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"Raphia in 28mm - the end in sight" Topic

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1,051 hits since 21 Aug 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Syr Hobbs Wargames Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Aug 2017 8:33 a.m. PST

Recruits is less than a week away, September 25-27 in Kansas City. We have a great list of vendors and a large number of events.

I'm curious what events people are running or would like to see?

This year we have added miniature painting classes to schedule. I know I am taking a few classes and planing to paint minis a few hours when I can.

see you all Friday


DukeWacoan Supporting Member of TMP Fezian21 Aug 2017 8:33 a.m. PST

Finally getting my Raphia project nearing completion. This table is only 8 feet long, so I had to cut down the deployment significantly. Still basing, so the bases are not flocked.

We played through a bit and all works well. The mix of figs (mainly Aventine, plus meaningful numbers of Polemarch, Relic, Crusader, Foundry). Scale is about 1:100.

This is part of Ptolemy's line. Note the double depth phalanx (24-ranks). Nearest is a unit of Gauls.

Raphia Test by DukeWacoan, on Flickr

This is the Seleucid lien. Here the Phalanx are only 16 ranks. The units nearest in the picture are "Arabs", which are mix of troops from the Palestine area, mainly Javelins with some Archers thrown in.

Raphia Test 1 by DukeWacoan, on Flickr

Looking at left in the distance, you have Wedge Heavy Cavalry (Agema), then Royal Guard and Peltast foot (which are based single width, and will fight as Heavy Infantry), then the 24-rank Macedonian Phalanx, then 4 units of Gauls , then Thessalian Horse.
On the right are Wedge Heavy Cavalry, then Javelinmen from Dahae and Cilicia, then the Phalanx, then Arabs, then Persian javelinmen, etc.

Raphia Test 2 by DukeWacoan, on Flickr

Not shown are a bunch of Greek Mercenaries on both sides, some Libyan Phalangites fighting as HI, Thracian MI, Silver Shields, Egyptian Levy Phalanx, and a bunch more horse.
Thanks to Simon, Lee and Keith and many others for helping me get this nearer completion.

lloydthegamer Supporting Member of TMP21 Aug 2017 9:43 a.m. PST

Lovely photos, what rules will you be using?

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Aug 2017 9:50 a.m. PST

Looking super! Deja vu. ;-) I love the big elephant bases.

JeffGrein Supporting Member of TMP21 Aug 2017 11:25 a.m. PST

Did you have the figures done at Fernando's in Sri Lanka? If so, what level of quality paint job did you have them done at? Mind sharing what you used as examples of work?
I am also looking at doing some epic sized 28mm Successor armies and I will probably need to send out the figures to get painted. Just want to work around any of the issues you might have encountered.



DukeWacoan Supporting Member of TMP Fezian21 Aug 2017 1:27 p.m. PST

I have based things to allow for a bunch of rule options. I based each unit on a stand, which may limit a few things.

But I've been testing with To The Strongest and a conversion of GMT's Simple GBoH rules.

I had some figures done in the States, but Fernando did most (mainly collector) based on photos I sent from books or online pictures of painted figs.

Source materials are as good as you can get for an ancient battle. Comments on OOB here on TMP were very helpful.

There are more details of troop composition here.


I'll be posted pics of each unit on my site as soon as I have them fully based up.

Shooting for a big game at MillenniumCon in November, but I have a few pieces missing I need before then, and it is going to be tight.

JeffGrein Supporting Member of TMP21 Aug 2017 2:35 p.m. PST

This info is fantastic! You have put a lot into this. I am also happy to find out that most of you Sanath paint jobs are the collector quality. I was thinking that your figures were so nice that you splashed out for one of the higher paint jobs. Would you find that items like leaders or elephants be even better at the higher quality levels?

Did you have reasons for the different depths of the pike blocks? I am leaning toward 48 figure blocks for impact but could be persuaded differently if there was some real historical reason.


DukeWacoan Supporting Member of TMP Fezian21 Aug 2017 7:14 p.m. PST

Polybius writes that Ptolemy used 24 ranks for his phalanx. Antiochus deployed his in 16 ranks. In game terms that is 6 vs 4 ranks. So the Ptolemaic PH units are 48 figs (8x6) – ~5000 men each. Seleucids are 32 (8x4) – ~3000 men.

I used a unit frontage of 60mm, but the phalanx are 120mm wide.

I find little difference between Showcase and Collector when you have so many figs on the table.

williamb21 Aug 2017 9:15 p.m. PST

Polybius 5.82 describes the disposition of the two armies, but does not specify the actual depth of the phalanx. The Libyans are described as armed in the Macedonian manner.

Great looking armies.

DukeWacoan Supporting Member of TMP Fezian22 Aug 2017 9:21 a.m. PST

My mistake – I obtained my information from Bar Kochva (who says the Egyptians were 24-32 deep) and also Michael Park's article on Raphia. Bar Kochva goes into some discussion about the depth of the phalanx on each side.

Peck's article is here -

williamb22 Aug 2017 9:47 p.m. PST

I have Bar Kochva's book also. Phil Sabin's book Lost Battles also mentions Bar Kochva's suggestion that Ptolemy's phalanx may have deployed at double depth and the Seleucids countered by deploying 24 deep. Sabin also suggests that if the Silver Shields were 16 deep and the settler phalanx was 32 deep they would occupy the same frontage as both of them being 24 deep. A bit of what if for refighting the battle.

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Aug 2017 1:12 a.m. PST

If one accepts that the Egyptian army was very large (which idea has sometimes been challenged) then, as the lines were broadly the same length, Ptolemy's phalanx would necessarily be deeper that its foes. I don't think there's any way of knowing which bits would be deeper though. I went with Bar Kochva and made the worst bits of the phalanx the deepest.

DukeWacoan Supporting Member of TMP Fezian23 Aug 2017 7:58 a.m. PST

For what it's worth, the scenario designer for the GMT boardgame thinks that the Ptolemy phalanx numbers are too high and that the strengths were much the same. He cites some more modern study. Then he has a variant to go with the Polybius numbers. Since Polybius is specific on numbers, I went with those larger numbers.

JJartist Inactive Member26 Aug 2017 10:28 a.m. PST

Nice looking game.. Big phalanxes are the bomb.

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