Lately a few of the local DBA enthusiasts have been involved in an ongoing ancient warfare campaign (read more here at Keith’s excellent Blog if you are interested). Beginning following the conquests of Alexander and running through the rise of Carthage & Rome the campaign captures much of classical warfare. With my poor availability I’ve made myself available to participate in some of the minor roles while the dramatis personae invade and conquer territories across the ancient world. My first battle saw me taking command of a Classical Indian army, repelling an invasion of Asiatic Successors under command of Eumenes (also known as Jim).
The battle took place on the outskirts of a small Indian hamlet, nestled among the steaming jungles and murky swamps. Eumenes deployed in a short battle-line typical of the Successors and was alarmed to find himself outmatched in elephants!
Opening moves saw the Successor battle-line wheel into a more favourable position. The Indian general Benvinder Broadri (riding atop his spectacular red elephant) hastily reorganised his forces to meet the heavily armed Phalanx head on.
Battle was joined on the Indian left as the light troops fought over a key region of jungle. The Indian troops – intimately familiar with the jungle terrain – had the better of the exchange, dispersing one element of the Successor skirmishers.
Eumenes, sensing an opportunity charged his Xystophoroi into the Indian light troops – however their proximity to the jungle allowed them to evade the deadly horsemen. The remainder of the battle-line pushed forward – looking to establish control of the opposite flank.
Eumenes over-eagerness placed him in a compromising position – although he was able to escape successfully before the Indian cavalry could cut him off. Indian reserves moved into position before the impending clash.
Seeing an advantage in numbers on his left, Eumenes commits his main line. Trumpets blare and the din of battle erupts through the jungle as men and beast collide in a thunderous charge – the battle rages!!
The initial onslaught sees the Indians thrown back in disarray across the line. Their cavalry on the right shatter under the assault of the Successor elephants. Meanwhile the highly drilled phalanx decimate the Indian charioteers and shove back the Indian general.
Indian reserves are committed in a desperate attempt to stabilise the line. The Indian general leads by example pushing dangerously deep into the enemy lines. Bowfire patters ineffectively off the elephants thick hides as the Indian archers attempt to distract the elephants of the Successors on both flanks.
As the fighting drags on the Successors begin to tire in the sweltering jungle heat. The tide of the battle begins to turn after a swift flanking attack by the Successor cavalry is driven off by the Indian bowmen. Meanwhile the center of the Phalanx suffers casualties after pushing too deep into the Indian lines.
Exhausted by their struggle with the fearsome elephants the Successor phalanx finally shatters. Disheartened, Eumenes and his surviving troops beat a hasty retreat. Indian independence is secure – but for how long?