Classical & Roman Era at Brixham 2021
Sertorian Spanish vs Hurri-Mitanni
By now firmly rooted to the bottom of the table, the colourful yet seemingly ineffective Spanish were cast back in time to the era when carts carried warriors, not just bales of burning hay, in a matchup against the Hurri-Mitanni and their biblical era hordes of loincloth wearing geezers.
The lists for the Sertorian Spanish and Hurri-Mitanni from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at Brixham can be seen here in the L'Art de la Guerre Wiki.
Mitanni - a sort of made up kingdom that appears in all ancient army lists just so that people have a choice other than Assyrians and New Kingdom Egyptians to be honest. It has chariots, loads of those half and half bowmen types who look cool on paper but which almost always prove to be a liability in real life, and some other stuff. And bases the colour of sand. Always the sand.
Piratical scribes working for Brixham's daily newspaper dutifully recorded that another attempt to flood the table with ambush-friendly terrain had resulted in another partial success, with one forest (disguised as a plantation as I forgot to bring my box of trees) in a decent enough position for the defending Spanish army to use as a jumping off point and an anchor for a flank.
The chariot-driving Mitanni were somewhat constrained by all of this clutter, pushing one of their chariot formations out to a wing where only a skeletal (prhaps the tapas portions were a little smaller han usual?) Spanish cavalry force waited for them.
The main object in the field of view of the Lusitanians and Iberians was the block of Mitanni mixed shooter infantry who had graciously occupied the rough terrain in the centre of the table.
This made them a target for much of the Spanish strike force and despite being defenders in this game, the Iberians girded their (pork) loins for a rush to battle.
The previously non-arriving, game losing flank march command had very sensibly stayed on table this time, and faced with an enormous number of decent quality chariots immediately decided to squirt themselves ketchup-on-chips style back behind the advancing tide of Iberian infantry, leaving the wheeled warriors with almost no opposition on half of the table.
Me cago en todo lo que se menea! The ambush had also been sprung, sending Lusitanian quasi-auxiliaries racing forward towards the rather outnumbered-looking Mitanni archery block.
What's Going on Here Then?
The Spanish have focused entirely on attacking on one half of the table, using the strip of rough going in the centre and sheer distance to protect their vulnerable medium foot from enemy chariots who are spread across the wide open spaces on the Spanish right. They are making a rapid bee-line for the Mitanni medium infantry and bowmen in the middle, with a plan to run them over quickly, count up how many points that is and work out what to do next.
Sertorius Legions are racing down the Spanish left, pushing back a small chariot force which is rather impotent against even such a small block of armoured and well drilled heavy foot
The Mitanni were keen to use their chariots however, and racing faster than Fernando Alonso on the Estoril circuit they arrived at pace to pile into the suddenly-reversing non-flank-marching Spanish cavalry, who had been tasked with shoring up this end of the advance.
The wheeled combat vehicles skidded to an unruly halt, knocking the waiting Iberians back on their heels in a flurry of woodwork and odd bits of woven oxhide malarkey
The proper full fat Iberian Rebel Legions had been advancing remorselessly on the opposite flank, pushing back a Mittani chariot force who had no real answer to close formation shoving and pushing.
Even the threat of the burning cart was working as a force multiplier as the Mitanni realised that they were already running out of table into which to continue their organised retreat.
With the Mitanni chariotry struggling to fit enough of themselves into the gap to cause serious problems to the countless Spaniards, the battle was well and truly joined with each side looking to uncover some pearls of success in Brixhams piratical treasure chest of d6-based combat outcomes
Chief among Spain's most likely successes were the Lusitanian warriors, who slammed into the biblical bowmen, praying for serious up-rolls to use the full force of Furious Charge to sweep the pedestrians from the back end of pre-history into oblivion in short order.
The Mitanni bowmen evaporated on contact, as the Spanish swept forward in the centre. A frantic holding action however was taking place on the Iberian right as the Mitani poured ever more troops into what seemed an ever smaller space in their efforts to pound the Spanish left wing flatter and thinner than a slice of top quality Jamon.
