Monday, April 1, 2024

Battle Report: In Strife and Conflict- Scouting Engagement in the Levant


Now that the armies for Kadesh are sorted, I figured it was time to do a playtest of the basic rules.  I have done some playtesting using templates previously, but this will be the first time with actual miniatures!  Exciting.  

I Ramses the II, he who makes mortals tremble, have marched north past the fortress of Tjel.  My intention is to reclaim the city of Kadesh and the Kingdom of Amurru.  The foolish rulers there have turned from my munificence and have taken council with King Muwatalli II from the North.  I shall teach them the error of their ways.  

As part of this effort, my might army has probed the coast scouting the best way forward.  Local vassals of the Muwatalli have come forth to challenge me.  Foolish mortals.  We shall sweep them aside like so much dust. 

At some point, the Kingdom of Amurru which was led by the city-state of Kadesh.  They had been vassals of the Egyptians in previous centuries, but overtime had drifted to the Hittite orbit.  This angered Ramessess II who wished to rebuild Egypt's empire in the Levant and return the region to Egyptian control. The year prior to the Battle of Kadesh, Egyptian forces were all ready active in the Canaanite lands.  

Today's battle will represent some of the scouting and blocking forces engaging in southern Canaan.  


Today's battle is speculative in nature.  Therefore, we will be using the standard Lines of Battle to choose forces up to 24 points.


1 Light Chariot  
- Composite Bow 

1 Levy Infantry
- Bow 

1 Auxiliary Infantry

1 Archer


1 Heavy Chariot

1 Light Chariot

Levy Infantry


We will be playing the Scout the Area scenario found in the main rules.  The intention is not to destroy the foes, but to understand the terrain.  

For ease, we decided not to use any complications for the raid scenario.  

We are using a 48 x 48 MU table, with 1 MU being 1 inch.  Therefore, a 4 by 4 space.  

The Western edge of the table is the Mediterranean Sea.  The Egyptians get the South, and the Hittites the North.  We divide the area into four zones and randomly determine terrain per the rules in the booklet.  The North side is 1 and 2, and the South is 3 and 4.  

1 = 2 level hill
2= Pond 0r Dangerous Terrain
3= Grove or Difficult Terrain
4= No terrain  

Hitties in distance with skirmishers, Levy, Heavies, and Lights. 
Near side is Egyptians with archers, levy w/bows, Auxiliary, and Lights

As normal, I am covering this battle in three phases.  I will not be talking about each individual decision, unless it is relevant.  However, I took careful notes of the outcome as this is a playtest game.  
The first two turns are the Maneuver Phase, Turns 3-6 is the Battle Phase, and turn 7-8 is the End Phase. 

Maneuver Phase
The speed of the Hittite force pays off, as they are able to grab 4 of the 6 objectives early.  

The Egyptian light Chariots go out dangerously ahead of their support to grab an objective as well.  The last objective is under the bows of the Egyptian archers, and the javelins of the Hittite skirmishers.  The skirmishers overlook it from the hill top.  

Battle Phase
The Hittites get the initiative and begin the attack! The heavy chariots manage to rumble towards the Egyptian lights at a gallop.  The Egyptians try to evade, but can not get away fast enough and are caught by the Hittites.  A swirling melee ensues and the Egyptians are pushed back.  The battle is joined by the Hittite light chariots, and things look bad for the Egyptians.  All is not lost, as the Egyptian Auxiliary infantry manages to charge into the fight.  

The Egyptian Archers manage to get the last objective, but are under threat from Hittite skirmishers on the hill top.  

Meanwhile, the Egyptians disorder the Hittite Heavy Chariot, but their Chariot forces and Auxiliary infantry are forced to fall back!  

The Archers are hit by a rain of javelins from the hill, but keep enough courage and discipline to fire on the Hittite Levy.  Along with the fire of the Levy Egyptians bows, the unit is reduced to half courage, but stays in formation. 

The Hittite Heavy Chariot hits the Egptian Levy in the flanks.  Despite the flank charge, the Levy put up fierce resistance.  Both sides are heavily injured and disordered.  The Hittite Levy join the fray, and further demoralize the beleagured Egytpians.  

The Egyptian Archers and Hittite skirmishers trade shots, but the cover of the Hilltop gives the Hittites the advantage.  

End Phase
In the fight in the center, the Egyptian Levy manages to send the Hittite Heavy Chariots and Hittite Levy packing.  However, the Egyptian Levy also have to fall back.  

However, Javelins from the Hittite Skirmishers also rout the demoralized Egyptian archer unit.  This leaves the field to the Hittites. 

A Hittite victory no matter how you slice it!  I did not have the speed for this mission compared to what the Hittites brought to the table.  My focus on needing to dash forward also restricted my ability to shoot and scoot with my Light Chariots, their main advantage over the Hittites.  

The Hittites grabbed 4 objectives, and I grabbed 2.  In addition, my forces were completely routed.  We did some damage to the Hittites though.  We routed their Heavy Chariots and their Levy infantry.  We also pinged some courage from the skirmishers, so it wasn't a completely 1-sided victory for them.  

In reality, I would image the Hittite Light Chariots in my rear would have made sure very few of my Egyptians made it back to the Sinai and out of Canaan.     

King Muwatali II am displeased with the Egyptian dogs entering the kingdom of my vassals.  Gather the soldiers o Hattusta so we can whip these mutts back to the desert where dogs belong.  Our mighty armies will teach them a lesson not soon forgotten.  Let us march to Kadesh! 

Final Thoughts
How did the game play function?  Well, chariots were much faster than any foot mounted troops.  That was exactly as how it was intended.  In addition, skirmishers in cover were hard to dislodge.  Everything else seemed to work as intended.

Evasion by the Light Chariots against foot foes would have worked great, but I was charged by chariots that also had Pursue.  Therefore, the two options sort of negated each other this game.  I think I need some more playtesting using evade and pursue with chariots.  I have seen Egyptian Light Chariots with bows very effectively employ hit and run tactics, but not today.      

I went back and tweaked the set-up rules a bit, because as written now they overly favored the defended.  I also did not notice that once all tokens were gathered, the game ended!  Whoops. I played that a bit differently.        

Overall, I was pleased with how it all went.  It was relatively easy to wrap your head around, with the most questions coming around joining a combat that had all ready been resolved.  I might want to add an example of play to clear up how this section of the rules works.  It is not 100% intuitive 
 as it is delayed support + charge dice rather than a full attack dice + charge dice.  More to come in that space. 

Bonus Content
I painted up a lone, 28mm Whizkids pre-primed model for a member my RPG group.  I was not super impressed with the "pre-prime" and recommend anyone else just prime them again.  They did not work well with Speedpaints at all.  Instead, I had to use my standard base and wash techniques.  

Nothing special, but now we have a full party of painted minis when we play.  Our current campaign is pretty OSR and "Combat as War" so far, so the minis on a battle mat are pretty nice to have handy.  If we are using minis, I prefer for all of them to be painted.  I'm strange that way!   

Until next time! 

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1 comment:

  1. Muy entretenido el informe y los ejércitos se ven muy bien en mesa. Gracias por este blog.