Thursday, 19 November 2009


A test of a new edition of my rules. Simple scenario based on an incident in the Peleponnesian War but I counted the sides as Syracusan and Athenian.

An Athenian squadron is beached in a bay thinking they are safe. A Syracusan squadron comes up hoping to surprise them.

The Athenians comprise three '2's, two '3's and a hemiolia. TheSyracusans have a pair of hemiolia accompanying one each of Dionysius' new '4's and '5's. All crews were rated as 'able' which equates to competent but nothing special. The 4 and 5 were relatively well manned with marines.
As the Syracusans approached the Athenians were dicing for when they could see them and get away off the shore. This was not so good to begin with but a trireme got off on the 2nd move.

The Syracusans had a setback on turn 3 when their FATE card caused the captain of a hemiolia to remember a sudden pressing appointment and leave for home.

More Athenians pushed-off as the Syracusans sent their hemiolia off to the right to flank the enemy. The leading Athenian 3 now took a gamble. Speeding-up he tried to turn away from the oncoming heavies. The gamble failed and the Syracusan 5 slammed into his starboard beam even as he accelerated to escape. The 3 was immediately holed badly and the 5 pulled off as it was not necessary to board the stricken Athenian. The Syracusans had more luck when the hemiolia which dashed out to the flank managed to ram an Athenian 2 which was beached and still making ready for sea.
But that was it for the Syracusans now more Athenians were at sea. The 2s darted in and out at the larger ships and meanwhile the remaining Athenian 3 manouvered to ram. The holed 3 continued to sink, moving sluggishly.

The Syracusan 4 was hit twice abeam by Athenian 2s and started to take on water. Not knowing which way to turn for the best it ended-up doing nothing after having rammed and holed the wallowing Athenian 3. The 5 had asome luck in outmanouvering one of the 2s. In one amusing episode a 2 swooped in to rake the oars off the 5's starboard side but the 2's crew failed to ship oars in time while the Syracusans did and the helmsman was forced to simply make a close pass of the 5. There were so many Syracusan marines and archers lining the rails of the 5 that by the time the 2 was passed its supposed prey the entire deck crew was dead. With half its oars shipped to avoid the raking attempt the Syracusan 5 was rammed amidships by the Athenian trireme at full speed. Even allowing for its greater size the 5 was severely damaged and settled in the water. The Athenian pulled-off and was at a safe distance before the massed troops on the Syracusan could do much damage.

Over near the beach the erstwhile flank attacker was rounded on by 2 Athenians and badly holed. The last Syracusan hemiolia drifte towards the rocks.....
The end result was one Syracusan hemiolia safe on the horizon (but the captain probably due for execution) while his 3 comrades sank watched by relatively unscathed Athenian squadron, their main casualty being a trireme. A holed 2 made it to shore where it beached and the crew started work on repairs.

Everything worked well. The Antikytheran Battle Computer worked and the FATE cards added colour and had some effect. I saw some need to simplify the deck crew rules for when larger numbers are present so that is something to work on.


  1. I'm curious about those movement templates visible in the photos.

    Can you tell us more about them?

  2. Note about turning templates now posted.