Friday, July 14, 2017

Sassanids versus Late Eastern Romans

Last Wednesday I was lucky to score a command in Mark B's Sassanid Army as we took on Andrew's Romans in an historical match.

I had the left flank, comprising four units of archers, two teams of elephants, my fair general and his medium cavalry and some infantry that went and promptly occupied the town.

The Sassanids had elected to defend and were somewhat surprised to find a town appearing in the front lines.  There had also been a last minute shuffle of troops between the two commands.  I lost some light cavalry, but gained the medium cavalry.  There were two low hills and two impassable lakes.

The big picture,

The Sassanid advance as seen from the Roman side.

I think is telling.  While we were the "defender" our actions were those of the "attacker".  The terrain system had let the Romans construct a battlefield that protected the'r infantry's flanks.  They also had the benefit of deploying after us.

The Romans have worked around my flank and I have moved my cavalry to face them.
Meanwhile long range bow fire has commenced with the Sassanids getting the worse of it.

The situation as seen from the Sassanid right.

Bird's eye view.

The main body of Sassanid cavalry charges.

Surprisingly little damage is done.
The cavalry initially decide to stick to the Romans.

But just when the cavalry decide to withdraw after further inconclusive fighting,
the elephants get in.

They had limited success.

At this point it all started to collapse for the Sassanids and their chronicler decided to quit the field. The CinC, who I should have said was a genius, had already fled by this stage.


  1. Very colourful. I have a feeling that the Sassanian army was probably better suited to a tactical offensive, whatever their strategic stance. Quite the opposite, say, of the English in the tome of Edward III, which adopted the strategic offensive tactical defensive posture. I think if I had a Sassanian army, I'd be itching to trample Romans into the dry desert sands... :-D

    1. Thanks. If I understand correctly the core of this Sassanid army was painted by a professional artist and therefore is more colourful than a drab wargame paint job might be.

      I concur with your feeling. The challenge is how to use the army successfully in offense. We are still learning.