EPIC16 Marathon (490 BC)
King Darius I of Persia sent an expedition against Athens in reprisal for the burning of Sardes in 498 BC during the failed Ionian Revolt. The Persian fleet under the joint command of Datis and Artaphernes landed near Marathon bay, which offered a perfect battleground for their troops. The Athenians marched out to face the enemy in the field, with 1000 allied soldiers from Plataea supplementing the Athenian force of 9000. The Persians outnumbered the Greeks, but to counter the disparity, Callimachus extended the Greek line to match the enemy, thinning the center while keeping both wings at full strength. The Persian army, with its best troops in the center, was taken by surprise when the Athenians attacked. Historians suggest that the some of the Persian cavalry was in the process of embarking back onto the ships when the attack started (it appears that the Greeks had waited for days before actually lining up for battle). In the battle the Persian center got the best of the weak Greek center and broke through, but this success was more than countered by the defeat of their two wings. The victorious Athenians then swung inwards and the Persian force was routed back to their ships. Concerned that the defeated Persians might still sail around to threaten Athens, Callimachus marched the Greek army back to Athens in “record time,” (which is the true “Marathon race.”) When the Persian ships reached Athens, they found an army waiting for them on Phaleron beach. Greece was safe, for now.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
8 Command Cards
7 Command Cards
• Stream is fordable.
• The sea and hill hexes are impassable.