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Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Battle of Heraclea

So for 3 years now Andrew Jordan has been slowly painting up an Early Republican Roman army. During this time he has been coming down to Treefort and running small games of Clash of Empires with David Clayton. Well Andrew's beautifully painted figures will get just about anyone's attention. So slowly I started painting up some of those wonderful Warlord plastic Macedonians. Then last month Andrew suggested Heraclea, Pyrrhus versus the Romans. Andrew would provide all the Romans, Elephants and most of the Cav, David the Italian allies and I the Phalanxes. So the night before I was basing the last 8 stands while Andrew was finishing the river.
We were joined by Stelios and Steven the next day, neither of which had ever played Clash of Empires.
It was Awesome! Who knew Andrew had so many Romans.
 It was Beautiful! Those Romans were breathtaking.
It was a close run thing! Those Roman Maniples are nasty,
I now give you Andrews pics and commentary.

Romans begin surging across the River Siris

Having crossed, the leves skirmishers chase off most of Pyrrhus' skirmishers/ light troops holding the opposite bank
Pyrrhus riding to engage the enemy cavalry. His forces dominated his right flank. Elephants chased off most Roman allied cav.

The dreaded Macedonian phalanx. Most leves were chased off by the more experienced peltasts.

Hastati widen the maniples and discharge pila as the Macedonians charge to throw them back into the river.
Meanwhile on the right the Thessalian cav grinds down one unit of Roman cav but is eventually defeated by the remaining unit, led by its tribune. Right flank becomes a stalemate, with the victorious Roman unit exhausted.

Back to the center, where fighting is fierce. Hastati forced to retire and the Principes take up the fight. Armred with thrusting spears, they make more of a in impression on the Macedonians.

With Pyrrhus having cleared the Roman left flank, history is almost repeated by an elephant charge into the Roman flank...stopped at the last moment by an unnamed Italian ally who wounded the elephant, causing it to run amok back into the Cretan archers. A number of Roman units on the left were retreating.

Good pic of the battle's effective end. Romans break a pike unit and another nearby panics and flees. But with neither side having a coherent battle line, both sides retire - so a tie was declared. Though he didn't win this one, Pyrrhus at least kept the Romans at bay, so a semi-historical outcome. Roman leadership by Consul Laevinus in the middle kept this from turning into a full rout.