Friday, 10 May 2013

the battle of Magnesia 190BC

 The Battle of Magnesia was fought in 190 BC, on the plains of Lydia (modern Turkey), between  Romans, led by the consul Lucius Cornelius Scipio and his brother, Scipio Africanus, with their ally Eumenes II of Pergamum against the army of Antiochus III the Great, Emperor of the Seleucids.

 The armies deploy for battle.

Antiochus was driven out of Greece following the defeat of his army at the Battle of Thermopylae (191 BC). The Roman navy and her allies outmaneuvered and defeated the Seleucid navy, permitting the Roman army to cross the Hellespont. The Roman army operated under the commands of the consul Lucius Cornelius Scipio, brother of Scipio Africanus. Africanus  accompanied him as legatus. The Carthaginian general and dire enemy of the Roman Republic Hannibal Barca, had fled to Antiochus' court after his defeat at the Battle of Zama and the end of the Second Punic War.
  Some believe that Hannibal was present at Magnesia. But sadly for Antiochus this is false as Hannibal, who had commanded the fleet and lost at Eurymedon, had retreated and then fled to Crete for fear that Antiochus would lose and turn him over to the Romans.

Last Tuesday I was merrily making my way down the A14 with lots of time to spare on my journey to Daves for the game, when some dork driving a lorry decided to change lane with out thinking or looking, this made me have to evade into the next lane and quickly jink back in before hitting another car. I thought nothing of it apart from the usual "lorry drivers are twats".
5 minutes later i felt as if i had a puncture so i pulled over but everything seemed ok. so i carried on my journey only to feel the same odd feeling form the back of the car.
to cut a long boring story short my rear wheel bearing had collapsed and the wheel was being held on by just the brake caliper.
So instead of being a part of the wonderful game you can see above and below i was on the back of the tow truck and eventually heading home.
As you can see scythed wheels had been added for the occasion.

In anticipation of the battle, Antiochus set up an entrenched camp protecting the approach to Sardis and his fleet base at Ephesus. According to both Livy and Appian, he posted his 16,000 strong phalanx, armed in the Macedonian fashion in the center in brigades (taxeis) of 1,600 men, 50 men wide and 32 men deep. He ordered intervals to be formed among the taxeis in which he placed 2 elephants each. On the right wing, next to the phalanx, he arrayed 1,500 Gallograecian infantry, 3,000 Galatian mail clad cavalry (cataphracti) and 1,000 agema cavalry, his royal household guards. Behind them he kept 16 elephants in reserve. Next to the agema, he placed a cavalry corps Livy calls argyraspides, 200 or 1,200 Dahae horse archers, 3,000 Cretan and light infantry, 2,500 bowmen, slingers and archers. On the left, Antiochus arrayed another 1,500 Gallograecian infantry, 2,000 Cappadocians. Next to them, he posted 1,000 heavy horsemen, the Companions, 3,000 more cataphracti and probably another 1,000 men of the agema. In front of them, he placed the scythed chariots and a unit of dromedary, camel-borne Arab archers. His left wing was completed with a corps of Tarentines, 2,500 Gallograecian cavalry, 1,000 newly enlisted Cretans. Then came 4,000 peltasts. Finally sixteen elephants.
    Antiochus retained command of the horse on the right wing in person; his son Seleucus and his nephew Antipater commanded the left. Philip, the master of the elephants, commanded the phalanx, and Mendis and Zeuxis the skirmishers.

The Romans arrayed in their customary triple line formation with their left wing resting on the river. The Roman reinforced legions occupied the center of this formation and the Latins, the Ally legions, on their wings. In all, there were 20,000 men of the legion. Behind them, Scipio held his 16 elephants in reserve, fully aware that the African elephants could not face the larger Indian elephant on equal terms. On the right Scipio placed the allied Pergamene army under Eumenes and the Achaean peltasts, 3,000 in all to cover the flank of the legions. Next to them he placed his cavalry, nearly 3,000 strong, 800 of them Pergamenes, the rest legionary cavalry. In the extreme right he posted the 500 Cretan light troops and archer.
Domitius was stationed with 4 squadrons of cavalry on the right wing, Scipio kept command of the center and gave command of the left to Eumenes.
In all, both writers agree that the Roman army was about 30,000 strong and the Seleucids about 70,000. However, historian Grainger argues that the two armies might have been not that numerically different and supports that the Romans fielded about 50,000 men as did Antiochus.
A popular anecdote regarding the array of the two armies is that Antiochus supposedly asked Hannibal whether his vast and well-armed formation would be enough for the Roman Republic, to which Hannibal tartly replied,
 "quite enough for the Romans, however greedy they are."

So what should of been a battle report post is now a photo shoot, but i must say the game looks great!
all pics are by Joe "Lone wolf" Dever, cheers Joe!
figures painted by lots of different people including a fair amount by me see if you can spot them for a prize? :0)
more pics to follow tomorrow


  1. Massive! Beautiful game. Sorry you missed it.

  2. Fantastic looking refight of Magnesia - great photos and armies!

  3. That's a terrific host! Phew.

  4. This looks fantastic, and it's a terrible shame you had to miss it. On the other hand, I think you should keep the wheel scythes for the next time you have a road "adventure" ;)


  5. Wonderful looking pictures and figures...a huge and fantastic battlefield!!

  6. Just amazing!
    I hope my 10mm version will look half as good as this one...

  7. More pics and info to follow!

  8. @hetairoi look for to seeing your 10mm collection!

  9. Wow. Just wow. I'll start soon a 25mm Successors army. Yours is sure to be amongst my inspiration.

  10. Glad you were okay, what an amazing looking game!

  11. Cheers Fran, yeah it could of been worse

  12. Sorry you missed out on such a wonderful looking battle, but you're safe and that's what matters. You can play more games in the future.

  13. Fantastic array of Pikes! Wonderful looking game!!


  14. I hope you have better luck travelling down for the big game on the 18th Steve.

  15. Hi Pat, I'm driving down on the Friday just in case!

  16. Steves figures looked a treat. Pats fought better though...

  17. Hi Dave, I bet Pats looked pretty to :)


Hi I have recently had a few comments on old posts that i missed, so to make sure i dont miss anything i have added the moderator settings
thanks for taking the time to comment :o)