Do you like bronze weaponry, overseas travel, and (maybe) being killed by Sea Peoples? Then oh boy, do we have a job opportunity for you! One of the most fascinating periods to wargame using Hail Caesar, the Bronze Age is chock full of awesome armies and larger-than-life characters, and makes for great variety from the usual Hail Caesar fare – none of those high-tech Romans here!

For those wishing to learn more about Bronze Age wargaming, the first stop should absolutely be the Age of Bronze supplement. This rather obviously titled supplement for Hail Caesar takes you through the entire period, from the very earliest city-states all the way to the Bronze Age Collapse – you even get an awesome Ramesses the Great figure with it, perfect for leading an Egyptian force. If you don’t know your Hyksos from your Hittites, or your Mitanni from your Mycenaeans, this mighty tome will set you straight. Packed full of rules and scenarios to reflect the (admittedly rather sketchy) records of the time, Age of Bronze belongs on every Hail Caesar player’s bookshelf!

With rules in hand and a hankering for some Bronze Age action, the only question is – what to play? We’ve got a fantastic range covering a vast number of Bronze Age factions, and while this is obviously a good thing, it can get a little confusing – luckily, we’ve got a whole selection of army deals that give you a rock-solid force to get started with your chosen kingdom or city-state. These are great value, and definitely the easiest way to kickstart your Bronze Age wargaming career (or expand your already-mighty host) – so let’s take a look at them! In this article, we’ll be dealing with the Egyptians and some of their most hated foes, but for even more Bronze Age army options keep an eye out for future instalments of this series.

The Egyptians

Pharaoh triumphs in personal combat!

Leading off, we have the Old Kingdom of Egypt. Prior to the development of the chariot and composite bow that would become the primary arms of later Egyptian forces, this deal gives you a solid block of militia archers, backed up by medium infantry with spears and axes, while Nubian and local skirmishers prowl the battlefield. Included for free are a unit of Libyan mercenary archers and a unit of medium infantry wielding two-handed battleaxes – perfect for any Pharoah looking to establish the power of Egypt on the tabletop.

Very similar is the Middle Kingdom Egyptian army deal. While the majority of it is the same as its Old Kingdom counterpart (and the same great value!), the free Libyans and medium axemen are replaced with a unit of always useful Semite nomads with slings, perfect for harassing enemy units at range, and a regiment of elite Shemsu retainer medium infantry, wielding fearsome axes and protected by broad shields. This force can be used to represent a later Egyptian army, or combined with its predecessor to create a truly terrifying force suitable for warfare across multiple centuries.

Moving into the chariot era, the most famous and recognisable period of Egyptian warfare, we come to the Early 18th Dynasty New Kingdom army deal. With a strong core of medium infantry and archers backed up by light infantry and skirmishers, the real centrepiece of this force is of course the trio of light chariots with bow-armed crew, perfect for running down your foes. To support them, you get a unit of chariot runners absolutely free, as well as a command section to lead the whole force!

As with the Old and Middle kingdom pair, there’s also the Later 19th and 20th Dynasty New Kingdom deal! The spearmen now bear the iconic oval-topped large shields and banded body armour, chariots still abound, supported by archers and skirmishers from Egyptian vassal states, and as before the commanders and chariot runners are free! This army deal is the perfect force to deal with those pesky Sea Peoples, and again can be combined with the 18th Dynasty deal to raise an army suitable for even the greatest Pharoah!

Enemies of Egypt

Will the Egyptians hold their ground against the onslaught of the fierce Kushite warriors?

First among the fearsome foes of the Pharaohs (try saying that five times fast!) are the Kushites, later known as Nubians. Numerous, belligerent, and exceptionally fierce combatants, they would intermittently trade with, fight (against and for), and sometimes even intermarry with their northern neighbours. The early Nubian army deal gives you a whopping 108 soldiers in a mixture of skirmishers, archers, and light infantry (with two units of archers included for free!), making it perfect to antagonise your Egyptian-fielding friends… or bulk out an Egyptian army of your own with plenty of cannon fodder valued allies!

Next, we have the Libyans, longtime enemies of Egypt from the west. The Libyan army deal can be used to represent an earlier raiding force with its large bands of skirmishing tribesmen with bows and javelins, or a later army by including the chariots that come free with the bundle. If used in the latter fashion, just add a few units of Sea Peoples, and you’ll be ready to challenge Ramesses III! Either way, Libyans are a great option for Bronze Age wargaming!

Lastly, we have the Hittites, long the opposing superpower to Egypt. Maintaining a network of vassal city-states obligated to provide them with tribute and soldiers, Hittite armies were vast and colourful, and naturally, we have two options, allowing you to face off against whichever flavour of Egyptians your opponents might happen to have! The Old & Middle Kingdom Hittite army deal gives you a free chariot and command unit to go with three big infantry blocks (two with spear and one with axes), plus sling and bow armed skirmishers, three more chariots, and attendant chariot runners, while the Hittite Empire deal swaps out the axemen for two more units of spearmen, and the slingers for Hurrian archers – perfect for going toe-to-toe with Ramesses II at Kadesh!

Grab your khopesh and battleaxe – it’s time to go to war in the desert!

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