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X62 Anapus (415 BC)

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Athens vs Syracuse: The Battle of the Anapus 415BC

Syracusan vs Athenian

Note: These rules contain set-ups & special situations for three scenarios.

Historical Background:
(A selection from Thucydides’ classic work: “Peloponnesian War”)
[65] The generals of the Syracusans, who did not want confidence, and who had intended even without this to march on Catana, believed the man without any sufficient inquiry, fixed at once a day upon which they would be there, and dismissed him, and the Selinuntines and others of their allies having now arrived, gave orders for all the Syracusans to march out in mass. Their preparations completed, and the time fixed for their arrival being at hand, they set out for Catana, and passed the night upon the river Symaethus, in the Leontine territory. Meanwhile the Athenians no sooner knew of their approach than they took all their forces and such of the Sicels or others as had joined them, put them on board their ships and boats, and sailed by night to Syracuse. Thus, when morning broke the Athenians were landing opposite the Olympieum ready to seize their camping ground, and the Syracusan horse having ridden up first to Catana and found that all the armament had put to sea, turned back and told the infantry, and then all turned back together, and went to the relief of the city.
[66] In the meantime, as the march before the Syracusans was a long one, the Athenians quietly sat down their army in a convenient position, where they could begin an engagement when they pleased, and where the Syracusan cavalry would have least opportunity of annoying them, either before or during the action, being fenced off on one side by walls, houses, trees, and by a marsh, and on the other by cliffs. They also felled the neighbouring trees and carried them down to the sea, and formed a palisade alongside of their ships, and with stones which they picked up and wood hastily raised a fort at Daskon, the most vulnerable point of their position, and broke down the bridge over the Anapus. These preparations were allowed to go on without any interruption from the city, the first hostile force to appear being the Syracusan cavalry, followed afterwards by all the foot together. At first they came close up to the Athenian army, and then, finding that they did not offer to engage, crossed the Helorine road and encamped for the night.
[67] The next day the Athenians and their allies prepared for battle, their dispositions being as follows: Their right wing was occupied by the Argives and Mantineans, the centre by the Athenians, and the rest of the field by the other allies. Half their army was drawn up eight deep in advance, half close to their tents in a hollow square, formed also eight deep, which had orders to look out and be ready to go to the support of the troops hardest pressed. The camp followers were placed inside this reserve. The Syracusans, meanwhile, formed their heavy infantry sixteen deep, consisting of the mass levy of their own people, and such allies as had joined them, the strongest contingent being that of the Selinuntines; next to them the cavalry of the Geloans, numbering two hundred in all, with about twenty horse and fifty archers from Camarina. The cavalry was posted on their right, full twelve hundred strong, and next to it the darters. As the Athenians were about to begin the attack, Nicias went along the lines, and addressed these words of encouragement to the army and the nations composing it.”
[68] "Soldiers, a long exhortation is little needed by men like ourselves, who are here to fight in the same battle, the force itself being, to my thinking, more fit to inspire confidence than a fine speech with a weak army. Where we have Argives, Mantineans, Athenians, and the first of the islanders in the ranks together, it were strange indeed, with so many and so brave companions in arms, if we did not feel confident of victory; especially when we have mass levies opposed to our picked troops, and what is more, Siceliots, who may disdain us but will not stand against us, their skill not being at all commensurate to their rashness. You may also remember that we are far from home and have no friendly land near, except what your own swords shall win you; and here I put before you a motive just the reverse of that which the enemy are appealing to; their cry being that they shall fight for their country, mine that we shall fight for a country that is not ours, where we must conquer or hardly get away, as we shall have their horse upon us in great numbers. Remember, therefore, your renown, and go boldly against the enemy, thinking the present strait and necessity more terrible than they."
[69] After this address Nicias at once led on the army. The Syracusans were not at that moment expecting an immediate engagement, and some had even gone away to the town, which was close by; these now ran up as hard as they could and, though behind time, took their places here or there in the main body as fast as they joined it. Want of zeal or daring was certainly not the fault of the Syracusans, either in this or the other battles, but although not inferior in courage, so far as their military science might carry them, when this failed them they were compelled to give up their resolution also. On the present occasion, although they had not supposed that the Athenians would begin the attack, and although constrained to stand upon their defence at short notice, they at once took up their arms and advanced to meet them. First, the stone-throwers, slingers, and archers of either army began skirmishing, and routed or were routed by one another, as might be expected between light troops; next, soothsayers brought forward the usual victims, and trumpeters urged on the heavy infantry to the charge; and thus they advanced, the Syracusans to fight for their country, and each individual for his safety that day and liberty hereafter; in the enemy's army, the Athenians to make another's country theirs and to save their own from suffering by their defeat; the Argives and independent allies to help them in getting what they came for, and to earn by victory another sight of the country they had left behind; while the subject allies owed most of their ardour to the desire of self-preservation, which they could only hope for if victorious; next to which, as a secondary motive, came the chance of serving on easier terms, after helping the Athenians to a fresh conquest.
[70] The armies now came to close quarters, and for a long while fought without either giving ground. Meanwhile there occurred some claps of thunder with lightning and heavy rain, which did not fail to add to the fears of the party fighting for the first time, and very little acquainted with war; while to their more experienced adversaries these phenomena appeared to be produced by the time of year, and much more alarm was felt at the continued resistance of the enemy. At last the Argives drove in the Syracusan left, and after them the Athenians routed the troops opposed to them, and the Syracusan army was thus cut in two and betook itself to flight. The Athenians did not pursue far, being held in check by the numerous and undefeated Syracusan horse, who attacked and drove back any of their heavy infantry whom they saw pursuing in advance of the rest; in spite of which the victors followed so far as was safe in a body, and then went back and set up a trophy. Meanwhile the Syracusans rallied at the Helorine road, where they re-formed as well as they could under the circumstances, and even sent a garrison of their own citizens to the Olympieum, fearing that the Athenians might lay hands on some of the treasures there. The rest returned to the town.
[71] The Athenians, however, did not go to the temple, but collected their dead and laid them upon a pyre, and passed the night upon the field. The next day they gave the enemy back their dead under truce, to the number of about two hundred and sixty, Syracusans and allies, and gathered together the bones of their own, some fifty, Athenians and allies, and taking the spoils of the enemy, sailed back to Catana. It was now winter; and it did not seem possible for the moment to carry on the war before Syracuse, until horse should have been sent for from Athens and levied among the allies in Sicily--to do away with their utter inferiority in cavalry--and money should have been collected in the country and received from Athens, and until some of the cities, which they hoped would be now more disposed to listen to them after the battle, should have been brought over, and corn and all other necessaries provided, for a campaign in the spring against Syracuse.

