OGAM Pre-Trojan War Achaean Greece
I had been using the normal list Greeks and simply changing the names. I felt some time ago that it was time to move on. Using Bronze Age heroes with Hoplites is a bit like having the SAS led by Kitchener.
Here is my series of posts on the Bronze Age, but now condensed into two articles.
The Historical bit. A heroic age. Achaeans bright with gold and bronze. An archaic age where a hero must do what a hero must do, namely insert weapon A into target B. Minoan Crete dominated the world but left a lot of it to the wild things. Often refered to as Arcadia, where the more animalistic mortals and demigods were to be found. Gods did what they wanted.
Gift giving was the rule amongst nobles, but this never transcended class boundaries. Now I think in Medieval feudal terms and had considered that any spare armour would “filter down” to other ranks. We know that armour and chariots, infantry weapons were held in the royal store and would be issued at need to those obliged to use them. The gift of the kit was repaid by the gift of service to the city, clan or individual ruler. The troops expected to be fed, watered and housed.
The was no market economy in the Achaean world, although the Hittite influenced Trojans might have, and everyone had experience of the Phonetician traders. Barter with a fair exchange was the common.
Heroes, when they killed an opponent stripped them of their armour. These trophies were the evidence of the status of the slain, as was a Medieval Samurai's taking of a head. This takes time and major tugging matches often developed over the body. So what happened when an ordinary soldier killed an opponent? Did those spoils go into a central pool or, as a sign of his prowess was he allowed to keep the kit? It seems that during raids loot was shared with the leader taking a large and a normal share. So this may have been the way. More aggressive and experienced soldiers would receive a better helmet or some armour, the old kit would be returned to the pile and then given out to someone else.
I would suggest that the idea of a tower-shield wall simply doesn't hold water. There wasn't the standardisation of shield design despite the central distribution system. Yet the boar tusk helmet and sword-in-a-baldric was almost universal. Did they represent citizen status? To my mind individuals claiming their kill, or protecting their dead mates, stripping the body and probably retiring with the loot. Better armour and helmet would probably be put on immediately the same as their “betters” did. This is supported by the rather loose order these troops are shown in, everyone acting in unison, but looking out for their advantage.
Once you start to delve, the difference in cultures is quite starting. The Achaeans are on the “rabid barbarian” end of the spectrum. If you saw some of their ships, unlike the ever-so-fluffy-Vikings, there was no excuse of trading. Just raiding. In a nutshell – Achaeans took female slaves only, killing any men and boys. Hittites took whole townloads, marched the surviving population to another city (often hundreds of miles away) so let hardship weed out the population. Egyptians traded but everything was owned by the Pharoah, so there was no need for slaves as the bulk of the population owned/worked for the ruler.
The wargaming bit.
The following is based on my usage and the new OGAM supplement for the Celts plus Song of Spear and Shield. (see my SOSH posts for our chariots series).
If you like OGAM, you'll love it, regardless of your interest in Celts. Buy it!
These early city-states are the period of Legends The Minotaur, Medusae, Pegasus, Hydra, Nemean lion, Herakles, Perseus, Theseus, Orpheus, Ballerophon and Hyppolyte.
Legendary heroes. I use both Armoured and Mounted to represent heroes in or around chariots. I suggest adding the Greedy trait to these and the named human Legends to represent armour-stripping.
Now we come to the chariot hero. Different from the Celtic chariot, heavier with an armoured hero and crew side-by-side as opposed to front & back. Costs as normal, plus Long move and armoured. In the turn the outer part of the chariot moves at Medium, and must move at Medium or Slow in rough ground. A chariot is moving at a set move distance at the end of movement, not stationary.
Gets free disengage and a +1 height advantage against infantry.
Shock of Impact (my rule) hero adds speed in Long only (+1,2,3) in melee as all the weight and momentum of the chariot is transferred to the spear point, as with a medieval lance.
Hammering blow can be used by a chariot hero, representing strength and/or extra big spear.
Dashing represents the more seasoned, experienced or better trained hero and charioteer.
