Friday, January 20, 2017

Hail Caesar: Forcing a river crossing

Mike & Peter's Ptolemaic Egyptians are defending a wide ford against Chris' Seleucids who have a superior force.
The river is only fordable in the centre section.  The green areas are impassible swamps.  The white is sand & very difficult going. Both sides have a phalanx of 5 units.  The Egyptians also have two divisions of light bowmen, one deployed in open order on the river line, one in rear.  The Seleucids have a bow & spear armed medium infantry division & a cavalry division of 3 heavy cav & 3 horse archers. 
The battle begins with an exchange of bowfire across the river.
Loses in the firefight are about even, but an Egyptian unit has broken on their right & has been replaced from the third line.
When their front line is close to breaking the Seleucids send their phalanx across the river.  Much of the Egyptian light infantry fail to evade & their lead division is broken, but the charge does not reach the Egyptian phalanx.
The Egyptian phalanx charges the Seleucids.  The first round of combat is indecisive.  Both sides add in supports from behind, but the only visible result is on the near flank where the Egyptians fall back, but their opponents are also shaken & can't follow up.   
One Egyptian phalanx has broken (2nd from this end) & the Seleucids are trying to bring their cavalry over the river on the near flank to exploit any gaps, but the command dice are not helping.   Along the rest of the line most units of both sides are becoming shaken without decisive result.
The Egyptians have lost another phalanx at the far end, but their cavalry attack on the near flank, finally blessed with good command dice, has been halted by bow fire.
A second charge by the Seleucid cavalry has swept through the bowmen and taken out the shaken phalanx behind.  This breaks the Egyptian phalanx division and thus the Egyptian army.

It was tough battle of attrition with the river seeming to pretty well balance the disparity of numbers.  The Egyptians had the initial advantage in the phalanx fight, but failed to capitalise on it & later lucked out to lose 2 units in fair fights.  The cavalry charge only just succeded, but was decisive at the end. 

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