It was the first full hoplite battle I've played with figures. I've done one or two hoplite affairs over VASSAL - and perhaps solo using the boardgame version - but it's always about ten times more satisfying to be able to play on a table using your own figures.
There are however still another 150-odd hoplites to paint yet (and about half of that again in cavalry), so I'll not be getting too far ahead of myself!
Anyway, to the battle.
The first thing you notice with Lost Battles hoplite clashes is that they move fast compared to, say, Punic or Roman Civil War battles. Third turn in and already the hits were mounting up. The battle was a classic revolving door situation: both sides' right flanks won, and it was a race to see whose centre would crack first.
|The view from the extreme right of the Argive line.|
|Agis and the Spartan centre.|
|The loneliest place in the Spartan line: the far left!|
Both sides initially refused their left, but the Argives, having slightly better quality cavalry, elected to challenge the Spartan horsemen and try to get around the flank.
The action in the centre was furious from the start. The Argives got in the first decent blow, killed Agis, and left four of the eight units the Spartans had in place spent. The Spartans did however respond in kind smartly.
|The first shock sends waves through the Spartan centre.|
A turn later both sides' advancing rights met the refused flanks opposing them. The Argive horse has already been seen off by this point. So much for their 'slightly better quality'!
|Spartan left about to encounter a bit of Argive iron.|
|Stepped battle lines. End of turn three.|
|Remnants of the Spartan left.|
The Argive left - and then a turn later the Spartan one - collapsed. The victorious right wings turned in upon the enemy centres and did what they could.
Unfortunately for Argos, the Spartans were able to roll up the centre from the flank just before the Argives could do that to the Spartans, and the field was lost.
|The Spartan right falls upon the Argive centre. Not before time!|
But Argos wins on points after a very meritorious performance - made even more so by the fact that I'd forgotten to put one of the Argive veteran units on table!
92-71 was the victory margin. Under Lost Battles hoplite warfare is fast, furious, and can go either way. I'm already looking forward to more!