The The Great Battles of Alexander wiki last edited by ka_tet19 on 01/15/14 05:45AM View full history


The first game developed Erudite Software and a direct port of The Great Battles of Alexander: Deluxe Edition boardgame, published by GMT Games in 1995.  The PC game was directly support from one of the original designers, Mark Herman, and product manager, Gene Billingsley, who are credited with similar roles on the computer version.  It is a top-down, turn-based wargame that faithfully follows the look, feel, and rules of the boardgame to recreate the ancient battles fought by Alexander and his Macedonian army.

Playing the Game

Length and Scale

All battles are fought until one side is routed or until a certain number of turns have passed.  Each game turn represents approximately 15-20 minutes of real-time.  Each hex is approximately 60-70 yards wide.


The most important unit in the game.  Each leader has a command range which represents the greatest distance, from a leader, a unit can be located and still receive orders.
  • Inactive Phase:  All leaders start the turn inactive and each has the opportunity to become active and issue orders.
  • Active Phase:  Each game turn starts with the computer randomly activating one of the leaders.  The higher a leader's initiative, the better the leader's chance of going first.  When a leader is activated, he gives orders that allows units, within his command range, to move, missile volley and conduct combat shock.
  • Finished Phase:  Finishing a leader ends his orders phase and resolves any combat situations.  When a leader attempts momentum and passes the momentum check, the leader receives another active phase.  If he fails, he is finished and the next leader is activated.  When all leaders have been activated and are finished, the game turn is concluded.


  • Movement:  Leaders can either move individual units or group move all the units under that leader's command. 
  • Missile Volley:  Units with missile capability can use missile volley.  There are four types of missile units: archers, slingers, javelins and oxybeles.  Missile fire can occur as an order, as reaction fire or during orderly withdrawal.
  • Shock Combat:  Occurs after all orders have been issued and movement has been completed, at the conclusion of the order phase.  It is simply engaging an enemy unit in an adjacent, frontal hex.  The outcome relies on the interaction of units' weapon types, armor protection, size angle of attack and quality to produce a result.
  • Remove Cohesion Hits:  Restores zero to three points of cohesion thus strengthening the resolve of unit and reducing the chances that the unit will rout.
  • Rally:  Routed units can only be rallied by leaders.  Units can only be reallied once per battle.  Failing a rally, a unit enters terminal rout and heads straight for the edge of the map.


The measurement of how organized and effective a unit is at any point during the battle.  In game, it is represented by TQ (total quality) and cohesion hits.  The game rates each combat unit's TQ from one to nine (nine being the best or elite) based on their historical performance.

Cohesion hits are a measure of how much disorganization or damage a unit has substained during the battle  Each unit accumulates cohesion hits from damage received in combat and from moving over difficult terrain.  Cohesion hits do affect a unit's combat strength ot capabilities, except to show how close it is getting to fall apart.  When a unit's cohension hits equal or exceed it's TQ rating, the unit is routed.


Each battle scenario has a withdrawl level for each side.  The goal is force the opponent's army off the map by routing enemy units flee off the map through shock and missile combat.  When an army's total rout points equals the withdrawal level, that side is the loser.


  • Chaeronea 338 B.C. - A teenage Alexander fights in his first major battle.  Alongside his father, Philip II, he battles against a coalition of Greek city-states, led by Athens and Thebes.  It is Alexander's actions on the Macedonian left flank and subsequent destruction of the Thebian Sacred Band that decides the battle.  After Chaeronea, Philip enlists the now conquered Greeks into joining his planned invasion of the Persian Empire.
  • Lyginus 335 B.C. - Philip is assassinated and his eldest son, Alexander, ascends to the throne.  The young king is immediately beset by revolts.  He marches north to confront the Danubians.
  • Pelium, 335 B.C. - After suppressing the tribes along the Danube, Alexander moves south, only to learn the Illyrian tribes in the West, led by Clitus, have revolted.  Their city of Pelium is the Western strategic outpost that defends the only pass into Macedon from Illyria.  Whoever holds the pass, originally captured by Philip, also controls the headwaters of the Erygon River and access to southern Macedon.
  • Granicus 334 B.C. - His home base secure, Alexander leaves Macedon, never to return.  He leads his army into Asia Minor and into confrontation with the mighty Persian Empire.  His arrival is opposed at the River Granicus by a hastily-gathered army, top-heavy in light cavalry and commanded by a group of local Persian satraps (governors) and the highly capable mercenary commander, Memnon of Rhodes.  This motley band of generals cannot agree on a cohesive plan and they reject Memnon's strategy of burn and retreat.
  • Issus 333 B.C. - Following the Persian defeat at the Granicus, organized Persian resistance disappears in Asia Minor except for isolated pockets.  Alexander spends a year conquering Anatolia to secure his lines of communication with Macedon, wowing the locals by cutting the Gordion knots and performing other feats, and gobbling up whatever treasure he can find.  Alexander then launches an offensive into Syria to neutralize the dangerous Persian fleet by depriving them of their ports.  He is met at the Pinarus River after being outmaneuvered and surprised by Darius III, Great King of the Persian Empire.
  • Gaugamela 331 B.C. - Alexanders now continues his plan to secure the Mediterranean coast to neutralize the Persian navy and guarantee his lines of communication.  During this operation, he conducts two epic sieges at Pyre and Gaza.  After his conquest of Egypt, Alexander finally turns into the heartland of Asia for the decisive confrontation with Darius, who has been busy raising, equipping and retraining a new, massive army.  Alexander is greatly outnumbered and is forced to fight Darius at Gaugamela, on ground carefully prepared for the Persian chariots and elephants.
  • Jaxartes 329 B.C. - By 329 B.C., Alexander completes the subjugation of the Persian satraps although rebel forces still roam the countryside.  As Alexander closes on the Jaxartes River, which is the southern boundary of the Scythian territory, envoys are received from the local king.  After a peace treaty is accepted, the Scythians rise in revolt when Alexander's founds a new city in their territory.
  • Samarkand 328 B.C. - The Scythan revolt distracts Alexander and the Sogdianians, led by Spitamenes, take advantage and also revolt.  The delay imposed by the Scythian threat has allowed the Sogdianian revolt to gain significant headway.  In the winter of 329/328 B.C., Spitamenes attacks the Macedonia garrison at Maracanda ( present-day Samarkand), and Alexander dispatches a relief column under Pharnaces.
  • Arigaenum 327 B.C. - With the Persian Empire mostly subjugated, Alexander begins his march to India.  To cross and capture the valleys of the Hindu Kush, Alexander divides his army into two columns and advances down the Kabul River valley.  There are several notable sieges, such as Aornus, as well as action against some local forces near Arigaeum, a new garrison town on some heights along the upper Indus River.
  • Hydaspes 326 B.C. - Alexander and his Macedonian juggernaut venture into the Indian subcontinent to satisfy his compulsive curiosity and his need for conquest.  He is met at the River Hydaspes, by the army of a powerful rajah, Porus.  His crossing thwarted by the presence of Porus' elephant corps lining the banks, Alexander uses a ruse to make an up-river crossing which forces Porus into battle.

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