Thursday 7 December 2023

30 ancient games in 30 days - games 01 to 05


The first 5 games in the 30 games in 30 days using my own rule son a 40cmx40cm table with 15mm figures.  Replaying some historical battles based on some Bill Banks Ancients user written scenarios.  Details can be found at this introductory blog post:

In this post are these battles:

  • NIHRIYA, 1230 BC, Assyrians vs Hittites
  • Great BITTER LAKE, 925 BC, Egyptians vs Bedouins
  • LACHISH, 701 BC, Assyrians vs Citizens of Lachish
  • ULAI River, 652 BC, Assyrians vs Elamites
  • Second MEGIDDO, 609 BC, Egyptians vs Judean


Assyrian King Tukulti-Ninurta I invades the Narri lands controlled by the Hittites. The Assyrian victory shake the Hittite empire to its foundation.


Map: Open.

Special: A draw is considered a Hittite victory.

Assyrians (bp 2.5): 1 LDR, 2 CH, 2 HI, 1 HA, 2 LI.

Deploy: normal free deployment, for example CH* CH LI HI HI HA LI.

Hittites (bp 2): 1 LDR, 2 CH, 2 MI, 2 LI, 2 LA.

Deploy: normal free deployment, example: CH* LI LA MI MI LA LI CH.

Deploy – Assyrians on the left, Hittites on the right

Assyrian left flank holds as facing a superior enemy.  Assyrian right flank and centre advance.    Hittites do mirror and play to their strengths – advance their right and hold centre and right.

Assyrian right flank chariot engages Hittite flank force.

Missile fire is ineffective and flank combat does not go great for Assyrians. Later on the Hittite chariot is destroyed but Hittite missile fire overwhelms an Assyrian chariot that routs.

Hittite right flank advances but the missile units retreat, causing disorder to the chariot and general.  The chariot manages to later disorder the Light Infantry and then eliminate it.  The Hittite Light Infantry and Assyrian Heavy Archers keep exchanging missile fire and disorder each other.

In the centre the Hittite archers fire for no effect.  Finally the Assyrian Heavy Infantry close with the Medium Infantry, a few disorders but crucially not on one of the Assyrian Heavy Infantry do still at full strength.

Mid game.

The Assyrian Heavy Archers is lost!  The Assyrian right flank has gone.  And then disaster.  The Assyrian General charges the Light Infantry that manages to rout the Chariot with their missile fire.  The Assyrians have lost too many units and so retire.

End game

That was fun and a good introduction to the 30 days of battles.  Five turns and lots of action in each turn.  I did not think the Hittites would win but they had some good dice rolls at the right times.



Pharaoh Shoshenk surprises the camp of raiding Bedouins.


Map: Open.

Special: None.

Egyptians (bp 2.5): 1 LDR, 1 CH, 1 LC, 1 HI, 2 LI.

Deploy: normal free deployment for example CH* LI HI LI LC.

Bedouins (bp 3): 1 LDR, 2 LC, 2 MI, 2 LA, 1 CP.

Deploy: Camp in centre at back and free deployment in front for example CM LA MI MI* LA CM.

Deploy.  Egyptians on the left, Bedouins on the right

The Egyptians are stronger on the left flank so advance.  The centre is iffy but advance anyway. The Bedouins advance the left flank camels as hope to take than flank. The Egyptian right flank Light Cavalry has to move to protect that flank.  

Egyptian chariot charges the camels but they fire and retreat, disordering the chariot. Oh-oh.   The chariot (and leader) is overwhelmed by the Camel missile fire and routs.

Egyptian chariot disordered by the Camels

The centre slowly advances through missile fire but the Heavy Infantry finally makes contact with the Bedouin Medium Infantry.

Egyptian Heavy Infantry in contact!

The Egyptian Light Infantry and Bedouin Light Archers are in a missile contest and the 2 Bedouins Light Archers come off worse and retire from the field.   And then a Bedouins Medium Infantry is also lost!  I really thought the Egyptian would be done for but clearing the Light Archers has really helped.

