Crossing the River Granicus 334 BC
Alexander the Great led a large force across the Hellespont and invaded Asia. After gaining support from the coastal cities and paying homage at Troy, Alexander learned of a force of Persians gathering near Lampsachus. This Persian force was mostly made up of Satrapal cavalry although a sizeable contingent of Greek Mercenaries served along with their Mercenary Polemarch; Memnon of Rhodes.
Memnon was a shrewd commander and advocated that the Persians should lay back and starve Alexanders army on the vine- since he knew that the Macedonian coffers were at a critical low point. The Persians had control of the sea and any kind of coordinated action should eventually force Alexander to withdraw.
The committee of Persian Satraps were thoroughly disgusted with Memnons notion of Scorched Earth Tactics Their most prominent spokesman Arsites, the Satrap of Phrygia, declared that no one would burn any of his subjects houses. The rest concurred with Arsites and the Persian army moved to face Alexander.
Nothing could have suited Alexander better that a pitched battle, as he was already running into monetary difficulties. Once he found out that there was an enemy force waiting he rushed towards it. Soon the two armies were facing each other across the river Granicus a narrow but swift stream, with some steep banks in places- definitely an obstacle. The Persians covered the main crossing with their cavalry forces, but their Hoplites and infantry were left behind.
Alexander immediately resolved to attack them even though they had the terrain to their advantage, and against the wisdom of his old advisor Parmenio (at least according to Arrian- Diordorus' account states that Alexander was repulsed in a first attempt to cross then crossed upstream the next day )
Granicus Refight in WAB
|This is a game of Alexander's battle at the
Granicus using the Warhammer Ancient Battles rules.
Since it was a 'historical scenario," points were not kept track of, but generally both sides had about 3000 points of troops. The OOB in AtG was used, but pared down to reflect the limited space available.
Alexander and his Companions rushed the ford to the Persian left. Alexander transferred the Thessalian cavalry from his left wing and they rode around the rear of the phalanx to join Alexander's flank march.
The Persians reacted by trying to redeploy to their left.
|The deployment map to the left may be used for this
scenario. The OOB from Warhammer Alexander the Great (AtG) on page 72 may be used,
or players may use the army lists to generate their own lists.
The table needs to be at least 8 feet long and it is was found that a five foot wide table is better for this scenario.
The Persians should set up first and Alexander may move first as he has the initiative!
The opening actions of the game saw the Persians try to disrupt the Macedonian assault by delaying with skirmishers on their right wing to allow time for the mercenary Greek hoplites to arrive. In the center the Persian cavalry engaged the unsupported Paeonians and Greek Macedonian allies... and drove them back...
Alexander and his Thessalians found themselves stuck battling with enemy light cavalry near the ford and a column of heavy Kappadokians held them in place. (This is happening way at the top of the photo)
|The Greek hoplites arrive to fill the gap on the
left wing as Paphlagonian horsemen attempt to stop the hypaspists from crossing.
Alexander was held in check trying to get across the river as these hoplites crashed into
the Macedonians just sloshing out of the river... in the center the Phrygian horse drove
off all enemies and pursued them to destruction with Spitamenes at their lead.
Alexander was penned up.. the Greeks were holding the Macedonian phalanx... Spitmanes was about to turn and roll up the phalanx.....then disaster struck... a unit of cavalry was mauled by the hypaspists, they ran... causing a monumental rout of the leaderless Persian right wing... the Greeks caught the rout bug too.. and ran... nothing rallied! The Persian army fled ignominiously.....
|Spitamenes returns to find his army gone! Alexander had finally routed the local opposition, and the Macedonians were stripping the armor from the dead and erecting a victory trophy! What had gone wrong he wondered as he sped off to catch up with his routed army......|
I really want to hear your comments and criticisms. If you use this list for a game please give me any details you can!
Created by Jeff Jonas 4/00