What role did War elephants play in the battle of Thermopylae?

What role did War elephants play in the battle of Thermopylae?


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In the battle of Thermopylae between the Persians and the United Greek Forces, what role did the mighty war elephant play? The Persians threw Immortals and archers at the United Greeks on the narrow cliff-side but the Greco-Persian wars don't describe how or if the war elephants played a decisive role in the major battles.


War Elephants in the west were a military fad that started with Alexander the Great's encounter with them at the battle of Gaugamella. They became popular for a while, but their ineffectiveness for Hannibal at Zama 113 years later spelled the beginning of the end for the fad. The extinction of the Syran and North African species iced it. By the beginning of the Common Era, the Romans were no longer employing them. The Parthans continued to use them for a time, but had to import them all from India. The Ethiopians continued to use them at least until the birth of Mohammed.

Thermopylae was a few generations before all this. There's no record of war elephants being used there, and this is certainly something one would expect a record of had it happened. Elephants are, after all, the prototypical example of "something that cannot possibly be missed, if it is there".


It's tempting to think of war elephants as some kind of super cavalry, but in reality they were far from that. War elephants were unpredictable and hard to control. At times they were as dangerous to your own troops as they were to the enemy. They were primarily a psychological weapon and used as such. You line them up and send them running at the enemy lines. You're not trying to kill people, you're trying to scare them, and against untrained soldiers this had the possibility of routing a unit or sowing disorder. Against well trained armies, however, they were almost always ineffective.

As far as Thermopylae goes, I don't think Xerxes' army included elephants, which would make the point moot, but supposing it had I still find it incredibly unlikely that you could convince an elephant to charge up a narrow mountain pass like that, and against trained soldiers like the Greeks the risks would have outweighed the rewards of trying a strategy like that.


Starting conditions [ edit | edit source ]

  • Starting Age:Castle Age
  • Starting resources: 200  wood, 400  food, 200  gold, 200  stone
  • Population limit: 75 (125 in the Definitive Edition)
  • Starting units:
      Subotai
  • 6  Cavalry Archers
  • 5  Villagers
  • 2 Hunting Wolves
  • 2  Trade Carts
  • Differences between difficulty levels [ edit | edit source ]

    • On Standard, the Russians will have 3 less Boyars in their initial army. Khwarazm will not train Scorpions and Trebuchets.

    Objectives [ edit | edit source ]

      must survive.
    • In the north, deploy Subotai's horde to conquer Russia.
    • In the south, the Khwarazm shah is expecting a gift. But it is assassins he will find in our Trade Carts. We must deliver the carts to the shah quickly, before he breaks his alliance with us.
      • Defeat the Khwarazm Empire.

      Hints [ edit | edit source ]

      • Your two armies are divided and will not be able to meet until they reach Samarkand.
      • If your assassination attempt fails, the leadership of the shah will guarantee that the Persians are a much more deadly enemy.
      • The Persians are expecting their gift. If they do not receive it soon, they may eventually declare war on you.

      Scouts (Definitive Edition) [ edit | edit source ]

      • The Mongols (1, Orange) have gathered in the east near Samarkand and constructed a small camp. Another Mongol army camps to the north. That horde is lead by Subotai, whose task is to invade Russia.
      • Not far away from Subotai's camp are the lands of the Kipchaks (2, Green). The Kipchaks are a nomadic people like the Mongols, but are considerably weaker owing to inept leadership.
      • The west of the map is controlled by the Russians (3, Red). They could be a serious threat early on, but in the long run the Russian swordsmen and Boyars will stand no chance against the Mongols. Beware their powerful rams, however.
      • The Shah rules the Persian Empire (4, Yellow) from Samarkand, a heavily guarded and fortified city to the south. The Persians will defend themselves fiercely, relying above all on their mighty War Elephants, mounted archers and heavy cavalry. It is very likely that they will also produce siege weapons such as Trebuchets and Scorpions. To defeat the Persians, the Mongols will have to destroy the Shah's palace (Wonder) and all of his Castles.

      Battle of the Pyramids July 1798

      The Battle of the Pyramids, also known as the Battle of Embabeh, was fought on July 21, 1798 between the French army in Egypt under General Napoleon Bonaparte, and forces of the local Mamluk rulers. General Bonaparte named the battle after the Egyptian pyramids, because they were faintly visible on the horizon when the battle took place. The battle occurred during France’s 1798-1801 Egyptian Campaign and was the battle where General Bonaparte put into use one of his contributions to tactics, the massive divisional square. Actually a rectangle, the first and second demi-brigades of the division formed the front and rear faces, while the third demi-brigade formed the two sides.

      General Egyptian campaign map for 1798-1799.

      In mid July of 1798, General Bonaparte was marching from Alexandria toward Cairo after invading and capturing the former. On July 13th, the first important battle took place at Shubra Khit, where the outnumbered Mameluke forces were easily defeated and General Bonaparte continued his advance towards the capital.

      French army crossing the desert to Cairo. Doubtful that “all terrain buggy” got far outside of Alexandria and the heavy wool coats caused great suffering in the ranks.

      French campaign movements from naval landing near Alexandria, quick siege and storming of Alexandria then march across desert towards Cairo. (Wikipedia)

      On July 21st, eighteen miles northwest of Cairo, at the fortified village of Embabeh, the main Mameluke army under Murad Bey had assembled waiting for the infidels on the left bank of the Nile. The size of Murad’s army is estimated at about 4,000 to 6,000 mounted Mamelukes, supported by 40 cannons and a small but professional Turkish contingent, mainly tough Albanian troops. To the right of the cavalrymen, closer to the Nile near Embabeh village, were some 15,000 fellaheen–peasant levies armed mostly with clubs and spears or long-barreled old muskets, who were essentially an ineffectual mob. On the Nile east bank, constituting no danger to the French until they crossed the Nile, was Ibrahim Bey’s force, composed of several thousand more Mamelukes and about 18,000 fellaheen-peasant infantry while on the Nile itself there was a small Mameluke flotilla manned by Greek mercenary sailors.

      Typical Mamluk cavalry (Osprey). Note the young page aka “discarded weapon collector”.

      On the other hand, the French deployed about 25,000 men in 5 divisions supported by artillery and a few cavalry troopers. It is almost certain that the combined Mameluke forces enjoyed numerical superiority but the army of Ibrahim Bey did not engage while the Bedouins and most of the infantry, except the Turkish Albanians, were virtually worthless against trained european troops. Furthermore, Murad had made a great mistake by placing his troops on the left bank of the Nile, saving the French from having to cross the river under fire in order to attack him. Ibrahim Bey would have to cross the Nile river in order to help if something went wrong for Murad Bey. When General Bonaparte was informed about the enemy position and the advantage that the two beys had given to him, he decided to engage in a decisive battle. After giving his troops just one hour to rest, Bonaparte was ready to proceed into battle at 3 p.m. At 2 p.m. he sent out orders for advance on Murad’s army with each of the five divisions of his army.

      Battle of the Pyramids 1798 by Rousseau showing initial dispositions and movements during the battle.

      He exhorted his troops, saying, “Forward! Remember that from those monuments yonder forty centuries look down upon you.” After 12 hours of marching under the hot Egyptian sun, the tired, hungry and thirsty French soldiers saw the army of the Mamelukes in the positions that Bonaparte wanted it to be, and the Great Pyramids ten miles behind it.

      “Forward! Remember that from those monuments yonder forty centuries look down upon you.” Painting by Gros.

      The French divisions advanced south in echelon, with the right flank leading and the left flank protected by the Nile. From right to left, Napoleon posted the divisions of Desaix, Reynier, Dugua, Vial and Bon. In addition, Desaix sent a small detachment to occupy the nearby village of Bechtil, just to the west. Murad anchored his right flank on the Nile at the village of Embabeh, which was fortified and held with infantry and some ancient cannons. His Mamluk cavalry deployed on the desert flank. Ibrahim, with a second army, watched helplessly from the east bank of the Nile, unable to intervene.

