605 Thermopylae - Grand Overview (480 BC)
King Xerxes desired to punish the Athenians for his father’s defeat at Marathon and their support for Ionian revolts. He planned a second invasion of Greece in 480 BC and amassed a huge to extend the Persian Empire into Europe. Several Greek citystates gathered around Athens and Sparta, and decided to slow the Persian advance at the narrow pass of Thermopylae. The Oracle at Delphi had announced that Sparta would either be destroyed or lose a King. Leonidas, one of the two Kings, chose the latter, leading 300 Spartans and other Greeks to one of History’s most famous last stands. Xerxes waited four days for the small Greek force to leave. Then, for two and a half days he unleashed his , wave after wave, against the Greek Hoplites who stood firm. The Persians did not prevail until Ephialtes betrayed the Greeks by revealing a goat path that led behind their lines. Dismissing the rest of the , Leonidas fought to the death with his Spartans. Their epitaph reads: “Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by, that here obedient to their laws we lie”. While a tactical victory, the heavy losses and the delay, inflicted by just a few hundred Greeks, was a significant blow to the Persian morale. In September, the Greeks defeated the Persians at the naval battle of Salamis and Xerxes, fearful of being trapped in Europe, returned to Asia with part of his
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
(Use Persian light tan blocks)
• Leader: Xerxes 1st of Persia
• 5 Command Cards
• Move First
(Use Spartan orange and bronze Hoplite blocks)
• Leader: Leonidas
• 6 Command Cards
• The Persian army receives 1 Victory Banner for each unit that exits the battlefield from a hex on the Greek base line.
• The three Persian Immortal units are special units. Place a special unit block in the same hex as these units to distinguish them from other units. The Immortals are armed with bows and will also follow Ranged Combat rules.
• The Hoplite Infantry rule is in effect.
• Three Spartan units are special five bronze block MH units.
• All hill hexes are impassable.