The tide is turning in the centre for the Egyptians

The Camels on the left flank charge into the Egyptian Light Infantry and rout them.  The Egyptians have lost too many units and so have lost this encounter.

End game.

Losing the chariot at the start was always going to make it hard for the Egyptians but they nearly managed to pull off a win regardless.



As part of his campaign to conquer Judah, King Sennacherib of Assyria besieges and assaults the town of Lachish.


Map: Town on hill 2 Base Widths wide in centre able to contain the 4 Lachish defenders.

Special: Battle is taking place once wall has been broken on one 2 Base Widths side.  Other sides of the town cannot be moved across but may be missile fired across. Town defenders never retreat. The Assyrians must eliminate all of the defenders to win. The Lachish defenders win (strictly a moral type victory) by having at least one unit still alive at end of game.

Assyrians (bp 2.5): 1 LDR, 3 HI, 2 HA.

Deploy: 2 HI against the wall with HA facing within close range on other walls.

Citizens of Lachish (bp 4): 1 LDR, 2 MI, 2 LI.

Deploy: deploy in the town.


Not really much of a battle, more just dice rolling.  At least a change from more typical battles. 

 The Assyrian Heavy Infantry leader disordered the defender.  While the other Heavy Infantry melee sees both disordered and then in a subsequent round of melee the Medium Infantry is destroyed (rolled a 1).  The Heavy Archers and Light Infantry exchange fire and all disordered and then an Assyrian Heavy Archer is routed.  Note that in my rules the Light Infantry cannot be routed by missile fire if defending a town/rampart etc.

Defenders are crumbling but the fire from the ramparts is taking its toll of the other side

The Heavy Infantry advance into the rear of the Light Infantry and 3 ‘6’s in a row (the only roll that would disorder/deplete the Light Infantry) see the Light Infantry destroyed and the Assyrians are victorious.

Light Infantry defenders just before destroyed.

The Lachish defenders do have a chance to win this game as there are a lot of 1:1 attacks.  While not a lot of tactics, there is a little bit but lots of luck really.


ULAI River, 652 BC

To protect vital trade caravans of metals and horses from Iran and eastern Anatolia, the Assyrians take the offensive against the Elamites, allies of the Babylonians. The Assyrian victory helped bring down the Elamite civilization.


Map: Open.  Impassable river running just off Assyrian right flank to Elamite left flank.

Special: None.

Assyrians (bp 3.5): 1 LDR, 2 CH, 1 HC, 1 HI, 2 HA, 1 MI.

Deploy: normal free deployment for example CH CH* HA HI HA MI HC.

Elamites (bp 3.5): 1 LDR, 2 CH, 1 LC, 2 LI, 2 LA.

Deploy: normal free deployment for example CH* LC LA LI LI LA CH.

Deployment, Assyrians on the left, Elamites on right

The Elamite Chariot+Leader is stronger on their flank than the opposing Assyrian Chariot so that will have to be the attack vector.  The Elamite centre is strong is missiles but weak in close combat.  The Assyrian’s is stronger, not by much but enough, and the Assyrians should prevail once they get there.  The Assyrian left flank is very strong – 2 Chariots + leader Vs 1 Chariot.  So Assyrians centre and left attack, hold the right.  Maybe use the Assyrian Medium Infantry to help bolster the right flank.

Assyrian centre and left flank advance, except the Medium Infantry that stays behind to help with right flank defence.  Elamite left flank advances.   

Chariot warfare of the Assyrian left flank sees one of each Assyrian and Elamite Chariot retreat, and then a Elamite Light Archer also fires and forces the Chariot to retreat further.    The Assyrian Chariots manage to reform and charge the Elamite Chariot.  It routs but not before disordering the general’s Chariot.

The Elamite chariot bravely hung on for a while but was routed soon after.

