I had a fine weekend travelling to Newark for my favourite wargames show, Partizan. My extended Raphia had its first public outing.
Above, the view from behind the Ptolemaic left; those are the (supposedly) inferior African elephants. In the photo below are the more numerous and heftier Seleucid pachyderms.
The cloths we used are the new Sagebrush Steppe mats from Deep Cut Studios. I was really pleased with these as I had them designed to match my bases. Note that they have a good deal of green in them, as well as the dusty beiges and ochres; indeed very much more green than the Deep Cut thumbnail would suggest...
The game was particularly exciting. Usually the Seleucid Indian elephants sweep all before them, but yesterday the Ptolemaic African beasts overthrew them. To add insult to injury, the inferior and outnumbered Ptolemaic cavalry managed to seriously wound Antiochus the Great (next to the man on the white horse, below), who retired from the field.
In the centre (below) both phalanx hit each other and became locked in a shoving match in which honours were broadly even.
On the other wing, though, the Seleucids gained the upper hand and routed the Ptolemaic cavalry. They then turned onto the flank of the Galatians (below) and were well positioned to roll up the Ptolemaic line; it was looking sticky.
Just at this point a wonderful wargaming event occurred. A 13-year-old named Matthew was commanding the Ptolemaic centre- he'd had a fairly uneventful battle, so far, but had picked up the basics of the rules. He noticed that a couple of units on the Seleucid left had failed to advance, leaving the left hand side of their phalanx temporarily unsupported; it was "hanging in the air". Matthew saw an opportunity to turn his rightmost phalanx unit onto the Seleucid flank. This might have gone very badly for him (I told him it was very risky), as it exposed this unit's own flank, but luckily the opposing Seleucid general was temporarily distracted and the young Alexander proceeded to slaughter not one but two phalanx with flank attacks, winning the game for Ptolemy! I should imagine he won't forget that in a while. :-)
Many thanks to all who played and all who helped, especially Ian Notter (who took the photos), Andrew Brentnall and Dave Lycett who helped hugely with packing. Another fantastic show organised by Tricks, Laurence and the Newark Irregulars! Oh and we won the raffle, too. ;-)