Biblical at Campaign 2019
New Kingdom Egyptian vs Bedouin
Finally - a different opponent! With 5 games to psychologically prepare for it, with weeks to plan how perhaps the only other obvious army to take in the list of 5 permitted choices at this themed event, and ample time across the weekend to scout out the two other Bedouin players in the pool the last game of course came as a total surprise to the habitually chronically underprepared Egyptian warlord and his rag-tag army of mercenaries.
The lists for the New Kingdom Egyptian and Bedouin from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at Campaign can be seen here in the L'Art de la Guerre Wiki.
The Bedouins have camels, lots of camels. Like, would anyone be surprised by that? Anyways, in ADLG camels have the textbook wargaming rule of frightening enemy horsemen (in his case Egyptian chariots) and giving any horseman in contact (even as a corner) with them a -1 in combat. They are - in compensation - always "medium" and so lack any mitigating armour when fighting against real cavalry - not unfortunately something the equally Medium cavalry equivalent Egyptian Light Chariots could rely on sadly. Bedouin also have bows, so shoot.
The battle itself took place in the early afternoon, yet again offering the opportunity for the eagle-eyed reader to try and spot Pret a Manger detritus in the margins of the playing surface.
Happening in the Bedouins own Desert terrain there was very little of note with any camel-friendly Dunes being shoved to the extremities of the table and out of the way leaving only one hill on my left as a significant piece. Unsurprisingly the Egyptians stretched as far across the table as they could in a solid line, seeking to use the hill as a bit of an anchor for their bowmen and using the Hi/Spearman command to shore up the opposite flank. The Bedouin had lots of camels and some infantry swordsmen in the middle
With the Bedouin advancing steadily and maintaining a coherent line between their Camelry and infantry centre the tactical initiative shifted instead to the turn of the Egyptians. What bold and clever move, what subtle strategy could they invent?
Well, basically another advance forward, making sure to try and keep as many of their own skirmishers between their actual fighting infantry and the advancing Bedouin shooting Camels as possible as they did so
Who are the Bedouin?
This was a very big, very long line of Camelry indeed, but it was not complete and sat in the centre were some smug looking Medium Swordsmen, protected on either flank by Camels.
These chaps were the target in a battle where the rest of the enemy army would be better at impact than my men if we charged, but on evens if they charged me.
At this range the Egyptian bowmen started to open up, and Egyptian Axemen moved into position to stop the skirmishing camelry from doing anything too clever.
L'Art de la Guerre hint- Infantry with Impact capability lose it if charging enemy mounted frontally, but retain it if they are themselves the subject of a charge. The Camels will gain a +1 in the first phase for the somewhat confusing 'Mounted vs Medium foot in the Open' first-round factor as well, making it tricky for the Egyptians to take the initiative. Despite being Impetuous, the Egyptians are not forced to charge enemy mounted troops, so are essentially non-impetuous against large swathes of the enemy army.
The camels moved up into range, catching the pip-intensive slow moving Egyptians without a skirmish screen for a rare moment. The Egyptians braced for the incoming hail of arrows, but were grateful when the Bedouins proved to be somewhat wayward in their aim as very few arrows hit their targets.
Standing around being shot and waiting to be charged a factor down due to shooting injuries was a mugs game that even the relatively simple-minded Sherden, Meshwesh and Shea Butter Peoples warriors could see through.
Wasting no time, and preparing to accept some attrition they charged home into the centre of the enemy army hitting all of the Bedouin warriors in a solid line as well as going into contact with the units of camelry either side of them. This was Boom or Bust!
L'Art de la Guerre hint- If the Meshwesh hadn't also charged the camels flanking the block of Bedouin swordsmen it would have meant being down a factor in two of the Swordsmen vs Swordsmen combats - which my army really needed to win in order to upset the Bedouin apple cart. The Meshwesh hitting the camelry are in a bad place, being at factor 1 vs the Camels base of 1, +1 for 'Mounted vs MF' and also +1 for Impact, but I deemed this a better option than having 2 of my winnable infantry on infantry combats at disadvantage..
The Meshwesh had yet again done the business! Two victories out of 4 saw the opposing infantry pick up double-hit markers as Furious Charge counted in spades for the men from across the water and against the men from across the sand dunes.
Even one of the flanking support infantry who had been sent somewhat hopelessly into the Camels to remove overlaps in the infantry fight had survived as well.
The real prospect of blowing a big hole in the centre of the enemy line was now close at hand.
Faced with this imminent implosion of their right flank, fearful of the charge of the two units of Heavy Foot Elite Egyptian swordsmen and suffering badly from a peppering of light foot archery and chariot shooting as well, half of the Bedouin Camelry decided that this was their cue to fall back and regroup.
Only a micro-command of Bedouin camelry was left in play on their left flank, facing off against a rather nervous and outgunned set of Egyptian chariotry.
Bloody hell! With things apparently going appropriately swimmingly well for the Sea Peoples in the first round of combat, the tide now turned and washed away their hopes as the Bedouin general managed to rally off two full hit markers and his men responded by fighting like demons to hammer the Meshwesh into near-submission with a pair of double-hit yellow-marker-inflicting attacks to boot.
The plan to win in the centre suddenly looked rather dubious as the Sea Peoples started to come up short on further nautical metaphors with which to describe their fate!
Ya nhar eswed! Against the infantry the Meshwesh may have been struggling, but in fighting the handful of camels who had hung around as their comrades had retreated to regroup things were much better.
