Monday, 4 March 2013

WAB Chariot Wars

I had decided a while back to base my Assyrians for Warhammer Ancient Battles. I like the rules, which give a fun game, and I still had an early edition lying around somewhere. Once I found the box it was in, I was also reminded that I used to have a copy of Chariot Wars. Rummaging further, I unearthed it and set about working out the unit compositions.

Immediately I hit on a snag. The WAB lists for the Assyrian Heavy Infantry insists on units of equal numbers of Spear and Bow. Now this is a real problem if using the HaT Assyrian Infantry sets, as only eight of the figures are bowmen. That means that a large number of the spearmen in the box need to be cast aside as surplus to requirements. The situation is even worse when it comes to the unit composition for Heavy Slingers. The HaT set includes eight of these, but as the unit composition stipulates that such a unit fields equal numbers of bowmen, it means that all the spearmen in a box become redundant. Once one has used the eight slingers and eight bowmen to make up a small unit of Heavy Slingers, there are no bowmen left to form a Heavy Infantry unit. And it doesn't matter how many boxes you buy, as proportionately there will always be large numbers of spearmen that cannot be fielded.

The WAB entries on the Assytian Auxiliaries are strange too. Again we have the requirement that they be half Spear and half Bow. This also causes problems with the HaT Assyrian Allies set, even though 16 of those are bow-armed. But it gets sillier. WAB classes the whole unit as Light Infantry. That means they can fight as a formed unit or as skirmishers, even though the spearmen are not designed to do so, equipped as they are with thrusting spears and large shields. Okay, so the bowmen can safely be classed as Light Infantry able to fire in ranks or fight as skirmishers, but the spearmen are equipped, and historically acted, as Medium Infantry. Trying to insist that these two types make up the same unit flies in the face of common sense.

This soon started to give me a headache, so eventually I fell back on my old philosophy of If It Does Not Work Or Causes Too Much Hassle, Then Feck It.

So I will use WAB rules and statistics for the Assyrians, but the unit compositions will be ignored. I will field the units as I see fit..

If I decide I want a mixed unit of Heavy Infantry with a second rank of bowmen, I will do so. If I want bowmen as a separate unit, then I shall field them as one.

The same goes for the Auxiliaries; the bowmen can skirmish or fight as formed infantry either on their own or mixed with spearmen,and the spearmen will fight simply as formed. The heavy slingers will be either on their own, or in a mixed unit behind a rank of spearmen or bowmen, as I decide.

And Ya Boo Sucks to those who don't like it!


CelticCurmudgeon said...

Dar poacher,
That's the ticket! None of these so called experts were there. How could they write these unit compositions with any hope of being historically accurate? In fact, if you take the tack that you are fighting a battle with what's on hand, you'll be a lot closer to historical truth.
Yu can always add archers at some time in the future, but not right now.
CC (The Celtic Curmudgeon)

Poacher said...

Well, indeed.

I simply can't believe the Assyrians would be so inflexible, especially as utilising their Bow in that way would often leave them at a singular disadvantage.