Friday, October 8, 2021

Battle of Tell Dapur II

something interesting going on here.

After Ian and my first remote playtest of Ian's Rein-Bow Warriors on 30 SEP, we were back in action at Tell Dapur for a second fight of the battle only four days later.  A few rules modifications and clarifications were noted and off we went.

Did this battle result in a different outcome than the first?  Please read on to discover for yourself in this brief battle pictorial.

Armies face-off from across the table
Chariots swing into motion
zipping all over no-man's land.
Enemy chariots clash on the Egyptian right in an even match.
While on the left, the Egyptians are outnumbered.
In the chariot clash on the left,
the Egyptians break off and rout away.
Not a good start toward winning a battle.
On the right chariot swarm,
arrows fly as chariots make another pass.
In the center chariot clash,
 the Egyptians are again outnumbered.
The fleeing Egyptian chariots are hotly pursued.
Out of arrows, chariots return to base.
Help!  I'm being tailed!
Showing that chariots have great maneuverability,
Hittite pursuers swing around behind Egyptian lines
while Egyptian chariots swing in behind them!
Ramesses' Guard wheels to face the intruders.
Out of arrows and behind enemy lines, Hittites
sweep behind the Egyptian line then head for home.
Egyptian chariots take up the chase. 
Finally, the infantry step forward to give battle
while Egyptian bowmen find their mark.
With a pair of Hittite chariots resuppled and heading back,
a second pair reach the supply wagons.
 
Egyptian chariots spin around and take up position.
The infantry fight continues.
Both battle lines begin to crumble.
But victory rests at the feet of Ramesses!

This version of the battle was exciting from the start.  Chariots from both sides raced out into the middle of the field and came to blows immediately.  Outnumbered, the Egyptian chariotry lost more than they won but were able to drive the Hittites away from Ramesses and the Egyptian camp.

As in the first game, the infantry battle never really begins in earnest until the chariot battle is either decided or the warriors are out of missiles.  This time, it was the supply issue that hampered the Hittite deep thrust into the Egyptian backfield.  Having a shorter line to a supply source and a great movement rate, Egyptian chariots could resupply and return to action before the Hittites could return to camp and resupply.  

Also as in Game 1, Egyptian archery proved that it, again, was the 'decider.'  These bowmen shot up one unit forcing it to break while badly mauling a second.

Another action-packed contest.  Was this truly an Egyptian victory or a result of Ramesses' propaganda?  History must decide.

Thank you, Ian, for another enjoyable game!

36 comments:

  1. Love how dynamic the chariots are. Is there a sense that the infantry clash is a "sideline"?

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    1. Yes. In fact, with the chariots swirling around in the center throwing up a huge dust cloud, infantry may not advance into this arena of battle. Once the chariots leave and the dust settles, only then may infantry step into action.

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  2. The chariots are certainly the centrepiece of this scenario. My knowledge of ancients is very limited but do they have some sort of hand to hand capability apart from just missiles?

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    1. The game seems two battles in one. First a chariot battle followed up by an infantry fight. As for HtH with chariots, I have not seen it yet except for one final javelin toss before heading home to resupply. I have a related question out to the author now.

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  3. Once again very interesting warfare Jonathan.

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  4. I was mesmerised at the very first mention of chariots! Lovely action, your arrow symbols do a great job at reinforcing the sense of chariots ‘sweeping’ around the field of battle.

    Interesting how the period lends itself to a battle in two parts. In both your games, the chariot victory was never quite significant enough to discourage the infantry clash from going full pelt ahead.

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    1. Norm, I expect you may have more opportunities for mesmerization. A third battle is in the books with more games planned in the weeks ahead.

      The arrows do provide a sense of sweeping maneuvers, don't they especially with the turns, double-backs, and long movement ranges?

      As for the battle unfolding in two halves, I have seen that in all three games played. The chariot maneuvers remind me of a contest for air superiority before the 'true' ground game can begin. After three games, it seems gaining chariot superiority is not so easy of a task.

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  5. A great AAR Jonathan and very easy to follow, giving a real sense of the action.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Lawrence! The arrows help, I think.

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  6. Another lovely looking game Jon - I hope it gave Ian some useful info to add the finishing touches to his rules. Like most, I know little about the era, but restricting very early chariots to missile combat "feels" right to me - it would be quite a hard ask to engage in genuine hand to hand combat with a spear or sword from the back of a moving chariot I would think - in the same way it would be hard to do from a car or motor cycle today?

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    1. Thank you, Keith! I hope these tests are providing useful and meaningful playtest content for Ian too.

      Many wargaming models of chariots for this period have a crewman carrying a long spear or lance. These weapons would likely have been used in HtH combat. Perhaps, they engaged in jousting matches or used to stab enemy soldiers prone on the ground?

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  7. Great looking figures and battle Jonathan, and these rules sound interesting, where may one find them?

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    1. Thanks, Mark! The rules are in development and are not available commercially.

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  8. Ah yes I figured that might be the case, thanks!

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  9. Looks like another fun battle, Jon!

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    1. It was fun but more like a training mission for me.

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  10. A brilliant looking game Jonathan. Like others have said, the chariots look fantastic in action.

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  11. Great and interesting game Jonathan!

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  12. All those chariots rushing around is just how I envision a Biblical chariot set to.

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    1. Large movement ranges allow chariots to be very active and cover a lot of ground. Chariots are a threat EVERYWHERE.

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  13. Entertaining and good looking battle, I like your dynamic arrows in the battle report!
    Best Iain

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    1. Good to see you enjoyed it! The swirling arrows help convey the mobility of chariots.

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  14. Looks like you guys are having some fun battles while working out rules and that is usually a good thing. 😀

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    1. We are (or at least I am!) having some fun battles in an effort to help Ian in rules' development. this exercise is usually a good thing.

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  15. Good to see the Egyptians and Hittites going at it. How to represent Chariot warfare, especially in th era before cavalry, is a real challenge, given how little we know about how they actually fought. The Egyptian version seemed clearly to be lighter and more maneuverable than the Hittite ones. That has lead to the view that the Hittites were more oriented to close combat and the Egyptians more to mobile missile platforms... all of which might or might not be true!

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    1. Yes, very good to see Hittites and Egyptians out on maneuvers.

      Ian (rules’ author) has well established vision on how Hittite chariot operated. He posits that Hittites fought primarily as mobile missile platforms with missives fired while traveling at high speeds. He thinks of combat a chariot pairs “dogfighting” with similarly trained opponents. Ian has written a lot on this subject.

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  16. Great report Jonathan! The arrows add greatly to your commentary. They also add a sense of movement to your description of chariots zipping around!
    Regards, James

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    1. Thanks, James! Without movement and game flow arrows, I find it difficult to follow the action. Glad you find it helpful too.

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  17. Impressive seeing the units altogether as an army fantastic!

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