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It is the year 285 B.C. Sparta is in terminal decline. It would continue to be so until its annexation by the Achaean League and the Roman Republic. But what if:
1.) The Achaean League was created a lot earlier.
2.)A young man was born in Rome in, raised in Sparta, took the throne, and led Sparta to its former glory. This TL is a mixture of a little drama and lots of war.
Sparta- 285 B.C.
King Archidamus IV, king of Sparta, lost to Macedon in 295 B.C. Since then, he has had nightmares of his dead soldiers screaming in the fields of Hades. But his nightmare on March 8, 285 B.C. shook him the most. His dream was that his dead soldiers building a mechanical porcupine being smashed by a turtle. His soldiers then built another one, but this time made of scales and quills that enveloped its whole body. It then eventually defeated the turtle. The King then interpreted his dream as a threat that, like the porcupine, Sparta must modernize, or be smashed by the turtle, which he perceived as a great power. His modernization barely even started when on April 6, 285 B.C. he was murdered by nobles and Eudamidas II ascended to the throne. He was very opposed to modernization and Sparta became an even more conservative state under him and Sparta started to hate him, having given a taste of reform by Archidamus.
Alexander Laconius the Mercenary
Alexander, 19 years old, wasn't always The Travelling Mercenary. He was born in the Northern part of the Roman Republic on August 20, 276 B.C. His father, Tryatus, had been an accomplished phalanx commander in the service of Pyrrhus. He escaped from prison and traveled to Northern Italy. He then met Alex' mother, Augusta, a seamstress. But then one day, a group of Etcrusans raided and killed Alexander's parents. From then on, he followed his father's words and journeyed to Sparta, although he was only nind years of age. He became a trader, robber, slave, cook, and farmboy before finally getting to Aetolia and serving as a mercenary under the local governor, Darmus. Alexander proved to be a very adept and talented commander. Commanding 2500 loyal mercenaries and regulars, he defended Aetolia against Macedon. He was like Alexander the Great, a comrade and brother to his troops, promoting a sense of espirit de corps to his men. He also made some improvements in his practically personal army, including making their shields large and diamond- shaped and tilted at an angle. They were also issued two javelins, a shorter spear, shorter than even hoplite spears, and had a small sword for stabbing and slashing, and a knife. The armor was made with overlapping scales. They operated like Roman legions and could perform a testudo with spears. However, in a war against Achaean League, Alexander was outflanked and with only 2400 men left, specifically 1000 adamantoi heavy infantry, 500 oktagonoi light infantry, 450 cavalry, 300 Cretan archers, and 150 Rhodian Slingers. He fought a determined fighting withdrawal to the coast and was evacuated with 42 ships, 20 of them transports. He harassed the coast of Achaea, living like pirate for 25 days until his fleet was damaged and he was forced to land in Sparta. When he landed in Sparta on June 28, 255 B.C., he was immediately brought before Eudamidas. He was able to receive a commission as a regular officer, based on Crete.
Alexander of Sparta
He stood there, unmoving, surveying the battlefield on his horse, with 4000 loyal Spartan men on his back, the core of it was his 2,500- man personal army. They were still young, at most around 20 years of age, same as he. His opponent, this time a Seleucid, Narchus of Syria, Antiochus' nephew. With him was an army of 6600 men arrayed in phalanx formation with cavalry on the wings. Alexander's army was arrayed in a new fashion. The first row was filed with Spartans arrayed in diamond turtle formation. At the back was his mercenaries, now Spartan citizens, arrayed in diamond turtle formation too. They were split in two at the back flanks of the Spartans. The cavalry was at the flanks. He himself was at the head of his army. His front line charged but stopped just before it reached the sarissas and turned to turtle formation. Half of the second line reinforced the first while the other one marched to behind the right flank cavalry. As the left flank charged, the infantry in the center became impatient and tired as missiles were pelted at them. They then charged without orders and ran into a wall of shields bristling with small spears. As the left flank Seleucid cavalry charged, The right flank Spartan cavalry opened up and the Seleucid cavalry crashed into wall of shields, bristling with spears. The right cavalry then charged to the back of the Seleucid infantry in the centre, relieving the hard-pressed native Spartans and sent the Seleucids running to the shores, they were harassed at every turn and deprived of supplies as the high-quality mercenary cavalry of the left flank mauled the Seleucids, plundered their camp, and captured enemy soldiers, which, after a deal, joined their army. The enemy ships were captured and only a few Seleucids went back to Syria. This happened for six more times which bolstered and enriched the army. He even reformed the infantry by training them to get hoplite spears and doing what is now an OTL Swiss Pikeman tactic. Phalanx on all sides with the addition of the diamond shields. As of October 20, 255 B.C., his army included:
- 2500 man Oktadamantoi Guard Corps, the infantry commanded by Alexander himself.
- 1000 man Hippekoi Guard Corps, the cavalry of Alexander.
- 1000 man Missile Guard Corps of Alexander
- 1000 Horse Archers Guard Corps of Alexander
- 500 Superheavy Guard, a special unit of Cavalry and Infantry with Medieval knight-like armor.
- 1500 man Argyraspides Spartan Infantry Corps. The only unit armed with sarissas and Celtic Shields.
- 500 man Ippikoi Spartan Corps. The Spartan Cavalry.
- 500 Cataphract Cavalry
- 800 Thessalian Cavalry
- 500 Cretan Archers
- 1500 Ptolemaic Phalangites, Alexander the Great-style.
- 1500 Seleucid Phalangites, less armor and longer spears
- 1000 picked Seleucid-Ptolemaic infantry in Diamond formation.
- 500 Rhodian Slingers
- 2000 Peltasts
- 1500 Roman deserters, part mercenaries, part stragglers. They are still armed as a Legion.
- 1200 Spartan Rebel Skirmishers
- 2000 African infantry
- 500 African light cavalry
- 40 elephants, both male and female
- 500 Gallic Axemen
- 500 Thracian light infantry
- 130 ships
Invasion of Anatolia
"What!?" Alexander asked, confused.
"The king ordered it." Heruben, a master tactician, adept politician and Alexanders' long time adviser and friend, answered.
"By the gods, he must be out of his mind. I will talk to him at once."
"Don't let your confusion cloud your judgment."
"He wants me to invade Asia in two and a half months time! Where am I supposed to get the supplies, weapons and most of all, ships?"
A messenger came in and told Alexander:
"The King wants to meet you."
Alexander sailed back to Sparta and was escorted to the palace two days later. Heruben accompanied him as they went to the king, Eudamidas. They were led to a table with maps and armies in it. Eudamidas told him,
"You see. Cyprus, Rhodes and most of the Egyptian holdings in Asia have fallen to Antiochus. I need you to capture at least the western part of Asia to give us a suitable buffer zone."
"How shall I do this, my king? I do not have the resources to fight a war outside of Sparta." Alexander asked, feeling a pain in his head because of the magnitude of his job.
"I shall give you the full weight of the Spartan navy and industrial power. I have also, for a considerable sum, re-hired Xanthippus, fresh from his victory at Tunis alongside the Carthaginians against Rome. He has brought with him supplies and a mercenary army. He shall join you in invading Asia. Ande he has given you a gift of 1200 Galatian infantry and 400 Cappadocian cavalry from Asia Minor." Eudamidas replied, gesturing to a man leaning against the wall.
'He must be good.' Alexander thought as the man walked in, looking at him with a face that showed hardened military experience. They shook hands then the king dismissed them. While walking, Xanthippus told Alexander,
"I have heard about your achievements. It would be an honor to fight alongside you."
"I have heard of your accomplishments in Africa. It would also be an honor working with you."