As Lagash, we had some Light Infantry in the woods to our left, with two units of 24 Foot in three ranks to their right rear. The centre was composed of another unit of 24 Foot in three ranks; two Battle Carts; 36 Foot in three ranks; two Battle Carts; and another 24 Foot in three ranks. The right saw two large units of 18 Light Infantry in two ranks lurking in the village. We also had loads of skirmishers out front.
Terrain is a river with a couple of fords running sort of at an angle across the centre of the field. As defenders, we have a wood and a low hill to our left. In our centre is another low hill, while our right flank rests on a town.
We start by advancing our left, moving an extra unit of infantry across a ford so as to add weight to this flank. Our centre advances to hold the space between the river and the village. The plan is to overwhelm the enemy right wing and hope that a decent defensive line in the centre would see off the opposition there.
The enemy advances pretty much all along the line, with their columns making for the ford on their side of the field. Some of the units on their left spend a bit of time in manoeuvres as they start to get into position for an all-out attack on our centre.
Above: both sides complete preliminary manoeuvres. Our left outnumbers the infantry facing them, while the tight squeeze in the centre has forced the attackers to drop some Battle Carts back into a second wave.
The attacks go in. The map doesn't quite show it properly, but there isn't enough space for our left centre Battle Carts to come into the side of the enemy infantry as they advance on our hill position.
Fighting is now general all across the field. On our left, the Light Infantry have vanished in a puff of smoke, but their presence has helped to damage the enemy line. Both of their units here are now in serious trouble due to our superiority in numbers. The struggle in the centre is desperate as both of the main infantry units dish out great amounts of damage. The two units of Battle Carts fight it out in heroic fashion. The enemy Warband does well, however, and if there is a going to be a breakthrough, this is where it will be. The lone unit of enemy Light Infantry turns out to be their guards, so even though they are outnumbered they give a good account of themselves at our right extremity.
Our left wins out. Our central infantry unit just wins the fight on the hill; the Battle Carts to their left retire after taking loads of grief from the surviving enemy skirmishers across the river. Their Warband breaks through in an uncontrolled advance, which is good for us because it takes them out of the fight. Our rightmost Light Infantry destroys the enemy Guards. The two battling units of Battle Carts are still hard at it. If we destroy theirs, we will win the battle by breaking the enemy army. We can just afford to lose ours. Either way, this is going to be very close.
And then it's all over. Their Battle Carts just squeak a win, which disorders our infantry on the hill. The Battle Carts hit the infantry flank at the same time as the enemy reserve charges and finishes us off. If we had managed one more hit on their Battle Carts, even as our own routed, we would have won by breaking their army. This period seems to be quite exciting, because apart from the elite chariot-type things, everyone else is vulnerable. None of the infantry has any real armour, and there are some very unusual troop types that you won't see so much in later forces (for example, the Guard Light Infantry). The game can swing backwards and forwards. It's definitely not for the faint-hearted. I don't see myself constructing such early armies, though, since it would be starting an entirely new period. Anyway, Simon has plenty to go around. I also have to say that one of my least favourite jobs is painting chariots!