This weekend almost coincides with the regular anniversary of my arrival on Planet Earth. So, as is traditional at this time of year: "Greetings Earthlings".
More seriously that means the annual birthday wargame. A tradition going back at least to this year. Due to prior commitments the turn out from the Monday Night crew on Saturday afternoon will be about two, one of whom is me. No matter, we are not to be daunted by such trifling matters.
Following the success of Gabiene we have decided to go for a re-fight of Raphia, the last showdown between the Ptolemaic and Seleucid dynasties. According to some this is the largest battle fought in antiquity with possibly 56,000 phalangites in Ptolemy's army alone.
Following the path of least resistance the forces and layout will be taken directly from Sabin's "Lost Battles" substituting AMW units on a one for one basis with LB units. What this means is that one veteran unit is the equivalent of four levy units. It seems to work.
The vast numbers concerned has taxed my toy soldier boxes considerably. I have enough phalangites for about 2/3rds of the requirements. The rest are made up of hoplites with a stray unit of Carthaginian spearsmen for good measure.
I fared a bit better with the cavalry, but I've still got Romans and Gauls in there and a couple of Persian units to bulk out the Seleucids.
I have enough elephants, but they're all African (and will be until my next project gets underway, - watch this space), and I also have enough light infantry.
I shall be playing with the modifications from the last game (reducing elephant dice, allowing commander re-rolls) but I'm wondering about differentiating between African and Indian Elephants. Sabin thinks the difference is important, even in a game like his which is high level and a bit abstract. My mind is open on the subject.
The Successors aren't a subject I've ever read much about. I sort of skipped from Alexander to Hannibal, so to speak, so I know more about the Punic Wars than the internecine strife at the other end of the Mediterranean. It is strange to think that whilst the heirs of Alexander were thumping each other into the ground out East not too far to the West Hannibal was starting out on his series of stunning victories in Italy. You almost feel like telling them to wake up and go and help stomp on the Romans before it's all up for them.
Anyway, Staturday it is. Raphia and cake in Shedquarters. Full report to follow.