Michael came around for a DBA game on Friday. I decided to see how my newly painted Later Hebrews worked. I don’t have an enemy for my early ones yet. For an enemy I chose my Libyan Egyptians, as they also have newly painted elements – new Royal Guard blades, a new 3Wb, and new Libyan skirmishers. In the first game, I took the Hebrews and I was the defender. My plan was to use my auxillia to hold the high ground while the rest supported my chariotry. I took the optional Philistine mercenary 4Sp just to see whether a lone spear would be worthwhile. I used my pre-deployment element swap to move my heavy chariots a bit closer to where Michael’s infantry were, as they are not good against mounted.
My first PIP roll was a one, so I moved a couple of auxillia up on my left flank. My next roll was a one – also not exactly stellar. When my PIPs for the third turn were two I began to see a pattern. My PIP rolls for the game ended up being 1, 1, 2, 2, 1, 3, and 2, against Michael’s 2, 6, 4, 6, 6, 3, and 2. After a bit more manouevring (painfully slow on my part and lightning fast on his) Michael charged in with his chariots and cavalry. My general and the other heavy chariot did fairly well, but despite having pretty good tactical factors they never managed to double their opponents (the Egyptian cavalry and general, respectively). But they did keep on winning their combats and forcing the Egyptians to recoil. The compulsory ‘follow up’ meant my chariotry ended up being sucked down the table and isolated from the rest of my army. Eventually my non-general heavy chariot was destroyed. I was able to pull my general back but my miserable PIPs meant I was always on the back foot. Michael’s Sherden Royal Guard 4Bd destroyed my Royal Guard 4Ax, another Ax was destroyed, and in the end my general was flanked and destroyed. I guess I had too much faith that my PIP drought would end at some stage. I might have been able to use my meagre supply of PIPs to lurk around on my base line. But I don’t think you can play every game as if you are only ever going to have 1 or 2 PIPs.
In the second game we swapped armies, so I had the Libyan Egyptians. I was the defender again though. I placed a marsh parallel to the compulsory waterway, and a wood.
After seeing Michael’s deployment I was reminded of a problem I have with this army, which is that I can never swap everything I would like to. I think that’s because I tend to deploy all of my mounted in one block. If I deployed them in two groups of two I think it would make things a little easier as I could make one flank or the other, or the centre, chariot-heavy. Anyway what I decided to do was to throw my chariots forward as a screen while two of my warband moved over from right of centre to the left flank. I never really had enough PIPs to pull that off, so my warband never got to fight. I saw that Michael’s auxillia on my left flank were a little isolated from the rest of the army. I had a psiloi in the marsh and a bow facing his heavy chariots so I felt fairly safe on my right flank, so I charged in with my light chariots. Combat was bloody and one sided. My bow managed the fairly rare feat of doubling a heavy chariot. Otherwise my chariots, and my Royal Guard when they joined in, destroyed five auxillia and supporting psiloi between them, across two turns. I don’t usually permit myself a post battle photo, but I would have taken one of my earlier Friday Night Massacre at Michael’s hands had my camera battery not decided to draw a veil over proceedings, so I’m semi-even handed.
Clearly there’s a knack to using the Later Hebrews. With the ‘c’ list I assume it would involve closer cooperation between the chariots and auxillia than Michael and I were able to manage. That would probably depend on the opponent as, for example, they would also need to devise some means of not squished to a fine paste by the Neo Assyrians.