the fall of paestikolos, an aar

I am afraid the epic saga of Paestikolos, tyrant of Fidippitis, is definitely over! As you may remember, the larger-than-life hellenic hero last time tried to invade the nearby polis of Sfiatolos and got his butt kicked. In the second battle of this mini-campaign, the Sfiatoleans decide to exploit their initial success and follow-up their success with a surprise attack on the Fitippideans fleet while it is comfortably beached beyond Cape Rheumos...

So how did it go? Well, the Fidittipian crews were happy on land, eating, drinking, molesting women and goats, and in general having a great time, while the tyrant was relaxing at camp, indulging in a little orgy.

Paestikolo's tent is first row, second from the left. Note the 2mm hoplites and light troops doing security work.

The appearence of the Sfiatoleans on the horizon take everyone by surprise. The men are recalled in haste and launch their triereis as fast as possible. AT THE SHIPS!! Of course not everyone is able to launch quickly enough: several squadrons are clearly behind, and a few also take the sea in disorder (becoming Out of Formation).

Meanwhile, the Sfiatoleans are busy on the oars, hoping to completely catch the enemy off guard (and the referee is secretly hoping that they also manage to land some marines). But maybe they come out too fast, because their formation becomes fragmented. The Sfiatolean admiral is known for running anything as if it was a regiment of hussars. Last time he did exactly that, with a division of battlecruisers...

The Fitiddinians had miracolously managed to form at least a semblance of line, and are thus able to catch the lead Sfiatolean squadron alone, and in line ahead! Apparently, the commander Callicratidas was planning to execute a diekplous so remained in lie ahead, but miscalculated the distance. In the ensuing melee, his squadron suffers casualties and becomes Out of Formation, but at least is not destroyed.

At this point the engagement becomes more general, as the main battlelines clashes. The Fitippidians are strangely well ordered and are initially doing not so bad.

Even, at a certain point, the Sfiatolean admiral Callicratids falls of the ship! He's DEAD!! Things should actually start to look good for Paestikolos...

The sinking ship token is to remind us than there's a dead admiral there.

But, at this very point, the tide suddenly turns again. At this point as a referee I am regretting having Andrea "the Snake" at the table, because he's got such poor luck with dices that, if you try a scenario with him, you'll never understand if it's balanced or not. He will start rolling 2's like hell. Despite being caught by a larger force and in line ahead, and with a dead admiral, Callicratidas' squadron still resists. All along the lines, the other Sfiatoleans squadrons are making advance. The Fitidippians squadrons are getting disordered and breaking, one after the other!

The Fidittipian left wing, with Formio and Cnemo, attempts to subdue a smaller enemy squadron. But it is too little, too late. The Sfiatoleans smash through the enemy's center, sending the survivors back to their beach. It is over!

I rule that, this defeat is so bad, and comes after a similarly catastrophic one at Ketriolos beach, that ends the Fidippitian thalassocracy forever. The tyrant Paestikolos is therefore ousted in a coup and murdered by suffocation with dry figs while his palace is sacked by an angry mob. Sic transit gloria mundi!

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