The Battle of
Paraetacene
317 BC

Antigonos vs. Eumenes

By Michael McFadden

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In the summer of 317 BC Eumenes, trying to capitalize on an earlier victory, was on the move against Antigonos. The two armies came to face one another in the lands of the Paraetaceni (an area NE of Susa). The armies were deployed much as described above. The venerated Silver Shields were among the phalanx of Eumenes.

The battle began with Antigonid light horse making harassing attacks. Eumenes dispersed this force with a flanking attack of his own light cavalry squadrons brought over from his left flank.

In the center the phalanxes engaged, again to Eumenes’ advantage due to the incredible martial powers of the Silver Shields who, despite their age (60 to 70 years old), seemed invincible. With his light horse in ruins, and his phalanx being pushed back, all luck seemed against Antigonos. Yet Antigonos found advantage and pulled off a maneuver that would even their fortunes.

Antigonos observed that the very success of the Silver Shields had led them forward to reveal a gap in the Eumenid line as it detached from their left flank. In a bold move Antigonos charged his heavy cavalry into this gap, wheeling to the rear of the Eumenid cavalry. The attack proved successful – ending what seemed to be the start of a Eumenid victory. The battle slowed as both side tried to rally broken units. As the day ended, both armies retired to their camps. Antigonos claimed victory, even though he lost some 3,700 foot killed, and a further 4,000 wounded. Eumenes came off with a loss of only 540 foot killed and some 1,000 injured. Their next major confrontation would be the Battle of Gabene that winter (317/316 BC).

The Armies

Antigonos (II/16a) (modified)  - 1x3Kn(Gen), 6x4Pk, 1x3Cv, 1x2LH, 1xEl, 2x2Ps

Eumenes' (II/16d) - 1x3Kn(Gen), 1x3Cv, 6x4Pk, 2xEl, 2x2Ps

Deployment

Antigonos deployed his army obliquely, the right wing leading within 6 inches of his baseline. The Antigonid LH deploys on the left flank (furthest from the hills). The El may either be deployed anywhere along the front of the army, or on the right flank. The Kn (gen), CV, and Ps are placed on the right flank as well. The phalanx held the center.

Eumenes, also placed his phalanx of Pk in the center. The Eumenid left flank, resting near the hill, was composed of the Cv, with one Ps, and 1 El. The right flank was led by Eumenes himself – Kn (gen). Eumenes may place his other El anywhere along the front. The remaining Ps deploys anywhere in front of the center phalanx. None of these elements should be greater than 6 inches from their baseline.

Game Map (ASCII)

With sample deployment not to scale.

================Antigonid Baseline===============
H H H H . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H H H H . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H H H . . . . . . Pk Pk Pk. . LH. . . . . . . .
H H H . . . . . . Pk Pk Pk. . . . . . . . . . .
H H . Ps. KN CV. . . .Ps . . . . . . . . . . . .
H H . El. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H H . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H H . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H H . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H H . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H H . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H H . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H H . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H H . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H H . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H H . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H H . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H H . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H H . . . . . . . . . Ps. . El. . . . . . . . . .
H . . . Ps.EL . . Pk Pk Pk. . Kn. . . . . . . .
H . . . Cv. . . . Pk Pk Pk. . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
================Eumenid Baseline=================


SCALE: The space between each dot/letter is one inch.

Terrain Notes

.=Good Going (Good Going)
H=Steep Hill (Impassable)

The battlefield is set on generally terrain feature free plain, excepting for the steep hill to the west. Camps may be placed anywhere along the baseline of each army.

Special Rules

The Silver Shields of Eumenes were an elite unit with a fearful reputation. Two of Eumenes’ Pk elements should be designated as this force. Any foot element in close combat with the Shield Shields must convert any tied rolls into recoils.

Antigonos showed initiative and courage in his daring charge at the peak of the battle. To represent this, the general Kn element (Antigonos) may make a subsequent move is the same bound if their 2nd move will end in close combat with an enemy front, flank, or rear edge, or acting as an overlap or rear support. This move may be only done once in the game, and does not involve a pip cost.

Victory Conditions

Normal DBA.

Background Resources

“Battles of the Greek and Roman Worlds” by John D. Montegu
 


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Last Update:  4 Oct. 2005

Thanks to Mike McFadden for contributing this scenario.
Comments and feedback welcome and can be sent to Chris Brantley.