Herodotus tells us
a great deal about the Ionian Revolt.
Ionia was Greek colonies along the coast and edges of Turkey that had
been captured and absorbed into the Persian Empire around 540 B.C.E. In 499 B.C.E the Tyrant of Miletus,
Aristagoras; failed to capture the island of Naxos. This left him in a bad political position
with his Persian overlords. In a
desperate bid, he decided to stir revolt amongst his people against the
Persians. This led many other local
cities to cast off their Persian based Tyrants and replace them with
The Ionian Revolt
had initial success in 498 B.C.E. when the allied Greek forces (including
Athens, Eretria, and Ionians) managed to successfully attack Sardis. Sardis was the seat of a Persian Satrap and
one of the personal enemies of Aristagoras.
However, this minor victory was soon off-set by the Battle of Ephesus
where Persian cavalry chased down and defeated the Greek forces.
Despite the loss,
the revolt spread further. It spread to
the Hellespont and Propontis. The city
of the Carians also joined the revolt.
In addition, Cyprus also revolted.
Persian rule was in danger across the region, it was only a matter of
time before the might of the Persian army would respond.
In 497 B.C.E., The
Persian King had three generals appointed to put down the revolt. The three Persians (Daurises, Hymaees, and
Otanes) divided the area into three partitions and attacked. Their attacks spread across the region. The battles and sieges for this period are
largely unknown, with only a few details of the battles coming down to us from
archeology and Herodotus.
Today’s battle will
be one of those lost battles. Hymaees
marched to the Propontis and attacked the city of Cius. Historically, he took the city. After his victory there he turned his
attention towards the Hellespont and marched towards the Aeolian cities
there. The Aeolian cities were 12 cities
that formed a league. No record remains
of what happened at these cities, only
that Hymaees brought them back into the Persian fold. There is some confusion over which Persian
general and which Persian armies took over which cities. However, for our purposes we will assume
Hymaees was attacking the northern cities of the Aeolian League and the Troad
and that these cities resisted with at least a token field force.
As Hymaees’ armies
marched towards the city of Pergamon the defenders wisely fled behind their
walls. However, the Persian general was
wise to these tactics. He ordered his vanguard
troops to ravage the fields and vineyards around the city in full view of the citizens
within. Unsurprisingly, as his troops
drew close to the precious fields the gates of Pergamon opened and their army
came out to defend the fields.
Few details remain of Hymaees’ campaigns near the
Hellespont and the Troad.
We only know
that Hymaees re-took the Aeolian cities with his army while his fellow Persians
attacked in other areas.
will be using some standard armies from the Greek and Persian lists.
The exact details of the true armies are not
The Greeks have 38 points, while the Persians have 30
This battle will be on a 6x4 board with both forces
deployed on the long table edges.
will be using the scenario called Ravage the Countryside.
In this scenario, the Greeks are trying to
stop the Persians from destroying their fields and vineyards.
The Persians need to get a unit into the
field terrain and stay there for 1d3 turns.
The Greeks must try to break the Persian force and keep them from the
|The Greeks Deployed|
The Greeks on the North side with the Persians coming
from the South.
The field is mostly
flat, dusty plains with a few large boulders or rocky outcroppings.
The Greeks are deploying in the Northeast
corner of the board.
The Persians are
across the South, while the important fields are in the Northwest corner of the
|Persian Left Flank with Greeks in the distance|
Each side collects their Arête Points to begin.
The Greeks have 6 while the Persians also
The Persians bid 0 while the
Greeks bid 3.
Greeks move out
The Militia Phalanx moves from the deployment zone and
forms Phalanx immediately for 1 Arête Point.
They are marching full speed towards the fields.
The Greek Peltasts move out towards the
Persians forces, ready to try to intercept any Persian troops.
All Greeks have moved.
The Persian troops surge forward.
The Archers move up to engage the Peltasts at
range, and try to pin them as they can move quickly.
The Drilled Infantry in the center march
forward to try to cut-off the Militia Phalanx, while the left flank Psiloi and
Warband Infantry race towards the fields.
|Peltasts move to screen the Militia Hoplites advance|
Each side collects their 6 Arête Points a piece.
The Greeks bid 0 this time, as do the
Both sides seem willing to let
the enemy move into missile range first.
This leads to a roll-off, which the Greeks wins.