War Council

Imperial Athens Expeditionary Force:
Leader: Nicias
5 Cards (one card is a line command card, the others randomly picked)
Move First

Syracuse/Allied Army:
Leader: Syracusan General
4 Cards (all randomly picked)

Victory:
Athenian Player scores 2 Banners each for eliminating each enemy Hoplite unit, Heavy Cavalry unit or Leader, and 1 Banner each for each other enemy unit eliminated. Victory is 12 Banners.
The Syracusan/Allied Player scores 2 Banners each for eliminating each enemy Hoplite unit, or Leader, and 1 Banner each for each other enemy unit eliminated. Additionally he scores 2 Banners each for each Athenian camp tile (fortified or unfortified) entered and removed (see special terrain rules). Victory is 10 Banners.

Scenario Special Rules:
Command Rules:
All Leaders may cancel a retreat or a sword hit if present with the unit.
All Leaders, may only support units involved in close-combat or Battle-back if they are directly stacked with the unit. Units on both sides involved in close combat with the support of a Leader may only count one helmet hit amongst those rolled to inflict a hit on an opposing unit.
The Syracusan ‘Allied General’ may not support or benefit a unit involved in close-combat or battle-back unless the unit is an Allied Medium Infantry unit.
Units and the Rally Card:. No unit can be rallied to beyond five blocks or its strength at the start of the game whichever is less. If a Player rolls “swords” when attempting to rally he may freely chose which unit gets a block back.

Missile Ranges & Effectiveness & Syracusan Cavalry in the Anapus River scenarios:
a) Archers and Slingers only have a range of 2 hexes in this scenario—and may missile fire at adjacent enemy units.
b) Auxillia & Light Infantry only have a range of one hex in this scenario—and may missile fire at adjacent enemy units.
c) Missile fire directed through Rampart hexsides at units located on the Rampart tile or at units located in a fortified camp hex, or in houses/enclosures is always at a maximum of one die regardless of whether the firing unit has moved or not.
d) All Syracusan Cavalry units in the game have a missile fire capability—range is one hex and a maximum of one die can be rolled regardless of whether the firing unit has moved or not.
e) An ordered unit may either missile fire or conduct close-combat in a player-turn—never BOTH.

Hoplites:
Both sides Heavy Infantry & Medium Infantry regardless of type/nationality are assumed to be heavily armed and armored Greek warfare fighting style Hoplites—therefore such units always ignore the first sword hit inflicted upon them, except if the unit is in an outflanked position in which case such hits are applied normally.

Athenian Slingers:
The Athenian Light Slinger unit is made up of elite mercenaries, when firing their missiles at enemy Light (Green) units they hit on swords—in battle back only they also hit on swords.

Athenian Rowers:
Athenian Rowers are treated as Light Infantry for all purposes, however they have no missile capability and cannot voluntarily move or attack into hexes more than 3 hexes away from the initial setup hexes of the Athenian Rampart and Camp hex tiles.

Athenian Auxillia: The Athenian Auxillia unit is assumed to be made up of Peltest type troops. The Auxillia unit may evade attacks by all types of Syracusan Medium Infantry.

Syracusan Allied Medium Infantry: The four units designated as Syracusan Ally Medium Infantry units are somewhat less reliable in close-combat/battle-back:
These units do not automatically make a hit when they roll: the appropriate color of the unit they are targeting, swords, or Flags in close-combat or battle-back—re-roll any color, sword, or Flag hits inflicted by these units in the initial roll to determine the real result and go with the outcome of the second roll. This rule does not affect hits inflicted via helmet rolls by these units stacked with a leader, or hits inflicted on an evading unit.

