Copyright © 2018, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2018, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.
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Sunday, 1 April 2018

Not tidying away the El Cid collection


After Thursdays game of Lion Rampant, rather than putting the El Cid collection away I decided to get it all out and run through a few ideas that I had for using Hail Caesar for the period and also 'just because' 

The El Cid forces I have are a huge collection of figures and I've been playing a lot of skirmish games of late, it's good to see forces on the table that look like armies.



In previous games using the 'official' lists the Spanish cavalry have pretty much bowled over the Berber infantry and that did not feel right to me, so, I equipped all the Berber foot with Long Spears and made the Berber foot with hippo-hide shields Stubborn. If you were using the lists both forces came out at about the 440pt mark.

I set up the table pretty sparse with just a few rolling hills and then dropped the forces on. The Almoravids were just a solid line of infantry with light horse on each flank while the Christians presented a solid front of Caballeros backed up by their infantry with the Andalusian content holding up their right flank.



Berbers

Left Flank
Unit Clash Sustained Short Long Morale Stamina Special Points
Berber light cavalry with spears and javelins 5 3 2 0 6+ 4 Feigned flight 19
Berber light cavalry with spears and javelins 5 3 2 0 6+ 4 Feigned flight 19
Berber light cavalry with spears and javelins 5 3 2 0 6+ 4 Feigned flight 19

Left Centre
Unit Clash Sustained Short Long Morale Stamina Special Points
African Mercenary medium infantry with long spears 7 7 3/0 0 5+ 6 "Tough Fighters
Stubborn" 31
Berber medium infantry with mixed ranks of long spears and bows 6 6 3 2 5+ 6 Stubborn 30
Berber medium infantry with mixed ranks of long spears and bows 6 6 3 2 5+ 6 Stubborn 30
Berber medium infantry with mixed ranks of long spears and bows 6 6 3 2 5+ 6 Stubborn 30
Berber light infantry with bows 5 5 3 3 6+ 6 23
Berber skirmishers with javelins 3 2 2 0 - 4 11
Berber skirmishers with javelins 3 2 2 0 - 4 11



Right Centre
Unit Clash Sustained Short Long Morale Stamina Special Points
Black Guard medium infantry with long spears 7 7 3/0 0 5+ 6 "Tough Fighters
Stubborn" 31
Berber medium infantry with mixed ranks of long spears and bows 6 6 3 2 5+ 6 28
Berber medium infantry with mixed ranks of long spears and bows 6 6 3 2 5+ 6 28
Berber medium infantry with mixed ranks of long spears and bows 6 6 3 2 5+ 6 28
Berber light infantry with bows 5 5 3 3 6+ 6 23
Berber skirmishers with bows 2 2 2 2 - 4 12
Berber skirmishers with javelins 3 2 2 0 - 4 11



Right Flank
Unit Clash Sustained Short Long Morale Stamina Special Points
Berber light cavalry with spears and javelins 5 3 2 0 6+ 4 Feigned flight 19
Berber light cavalry with spears and javelins 5 3 2 0 6+ 4 Feigned flight 19
Berber light cavalry with spears and javelins 5 3 2 0 6+ 4 Feigned flight 19
Berber light camel riders with spears and javelins 4 3 2 0 6+ 4 17



Christians and Andalusians

Left Van
Unit Clash Sustained Short Long Morale Stamina Special Points
Spanish Caballeros medium cavalry with spears and javelins 8 5 3 0 5+ 6 27
Spanish Caballeros medium cavalry with spears and javelins 8 5 3 0 5+ 6 27
Spanish Caballeros medium cavalry with spears and javelins 8 5 3 0 5+ 6 27
Spanish Jinetes light cavalry with spears and javelins 5 3 2 0 6+ 4 Feigned flight 19



