Battle of Chios, 201 BC

Saturday the local HMGS-South group played a game of Hail, Agrippa!. The Hail, Agrippa! rules are a modification of Hail Caesar published in Issue 66 of ‘Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy’ magazine. [Hail Agrippa! rules link]

The scenario was based on the Battle of Chios, 201 BCE. Philip V of Macedon has given up his siege of Chios and is attacked by an allied fleet primarily from Rhodes and Pergamum.  The primary source is Polybius.

The players were allowed a free setup, done secretly and without knowledge of the composition of the opposing fleet. There were five players. The Macedonian fleet had three divisions (one for each player) and the Rhodian fleet had four divisions (two for each player). The Macedonian fleet was larger, but of lower quality than the Rhodian fleet.

The rules were modified in three ways:
(1) The command rolls used a D10 [1to3=1 move, 4to6=2 moves, 7to9=3 moves, 10=blunder].
(2) The unit values were specific to each fleet. The Rhodians were generally faster and had better morale values.
(3) Break results did not eliminate full size units. Stands were replaced with half-size stands (two ship models) with combat and stamina values halved.

The poor quality photos are the result of my forgetting my camera and having to use a cell phone.

After about 4 hours of play we had to quit. The battle was still close at the end, with about equal numbers of undamaged units.

 

Battle of Salamis, 306 BC

Saturday the local HMGS-South group played a game of Hail, Agrippa! at the Dogs of War shop. The Hail, Agrippa! rules are a modification of Hail Caesar published in Issue 66 of ‘Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy’ magazine. [Hail Agrippa! rules link]

The scenario was based on the Battle of Salamis (Crete), 306 BCE fought between an Antigonid fleet led by Demetrius and a Ptolemaic fleet led by Ptolemy in person. The main source for the battle is Diodorus.

The units in the game (4 models on a base) represent about 10 ships each. Miniatures are primarily Langton 1:1200 and Navwar 1:1200, with a few Valiant 1:900 and scratch-built ships.

As described in Diodorus, the Antigonid fleet deploys first, and the Ptolemaic fleet second.

 

Diadochi Era Siege Ship

seige

This is a very speculative attempt to model a double-hulled ship carrying a siege tower in 1/1200 scale. Demetrius I Poliorcetes or Lysimachus may have used something like this for siege operations against cities in the early 3rd Century BCE. See Chapter 6 of “The Age of Titans” by Murray.

The model uses the hulls of two 1/900 scale Ramming Speed ships by Valiant Enterprises. The tower is 30 meters tall in 1/1200 scale, or about 3/4 of the estimated height of Helepolis.

 

1/1200 Ancient Naval Basing

The 1/1200 scale ancient ships were temporarily re-based for Hail, Agrippa! simply by sticking the old individual bases to cardboard. In order to use the same ships for various game systems, they are being fitted with rare earth magnets. Custom 40 mm x 130 mm magnetic hardboard bases were made by Good Ground LLC. The magnetic material on the bases is intended for transport using steel drawers. Here they are being used upside down so the rare earth magnets on the ships will stick. This allows for variations in the type, number and positions of ships.

[Edit: Since the Good Ground bases are magnetic, a piece of ferrous metal on the bottom of the ship model works as well or better than a rare earth magnet. My recent ships have been built using a small zinc-plated steel washer or a square of tin-plated steel sheet. This is easier and cheaper than the magnets.]