With the Meso American lists just coming out and Dene rebasing his collection it seemed like a good idea to have a go at some Aztec warfare in MeG. So, as a showcase and demo combined, the opposing sides were Aztec vs Purépecha Empire. The lists were as follows.
The pre battle was not really of importance. Both armies are predominately loose foot. The Purépecha Empire have a regular command structure, so have more options to manoeuvre , but rely on shooting. The Aztecs are instinctive, but with formed troops so are reasonable able to counter any tricksy out manoeuvre. Being professional the Purépecha really had the control of the PB phase, however with 8 cards chose to hang onto the best the scouting phase . The Aztecs with 5 had no choice and actually got to move away from the chosen dense coastline and the battle took place on an open ‘plain’ in Mexico.
With a might 1 Aztec scouting card vs Purépecha 2 , the Aztecs – who while attacking – were out-scouted by 60% so 8 Ugs were deployed. It was a simple but brutal plan. The Aztec centre had the 4 big blocks of 9 mixed groups of Military order, Priest with Calpolli bringing up the rear. This was a solid chunk of the centre of the board. With some age wisdom, a thin line of expendable skirmishers were deployed across the whole of the front line to protect the more best (and most vulnerable) base form the long range shooting from the Purépecha.
The Purépecha faced this off with their own best fighting troops , 2 TuGs of Best Tiacham (Superior Dev Chargers) , Otomi (avg Dev Chargers), and the hastily raised Tiacham (Avg Dev Charger – but unprotected). Flanked on both side by stodgy archers , the Purépecha were actually far more numerous. But the the table was creaking by the amount of warrior on both sides.
The game has no subtly. Both armies lumbered towards each other. It is a testimony to the rules that the different period have a very different feel within the same rules framework. None of the free-wheeling charging lancers or horse archery here. The subtly of if these armies is all about the various troops types in the battle line. The Aztecs have the most ‘complex’ TuGs that MeG allows with 3 types. With a central base of exceptional Cuachque or Warrior priests who are a devastating charger types, flanks by Military order suit wearers – who are superior , melee experts with a shoot and charge with their darts. The rear ranks are composed of lesser Calpolli. The ideal plan being lead with the Priests trying to get the shatter , which then boosts the suits wearers either side. A protracted melee denuding the best front rank would mean that the lesser troops would be exposed and whole group would likely fall. The Purépecha have similar formations with the city archers having a ‘thin crust’ of superior shielded archers, before the soft under belly of unprotected troops at the rear.
The armies clashed. The dice dictated that the shooting was rather lack lustre, and the charge even more so , with 20+ devastating charge across the board 1 single shatter was achieved! and that was on the end of a file!
Some Aztec Calpoli on the flank did break from resulting arrow fire, followed by a base for base trade off between 2 rate troops. However the centre was grim for the Purépecha. With a spectacular fail in the charge the hastily raised braves were no match for the Aztec military order. (average , unprotected vs Superior , protected , melee expert … a white vs red fight was only going to end one way!
When time was called the score ended up as 8 vs 4 in favour of the Aztecs. We had played slowly taking through all the interactions , but given more time it was like for an Aztec triumph.
Interesting, along aside the dark ages battles , these games have a lot of flavour. The complexity is at the micro level in careful selection of the fights , and critical turn phases. These games are IMHO the hardest in MeG , and will take longer! Probably the armies could’ve been smaller, but BAD wargamer megalomania had to get all the toys on the table.