The Peloponnesian War 431 - 404
As one of the classical examples of warfare wherein a sea
power (Athens) versus a land power (Sparta), the National War
College requested the company for which Mark Herman works to
computerize his original design of PPW. The demonstrations at
WBC 2001 were very intriguing, and we hope the release of this
computer version will stimulate new interest in this Victory
Games classic. The PPW rules revision group will look at the
revisions made to see if we could incorporate these into the
board game. This was the first year we played with the revised
rules - most changes were incremental rule
clarifications and an attempt to refine them for two-player use.
As originally designed, PPW was primarily a solitaire game. We
toyed with the idea of having the players change sides as per
the solitaire game, but did not have time to playtest for two-player
use. Overall, we think our revisions have maintained the balance
of the game and either side can win. Pleasantly, a number of
new people volunteered to help us with the rules revision project.
However, one of the problems with all the older classic
games is having enough copies for all who are interested in playing.
We have to encourage those with copies to come back to our portion
gods again smiled mostly on Sparta, but some of the games were
extremely close. In one, both sides had equal negative victory
points, but Sparta won because its bellicosity was slightly higher
than that of Athens. At times, the auguries die roll stopped
both sides after only one operation per turn. This seemed to
haunt the Athenians more than the Spartans this year - oh, the
fickleness of the gods. More successful was the renewed interest
by the Spartans in disrupting the Athenian supply lines from
the Black Sea on one side and Epidamnos on the other, while continuing
the devastating ravaging around the Aegean Sea and down the Asian
coast and assaulting the towns of Attica. For Athens, the most
successful tactics remained the naval assault on Corinth, the
ravaging of the Peloponnesian coast, and protecting its supply
lines. Rebellion in the Delian League cities did force Athens
to surrender in a couple of games. This year. Athens did avoid
attempting the infamous attack on Syracuse.
Several close games led to the final between two newcomers,
Graham Cosmas and Steve Cuccaro. Past champion Chris Roginsky
tied with Graham for victory points in their semi-final, but
lost with lower bellicosity at the time limit. In the first turn
of the final, Sparta had one operation and Athens had two before
ceasing operations because of unfavorable omens from the gods
(an auguries '6' die roll). However, this did allow Sparta to
win a battle at Cyme, while Athens won at Potidaea and made money
from a couple of successful sieges (always good for a few victory
points and money from the sale of the populace into slavery).
The second turn opened with Delian League revolts against Athens
in Samos and Ephesus (which the Spartans reinforced) and at the
end by Telos. Athens only got to ravage the Peloponnesian coast
before again failing the auguries die roll. Thus Sparta was able
to win a siege at Epidamnos (denying Athens this important income
source) and to send forces to Cyllene and Naupactus. The third
turn opened with the revolt against Athens spreading to Olynthus.
In an unusual move, Sparta sent a leader to Ephesus, who then
took the Army that remained there ravaging northward and into
Pela, where they later won the siege thereof. Except for the
rebellion again spreading to Colophon, Athens had a pretty good
turn. It ravaged the coast to Cyllene and then to Anactorium
(later it did fail in the siege attempt), destroyed the rest
of the Spartan fleet at Gythium, and won the siege at Oeniadae.
An armistice of three turns then occurred. Athens built up a
huge treasury and spread its builds between fleets and land troops.
Sparta rebuilt its navy and replaced land troops. Turn seven
at the end of the armistice proved disastrous for the Athenians.
The Delian League revolt spread early to Mytilene and later to
Smyrna. They again got only one ravaging turn before failing
their auguries die roll. This time the Spartans were able to
take full advantage, although they did lose the land battle in
Attica at Decelea (next to Athens). They won land battles at
Magnesia and Corcyra, won sieges at Iasus and Byzantium (goodbye
Athenian grain supply), and won a naval battle at Astacus. This
time they failed in the siege of Epidamnos. However, by this
time Athenian bellicosity was down to zero. So even with all
their money they were just too downtrodden and exhausted to continue
the war. Thus did Steve Cuccaro become the new champion of PPW.
All kinds of house rules in effect here ... get the latest