Saffarids vs Late Achemenid Persians

On friday afternoon, the day before ITC 2013, there were several friendly games. I had the opportunity to see this game between Pickering and Fantini that was interesting for the early choices taken by the players.


The battlefield was very open, both the armies having an important cavalry corps. Mike, as defender, deployed near a rough hill very deep. He planned to use the first round to manouver in the right position


The Persian had a linear deployment. Mike decided to march and try to outflank the enemy on the left. He did so sending all his cavalry from the corps in march by column. The Persian had a tough choice now, keep advancing in a coordinatd line, or speed some troops forward to stop Saffarids manouver. He decided to send all his cavalry corps. Saffarids were taken in column, but the Persians still were outnumberd and fighting without the right corps, that was left back.


Now it was Mike turn to take a decision: attack the enemy immediately, to avoid that the missing persian infantry corps could join the fight, but in so doing have an exposed wing, or keep manouvering for a normal linear battle? Mike went for the hasty attack approach, and sent forward the Khawarji.


The matchups were good for the Saffarids: IKnF vs IKnI and ILhS attacking ILhO. Mike plan was to smash through the enemy cavalry and the mop up the outflanked infantry


The first attack was successful, but now with the flanks exposed came the persian retaliation.


The losses rose up, amd bot the armies were risking to lose their left wing. To note the Saffarid infantry corps that is trailing behind the front line, trying to get into position.


Persian cavalry corps was quite big, 33ME, and was still fighting after many casualties. When it was just one ME away from breaking, the disheartened Saffarid ICvS charged to win the day. Mike kept the 2ME Troops as reserve, and this paied off.


Unfortunately for Mike, Persians went done fighting well, so both the armies were without a wing, broken. Saffarids had now a cavalry corps engaged frontally and being outflanked, while their own infantry was out of position and unable to offer support in the combat. Mike conceded the game.

The game was interesting, because both the armies had a balanced composition with infantry and cavalry, but both playeers relied on speed to get the opponent off balance, at the cost to not use part of their troops. This tactic was more suited to the Saffarids that had more and better cavalry, but in the end the Persian gamble to intercept the enemy marching column was good, wasting part of the Saffarids cavalry on hoplites and gaining decisive room on a flank for the light horses.