The Battle of Pa-Amaq 847BC


The Libyan Egyptian Pharaoh Osorkon II, on an expedition into the Negev, encountered an Amalekite tribe, led by one Idibi’il.
The battlefield’s north and south edges were defined by strips of rough terrain. Idibi’il set up on the eastern edge, with his camelry mainly on his right, near a dunefield, and infantry on the left. He had a group of skirmishers in dunes on his extreme right flank.

Osorkon set up on the western edge (his chosen battlefield edge) with his right flank anchored on an oasis palm grove. His infantry were set up facing Idibi’il’s, with his chariotry and cavalry on his left. In order to contest the rough terrain on the north edge of the battlefield, he deployed his Libu 3Wb on his left flank.    

Seeing this, Idibi’il switched a 3Cm element with a 3Ax to better support his right flank skirmishers.    

Before the battle. Osorkon on the left, Idibi'il on the right

Turns 1-3

The first three turns were spent with both sides moving to contact. Idibi’il’s 3Ax on his right flank were moving to catch up with the 2Ps they were supposed to be supporting. Those Ps were doing a good job harassing Osorkon’s mounted troops from the safety of the rough terrain they were in, so Osorkon was busily moving his Libu 3Wb up to deal with them. On the southern flank, Osorkon had moved two elements of skirmishing Nubian archers into the rough terrain, preventing Idibi’il’s camel scouts from charging through behind his lines.    

Turn 4

Osorkon rolled 5 PIPs. He brought his main body of infantry forward, and adjusted the positioning of the Nubian skirmishers. He charged his Libu 3Wb into the 2Ps in the northern rough terrain. Both sides fought fiercely but they were still locked in combat at the end of the turn (3+5 vs 2+6).    

Idibi’il managed a lacklustre 1 PIP, but he was able to move the 3Ax up to support the Ps against the Libu. They were able to force the Libu to recoil (2+3 vs 2+2).    

Turn 4. Fighting continues on the north edge of the battlefield

Turn 5

Osorkon rolled 3 PIPs. He moved his Libu 3Wb back to attack the Amalekite 2Ps, and moved an element of light chariots up to provide overlap support. He used his third PIP to continue the slow advance of his main body of infantry. Combat was once again a ‘stick’ (2+1 vs 1+2).    

Idibi’il was again inert with only 1 PIP. With this, he pulled his beleaguered skirmishers back, rather than ‘closing the door’ with his 3Ax and continuing the fight. This was quite a risky move, as they were now out in the open.    

Turn 5 - Idibi'il's skirmishers (top centre) have broken cover

Turn 6

Osorkon rolled 2 PIPs. His LCh charged the exposed Amalekite 2Ps that had withdrawn out of cover, and brought his Libu 3Wb in to close the door. In combat the 2Ps was overrun (3+2 vs 1+2).    

Idibi’il broke his 1 PIP streak, just, with a roll of 3 PIPs. He moved an element of 3Cm to attack Osorkon’s detached LCh, with support from an element of skirmishers. His 3Ax attacked the Libu 3Wb. In combat, his 3Ax was forced to recoil (3+2 vs 3+3), but he managed to force a recoil on the LCh (4+2 vs 2+2).    

Turn 6: The Libyan Egyptian advance continues

Turn 7    

Osorkon rolled 4 PIPs. His limited success against the light troops on his left meant he could swing his mounted troops around to threaten the Amalekite’s flank. His infantry moved to within bowshot of the Amalekites, and they succeeded in forcing a 3Cm to recoil. The combat in the rough was once again a ‘stick’. 
Idibi’il rolled 4 PIPs also. He used two moving a 3Ax and a 2Ps closer to the two elements of Nubian skirmishers that Osorkon had installed in the rough terrain on the south of the battlefield. He also moved his 3Cm back in to attack the Egyptian LCh they had recoiled last turn, and also discovered that the 2Ps he had in the rough could be moved to a place where it would be in contact with the rear of the Libu 3Wb, and providing flank overlap against the Egyptian LCh.
The Egyptian archers spoiled things a bit for Idibi’il in the shooting phase by forcing a recoil (4+5 vs 3+4).
Fighting desparately, the Libu 3Wb fought off their attackers (3+2 vs 2+5) and the Egyptian LCh and Amalekite 3Cm remained locked in combat.

