We were looking for a larger battle than simply pitting II/3
Classical Indians (II/3) versus Alexandrian Macedonian (II/12) or
Imperials (II/14), with some additional to set-piece interest, but that
still had an historical feel. We were also constrained by the limits of
our available figures! What follows worked well for us. Basically
the scenario is a Large Battle DBA, i.e. somewhere between standard and
Big, with 24 units and 2 commanders for each side.
- Alexander's Macedonians: 1x3Kn (CinC, Alexander),
1x4Pk (Gen, Craterus), 8x4Pk, 3x3Kn, 4x3Cv, 4x4Sp, 3x2Ps
- Porus' Indians: 1xEl (CinC, Porus), 1xHCh (Gen, Porus'
son), 3xEl, 2xHCh, 3x3Cv, 4x4Sp, 4x4Bl, 4x4Bw, 2x3Ax
The players are given reasonably free rein as to how the forces were
split within their respective commands, but neither Alexander nor Porus'
son can exceed 12 elements and Porus' son is not allowed elephants.
The terrain is set at Big Battle DBA size, but turned through 90
degrees, so the "width" of the battlefield is as normal DBA and the
"length" doubled. The key feature of the terrain is a "waterway"
running down one half of a long edge, to Alexander's right (Porus'
distant far left. There should be a scattering of Marshes and Woods
backing onto the Waterway and a scattering of Woods and Rough over the
rest of the battlefield, such that each half of the board meets DBA
set-up criteria for "Tropical".
- Alexander deploys first as if for normal DBA, at one table end
with the waterway, representing the Hydaspes on his right.
- Porus' son deploys to face him, but must be no closer than the
- Porus deploys at the opposite end of the board to Alexander,
again according to DBA rules.
- Craterus "arrives" as a Littoral landing with his back to the
Waterway. Basically at the start of each of Alexander's bounds a die
is rolled and the number of previously completed bounds by Alexander
is added. Any score in excess of 6 means Craterus has arrived, i.e.
there is no way he can arrive in the first bound.
Once initial deployment is completed, Alexander goes first.
Each general has a pre-designated die, so the C-in-C will frequently
be less PIP-ful than his second in command!
Morale operates as in Big Battle DBA, so either the commander or at
least one third of a given commander's units has to be lost for the
command to become demoralised.
There are no camps, but otherwise victory is as per Big Battle DBA
(basically wipe out the C-in-C or half of the opposition)!
Alexander had crossed with his Companion Cavalry, Agrianians and
Hypaspists. (1xKn (C-in-C), 3x3Kn, 2x2Ps, 4x4Pk).
Porus' son went to meet him with only chariots and cavalry. (1xHCh
(Gen), 2xHCh, 3x3Cv). The ensuing clash saw Alexander's right suffering
at the hands of the Heavy Chariots until Alexander himself galloped
across from the left to intervene by slaying Porus' son.
Porus, fully aware of the potential threat of Craterus' arrival with
the reserves, kept his elephants on his left flank heading for the river
bank. When Craterus finally arrived there was some sacrificial spear
action to hold up the pachyderms whilst the phalanx wheeled to face.
Alexander mopped up the demoralised advanced guard and was making solid
headway against Porus' infantry, when Craterus' wing was demoralised.
From then on Porus' troops ground the Macedonians down to achieve a
narrow victory. For us then history was reversed, but it all felt
accurate; the battle was close, bloody, hard fought and Alexander
personally stepped in to kill Porus' son. I hope you enjoy this take on
the battle as much as we did.