Monday, 2 September 2019

Al Andalus : The First Battle

This battle actually took place some time ago but I hadn’t got round to blogging. This was the official first battle in my very open ended campaign focussed around the Iberian Pennisula between 1000 and 1100 AD. With the fall of the Umayyad Dynasty and the Caliphate of Córdoba the whole of what was later to become Spain split up into a multitude of independent and frequently warring states or ‘Taifa’ . Broadly mixed between Muslim and Christian states it was a time of great turbulence with only very broad religious delineation. All sides used mercenaries from both their own and other religions. Gradually larger states absorbed smaller states until toward the end of the period the reconquista, the gradual reclaiming of Spain by the Christians took place with its most famous mercenary soldier El Cid.

The campaign has no clear direction at this stage or clear objectives and is in fact just the opportunity to collect and game with beautiful colourful armies. With the wide use of mercenaries there is huge flexibility, whilst based on the key historical situation the rest I will make up as I see fit 🤭 I will content myself with smaller battles until the requisite armies are ready then may develop something more linear between the Christians and the Muslims ?

The Taifa’s of the Iberian Pennisula circa1030 AD

So to our first battle a smallish border skirmish between Zaragoza and the much smaller state of Alabarracin. A dispute has arisen over grazing and watering rights and both states have dispatched small forces to enforce their claim. We played with two equal forces using lion rampant rules. The objective of both forces was to finish the battle with more units over the river than the enemy. Simple stuff......
The Albarracin force lead by Abu al Barni Razzin seen here to the right is composed of predominantly light forces so to gain a victory they will need to be quick
Immediately light cavalry are sent across the river
The Albarracin infantry advances slightly more cautiously
Prince Razzin urges his units forward
The Zaragoza Forces has more heavy infantry and some newly equipped heavy knights ! Their leader Prince Haseen al Tujib is dressed in the newest Christian heavy armour. (But you can’t see him here as it is skulking at the back !)
Zaragoza spearmen with Berber mercenaries advance towards the river
The light cavalry are ideal for this battle they move across the river then retreat 
Unless they fail their command roll and are charged in the rear by heavy cavalry, it doesn’t end well, but at least the heavy cavalry have been drawn out of position andinto the shallow river where they are less effective
Zaragozan Forces have now captured the river 
The light cavalry pull back from the well protected spearmen but Prince Razzin shows them the way
With a (very lucky) well executed and decisive charge supported by his own spearmen he is able to force his way across the river
Down river the heavy knights are floundering about in the shallows but are forced to recklessly charge and charge until exhausted
Prince Razzin’s personal bodyguard of elite infantry now runs forward to slice through any remaining enemy on their side of the river.
Finally a shot of Prince Haseen he is no longer skulking but has chosen to flee the battle field. No doubt he will return to exact some form of petulant revenge, but for now the boundary has held.

A fun game played in great spirits my Forces were very lucky and what looked like an impossible task when the light cavalry were wiped out became a clear victory for Albarracin.

19 comments:

  1. This will be an interesting campaign to follow!

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    1. Thanks Jonathon ...more figures on the way🙂

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  2. Cool stuff. I do like your campaigns

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  3. Looks fine and was great fun obviously, so a success despite the rules!

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    1. Thanks David .....harsh on the rules but we do find when you need something easy they are good to pick up. I am toying with writing in my own rules ?

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  4. I love this period/setting - looking forward to seeing more!

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  5. This beautiful river must have taken a red color, a bloody and wonderful report...on a gorgeous battlefield!

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    1. Many thanks Phil, the river turn red especially when the heavy knights continued to charge up and down the shallows !

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  6. Lovely troops on a great looking battle field, the ford is really nice and with a rule set I like!
    Best Iain

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    1. Thanks Iain , I know some don’t like them but I like the rules for those easy pickup games

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  7. Always good when you can get your first action with the toys in.

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    1. Thanks Phil......more troops being mustered as we speak

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  8. A good start to the campaign. Looks like a lot of fun. Beautiful table as always. 😀

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    1. Many thanks Stew......I have no idea how the campaign will develop at this stage but that is part of the fun🙂

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  9. Wonderful stuff Matt.
    Cheers
    Stu

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