Turn 7: The Libyan Egyptians are about to strike


Turn 8

Osorkon rolled 2 PIPs. With these he turned his cavalry around to ‘close the door’ on the Amalekite 3Cm next to them, and moved his main body of infantry into contact.

In combat, Osorkon’s foot managed to recoil all of the Amalekite Ax facing them.   But disaster struck in the combat against the Amalekite camelry. The Libyan Egyptian LCh was forced to recoil (3+2 vs 3+5) but the supporting 3Cv had nowhere to go and so was destroyed. 

Osorkon's cavalry is destroyed

Bouyed on by this good fortune, Idib’il rolled 5 PIPs. He brought is camel scouts in to attack the rear rank of the Meshwesh 4Wb. In the battle for the rough, his 2Ps once again moved into position at the rear of the Libu 3Wb, and next to the Egyptian LCh. His other PIPs were used to tidy up his ranks.

Idibi’il’s camel mounted scouts fought like lions against the Meshwesh, destroying them with 6+2 vs 2.1. Not to be outdone, his Ax also fought like lions against their Meshwesh, scoring 6+3 vs 2+2. The battle for the rough resulted in a recoil for the Egyptian LCh but a stalemate for the infantry.

Turn 8: Osorkon's Meshwesh is slaughtered

Turn 9

Shaken into action by the loss of his Meshwesh, Osorkon rolled 5 PIPs. He charged Idibi’il’s element, and sent one of his chariot elements against the camelry on his left flank, he deployed an element of Nubian archers as a flank guard, being careful to leave enough of a gap to allow his Royal Guard to recoil.    

The Libu warband in the rough terrain avenged the fallen Meshwesh by destroying the Bedouin Ax that was facing them 2+6 vs 2+1. His Royal Guard 4Bd forced the skirmishing javelinmen that were rather hopefully facing them to flee. His chariotry, and his own element were, somewhat predictably, recoiled. But his Egyptian archers forced the camelry facing them to recoil.    

Idibi’il rolled a not too shabby 4 PIPs. He attacked Osorkon’s element and the element of chariotry that recoiled in Osorkon’s turn. His camel scouts attacked the Nubian archers guarding the flank of the Osorkon’s main body, and an element of Ax attacked the Egyptian Royal Guard.    

Osorkon was forced to recoil again, as was his Royal Guard. Idibi’il found that he had repeated Osorkon’s mistake by not allowing room for his camel scouts to recoil. They were forced to recoil (2+4 vs 2+2) into some Bedouin skirmishers, and were destroyed.    

At the end of the turn the battle hung in the balance with 3 lost elements each.    

An embarrassing loss for Idibi'il

Turn 10

Osorkon rallied his troops and sent them back in to the attack with 3 PIPs. But all he could manage in combat was to force an element of Idibi’il’s camelry to recoil, his Bd and Ps both being forced to recoil by Ax.    

Idibi’il rolled a decisive 6 PIPs. He moved his camelry back to attack Osorkon’s Bw, with support from the surrounding troops, and finally got around to attacking the Nubian archers on his left flank. His camelry was forced to recoil, but his attack on the Nubians was much more successful, destroying one Ps with 3+5 vs 2 +1, and the Bedouin Psiloi finished off the game by destroying their opponents 2+6 vs 1+1.    

Game over. Osorkon II was beaten 5 -3.    

Defeat for Osorkon II


Osorkon might have been better off not being so aggressive. By advancing on the Bedouin he made it necessary to spread out into the flanking rough terrain to protect his flanks. If he had held back he could have just waited for the Bedouin to leave the rough, and they would have had the problem of having their infantry scattered    

Both sides lost a unit through negligence, in attacking where they could not recoil. That might be one of the hazards of solo gaming – trying to keep track of too many units, or perhaps I was distracted by hunger as the game somehow took 3 hours to play itself out!    


2 responses to “The Battle of Pa-Amaq 847BC

  1. Great report, thanks. You’re right, solo games do seem to take a while. Osorkon was a little let down by the dice in those last two fights ( a pair of ones!), so even at the end the battle might have gone either way.

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