Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Maharajah Trophy Grand Final 2013

Steve's Seleucid army v. Jim's Pontic army

The Seleucids are on the left.  From their near flank: phalanx division, zoo division (elephants & chariots), mixed division & cavalry division.
The Pontic army has cavalry divisions refused on both flanks and 2 infantry divisions in the centre.
As experienced Hail Caesarians do, both sides moved cautiously at the start.  Mithradates advanced his infantry obliquely to open  a gap in the centre and moved his left flank cavalry towards the gap.
The fighting started on the far flank where the Seleucid cavalry attacked the weaker Pontic cavalry division.  In the centre the scythed chariots did a frenzied charge on a phalanx leaving the elephants behind.
The scythed chariots were seen off, but they badly wounded a phalanx.  The Seleucid cavalry has destroyed their opponents and is wheeling in on the flank.  Mithradates has made a flank guard of archers & a phalanx & has puts some cavalry in reserve to cover the flank.
The same levy medium archer unit that defeated the Carthaginian spearmen in an earlier battle in the competition has beaten off a cavalry charge with defensive fire & is still holding the flank.   The Seleucid Galatians bounced off a phalanx, but their own phalanx took out the other 2 Pontic phalanxes on that wing.  The Pontic cavalry has charged to help out in the centre.
The Seleucid phalanx division has finally got to grips with the Pontic left and has quickly gained the upper hand.  In the centre the elephants are pushing back the Pontic light troops, but their mixed division has been pushed back by the heavy cavalry.  On the far flank Seleucis has still not been able to exploit the early success of his cavalry.
Mithradates looks to be in big trouble - his left is disintegrating, he has lost 1 division while the other 3 all have heavy losses & his camp in danger.   He now throws his last reserve cavalry into the centre while launching a counterattack on the enemy cavalry with his surviving phalanx.
The Pontic left is broken, but the Seleucid division has a 7 Commander & is slow to advance on the camp.  But the Pontic counterattack is going well - the phalanx attack worked wonders, broke 2 cavalry units and broke that division.  The zoo division has been broken by the cavalry & archers and the mixed division is now under pressure.  Suddenly Mithradates is back in the battle.
The Seleucid mixed division has now broken.   The Seleucids have lost 3 of 4 divisions and it's game over.  Mithradates came back from a hopeless looking position to snatch victory with just 5 close order units remaining out of 20 & 3 of them shaken - 2 divisions broken & 2 on half strength.
A rather haggard looking Mithradates accepts the trophy from one of the umpires.

It was remarkable battle.  Both sides had the usual strokes of good and bad luck. The Seleucids got the upper hand early, but Mithradates hung on in there and stuck to his plan - which was to accept likely defeat on weaker flanks, but delay that as long as possible & to win by smashing through the centre.  It didn't go quite according to plan, the flanks folded too easily for comfort, but enough of it worked to snatch a skin-of-the-teeth win in the end. 


Nick said...

Congratulations Jim!

Anonymous said...

300years difference in the armies,,it could have gone either way