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Subject: Shadows of the Battle of Marathon... (pictorial) rss

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Piero
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Life and death come and go like marionettes dancing on a table. Once their strings are cut, they easily crumble.
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So I gave Lost Battles a go.

I chose Marathon.

This is the initial disposition of the forces.
Note: the fist letter: "A" stands for Average; "L" for Levy.
"HO" for Hoplite; "AR" for Archers; "HC" for Heavy Cavalry.
"UC" stands for Uninspired Commander. In this battle there are two UCs, the Persians: Datis and Artaphernes).
"UL" stands for Uninspired Leader. In this battle it is the Athenian Callimachus who is attached to a guard of Hoplites.



Athenians start first. This is supposedly already the second turn, since the first was used for deployment.

ATHENIAN TURN#2

The two forward Hoplite units maneuver on the flanks to try stopping the Persian cavalry from threatening the flanks and rear of the Athenian army.
Then the Athenians advance en masse ready to crush the Persians as quickly as possible in the right and left centers of the battlefield.




PERSIAN TURN#2

The Cavalry turn towards the enemy, maneuvering to charge.

The forward archers tend their bows and rain arrows on the advancing Hoplites, but to no effect.

Then the center Persian formation moves forward.

The Persian decide to negate the left and right centers and await the Athenians to do the first move...




ATHENIAN TURN#3

The Athenians make aggressive marches forward.

Both the flanks and the left and right centers march forward!

In the center the Hoplites come in contact with the first Persian Archers. And the attack is brutal! The Hoplites go for an all out attack, making two Persian units spent at the cost of them becoming spent. The other Hoplites manage an other hit.

For now the Persians have been hit hard, but their resolve has not yet been broken...




PERSIAN TURN#3

The Persians attack on all the line!

The Cavalry on the right charges the advancing Hoplites bringing terror to the hearts of the Athenians.

On the left and right centers the Persians rain arrows on the advancing Hoplites, many of them find their mark.

But it is in the center where the Athenians are bearing the brunt of the attack... the situation is shaky and the whole center is crumbling...




ATHENIAN TURN#4

Time for pay back.

On the left flank, the Hoplites (roll a natural 12 and) shatter the Persian cavalry!

The Persians in any case stay firm while the victorious Hoplites advance on their flank.

On the right center an other brutal impact shatters an other Persian Archer and the two spent Archers in this sector rout in front of the carnage. The others stay firm, but for how long?

On the left center the impact shattered two Archers and spent a third despite many attempts by Artaphernes to rally them.

With two friendly center zones occupied by the enemy and no center breakthrough achieved, the Persian Army won't survive an other Athenian turn!




PERSIAN TURN#4

The Persian Cavalry was able to shatter the Hoplites and advance on the right flank.

In the left and right centers the Persians meet with some local success but the Athenians still can take much punishment.

It is in the center that the Persians push the most, managing to shatter two units. But the Athenian morale is still high and they stubbornly stand their ground!
No breakthrough was achieved...




ATHENIAN TURN#5

The Hoplites on the left Persian flank turned right and hit the Persians, penetrating deep in their ranks...
All the left flank then crumbled followed soon after by the center and the rest of the army!



VICTORY POINTS
Athenians: 81

Persians: 73

A boy runs all day, arrives in the city, his city, he cries of victory and dies.



ATHENIAN (NARROW) VICTORY!
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Hidden Among the Leaves
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"Ελλήνων προμαχούντες Αθηναίοι Μαραθώνι, χρυσοφόρων Μήδων εστόρεσαν δύναμιν"

The Athenians, champions of the Greeks, in Marathon stopped the force of the golden-claded Moedians (Persians).

Excellent AAR. Thank you very much!

M.
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Bob
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Nice job Piero! thumbsup
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willial butler
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Excellent report!thumbsup
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Piero
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Life and death come and go like marionettes dancing on a table. Once their strings are cut, they easily crumble.
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I had to increase the Persian Victory Points to 73, due to revised rules on Victory Points allocation.

So the battle was even more a close thing.

Apparently - after some discussion with Prof. Sabin - I should have moved forward the Persian Army, on one or both lateral centers, so to avoid making the Persians too fragile and thus buy time for a center breakthrough.

The system is simple yet I can see that it is a very tight design even if not very accessible to a larger audience.

I also learned that command points are rolled after one has already spent the initial allowance (this is a revised rule, not present in the book), thus what you decide to move at the start makes it an excruciating choice.

My rating of this game is going up to "9"!!!
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Luke Hughes

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Thanks for AAR. How long did it take to play? A few more words perhaps on why "9"?
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Piero
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Life and death come and go like marionettes dancing on a table. Once their strings are cut, they easily crumble.
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The game took around 1 to 1 and 1/2 hrs.

I was quite tepid on the book at first read. So I gave it a "7" (that is: usually willing to play).

I then played a Marathon learning game, and I found it a little slow. But I would envision the battle and elaborate on what I could do, and so on, so I wanted to play again. My rating was still "7".

I played this Session Report here, and found out that there's a lot going on under the surface. I'm quite happy of the game and now I really want to get to play it more. My rating went up to "8".

One of my doubts resided in the order of play. Since the Athenians move first, the Persians are bound to get a lot more hits if you don't refuse the left and right wings of the infantry line. But by doing so, you also demoralize the Persian Army. So you ought to advance instead, at least on one wing, if not on both to counteract this.
I thought the Athenians had an advantage, so I suggested a 5 to 10 pts advantage for the side that "goes second".

Prof. Sabin told me that, even if it is true that the first side, indeed strikes first, it also reveals the disposition of its troops - so the second side, in a non-historical deployment, may tailor its deployment to meet with the enemy. Thus balance is achieved.

I then understood that you actually roll the die after that you spent your command points, so you have to spend those wisely since you don't really know how many you will have in the first place.
This adds an other - and needed - dimension of decision making that was absent in the game I played.

I'm very excited by this new rule, so my rating got up to a "9".
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Dave Daffin
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Good session report.
This makes me look forward to later this summer when the game comes out so that I can then join the battle!
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