      General Bonaparte realized that the only Egyptian troops of any worth on the battlefield were the cavalry. French soldiers could see before them the splendid horses of the Mamelukes, prancing magnificently and snorting in the heat of the day. Each rider was armed with a musket, a pair of pistols, several javelins of sharpened palm branch, whatever battle axes, maces and daggers he could attach to himself or his saddle, and a short, curved sword made of black Damascus steel. Riding into battle, a Mameluke could discharge his musket, fire his pistols–dropping them to the ground for his attendants to pick up–and then select an edged weapon as he approached the enemy.Since a Mameluke saw battle as his moment of glory, he carried with him valuable earthly possessions. Jewels, gold and silver coins were attached or hidden in his layers of bright silk vests and baggy silk trousers, which were covered with a full-length, long-sleeved, loose-fitting tunic called a caftan. A turban completed his ensemble.

      Later French era Mameluke styled light cavalry charging in all their finery. The Mamelukes of Egypt worn cloaks, fine patterned cotton robes and individually armed to personal taste.

      Typical Mamluk cavalry. Compare to the French Imperial Guard version of the Mamelukes.

      The Mamelukes had one tactic, a cavalry charge. General Bonaparte had seen that tactic at Shubra Khit and devised a way to counter it. Placing his troops in square divisions, which may actually have been rectangular rather than perfectly square, he was able to withstand the charging hordes of Mamelukes from any direction.

      At 3:00 p.m. the French divisions, commanded by generals Desaix, Dugua, Reynier, Vial and Bon, formed squares and having their field artillery at the corners and the cavalry along with the baggage in the center. Desaix and Reynier were ordered to penetrate the canter of Murad’s line and cut off his retreat while Dugua had to cut off the Mamelukes from the fortifications of Embabeh Bon and Vial would reinforce according to the needs of the moment. Murad though had decided to attack first, believing that the French infantry was no match for his cavalry, and the Mamelukes launched a furious cavalry charge mostly against the squares of Desaix and Reynier.

      Battle of the Pyramids 1798 showing the French squares and the action near the fortified village of Embabeh. Classic painting by Lejeune which can be enlarged.

      The most important thing for the French was to keep their solid square formations. If the square was broken in one side things would be very difficult for them and hand to hand combat favored the Mamelukes. The French held their fire until the screaming Mamelukes approached in a distance of a few meters, so that not a single cartridge would be wasted. Dead and wounded men and horses started piling up around the French squares but the Mamelukes continued to attack all over for about an hour despite their heavy losses. Although the Mamelukes’ cavalry charge was highly unsuccessful against Bonaparte’s division squares, they repeated the tactic again and again, as if sheer determination could overcome French firepower. At times during the furious onslaught, some Mamelukes would penetrate the square, only to be finished off with bayonets and rifle butts. Greek-Mameluke, Hussein, charged into a square and sliced with his scimitar the barrels of the French rifles. He received several wounds but survived and joined the French army later. This suicidal bravery of the Mamelukes, though, could not help them against the continuous volley fire and shelling of experienced european troops.

      Mameluke cavalry charging into the French infantry lines (squares) as General Bonaparte looks on. Painting by Pomeroy.

      While the Mamelukes were engaging the two squares on Bonaparte’s right, Dugua’s square in the middle was using howitzers to shell the warriors in the area between Embabeh and the squares. A detachment of cavalry and grenadiers, sent by Desaix into the Bechtil village on the French right, climbed onto the flat roofs of the houses and began firing on the Mamelukes. Dugua managed to cut off the Mamelukes from Embabeh while Bon and Vial, fighting and advancing, were ready to storm the fortifications. Realizing that the battle was lost, Murad decided to retreat towards Giza and later withdrew to Middle Egypt.

      Mameluke light cavalry charging the steady French squares. Painting by Kossak.

      Nevertheless, the battle was far from over. Those that had already retreated, under French pressure, towards Embabeh had to face Bon and Vial. As the battle continued, Bon’s and Vial’s divisions launched an assault from the French left into the village, under covering fire provided by their riverine flotilla. The French came under fire from cannons hidden in the village. But the cannons, which were mounted on fixed carriages that prevented them from traversing the field of battle, proved ineffective in stopping the attack. Facing desperate fighting, the French stormed the fortifications, massacred Mamelukes and Albanians and drove them into the Nile. With their escape routes blocked, the Mamelukes and their fellaheen plunged into the Nile in an effort to reach their forces on the opposite shore. Perhaps 1,000 drowned and hundreds more were shot. Some warriors were reportedly clubbed with oars by French boatmen trying to check their escape. During this portion of the battle Lieutenant Desernois went out of his square, in Bon’s division, and had a duel with a Mameluke which ended when the Lieutenant broke the head of his opponent after he dismounted him. An hour later, the French emerged victorious and started looting the corpses of the Mamelukes, finding many gold coins in their silken clothes.

      Mameluke cavalry being repulsed by disciplined French musketry. Paint by Vincent.

      The French troops would get additional support from a flotilla of 15 river boats, manned by 600 sailors and the contingent of scientists and scholars (“savants”), under the command of Captain Jean-Baptiste Perrée, which Bonaparte had assembled at Rosetta and sent up the Nile to assist his army. The flotilla and most of the French infantry had played an unimportant role in the early battle. Ibrahim’s army was unable to cross the Nile and reinforce Murad mainly because of a sandstorm. Most historians suggest that Ibrahim did not even try to help Murad. In any case, after the battle, Ibrahim left for Cairo at first and for the Sinai desert later on, along with his treasures and the Turkish pasha. The Mameluke army had been dispersed for ever.

      Admiral Jean-Baptiste-Emmanuel Perrée. Naval officer who commanded the flotilla on the Nile.

      Typical Nile river boat with single deck, a cabin area and lantern sail rigging.

      The Mameluke losses are not accurately known. According to the official French report 2,000-3,000 Mamelukes were killed but this could probably be the total number of enemy casualties, including infantry and Bedouins. Other French military sources of the period reduce the number of dead Mamelukes to 800-1,200. As for the French, they had 29 dead and 260 severely wounded. During the night, panic prevailed in Cairo many people left the city, others started looting while the remaining authorities decided to send a delegation to Bonaparte. After some negotiations, General Bonaparte entered Cairo on July 24. Lower Egypt was under complete French control for the moment.

      Military print celebrating the French victory. Hot off the Parisian newspaper ink press.

      General Bonaparte and his troops had defeated their opponents, despite the difficulties caused by the climate and the problems of logistic support. After all, the Mamelukes seem to have limited knowledge of strategy, lacked discipline and modern fighting methods. The times that individual bravery and medieval-type cavalry charges against infantry counted the most in the battlefield had passed forever long ago. With this battle General Bonaparte managed to destroy, disperse or demoralize the main enemy forces, occupy Cairo and secure his conquest of Egypt. The battle can be considered of having some importance if we see it as part of an action that enabled the French scientists to study and revive a lost civilization, to put the foundations of Egyptology which could not have been developed under the Mameluke regime. It was a collision of two different worlds, taking place near the mysterious monuments of a great ancient civilization. After all, not many soldiers throughout the history of warfare had the opportunity to fight while “forty centuries were looking down upon them.”

      Battle of the Pyramids showing a different disposition of both armies. Note the Mameluke cavalry is positioned along the Nile river.

      Peaceful Nile view of the Pyramids (Roberts).

      For the reader who may want to game out a scenario of Mameluke cavalry charging French squares, I have written up some basic scenario notes, an order of battle, a summary of our group’s square formation rules and some subjective victory conditions. In addition, I have added some internet links for information of interest.

      Battle of the Pyramids 1798 scenario map.

      Battle of the Pyramids 1798 scenario map with command counter start location.

      Battle of the Pyramids scenario notes (.doc): Battle of Pyramids 1798 Scenario Notes

      The scenario rosters: French Pyramids roster (.xls) and Mameluke Pyramids roster (.xls).

      Scene from the Battle of the Pyramids 1798 scenario. Read the AAR linked account below in text.

      A Battle of the Pyramids After Action Report (AAR) on this scenario is linked. It shows the scenario displayed in 25-28mm miniature and general play: Battle of the Pyramids AAR

      Links to our National Characteristics for French Republican (.pdf) and Mamelukes (Ottoman Islamic states) (.pdf) required per the the Battle of the Pyramids 1798 scenario notes above.

      Nafigzer lists: 798FAB June 1798, 798FAH June 1798, and 798HAA August 1798. WR don’t find an exact OOB for the battle so if any reader has a reference source please email.

      Campaigns and commentary on Murad Bey (Napoleon series): Question of Faith: Murad Bey 1798-1801.


