Saturday 1 January 2022

CHRISTMAS GAME - Battle of the White Meadows 576AD

A regular highlight of the festive period is the annual trip over the Peak District to the small village of Storrs near Sheffield to visit my good friend Richard C and enjoy a days wargaming. 

This year there were two days organised. One of the 27th December which was a Hordes of the Things game which unfortunately I couldn't attend due to being on Grandad duty. The second was arranged for the 29th December which was a To the Strongest 6mm Ancients game. So after a very murky drive over the Peak District I arrived in Storrs and the scene was set for the Last Campaign of Khosrau I in Andreivia* 576AD. 

* Andreivia is a fictional Black Sea country which features in many of our games and campaigns from Ancient to Modern times.

This game was originally planned to be part of Crisis Point but due to the Pandemic this was the first opportunity to get together and play. The scenario and figures were done by Jamie C.


The Roman and Persian Empires have spent the last century running through a cycle of concealed and then public aggression. Client States (mostly in Arabia and the Caucasus) are manipulated into proxy wars and border disputes, until the conflict becomes too intense and one empire dispatches armies to the region. Brief war follows and no real gains are made before a truce is declared and the cycle begins again. 

The current war is in it's fourth year, and has severely deviated from the pattern. Rome betrayed its Arabian allies and, despite winning in the Caucasus, has lost Mesopotamia, Syria and Eastern Anatolia. In the latest campaign however, Khosrau I, Shahansha of Persia, has led an army to Meilitine and been defeated by a Roman force commanded by Justinian, Magister Militum for the East. A second battle saw the Persian camp captured by the Romans and the Persians flee across the Tigris. They have since turned north into the small Roman-aligned kingdom of Andreivia, and King Damnazes has called for Roman aid. He intends to meet the invaders on the Leukos Libadion, Andreivia's white-stoned southern plains...

Will the upcoming Battle of White Meadows be remembered as the shining pinnacle of local resistance to foreign tyranny, or the moment where the flower of early medieval Andreivia was crushed under the Iranian boot...


The defenders of Andreivia consisted of a Byzantine army supported by Ghassanid allies and an Andreivian force.

Opposing them across the White Meadows were the invading forces of the Persians and their allies.


Initial deployment saw the Sassanids (closest to the camera) deploy in the centre with the Albanians and Lakhmids both deploying on the right flank. Opposing them were the Byzantine/Romans in the centre with the Andreivian forces on their left flanks and the Ghasssanids to their right. The road sections and villages were rough terrain so would form a small obstacle on each flank.

The Sassanids, with myself playing the role of Khosrau I, with their heavy cavalry on their left flanks and two deep units of Paighan spearmen in the centre supported by a unit of light infantry archers. On the Sassanid right flank were two units of light cavalry archers.

Unfortunately I lost track of the order of these photos as I was importing them and once the forces clashed it was quite difficult to keep track of what the other units were doing. I will try and add details when and where I can remember them.

I started by pushing my Savaran Cavalry forward on the left flank and made a bold move forward on my right flank with my Horse Archers. Meanwhile in the centre the Paighan advanced slowly forward accompanied by the Foot Archers and Khosrau I himself. Unfortunately my Cataphracts failed to activate and remained in their start position.

Closer view of the Savaran Cavalry and the Paighan as they begin their steady advance.

The Sassanid Horse Archers (bottom right) approach the Byzantine line.

Lovely 6mm Baccus miniatures from Jamie C's collection.

The Byzantine line crashes into the Sassanid Horse Archers. 

Meanwhile on the right flank the Albanians and Lakhmids commanded by my partner in crime Gus began to advance towards the small farm. Opposed by a force of Andreivians.

Sassanid Savaran Cavalry approach the Ghassanid Spearmen.

The Sassanid Cataphracts still unable to move due to being disordered. They would remain like this for a few turns until the assistance of Khosrau I himself finally rallied them and they could enter the battle.

Khosrau I rallying the Sassanid Cataphracts.

Ghassanid Light Infantry occupy the farm supported by Ghassanid Cavalry (just behind the farm) threaten the flank of the Savaran Cavalry forcing them to check their advance.

Lakhmid and Albanian forces clash with Andreivians on the right flank.

In the centre the Paighan clash with Byzantine Cavalry.

The Byzantines destroy one unit of Paighan and push forward on the Sassanid left flank. Bottom right the Savaran Cavalry move to support.

Ghassanid Cavalry attempt to outflank the Sassanid left as the Sassanid Cataphracts finally get into the battle with a decisive move to plug the gap in the line left by the destroyed unit of Paighan.

Close up of the Ghassanid Cavalry beginning to outflank the Sassanid left. Would this move come too late as the Byzantine forces in the centre begin to weaken under pressure from both the Sassanids and the Albanians.

The battle rages in the centre.

Albanian and Lakhmid forces begin to encircle the Andreivians/Byzantines on the right.

The beginning of the end for the defenders of Andreivia and Albanian/Lakhmid pressure continues to bear down on their beleaguered left flank.

Ultimately the Sassanids and their Allies were victorious due largely to some terrible chit pulls from Richard C playing the Byzantines. A great game as always and many thanks to Jamie C for organising the game and Richard C for his wonderful hospitality including home made soup, crusty bread and cheese. What's not to like! Thanks again to all the players for a great afternoons gaming. Hopefully it won't be long before I head over the Peak District again for a Saturday Afternoon game. 


Some more photos of the battle taken by Jamie C who umpired the game.

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