Mortem et Gloriam – Nubians vs New Kingdom Egypt

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.
Chariot breakthrough
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 …

SquareBashing – Cambrai 1917

On 3rd June Martin (Peter Pig) held a day in which a group of players refought the 1917 Battle of Cambrai (specifically the 27th Nov)

The Battle of Cambrai was a British offensive and German counter-offensive battle in the First World War. Cambrai, in the Nord département(Nord-Pas-de-Calais), was an important supply point for the German Siegfriedstellung and capture of the town and the nearby Bourlon Ridge would threaten the rear of the German line to the north. Major General Henry Tudor, Commander, Royal Artillery (CRA) of the 9th (Scottish) Division, suggested trying out new artillery-infantry techniques on his sector of the front. During preparations, J. F. C. Fuller, a staff officer with the Tank Corps, was in the process of looking for a place to use tanks as raiding parties. General Julian Byng, commander of the British Third Army, decided to combine both plans into the attack.

Despite British success on the first day, mechanical unreliability, German artillery and infantry defences exposed the frailties of the Mark IV tank. On the second day, only about half of the original number of tanks were available. Subsequent British progress was limited.

The venue for the event was the Nothe Fort , which deserves a mention

Built by the Victorians to protect Portland Harbour, Nothe Fort is one of the best preserved Forts of its kind. Located at the entrance to Weymouth Harbour the Fort is a labyrinth of underground passageways and outdoor areas with stunning views of the Jurassic Coast. Constructed on three levels , which are easily accessed by means of a lift, the Fort is filled with displays, mammoth guns and cinema areas that chart the history of this large and magnificent Victorian structure which took 12 years to build.

So on beautiful June day we descended into the depth of the nuclear shelter to play our game.

The front was broken in 6 sections, each with a bespoke force and set terrain. The victory conditions were different to a normal SquareBashing game as the relatives sizes of the forces provides a target number. This target is what the allied has to beat to get what would count as a victory.



The forces were –

The tables were –

The teams were defined in advance , and the game would be played twice. Once in the morning, once in the afternoon, with sides swapping so we get a accurate refection of the teams ability !

Here are some in games shots of the tables

Section A


Section B

Section C

Section D

Section E

Section F

For my part I fought on table E as Von Schussler , and with 4 units of reserves and a handful of machine guns was crushed by Stewart with the largest British force in the front. In The afternoon with the sides swapped I was on D as Douglas-Smith, and despite fierce assaults the Germans held on along the trench , with only a small breakthrough. I had two major loses contributing to the overall loss of my team

Games in Action


Martin explaining the nuances

more instructional advice


fierce fighting over the town in Le Pave.

lovely view for lunchtime!

Its no good Dene, 4 reservists won’t stop 6 tanks and 16 infantry

So, congratulations to –

Paul , Simon K, Dave , Dene Stewart and Miles as they won both of their respective games ! (British AM, German PM)


But everyone was a winner for taking part in a super day , as a great venue. Lets hope to see more of these!