Saturday 14 July 2012

Part Two - Apocryphal Now!

Previously on Parum Pugna....

The advanced guards of the armies of King Pelmaneser XXI of Assyria and Horemhabib of Egypt are simultaneously headed for the vital desert watering hole of the Apocryphal Well (What are the chances?)....After six moves of fighting the Egyptians appear to hold the upper hand, but then trouble, in the heavily mailed form of the Assyrian lancers, arrives on the left flank.....

Now read on. Or not.

(The Egyptian left flank. All seems undercontrol, but the Assyrian lancers can just be seen lurking at the bottom of the picture)

On move seven things took a turn for the worse for Tuckekahmen and the Egyptians. The Assyrian heavy cavalry, with their commander Seena-Kadi bolstering them, charged and slaughtered the Amarna javelins, while the close order Assyrian archers rained bronze-tipped death upon their Egyptian counterparts, the Aswan bowmen suffering 4 hits. The return of fire was altogether less damaging, while the red chariot squadron failed to hit anything at all. On a positive note for Horemhabib's forces the blue chariot squadron had now circled north hill and would soon be in position to join the action.

The Eshura cavalry continued its devastating advance on the next turn, sweeping through the Malkana slingers and destroying them, while some more accurate archery from the Hassuna bowmen, saw the Aswan skirmishers break and flee. The return fire of the Egyptians was again ineffective.

(The fateful melee. Lancers crash into the flank of the Ra regiment while javelinmen menace their front. Seena-Kadi is in the chariot)

Chaos now reigned on the Egyptian left, as the Eshura charged again, this time into the exposed flank of the Ra Infantry. The odds were heavily stacked in the cavalrymen’s favour. They threw nine dice, the infantry three. The Assyrians registered five hits,  Ra two.  Since Seena-Kadi was attached to the Eshura (which gave them a bonus dice in melee and added one to their “to hit” number) a card was turned over to see if he was struck. A red picture card would see the Assyrian officer fatally wounded. The deck was cut.... Queen of Hearts. The Ashur commander died nobly, croaking for his troops to fight on and gain victory in his memory, perhaps build a ziggurat or two in his honour, carve some handsome bas-reliefs of his demise on the walls of Babylon and ensure that none of his wives marry that bloke with the greasy beard and the flashy four-horse chariot who always hangs around the health club on Sunday mornings.

The Ra infantry lost the melee but only by three hits. A four hit advantage would have seen them instantly flee. Instead they stoodfor a second round of fighting. Predictably the Assyrians - maddened by grief no doubt - finished them off, but their advance had been held up.

(Lancers make light work of the Nuba archers, but they have already suffered five hits themselves)

As all this is going on the red and blue chariot squadrons had joined forces and put an end to the activities of the Hassuna archers. It came at a cost, however - Tuckekahmen's personal squadron had taken four hits (Tuckekahmen was more fortunate with the card draw than his adversary). The Egyptians still held the oasis, but as the Assyrian heavy infantry rumbled down from Coptic Hill, there was little room for complacency amongst the men from the Nile.

(The Royal Chariot Squadrons in action against the Assyrian javelins)

Having despatched Ra, the Eshura lancers galloped gamely on determined to revenge their fallen hero. They crashed into the Nuba archers and sent them scuttling from the field. The horseman were far ahead of theri infantry now and found themselves isolated and surrounded. Both chariot squadrons cantered across their rear, while the Kushite and Ethiopian archers peppered them from the ridge of No Name Hill. Flight after flight of arrows plunged into their backs and flank and eventually, porcupined by missiles, they broke and ran.

(The Tarbisa Infantry. Garrison 20mm figures. The Tutub Regiment (S Range) can be glimpsed to their front)

There now came is a brief hiatus in the action as the battle moved into its final phase. The Assyrian heavy infantry was crunching across the plain towards south and north hill, but by now they had few missile troops and no cavalry to support them. Kushite and Ethiopian archers and the two chariot squadrons skewered them with arrows. Gamely the armoured Tutub infantry closed with the Ptah regiment, while on their left the Tarbisa - galled by archery - threw down their weapons and fled. A final melee saw the Assyrians and their Egyptian foes locked in a grim death struggle that left them both broken. The final remnants of the Assyrian host scatter across the windswept desert. 

(The Egyptian commander - Garrison 25mm - celebrates his triumph)

The day belonged to Tuckekahmen. The forces of King Pelmaneser XXI had been swept from the field. The Apocryphal Well was claimed for Horemhabib – occupied by the Senekht infantry, the only unit from either side that has not seen action.

Of the war that followed and the fate of the Egyptians who fought that day all records have been lost.

And so ends this account of the Battle of the Apocryphal Well.



  1. So History repeats itself! Most enjoyable report!

  2. Stunning amounts of S Range figures Harry - I had no idea that there were so many Egyptians with 'gothic window' shields around ! Well rescued.

    And of course, an intriguing game, I had not thought of it in terms of a 'light' versus a 'heavy' force before. Did you have any further thoughts on the rules thrown up by this game ?