      What role did War elephants play in the battle of Thermopylae? - History

      1930s Palestine and Israel.
      Inter-title Haifa. Brief panning view of the town. Inter-title: Government building and hydro-electric plant. Static view of buildings. Camel train walks through ankle deep water and across a sandy beach. Inter-title: Nazareth. Panning view from a hilltop overlooking the city. City buildings. Sheep herded up a hill.

      Papua New Guinea, PNG 1960s. Medical film about helping sufferers of leprosy and improving literacy or reading skills.
      Three surgeons in white scrubs performing an operation. The procedure is viewed from several angles. They are stitching up fingers on a hand. Close ups of surgeons with masks across their faces. Another operation. A young girl sits on a.

      Roll 12. 21/3/68
      Two native women lean over beating drums situated on the ground, then revealing more drummers and several girls dancing topless and in grass skirts, with others standing in a row waiting. Close view of footwork as a girl dances in bare feet on grass, moving up her body as she leans over dancing, and both girls swing..

      A 1940s Nazi propaganda film about the Luftwaffe in World War Two. The film shows multiple aerial dogfights and United States Airforce planes being shot down. The film also shows captured American pilots and crew being interviewed and the graves of dead American servicemen. Shots of officers, the command centre and Luftwaffe men winning the iron cross.

      A post-war British jazz and dance film, with a basic narrative, interesting for featuring some of the small but significant group of Afro-Caribbean musicians 1940's

      and entertainers who made a significant contribution to the musical nightlife of London during and immediately after the Second World War.

      The pianist and singer Bertie Jarrett approaches..

      Advertisement for a hoisery company. Close up of two sets of feet dancing. Ankle shots. Superimposed on top an intertitle which reads: They stand the strain of constant pounding on city streets. (Sheer silken message Knit hosiery Endures). Cut to woman with her hand inside a stocking tights or nylons. Cut to intertitle: Mission Knit hoisery, in a.

      The work of Christian missionaries throughout the world 1930's

      Intertitle: 'C.M.S. Into all the world'
      DO THOU LIKEWISE. Church Missionary Society, 6 Salisbury Square, London EC4.
      Over a shot of the entrance to the society.

      Intertitle: CMS takes healing 'in the name of Christ' to the needy of the world, but that it has only 'touched the.

      New York USA 1950's sites and people, including interviews with New Yorkers on Wall Street, in lower, midtown, and upper Manhattan, in ethnic areas, and with bums in the bowery.

      00:00:00 Opening title sequence.

      00:00:09 Aerial view of Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and midtown Manhattan. Aerial view of midtown Manhattan buildings, .

      A British documentary on Singapore made in the pre-World War Two years (probably 1930s) focusing on its status as a British port and successful colony, but with very little on the lives and culture of its inhabitants.

      Camera pans round the stern of a large ship, which fills the screen, part a small multi-storeyed building with windows like portholes on a.

      Horace Goldin the magician and illusionist performs a stage act with assistants 1930's

      Sign on door reads Mystic Club. President Horace Goldin.
      An audience sit wearing posh frocks and bow ties. A policeman enters (a sergeant with three stripes on his arm) and walks into the top of the aisle with a bloodhound on a lead. He looks up towards the stage.

      Fabulous early 1950s, New Look, fashions in a post-World War Two catwalk setting. Glamorous, female models show the latest ladies attire. Film entirely fixed shot of a curtained stage on which models walk swiftly left to right, turning and demonstrating the outfits as they do so.
      The film opens with a woman modelling a sleeveless satin evening dress .

      Amateur home movie of places around Spain: Toledo, Madrid, Cordoba, Seville, sherry tasting at Jerez, El Chorro, Granada, Barcelona bullfighting 1930's

      Intertitle At Toledo.
      Slow pan across a bridge to a town on the other side. The town is built along a sharp cliff face that leads down to a river below. A man in a hat, possibly a chauffeur holds a.

      Control of infection in surgical dressings at Birmingham Accident Hospital 1940's

      Various shots of injured fingers. Baby with burned chest. Infant encased in plaster. Person encased in plaster lies in bed. Burned hand is swabbed. Shot of stiffened hand, due to septic infection. Being opened and closed with difficulty. Pair of hands crippled.

      Amateur Home Movie 1930's
      A family seaside holiday at Broadstairs, Kent and Bournemouth, Hampshire, nicely shot, on the beach, good material of the towns and promenade,

      'Broadstairs again, July 1938, Jennifer's first steps'. Two women in a garden outside a house, a young girl (Jennifer), a girl about two, dressed in a white dress is toddling slowly.

      Early U.K. Science films that help popularise science between 1910 and late 30's.

      This film contains four different extracts:

      The first is The electrolysis of metals, 1910 by Charles Urban.
      The second is Infant Welfare in the Bird World, the first in the series Secrets of Nature, 1920 by H.Bruce Woolfe and Charles Head: this film shows a.

      Travelogue film from 1970s. India and Nepal. Air hostess serves drinks to passengers in business class. A couple show a brass statue to the air hostess. Doorman in formal uniform salutes and opens the doors as a car pulls up. A well dressed Indian trio get out of a car and enter the Oberoi Intercontinental Hotel, New Delhi. Two Indian women in pink saris.

      Initial shot of Bill Edrich of Middlesex and England with spin bowler Jim Sims of Middlesex and England and wicketkeeper Godfrey Evans of Kent and England, outdoors in cricket kit.
      Batting - Edrich is batting at indoor nets. The use of the right weight of bat is emphasised as is the correct hand grip on the handle. The stance of the wicket is shown as.


      Ancient GreeceUnit Plan

      Donald G. Donn, Corkran Middle School, Maryland, USA
      Created during my first year as a teacher. It has some ideas I still use so I left it online.
      For new teachers, TSWBAT means "the student will be able to".
      Have a great year!

      I. Introductory Information

      A. Subject: Ancient Greece

      B. Grade & Ability level: 6th Grade easy

      C. Unit Title: The Early Greeks

      D. Time Frame: 7-15 days

      E. Textbook page references are noted throughout this unit. I used several textbooks.
      Substitute appropriate pages from the textbook you are using.

      II. Overview and Rationale

      A. Scope and major concepts

      1. This unit covers the early history of Ancient Greece.

      2. This unit will include lessons on:

      The key role of geography in the development of Greece.

      Athenian democracy and it relationship to our own

      Ancient Greek culture and the roots of western culture

      The growth of Athens and Sparta and the Persian Wars.

      3. This unit will concentrate on geographic and language arts skills.

      4. The Unit will focus on student personal discovery and challenge the student to express their own ideas and beliefs concerning world events.

      B. Rationale: This unit is designed for 6th-grade students. The unit will broaden their horizons by showing how decisions made in one country can, and do affect other countries. It will also help prepare students for Maryland State exams by introducing concepts used in Maryland State, and U.S. government. It is designed to increase students map skills by giving them the opportunity to see how geography affects people and history.

      III. Objectives (C = Cognitive, A = Affective, P = Psychomotor)
      (TSWBAT: The Student will be able to)

      TSWBAT use map skills to locate Greece, Create, and the Aegean sea on a map(C)

      TSWBAT discuss and support either side of an argument in a debate given an appropriate subject. (C, A)

      TSWBAT demonstrate writing skills. (C, P)

      TSWBAT demonstrate research skills. (C, P)

      TSWBAT demonstrate presentation skills. (C, P)

      TSWBAT demonstrate, understand, and use maps, charts and graphs. (C, P)

      TSWBAT give personal judgments and express values concerning world events. (C, A)

      TSWBAT broaden their personal horizons through role playing and panel work. (A, P)

      IV Evaluation Process

      The student's participation in classroom discussions, debates, completion of assigned homework, and activities will demonstrate the students understanding of the lessons.

      The students are given a daily drill question to answer. The students will be graded mostly on effort and attempt to answer.

      A directed writing activity will be assigned. The students will be graded on writing skills, and the appropriateness, and content of their work.

      A quiz on the chapter will be given. Quiz will be T/F, multiple choice.

