The Corinthian War was a conflict between an expansionist Sparta and her allies and the combined alliance of Athens, Corinth, Thebes, and Argos. The war took place between 395 to 387 BC and involved forces on land and sea. The land warfare mostly took place near Corinth and Thebes while the ocean battles took place around the Aegean.
Corinth and Athens were the second and largest fleet in Ancient Greece. They were well established naval powers. Sparta on the other hand was attempting to build their Naval power to align with their abilities on land. Most of the Spartan ships were tribute from allied city-states from the Aegean.
Not all battles of these ancient wars were properly recorded and many were lost to the mists of time. The action below is one such battle.
1 Slow Trireme unit with Commander, Elite Marines- 210 pts
4 Slow Trireme units- 150 pts each
Total= 810 points
1 Fast Athenian Trireme with Admiral- 200 pts
3 Slow Corinthian Triremes units- 150 pts each
1 Fast Athenian Trireme deploying in reserve- 150 points
Total= 800 points
I used the triremes as the Fast ones and the Quadremes as the slow Triremes. They were just a bit bigger but not too much bigger. Either way, they worked great on my 4x4 board. Templatesfor the win again!
On the west coast is a difficult shoreline. The Spartans are entering from the south side of the board. They are spread out across the ocean, with the Commander screened by another squadron. The Alliance is scattered with a Slow and Fast Trireme unit sheltering in a small bay, and two Slow Trireme units are at sea. The reserve Athenian Units are sailing desperately to get behind the attacking Spartans.
The Spartans are trying to smash their way past the Alliance ships and move on to help support their land operations near Corinth. The Alliance is trying to stop their advance.
Athenians win initiative and decide to let the Spartans go first. The two fleets take alternate activation and move forward to engage. No one has the range.
Athenians again elect to let the Spartans activate first. The Spartans press forward, while the Alliance attempts to hold position and maneuver their Fast Trireme into a flank position.
The Athenian admiral chooses to go first. In the distant haze he sees familiar sails as his reserve Fast Triremes move up behind the Spartan fleet. They quickly drop sail and take-up rowing as they close in on the rear of the unsuspecting Spartan fleet.
However, the Spartan command squadron turns slightly and unleashes their artillery on the newcomers. They manage to kill the marines on one, and reduce two by half speed.
The rest of the Spartan fleet moves forward, while the Alliance tries to maintain an arc formation.
The Athenian admiral wins and goes first again. The chasing squadron rams into the Spartan commander’s squadron on the sides and sinks two ships!
The rest of the fleets continue to move to engage. The time for fancy maneuvering is over, and the crews nervously brace themselves for the carnage to come.
The Athenians win initiative with their admiral and choose to begin the carnage. The first Corinthian squadron starts the battle by ramming the second Spartan squadron. Two triremes come apart, but the first stays together and the two grapple together. However, the Corinthian marines scramble aboard the enemy ship and take over the vessel quickly.
The Spartan 1st squadron returns the favor to the Corinthians and smashes two of the 1st Squad into scrap.
The Corinthian 4th Squadron manages to smash into the Spartan 5th on the side and virtually annihilates them. One trireme remains.
The Spartan and Corinthian 3rd Squadron go head-to-head. 4 Corinthians are sunk, while 3 Spartan ships are destroyed. The remaining Trireme from the Corinthian 3rd Squadron turns and smashes into the remnants of the Spartan 2nd, sinking another vessel.
The Spartan command squad manages to snag the edge of the Corinthian 4th and sinks a vessel. The last vessel of the Spartan 5th Squad showers the Corinthian 4th with arrows, but fails to cause any real damage.
The Athenian admiral is satisfied watching from a distance and waiting to scoop up stragglers.
The last vessel of the Spartan 2nd smashes and sinks the last of the Corinthian 3rd squadron, wiping them from the sea.
Artillery fire from the Athenian 5th squad of Fast Triremes manages to kill the elite marines on one of the command vessels.
After the carnage of Turn 5, the Spartans decide to call it a day. They fail their morale roll and flee.
The Spartan fleet was no match for the combined Corinthian and Athenian forces. This naval defeat on the approach to Corinth left the land forces isolated and ill-supplied. The Spartan troops were forced to withdraw from Boeotia. In addition, the losses of these Triremes would prove to be decisive as they were no longer available for the Spartan fleet at the decisive naval battle off Cnidus.
This was a quick, brutal game. With triremes only, they were sinking left and right. They only can save from a ram on a 6+ and I only rolled one all game. The ship that saved was then immediately swarmed by Corinthian marines.
I didn’t feel like the fast triremes were significantly better than the slow ones. It didn’t help that the Channel Assault scenario allowed for them to get behind me. Ouch! There wasn’t too much I could do about it.
This was brutal, fast, and fun. It will make a nice companion to land based games using Men of Bronze for land warfare. I should be able to put some fun campaigns together. I think I will keep going on the Corinthian War theme for my Ancient Greek battles. Until next time!