I now have enough to put out an AMW army. So, on Saturday afternoon I set up a quick solo game, matching them against my Alexandrians. I set the armies up straight out of the book, - army list, deployment, the lot.
Here's what the Indians look like
That front line of three elephants looks quite nasty, to put it mildly, especially with the "long bow lanes" to allow for missile support. The Heavy Chariots are similarly unpleasant, with a decent saving roll, although with the full four bases deployed they have an awfully big flank.
Alexander has the traditional double Companion unit on one wing, which gives mobility and hitting power, especially if facing cavalry. NB This game was played straight, with no little rules tweaks.
You may not be able to tell from this angle, but that's a unit of hypaspists next to the cavalry. Alexander naturally had the initiative and moved first, pushing the Companions forward to try and break the frankly quite rubbish Indian cavalry as soon as possible.
Switching to the other side I decided as Porus that even if I was to lose the cavalry battle it would be best to lose it further forward rather than behind the flank of some light weight infantry.
As Alexander I decided it was best not to expose the flanks of the inner Companion unit to a flank attack by the elephants, so I held them back to enable them to advance with the support of the hypaspists. Meanwhile on the other flank the light horse and infantry moved up to start skirmishing with the other Indian cavalry. I also remembered to put the Porus and Alexander figures on the table. Whoops.
Alexander's companions collided with the Indian cavalry. There was an audible intake of breath.
Meanwhile, the skirmishing cavalry inflicted the first damage of the game.
When you're playing both sides you obviously know what each commander is thinking, so the fencing on the Indian right was a bit artificial. In the end I committed the Indian elephants to attack the infantry and pushed up the chariots up to draw the other Companions on. This way everyone kept their internal flanks intact, which I think was fair.
As you can see form the dice rolled below (Indians black, Macedonians red) the Indians were completely intimidated. Not only does Alexander roll two dice per base in cavalry v cavalry combat, but needing 4+ to hit you can see that Porus's boys' hearts weren't really in it.
It was a bit more even on the cavalry v chariot fight. The white rings show the hits inflicted in the first round of combat.
Having taken a hammering in the first round of combat the Indian cavalry then held on quite well, passing their morale check. Unlike the hypaspists who took a serious beating from the elephant that hit them, losing a base to a morale roll.
The infantry did succeed in inflicting two hits per elephant in the first round of combat, which is pretty good going. In the top left corner the Indian cavalry is struggling to get to grips with the light troops, and suffering into the bargain. I've learnt a lot from Phil about how you do this sort of thing with light troops.
The next round saw the elephants really get stuck in and survive with little more damage. On Alexander's left the cavalry melee was going in his favour, but awfully slowly. The unengaged phalanx started a "flight to the front" to get stuck into the longbow unit that was now in range.
By this point the hypaspsits were pretty much on their last legs.
However, in expiring they succeeded in finishing off the elephant. Alas for them its berserk move fell just short of the elephant to its left.
With the Macedonian centre opening up nicely it looked like the Indian right was about to collapse, so the archers swung round to cover the flank. In the distance those cavalry are undergoing the death by a thousand cuts.
Finally the Companions break the Indian right wing and are free to turn on the Indian centre. Alas this coincides by the complete destruction, pretty much, of the Macedonian centre. Only the brave lads charging the archers survived. The two elephants are badly damaged, but they're still in being and able to do some serious mischief if allowed.
Alexander wheels his left round, whilst in the back corner you can see that his lights have finally got stuck into a severely wounded Indian cavalry unit.
However, in the middle it just got worse and worse. The remaining phalanx made a complete mess of attacking the archers. They inflicted very little damage and then got caught in the rear by an elephant. It was all over quite swiftly. Luckily for Alexander the same was true for the Indian cavalry, who were extinguished without destroying either the light horse or infantry.
The inner Companions managed to catch the right hand archers in the flank.
And bizarrely came off worst. Oh dear. Alex is now down to three units (one of which is a single base of light infantry) whilst the Indians have four. Army breaks when down to two......
Alexander gambles and charges one of the elephants head on.
It dies, and routs safely away from everything.
Everything is closing in on Alex. Could it all be over?
Of course not! A combined charge by the Companions and light horse into the archers wipes them out before the remaining elephant can intervene.
So, a close win for Alexander. It went right down to the wire and provided a couple of hours of entertainment. So, what do the Indians need to win?
Obvious. More elephants.
And a better general.