      V. Subject Matter/Skills Outline

      Following is a list of essential thinking skills and related concepts that will be related to each days activities. Each skill will be numbered and this number will be listed at the end of each days subject matter outline. This listing of skills is taken from the Dimensions of Learning handout given by the Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Office of Staff Development, Instructional Leadership

      Positive Attitudes and Perceptions

      Ability/Resources to perform tasks

      Acquiring and Integrating

      A. Declarative Knowledge

      B. Procedural Knowledge

      Extending and Refining

      Directed Teaching of Thinking Skills

      Analyzing Perspectives

      Meaningful Use of Knowledge

      Directed Teaching of Dimension

      Productive Habits of the Mind

      Lesson #1 Introduction Ancient Greece

      Lesson Topic: Introduction

      Type of Lesson: Introductory

      TSWBAT using proper terminology, identify and describe terms associated with geography.

      TSWBAT, using proper terminology, locate and name Greece and its surrounding seas on a map.

      Overhead transparency list of terms.

      Overhead transparency map of Ancient Greece.

      Lesson Background: This is the introductory lesson of a unit on Ancient Greece. This lesson will build on our knowledge of Ancient Civilizations with locations, distance, and topography similarities and differences from Egypt. It will also explore the Grecian economy and why it developed the way it did.

      Drill (5-10 minutes): (Activity #1) the vocabulary words are written on an overhead transparency. Students know to copy these into their notebooks in the vocabulary/drill section.

      Motivation/Recall (5 minutes) (Activity #2)

      Transition statement: You have just finished your unit on Egypt, now we will be moving across the Mediterranean Sea to look at Greece. Lets look at our map and find Greece. (Have a student come up to the Map and find Greece give them some assistance if necessary)

      Initiatory Activity: (Activity #3) Have students open their textbook to p-329 and study the map of Greece. Have them look for geographic aspects of Greece that they think may be important. Have them compare what they see to Egypt.

      EGYPT GREECE
      Desert Very wet
      One Coast (Mediterranean) Surrounded by Seas (Med, Ionian, Aegean
      One solid piece Many peninsulas and islands
      Flat Mountainous
      Nile River only fertile land Much fertile land

      Transition statement. Good! You have found all the major differences. Now look at the map of Greece again. Since all of Greece is near a sea, how do you think most Greeks traveled. (by boat, raft). Exactly. Now, where do you think most of the Greeks worked and what did they do?

      Developmental Activity (5 minutes): List several activities associated with the sea. Fishing, trading, transportation, communications. Discuss very briefly the importance of the sea to each activity.

      Transition Statement: Class, we are about out of time so if I could have your attention.

      Culminating activity (2-5 minutes) (activity 5). Vocabulary words.

      Lesson #2 Ancient Greek Culture
      Minos & Mycenae

      Lesson Topic: Ancient Greek Culture

      Type of Lesson: Developmental

      Overhead transparency list of terms.

      Maps of, the World, Europe

      Lesson Background: This is the second lesson of a unit on Ancient Greece. This lesson will develop the students understanding of cultural diversity. It will also delve into the the Early Greek civilizations, and their effect on later Greek civilizations.

      The Student will be able to, with the help of a graphic organizer, compare the Greek civilizations of Minos, and Mycenae.

      The student will be able to describe what a "dark age" is

      The student will be able to discuss oral history, its accuracy and reliability, as well as why historians use it today.

      Motivation/Recall: (10 minutes)

      Students will copy today's drill questions on their drill sheets for turn in.

      Drill questions: The Mycenaeans built their cities on ___________. Minoan cities included underground plumbing and ______________ and ______________.

      A selected student will read aloud today's Objectives from the blackboard.

      Transitional activity: Students take out graphic organizer we were working on last week. We are going to finish this today.

      Developmental Activity: Students will fill in with the help of the textbook, the graphic organizer on Mycenae.

      Transitional Statement: Please put the graphic organizer in your notebooks. You will need these notes for your Unit Quiz. Now let us turn our attention to the "Greek dark ages". Who can tell me what a "dark age" might be. Have them write their thoughts in their notebooks as an important concept.

      Overhead: The Early Greeks

      How did geography and climate influence ancient Greece in the following areas?

      How did geography contribute to Greece's development as a group of individual city states?

      What were some of the things the Minoans achieved and the Mycenaeans adopted in these areas? After you fill out the chart, put an X next to the achievements that were lost during the Dark Ages.

      AREA MINOAN MYCENAEAN
      ART
      TRADE
      BUILDING
      LANGUAGE

      Answer these questions:

      When did the Greek city-states develop?

      What was the Age of Expansion?

      Developmental Activity:

      Define Epic, discuss oral history.

      Begin reading the Odyssey (the Cyclops cave) as an example of Oral history that was later written down.

      Safety Valve: Map Activity, Have students find on a map of Europe then a map of the world, Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Crete, Turkey (Asia Minor). Discuss trade.

      Review/Conclusion: Have students give examples, using their graphic organizers of similarities and differences between Minos, and Mycenae.

      Ancient Greece: Lesson #3 Athens as a City-State

      Lesson Topic: Athens as a City State introduction of Democracy introduction to Sparta

      Type of Lesson: Developmental

      TSWBAT explain the political evolution of the city-state

      TSWBAT define democracy

      TSWBAT explain the structure of Athenian society and economy

      Overhead transparency list characteristics of Athens and Sparta.

      Overhead transparency Venn Diagram.

      Lesson Background: This is the third lesson of a unit on Ancient Greece. This lesson will develop the students understanding of democracy, and its importance to Athens. It will also touch upon Athenian society and economy.

      Motivation/Recall: (10 minutes)

      Students will copy today's drill questions on their drill sheets for turn in.

      A selected student will read aloud today's Objectives from the blackboard.

      Transition Statement: You have heard many times in your life that we live in a democracy. Have you ever wondered what a democracy really is?

      Developmental Activity:

      Have students define "Democracy". Write their ideas on a blank transparency.

      Have students look up "Democracy" in their textbook. write this definition under their ideas.

      Give a dictionary definition of "Democracy" write this under the textbook definition.

      Have students compare the three definitions, and discuss their comparisons.

      Transition Statement: The Greek city states were among the first practitioners of Democracy. Lets take a look at two of the most famous of the Greek cities.

      Developmental Activity:

      Have students read aloud the background information on Athens and Sparta. (Teacher will provide additional material). List important notes on each in columns on a blank overhead.

      On blank overhead draw a Venn Diagram. Label one section Sparta, label the other outside section Athens, label middle shared section similarities. Have students provide information from the list into each section.

      Conclusion: Review with students, democracy, the growth of the City-states, Athens and Sparta

      Ancient Greece: Lesson #4 Rise of the City States

      Lesson Topic: The rise of the City States in Greece

      Type of Lesson: Developmental

      Overhead transparency list of terms.

      Maps of, the World, Europe

      Lesson Background: This is the fourth lesson of a unit on Ancient Greece. This lesson will develop the students understanding of the rise of the city-states in Greek and the development of democracy.

      The Student will be able to define democracy.

      The student will be able to describe what a "city-state" is

      The student will be able to discuss who was able to participate in Athenian democracy.

      Motivation/Recall: (10 minutes)

      1. Students will copy today's drill questions on their drill sheets for turn in. Drill questions:

      The Minoans & Mycenaeans both spoke ____________

      During the Dark Ages _________came to a standstill.

      2. A selected student will read aloud today's Objectives from the blackboard.

      Transitional activity: Today we are going to try an experiment. Today, you will write on the overhead. The first word you will write is Democracy. Who would like to do that?

      Developmental Activity: Students will brainstorm ideas on what democracy is. Teacher will write these ideas on a blank overhead. Tell students that we will look at this transparency at the end of the day to see if they might change what they believe a democracy is.

      Transitional Statement: Take out your textbooks and open them to page 338. Who would like to begin reading?

      Developmental Activity: Have students read page 338, and the 1st paragraph on 339.

      Define Democracy, Monarchy, Oligarchy. Have students write down definitions as notes.

      Transition Statement: Turn to page 240 in your book.

      Developmental Activity: Read Aloud "Understanding Democracy". Discuss with class why they think Athenian democracy can or cannot work in the U.S.

      Review/Conclusion: Take out transparency of student ideas on democracy. Discuss with students how they would change this overhead now.

      Ancient Greece: Lesson #5 Daily Life

      Supplemental Material: For printable information on ancient Greek daily life, for classroom use, see Mrs Donn's Special Section: Daily Life Ancient Greece.

      Type of Lesson: Developmental

      Overhead transparency list of terms.

