Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Game day part 2 - Ipsus

The second game that Luke and I got through on Sunday was Ipsus.  We used the scenario from Strategos I, but changed it a little based on Luke's reading of the battle.

The Antigonids, commanded by Luke, consisted of the following:

8 units of average phalangites for 40,000 men
1 unit of average heavy infantry for 5,000 men
1 unit of levy heavy infantry for 10,000 men
1 unit of levy light infantry for 10,000 men
1 unit of average light infantry for 5000 men
1 unit of average light cavalry for 2,500 men
4 units of veteran heavy cavalry with an average leader (Demetrius)  for 5,000 men.
1 unit of average heavy cavalry for 2,500 men
1 unit of Indian elephants for a total of 50 elephants
1 average commander, Antigonus.

The allies, under yours truly, were thus composed:

2  units of veteran heavy cavalry for 2,500 men
1 units of average heavy cavalry for 2,500 men
1 unit of levy heavy cavalry for 5,000 men
2 units of average light cavalry for 5,000 men
1 unit of Indian elephants for 50 elephants
4 units of inexperienced Indian elephants (we classed them as African jumbos) for 200 elephants
2 units of average heavy infantry for 10,000 men
7 units of average phalangites for 28,000 men
2 units of levy light infantry for 20,000 men
1 unit of scythed chariots for c.125 chariots
2 average commanders in the persons of  Seleucus and Lysimachus

We used our own deployments rather than attempting any historical one.

Moving first, the Antigonids put out a strong centre of phalangites and a combined arms force in the left centre. Light infantry and elephants were thrown forward in an effort to dominate the middle of the battlefield, and the heavy cavalry was split three left and two right. Demetrius commanded the cavalry on the left and Antigonus was in the centre.

The allies deployed light infantry and elephant screens forward in the centre and centre left, sending most of the cavalry to the right in an effort to counter the influence of Demetrius. The phalanx formed up to match the enemy line, with the scythed chariots deployed centre right.

Deployment, with the Antigonids on the right of picture
The Antigonids advanced in the centre and on the extreme wings.  The left centre was kept back due to a poor command roll; nonetheless, the initial attacks were successful, scoring two hits and shattering a unit of levy light infantry which, caught without heavy infantry support, was unable to negate the second hit.

After 2nd Antigonid turn
The allies replied by advancing to attack with the cavalry on the right. For all their efforts, only one hit was scored on Demetrius' force.  The enemy skirmishers were driven off in the centre, but the scythed chariots were notably ineffective.  With commands running short, on the left a decision was made to extend the line wider rather than advance in support of the forward elephants.  Three hits were made this turn.

After 2nd allied turn
The failure to support the elephants was seized upon by the Antigonids.  The elephant screen was shattered immediately and this galvanised the attack all along the line.  Demetrius, putting himself in the forefront, oversaw a devastating attack on Lysimachus in the cavalry battle on the left.  There were six hits and one shatter this turn.

After 3rd Antigonid turn
With the battle in the balance Lysimachus threw everything into an attack on Demetrius, but the gods were smiling upon the latter and the allied cavalry were ineffective.  Elsewhere, two hits were scored.

After 3rd allied turn
Twin assaults at opposite ends of the field now struck vital blows against the allied cause.  Lysimachus was killed in an attempt to rally hits on his zone, which caused a general panic, carrying off the cavalry and in a cascading effect, the fragile elephants nearby.  In their centre right the combined arms force made a crushing attack, leaving only one enemy unit on the field, and that spent. Five hits were scored this turn, including a shatter and a general killed.

After 4th Antigonid turn
Rousing themselves at last, the allies drove into the central phalanx and the redeployed elephants made short work of the enemy left wing. Five hits and two shatters were scored.

After 4th allied turn
Demetrius now sent the cavalry around to encircle the enemy phalanx and put the fear of death into them. Two more hits saw two more shattered units, and this was enough to send the entire allied army into headlong flight.

The allied army at the time of its collapse
It was another one-sided battle, this time 114 to 39 to Luke and his gallant men.  Dice were again a major factor, but as we were in charge of our own deployments, I cannot help but feel that I left my left weaker than it should have been and made a couple of decisions which, in hindsight, look suspiciously like tactical mistakes!

Again, a thoroughly enjoyable battle, and one-all was pretty fair reflection of the day's play.

Here also is Luke's take on the action, which will give a slightly different perspective!


  1. Great stuff, Aaron, thanks for posting. I may have to "borrow" your order of battle at one point...

  2. Wow! Great looking games and both with definitely one-sided outcomes. You site dice as the culprit in both outings. Is that luck dependence integral to Lost Battles in general?

  3. Nice! I've been wanting to play this battle as it pitted all the who's-who in Successor land at the time. Best, Dean


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