Monday, 20 January 2020

Playing "To Ur is Human"

My monthly SPI game partner's interest in the hex and cardboard counter genre has waned a bit of late, so we agreed to play another figure game. As he's really a newbie to this sort of thing we agreed to have a go at "To Ur". Well, I think it is simple to learn.

We used the card deployment system suggested in the rules. I normally don't have the time for players to use this in the evening, so it was good to give it a go again.

We had a little bit of confusion on getting the units out of the boxes, but were soon ready to go.

The armies were not mirror images of each other. Gary had the missile heavy one, and I had one with slightly more in the way of battle carts. Based on my points system they were within a point of each other. I went for a slightly heavier left wing, intending to refuse my right

This tactic seemed to be going okay at first, then it became apparent that Gary was refusing his entire front.

Out on the left I was trying to shield my battle carts with my slingers. There's massed archers out there, protecting that flank. Gary had tried to break through by charging with one of his javelin units, but they failed the Fear Test and refused to move.

As the javelin men were now feeling a bit wobbly I charged them with my slingers and drove them off.

Gary moved up his carts, which he had placed centrally. I was forced to react, and created a central pocket for them to charge to their deaths into.

I was sorting myself out to launch charges by my carts, but it was a bit tricky. I've got my slingers out of the way, but Gary's got some javelin men in the way instead.

Gary started getting pensive and checked the rules. Was he planning something?

I declared a charge, and the javelins dropped a Fear Level. Looking good. The other unit of carts wheeled to exploit the coming breakthrough.

Meanwhile, over on the other flank I'd given up refusing and run down some light infantry instead.

Unfortunately Gary's wobbly light infantry javelin men managed to stick a couple of barbs into my carts.

The javelins broke in the ensuing conflict, but at the cost of a cart base! Disaster. I was left standing in front of massed archers.

On the other flank I've broken right through. Only problem was whether I could turn and exploit the flank before Gary shored it all up with his reserve line.

Blast. A swift volley from the archers and I've lost the rest of the cart unit.

Gary took a closer look at what was going on.

On my right flank some swiftly moving javelin men killed a base. Whoops! I announced that the cart unit would be leaving the board henceforth for some repair work.

There seems to be a missing picture. My remaining left wing carts have bundled through those pesky massed archers and chased them off the table. Meanwhile my General urges his foot forwards, and combat ensues.

Everything is touch and go at first. Gary sends in his General to even things up, but he is killed in the melee.

With his main block pinned to the front, my slingers take the opportunity to attack an exposed flank.

All looking good. My carts on the left have turned round and put the fear of the gods into a unit of Gary's foot. They flee before the rumbling wheels into the mess developing over the corpse of Gary's General.

With nowhere for them to run to, the carts start to massacre the fleeing defenceless troops. The heavies now clash in the centre.

Having destroyed their opponents the carts line up the rear of Gary's centre. Gary's carts on the extreme right decide not to charge.

It's all going on in the centre now, as I clatter into the rear. Amazingly, according to the Fear Test, Gary's guys just love it. Gary rallies his windy battle carts, and orders another charge.

Two units of Heavy Infantry take one look at Gary's carts and turn on their heels and make off.

It isn't a pretty sight. This was supposed to hold them off whilst I won the battle in the centre.

It's all a little meat grinder-y in the centre.

However, I break Gary's troops with the carts, and will be able to gallop through and shore up my right. Gary's carts continue to ride down my heavy infantry who are fleeing.

I should have this in the bag by now. It is close, as I've lost loads of stuff, but I have a couple of combats which I should win and an even roll on the Fear Test will break my opponents. It isn't happening, tho'.

Another rule book check, as my carts hunt down Gary's lone survivor on his left.

Again, the combats are all taking longer than they should.

And then another of Gary's units is broken and it is all over. I had actually won the turn before, but there was a calc error on the big white board on Gary's right. The small board on my side shows I've got to 126 points, and I only need to kill 110.

It was a tense, close game that swung backwards and forwards. It was weird playing this having worked on "IGaBC" so much recently. I had to re-read the rule book to remind myself what I'd written. It was fun to push my figures around as well and roll some dice, rather than umpiring.

And it must have been okay. Even tho' he lost, Gary wants to play them again.


  1. Rumbling Battle Carts! I thought Gary's left was going to save the rest of His army towards the end. Enjoyable battle report. I'm completely sold on squares.

    1. My house, my rules, my toys, my dice. Poor man never had a chance.

  2. Just played a game of To Ur. Thanks for making the rules available at a reasonable rate.
    If you update the QR sheet, add ”only chariots” to the charge added d6.
    Also, a Turn Sequence on this sheet would have been handy.
    I think another game is required to get the whole sequence in order.
    Question about deployment- page 8. You state that only light troops or battle carts can be in the first row. Does that mean the no files would have heavy troops or massed bowmen in the front rank?
    As you suggest most contentious elements probably could be worked out with house rules.
    I’m not sure about not allowing heavy foot to charge battle chariots, as a battle cart unit 40 points could pin a heavy infantry unit with supports.
    Also, reading the voluntary withdrawal of single stand battle carts. There seems to be no benefit or penalty to do this.
    Thanks for the rules for this very obscure period.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. All good points, which I'll look at in the next few weeks and maybe do an FAQ.

      Yes. A battle cart can keep a heavy infantry unit in place. That was intentional, but if you don't like it, change it.

      Voluntary withdrawal means you don't lose the points when counting up for victory. Of course you can leave them on the table and keep avoiding contact, but that can get difficult. The free turn and so on means they can escape.

      And I think the QRS does say carts only get the charge bonus.

      Thanks for buying the rules.

  3. Great to see another game report. Thanks. It prompted me to re-read the casualty rules. All classes of troops need four hits to remove a base - no matter how many figures there are on that base. At some stage the later idea settled into my head, . . . !?
    Had an extended entertaining time getting a copy of the rules. Amazon, big postage add, was delayed, then offered on WarGames Vault, then arrived, got postage rebate, . . . I am really glad you have offered the electronic purchase option - for others.
    Various people I play with dislike lots of markers following units around. I have been wondering about halving the number of dice and halving the number of hits required to remove a stand. It would make the rules a little more granular and involve some rounding issues with, say, archers etc. Did you give that any thought? Have any advice on such a step?

    1. Sorry to hear you had so many problems with Amazon, but pleased that the Vault option worked.

      The confusion on the number of hits/figures is not unusual. You are not the first to make that error.

      I can't say what halving the dice and hits will do. Try it and see. You can change the casualty rings to simple numeric markers to reduce the stuff on the table or keep a written casualty roster instead.