The Elamite right flank charges the Heavy Cavalry, both are disordered and then in the next melee the Elamites. Chariot is routed (a 6!).  The Elamite Light Cavalry advances harass the Assyrian Medium Infantry.  It was a stalemate for quite a while.  The Assyrians were out of command range and single units so hard to get them to move.

Assyrian right flank stalemate after Elamite Chariot lost

The centre sees a few disorders on both sides.  The Heavy Infantry manage to contact the Light Infantry but both are disordered.  The Heavy Archer hang back for missile support and finally an Elamite Light Archer is routed.

Centre battle, lots of arrows exchanged.

Finally another Elamite Light Archer is lost and the Elamite army collapses for an Assyrian win.  

End game

Surprisingly, the Assyrians lost no units.  Unusual.


 Second MEGIDDO, 609 BC

"Necho, King of Egypt, came up to fight..and Josiah went out against him..and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo." Second Chronicles Ch. 35.


Map: Open.  Stream running just off Egyptian right flank to Judean left flank (cannot move off that way).

Special: None.

Egyptians (bp 2.5): 1 LDR, 2 CH, 2 HI, 1 MI, 1 LI, 1 LA.

Deploy: normal free deployment for example CH* HI HI MI LI LA CH.

Judean (bp 2): 1 LDR, 1 CH, 1 HI, 2 MI, 1 LI, 1 LA.

Deploy: normal free deployment for example CH* LA MI HI MI LI.

Deployment, Egyptians on the left, Judean on the right

Egyptians have a good chance on the left flank and centre but weak right flank.  So focus will be on left and centre.  The Judeans should win their left flank, everything else will hold.  The missile fire from the units are a bit of a wild card.

Egyptians advance left flank and centre and Judean advance their right flank. The Egyptian chariot on their left flank charges the Light Infantry and Medium Infantry, the Light Infantry don’t fire or retreat (very bad rolls) and is routed.  Later The Medium Infantry is also disordered.

Egyptian chariot on left flank in melee with Judean Medium Infantry

The Judean chariot on their left flank charges the Egyptian chariot and Light Infantry. The Light Infantry fire ineffectively and retreat, the Judean Chariot in the subsequent melee disorder the Egyptian chariot.  The Egyptian chariot is later destroyed with the Judean chariot then charging the Light Infantry and both are disordered.

Egyptian Chariot (left) just before destroyed by Judean chariot

The infantry battlelines clash (finally) that sees a few disorders on both sides for the initial melee.  In the ensuing melees the Light Archers, Medium Infantry and Heavy Infantry are all routed (lucky die rolls for the Egyptians).

The battlelines clash.

The Judeans have exceeded their breakpoint and the Egyptian have won.  It was a closer game that is sounds.


  1. A good smattering of battles, none, I must sadly admit are known to me, though I hope to be doing more ancient stuff in the near future and might pick up some insight that way.

    Are these Bill Banks scenarios? The Lachish scenario is different enough to bring its own pleasures of play.

    1. Hello Norm,

      None were known by me until a few months ago either! The original scenarios I based these on were written for the Bill Banks Ancients boardgame, but were written by various players and did not come with the game. I agree about Lachish - when I first looked at it I thought it was a bit naff however I enjoyed it in its own way. It is different.

  2. What the heck - you got to push your toys (by which I mean “lead miniatures as realistic depictions of historical warriors”) around the battlefield. That’s a win in my book 😉

    1. Yep, the main reason to do this was to get in a lot of pushing around of toy soldiers!

  3. Great stuff. At least I'd heard of Megiddo! I've played some chariot wars games, but don't own any Assyrians, Egyptians etc. My chariots are all full of hairy barbarians.

    1. I do have some hairy barbarians (including their chariots) coming up in some of later games. And I hate to burst your bubble but the battle above is Second Meggido, the first one was about 1000 years earlier and is the well known one :-)

  4. You've started with a hiss and a roar! Well done

    1. Thanks Aaron, the gaming mojo came back with gusto - I was surprised.