      Filmstrip on daily life in Athens.

      Lesson Background: This is the fifth lesson of a unit on Ancient Greece. This lesson will develop the students understanding of cultural diversity. It will also delve into the the daily life of the Greeks.

      The Student will be able to, define democracy

      The Student will be able to describe the daily life of a typical Greek citizen.

      Motivation/Recall: (10 minutes)

      Students will copy today's drill questions on their drill sheets for turn in.

      A selected student will read aloud today's Objectives from the blackboard.

      Transitional activity: Yesterday we started a discussion about democracy in ancient Athens, and how it compares to democracy today. We will continue that lesson today, and in addition look at the daily life of a Greek by using the filmstrip. Take out some paper to write down some notes.

      Developmental Activity: Show filmstrip, discussing appropriate sections with the students, having them take notes about democracy in Athens, and daily life in Greece.

      Have students turn to page 343 in their textbook "The economy of Athens."

      Have students take notes and discuss the information contained on page 343.

      Ancient Greece: Lesson #6 The Olympics and the Gods (1 of 2)

      For a complete 3-4 day mini-unit, to supplement this section, and better position the importance of Greek city-states:
      Ancient Greek Olympic Games in the Classroom

      Type of Lesson: Developmental

      Overhead transparency list of terms.

      Cutouts on which students will draw symbols. (Manilla folder sheets, cut in various shapes, works well)

      Lesson Background: This is the sixth lesson of a unit on Ancient Greece. This lesson will develop the students understanding of cultural diversity. It will also delve into the the origin of the Olympic games, and Greek mythology.

      The Student will be able to define Olympics.

      The student will be able to list some events that took place during the Greek Olympics.

      The student will be able to discuss the Greek beliefs in Gods and myths.

      Olympics Background: In 776 B.C., the Olympic Games were first held in honor of Zeus, through a festival in the Greek city of Olympia. The Olympics were very important to the Greeks. If any of the city states were at war when the Olympics started, the war would stop so that everyone could go to the Olympics. Only men could participate in the Ancient Greek Olympics, and only men could watch, because the participants in the games did not wear clothes.

      Motivation/Recall: (10 minutes)

      Students will copy today's drill questions on their drill sheets for turn in.

      A selected student will read aloud today's Objectives from the blackboard.

      Transitional activity: Yesterday we started a discussion of the life of the greeks. We talked about how Greeks developed coins for trade, and how rich Greeks were expected to pay for government functions. Today we are going to take a closer look at some things the Greeks found important in their lives. In other words we are going to discuss parts of the Greek culture. Take out a textbook and turn to page 345.

      Developmental Activity: Students will read aloud p345. Ask students what they know about the Olympics today. With a graphic organizer, compare the original Olympics with modern Olympics.

      Transitional Statement: It said in our textbook that the Olympics were held to honor the Gods. The Greeks believed in many Gods.

      Developmental Activity: Hand out shapes, and information sheets on the Greek Gods. Have students design a symbol to Represent the God they have been given. Have students work in pairs. Inform them that we will be developing a Greek God family tree. (have students put their names on the backs of their designs. Work on this for the rest of the class. Tell students that we will be introducing a new God or Gods each day next week

      1. Have students turn to page 344 in their textbook "Comparing Graphs"

      Discuss with students the two type graphs shown. have them solve problems using the two type graphs shown using the try it section. Give them information from Towson state, In 1996, 10,000 students. growing to 25,000 by 2000 A.D. In 1996, 1000 students in fraternities, 4000 students living in the dorms, 5000 students commute. If percentages stay the same, how many students will commute in 2000 A.D.

      2. Have students turn to page 342 in their textbook and study the graph. Inform them that this is called a bar graph, and it contains the same type information as the pie chart on page 344. See if students can convert the bar graph into a pie chart.

      Lesson #7: The Greek Gods, Sanctuaries, and the Olympics (2 of 2)

      Type of Lesson: Developmental

      Overhead transparency list of terms.

      Cutouts for students to draw symbols on.

      Lesson Background: This is the seventh lesson of a unit on Ancient Greece. This lesson will develop the students understanding of cultural diversity. It will also delve into the the origin of the Olympic games, and Greek mythology.

      The Student will be able to, define Olympics.

      The student will be able to list some events that took place during the Greek Olympics.

      The student will be able to compare modern Olympics with Greek Olympics.

      The student will be able to discuss the Greek beliefs in Gods and myths.

      Motivation/Recall: (10 minutes)

      Students will copy today's drill questions on their drill sheets for turn in.

      A selected student will read aloud today's Objectives from the blackboard.

      Transitional activity: Last week we ended the week starting to learn a little about the Greek Gods. We will continue with that lesson a little later today. But for now I would like everyone to open their books to p 345.

      Developmental Activity: Students will read aloud p345. Ask students what they know about the olympics today. With a graphic organizer, compare the original Olympics with modern Olympics.

      Transitional Statement: It said in our textbook that the Olympics were held to honor the Gods. The Greeks believed in many Gods. They believed that the gods controlled every thing in nature, and liked to interfere with men's lives. The reason I had you start drawing a symbol for the God that you were representing is that we are going to build a family tree of Greek Gods. Each of you is going to be given the opportunity to present your symbol and explain to the class why you chose that symbol to represent that God.

      We are then going to place them in their correct spot on our Greek God family tree. You will be receiving a grade on your project. The grade will be based on completion of work, appropriateness of your symbol, and your presentation.

      Developmental Activity: Hand out shapes, and information sheets on the Greek Gods.

      Have students design a symbol to Represent the God they have been given. Have students work in pairs. Inform them that we will be developing a Greek God family tree. (have students put their names on the backs of their designs. Work on this for the rest of the class. Tell students that we will be introducing a new God or Gods each day next week

      2. If we have time we will present our first two Gods today.

      Safety Valve: Have students turn to page 346 in their textbook "The Family of Greek Gods". Students will read this page aloud.

      Greek Gods: The ancient Greeks explained the wonders around them and the happenings in their lives as being the work of the gods. The gods and goddesses looked much like people. However, the gods and goddesses were more beautiful, handsome, clever, and powerful. They not only looked much like people, they acted like people. They had quarrels, played tricks, and were often jealous. Their homes were not the heavens but just the top of mountain in northern Greece - Mount Olympus. The mountain was much too difficult a climb for mere mortals. The Greeks made stories about their gods and goddesses which are called myths. These myths are still read today. Zeus and Hera were the King and Queen of the Greek gods. For a list of Greek gods, click HERE.


      From convicted felon to George Lucas Scholar: USC student brings a fresh perspective to filmmaking

      Posted On April 29, 2020 16:12:55

      Jeremy Lee MacKenzie is an artist & filmmaker whose career began after being incarcerated as a teenager. His artwork, “Hidden Blueprints,” is a collection of wood-scrollwork cut from blueprints that were hidden in the prison system. He discovered the blueprints while serving sentences that totaled eight years, for bank robbery & drug trafficking.

      He was inspired to become a filmmaker while working as a prison movie projectionist where he studied screenwriting and was released with scholarships to Champlain College. In 2015, he was awarded a screenwriting fellowship to Stowe Story Labs and that same year, won gold in the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards in LA.

      In 2017, MacKenzie completed his film “Hidden Blueprints: The Story of Mikey,” and received the James Goldstone Emerging Filmmaker Award. In 2018, he was chosen for the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Award and was then admitted to the USC School of Cinematic Arts to pursue his MFA on a George Lucas Scholarship.

      C. Craig Patterson and J. Lee MacKenzie

      Annenberg Media: Tell me about where you are from and your life growing up?

      MacKenzie: I’m from Burlington, VT and my childhood was complicated. I had a lot of challenging things happen while growing up and I ended up in adult prison at the age of 17 for bank robbery. Looking back, it feels like it was 100 years ago, like I’ve lived in quantum time where every year contained the events of five years.

      Annenberg Media: What is the most distinct memory you have of your mother and father?

      MacKenzie: A positive memory I have of my mother is how she always encouraged me to be an artist and be creative. She was always very honest and encouraging if she thought I was good at something. My father encouraged storytelling and read me a lot of books growing up. He tested me on the stories to see if I was listening. He would reread me the same story and then change certain plot lines to see if I was paying attention. I would stop him and tell him, “no dad, the storyline goes like this…”

      Annenberg Media: What challenges did you face at school and in the community?

