Thursday, 14 July 2016

Warriors of Poseidon : Naupactus Scenario

I tried the 'Naupactus' scenario. It actually refers to the battle in the Gulf Of Patras.

The first problem is how to set up. No guidance is given apart from it is a battle 'in the open water'.
I tried with the Athenians starting behind, but they have to start close or they lose some of the 6 game turns just to catch up and get in position to strike. If the Athenians start facing the Spartans then a massacre occurs... I resolved that the Spartans are best deployed in the centre of the table on an axis to which the Athenians deploy at 90 degrees12 inches away - or maybe 3 d6 inches away ?

The problems of the small size of the scenario - 1 Athenian unit, 3 Spartan - means the dice roll for initiative is important for the Athenians each time and the Spartan can freely move two units each turn without immediate retaliation. The Athenian must attack the end of the Spartan line to avoid this advantage.

In this scenario the Athenians have fast triremes and are led by Phormio. This gives them a move of 7 inches. The Spartans can move 5 inches. Under the rules the Athenians cannot initiate boarding with their epibatai but the Spartans can - no allowance given for the extra troops on some of the Spartan ships. This means the Athenians will not bother to grapple and board, just ram. This complicates matters further, because, when rammed, fast triremes cannot be sunk - they always survive. ( or maybe they always sink? If I understood the rules wrongly?) - they have a saving roll of 0. They always survive a ram attack. This means the Spartans can only successfully kill an Athenian ship by boarding and killing its marines. The Athenians can have oars knocked  off If a side attack can be made but that gains the Spartans little.

In the 4 battles I fought the Spartans never sank or damaged an Athenian ship - good result. Historically accurate in that the Athenian ships were faster and more skilled and could avoid their heavier opponents.

On the other hand, the Athenians won each time by game turn 4 or 5 they had sunk 5 Spartans.

The trick for the Athenians was to get any ram attack in and then the Spartans need a 6+ on a d6 to survive. Attempts by the Spartans to do the historical thing and face-down the Athenian ships bow-to-bow do not work because the Athenian attacks are still effective 5/6 times.

The historical result was that the Athenians captured 12 Spartan ships and sunk many more, the remainder fled.

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