L'Art de la Guerre hint - Mixed Bow/Sword formations such as the Mitanni and other bibical infantry really need to knock a hit off of attacking enemies through shooting to stand up in combat, where they count as Mediocre Medium foot. Really these troops are best thought of as bowmen with marginally better combat capabilities, not swordsmen who shoot
The Mitanni (they are real, honest!)
The battle in the centre was fast turning on its axis as more and more troops of both sides squashed and fought in an area which would have been considered claustrophobic by half a DBA army, never mind two fully formed double-based forces from the French end of the rules spectrum.
As chariots flooded forward in from the wings, the Spanish army hastily tried to hurl whatever troops they could find in front of the wheels to stop themselves being drowned in a flood of biblical era battle-cart warriors
This might not have qualified as a plan, but by god did the Spaniards look like they were busy!
Pelagatos! The biblical desert bashers had nowt with which to challenge the Sertorian might of 3 armoured legionaries however, and the well drilled rebellious almost-Romans had been steadily marching across the tabletop towards the touchdown endzone of the Hurrian back edge throughout all of the other nonsense happening in the game.
Suddenly finding themselves with literally no table left into which to retreat, the chariot riders decided that making a heroic but most probably futile last stand was better for morale of the little people in their mighty made up Empire than simply evading off table and counting a fewer losses.
Momentarily, as the pseudo-legions charged forward, the chariots charged back at them, meeting metal with wickerwork and steel with, erm, steles in a clash of civilizations that would rock the edge of the world on its very axis
Pendejo! As the Mitanni continued to try in vain to sledgehammer their way through the gap in terrain to insert their multitude of chariots into the soft underbelly of the Iberian, elsewhere Spanish warriors were filletting the Mitanni pedestrians more efficiently than an army of Brixham fishermen returning to port with bulging ice-stores of fresh catch.
What's Going on Here Then?
The Mitanni are frantically trying to force their way through the gap in terrain in the middle of the table, but are finding the narrow space too cramped to allow them to fully utilize the open-ground effectiveness of their chariotry. Meanwhile the Spanish infantry have dished out a terrible beating to the vulnerable Mitanni medium infantry and bowmen in the middle, totting up numerous casualties in the process.
Sertorius' Legions have trapped the Mitanni chariots against the table edge and brought them to combat, and the formation is also using their extra width to make a quick play for the baggage to finish off the enemy army
The Mitanni camp falls to a jubilant Lusitanian proto-auxilia, looting everything ham based and portable they can lay their hands on in an attack that adds to the carnage in the Mitanni infantry and pushes the biblical horde to defeat!
The Result is a huge win for Spain, with only 16 units out of 25 (all on table this time) lost.
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition, or read on for the post match summaries from the Generals involved, as well as another episode of legendary expert analysis from Hannibal
Post Match Summary from the Sertorian Spanish Commander
Aaaah, what an ogle I made of the terrain in this game, at last the fates favoured one as fair as I, and dished out some rough with the smooth in a place which allowed me to take advantage and insert my men into the right spot to unseat my opposition hastily.
Those mixed bowmen are always a tasty treat for an army such as mine, and I was bona delighted to meet them and run into the evening with a win between my legs and a sailor in my sights!
Surely this is the start of some oneward and upward motion as the boats cme home from the sea and there is a welcome in the harbourside for all and sundry!
If only the buring cart had done anything then this would have been indeed a perfect end to a less than perfect day
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
There are times that I fear that thou hath not so much brain as ear wax, and despite your victory here is a game in which the excreted substances may well have performed better than your floundering meanderings
You are a shallow cowardly hind, and you lie in saying this is a great victory. The terrain, and your opponents choice of wheeled cavalry meant that there was an obvious plan and you simply grasped at that with both hands like a drowning sailor and hung on for dear life.
In picking the obvious, some little sense sure you have, else could you not have motion to make this attack; but sure that sense is apoplex'd by losing so much and by choosing such an army with no ability to contest open ground in more than one place at one time.
You lucked out this game in that the table conspired to give you one plan, and it turned out to be a plan your opponents list could not counter. Maybe the terrain will not guide you so well in the next game
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition