Cavalry Rules for WarGods of Ægyptus
by Trent Denison WarPuppy Games
“House Rules” is another new article for Gods of War where we take a look at some of the home grown rule variations being used by players .
In this first article I explore the use of cavalry in WarGods of Ægyptus with a simple set of rules that I hope will be fun to play. Who know’s maybe it’ll even inspire you for a little hobby project, so that you can field cavalry in your next game.
A scribe watches the carver’s chisel, watchful of any fault in the writ. He marvels at the steady motion of the artist’s hands. The scribe is Khafra, a Child of Thoth; his attendant’s name is unimportant. It is a To-tanem, a worker by birth. Its service is expensive, but Khafra delivers a Harbinger’s wage in pots of honey and wine.
The symbols on the temple wall, where the To-tanem toils begin to tell a story. Like other stories that span the wall, it speaks of victory, an account of a battle waged near Buto, where Mshai, the Star of Pharos, took of Seshafi-Osiris’ Ka, and delivered her trampled body to a local embalmer.
The Harbingers’ struggle was brief and unprecedented; having studied performances staged by foreign acrobats that would conjure scenes of warfare, where the combatants fought on horseback, Mshai mimicked their ways. With the help of a Khemru Beast-Master at first, and, eventually, he himself learnt to mount and ride a red mare he had brought from Kush. During the Provocation with Seshafi-Osiris, Mshai pinned her to the ground with a spear from horseback. Momentarily, he lost control of his mount that, to the Harbinger’s horror, rushed over his opponent, knocking her broken body across the sand.
Khafra, Child of Thoth, watches a To-tanem cleave the final hieroglyphs on the temple wall.
The fielding of mounts in warfare is something of a rarity in Ægyptus. Whilst the use of domesticated animals such as horses, onager, oxen, donkey and camels has increased, they are employed primarily for transportation, farming and other civilian uses. It has not been until very recently that mounts have been used in war, and even so they are still a rare sight on the battlefield.
A number of factors have limited the use of mounts in Ægyptus warfare: Mounts are expensive to buy and maintain, and the skills required to adequately train both mount and rider are rare. The military tactics to effec- tively deploy mounts is still evolving, which means more traditional Generals err away from using cavalry in favour of tried and proven infantry or chariots. There are also limitations to the terrain in which cavalry can be effectively used. Some of the Children of the Gods refuse to mount a creature in any way, chariots notwithstanding. The Basti find riding on a creature uncomfortable, whereas the Khemru refuse to bring animals into war (Beastmasters being the only exception) and the To-tanem have an aversion to not being in contact with the ground at all times.
But even so, some Generals make active use of cavalry to their advantage, benefiting from their tactical flexibility of quickly carrying a warrior to where he is most needed.
The follow guidelines can be used to introduce cavalry units into your WarGods games.
0-1 Units in your warband may be given mounts, bought at the cost listed below. This single cavalry unit may not make up more than 25% of the total cost of your warband.
Cavalry will operate as a single model with multiple wounds. By way of convention the rider and mount together are referred to as a “cavalry model” and multiple cavalry models operating together are referred to as cavalry unit. The rider’s characteristic profile is used in most cases, unless specified otherwise. The rider’s Discipline and Defence Rating are used for any Tests or Saves, and the mounts Movement value is used for all movement purposes. The mount also has one attack, which is taken using its own Attack Rating as listed in its profile. The mounts Arcane Rating is also pro- vided, as spells that target beasts will use this value instead of the riders.
A cavalry unit may adopt either Line, Column or Skirmish formation following the normal rules that apply for these formations. Hippo Riders may only adopt the Line or Column formation. Cavalry units may not be given a standard bearer, but may have a musician.
The Minimum unit size for a cavalry unit is 6, except for Hippo Riders, which is 3.
Cavalry units may always be assigned an Fast Advance Command counter regardless of the formation they are in. This is unlike other units, and this bonus is in recognition of their greater maneuverability.
Cavalry units follow the guidelines for characters when activating a Pull About command. Again this reflects their greater maneuverability.
In melee combat cavalry units fight in the same way as infantry. With the exception that cavalry units follow the ‘break away’ rule in the same way as chariots, meaning that they can move on activation if they are not engaged in combat to their front (refer to the WarGods Q&A). However, cavalry units cannot break- through like chariots, due to the lack of more advanced riding tackle (i.e. no stirrups or saddle).
The rider of a cavalry model cannot be equipped with any armour heavier than medium, as warriors ride bareback (the saddle and stirrup have not been invented yet!). They may not carry a shield (except for a buckler, see below), nor use two hand weapons, double handed weapons, polearms or slings.
Cavalry units may be armed with missile weapons and any missile fire from mounted models suffers the same rules and penalties as a passenger shooting from a moving chariot (i.e. they do not need a Fire Command Counter to shoot, but will suffer modifiers to hit based on their speed). This is because a rider can steer the mount with their knees, thus leaving their hands free to shoot.
Armour Rating: 2
Pts Cost: 5
Mounts may be given barding. The armour value of barding stacks with the riders armour and shield bonuses.
Armour Rating: 1 (Hard) Pts Cost: 3
A rider may be given a buckler, being a small shield that can be used on horseback. The buckler is fixed to the non-master arm and thus may be used in a turn you shoot.
Types of Mounts
Available to: Asar, Heru, Tethru
A horse provides its rider with the following additions to its profile - +1 W
M Wnd #Att Att Def Mis Arc Disc
9 +1 1 3 - - 4 -
Damage Mod (0)
Available to: Tyhpon, Nekharu, Anubi
A camel provides its rider with the following additions to its profile - +1 W
M Wnd #Att Att Def Mis Arc Disc
8 +1 1 4 - - 4 -
Damage Mod (0)
Special Rules: Camels suffer no penalties for moving over broken ground and dunes.
Available to: Sebeki
A hippo provides its rider with the following additions to its profile - +1 W, +1 Def, -1 Disc
M Wnd #Att Att Def Mis Arc Disc
6 +1 1 5 +1 - 5 -1
Damage Mod (1)
Special Rules: A hippo has +2 Natural Armour. This armour will not stack with barding, but is cumulative with any armour the rider is wearing.
Specialist Cavalry Upgrades
Some units of cavalry have dedicated them- selves to fighting from the back of a mount and have become so specialised, and so well recognized in the field of battle, that they are feared across all Ægyptus. These specialist units can be fielded in your warband by paying the cost for the upgrade in addition to the cost of the cavalry unit.
Golden Riders (Heru) +10pts
Enemies of the Golden Riders must make a discipline save when charged, or suffer a -2 to defence ratings due to the glowing radiance of the Heru.
Numidian Cavalry (Asar) +10pts
Do not suffer penalties for moving and shooting if in skirmish formation. May not wear any armour, but may carry bucklers.
Riders of the Dead (Anubi) +10pts
Each rider comes armed with a single scarab bomb, as per the Anubi Embalmer rules.
The Silent Sands (Typhon) +10pts
May start the game deployed 10” further onto the table, as long as they are within 12” of the side edges.
Dead Sea Scribes (Tethru) +10pts
Known as the Bringers of Justice, the Dead Sea Scribes strike with precision and accuracy. When armed with spears, they receive a +1 bonus to the Damage Modifier.
The Gliding Vultures (Nekharu) +10pts
Poisoned Weapons, as per the Torturer Rules, for the first round of combat fought.
Bloodied Mallets (Sebeki) +20pts
Known for their reckless abandon on the charge, and the formidable nature of their mounts, the Bloodied Mallets cause their opponents to take a Discipline Test, or suffer a -2 to their attack ratings from the sheer terror caused.