Monday, March 7, 2016

Battle of Pharsalus 48 BCE

Got my first FtF game of the year in on Sunday.  Kevin stopped by to refight the Battle of Pharsalus using Commands & Colors: Ancients (CC:A) and my 6mm armies.

The Society of Ancients' 2016 Battle Day tackles Caesar vs Pompey at Pharsalus 48 BCE.  By providing excellent historical and gaming materials for prospective participants, the SoA gave me the motivation to give this battle a try.

Under the CC:A scenario, all medium and heavy infantry can throw pila as well as increase movement allowance from one to two hexes.  Moving two hexes negates both their ability to fire missiles and close combat.

Caesar is outnumbered but holds advantages over Pompey in both troop quality and leadership.  Caesar's force is dominated by heavy infantry but suffers from few cavalry.  Pompey fields a strong cavalry wing on the left with a mix of auxilia, medium, and heavy infantry.  Caesar holds an added advantage by adding one extra die to close combat and allowing a unit to which he is attached to move two hexes and still battle in close combat.  That is a powerful advantage.
Pharsalus was fought twice with the victory going to Caesar in both games.  Kevin commanded Pompey in Game One while I commanded Pompey in Game Two.  In Game Two with Kevin commanding Caesar, Pompey's medium cavalry wing quickly overwhelmed Caesar's cavalry on the right wing and then attacked Caesar, himself.  Caesar nearly fell in battle after his attached infantry was destroyed and the great man was attacked alone.  He managed to survive to triumph in a very close 7-6 victory. 

After reading the SoA's materials, I dug a little deeper and read a few good papers and accounts of the battle. Now having fought the battle twice with CC:A, I am motivated to dig a little more deeply. 

With CC:A, history repeated itself, twice!

24 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing these after action reports, looks like Caesar was triumphant once more (well three times now).

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    1. Yep. Caesar has two more victories over Pompey.

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  2. Excellent write-up, Jon! Sounds like you two had a lot of fun. If you ever want to try Pharsalus in 28mm, let me know! It is a fascinating battle in a fascinating campaign. Poor old Pompey.

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    1. Thanks, Scott! I would enjoy a Caesar vs Pompey match-up in 28. Let me know when you have free time.

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  3. Looks great in 6mm Jonathan! I'd like to try Pharsalus myself, CCA is such a great game.

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    1. Give Pharsalus a try, Mike. I will likely give it another go in 6mm and then hopefully in 28s with Scott's lads.

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  4. Excellent looking troops and game, Jonathan. But it's sad to see two great Roman generals fighting each other when there are so many barbarians needing to be conquered. :)

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    1. How true, Dean! Why beat on one another when there are Barbarians to tame?

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  5. Lovely troops and board. Also chuckled at your use of the third person. Nicely reminiscent of the great man himself!

    Cheers,
    Aaron

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    1. Thanks, Aaron! I sure enjoy Slingshot's Battle Day write-ups. Always motivates me to give the battle a try.

      Third person must be fall out from translating Caesar all those many decades ago!

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  6. Those little 6mm chaps look dinky on the mat. Very different from your usual fare.

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    1. Quite right. They are dinky, no doubt, but perfect for large battles on the dining room table.

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  7. Good to see you put down some lead on the table and have at it, Jon!

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    1. Peter, it was a small return to a game but it was a start!

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  8. Caesar has two victories over his son-in-law Pompey...Time for Pompey set sail to Egypt! :oP

    Thanks for sharing your C&C Ancient game to us Jonathan - lovely to see!

    cheers,

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    1. Hope Pompey does not lose his head on this trip to Egypt.

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  9. A nice looking game for a famous battle, well done!

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  10. Lots of very little men, looks great and a wider view than you get with 28mm, still look good.
    Best Iain

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    1. Thanks, Iain. The figures are little for sure but I quite like them!

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  11. A nice looking game loving the 6mm miniatures I have played a few games of C&C Napoleonic's it's a great set of rules works well solo to thanks for posting my friend

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    1. C&Cs works very well as a solo experience. If you look back through my archives, a number of solo BatRaps can be found. I think I may try Pharsalus solo and see if I can eke out a victory with Pompey. How? I am not sure.

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  12. I might have to give this a go myself. And I have the (unpainted) miniatures to do it!

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