Saturday 8 February 2020

I need more chariot based puns - more 6mm Bronze Age L'Art de la Guerre

At the start of the month, Andrew and I met up with Tim for another Egyptian-Minoan grudge match.  This time, Timhotep commanded one of Andrewhotep's Egyptian divisions - all the while whispering foul suggestions in the guileless Pharaoh's ear.

The two forces lined up across a vast open plain, only a single gentle hill and a few fields offering any sort of distraction. As the defender, the Minoans plonked their army between one of the fields and the hill. On the left was the heavy spearmen division, curiously missing a couple of their light infantry screen (hidden in ambush in the field). The center was composed of the heavy chariot division, with their medium spear supports on their right, and beyond the medium spear was a tiny allied Myrmidon division. Opposite the heavy spearmen, pharaoh deployed six units of Egyptian chariots in two groups, the Egyptian centre consisted of all of the Sea Peoples Pharaoh could scrape off the beach, while opposite the Myrmidons was a vast array of Egyptian medium foot - a mixture of bow, axemen, and spearmen.

The armies closed as quickly as their dared - the Minoans hoping to maximise the damage against Sea People's swordsmen with a chariot charge as soon as possible; the Egyptians seeking to use their much faster flanks to carry out encircling maneuvres. Happily, the ambush markers in the fields to either flank prevented any immediate threat to the Minoan flanks.

As the outermost Egyptian chariot division approached the field on the Minoan left, the ambush of Cretan slingers was sprung. Safe among the furrows, the slingers were more than ready for a shoot out with the bow-armed chariots. What could possibly go wrong?

In the centre, the lines kept closing. The Minoan skirmishers were having a bit of an off day, but the match ups still looked promising. Andrewhotep has discovered that my force marching his heavy impetuous swordsmen twice in turn one, but only moving his medium impetuous swordsmen once, he can get them to line up again at the end of turn two presuming both groups move once... He likes his lines. I would have rathered he was a bit more disorganised.

The massed Egyptian infantry discovered that the threat of an ambush in the fields to their front was as empty as a pharaoh's tomb a year after burial. They surged into the fields and were charged instead by the brave Myrmidons. The Myrmidon medium swordsmen had all the trimmings - impact, armour, elite - but there weren't a whole lot of them.

The centres crunched together. Faced with the heavy Minoan chariots, the Sea Peoples swordsmen, even the medium swordsmen, put on their angry faces and raised their shields. The great wave of destruction failed to materialise, and the chariot charge was stalled. The Minoan skirmishers managed to do a little damage to the Egyptian chariots in front of the spearwall, but the canny charioteers refused to charge home and instead exchanged insults and the occasional arrow with the doughty Minoan spearmen.

Over in the ambush field, the Egyptian chariots redeployed from column into line and were comfortably getting the better of the Minoan slingers.

The Egyptian infantry began to engulf the Myrmidon command wholesale. The Myrmidons were only supposed to hold them up for a turn or two while the heavy chariots destroyed the Egyptian centre. While the centres continued to grind into each other, the Myrmidons felt the heat.

Slowly, but ever so surely, the Egyptian numbers began to bear and the Myrmidon flank was turned.
In the centre, far from being crushed under hoof, the Sea Peoples division was tearing holes in the Egyptian line. A heavy chariot unit and a block of heavy spearmen were routed, and despite the Minoan's being able to attack the pursuing units of Sea People's in the flank, it was cold comfort.

The Minoan spearwall surged forward and charged the Egyptian chariots, whose arrows were starting to bite. The chariotry evaded, but the charge achieved little beyond a temporary respite from arrows. In the centre, the battle between the heavy chariots and the Sea Peoples began to go in favour of the Minoans. Cracks were forming in the Egyptian line and the flood of cranky Minoans was waitng to push through.

In the end, it was all a bit too little, too late. The Egyptians were mauled, but the Minoan lines were ripped to pieces. The battle ended with a pretty decisive Egyptian victory with the Minoans at 25/25 breakpoints, and the Egyptians hovering somewhere around 17/23. Well played gentlemen. Well played.

1 comment: