it happen!!!!

"Master Plan" in operation-cavalry advancing against little opposition yet-but Brian is sending his whole force against me,and I'm still in the water-where are my boats?-Paul is looking pensive-always a bad sign!-It means he's thinking-woe is me!!

The boats have arrived,and just as my cavalry made landfall,Brian's elephants arrived to disrupt them-my advantage of good cavalry is gone-double woe is me!!-In the background my phalanx is advancing,and both hills are being well defended by Paul-come on Macedonians!!!

Brian has played his hand beautifully in this shot,with his elephants causing my cavalry a real headache,he has charged and driven the Royal unit of Companions back into the river,and,to cap it all,his infantry are now nearing the gap,to put pressure on my peltasts,out of shot to the right,who are trying to form up-triple woe is me!!!!

My Agriannian infantry are trying to drive an elephant away,I have captured the left hill,my phalanx is just about to mix it with the remaining elephants,but I am losing heavily on the right hand hill-Paul has left his main infantry line back enough from his elephants,for them not to get disordered,if the elephants go on the rampage!!

With a loud cheer(from me!) the elephants fail a morale test,and decide to go "walkabout",but they had done a bit of damage to the phalanx,which would leave me vulnerable when Paul launched his Indian infantry against it-we decided that,as the infantry were bow-armed as well as spear armed,that they could shoot first and the charge in-this tactic piled the agony onto the phalanx-quadruple woe is me!!!!

The Indians are holding their own,and a couple of "Taxis" of the phalanx are in trouble-if I am forced to take a morale test,they could go!!-I have abandoned my attempt to capture the hill in the background,and now Paul is using the troops stationed there to threaten my flank-hey,that's not fair!!

This shot shows the state of my right flank-the cavalry look strong,but aren't!-my infantry are being battered,by topless maidens(would you believe that?) and my phalanx is breaking up,so we decided that the Macedonians had failed to get across the river in force,and that the Indians were the winners-well done to Paul and Brian.
This was another exciting and tactically thoughtful game,thoroughly enjoyed by all three of us.
Roll on Thursday-don't know what we'll be playing yet.


  1. Great stuff; I'm glad to see that Slingshot sometimes does have an effect!

    1. Cheers Caliban,the bulk of Slingshot articles are too "Academic" for me,but thanks for the comment,keep 'em coming!!