Tonight we saw some armies brought out of retirement. With the release of the MeG biblical supplements Pete and I tried and old classic – New Kingdom Egypt vs Nubians. As first the classifications do a appear ungenerous, and the NKE certainly is not as ‘functionally rich’ as the early release play-test version that I have used at Oxford. The Nubians were as you expected – a lot of bowmen, however they can be backed up with some stodgy infantry and is as good as its peers.
The game unfolded with the Nubians out-scouting the Egyptians by 50%. The Nubians had big generals as I had to make up the points to 11k. They are cheap ! as mostly unprotected , combat shy! The Egyptians delayed their infantry centre , with the close fighters flanked by archers.
The Nubians could counter by deploying the Axemen opposite the Close fighters and and ‘Javelin-men’ opposing the Egyptian archers. Being protected against combat shy being sufficient reason. On the wings the NKE chariots were deployed. The Egyptians were small , with professional generals and drilled troops you certainly didn’t seem to get much for your money. 7 TuGs and 3 Skirmishers was the sum total for Egypt. The Nubians had 10 TuGs and 5 Skirmishers. The Skirmishing archers are cheap enough to deploy in full depth to cover the infantry frontage, so in the centre the Nubians were 6 deep.
The game unfolded with a general advance by the Nubians. Being more numerous they could exchange casualties and attrit their way to victory. The Chariots had a different opinion. Working out that while being reasonably good at shooting the Egyptian Chariots are Superior with a light spear, so against loose , combat shy bowmen … they are quids in. So with some long range charges the Chariots made into combat. This was bloody, and within 2 turns, 4 Nubian TuGs had broken , for no loss. Perilously close to defeat straight away (4 out of 5), luckily the Egyptians were largely spent and sensing quick victory tried another set of charges.
This was not so successful , and the inbound shooting knocked off the casualties to cause the Chariots to break. In hindsight it might have been best to protect them from further damage. However , the infantry line did seem in favour of the Nubians. Mainly the Egyptians were 1 or 2 down across the line. With 3 chariots TuGs lost , it balanced into both armies needing one more to break. The NKE is small, and best handled carefully!
The final fight occurred when the main lines clashed. One Egyptian bowmen was slight overextended , and was ground away by some javelin men that were marginally better … but it was enough for the 4th break and victory for the Nubians , after probably 7 years in the box
The game itself did offer some interesting decisions. The conundrum with the skilled Nubians (you only get 18 and restricted to 1 TuG per command) is that you might think to seek out your opponents best troops – who are usually in smaller quantities and therefore easier to destroy. But the problem is that when these troops are superior then the skilled ability doesn’t count. So actually you are better shooting at the ‘average’ masses, which in this period is numerous, and you its a tall order to destroy by fire alone.
The lists look ‘poor’ by comparison to later lists, but the game mechanic of attrition does counter balance this. I think against later armies – close , protected spearmen then I think they might struggle, but within period its gave a flavourful game !
I enjoyed it …