Recently I play C&C Ancients definitely less in comparison to the time when I was initially enchanted by this game. Still, it oftentimes gives me a lot of satisfaction and nowadays I usually play sets of historically and chronologically connected scenarios.
Recently I brought to the table couple of Civil War battles (Caesar vs Pompey), later on the Greco-Persian Wars. This time we decided to completely change the settings and armies compositions. We moved to the Alexander’s Successors Wars! What we played was:
- Paraitacene (318 BC) – first of the grand clash between Antigonus and Eumenes, a battle to be long remembered.
- Gabiene – (317 BC) – a battle which almost ended the War of Diadochi – after which Antigonus became a true Lord of Asia and most powerful pretender to inherit the Alexander’s legacy.
Without further delay, let me invite you to the session reports! Enjoy!
PS. As always, you can click on each picture to see details.
Some of my articles regarding C&C system: Commands and Colors games – my 3 favorite [REVIEW] Commands Colors Ancients Strategy Article – Skirmishing and Evasion Strategy Article – Breaking The Line, Holding The Line
Paraitacene (318 BC)
By 318 BC the Successors had formed two competing alliances: the ‘Royalists’ who claimed to fight to maintain the empire for Alexander’s infant sons, and a rival coalition that sought to claim their own independent kingdoms. The opposing Successor Armies in Asia—one command by Antigonusthe other by Eumenes—met in battle at Paraitacene in 317 BC. Antigonus was by now the most powerful of the Diadochi, controlling most of Anatolia and the eastern satrapies. Eumenes had the backing of Alexander’s heirs and a large war chest, though the fact that he was a Greek and not a Macedonian was a major handicap.
Antigonus fielded 28,000 infantry and 11,000 horse. Eumenes‘ force of 35,000 foot and 6,000 horse included the veteran Silver Shields who had fought with distinction in all of Alexander’s campaigns. The battle opened with Antigonus’ light horse attacking Eumenes right. This attack was wrecked by Eumenes’ heavy cavalry. Meanwhile in the center, the Silver Shields drove back Antigonus’ phalanx. Antigonus’ army was on the ropes when he pulled off a stroke that evened the score. He charged through a gap and was successful in routing Eumenes’ left flank. Both sides at this point were exhausted and returned to their camps. Antigonus claimed victory but realistically the battle was a draw and a final resolution would be at Gabiene, a year later.
Gabiene – (317 BC)
After Paraitacene in 317, Eumenes was desperately trying to keep the united Empire of Alexander alive for his heirs. the following year, Antigonus emerged early from winter quarters and force marched across the desert to catch Eumenes off guard. Eumenes detected the move and the two armies closed on a salt plain near Gabiene.
Antigonus’ force had 22,000 infantry, 9,000 horse and 65 elephants. Eumenes’ army was down to 17,000 infantry, 6,000 cavalry and 114 elephants. Both sides up in a classic Alexandrian set. The battle opened with the skirmishers and elephants engaging in a confused melee. Antigonus’ cavalry charged home against Eumenes’ left wing cavalry, routing it. In the center Eumenes’ Silver Shields prevailed again in an infantry attack that forced back the Antigonid phalanx.
Meanwhile, Antigonus’ cavalry force was pressing in on both flanks and also captured Eumenes’ baggage train (camp). It had been another close battle but Antigonus had prevailed. Antigonus negotiated with the Silver Shields to exchange their commander for their captured baggage, and Eumenes was betrayed and put to death. Antigonus was now the undisputed leader of the Asian satrapies, and would soon make a bid to reclaim all of the Empire of Alexander for himself.
That concluded our 2-scenario mini campaign. We were playing with a great pleasure – very close battles, tons of heavy units and options to utilize combined arms. As for results, that was a total draw – not surprisingly, these were truly evenly matched opponents:
- Michal (Eumenes) 12 – Marcin (Antigonus) 12
I think the Successors battles are pretty often overlooked and undervalued. Still, those are some of the largest, more decisive and close engagements of antiquity. If you have a chance, I strongly recommend trying them!
More session reports to come!