So I have finished all of the Sumerain figures with the exception of one unit of chariots. This means I have enough for a Sumerain and Akkadian army under Neil Thomas' "Ancient and Medieval Wargames" rules, and a spare unit for a bit of variation.
So what better way to spend a Sunday morning than a quick solo run through to see how they shape up? I laid out a basic terrain board with some hills, a bit of wooded area and a small river running across the middle of the board. This looks nice but was probably a mistake.
The set up looked like this:
The battle wagons have a dice based variable move rule. Sometimes they don't move at all, sometimes they shoot off to engage the enemy at top speed with murderous intent. What this means is that each turn your pretty much have to move these first and get the rest of the army to conform. In addition the Biblical infantry get an enhanced saving roll if they don't move at all in the game.
The book says that the battle wagons/light chariots are the battle winning weapon for this army, and that everything else should act in support of them. The picture above shows the position after turn one. Most of the chariots have moved off, but at a variety of speeds. The light infantry near the camera is moving into the wood to hold the flank. At this point I started to have doubts about the implications of the random movement rules for the chariots. The infantry, likewise, is hugging the back line on both sides as there's an advantage to doing so because of the shield rule. This is a bit of an issue if both sides benefit in the same way, - and these are the only two armies that can fight one another as contemporaries.
Up at the top of the board the Akkadian slingers were prevailing over the Sumerian chariots which are unable to disengage AT ALL as they can only withdraw at the same speed as the infantry can move. This was beginning to look seriously wrong. The Akkadian chariots weren't really moving at all.
The Sumerian infantry stepped forward and caught the Akkadian chariots at this end of the table, whilst the other Sumerian chariots in the centre are destroyed. Looking at the photo I think that other chariot unit should be off as well, as it has three black rings and 5 white, but I've lost track of what is going on, as that should be the Akkadian chariots and they should only have minimal damage.
It looks like I've corrected the error on the far chariots, and the other Akkadian chariot unit has managed to extricate itself from the melee.
I think I'll stop the narrative there. The game slogged through another few turns and ended up as a 3 - 2 win to the Sumerians, brought about by them exiting an infantry unit from the board.
On the positive side I like the look of my armies. On the downside AMW really disappointed me. It's the first time that it has done so in any game across all of the periods it covers. I really do think that the rules have not been play tested. Everything in the armies is light armour, so chariots and heavy infantry take casualties as easily as light troops. Neil's statement that "(the chariots) should be at the forefront of any attack, with infantry assigned only to a support role" is a clear nonsense. Their offensive power is limited as they can't skirmish. They roll very few dice in combat and only have a 1 in 3 chance of disengaging when caught by heavy infantry and can't get away from light infantry at all. In summary, the rules and armies are a mess.
I need to do some surgery.