EPIC15 Plataea (479 BC)
The Persian emperor Xerxes I led a massive invasion of Greece to avenge the defeat of his father’s forces at Marathon. After annihilating the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae, Xerxes burned Athens, then Macedon, Thessaly, and Boeotia submitted. However, Following the loss of the Persian fleet at Salamis, Xerxes withdrew to Asia and left Mardonius with most of the Persian land forces to continue the subjugation of Greece. Amid much bickering, an allied Greek army was formed under the Spartan Pausanias, and moved to oppose the Persians. The Greeks were always careful to stay in terrain that negated the Persian cavalry, so the Persian cavalry turned to raiding...poisoning the Greek’s water supply and destroying a large Greek baggage train. Short of water and food, Pausanias ordered a night withdrawal, but only the allies in the center did so. The Spartan right and Athenian left stood until first light. Seeing this confusion, Mardonius ordered a general advance, although Artabazus, in command of the reserve, suspected a trick and held back. Mardonius attacked the entire Greek line, with an onslaught that was particularly fierce on the Athenian wing. On the right, the Spartans held back until Pausanias obtained just the right “omens” from a sacrifice and then ordered them to charge. It was a desperate infantry battle but the better tactics and weapons of the Greeks finally turned the tide, killing Mardonius along the way. Artabazus managed an orderly retreat back to Asia Minor (he was rewarded with a hereditary satrapy), but the victory at Plataea meant the Persian threat to Greece was effectively ended.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
8 Command Cards
8 Command Cards
The dynamics of Plataea our last battle:
- As a leader of the Persian left I had my moments of glory, killing two heavy infantry units but in the end my wing was dispersed.
- My compatriot (overall commander) decided to move the center of Persians – able to support either of the wings – to the right; that paid off, as it got the Greeks from two sides, annihilating tons of barely mobile heavy and medium units.
- our opponent fought bravely but the final Mounted Charge did the Greeks and surprisingly, the Easterners won! The losses on both sides were staggering (around 45 blocks each).