Now that I’d built the Assyrians up to a decent level, it was time to get them onto the tabletop again. As the Beardless King was unavailable (school!), I persuaded long time wargaming buddy Neil to give the rules a try for game two of my To The Strongest journey.
The Forces Involved
I would play the New Kingdom Egyptians again. My troops consisted of three commands:
Two units of guard two-horse light chariots
Two units of regular two-horse light chariots
One unit of bowmen to guard the Camp
The Blue General
Two units of shieldwall spearmen
Two units of bowmen archers
One unit each of marines, axemen, spearmen and Nubian bowmen (this last guarding a Camp)
The Canaanite Ally General
Two units of raw spearmen
Four units of raw lights with javelins (one guarding a camp)
Neil would command the following Assyrian troops:
Two units of regular four-horse heavy chariots
The Cavalry General
One unit of guard cavalry
Two units of regular cavalry
The Infantry General
One unit of veteran infantry
One unit of regular infantry
Two units of raw infantry
The General of Light Troops
One unit of Assyrian light bowmen
Two units of raw Javelinmen
As I had loads of light troops, King Neil (“Kneel before King Neil!”) deployed first. He placed his lights on his right, his infantry in the centre, the heavy chariots just to the left of centre, and his cavalry out on the left.
This allowed me to choose where to deploy my troops. I decided to follow the same tactics as last time: placing my infantry in the centre flanked by the Canaanites on the left and my chariots on my right. The plan was for the chariots to keep his cavalry busy with missile fire and evasion, hold and perhaps chew up some of his infantry units in the centre, whilst the Canaanites used their superior numbers to overwhelm his light troops and then took all his camps.
Unfortunately, things did not go entirely to plan!
On my right, the chariots steamed forward and began pelting the Assyrian cavalry with arrows, evading them when they charged in reply. So far so good, but my chariots rapidly began to run out of room, as the Assyrians followed up every charge with another one.
This became a particular problem when King Neil threw in his heavy chariots as well: one unit of which drove some chariots right back towards one of my camps, much to the amusement of the Egyptian archers therein: everybody likes to see the nobles get nobbled!
Meanwhile, in the centre, my Egyptian infantry had advanced into bow range and then into contact. Unfortunately, they failed to make much headway, and the centre soon developed into a stalemate, with each side able to disorder the other, but not quite manage to break and force any to rout.
Particularly annoying were my axemen (veteran troops with two-handed cutting weapons). I had high hopes for them, but their first advance saw their attack repelled, and the enemy counter-attack disorder them. Methinks the royal crocodiles won’t be going hungry tonight!
So it was all up to the Canaanites.
They were raw troops, but there were a lot of them: in fact they outnumbered the troops in front of them two-to-one.
Unfortunately (I seem to be using that word a lot in this report!) their numbers actually told against them. I tried to cram them into the space in between the left flank of the Egyptian infantry and a patch of rough ground, and got completely jammed up. It took several turns to get everything sorted, and to drive back the infantry in front of me, opening up a way through to the Assyrian camps.
All well and good, but all this delay had allowed the Assyrians to disperse my chariots and get their heavy chariots back into the fray. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so have a look at the below…
Yes: that is a unit of Assyrian four-horse heavy chariots crashing into the flank of my main battle line!
Suffice to say that a general rolling up of my line occurred, and I began haemorrhaging victory coins right, left and centre. To add insult to injury, the other unit of heavy chariots looted one of my camps, and that, as they say, was that!
Another great game of TTS. The activation system is quite fun, but brutal if the cards start to go against you.
The battle was won in a satisfyingly traditional way: Neil’s mounted troops drove off my mounted troops, and then returned to hit the flank of my main battle line as they attempted to push forward over his.
It could all have already been over if the Canaanites had got their skates on, but I mishandled them badly and they didn’t!
The Egyptians are now officially sacked, and I’m now busy painting Hoplites to bring my early Greeks up to scratch for TTS!