After the Rein-Bow Warriors (RBW) playtest discussed in Playtest Notes, I kept the table and units in situ for another chariot wars clash. Rather than using RBW as the Rules of Engagement, this next battle would see Basic Impetvs (BI) on a grid in play. In place of The Rejects’ regular Monday night Paint & Chat session, I would host a remote game for five of the group.
All but one of the Rejects have never played (or maybe even seen) a game of BI played. Only Steve has played BI before and that has been in some of my games. Since I had four players completely unfamiliar with the rules, I suggested the players think of this session as a Basic Training to the rules.
After a brief overview of the rules and with QRS in hand, we took to the table. In this engagement there were three Egyptian players to two Hittite players. As a seasoned veteran, Steve opted to take one of the Hittite commands as well as the King. Richard took the other Hittite command. On the Egyptian side of the table, Ray took the Pharaoh's command while Lee and Surjit took the Egyptian right and center.
Figuring this as a training mission, I took no screenshots and few photos during the game. Yeah, that is my excuse! Luckily for the chroniclers, Richard kept good notes and snapped a number of screenshots during play. Richard provides an enjoyable recap of the action at Basic Impetvs Meets Chariot Wars. I recommend visiting Richard's blog for a battle account.
As in the RBW playtest game, both sides are roughly equivalent with the Egyptians having an edge in archers and the Hittites having an edge in spearmen. Hittites hold a one chariot advantage.
|The two armies face off.|
|Egyptians in the foreground.|
|Hittites ready themselves for battle.|
|Egyptians do likewise.|
|The two battle lines close.|
|Both armies bring their chariotry to the fore.|
Gaining the initiative on Turn 2, Ray strikes out with Pharaoh and his wingman. With Egyptian skirmishers slipping out of the way, the Egyptian chariots attack! In a prolonged dogfight, the chariots exchange missile fire until the Hittites break. One Hittite chariot is destroyed. The second is put to flight. Although Pharaoh's chariot is badly damaged, the victorious Egyptians follow up in pursuit.
|The Hittite left is gone!|
On the other side of the table, the Hittites consider the battle lost but vow to fight on. The ease at which Pharaoh cuts through the Hittite left (The Gods were with him!) emboldens the Egyptian Army. Screened by a wall of skirmishers, the chariots on the other flank scream forward. In a vicious dogfight, each army loses a chariot. To prevent a breakthrough of his battle line, the Hittite King brings his chariot forward to engage the enemy. Although the King appears to be gaining the upper hand, he breaks off the fight once the Egyptians bring up massed archers and put him under the bow.
|Chariot clash on the Egyptian left.|
|The Hittite King engages the enemy|
|but retires once the enemy brings up massed archers.|
Having chased the fleeing Hittite chariots vigorously, the Pharaoh finds himself behind the enemy lines. Exhausted from their efforts, the two Egyptian chariots are attacked from behind. In a matter of minutes, the over-extended chariots including the Pharaoh are dispatched by enemy foot. Oh, the humanity!
|The Attacker becomes the Attacked!|
|With their left secure, the Hittites advance.|
The loss of the Pharaoh, three chariots, and assorted foot units is enough to push the Egyptian Army over its break point. The Egyptian Army withdraws...without its Pharaoh.
|The Hittites take the battle ground!|
Although this outing was designed as a training scenario, the players picked up the basic concepts of BI quickly (I think). Only two turns were completed in a little less than two hours. Quick result, for sure, but with the loss of Pharaoh, the Egyptians found themselves in a tight place regardless. By the end of Turn 1, all players figured the battle over with an inevitable Egyptian victory. My, how the tables turned on Turn 2.
Congratulations to the Hittite generals, Steve and Richard. To the Egyptians (Ray, Lee, Surjit), the Hittite Army was only a pip or two away from breaking themselves.
What might have been...
Whatever it might have been, I thought this exercise great fun. Maybe they will return to the BI table again, confident in the knowledge gained in this outing? If so, I may increase the Army Breakpoints a few points to lengthen the game. An increase may not lengthen the game much if we see the near complete destruction of the chariot arms as in this contest.
For me, up tomorrow is an away (remote) game with a look at the WotR. An away game is on deck for Saturday too with an Ancients battle. It's a busy week.