After a break of nearly four weeks our award-winning reporter packed his camera and moved west from Mesopotamia to the Syrian coast in the 12th century BC. The city of Ugarit...or as renamed “Bu**er-it” by Chris, was under attack my the marauding Sea Peoples lead by Goliath of Gath aka Tony. Rob acted as Tony’s deputy having bemoaned his bad luck fighting on the same side as Chris. The Hittite Governor of Carchemish aka Simon has rushed to help local King Ammurapi aka Chris. The battle was fought under the walls of Ugarit.
Chris and Tony had masterminded the deployments. Tony had seemingly “refused” his right wing, leaving quite a gap between his battle line and the walls of Ugarit. However it meant the rest of his line was a sold wall of deep warrior units with a few chariots on his left. Chris had deployed the Syrian/Hittite force across the length of the board. The lightly-armed Syrians were on the left facing Rob and the “refused” flank, while the chariots were allocated and deployed in the centre in “penny packets” between two commands. No chariot Schwerpunkt here! It was a deployment that was either inspired or catastrophically insane...
Tony immediately played his stratagem and three units and a general surged forward two boxes. How Tony!
The whole Hittite line moved forward somewhat daunted by the solid mass of bronze clad warriors charging towards them. Chris tried to move his Syrians around the refused flank but found that light troops die quite easily and even impressive-looking light chariot units only take one hit. Add to that the fact that the Hittite camp was fortified and garrisoned meant turning the flank and taking the camps was going to be a long-shot.
The Hittite stratagem to bring on a flank march unit of spearmen behind the Sea People’s left flank failed miserably when a chariot unit turned, charged it in the flank and destroyed it. Why Chris chose a slow-moving spear unit for this mission was in hindsight very strange.
In the centre the Sea Peoples got to work with their deep units. Hittites troops died and once again the ability of deep warriors to withstand immense punishment paid dividends. The “free” hero now allocated to warriors was also a useful asset. With no manoeuvre room the elite lance-armed Hittite chariots had no choice but to charge frontally...and die. Chris’ flank attack was going nowhere...
With the Hittites down to five out of fifteen victory medals, and the Sea Peoples having lost a measly two it looked like curtains for Ugarit. However hope was restored when centre command Sea Peoples deep unit was flank charged and destroyed, quickly followed by another on their right. However the hope of a miracle was finally extinguished as yet more Sea People warriors wiped out the raw Syrian arches plus another light chariot unit. With the Syrian army destroyed the Hittite commander wisely withdrew his remaining troops from the field leaving the city of Ugarit to its grisly fate.
Believe it or not it was an enjoyable battle, if only to see Rob happy! The chit pulling certainly favoured the Sea Peoples but that was no excuse.
The battle itself proved historically accurate. Excavations of Ugarit show the destruction layer dating to circa 1190BC, and Egyptian records show that it had certainly been destroyed by 1178BC.
My challenge now is to persuade Tony to buy a New Kingdom Egyptian army which I conservatively estimate at £300...