The rest of the Greek force manages to deploy onto the
table. The initial Militia Phalanx moves towards the fields.
The first Peltast unit also approaches the
Persian line, and then waits.
Archers do not try to steal the Initiative.
More Greek Peltasts leave the their deployment zone and back-up their
More Peltasts head towards the
Persian line, but no response from the Persians.
The Greek Drilled Phalanx moves out to support their
Militia Phalanx, but stays in open order so they can wheel and react to Persian
The second militia phalanx
follows, but they stay in Phalanx formation.
The Persian light troops rush forward.
It does not look like they can be stopped or
halted in time.
Can the slower Greek
Phalanx get to the fields in time to save them?
Meanwhile, the Persian Archers move to refuse their flank on the approaching
Greek Peltasts, and ready their bows to fire next turn.
The Drilled Infantry in the center keep pace with
the lighter Persian units and prepare to flank attack or charge as needed.
|Greek Peltast close on the Persian Archers|
Both sides get their 6 Arête Points again, after spending
none last turn.
This time, going first
The Greeks bid 2, and the
Persians bid 0.
They are holding on to
potentially interrupt instead.
The Greeks start by moving their Hoplite units, free from
interference by Persian troops.
of Peltasts continues to screen their flank.
Now, it is decision time.
supporting Greek Peltast unit decides to move forward.
They spend an Arête Point to Move and Shoot.
Sadly, they are still out of range of the
closest Persian Archers.
Peltast unit moves forward, and the Persians try to spend an Arête Point to
The Persians win the roll-off and take over the
A group of Persian Archers let fly
on the closing Peltasts and reduce them 3 Courage!
They Peltasts then fail a Discipline check
and start to waver.
The Greeks try to spend a point to take intiative
However, the Persians win the roll-off
and continue to have the initiative.
second Persian Archer unit fires on the wavering Peltasts, and use 3 Arête
Points to re-roll some misses.
pin-cushion the Greeks and force them to turn and flee.
The rest of the Persian force moves forward, and the
Warband infantry looks like they will get to the fields well before the Greek
Militia Phalanx will arrive.
the Persian troops complete, the Greeks can complete any action they have
However, all their units moved and
the Peltasts that were moving and shooting have been routed.
In the End turn, two Peltast units and a Militia unit
need to make a discipline check as their fellow Greeks flee the battlefield.
They are all passed…. For now.
The Persians get 6 Arête Points to the Greek 5.
If the Greeks do not go first, they know they
could lose a second Peltast unit, so bid 4 Arête Points.
However, the Persians bid 6.
No re-rolls for them this time.
The first archer unit opens fire at the closing Peltasts
and reduces them 3 Courage and cause them to waver.
The Greek player knows a second barrage will
He uses his final Arete
point to try to interrupt.
Persians win the roll-off.
The second Persian archer unit draws and fires.
However, they are out of range and the arrows
fall short into the ground in front of the Greek Peltasts.
The rest of the Persian force moves forward.
It looks like the Persian Psiloi will be able
to block off an easy approach to the fields, while the Persian Warband infantry
gets into the fields and begins to tear them up.
Meanwhile, the Persian Drilled Infantry are
threatening the flank of the Greek march.
The Militai Phalanx units keep marching towards their
Meanwhile, the Peltasts try
to screen the Drilled phalanx, while they move to attack the threatening
The last Peltast unit realizes they probably can not move
into the Persian archers without an Arête Point to charge into close combat,
and instead tries to shift with their allies and act as a flank screen.
|Persian Warband Infantry enters the fields|
Arête Points are handed out, with 6 Persian and 5 Greek.
The Persians bid 2 points to the Greek
Persians go first by spending an Arete point ad declaring
a charge with their Drilled Infantry into the Greek Peltasts on the Flank.
With a dazzling display of martial prowess,
the Persians reduce the Peltasts to Courage 0 in a single charge!
The Persian Archers try to shoot the Peltasts, but are
out of range again.
The Persian warband infantry move into the
fields and continue to wreck them.
Psiloi move up on the Militia Phalanx and readies their javelins to throw.
However, the Greek tries to interrupt with an
Arete Point, and does so successfully!
The Militia Phalanx then spends an Arête Point to charge
into the Persian Psiloi.