Led by the Imperial Guard infantry a wall of mercenaries and Egyptian regulars smashed the dromedary enemies they were fighting and stepped smartly up into the now-vacated swathe of open desert, taking a dangerous flanking position on the Bedouin foot centre as they advanced.
Tutankhamun woudl have turned in his grave to see how the drama was now unfolding faster than a speeded up episode of Game of Desert Thrones on the Egyptian right, but the left was as dull as ditchwater as the two sides struggled to make sense and eke out an advantage worthy of exploiting.
The Bedouins archery was proving stunningly ineffective, and every half-hearted hit they achieved was quickly rallied off by the Egyptian commanders as the two sides faced off in a decidedly non-Mexican but still kinda taco-flavoured standoff.
With the two armies locked in combat or not combat the line of scrimmage had barely moved, creating ample time for me to sneak in a real close-up of the Fighting 15's former Black Hat miniatures ranges of Sea Peoples warriors and their well-tanned through judicious use of GW flesh wash ink arms and legs. And that hit marker using a shield from Magister Militum,
The extreme deserty right hand end of the Egyptian line suddenly became interesting as the Bedouin managed to amass enough shooting to cause real problems for the Egyptian chariotry.
Not happy to sit and be shot at they decided to charge in instead.
Yeah.. lets have a recap how successful that would be again then? Failing to realise that one of the Bedouin camels was in fact a General was a pretty fatal mistake for the Chariotry, and now there was only one wheeled vehicle standing between the Bedouin and a strong flank attacking situation against the Egyptian main line.
By The Beard of The Pharaoh! With the Bedouin Camelry fast returning to the scene of their ignominious retreat earlier in the game the possibilities for the Egyptians to overrun the flank of the handful of remaining Bedouin infantry was disappearing faster than a member of the public foolish to as a question of any of the competition wargamers at the event itself.
Even so, the Bedouin foot were absolutely on their last legs as the Meshwesh, Sherpa Van and Sea Persons did further injustices to them at some speed.
In a long forgotten corner of the battlefield the slow, inexorable movement of the Egyptians worst bowmen had finally seen them reach a position in which they could now properly threaten the enemy flanks.
The Bedouin were traumatized as being surrounded by such poor quality and pedestrian opponents, and the Egyptians themselves were none too sure as to whether being injured, Inferior Bowmen would be enough even to win a combat even from this great position
The Bedouin centre was pretty much gone for good now, allowing the Cairo-nese infantry to step up aggressively and position themselves to outflank the remainder of the Bedouin force.
The Egyptians were in many places near-mortally wounded, but with the Bedouin still in some shock as to how they had failed to deal with such a rabble of opponents the momentum was certainly with the men from the Nile rather than with the camel-herders.
With bowmen on their flank the Bedouin camel riders decided that enough was enough and they really needed to force the pace and launch an attack before they were surrounded.
With a clatter of sand-proof hooves they surged forward launching themselves at the line of brittle but bold mercenary warriors in Egyptian pay
The initial assault was indecisive, but soon the Egyptians flanking force was able to join in, smashing into the back doors of the Bedouin camelry in the heart of their much foreshortened line and tipping the balance dramatically towards the Egyptian part of the sundial. .
The Bedouin had fluffed their big chance to use Furious Charge to smash the Mighty Mighty Mshwesh warriors and now they were drowning in a sea of sea peoples
The sheer weight of numbers was counting in favour of the Egyptians yet again, as the exhausted Camelry stuttered badly in their attempt to prolong the combat.
In the final reckoning the Egyptian Commander joined a unit of his most successful mercenaries, adding his heft and influence to their loincloth-wearing potency to sneak the final hit point from what on the surface of it looked like a bad dice roll - but where the advantages the intact, General-led and overlap rich Egyptians could still win by starting 4 factors ahead
Mighty Mighty Bosstones
The Bedouins crumbled, and Egypt recorded its 4th victory from 6 for the weekend!
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 New Kingdom Egyptian Commander
Hmmm.. for a while I thought this might be a very tricky game, and at times it indeed was - however luckily the Bedouins managed to plonk a big slab of almost-Egyptian swordsmen infantry in the middle of their line and so I was able to recreate the tactics I adopted in all five previous game of throwing a load of mad mercenary warriors at them and trusting to sheer blind lukc - and can you believe it, it seems to have worked again!
Had the camel-riding bowmen been more accurate with their shooting perhaps they would have risked a charge and the outcome could have been different - but I did manage to shepherd my light foot into positions where they absorbed much of the punishment so making it too risky for the enemy to try and overcome the 1-factor difference and try and get lucky with Furious Charge.
Looking at it from the opposite side of the table, if I had been given command of a load of Bedouin camels I think I would have just cherged in anyway to see what happened. After all it has seemed to work in all my games so far.
With this mass of points I think we are safe as a team to pick up the top trophy as well. Hoorah!
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
Well, I guess a win is a win, even if it is by dint of a linear approach to warfare that even Phil Barker may have baulked at from time to time.
You made a slew of mistakes on your right in this game, and were almost undone by the movement of the micro-command of the camel riders as well - but luklily for you the game was over before they had a chance to do some serious damage to your undercarriage.
The amount of time you took to outflank a static enemy on your left was also painful to behold. Poor allocation of pips to try and achieve the most important outcome is to blame here, even if you managed to get there in the end, eventually
I am much more impressed to hear that one of your team-mated managed 6 wins out of 6 with a Medieval Scots army - which apparently you designed. That would have made a much more enlightening report than this linear attack... although, thinking about it, perhaps not. Maybe there is a theme here..>
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