      MacKenzie: My parents separated after my younger sister passed away. I lived with my mother most of the time and my father during summers. When I was really young, I did well in school. At a certain point in my childhood we moved into a trailer park where we were living in poverty. A lot of the people living in that trailer park did not care much about school and were into drugs. Those became really tough years since I valued education but was now being punished for valuing academics.

      At first I had to fight kids often when getting off the school bus because I was into focusing on school. My parents always tried focus my attention on education. I was very young and got sick of fighting and being an outsider, so I ended up joining the crowd. I got into drugs to succeed in that world. I often wondered if people around me who chose the drug path, went through those same bad experiences as I did.

      At the age of 12 or 13, I transitioned into selling drugs and became a drug dealer. I wanted to excel in a world I was way behind in. By 14-years-old, my parents had lost full control. I had an 18-year-old stripper girlfriend living with me. I was deep into the world of drug dealing: at age 14, it was cocaine, 15, it was opiates, at 16, I was arrested for dealing heroin and at 17, I was locked up for bank robbery.

      Bang, that escalated quickly! My parents were baffled at how things changed so rapidly.

      Annenberg Media: Where did this lifestyle lead you?

      MacKenzie: I served three sentences totaling eight years. During one of those sentences, I earned my high school diploma but was still struggling to separate from the drug world. During the course of one of my sentences, I was sent to a corporate prison in Kentucky. When I got there, I got my first college opportunity. Hazard Community College selected 20 inmates who they gave grants to start college while incarcerated.

      Due to overcrowding and the mistreatment of inmates, a lot of violence was going on in the facility. It was a for-profit prison and the administration was not friendly. I had to make a choice between focusing on college or joining an uprising in the prison. A group of inmates were planning a revolt and ended up having a riot at the facility. The riot took over the facility for a night and the administration building was burned which included the education facility. The college opportunity went up in smoke. We were in lockdown for many months while they rebuilt the prison around us. This gained a lot of national media attention.

      Annenberg Media: Did you have any creative outlets while incarcerated?

      MacKenzie: Isolation can be a powerful tool. After the riot, while in lock down I started designing artwork. I would design blueprints for big pieces of wood-scrollwork. I had learned this wood cutting technique as a teenager from an old clock maker in prison and I taught myself how to design. I was designing on taped-together pieces of paper but we weren’t allowed to have the paper so I had to hide my blueprints until I could bring them home.

      Those blueprints came to be my artwork years later. I used them as a tool for storytelling. Many of the blueprints I drew didn’t directly depict prison but told the stories of our experience on the inside through ancient themes. When I was not designing I started getting into TV and movies and I started watching this show called “Medium.” Everybody watched it. It was a way to escape from prison.

      Scrollwork by J. Lee MacKenzie.

      Annenberg Media: Did you ever hit rock bottom?

      MacKenzie: My darkest moment came during my third sentence when I could no longer hide from my darkest truths and my responsibilities. I couldn’t hide the impact my actions had on my friends, family and community I experienced a paradigm shift. I was in a segregation cell where I had more charges coming. The drug dealers who had been supplying me since I was an adolescent, who I had been protecting my whole life, were not protecting me or anyone else. The whole veil of that world came crashing down.

      I realized the effect my life was having on everyone around me and the people I had protected and followed didn’t care about me anymore. I was in the segregation cell and I noticed there was a broken razor blade on the floor. “This is my out,” I thought. This was one of the few moments in my life where I contemplated suicide. But, I looked out the window and thought to myself, “No one could explain this to my dog, she’s never gonna know what happened.” I just wanted to see my dog again. She probably saved my life. Tests find a way of placing themselves in your path, especially at your darkest moments. I needed to let things play out until the end.

      Scrollwork by J. Lee MacKenzie.

      Annenberg Media: How was your life impacted after making the decision to stay alive?

      MacKenzie: That was a very challenging period of time, but it passed. And I ended up getting a job as a prison movie projectionist. It was a makeshift movie theater with prison walls. We screened everything from the original “Star Wars” to “Casablanca” and “Chinatown.” It was a powerful experience watching “Star Wars” projected onto a prison wall.

      While working as a prison movie projectionist, I started writing stories with the women’s prison. The women were relatable and had similar situations to mine. But we weren’t allowed to write to other prisons so I would send the letters to my father and he would re-address them to the women I was writing. I invited them to write a story where the women and I could insert our own characters and set them off on a journey together. I was very grateful to the women for that, as it provided a creative medium that was very valuable. It also provided companionship and helped with loneliness.

      Working with the prison movie theater was a crucial time for me. All those earlier years of my father testing me on stories came back to me. I decided I wanted to become a filmmaker. I focused on screenwriting and reached out to different colleges to get the books they used in their screenwriting courses. I was no longer in a corporate prison and I made a deal with teachers to recycle prison paperwork. The education offices would print scripts on the back of the recycled paperwork I brought them. Filmmaking was like life or death- in my previous life I was going to die and this new life was the only way out. There were no other choices.

      Scrollwork by J. Lee MacKenzie.

      Annenberg Media: Did you plan on getting further education?

      MacKenzie: I got a scholarship to go to college when I came home. The scholarship letter came from Bernie Sanders, which I still have. When I came home I realized there was all this time that I had missed. I did a lot of catching up in college.

      As soon as I got to undergrad, I won gold in the Page International Screenwriting Awards for a screenplay. The award and screenplay got me connected with Julie Pacino, Al Pacino’s daughter. I began to excel and was pushed more towards directing. Julie ended up producing my film, “Hidden Blueprints.” Things began to happen much more rapidly and I ended up using “Hidden Blueprints” to apply to USC.

      Back then, Ben Stiller was making his show “Escape at Dannemora” and his group reached out to have me in the show as an inmate. I have an escape on my record- at one point I tried to run away from prison- so I was not able to get security clearance to enter prison. But, I took a role as an extra on a different part of his show so I could still be apart of the production. I had this really funny moment where I was standing on set with Ben Stiller to my right and I was quietly watching him work. Then, the main actress comes out and I’m suddenly hit with this really familiar feeling: the actress was Patricia Arquette who I watched in the TV show, “Medium” years ago in that destroyed prison in Kentucky. I realize I’m standing in the middle of a show about escaping from prison starring the actress of the show we all used to watch to escape from the prison we were in. It was an interesting and affirming moment.

      I sent the production staff of the show an email about it. It made me reflect on how far my arc had brought me. Within a matter of days the George Lucas Scholarship came in for USC. It gave me chills. I had projected “Star Wars” movies on a prison wall. Now I was headed to LA.

      Aron Meinhardt, J. Lee MacKenzie, and Julie Pacino

      Annenberg Media: Why Hollywood and why now?

      MacKenzie: This is the epicenter of storytelling. I came here to fully engage in storytelling and USC helped me get here. I knew this was the path. This is the place to begin and branch off. This is a time when people from all different places and backgrounds can tell stories. I felt like I was one of those people that could have a place here.

      Riley Lynch, J. Lee MacKenzie, Polina Yamschikov.

      Annenberg Media: What is it like to be a George Lucas Scholar at the School of Cinematic Arts?

      MacKenzie: From where I come from, it has been extremely helpful and it has been an honor to have the opportunities I’ve had. I had the opportunity to work with some incredible people like Riley and Austin Lynch, Julie Pacino, Aron Meinhardt and many others. I got to collaborate with C. Craig Patterson who is a great friend, he is on a George Lucas Scholarship as well. I look forward to seeing who else I get to meet and work with.

      Annenberg Media: What are your career and life goals?

      MacKenzie: I want to direct movies. I direct films not because I love it, but because I feel compelled to. Telling stories was my only way out and it is the only pathway I see forward. I am going to continue on that path and see where it leads. It took a lot of people helping and believing in me to get this far. It didn’t start out that way. I deeply appreciate the people that helped me along the way. Wherever this path goes, I hope it is fruitful for both myself and for those that helped.

      Annenberg Media: How is the coronavirus social distancing affecting you and do you have any recommendations?

