Saturday, 15 April 2017

Historical Matches - the Sassanid vs. Adiabene

This new series will match the Sassanid sub-lists versus each of their enemies. Some matches will have been done earlier, but there are always new cunning plans and ideas for terrain placement that need experimenting.

Sassanid sub-list ‘a’ represents the revolt led by Ardashir I and his initial conquests deposing first the Parthian overlord in the west, then marching north to subdue a number of realms, clash briefly with Rome before ending his first major campaign in Armenia.

The Adiabene were a number of city states supported Parthia during the final years. Their strength lay with a goodly number of archers supported by blade and javelinmen while the mounted troops are a mix of cataphract, horse archers and caravan guard.

II/69a Sassanid vs. II/22e Adiabene 

Hilly which included two difficult hills and two rough ground.

Game 1
Difficult hills cover one side of the battlefield leaving perfect cavalry ground for this battle. The Sassanid formed up in their standard formation of heavies in the centre with horse archers extending both flanks. Having fewer cavalry, the Adiabene make use of the rough ground and difficult hills to deploy their foot troops in and what light horse are available, these deploy to the open flank.

The Sassanid seized the initiative to switch their effort and envelop the open flank while the remainder of the cavalry move slowly forward. Adiabene infantry now hold both hills with archers and skirmishers and are making their presence felt.

The Adiabene archers cause no casualties but do send cavalry formations back. To compensate for the increase range, the Adiabene line moves slowly forward while firing their bows. The Sassanid effort on the left flank proved effective and soon they will sweep down on the Adiabene right flank.

Losing the right flank and more troops from the centre, the Adiabene commander signalled for a general retreat. Score 2 – 5 for Sassan.

Game 2
The Sassanid was fortunate to catch the Adiabene forces in the open as the terrain to their rear would have been a nightmare for a cavalry force to fight in.

At the outset of the battle, the Sassanid placed their main effort on both flanks and refuse the centre. This left the Adiabene no option but to close the distance if they were to benefit from their archery advantage.

The tactic worked well as the Sassanid right flank were now free to roll up the open left flank of the Adiabene infantry and help score a second victory. Score 2 – 5 for Sassan.

Game 3
For the third battle, the relative positions were nearly the same, that is the Adiabene army were again caught in the open , however, the Sassanid were slightly inconvenienced by the rough ground and hills.

 The Sassanid modified their battle plan to concentrate their effort on their right flank and entice the Adiabene army forward in the same manner as the previous engagement.

This time the Adiabene archers improved their skills and were rapidly cutting down troops and joining in close combat against the Sassanid. The emboldened Adiabene were quickly the masters of the field. Score 4 – 1 for Adiabene.

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