Saturday, 13 February 2016


No, not the WW1 battle of Megiddo, but a scrap several thousand years earlier. Like Magenta in Italy, it seems to be one of those places which attracts an unhealthy amount of warfare.

This was a Command and Colours outing to around 1400BC, where some Canaanites were revolting against their Egyptian overlords, the latter led by a chap called Tutmose III (who I gather was later nicknamed 'The Napoleon of Egypt).

Clever Tutmose had wrongfooted the Canaanites and caught their army in some confusion at the very gates of the city of Megiddo.

This was played with Tim Gs very nice 25mm toys on hexon terrain (as usual). Tim C and myself took on the revolting Canaanites, while John A and Jerry E took the mighty Egyptians.

 The view from the gates of Megiddo (some rather nice resin wall and tower sections). The Canaanite army is a ragtag of light infantry and auxilia, with a couple of light cavalry units but an imposing array of heavy chariots in the centre. As befits our befuddled state, we only had four command cards... Over in the distance is the mighty Egyptian horde, in a sort buffalo horn formation, such as that later used by Scipio Africanus against the Carthaginians. All very worrying.

Tutmose himself, accompanied by a horde of other chariots and suported by some rathe scarily compenent infantry. Egyptian chariots have all sorts of special rules, which turn them into essentially pre-Biblical attack helicopters.

The Egyptians led their attack with their left, auxilia, warband, light infantry and cavalry. They were countered by the Canaanite right, all huddled together for mutual support. The Egyptians seemed to favour standing off and conducting missile fire, whilst our chaps got stuck in very heroically with the pointy stick. The Egyptians didn't seem to like this very much and were forced back. Presumably they don't like it up 'em.

Tutmose then sent his chariot wave forward in the centre. Again, mainly indulging in missile fire rather than closing to contact. Having strayed within two hexes of our lines, it was the ideal opportunity for our heavy chariots to lumber forward. The Egyptian chariots may have been able to move and shoot and inflict extra hits in combat and ignore hits back, but they could still only take two hits each, and after a bloody scrap all the Egyptian chariots were destroyed, Tutmose escaping by the skin of his teeth. Coupled with their earlier victory on the right, this clinched it for the Canaanites and 'The Napoleon of Egypt' was sent packing.

Hard to see where it went wrong for the Egyptians, with their command, numerical and quality advantages they should have wiped the floor with the Canaanites, but an over-reliance on missile fire and piecemeal force commitment (so easy to inadvertantly do in Command and Colours) meant they fed themselves to the Canaanites in nice, easily digestible chunks. The more I play CnC Ancients, the more impressed I am with it as a simulation as well as a game. While I think it has some serious problems in its later incarnations (Napoleonic and WW2) from a simulation pov, the Ancients game does actually work as a command and resource management simulation. Occasionally derailed by the outrageous arrows and slingshots of fortune.

Tim also has a report of this game in his blog:


  1. I think I regard the Napoleonics version a bit more highly than you do old son, but either way it's a cracking game.

  2. The Napoleonic one is a fun game but doesn't bear a huge resemblance to a Napoleonic battle. I have pondered at length how to make it more so without breaking the underlying system.