      MacKenzie: As I said, isolation can be a very powerful thing. I know a lot of people are stuck inside right now, for much longer than they are used to. A lot of movies are not getting made. People are scared and they are experiencing their own moments of darkness. But some of the most creative years of my life began with isolation and darkness like this. It wouldn’t surprise me if the solitude of this pandemic inspires and gives birth to a lovely period of filmmaking in its wake, the likes of which the world has perhaps never seen. I really hope to be a part of that movement and I think we will all feel fortunate when we see it happen.

      Featured image shows J. Lee and Isabela Penagos—USC arts students.

      This article originally appeared on Annenberg Media. Follow @AnnenbergMedia on Twitter.


      What role did War elephants play in the battle of Thermopylae? - History

      Rupert and his troops arrive, and Rupert sets up a headquarters in the Ship Inn. For this game Rupert's force consisted of:

      2 x Pike and Shot (Trained)
      3 x Horse (Trained and Dashing)
      1 x Artillery (Trained)

      I will cover 'Dashing' below in the notes on rules changes.

      Rupert starts with two units on the board one of the Pike and Shot and the Artillery. At the start of his second turn, and each turn thereafter he rolls a D6 and on a 4+ could bring on another unit anywhere along his starting edge. Thus whilst Rupert has an overwhelming force, it takes him a while to assemble it.

      I gave Rupert 15 turns in which to capture and hold the northern end of the town. If he failed, night would fall and the defenders retire to tell tales of his failure.

      Rupert followed the historical plan and attacked the shot defending the southern end of the town. Supported by the artillery, the foot advanced. Both sides exchanged musketry, and with neither side inflicting much in the way of casualties.

      The Royalist foot charged the town, but were repulsed.

      In the northern part of the town the citizens awaited the Royalist attack with some trepidation.

      Royalist cavalry arrived, and advanced quickly to cross the river, taking some fire from the barricades as they did.

      More Royalist cavalry followed.

      The Royalist horse wheeled into the attack .

      . but the Parliamentarians hit them in the flank, shaking them.

      Meanwhile the Royalists broke into the other part of town, driving out the Parliamentarian musketeers.

      More Royalist foot arrived, as the shot tried to establish a position in the fields alongside the river.

      The Royalists occupied the defences.

      On the other side of the river, the Parliamentarian horse broke the Royalist cavalry vanguard.

      However it was then hit by the second wave of Royalist horse

      The fighting was desperate on both sides of the river.

      The Parliamentarian cavalry held on as best it could .

      But first the horse broke, leading to the Royalists pursuing them far, far away from the main fight.

      Then the shot broke, fleeing across the river

      The Royalists held Birmingham

      It took Rupert 12 turns to drive off the defenders, although he had some unlucky rolls for reinforcements early on. I used some new leadership rules in this game, which did keep the defenders in the fight , but allowed the attackers to press home their attacks again and again as well.

      As I have said above I tried a few changes to the rules.

      Horse - Rather than having Gallopers and Trotters as the two categories of horse I am working on treating all Horse as basically the same, then adding in tweaks to reflect tactical differences. So all horse basically operates as Gallopers in the current rules, although I'm unsure at the moment whether to give them a 9" or 12" move. In this game the Royalist horse were given the Dashing trait. This allows them to recover their impetus dice automatically under certain circumstances, but also requires them to automatically pursue a retreating or beaten enemy. If I give normal horse a 9" move then Dashing would up them to 12". I am looking at the opposite of this trait as well Discipline would use the impetus dice sightly differently and make the horse far less likely to pursue (indeed I would probably remove automatic pursuit altogether). This would reflect the better or ater types of Parliamentarian horse. So now horse would be Basic (the majority), Dashing or Disciplined.

      Pursuit - Pretty much as it seems. In certain circumstances units would acquire a pursuit marker. This would require them to make certain moves until it was removed, either by a Command Roll (see below) or through circumstances.

      Command Rolls - I gave both armies a leader. At the start of a side's turn the leader could move to any point on the board and then make up to three command rolls. A command roll could be made on any unit within 6" of the leader's position. A single command roll could be used to: remove one hit from a unit (but the unit must always be left with at least one hit if it had taken any), remove or place an out of ammunition marker, remove a loss of impetus marker or remove a pursuit marker. Only one roll per type of marker can be made per unit per turn (so you can't remove multiple hits from a unit in one turn, for example, or use multiple rolls to remove an out of ammunition marker). The command roll succeeds on a 4+. I am considering making it such that if the leader moves they only get two command rolls, making it important that you decide where is is each turn.

      I have deliberately kept the description of the changes a little vague, because I am still working on these ideas. One other thing I am looking at is reflecting three types of Pike and Shot - balanced, pike-heavy and shot-heavy. With the granularity my two dice combat roll offers this is not proving easy, but I think I have a possible solution.


      Here's no great matter


      On January 4th six fellows turned up ready to play a multiplayer ancients game using some rules I'd cobbled together borrowing ideas from various different sources and adding in a few things of my own.

      The Roman side was made up of 31 units totalling 162 points. The left was commanded by Ben, the centre by Nikolai, and the right by the commander-in-chief, Pat. The Seleucids, with 163 points in 32 units, were led by Luke on the left, Al in the centre and Matt on the right.

      The battlefield was set in a plain between two small rivers, the first of which bounded the Roman position behind the right flank and the second of which was behind the Seleucid right. There was a prominent hill just right of centre on the Roman side of the field and a smaller one on the Roman left. The Seleucid position had two moderate sized hills on each flank.

      The Romans deployed their four legions and allies in three lines (I know, that's a lot of Romans to be over in Asia Minor, but let's not let that disrupt us!) resting on the river on the right, with only a unit of Roman cavalry and another of Greek light cavalry for flank protection. With the velites out front, the Romans presented a formidible sight, but that was not all - their Greek allies and the rest of the Roman cavalry extended the line another by 1600 metres to the left.

      The Seleucids put their phalangites and the bulk of their heavy infantry opposite the legions, resting the left on the hill, with two units of heavy cavalry and another of over-strength light cavalry outside the infantry on the left, giving them a slight edge in horse if they could bring it to bear. In front of the heavy infantry were units of light infantry, two troops of elephants, and some scythed chariots. Farther to the right were cataphracts, heavy cavalry, more scythed chariots and light cavalry.

      The Seleucids took the first move, and over the first few turns the light troops get themselves into missile range. The scythed chariots are sent off to do their worst, and their worst they do, being entirely ineffective.

      So too the elephants prove to be a liability for the Seleucid side. They are unable to do any damage at all to the Romans, but managed to make life difficult for the infantry around them by periodically rampaging, causing a number of hits on friendly units.

      On the Roman right some cunning play sees the Seleucid left under early pressure, and this in combination with the elephants' moodiness gives the Romans the early advantage on that side.

      Over time the main lines move closer and the light troops begin to fall back, leaving the field to the heavy foot. The Greek allied horse on the Roman left manage to isolate and outflank a unit of Seleucid cavalry that advances too swiftly as the melee there is joined.

      Before long there is heavy fighting all across the battlefield. The elephants are finally killed off on the left, but the ones in the centre stubbornly refuse to rout. On the Roman left a swirling cavalry fight develops with units intermingled and confusion rife. In what seems like a grave mistake the Greek light cavalry abandons the hill that anchors the Roman left.

      The Seleucids take the abandoned hill opposing their right, but in so doing over-reach, leaving their forward-most unit of cavalry unsupported. The allied Greeks take advantage of this, isolating the unit and killing it off, but not before it scores a few hits of its own.

      The pressure that the Romans are exerting in the centre finally tells, with the elephant of the centre routing, and the phalanx next to it also going. A great gap in the line 400 metres wide opens up, and the Seleucids struggle to close it.

      The Seleucids are now in difficulty in all areas. They have been outflanked on the left, have had their centre blown open, and are also in some strife on the right but there at least they are there giving as good as they get. The question is, can they hold the centre long enough for the phalanx to grind the legions down, and can Matt win a victory on the right?

      Things get worse for the Seleucids - a daring attack on the left sees the Seleucid commander-in-chief captured and killed. The army's morale is shaken as a result, and command and control is significantly reduced. Despite this, as the fight in the centre continues, the phalangites' superior to-hit factors begin to tell. The Romans have their line exchange, but the phalangites are now getting into their work. In legion after legion the hastati are withdrawn and the principes move up as the casualties begin to mount.

      The problem for the Seleucids is that they are losing too many units across the field, and in combination with the death of the commander, their morale is becoming increasingly fragile.

