TT17 Crati Gorge (432 BC)
After the Lucanian defeat at Sybaris Plain* the year before, the Thurian forces again joined their Messapian allies, this time against what was perhaps the entire strength of the Lucanian tribe. Unlike at Sybaris, the Lucanians now outnumbered the composite Thurian/Messapian force, and again moved to invade the coastal plain surrounding Thurii.
Immediately following the Thurian victory at Sybaris, the Spartan exile Cleandridas made an example of the flight of the Lucanians from the previous battle, noting how many more casualties the enemy had suffered during their flight from the battlefield. Impressing upon his men the dangers inherent in a “phobos”-induced retreat, Cleandridas surely instilled a measure of confidence in his men by regaling the glory of the steadfast Spartans a half-century earlier at Thermopylae. He would seek to repeat this deployment against his larger foe.
Apparently, the smaller Thurian-Messapian force offered battle in a narrow defile indeed reminiscent of Thermopylae (likely in a rugged highland river valley), with improved results. Their Lucanian enemies attempted to simply overwhelm them with sheer numbers, and suffered grievous losses in the process. Thurii was therefore once again saved from a local barbarian invasion.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
As with the battles of “Sybaris Plain” and “Siris”, there is scant geographic information on the location of this battle, so I have decided to expand on the hypothesis of Fred Ray with respect to a “Thermopylae-like” setting. Some basic research on the border between Thurii and Lucania led me in the direction of the Crati River, which begins as a typical mountain stream before joining the Cosci River and flattening out into the fertile Sybaris Plain near the Greek colonial settlement at Thurii.
Thurian Army (use Greek/Barbarian blocks)
5 Command Cards (*4)
Lucanian Army (use "X - Barbarian" blocks)
4 Command Cards
All hill hexes and river hexes are impassable.
All Thurian (Greek) units adjacent to Cleandridas may ignore one banner.
If Cleandridas is killed, the advantage is rescinded, and the Thurian command is immediately reduced to 4 Command Cards .
Tags: Travis Taliaferro