Friday, October 12, 2012

HAIL CAESAR: The Crossings of Jordan

This week we had arranged our Hail Caesar Biblical game - Assyrians versus allied Israelites and Egyptians.  Donald Adamson came up with the scenario, orders of battle and umpired whilst  Hugh Wilson  provided the venue and terrain.  Suzanne Wilson provided the pre-game refreshments.

Assyrian army get to the Jordan...but does not cross
We used figures from various collections-  Dave provided the Assyrians, Donald the Israelites, Olivier and Hugh the Egyptians.  The figures were all based on Impetus bases or else were put onto Impetus sized sabot bases.  As in our last game we decided that a 12cm wide Impetus base was a standard sized Hail Caesar unit. 

Martin Gibson and Bart Zynda commanded the Israelites, Oliver, Hugh, Colin Jack and Kevan Gunn commanded the Egyptians whilst Dave O’Brien, Campbell Hardie and myself commanded the Assyrians.
How the game Played

Realising that we could not get much of the Assyrian army across the Jordan before the pursuing Israelites and Egyptians caught up with the rear of our widely spread out army we decided to turn and crush our pursuers.

My cavalry form up.. Ark of Covenant in cart in background
We formed with the infantry division commanded by Campbell in the centre, Dave took the heavy chariots and deployed them on our left and I commanded the cavalry on the right flank.  The allies massed the Israelites on their right flank with the Egyptians covering the centre and left.  Campbell did not have time to get his whole command deployed into a single group before it was engaged by the pursuing Egyptians.  Campbell managed to hold of the Egyptians and charged the my cavalry into their chariots.  I drove them back but I then blundered and 3 of my units fled to the rear facing away from the enemy.  The Egyptians pursued with their best remaining chariot unit but my disordered cavalry who had not fled defeated them in melee so saving their more craven comrades.

On our left flank Daves heavy chariots rumbled into the Israelites driving back their front line of infantry and pushing back the troops deployed behind them.  Another move of melees drove the back rank of the Israelites of the table.  At that point ended.  We had broken 2 of the enemy divisions but had not won enough of a victory -  to recover from not getting the Ark of the Covenant of the table.

Egyptians attack infantry division.....
General Briefing
As the Assyrian Empire extends, in the west it begins to rub against the Egyptians, and in particular, their satellite nation: Israel.
The King of Assyria, Da Obron, leads a surprise attack into Israel, and pillages Jerusalem. He retires towards Nineveh with his spoils, including a wooden chest, which may contain the Ark of the Covenant.
Just west of the River Jordan, the Assyrian rearguard spies two clouds of dust emerging from the west. In quick order one resolves itself into the Egyptians led by the famous General of the Pharoahs, Olle Re  The other appears to be led by the Chief Priest of the Temple of Solomon, Colleviticus.
The Assyrians begin the game in a double width column along the road, with its head having just reached the ford. The ford is two units wide.
The game is won by the Assyrians if they can get the wagon train with the Ark of the Covenant off the east end of the table.
There are decisions to be taken.  Players refer to individual briefings on the night.

Infantry division commander inspires his troops......

Assyrian Briefing and OB
You begin the game in a column on the road to the ford. The head of your column has reached the ford, which can be crossed at half pace. It is only one unit wide.
You have a report from a spy that the Egyptians have a force east of the River Jordan. Where it is, or the size of it, is uncertain.

Assyrian Army: 3 divisions
DIV 1  5 Heavy Chariots. Division breaks on loss of 3 chariots
DIV 2  5 Units of Cavalry. Division breaks on loss of 3 units
DIV 3  4 units of spear and bow armed infantry; 2 units of bow and sling armed infantry; 2 units of spear and bow armed light infantry; 1 unit of Elamites; 3 units of bow armed skirmishers; 1 unit of javelin armed skirmishers. Division breaks on the loss of 5 non skirmish units.
Did I also mention that you can also win by routing both the enemy forces (Egyptians and Israelites fight as separate armies), as well as getting the Ark of the Covenant off the board?

Egyptian/Israelite Briefing and OB
The Israelite player gets to roll a dice every turn. On a six, the Ark of the Covenant explodes onto light (you have seen the films) and kills all the Assyrian drivers of the wagon train. The wagon train can only be re-crewed by a unit touching the wagon train, and moving off again next move.
If adjacent to the River Jordan at any point, The Israelite can pray for a crossing, which succeeds on a 6, then a 5 or 6 in the second turn and so on, getting progressively easier. Only Israelite forces can use this crossing. It is one unit wide, and crossed at half pace.
The subsidiary Egyptian force can appear anywhere east of the River Jordan, on the northern edge of the board, but not closer than 30 inches from an Assyrian unit, and only after the Wagon Train is 24 inches east of the ford on the road.

Egyptian Main Force: 3 divisions
DIV 1  4 Chariots; 4 chariot runners. Break on 3 or more losses of chariots
DIV 2  2 Egyptian spearmen; 1 Kushite; 3 bow armed skirmishers. Break on loss of 2 or more non skirmishers
DIV 3  2 Egyptian Axemen; 1 Sherden Guard; 3 bow armed skirmishers. Break on loss of two or more non skirmishers
Israelites: 3 Divisions
DIV 1  4 chariots; 4 chariot cavalry out-riders. Break on 3 or more chariots lost.
DIV 2  3 Judean spearmen; 2 bow armed skirmishers; 1 javelin armed skirmishers. Break on loss of 2 or more non skirmishers.
DIV 3 3 Judean spearmen; 2 javelin armed skirmish infantry ; 1 bow armed skirmish unit. Break on 2 or more non skirmishers
Egyptian flank force
DIV 4  2 chariots; 6 Egyptian spearmen. Beak on the loss of 5 units


  1. It was a good game and I was pleased to get my Beardy Boys out of their boxes again and despite being stuck between a rock and a hard place they fought well, even despite my appalling dice rolling. Surely General Buggeration is descended from the ancient Assyrians.

  2. Wonderful looking game Bill and an enjoyable write up!