      By turn eight the situation is becoming tense for the legionaries as the hits mount and the line thins. The phalanx has gained superiority at points along the line and the Roman centre is running out of reserves.

      But then in the cavalry battle on the left there is a sudden flurry of action: the Roman cavalry destroys a unit of Seleucid heavies and in the subsequent morale test the entire Seleucid right flees the field, taking the phalanx with it.

      So in the end it was a combination of accumulated losses, the death of the commander and an unfortunately low morale roll that ended it all for the Seleucids. I would have considered allowing the phalanx to stay on field a little longer if two of the lads hadn't had trains to catch, but I think ending it at the point we did was appropriate anyway, given that the Seleucids had lost a third of their force even before the morale failure.

      From my perspective as umpire it was a most entertaining afternoon, and it seemed that the players enjoyed themselves, so all went well.

      There are certain aspects of the rules that need tightening up, but they were geared towards new players and I think the rules did what they were supposed to do in most respects. I was pleased that the players were doing everything for themselves pretty quickly - except for morale tests, which were my job - and my role was soon simply handing out cards, recording losses, answering the odd question and keeping things moving when needed. Given that three of the six players had never played a wargame before, the standard of tactical appreciation was pretty high, and except for special rules like withdrawal, line exchange and the odd movement subtlety they figured it all out for themselves brilliantly.

      So, there we have it - the January war is over, and I've learned a lot from it. A) how to make better terrain B) that I can write rules after all C) that people are perhaps more interested in giving wargames a crack than you'd think and D) that I'm too old to go out drinking with the young blokes.


      What role did War elephants play in the battle of Thermopylae? - History

      I am still adapting and modifying the Portable Wargame to create the kind of miniature American Civil War game I want to play. Having rejigged the close combat system and added the disorder markers I have been looking at how to better integrate the two. In the last version I documented a unit which takes a disorder marker also retreats. This makes it hard to launch decisive close combats, in that you march up to a unit, fire at it to disorder it but also see it retreat beyond close combat range. I tried some variants in the turn sequence, but they weren't satisfactory. What I am currently working on is changing how units take hits, and adding a new phase into the turn .

      Now, when a unit takes a hit it automatically takes a disorder marker. You don't dice for the effect of a hit that's it - a hit equals disorder. If you take a hit in close combat you also retreat one space.

      At the beginning of your turn, before you move units, you must roll a D6 for each unit with a disorder marker. Modify as follows:

      -1 if adjacent to enemy unit
      -1 if poor
      +1 if adjacent to commander
      +1 if elite

      0 or less means the unit routs and is removed.
      1-2 means the unit stays disordered and must retreat one space.
      3-4 means the unit stays disordered and may retreat one space.
      5-6 means that the unit rallies and removes the disorder marker.

      Effectively instead of resolving all combat results in the opponent's turn, some of the effects are dealt with in your own turn.

      I have developed and tried out these rules in a few simple test games in odd moments, but this evening I decided to put them into action in another refight. I chose First Bull Run.

      I went for one unit equals one brigade (roughly) which gave me:

      Union - 7 infantry and 2 artillery - Exhaustion 5
      Confederate - 8 infantry, 2 artillery and 1 cavalry - Exhaustion 6

      All units were poor, except the cavalry and one infantry unit on each side (Jackson's and Sherman's) which were regular.

      The Confederates are to the right and the Union to the left, with a few units on each side entering from the top (Bull Run and the stone bridge lie that way). I worked out a reinforcement schedule which would feed in troops over about twelve turns, assuming the game lasted that long.

      The Confederates started with some units already on the table.

      Both sides had one leader (McDowell and Beauregard), who entered with the first lot of reinforcements. They were slightly reduced in ability - whilst they could help rally adjacent units, they could only give combat bonuses to units they were with.

      The second turn. The Union are massing troops against Matthews House Hill, defended by Evans' Brigade. So far no-one has scored any hits, but McDowell is having a go at directing the artillery. In the distance you can see other Confederates on Henry House Hill:

      And Evans retreats. In fact he kept retreating each turn until his brigade left the table.

      The battle begins to develop. The Union are advancing towards Young's Branch, whilst the Confederates try and establish a defensive line. In the far top-right Jackson's brigade and Beauregard have just entered:

      Disaster! As McDowell leads a brigade towards the stream he is decapitated by a cannonball, and the unit he is with is disordered.

      Troops are now moving in on the Confederate right. The rebels have pulled a unit back from defending the crossing, whilst Sherman's brigade has now crossed Bull Run and entered the battle. In the centre Confederate musketry and artillery fire has slowed the Union advance:

      Sherman's Brigade come under fire, and routs off the table. Oh dear:

      The Union surge across Young's Branch and attack the Confederate centre:

      This has mixed results, but the Confederates lose another unit whilst the Union just fall back.

      The Union keep up pressure on the Confederate right too, using artillery to drive off the infantry there:

      Jackson gets stuck in, the lone unit defending Henry House Hill:

      Stuart's cavalry lurks on the Confederate left, looking for some Zouaves to attack .

      As the Confederate army reaches its exhaustion level, Skedaddle Jackson falls back:

      The end. The Union control the centre, whilst both sides artillery are lining up for a duel on the Confederate right flank. Stuart holds the left, and would probably be covering the Confederate retreat. Off table, at the bottom of the picture, are the Confederate units that never made it into the game:

      The game lasted 8 turns. It took me about twenty minutes to 'research' and write the scenario, twenty minutes sort out the troops and set up the board and twenty minutes to play.

      The rally mechanism works fairly well, but possibly needs some small tweaks. I don't know whether to allow a unit that retreats to still move in the movement phase (this would favour defenders, as their units would fall back, but then reoccupy their original position if they chose). I may also add in a +1 modifier to the rally roll for an adjacent, undisordered (at the start of the turn) friendly unit. Rallying was hard in this game, although with most units being poor it was maybe to be expected.

      Still, it was a fun refight.

      Update: I had a second go before bedtime. Again, it took twenty minutes to play and lasted 9 turns, ending in a resounding Confederate victory, with Evans putting up a stouter defence to start with and Confederate artillery on Henry House Hill proving very deadly. I tried the +1 rally modifier for supporting units, and that worked OK, but I decided to allow units that retreated to still move in their turn as it's one less thing to remember. The high point of this game was a final Confederate charge that saw both Beauregard and McDowell shot down within a square of each other. Jackson did very little, except bolster the Confederate right, and Sherman pretty much fled at the first volley again.


      The Battle of Långkulle

      I enjoyed yesterday's Simplicity in Practice game so much that I played another today. Once again I generated two semi-random eight unit armies, as well as a random terrain.

      However I also created a table of setup variations for each side to roll on. Before deployment each side rolled 1D6:

      1 - Delayed Units - Two units are not deployed at the start of the game and will appear on that sides' baseline as part of the random events process.

      2 - Flank March - Two units are not deployed and will appear somewhere along a random flank as part of the ransom events process.

      3 - Surprised - The army may only deploy in one half of their side (1-2 anchored on left flank, 3-4 anchored on centre, 5-6 anchored on right flank), and must deploy in at least three distinct lines.

      4 - Advanced Guard - Two units are deployed 30cm in from the base edge (I deploy up to 15cm in as a standard)

      5 - Defences - Two units may start with field defences covering their front.

      6 - Complicated Situation - Roll twice, ignore further rolls of '6' and count duplicate variations as simply one of that type.

      The Delayed Units and Flank March would appear if a 1 was rolled on the first D6 for Random Events (normally a 1 or 2 means no event that turn)

      Anyway the Russians got four units of close-order foot, two units of heavy cavalry and two units of dragoons. The Swedes rolled four units of close-order foot, two units of heavy cavalry, one unit of light cavalry and some artillery.

      After creating that neat table, both sides rolled a Flank march. The Russians sent their dragoons, whilst the Swedes had one of their heavy cavalry and their light cavalry.

      This was the setup - six units each on the table.

      The random terrain included a village. I made up a rule on the fly that if a side has a village in their half of the table, and the enemy captures it, then that side counts it as a lost unit. A side loses when they have lost six units. So there's an incentive to protect villages.

      The initial Russian plan was to hold the village and the ridge behind it, at least until the flank march turned up.


      Watch the video: War Elephants: A Wonder Weapon of the Classical World?