Monday, December 12, 2022

Wargame Design: The Ionian Revolt

I had a lot of rules writing goals for 2022.  I had several projects that were close to completion and in post-production as 2022 dawned.  These were all intended to eventually find a home on the Blood and Spectacles Wargames Vault page.  One of the projects I was especially excited for was a supplement for Men of Bronze set during the Ionian Revolt.  When the book initially came out, I wrote an article on the Ionian Revolt for Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy.  However, it never made publication as they lacked a Persian army for photos.  I had run into the same problem myself!  Thankfully, now a few manufacturers make them in plastic, so creating a Persian army is much easier now and I was able to revive my work on this topic for a supplement of my own!   

So, what makes this supplement different from the last one?  The previous one, Hercules Abroad focused on new Lines of Battle and scenarios with these forces to round out the Mediterranean Basin with the foes of the Greeks.  This supplement has a very different focus and goals. 

The first goal was create a multi-game simple campaign focusing on the activity in the Ionian Revolt.  Therefore, there are 5 campaign historical scenarios, and there are also three additional scenarios that focus on some of the interesting aspects of the campaign beyond the field battles; naval warfare and sieges!  In addition, I created rules for Solo-play that can be used in the Ionian Revolt or anywhere else you wish.  

Persian Immortals face down Ionian Greeks

In the original Men of Bronze rules I was not satisfied with how I portrayed the Persian army.  After all, the Persian army spanned a vast amount of time.  Over this timeframe, it changed with new technology, new acquisitions, and new formations.  Therefore, the Persian Line of Battle in the main rules was a bit.... one dimensional.  Therefore, I took this chance to create a deeper Persian Line of Battle to face their earliest foes, all the way to the final battles with Alexander.  

With this more robust look at Persian military history, it also gave me a chance to dive in deeper on the Persian Empires foes too.  This supplement has new Lines of Battle for a variety of foes from Ionian Greeks, Lydians, Indus Valley Indians, Kingdom of Kush and more!  This expands the numbers of armies that you can field in Men of Bronze yet again!  You could have a very cool campaign featuring Cyrus the Great and his conquests.  

Persian troops repel Greeks from the Citadel at Sardis

Thankfully, there is a wide range of easily available plastic models to fill out the ranks of your Persian forces.  Both Wargames Atlantic and Victrix have come out with an excellent range of plastic forces in 28mm.  Plus, there is a variety of metal models out there to fill out the King of King's ranks.  Like all of my games, this supplement leans into the scale and model agnostic ethos so you can use whatever you got, without rebasing.  In addition, the game leans into the "Big Battles, Small Armies" focus that I am (in)famous for.   

There were very unique aspects of Persian warfare that made it very different than that of the Greeks.  This supplement explores this with new special rules that can help a Persian commander lean into the troops and tactics that made the Persian army the largest Empire on earth.  This includes mixed melee and bow units, the well-known sparabara, and of course the elite Apple Bearers/Immortals.  These features make the Persian army unique compared to the other armies in  Men of Bronze

Persian Troops assault a city while reclaiming Cyprus during the Ionian Revolt

I had been working on this supplement before Men of Bronze was released by Osprey Games.  Therefore, I am very pleased to finally have it out for the public to purchase on the Blood and Spectacles Wargames Vault page.  I look forward to showcasing the campaign and my new Persian army from Victrix on the blog in 2023.  With this released, that wraps up all of my planned releases for 2022! 

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