Wargame Warrior

Tabletop games with model soldiers.

Ramses Stands alone

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Society of Ancients' Battle Day - Kadesh

 The Society of Ancients (SOA) Battle Day is organised each year at Bletchley near Milton Keynes, with the intention of recreating one battle from history with as many sets of different wargames rules as possible. It is an interesting way to compare and contrast how systems cope with the specific events of a historical encounter. The 2011 Battle Day was Kadesh, the first fully described battle that we know from ancient history. In this battle the Egyptian Pharoah Ramses II fought the Hittites under their Great King Mutawallis. As in the previous three  Battle Days, there was a contingent from the Essex Home Guard present with a 25mm game using Piquet as our chosen set of rules.

The period has a been a long term interest of mine (Adam) and Nick's, so at least some of the figures were immediately available ready for the game. Additional Hittite chariots would be needed but the majority of the models had been sat on the shelf patiently waiting for my attempts at brushwork, so it was a good motivator to get the little blighters finally completed. The rules would be our favoured set for ancient battles - Archon (the supplement for Piquet that covers the Bronze Age period.)

For the scenario we decided to try a 2 part game. The first part would follow the propaganda that Ramses carved on every available surface after the battle, that he had single-handedly fought the Hittite army during the early stages of the battle. The Hittites had ambushed  one of the Egyptian brigades as it was marching towards the city of Kadesh and their flight had also panicked the  brigade  with Ramses when it saw this disaster. In Ramses version of events, he personally puts to flight the victorious Hittite chariotry and when Hittite reinforcements attacked they are also depatched (with the aid of Egyptian Ne'Arin who arrive in the nick of time.)

 For our recreation we pitted Ramses with just one unit of elite chariots (so not quite single-handed) against ever increasing hordes of victorious Hittite pursuers (starting with 2 units and increasing by 1 unit a turn.) Ramses simply had to survive and defend his camp for as long as possible. The second part of our battle we would fight the exhausted Hittites versus rallied Egyptians and then have first Hittite and then Egyptian reinforcements enter the fray,. Hopefully a see-saw game with some tension and real uncertainty would be had.