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Later Achaemenid Persians Defeat The Alexandrian Macedonian Army

Yesterday a few members of the Lonely Gamers Club stood witness to a great battle, which stopped the Macedonians from greater conquest into the heart of Persia. Myself, Jeff Smith, Terry Moran, Dave Hancox, Dave Lowe and young Willie played a great Impetvs battle with around 550pts per side, not including the commands. The idea was to introduce my seven new Persian units onto the field of battle, which in turn allowed us to put together a very robust Later Achaemenid Persian Army. These Persian lads prove a solid army, especially with the core of the Army made up of eight mercenary Hoplite  units. Adding to this army however were two units of Indian Archers, Indian Medium Cavalry and an Elephant…not to mention four units Skythian Horse archers and finally three newly purchased and rebased Persian Medium cavalry (from DPS). 

Our battle played much like any battle in the Ancient period. The heavy infantry formed a solid line in the centre and the cavalry units formed up either side of the line protecting the flanks. Light infantry units of Thracian and Mercenary Peltasts also protected the heavy infantry on the flanks. Both the light infantry and cavalry proved deceive for the Persians in this battle. The mounted archers and supporting light infantry win the battle on both flanks of the Macedonian line, defeating the Thessalian cavalry, two units of Hetairoi and even forced Alexander and his Agema back (they never even entered combat).

Then finally with the battle lost on both flanks the Macedonian phalanx  finally clashed with the Persian heavy infantry in the centre. The battle in the centre proved harder then the battles on either flank the ‘Macs’ pushed hard on the mercenary Greek line destroying two units shortly after contact, which they hit in both the front and flank. However on the other flank the Greek mercenary general charged his unit forward and into the elite Hypaspists. The hypaspist hit by two units fought hard and pushed the Greeks back, but were in turn pushed back and slowly gave ground to finally been defeated. With the fall of the elite Hypastists and the majority of his cavalry defeated and fleeing from the field, Alexander decided to call it a day…..Victory to the Persians.

Persian Cavalry deploy behind a screen of Skytian Horse archers

These fine Persian lads I purchased from Dragon Painting Service and rebased them for Impetvs. They proved worthy  of praise after yesterdays battle.

Loaned from a distant Indian King, two units of Indian archers test there longbows on the advancing ‘Macs’

In all the Persian Army fielded eight mercenary hoplite units, two Ionian hoplite units and two units of Kardaces equipped as hoplites. these 12 hoplite units provided the back bone of the Persian army and proved their worth to the Persian King Darius.  

The great Macedonian phalanx , with the elite Hypaspists on the right flank and numerous skirmisher units out to the front of the formation.

Elite Hypaspists..tough lads but not tough enough.

Alexander and his Agema and Hetairoi formed up on the right flank of his army.

The Man himself…well he did not really prove much of a man this day.

The initial  Persian set up 

And the Macedonian 

You have to love the massed pike formation

The battle begins with the Macedonians making the first two moves

Persian medium cavalry redeploy 

“Indian archers ready!”

“Greek mercenaries ready!”

Thracian peltasts, fighting for the Persian king advance in support on the right flank of the Persian line.

First blood of the day went to the Indian cavalry who defeated a unit of Prodromoi, forcing them to retreat and later rout from the field.

Thracian peltasts, this time fighting for the Macedonians. These lads fought well and later helped to defeat a Greek hoplite unit by hitting them in the flank. They also stood firm when fighting the Indian elephant and caused him to fall back as well.

The dreaded elephant. They are always a hit and miss in most games and I am always a bit hesitant to use them unless it is to our advantage. 

Next to fall were the Thessalian cavalry..they did not stand much of a chance against this beast. 

With the cavalry battles fighting hard on the flanks, the skirmishers and light troops on both sides advance to combat. Javelins, rocks and arrows fly in both directions. 

Tough Greek mercenary peltasts (on the Macedonian side) provided a steady shower of javelins on the Persians. They also proved very tough in close combat.

The lines are getting close

A failed charge on the Indian Archers who stood firm and drew their broadswords, cutting down many of the elite Hetairoi.

Persian cavalry charge out from the Persian lines and disperse the enemy skirmishers

Battle on the Persian right flank

Thracian peltasts from both sides fight hard for there masters.

Caught in the front and flank the last remaining Hetairoi unit is destroyed

Thracian’s clash and the Macedonian Thracian’s snatch victory.

Persian cavalry charge Greek mercenary peltasts but are defeated and fall back

Persian cavalry painted by DPS…still not enough I need more

With the battle on the both flanks going against the ‘Macs’ they soon close with the main Persian line

Both flanks hit first and the Greek mercenaries hold firm in most places along the line, but on the right flank one large unit is hit in the flank and routs.

The Greek mercenary general and the Kardaces engage the elite Macedonian Hypaspist.

The battle for the centre begins

Pike vs thrusting spear

Greek mercenaries proved to tough for the ‘Macs’ today and forced their line back

Four units of pike and the Hypaspists were eventually defeated in the last turn, which finally brought victory to the Persians.


17 thoughts on “Later Achaemenid Persians Defeat The Alexandrian Macedonian Army”

  1. Thank you for the comments Carlo and Simon. The collection has expanded a little since I started playing Impetvs only a few moths back. It was good however after a break of several years to get back into Ancients gaming again.

    All the best


  2. I see you are classifying the Cardaces as heavy infantry. I use mine as medium though the basing is the same. Is heavy the new standard, it used to be what is now auxiliary, or is it the rules?

  3. Thank you Peter for the great comments, in regards to your question the Persian infantry for IMPETVS during this period is classed as FP or heavy/line infantry. The rules do not stipulate medium infantry just heavy/line and light infantry.



  4. Thanks' Vinnie
    I have looked at Impetus several times without buying the rules. I do have No 1 of the extra Impetus, with the chariot armies as that is what I'm into at the moment.
    Classifying them as line sounds reasonable given everything about them is conjecture. It never sat well that they classed as auxiliaries, good as the hoplites are they are in sufficient numbers for an empire.
    It is a nice looking game with a good descriptive AAR.



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