After suffering so many defeats against the Spartans in the first hoplites battles, my next scenario will be Leuctra. Note that in terms of game play, the handicap system has had Sparta lose 3 out of 4 game plays. Lost Battles forces you to use your force with intelligence !
Background: after the war of Corinth, the allied cities decide to make peace with Sparta. The Persians who have supported them now fear the return of the Athenian naval power. They ally again with Sparta and that city imposes his views in Greek political life. In -371, Thebes refuses to comply with the orders of Sparta, which denied them the right to rebuild the Boeotian confederacy. A Spartan army marches on Thebes as part of a punitive expedition.
At Leuctra, the Spartans are weaker in terms of points! The reasons for this are the presence of an inspired leader Epaminondas on Thebes’ side and also the very "Sabinian" choice of a lower quality for the allies hoplites of Sparta in the center and the left wing to allow the same historical outcome.
In fact, Thebes is outnumbered. The desperate situation of the city will force a revolution in the art of fighting hoplites. Epaminondas decides to attack the best enemy troops by concentrating the bulk of the Thebans on the left and not the right. One understands better the revolution after having played the historical scenarios for first Mantinea, Nemea and Second Coronea, which all follow the same pattern of strength to the right of the line of weakness on the left on both sides.
Initial set up
Sparta: an army of 10,800 men,
- On the right, the king Cleombrotus leads the Spartan veterans
- Spartan cavalry is also to the right,
- The left and center are entrusted to allied hoplites, but their limited role in this fight, a "normal" attitude for the left wing, condemns them to be valued as "levy" and forces them to be cautious.
Thebes: an army of 7,000 men
- On the left, first the Sacred Battalion under the command of Pelopidas, then 2/3 of the hoplites of Thebes, which are placed in a formation of 2,400 men in 50 rows under the command of Epaminondas
- The numerous Theban cavalry is on the right front to oppose the Spartan cavalry
- The hoplites of other Boeotian cities and three battalions of peltasts cover the rest of the front
The two lines are set up, cavalry scratch each other, but it is clear that the battle strenghts are on the Spartan right and Theban left. Elsewhere, contact is avoided.
The Thebans reduce a first hoplite in the Spartan line.
Action takes only place around the main battle zone, as the two sides invest their command points in battle bonus.
Thanks to the elite units, Sparta can launch 6 attacks, Thebes only 3.5 but they got more free bonus.
Epaminondas does not rally anybody, Cleombrotus, a single unit. But Spartan veterans suffer from "all out" attack losses. Even the King's Guard is "spent".
Sparta assaults first and makes a decisive blow. On an all out attack+3, 2 losses are suffered for one Theban kill.Epaminondas tries to rally and suffers a close shave !! His advisers forbide him to expose himself furthermore and there will be no bonus this turn. Thebes decides to destroy a unit for keep a few units intact for the counter-attack. Morale remains good.
Sparta also decides to push the frontline forward to force Thebes to spend his commandments points outside the main battle area.
Thebes however has a first succes. All Spartan veterans are spent. The Spartan cavalry comes up and gets destroyed and a non-veteran hoplite routs.
An allied "levy" hoplite is also destroyed, but without consequence.
Spartan Veteran assault for Victory
4 Theban hoplites are destroyed one after the other and Epaminondas is no longer entitled to rally them. But the moral dices are "3", "4", "3" and finally "6". Thebes does not rout and it is a miracle!
In the center, the Boeotian hoplites are spent and are threatened by outflank.
Thebes has now got his chance, the bonus of Epaminondas is back.
The first veteran Spartan is destroyed, the allied hoplites (penalty "levy") run away from the center while the veterans keep on fighting.
Thebes destroy four other veterans before the king Cleombrotus is killed and only the last hoplite veteran decides to run away! What a slaughter!
The center can then turn to oppose the last allies of Sparta on the right.
Thebes takes the key areas of the battlefield
It will take 2 turns to kill the next unit of the Spartan side (Morale=8 units destroyed -2 -1 reduced -1 frontline areas occupied levy -1) and they all run away.
Thebes wins by 26 points with a handicap of 6*3=18.THEBAN game Victory
Shattered Thebes 30 points
Sparta: 6 Vet Hop + 2 lev Hop +1 Lev Cav+ Cleombrotus dead=(6*3 +2*2+1*2+3)*2=54
Thebes: 4 Aver Hop =4*3*2=24
Routed Thebes 30 points
Sparta: 5 Lev Hop+ 1 aver Hop+1 av LI+1 Lev Cav=(5*3+2+3+2)+8=30
Spent 34 points Sparta
Thebes: 3 Aver Cav 7 Aver Hop 1Vet Hop=3*3+7*3+4= 34
- Last edited Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:03 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:27 pm
Kevin 'Rocky' Robertson
Now a Sarf London boy!
Nice, I enjoy reading this things, brings the game so much more meaning.
Waiting to start my campaign very shortly :)
Whether in French or English language - always an interesting read. Big thanks for hoplite battles!