Way off period... but it was fun

Triremes - aphract and cataphract - very common for over 200 years.

Warfare Miniatures will soon be releasing an extensive range of 1/1200 metal warships covering the period 500 BC till the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD. This is a further consolidation of our naval offer. The ships are designed by the same talented artist who created the Anglo-Dutch Wars ships range.

The scenario set up on a 2 x 2 table using 1/1200 scale models.

More on this later but to kick off, I set up a small battle using five ships per side and set it during the campaign which culminated in the Battle of Salamis.

The Spartan flagship has sails up and is a fully bulwarked cataphract vessel.

Near Skiathos a small Spartan scouting force looking for the advancing Persian fleet contacts an Egyptian van squadron undertaking the same activity for the Persians.

The Egyptian attack formation approaches the flank of the Spartan scouting force.

Both sides are equally balanced with the same combination of ships - three Triremes, an older Pentekonter and a scouting Triakonter in each fleet. I varied the crew experience on the vessels between fleets. I am using a proto set of galley warfare rules using many mechanisms familiar in Mad for War.

The Greeks had to immediately change course to avoid being flanked. The Egyptian scout doubled speed and raced ahead to force a Greek response. Very soon the two small scouting ships were in combat as the Spartan vessel failed to board but the more skilful Egyptian crew were able to grapple and locked both together.

The Greeks change direction to meet the threat. The Egyptian scout moves at double speed.

The Spartans formed line abreast whilst the Egyptian flagship veered off in an attempt to flank the Greeks.

Spartans form line. Scout ships lock horns. Egyptian flagship moves out to the flank.

The Spartan flagship had an inexperienced crew - reluctant to commit.

Eventually the Spartan scout ship was overwhelmed when all aboard were killed or wounded. She was captured. A veteran Egyptian ship raked the oars of a supporting Spartan trireme and as the Greeks attemped to neutralize this threat their pentekonter was rammed amidships by another Egyptian ship.


A similar raking move by an inexperienced Egyptian crew on the Spartan flgaship resulted in them losing some of their own oars! For much of the battle the Greeks fared badly. They lost their two lighter ships quickly and only redeemed the situation when a well handled trireme overcame the enemy pentekonter which also contained the Egyptian Hero who was cut down when his ship was taken.

The rammed Spartan pentekonter is boarded by the Egyptian trireme.

A veteran trireme captures the pentekonter of the Egyptian hero (centre with sail up). 

The wary Spartan admiral backed away and boxed his ship in against the island with two enemy triremes failing to board after repeated attempts. The late arrival of the Egyptian flagship created the finale with  two remaining Spartan vessels putting up a great fight but eventually being overwhelmed.

Victory to the Persian Empire!  All done on a 2 x 2 table and taking about 60 minutes to complete. Game had 8 turns.