There charge is
very effective and the Persian Psiloi are scattered in the first charge!
They didn’t even slow the Greeks down.
The Greek Peltasts that are left also declare a charge on
the Persian Archers with an Arête point.
This charge would have routed the Persian archers…. Except the wavering
status of the Peltasts made the charge completely ineffective!
The second Persian archer unit decides to
support on the flank.
The Drilled Phalanx uses an Arête Point and forms
That was the last Arête Point
for the Greeks.
The last Militia unit
The Persians now finish their actions.
The second Drilled infantry unit moves up to
threaten the flank or the Militia or Drilled phalanx.
The Persian Archers launch their attack on the Greek
Working together they easily
route the wavering Peltasts.
At the End Turn, we see two Greek Peltast Units flee, and
1 Persian Psiloi unit flee.
All units in
line of sight pass their Discipline checks.
However, the Greeks must make a Collapse Test.
The lead Militia and Drilled Hoplite units
pass the Collapse test, but the second Militia unit fails.
They rout and run back to the city gates in
|The Greeks are in a tough place|
Things look rough for the Greeks!
Persian troops have entered the fields and
many of the Greek Units have fled back to the city.
The Persians get 5 Arête points to the Greek 2.
The Persians bid 3 to go first, while the
Greeks bid none.
The Persian Drilled Infantry declare a flank charge on
the leading Militia Hoplites using an Arête point.
Despite the flank charge, they only reduce
them 1 Courage.
The Greeks now try to
interrupt and successfully spend 1 Arête Point to roll-off.
They win and take over.
The Drilled Hoplites spend the last Arête Point to charge
into the Persian Drilled Infantry in front of them.
The Persians spend their last Arête point to
The two units crash into each other with the
Persians losing 2 courage to the Greeks 1.
The melee is pushed back 2 base widths.
The Militia Hoplites fight back.
They reduce the Drilled Infantry they are
fighting with down to 4 Courage.
an even fight so far.
The Persian Archers move to support their Drilled
Infantry next turn.
Meanwhile, 1 unit of
Warband infantry leaves the fields to flank attack the Militia Hoplites
fighting the Persian Drilled Infantry.
Despite the valiant efforts by the Greeks, the Persians
have managed to ravage the fields of the city.
The Persians have won the battle.
Despite this, we decide to go one last turn to see what happens.
Turn 7- The Greeks' Last Chance
The Persians take their 5 Arête Points to the Greek 2.
They again bid 3 to ensure first turn.
The Greeks hold on for Re-rolls.
The Persian Warband infantry declares a flank charge on
the Militia Hoplites.
Despite that, the
Militia Hoplites are only reduced 1 courage.
The Persian archers join the battle with the Drilled
Phalanx, one with a flank charge, and the other as support.
Here, the Greeks are reduced to 2 Courage and
forced to take a Discipline Check.
fail and start to waver!
The Greeks strike back! The Militia strike back and
reduce their foes 1 Courage and the combat is again a draw!
The Drilled Phalanx also strikes back and
uses 2 re-rolls, however it is not enough and the combat is lost by 1
They are pushed back 2 base
|Pointless Bloodshed after the fields have been ravaged|
The Persians successfully ravaged the fields of the rebellious
Pergamon was now
under siege and at wily Hymaees’ mercy.
With much of their field force destroyed the elders of the city decided to
sue for peace. They soon surrendered to
the Persian general who removed and executed the ring leaders of the revolt and
replaced them with Tyrants loyal to Persia once more.
From the Persian perspective, that went pretty much how I
wanted it to go.
The Greeks tried to
secure the fields with their better quality troops, but they never made it in
I think next time the Greek
general will use the opposite strategy.
Use the heavy troops as the screen and the lighter and faster troops to
secure the fields.
My Persian units did what they needed to do, with the archers
performing surprisingly well!
objective made this game very different from the last clash between Persians
As an added bonus, the
Collapse rules and Discipline rules actually impacted this game.
That was too bad for the Greeks as one unit
fled the field, and a few others where wavering had a big impact in their
Overall, this was another fun game with another “historical”
The Persians can beat the
Greeks with careful use of supporting units, flanking, and focus on the objectives
as we saw in the Battle of Cius
and this game. The Greeks can also beat the Persians by forcing them into uneven
match-ups as we saw in the Battle ofMarathon