I spent 200 GG and all I got was this lousy overtext!
I spent 200 GG and all I got was this lousy overtext!
I guess it was one of those embarassing AD/BC mistakes: facing one another was the forces of the Egyptian New Kingdom (I/22b) and those of the Teutonic Order (IV/30, hordeless option).
The Egyptians, defending, set down the obligatory WW, a medium-sized marsh towards the middle of each of the adjacent board-edges, and a small wood towards the middle of the opposite one. The Germans nominated the last-mentioned edge, and got it.
Faced with the woodlet in the middle of their deployment zone, the Germans put their spear, auxilia, and psiloi in it, two knights on each side of this, and on the flanks the crossbowmen on the left and the cavalry and light horse on the right. The reader may not be entirely surprised to learn they would eventually regret this deployment.
The Egyptians, meanwhile, put their chariotry in the centre and their centre-left, the blade (with supporting psiloi) in the centre-right, two bow on the left flank, and the remainin bow and the warband on the right flank (facing the Teutonic crossbowmen).
The Egyptians rushed into the marshes with their bow and warband while holding back with the chariots and blades in the centre. The Germans, naturally, were not thrilled at the prospect of having the Egyptian lights falling them in the flanks if they were to try and charge at those juicy blades and chariots, so the early part of the battle came to centre at their attempts at defeating or neutralizing said lights of at least one flank, allowing an oblique attack at the Egyptian centre.
What with Cv and LH not being much good against Bw in bad going, the first attempt was naturally on the left, with the crossbowmen having a go at the Egyptian warband and bow. This backfired as the warband killed one of the Cb and the other was chased straight out of the marsh.
This was where the German commander decided he had messed up deployment, and spent a few bounds of good PIPs at a) shuffling the infantry from the centre left, b) getting the knights on the left right of these, and c) zooming one of the light horse behind the entire German army, round the marsh, and into the Egyptians' rear. Obviously, redeploying like this is risky, but the Egyptians, having suddenly to deal with the horsemen in their backfield and understandably unwilling to attack knights with blade in the open, proved unable to exploit the opportunity.
The light horse was killed swiftly enough by a chariot element backing out of the Egyptian line (6-1 in first combat), but at about the same time the onrushing German infantry killed the Egyptian bow in the (German) left marsh and chased back the warband, allowing the knights to chase home safe from attack from that flank. Since the Egyptian bow skulking in the other marsh were unengaged, the German cavalry found themselves in the unenviable position of functioning as a living shield for that flank. They were eventually killed, but too late for allowing the Egyptian bowmen to interfer in the main battle.
Said battle turned into a lengthy affair, with the Egyptian chariots falling back but refusing to die despite repeated 4-2 combats. Back in the left marsh where an Egyptian blade rushed in reinforce the warband. The remaining blades, having moved back to allow the chariots that killed the German light horse, found themselves unable to do anything except glaring balefully at the psiloi facing them.
Finally the German knight general managed to double one of the chariots while another was pushed so close to the waterway that another recoil would destroy it. Evidently feeling it the time for desperate measures, the Egyptians backed their psiloi element in behind the knight fighting it, so that should the Kn recoil they'd both die. With three German elements (Cb, LH, Cv) and only two Egyptian elements (Bw, LCh) down, such a result would mean an Egyptian victory.
At this point, however, a lucky 6-1 split on shooting allowed the German crossbow to eliminate the warband, and the Egyptian blade element in the marsh found itself facing the German Sp, Ax, Cb alone.
Came their bound the German found themselves with five PIPs and three meaningful options: i) ganging up on this blade (3 PIPs to attack and 1 to move the psiloi out of the way), (ii) attacking the chariot at the waterway (1 PIP) at 3-2 but facing mutual destruction of Kn and the abovementioned Ps in the case of losing the combat, and (iii) attacking the Egyptian general with a single Kn and moving the German general to block the recoil (2 PIPs). After some soul-searching I chose to do (i) and (ii), which began poorly when the Kn-Ps mutual annihilation, inevitably, chose to happen, but ended well as the auxilia doubled the double-overlapped blade. 5-4 for the Teutonic Orders. Phew!
I suppose I deserved to lose after deploying like that - thinking two Cb could secure a marsh for me was excessively optimistic, and I should have sent most or all of the infantry to do it straight away. As for the wood, I should have put mounted in it and accepted the possible psiloi rush or put nothing at all and closed my line after moving past it. I got away with the redeployment because of good PIPs (the Egyptian player rolled even better PIPs for those rounds, but no matter how many PIPs you have elements can only move so many paces per bound), and because the Egyptians had been playing defensively (which, given the army compositions, was not so much a mistake as a necessity).
I also had a very opportune stroke of good luck in killing that Wb just before the end. Having been shot at for most of the battle, it had it coming, so to speak, but I'd quite likely lost had it chosen to stay around for only a bound more!