Wednesday 22 February 2017

Historical Match ups - Early Byzantine vs. Sassanid

Early Byzantine vs. Sassanid

Despite the 'Eternal Peace' the Byzantine and Sassanid faced off on a number of occasions, Lazica, the Caucusus, Armenia and in Syria. No allies were used in the three matches as these will be used in a later rematch. 

Game 1
The Sassanid denied the Byzantines the use of any advantageous terrain which meant the Sassanid deployed in serried battle array. Leading the assault were the massed levies supported by elephant and as the group made its way forward Asavaran formed up on it flanks.

Poor pip scores plagued the Byzantine that the initiative continually slipped through their grasp. This was a slow meat grinder of a battle dominated by the Sassanid from start to finish. Score 4 – 2 Sassanid.

Game 2
Byzantine deployment was text book work; cavalry battle line with LH extending the formation and infantry held back in support. Psiloi were brigaded together intending to seize the field splitting the Sassanid line.

Infantry support foiled an attempt by nomad light horse to take the Byzantine camp which the main battle line performed a convincing use to text book drill to crush the Sassanid. Score 4 + 2Hd – 1 E. Byzantine.

Game 3
The Byzantine found themselves with their backs to an open plain facing a Sassanid right wing of foot and elephant and a left wing comprising all the Asavaran, cataphract and light horse.

In less than one hour (4 turns) the Sassanid turned the Byzantine world on its head and proceeded to cut the cavalry to pieces. Score 4 – 1 Sassanid.

Both sides had access to allied troops, but none were employed. What did seem unusual was the uncharacteristic performance of the levy. Once committed to combat, they tied down valuable troop types that would have been better employed elsewhere. The Byzantine paid dearly in game three and the Sassanid Asavaran took advantage of their extra number to produce a solid victory. 

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