Monday 19 February 2024

Fantastic Battles 28mm - Alexandrian Macedonians vs the Bacchae

Taking the my 28mm Bacchae out to stretch their legs, I headed down to Lisburn Gaming Club last week to take on Roger's 28mm Alexandrian Macedonians in a pseudo-historical clash of (metaphorical) giants!

In a typically Alexander move, Alexander (top of the picture) massed his cavalry on his right and took command of one of the units of elite companions himself. The second unit, led by a captain, were overly enthusiastic and deployed far forward of the rest of their lines. A unit of Thracians led by a rogue were late, deploying behind the wood, while the main phalanx also deployed a little forward. The hypaspists on the Macedonian left, and the various small units of archers interspersed around the infantry (mostly) maintained their lines.

Dionysos had an easier time with mishaps; only the nymphs were stricken with disease. On the Bacchic left, a unit of leopards were deployed slightly forward in ambush in the woods. Next came an elephant in front of the yakshi maiden guard, a horde of satyrs, and a smaller unit of centaurs led by Papa Silenos. The nymphs (a magic using character company) held the woods in the centre, while maenads led by Pan and the erotes chariots led by Eros held the Bacchic right. 

As the battle opened, the enthusiastic companions continued to move forward, putting themselves in the live of fire for the mixed shooting unit of satyrs and the centaurs, both of whom peppered them with arrows. The centaurs moved forward to get into a better position and the yakshi maiden guard started to redeploy around to the right of the satyrs. The nymphs in the centre moved forward towards the edge of their woods as the fearsome Macedonian phalanx advanced. 

On the other flank, both forces advanced cautiously.

Over on the left, Dionysos cast confusion on Alexander and his companions, forcing them to rush forwards into the leopards. I made two crucial mistakes at this point: 1) I had brought the leopards too far forward meaning that the companions were not inside the woods enough to suffer melee penalties, and 2) I forgot that the companion movement should have been reduced by the woods to such an extent that they shouldn't have actually completed their charge at all... These two points were to have implications. Having committed to the melee regardless,  Alexander was then charged in the flank by the Bacchic elephant.

The other unit of companions also charged forward with a thud into the satyrs, while the Macedonian light horse hit them in the flank.

In the centre, the nymphs cast entangle on the phalanx, pinning it and the two attached characters into place.

Meanwhile, the maenads and hypaspists sized each other up, while Cretan archers made themselves felt by the erote goat chariots.

Having messed up with the leopards, they broke and scattered after a single round of melee, allowing the companions to turn to face the elephant alone - not theat it did them much good, scattering soon afterwards and carrying a mortally wounded Alexander from the field. The centaurs came to the aid of the satyrs as the Thracians emerged from the long walk through the woods. The nymphs continued to pin the phalanx with entangle spells.

The maenads clashed with the the Macedonian hypaspists and a single unit of impetuous archers who were in-turn charged by the chariots.

With most of the Bacchic army committed, the battle hung in the balance... but a really badly weighted balance.

In one go, the second unit of companions and the Macedonian light horse, together with the satyr horde and elephants all broke and fled. Dionysos was suddenly conspicuously lonely. 

The army breakpoints now sat 9/10 for the Bacchae, and 6/10 for the Macedonians.  

Sadly, despite their thyrsoi heavy weapons, the maenads were no match for the hypaspists, and the broke and fled, as did the archers before the chariots. 

But it was enough to break the Dionysiac army (13/10), without quite breaking the mundane Macedonians (7/10). It was a fun game, even though I did mess up with the leopards, bringing the Baccahe to their first defeat.


  1. Great looking game with most impressive armies, unusual!!

  2. Mark from Thailand23 February 2024 at 01:25

    At least you managed to off Alexander. Unlike the Tyrias, Persians (Spitamenes), Gazans, and Malians … to name but a few.