Sunday 29 July 2018

Hear the bellow of the Bull of the Sea - Bronze Age l'Art de la Guerre (in 6mm)

This week we finally managed a game of ADG with our first Bronze Age armies. Together with Jim and Joel, I led the mighty Minoan/Mycenaean forces of Minos in a daring raid on the Libyan coast. Our army, arrayed to the left in the photo above, consisted of:

Left wing allied Myrmidons (Joel):
Heavy chariot (incl. competent commander), mediocre medium cavalry, 2x elite medium impact swordsmen, 2x light infantry archers.

Centre Minoan chariotry (Jim):
4x elite heavy chariots (incl. competent commander), 2x medium spearmen with missile support and pavises, 2x light infantry javelineers.

Right wing Minoan spearmen (me):
Heavy chariot (incl. competent commander), 5x heavy spearmen with missile support and pavises, 3x light infantry archers, 2 x light infantry slingers.

The New Kingdom Egyptian army looked something like:

Left wing (Andrew facing me)
6x light chariot archers (incl. competent commander), 1x donkey scouts.

Centre (Lee facing Jim)
Ordinary commander, 6x medium spearmen, 6x mediocre bowmen.

Right wing (Steve facing Joel) 
Ordinary commander, 2x Sherden heavy swordsmen, 4x sherden medium swordsmen, 2x Lybiam medium swordsmen, 2x Syro-Canite light infantry javelineers.
My noble fellow commanders eating the buns of kings - literally. I suspect they were made of the ground up remains of enemy kings scraped from the bronze rims of our chariot wheels...

The opening turns saw the two forces advance towards each other. Despite having 25 units, the Minoan line was quite compact. Half of the infantry were skirmishers who were deployed in a screen in front of their medium and heavy brethren. The 'Gyptian line suffered a bit by having 29 units and two novice commanders. They also deployed in deeper formations, but not in a way that was to prove overly effective.

The 'Gyptian chariot corp spread out far to their left with the donkey scouts out front. 

Being outnumbered and less manoeuvrable than the sons of the Nile, my Minoan right flank started wheeling right to take up a defensive line. There was a real and pressing possibility at this point that the Minoan camp (with its open-bodiced priestesses) was in danger of sacking. 

The commander of the Minoan infantry - and the king of Phaistos in his own right - turned to the right in an attempt to stop the Gypo donkey riders from gaining access to the camp. 

The opposing centres come face-to-face. The elite heavy chariots easily weathered the shower of mediocre archery, although the Libyan mercenary skirmishers screening the Minoan medium spearmen did take a hit each.

On our left flank, the Myrmidons also refused the flank as they were faced by a much larger force of Sherdana. 

An overview of the battle shortly before it became a bit bloody. Behind the Egyptian line of archers, the medium spearmen have turned into column and started marching to their left to threaten the Minoan spearmen and free up the chariots for some fancy footwork.

But then the Minoan nobles charged. Seeing Minos, Priest-king of Knossos, High king of Crete and Lord of the Islands hold aloft his his bronze labrys - you know, the double axe thingy - the archers facing him dropped their bows and ran for it. Elsewhere along the line, the archers all got the worst of the fighting. Seeing their comrades flee, some of the Egyptian spearmen also lost heart.

Over on our right, the king of Phaistos charged at the 'Gyptian donkey scouts who evaded. Right off the table. Unfortunately that did leave him rather out in the open.

Choosing to avoid the Minoan chariotry, the Egyptian spearmen continue to column their way towards the Minoan spear wall. Meanwhile, the Minoan slingers and archers fire off a couple of volleys at the Pharaoh's chariots. 

Pharaoh Ramses then charged home against the king of Phaistos, leaving three chariots behind to shoot a bot at the Minoan skirmishers.

Back in the centre, the remaining Gypo archers fled before Minos and his chariots.

Despite being taken in the flank, the Minoan heavy chariot general (and king of Phaistos...) won his combat, disordered the Egyptian Pharaoh and turned to continue the fight. In the background, you can see the hits accumulating as the Egyptian chariots and Minoan skirmishers exchange fire.

The Minoan spearmen then charged home against the shooty chariots, while one unit of skirmishers rushed to the aid of their king, sliding into a combat against the Pharaoh's own flank. Here, we may have all overlooked the fact that light chariots can evade. In retrospect it would only have delayed the inevitable, but still..

The remaining spearmen wheel back to guard against the approaching column of Egyptian infantry.

Way over on the Minoan left flank, other stuff was happening too! The Myrmidons crashed into a line of Sherdan mercenaries while a second line of Sherdana turned into column to march right and save the collapsed Egyptian centre.

Everywhere the dust rises as thousands of feet march, counter-march and lead their owners to vicious close-quarters fighting. In almost all cases, the dice gods favour the Minoan lords of Crete and their well-oiled men.

The king of Phaistos kills Pharaoh Ramses as the chariot line facing the Minoan spearmen collapses in a jumbled heap of dead horses, mangled chariots and the odd hubcap rolling off into the distance.

... and that was that. The Egyptians were tipped well over their breaking point. In the final round of melee, the Minoans did lose two units, an elite heavy chariot (attacked in the front and flank by medium spearmen) was destroyed in the centre, and a Myrmidon skirmisher was killed by the two Syro-Canaanite javelin-armed skirmishers over on the far left.

A resounding victory for the sons of Minoan Crete and their might king, Minos, the Bull of the Sea. I think Egypt is going to need a new Pharaoh...

Considering three of us have played quite a few games, but none very recently, and three had never played, I think we remembered most things - with the exception of evading light chariots and impetuous Sherdana. We got to field massive armies (for us); we got previously unused armies on the table; and all six of us enjoyed the evening. I'd say it was rather a success.


  1. Great looking game, and it seems you had fun. I have to ask, however, who gets stuck with the job of oiling up?

    1. Well I admit I hadn't thought of that... They are only 6mm tall, so somebody with very small hands I suppose. ­čĄö

  2. These look great for 6mm. Very well painted. Was not sure how charoiy armies would look in this scale