Thursday, 28 January 2016

Battle of Marathon Game 1

Good evening,

As a bit of a "celebration" (commiseration?) of the end of the hols, Young Stan spent his lunch around here for a couple of DBA 3.0 games to break in my recently completed I/60 Early Achaemenid Persian army.

I thought that a replay of the Battle of Marathon might be in order, so I searched for an appropriate DBA interpretation thereof, and found this...

The Battle of Marathon

The Persian invasion of Greece in 490 BC involved many battles and sieges, but none is more noteworthy historically than the land battle at Marathon. Because of this, some rule modifications have been provided to raise the importance of a battle at this location in the campaign and to make the DBA battle as historically accurate a possible. These modifications also make it advantageous for all players to be involved in a battle at Marathon. The following rules ONLY apply if a battle at Marathon is between the Athenian and Persian armies, and should only be used the first time a battle between the Athenians and the Persians occurs at Marathon. If any subsequent battles occur at Marathon between these armies during the campaign, ignore all the following rule modifications and conduct the battle as per the normal DBA rules.

Both the Athenians and the Persians will earn an additional 3 prestige points if they battle each other and win at Marathon. The Asiatic Greeks will earn an additional 3 prestige points if they are an ally of the side that wins the battle at Marathon.

The terrain for the actual Battle of Marathon is rather uninteresting from a DBA game perspective as the majority of the battle took place on an open plane. However, a stylized DBA map for the battle is included if players wish to use it. The map assumes that players will use the optional rules listed below, so the Greek 2Ps elements and the Persian LH and 3Cv elements are located in their respective camps. Much of the terrain on the map was actually to the rear of each force during the actual battle. But to make an interesting DBA game, the terrain is placed in the front of each force. The relative positions of each army, however, were maintained to be consistent with the likely deployment of the Athenian and Persian troops during the actual battle.

* Special Rules for the Persian Player

There is some evidence that the Persian cavalry did not even participate in the Battle of Marathon ("The cavalry are away!"). For the game, the Persian player must place his 3Cv and LH elements in his camp and may only move them out of the camp on a PIP roll of 6.

The Persian player may select one of the 4Sp elements to serve as his General element during this battle. However, if he wishes, he may still use the 3Cv element as his General element even though the element must start in the camp as stated above.
So I broke out my EA Persians...
  • 1 x 8Bw Immortals (General)
  • 3 x 8Bw Sparabara Infantry
  • 1 x Horde
  • 1 x Auxilia
  • 2 x Psiloi
  • 1 x Cavalry *
  • 1 x Light Horse *
...and some Athenian Early Hoplites.
  • 1 x Spear General
  • 9 x Spear
  • 2 x Psiloi
And away we went.

It was a pretty quick game.


...and crush.




There once was a Psiloi at the end of my line, making four. Or five, really - the first double element lost counts as two elements lost.

All while my mounted stayed in camp. Man, that scenario rule is tough.

So...we set up again, this time with Stan bringing in a ring-in...


  1. Great stuff Mr Nick! Very satisfying to be able to use your recently painted troops.

    1. Cheers John. Yes it was. Though hardly an auspicious start - having no cav on the field really ties one army behind one's back.