Unfortunately for Yormrizd, Bhartrdaman, Saka lord of the Kshaharatas, has ordered Samanadra the Fatty One to lead his Indian subjects to the edge of the Thar Desert and turn back the Persian hordes from the west.
Sassanid list and host:
Classical Indian list and host:
For this playtest, I will be using some of the suggestions put forth by Terry Shaw and Paris Papadopouos such as a 3'x2' table (the green lines you see in the pictures on the matt is where I cut 6" off each side of the 3x3 matt to get to 3x2) and deploying in quarters instead of halves.
The Sassanids won the initiative and opted for Agriculture. The Indians took the compulsory open field, a second open field and the gully. The Sassanids took the open. The compulsory open field landed on the Indian left side edge and was moved 2" towards the middle by the Sassanid player. The Sassanid open landed on the other Indian side edge and was not adjusted. Both the 2nd open field and the gully landed on the Indian side edges but would not fit on either side and were discarded (Steppe by proxy).
First two shots of the Sassanid host deployed: left is the 6 stand light horse bow, then the two cataphracts (the Purples and the Reds), the bow cavalry and then the 4 stand light horse bow.
The first two shots of the Indian host deployed: 1st archer BG then two elephants and the 2nd archer BG in the field, the two medium foot spear BGs deployed on each side of the camp.
The Sassanids rolled high and moved first. The main host (6 pack of LH, both cataphracts and the bow cavalry) did a double move straight ahead with a one base shift to their left in the first move and stopped just outside of 5" of the Indian line. The 4 pack of light horse move a full 7" forward and did a one base shift to come up beside the bow cavalry but slightly behind. The Indians attempted some long range bow shots but they were ineffective. Nothing happened in Joint Action so the Sassanid turn ended.
For the Indian 1st turn, the elephants wheeled towards the Sassanid line. The right end archer BG maneuvered with them as part of the battle line. The left end archer BG conducted a 4" move straight ahead. Both medium spear BGs maneuvered to come parallel to the main Indian line. Indian bow fire was abysmal in the shooting phase. Both elephant BGs were forced to take cohesion tests by the Sassanid fire but to no effect. Neither side had anything going on in Joint Action so the Indian 1st turn ended.
To begin the Sassanid 2nd turn, the Red cataphracts charged into the Indian bow BG to their front. The Purple cataphracts did not have to charge as they would have hit elephants. The Sassanid bow cavalry did not have to charge as along with their lance they are Bw*. On impact both the cataphracts and the Indian archers scored 2 hits to no effect. In the Maneuver Phase, the Sassanid bow cavalry moved up to the left of the Red cataphracts. The 4 pack of light horse moved to the left of the cavalry. The 6 pack of light horse wheeled to parallel of the elephants and stopped at 1". In the Shooting Phase, the Indians had no effective shots and the Sassanids forgot what a bow was for. In the Melee Phase, the Red cataphracts used their double POA to advantage and scored 4 hits. The Indians managed 3 in return. The Sassanids passed their death roll and while the Indians lost a stand they passed cohesion. The Red cataphracts subsequently broke off in Joint Action and the Sassanid 2nd turn ended.
To start the Indian 2nd turn, the left Indian elephant BG charged straight ahead forcing the Sassanid light horse to their front to evade. The right elephant BG wheeled the maximum of 1" allowed (the Sassanid light horse started 1" away) towards the Purple cataphracts and struck with one base. The Sassanid light horse evade 6" and the Indian left elephant BG trundled forward 2". In Impact, both sides committed their generals. The Indians scored a single hit while the Sassanids failed to hit at all. The Sassanid cataphracts passed both the death roll and cohesion test. In the Maneuver Phase, the right elephant BG conformed to the Purple cataphracts and the left archer BG wheeled 4" towards the center. In the Shooting Phase, Indian bow fire proved ineffective while the Sassanids caused the right spear BG to disrupt. In the Melee Phase, the Sassanids and the Indians both scored two hits for a draw. There was nothing to be done in the Joint Action Phase so the Indian 2nd turn ended.
To begin the Sassanid 3rd turn, the Sassanid Red cataphracts charged the bow to their front and the Sassanid bow cavalry charged the spearmen to their front. The Red cataphracts score 3 hits to none on the archer BG while the Sassanid cavalry score 2 hits to none on the spear BG. While neither Indian BG loses a base due to the death roll, both fail cohesion. The archer BG but the spear BG double drops and breaks. This in turn causes the archer BG to fragment for seeing friends break. The pursuit takes the spear off the table and the Sassanid bow cavalry to the table edge. The Maneuver Phase sees the 6 pack of Sassanid light horse turn around and close to bow range on the elephant BG to their front. The 4 pack of Sassanid light horse turn around and conduct a full move back towards the center. In the Shooting Phase, the Sassanid light horse score 2 hits on the elephants to their front who disrupt. In moving to get within shooting range, the Sassanid light horse also came into extreme range of the left Indian archer BG who score 2 hits on the light horse who also disrupt. In the Melee Phase, the Red cataphracts score 4 hits to 0 on the Indian archers to their front who suffer no death roll loss but break on cohesion. In their initial route the Indian archer BG rolls long and plows through the remaining spear BG as it cannot shift enough bases to miss the spear and the camp. Consequently, the spear BG disrupts. The Red cataphracts roll normal on pursuit and stop just short of the camp.The Purple cataphracts score only 1 hit to 3 on the center elephant BG which causes them to lose a base but more importantly Yormrizd the Short is killed. The Purple cataphracts double drop to fragmented. The neighboring units (the 6 pack of light horse and the Red cataphracts) both fail cohesion with the Red cataphracts disrupting and the 6 pack of light horse fragmenting. The center Indian elephant BG passes their cohesion test for seeing the right Indian archer BG break. Thus what started out as a promising Sassanid 3rd turn has turned sour with the death of the general.
Unfortunately for Hormizd, son of Shapur Mishanshah, governor of Sakastan and claimant to the Immortal Throne, his rebellion against the rightful King of Kings, Bahram II, would prevent him from returning to the Indian subcontinent. In the following year (283 AD), he would face Bahram, himself, in open battle and die a horrible death on the tusks of one of Bahram's war elephants (okay I made that up but he did die in 283).
Total time pushed to one hour and twenty six minutes. Before I decide on if this caused by the increased table size or deployment sequence. I will try a few more playtests. Very enjoyable game, nonetheless.