Right Van
Unit Clash Sustained Short Long Morale Stamina Special Points
Spanish Caballeros Hildagos heavy cavalry with spears and javelins 9 6 3 0 4+ 6 Tough Fighters 31
Spanish Caballeros Hildagos heavy cavalry with spears and javelins 9 6 3 0 4+ 6 Tough Fighters 31
Spanish Caballeros Hildagos heavy cavalry with spears and javelins 9 6 3 0 4+ 6 Tough Fighters 31
Spanish Jinetes light cavalry with spears and javelins 5 3 2 0 6+ 4 Feigned flight 19



Right Flank
Unit Clash Sustained Short Long Morale Stamina Special Points
Andalusian medium infantry with spears 6 6 3 0 5+ 6 Levy 20
Andalusian skirmishers with bows 2 2 2 2 - 4 11
Andalusian Jinetes light cavalry with spears and javelins 5 3 2 0 6+ 4 Feigned flight 19
Andalusian Jinetes light cavalry with spears and javelins 5 3 2 0 6+ 4 Feigned flight 19
Andalusian Jinetes light cavalry with spears and javelins 5 3 2 0 6+ 4 Feigned flight 19

Support
Unit Clash Sustained Short Long Morale Stamina Special Points
Spanish heavy infantry with spears 7 3 3 0 4+ 6 26
Spanish heavy infantry with spears 7 3 3 0 4+ 6 26
Spanish medium infantry with mixed ranks of spears and bows 6 6 3 2 5+ 6 Levy 22
Spanish medium infantry with mixed ranks of spears and bows 6 6 3 2 5+ 6 Levy 22
Spanish light infantry with crossbows 4 4 3 3 6+ 6 21
Spanish skirmishers with bows 2 2 2 2 - 4 11
Spanish skirmishers with slings 2 2 2 2 - 4 11

I would be playing solo, the Hail Caesar mechanism of issuing orders and testing for success lends itself to solo play. Randomising for first turn the Spanish were off, true to form the Caballeros surged forwards leaving their infantry and Andalusian allies wondering what happened.

The Almoravids countered pushing their infantry forwards with both wings of light horse surging around the flanks of the Hildagos. The Christian cavalry continued their advance and the Spanish foot reacted to the Berber light horse deploying their skirmishers and crossbow against them while pushing up with the rest to support the Caballeros.


The action was now starting to develop, the Andalusian contingent was able to fight off the Berber horse before them, driving them back in some disorder with the first unit of the game being lost - one of the Berber horse. On their left the Christian foot were also able to keep the Berber cavalry and camelry at bay with concentrated bow fire and support from the Jinetes.

In the centre the Caballeros prepared their charge with a barrage of javelins driving off the African skirmishers while the Berber foot responded with barrages of bow fire.


Now was the time for the decisive point of the battle, the Caballeros committed a unit on the left to charge down the Berber archers while in the centre two units of Caballeros Hildagos crashed into the Almoravid foot.

On the left the Caballeros broke and ran down the Berber bowmen leaving the Almoravid right flank wide open.


However, in the centre the Caballeros Hildagos who charged the Berber foot and African Mercenaries fared much worse. The long spears of the Berber foot were able to disorder the unit opposing them and both they and the African Mercenaries fared much better in the resultant combat and even though they only managed small wins in each combat terrible morale tests for the Hildagos saw both units broken.


 With the Spanish's only heavy cavalry division now out of the game there seemed little point in continuing, the Caballeros on the left would have been able to exploit the open flank for so long before the Spanish centre was rolled over.

I only played for a few hours on and off but it was worth it to get the collection on the table again. I do think that I would benefit from another table though, there is rather a lot of stuff to squeeze into a 6ft frontage these days.

Some more imaged from the game:

Caballeros Hildagos with supporting Jinetes

Caballeros Hildagos close on the Almoravid lines


Cresting the hill the Caballeros prepare to fall on the Berber foot 

Caballeros and Berbers


And a view from the other side.


Andalusians prepare to repel the Berber horse on the right flank.


The action in the centre

Berber cavalry and camelry under fire on the Spanish left.


Berber light horse

The first casualties of the game.