So for the inaugural battle the Nubians faced Neo Assyrians, so slightly anachronistic… but typical of a battle that you might face in a ‘biblical’ themed period. In fact Neo Assyrian is the Rolls Royce of that period. It has the best infantry of the period. A goodly proportion being ‘heavy’ foot, some armoured , most ‘drilled’… so a good ,but tough, match for the Nubian.
The Assyrians – were
FC & 3 TCS
2 x 4 Superior Heavy chariots
2 x 4 Superior Heavy Cavalry (Armoured Bow *, sword)
2 x 8 Average Protected ( ½ Sword, ½ bow)
1 x 8 Average Armoured ( ½ Sword, ½ bow)
1 x 9 Superior Armoured ( 2/3 Sword, 1/3 LF bow)
1 x 6 Average LF Bow
1 x 6 Poor LF sling
So only 10 BGs but all tough. The PBI was 2 vs 1 in favour of the Nubians , who given the terrain available surrendered the initiative in order to get the first move. The terrain ended being quite heavy, but the majority if it being open fields, so would have negligible effect
The Assyrian plan was pretty simple , have a ‘hard’ centre and delay on the wings. The Nubian have the opposite – harass the wings while delaying the centre. I think the Assyrians made their first mistake here but deploying a little too wide (there is a propensity to try and match your opponents width), with the cavalry and chariots a little isolated. While being miles better than their opposition, they would face a storm of LF shooting and being in 4’s and with no general around it would tell ( I hoped). In the Nubian centre I massed all the MF bow. The plan being to offer some bait to tempt the enemy in. Perhaps it’s a lot of bait , 5 BGs of unprotected bow, but I think you’ve got to take a risk to get your opponent to commit. Hopefully during this you can ‘tease’ the line apart, where numbers will tell.
In the first phase of the game, things all when pretty much to plan. On the left wing 1 solitary BG of chariots faced 2 x 6 LF bow. Typically a long range shoot out, to prevent the chariots from returning fire. Even so at ling range with (1 per 3 shooting), it 4 dice @ 4’s – so you should get a test every turn.
On the right flank it was a similar scenario with the chariots being replaced by a Cavalry BG. The first couple of bounds were decisive. A bit of lucky shooting , combined with the ubiquitous 1 on the death roll meant the Chariots where shot down to 3 bases. That mean that 1 hit would cause a test , and with a base missing (25%) at a minus. So even with 2 hits , they would need a 9 to stay steady. That would not last…. And it didn’t the Chariots tried to force the situation by charging to clear out the way , but the writing was on the wall, even with a sub general in tow now. A couple of risky close range ‘massed’ shooting and then they were down to 2 bases, and it was only a matter of time.
On the right the cavalry was even more isolated and with no general close disrupted , and then started to struggle. I then turned my attention to the end of the line. A BG of 8 protected foot started to get harassing fire from first 2 then 3 BGs of LF bow. Even with 8 bases, being shot at by 6 – 8 dice per turn would result in tests most turns. Again , with no general I tow they had an lucky throw an soon became disrupted. One this happened, I closed in a ran the risk of getting caught, or shot back at, to increase the number of shooting dice. With 8 dice firing they soon had tests as -2 , and fragmented.
In the centre the armoured foot pressed on with a Chariots BG in tow. I decided to redeploy my warrior Nubians (Superior swords), facing Armoured heavy foot would be grim prospect.
On the right the cavalry broke.. one BG of LF was sent in the direction of the camp. The remainder to return to the centre. The fragmented BG also broke. On the left the Chariots broke. With the camp (in 3 turns), that would be 8 out of the 10 BGs required. At this point the Nubians hadn’t suffered any loss.
However, left of centre a BG of Chariots closed in against a BG of MF bow. They had shrugged off the incoming fire, and charged in good order. As ++POA with 6 dice , VS 9 dice (6 @–POA and 3 at 0 POA) it was inevitable. They disrupted and soon broke.
These chariots pursued on an caught some LF who despite evading got caught . So the Nubian lost 2 BGs in short order. The Chariot then clattered into a MF BG in a field (open). That was of little effect – however the MF lost a base. The chariots broke off in the subsequent JAP.
Further to the right , an armoured HVY foot had caught up with the Nubian Warriors. Impact ensued, the Assyrians won, but the Nubians held. The melee then settled down to ongoing 8 dice each , Nubians being at a – POA for worse armour. But re-rolling 1 & 2s (general in tow). The Assyrians also had a general , so would re-roll 1’s . It was slightly in the Assyrian favour, and with a couple of unlucky death rolls the Nubians were down to 7 then 6 dice. So it would be down to how long they would hang on.
The Assyrian guard, 9 Superior Hvy foot pressed on on their own , to try an reach the soft centre of the Nubian rear lines. Facing 2 MF (8s) bow and 2 LF Bow units they faced a withering amount of fire starting with 6 dice getting up to 9 and 10 as they closed. However, needing 5s and 5 hits for a -1 on the COH test, they shrugged it off! They charge home and then prompted lost the impact (at a +, 6 dice @ +POA v 9 dice at @ –POA). They disrupted. However , in the melee, having a sword and being 2 armour classes better meant that they would be on ++POA. Even with 8 dice @5 vs 4 dice at 3 (re-rolling 1’s) the Nubians lost and disrupted also.
At this point the time ran out (3.5 hrs). On the left I couldn’t quite press my advantage, and my centre was caving in. However, the guard infantry would be facing a flank charge. So, that would have probably done for me. But at this point 4 BGs of Nubians had been lost. The Assyrians has lost 8 out of 10 , and the Nubians 8 out of 16. So probably a 13 – 7 in favour of the Early Nubians. So all in all a good first outing. I don’t think I’d use this army in a competition , as it could come a real cropper. And to be honest in a ‘friendly’, it’s a bit wriggly and doesn’t really give a ‘straight up ‘ fight. But an interesting army with some challenges.