Outflanking---This is an easy way of introducing facing and flanks to the game with little fuss—it can be retrofitted to other scenarios where appropriate:
A unit is said to be “Outflanked” if it is surrounded in all six adjacent hexes by either enemy units, or hexes adjacent to an enemy unit. The presence of friendly units or impassable terrain does not negate an “Outflanked” situation in any way. Units on the board edges (and not surrounded by six adjacent hexes) cannot be “Outflanked”.
Effects of being Outflanked: “Outflanked” units when battling back roll only half the normal number of dice they would be normally entitled to rounded up—to a maximum of only two dice—“Outflanked” units when battling back never hit on helmet rolls even if supported by a leader. A unit’s “Outflanked” situation is judged at the instant it battles back.

The “March to Battle”scenario:
Athenian Initial Maneuvering Rules & Syracusan off-map forces:
Historical Note: Initially the Syracusan army did not expect battle with Athenian forces that day. The Athenians were able to cross the two rivers in front of their camp and quickly deploy for battle.
a) During the first six Athenian card plays/player-turns Athenian units/leaders may not move adjacent to Syracusan units or engage them via missile fire—Athenian Movement and ordering of units is conducted normally otherwise.
b) During the first five Syracusan card plays/player-turns the Syracusan units/leaders may not move or missile fire at all. The Syracusan player-turn is executed as follows during these first five player-turns only—a) Play any one card b) Bring one initially off-map unit or leader onto the board in hexes I12, I10, I8, I6, I4, I1 c) Draw another card

Special Terrain Rules:
ALL Coastline hexes and River-mouth hexes (River-mouth hexes are A11 & C11) are ALL impassable terrain
Fordable River Hexes: Ordered units must stop when they enter fordable river hexes. In combat effects units close-combat attacking out of or battling back out of fordable river tiles do so at only one dice less than normal. Units attacking or battling into river hexes use normal rolls. Fordable River hexes include hexes A10 and C10.
River Crossing Hexes (A9 & C9 only): Ordered units need not stop when they enter river-crossing hexes—treat as clear terrain for movement. In combat effects-- units close-combat attacking or battling back out of or into river crossing tiles do so at only one dice less than normal.
Houses & Enclosures: Syracusan Cavalry may not retreat, evade, or close-combat attack into such locales but could battle-back or missile fire into such hexes. Ordered Syracusan Cavalry may not enter House/Enclosure hexes via normal or Momentum moves. Units battling-back from such locations do so at +1 dice normal. House/Enclosure hexes block line of sight.
Olive Groves: Use normal forest rules, however Syracusan Cavalry occupying such hexes may not evade close-combat and may not missile fire from the groves.
Marsh Hexes: Only Light foot units and Leaders may enter, evade, momentum advance, or retreat into or through Marsh tiles. For combat into and out of such hexes treat them as if they were Broken Ground hexes. Light foot/leader units ordered to enter marsh tiles must stop in the first one entered. Syracusan Cavalry may not close-combat attack into such locales but could battle-back or missile fire into such hexes.
Unfortified Camp Hexes: These block line of sight but have no combat effect. These tiles are removed and the hex is converted to clear terrain if entered by Syracusan units.
Fortified Camp Hexes and Rampart Hextiles: Use the normal rulebook combat effects. These tiles are removed and the hex is converted to clear terrain if entered by Syracusan units.

The Anapus River Battle Scenario:
Historical Note: This scenario covers the actual battle only.
a) Use only Map 1 & the set-up listed below. Map 2 is not setup & the three (3) Athenian sailor units are not utilized.
b) There are no initial Movement restrictions and both sides can attack each other from the very start. The Syracusan Player moves first and has four randomly chosen cards—the Athenian Player moves second and has five randomly chosen cards.
Set-up (Map 1 ONLY)
Imperial Athens Expeditionary Force:
X2 Heavy Infantry: D9, C9
X2 Elite Heavy Infantry Hoplites: D7, D8 (both 5 blocks)
X3 Medium Infantry: D5, D6, C7
X1 Auxillia: D4
X1 Light Infantry: E5
X1 Light Slinger: E8
X1 Light Archer: E10
X2 Leaders D6 (Lamachus) D8 ( Nicias)
Syracuse/Allied Army:
Use the exact same set-up as the “March to Battle” scenario, however the off-map forces from that setup are placed as follows initially on the map:
X1 Syracusan Ally Medium Infantry: I8
X1 Light Infantry: I10
X2 Medium Infantry: I6, I4
X1 Leader: I8 (Allied General)

The “Extended Campaign” Scenario:
Note: This scenario assumes the Syracusans weren’t caught flat-footed by the Athenian advance.
a) The Athenians setup as in the “March to Battle” Scenario and the Syracusans setup as in the Anapus River Battle Scenario with all their units initially on the map. Both maps and all units are utilized.
b) There are no initial Movement restrictions and both sides can attack each other from the very start.
c) The Athenians Move First and the card draw on both sides is the same as in the March to Battle” Scenario.

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