Friday, 7 October 2011

Rally Round the King battle report - Hittite Vs Egyptians

I am testing out my own fast play rules with chariots.  But Rally Round the King (RRtK) is very solo-friendly and so I thought I would give them a run through with some chariot-armies as I have not done so before.
Rule changes
When I first discovered Warrior Kings (RRtK predecessor) about three years go, and after a couple of games, I went crazy on documenting rule modifications for a 2'x2' board - an extra Armour Class, longbows, crossbows, disorder for complex moves, longer bow ranges, skirmishers with javelins, changed point calculation.  I never played them.  Then RRtK came out.  Good stuff.  I have played a few games with RRtK.  But naturally I cannot stop tinkering so for this game, I have a few changes - just my view of what I want to play, not saying they are right or wrong:
  • Play is on 2'x2' board.
  • Armies are 300pts.
  • MISSILE damage is 1+d6 for 3 figures, 2+1d6 for 4 figures, skirmishers are 1d6-1. 
  • Reduced movement rate slightly to account for smaller board.
  • Don't use the undisciplined attribute.
  • Extend bow ranges slightly (sort-of offsetting reduced damage) and included skirmisher javelins
  • Units do not have to line up (as per Warrior Kings).
  • Introduced a breakpoint for army loss that will trigger "leader lost" morale check each subsequent turn.
But the rest is unchanged.
I used slightly modified Warrior Kings army lists.
New Kingdom Egyptians
5 Light Chariots, Mounted Missile (bow), REP5, AC3, 1 figure
1 Guards, Foot Melee, REP5, AC5, 4 figs
4 Spearmen, Foot Melee, REP4, AC3, 4 figs
3 Archers, Foot Missile (bow), REP4, AC3, 4 figs
3 Nubians, Foot Skirmisher (bow), REP4, AC3, 2 figs
NKE's deployed
3 Heavy Chariots, Mounted Melee, Dual (javelin), REP5, AC5, 1 figure
5 Light Chariots, Mounted Missile (bow), REP5, AC3, 1 fig
1 Guards, Foot Melee, REP5, AC3, 4 figs
2 Spearmen, Foot Melee, REP4, AC3, 4 figs
3 Skirmisher, Foot Skirmisher (bow), REP4, AC3, 2 figs

Hittite's deployed
At deployment.  Only terrain is a gentle hill in Hittite centre.

Hittites: Charge in the centre with the Heavy Chariots. Mop up what is left with the spearmen.  Hold the flanks.  Having no reserve is leaving a lot to chance.
Egyptians: Hold the centre and hopefully win out there.  Advance on the left flank in support of the spearmen.  Hold the right flank.

Hittites are the attacker and full speed ahead with the heavy chariots and spearmen body to the chariots left, hoping to break the centre. The Egyptians focus on the flanks, thinking their centre should hold.

The Hittite chariots get into range of the skirmish archers protecting the Egyptian Spearmen. Could be ugly.

Chariots charge the Spearmen and Skirmishers

The skirmishers took a beating, but so did the heavy chariots.  The skirmishers dice were on fire!  By making the chariots DUAL-ARMED, the chariots did not charge in, but just fired back.  This proved dire when the Skirmishers finally routed, but the heavy chariots had two points of damage each.  The Egyptian Spearmen charged in and received fire (where a Chariot counter-charge would have been better, but then, making them DUAL maybe reflects their use better - heavier more mobile version of the light chariots - heavier 'shock' chariots were later on) and received no damage, but a pass of one dice meant they did receive a point of damage anyway.

Middle chariot retires, other two rout.  For the spearmen, the middle (with leader) halts with no pursuit and the others rout (pass 1 dice in melee with mounted).

Post combat, lots missing!  Rings are hits.

The Egyptian Light Chariots on their left flank come off worse for wear against the opposing Hittite Light Chariots.

Hittite Light Chariots - they did very well in the missile exchange.

The Egyptian Archers managed to strip off the skirmishers from the advancing Hittite spearmen but the latter are getting close.

Hittite Spearmen face off against the Egyptian Archers (the green guy indicates the leader's stand)

So, at the end of Hittite turn two, we have a battlefield that looks a bit like this:

Overview - note each black ring is a hit.

This is what I like about RRtK - you have a plan, point it at the enemy and hope.  The reaction tests keep you interested, and nothing is certain.  And fast.  It certainly captures the chaos of battle as I envisage it.

Hittite Light Chariots on the right flank clean up the opposing Light Chariot, and reach the lone Light Chariot.

A single Egyptian Light chariot faces double the number of Hittites.

The Hittite Spearmen charge the Archers and enter melee with 3 hits.  In melee, both sides inflict another few hits on one another, but missile units are fragile and will rout if they do not pass both dice for the reaction test.  They fail and rout.  The Hittite Spearmen only pass one die and get another hit.  They are in bad shape - 5 hits!
Hittite Spearmen - note the stack of hits behind them.
So, under my house rules, 50% of the troops have been lost and so they undertake a "leader lost".  All the Missile (Chariots) rout.  While the Egyptians are left with only 3 Spearmen, all of these are relatively unharmed.  Compare this to the Hittites who heavy units average 5 hits a unit. But with fast moving missile units (light chariots) Vs slower spears, it is likely one-sided.

Near the end.  The Egyptian units are the Spears at the top and single unit in the centre.

And so I did fight it to the bitter end.  The Hittites also suffered some losses with there own "leader lost" check but eventually the chariot mobile missile platforms picked off the remaining Egyptian spearmen.  In reality, and especially in a campaign game, one side would have retired from the field earlier than this.

Game end: the only (and all) Hittite units left.

A fun game, as always with Rally round the King.  Very solo friendly.  Not too predictable.  And a great historical feel.  I am sorely tempted to setup for a re-match.


  1. Great AAR. I'm getting into 10mm mass combat (fantasy and ancient) but have yet to play my first game. I had the impression there isn't much maneuvering, just push the figures together and roll the dice. Your game makes me think I'm wrong which is a good thing!

  2. Nice report Shaun.

    I agree with you that One side should have left the board earlier. But then again, it is not like you killed the rest of the army. You simply rendered them ineffective. You could do what is done in AMW. When 75% of the army is been destroyed, the battle is over. usually when you get down that low, it is over anyway.

    Like the 50% rule.

  3. Thanks for this report. I'm liking the idea of small scale on 2x2 or 3x3 boards.

    I'm curious if you have ever played Pride of Lions rules? Or Chipco's Fantasy Rules?

    Sounds like a lot of people really like Rally Round the King I'll have to get a copy.


    1. I have tried Chipco's Fantasy rules. I used TCE which is similar to version 3.

      I wrote it up as part of the Battle of Callincum replays:

      Callinicum with Fantasy Rules

      I liked it, it plays well for historical replays and would play it again.

      I do not have Pride of Lions. It sounds good, but I am not sure it would size down to a 2x2 board. Maybe 2x3. I have a bunch of other rules to try out for 2'x'2 so PoL is not the list. If it is suitable for 2x2, then I would be happy to give it a go.