Combat Master for the real killing machine-
Bad Form. Killing of horses or charioteers by a hero is bad form. The hero's Q score is dropped by one for the rest of the game. This does not apply to undead or monster-legends.
The chariot has 4 aspects, an attack must contact the most obvious:
Front, if contacting the horses they count as Q4 C2 with a -2 in combat.
Left, the hero's side, any attacks are against him or her.
Right, the charioteers side, Q4 C1. The hero may use the spear but gains no plus.
Rear, either passenger, again the hero get no plus.
Shooting at chariots:
From front-1, side, 0, rear +1
Roll D6 0-3 horse hit, 4 charioteer, 5,6 hero.
Charioteer killed, hero can take reins and make moves as normal, but cannot use shock of impact, dashing or height advantages.
Horses killed, the chariot is removed from play and the hero is catapulted 1 move distance in the direction of travel. If he lands on or in an enemy unit its an attack, (I'd include shock of impact!) if not count as prone!
Hero killed, the chariot is either removed or retires on the charioteers Q. Any hero with Greedy must stop to strip the body.
That's pimped their ride, now it's time to bring them to life!
Legendary Boast (mine differs from the Celtic original – how? Buy the book!) 8 points
Within 3 turns I will slay (named enemy) legend costing more points. The Legend cannot be in or engage in another fight & target not reduced Q or C.
For 3 turns the hero will inflict at least 1casualty to opponents force of any tier.
You shall not pass! For 3 turns. Hero must be dismounted and in contact with 1 or more CO units who gain Steadfast as long as they stay in contact. At the end of the turn the whole group and any OO in contact may advance 1 short IF not in contact. I'm thinking a (the) Rock version of Herakles, Ajax or Odysseus here.
If the Legend succeeds they become inspiring. All mortals within 1 Medium gets +1to Q for activation and morale.
Failure reduces the heroes Q by 1 - embarrassment mode.
A few heroes may have striven from the ranks of their followers on foot, like a proto Ajax or Odysseus. Likewise I can see no reason why the Minotaur, Perseus, Theseus, Ballerophon or Hyppolyte could not be chariot mounted.
Now the mortals:
Non-heroic, heroic charioteers. These are near identical to the above. In 15mm I use two on a CD, use one 28mm. The CD represents the dashing, maneuvering style of movement.
Q4, C3, Armoured, Dashing Greedy, Long move, Mounted (23+5+4-3+8+7) = 44 Rare (4)
Royal bodyguard Q4, C3, Armoured, Greedy, Steadfast (CO) (23-3+5+3) = 28 Rare (4) These are dendle armed dismounted heroes or veterans, add javelin Shooter (short) for 3.
Spearmen wore next-to-nothing and a tower shield.
Early tower shield spear (CO) Q4 C2, Greedy (15-3) = 12.
Early tower shield javelin (CO) Q4 C2 Greedy, Shooter (short) (15-3+3) =15
Selected bands led by Legends (ie Odysseus) can add Steadfast +2.
Raw recruits, rear rank or just fed up (CO) Q4, C1 = 8
Shooters and javelin skirmishers, Maenads, undead, etc. as per list.
Amazons would be the same, as they may have followed their historical sisters habit of head hunting.
Animals, the booklet gives a good range that I list here:
Boars (OO) Q4 C2 Long move, animal, forester. @ 23
Cattle or Wild horses (OO) Q4 C2 Long move, animal. @ 21
Wolves or Warhounds (OO) Q4 C2 animal, forester @ 15
Sudanese or similar mercenaries as shown in the famous Cretan fresco. They must have provided something not available in the local population.
Q4,C2, shielded javelins (CO/OO) Dashing, Shooter (Short) (15+4+3) = 22
Mercenary archers (CO/OO) Q4, C2, Shooter (Medium) Good Shot (15+5+3) =23
Now to test! One of Homers poems tells of a Cattle raid by Hermes on Apollo's cattle. This fits nicely with one of the Celtic scenarios, so I'm going with that. Watch this space!