After a couple of weeks of no gaming due to weather and work commitments, Nick and I played a 2000pt WAB game using the excellent draft lists posted to Jeff Jonas's excellent website (now taken down by the 'evil empire' boo!)
I have long struggled to get a Seleucid army I like out of previous army lists, but I actually managed it from these lists. It was just the sort of army I like - mobile and looking to use missiles and open order troops to disrupt and run rings around my opponent. Nick rather surprisingly for him, went for a Galatian army. He's always wanted to use a Gallic army but they just haven't been up to facing a 'mainstream' army in WAB - the only chance they have is to maximise the number of characters in the army. The Galatians seem to offer something different.
The battlefield was pretty clear with two steep hills on my left flank and Nick's right flank. An area of rough ground was about halfway down the table on my right flank, Nick's left flank.
I deployed left to right: 13 javelin light infantry; 32 levy phalanx; 2 heavy bolt shooters; 32 levy phlanx with another 13 javelin skirmishers in front; 24 Babylonian archers; 11 Tarantine light cavalry; 11 horse archers; back up by 10 seleucid heavy cavalry and a unit of 17 Guardsmen deployed as open order peltasts led by the army standard bearer.
Nick deployed from right to left with a unit of javelinmen backed by one warband, then three other warbands with some javelinmen skirmishing in front; some skirmishers with slings and a unit of Gallic light cavalry in skirmish. In reserve was two scythed chariots and on the right a unit of Gallic heavy cavalry. The warbands were all imitation legionaries and as memory serves the centre two have heavy throwing spears; the other two just throwing spears. They all had at least one character in the front rank to give them more punch.
My plan was simple. Sit back with the levy pike and try and reduce the size of the warbands with the bolt shooters, while the right flank went around his left with the line hinged by the archers who can fire full effect in two ranks if stationary. Nick won the initiative and rushed forward as quickly as possible to get his warbands into combat before my shooting could have an impact.
In my turn I charged his centre javelinmen with my skirmishers but lost the combat and was run down. On the right the babylonians and tarantines peppered the slingers but they passed their morale. The horse archers fired inconclusively on the gallic light cavalry.
Turn two Nick brought a chariot to his left flank and the heavy cavalry also moved across the back of his line to support his hard pressed left. The rest of his line pushed forward as fast as possible with the now free javelinmen in the centre screening my bolt shooters (see here).
My turn, I shot away the slingers and the forced the light cavalry back allowing my guard infantry to push forward into the rough ground opposite the heavy cavalry and scythed chariot. My javelinmen charged his skirmishers on the right flank and beat them, but failed their morale and charged through into the warband behind.
Nick charged where he could on turn three with one warband charging home on the left flank phalanx; the heavy cavalry charged into the seleucid havy cavalry now in wedge who countercharged (see left); and the scythed chariot charged the guard who being drilled opened their ranks to let it harmlessly through. In the ensuing combat, the levy phalanx held up very well against the heavy throwing weaponed gallic warriors who only won by one. The Seleucid general was with 12 inches and so they passed the morale test.
Meanwhile the Gallic heavy cavalry, also led by a character diced awfully against the seleucid heavy cavalry. Despite the gauls being better weapon class, the Greeks had more figures and won the combat and broke the barbarians. But they outdistanced the pursuit. The scythed chariot which had gone through the guard then routed from seeing the cavalry battle! The seleucid skirmishers duly were destroyed by the warband they charged into on my left flank.
In my turn, the now uncommitted seleucid heavies pivoted and charge the left hand warband in the flank, but it passed its morale test for being charge to flank. In the combat the cavalry won without loss, but the Galatians simply fell back in good order leaving the cavalry unable to followup or risk recieving a charge from the other scythed chariot in the flank.
My remaining levy pike formation charged Nick's central skirmisher unit who ran, leaving the pike to crash into the warband behind - a good way to get levy to charge close order enemy! (See pictured left, note the warband pushed back by the seleucid heavy cavalry behind the phalanx)
In the combats that followed, my left flank pike formation, despite losing the momentum in the combat managed to beat the Gallic warriors but their morale held. Meanwhile the pike who hit the central warband managed to lose the first round, and despite the King being right there, their morale failed and they ran. But all my men nearby passed their morale thankfully.
And that was all we had time for - it was a very tight battle and it probably had another 3 turns to go before it was conclusive either way.
The levy phalanx showed as a large block they were very resilient against the warband and once they held the first found, they had every chance to beat the barbarian foot. Nick's light cavalry and slingers were always up against it against two BS4 light cavalry formations in my army, backed up by the fearsome babylonian archers! And what I wanted to do do actually happen. I pushed my way aorund Nick's left flank and was threatening to roll up his line. But his plan worked too with the warbands pushing through the centre and likely as not to defeat my two pikeblocks and bolters. The bolters were hopeless, only killing one skirmisher all game!
Still it was a fun game and I look forward to when we actually see the successor WAB lists finally hit the market after so long.