Tuesday 28 February 2017

More seleucids

 Working on more quinquerremes, with these there are only four left to do and finnish both fleets.
 The coin is a dracma from the tessalian city of Larissa, with a chronology from 395 to 244 b.C.
In one face there's the head of a nymph while in the other a horse grazing with the abbreviation of the city's name over it: Laris. This coin is the oldest of the three. While early hellenistic it doesn't fit in our current 191-190 campaign. However this coin could have been still in circulation, since in ancient times what counted what the quantity of precious metal the coin had, and so it retained its value (unless depreciated with the reduction of the said metal).

Monday 27 February 2017

Seleucid fives

 This week I plan on finnishing the seleucid fleet and these four quinquerremes are the first step towards that goal.

 The coin is a reproduction of a tetradracma cast in Myrina, a population located in the island of Lesbos, around 155-145 b.C. One face shows Apollo's head with laurels. The other has an Apollo "Grynios" holding a phiale and a branch, at his foot there is an amphora while behind him there's a monogram (caster?) and the name of the city: Myrinaion; all within a laurel wreath.

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Korikos 191 a.C.

 "Livius indignatione accensus praetoria nave in hostes tendit, [...] demittere remos in aquam ab ustroque latere remiges stabiliendae navis causa iussit, et in advenientis hostium naves ferreras manus inicerre et, ubi pugnam pedestri similem fecissent, meminisse Romae virtutis nec pro viris ducere regia manicipa."

"Livius, inflamed with passion, made for the enemy with the flagship, [...] he ordered the rowers on both sides to trail their oars in the water to steady the ship and the men to throw iron grappling-hooks upon the approaching hostile ships, and when they had made the engagement like one on land, he bade them remember Roman valour and not to consider the king's salves as men."

Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, XXXVI, XLIV, VII-VIII.
 Welcome to the first outing of our ancient galleys, this battle is part of our "Romano-Syrian war" campaign: the romans won the first bout at the Termopylae, will the seleucid be able to stop the enemy fleet on its tracks and prevent the legions from passing to Asia?

The romans are led by the praefectus Caius Livius Salinator (red dice), who, not familiar with naval affairs, finds himself still in a sailing column against an enemy fleet deployed in combat line. The romano-rhodian fleet is composed by a motley crew of quinquerremes, monoremes and trirremes.
   Aboard his over the top deceres, the seleucid admiral Polixenidas, has an easy job ahead of him with his monorreme and quinquerreme fleet in an ideal position.
 The romans begin to form a line turning the heavy ships in a right angle while the faster monoremes rush to the right

 The seleucid inaction benefits the allies, giving them plenty of time to form the battleline

 As the romans begin to advance the seleucid react
 And Livius's ship is set on fire by the deceres!
 The lines clash
 The prefect crashes his ship against a five that he had previously set on fire, stripping two damage
 The fire eats away at the damaged ships
 Ineffective seleucid ramming

 Seeing the chance, a roman five rams an enemy monoreme
 Sending it to the bottom! First blood to Livy
 A rhodian trirreme also sinks a bigger quinquerreme with a single hit, proving the superior seamanship of the islanders

 A monoreme fails tough

 The allies have the left and begin to press on the center and the enemy flagship
 The praetorian galley is in bad shape but still stands firm
 The five facing the prefect retreats but the fire burns it down

 The monoreme that had just rammed the roman flagship is rushed by a bigger five and sunk

 Another seleucid five tries to board Livius but he takes the enemy ship instead
 However roman steel is no proof against fire and the flagship becomes a burning wreck
 Polixenidas orders the retreat of his remaining galleys while the victorious roman pursue
In the last turn the seleucid try some desperate boarding, killing one monoreme.

The battle has been a clear victory for the romans 15-6, the brave sacrifice of the prefect, who took no less than two fives down with him cast a mournfoul veil over his complete sucess.

With this the romans have two campaign points, once they reach four the seleucids'll have one unit less in the final battle: Magnesia.

We played using my rulebook corona navalis I liked how it played out, but as always my father complainded: this time it was too simple and kiddish, so next time we'll give Fleet of Battle a try. He'll see what is to play with a truly complex rulebook: I can already hear his complaints about it being too comlpicated ;).


Seleucid deceres

 Working again on galleys, this time the seleucid flagship, a deceres, accompanied by four quinqueremes.
 The deceres doesn't come per se in the carthaginian set so I scaled up a quinquereme. I edited two towers to give it a more imponent aspect, it also shoots more ingame so the two towers are also housing extra scorpions, archers, etc

 My first successor quinquerremes

 The coin was a gift from my uncle. It's the reproduction of a gold statera from a serie coined by the successor king Philip III (reign 323-317) which represents him with the features of Apollo in one side and driving a biga on the other. We are then before a typical hellenistinc coin which features the program of divinitzation of the ruler started by Alexander and also an interest in sports in line with the ideals of physical and mental fitness of the ruler so prevalent in the greek world. 

The real thing
 Finally a size comparison between the three types of seleucid ships