Well, it's Labour Day* here in the USA and I don't have to go to work. I've been steadily adding to the El Cid collection in the four months or so since we arrived. On Friday I picked up a couple of 6ft banqueting tables that I had been planning to purchase for a good few weeks now and I decided today would be a great opportunity to get everything out to get a good idea what I could field for an upcoming game I have planned.
As it turns out I do have rather a lot of stuff painted. The Christian Spanish are mainly Perry Miniatures
and the Almoravids are mostly Gripping Beast
with a couple of units of Miniature Design Studios archers.
A few areas of broken ground were scattered around, the armies deployed and I set to bashing them together. Most of the photos are from behind the Christians line as that is where the window is, I need to work on the lighting in the games room as everything from the other side came out far too dark.
The Christians had a solid core of infantry a command of two units of Heavy Infantry, two units of Peones with additional bows, another unit of levy Peones and a unit of crossbow. The left hand cavalry command was a unit of Caballeros Hildagos, two units of Caballeros and two units of Jinetes. The right hand cavalry command was a unit of Caballeros Hildagos, two units of Caballeros and a unit of Jinetes.
The Almorhavids had a central command of a unit of Black Guard, three units of Berber spears and bows and one unit of Berber bows. To their left was a unit of Mercenary spearmen (same stats as Black Guard), two units of Berber spears and bows and one unit of Berber bows. On their right was a unit of Hasham Guard cavalry and five units of Jinetes (I worked out the points later and both sides were at about 400pts.
The Almoravids had five units of skirmishers, the Christians a single unit.
This was the first time some of these figures would be seeing battle so I was quite looking forwards to setting-to.
I randomly determined which side should go first and the Christians would be kicking off. The initial turns were rather desultory and neither side could get a run of manouver together and nobody wanted to go off half cocked.
As both sides closed it was surprising that the Christians seemed to be getting the better of the missile duel, the Almoravid should have been much more capable in this area, the first casualties of the game being a unit of African tribal skirmishers.
Then things got better for the Africans, a concerted volley of fire saw a unit of Caballeros on the Spanish right being broken and forced to retire and rally.
It was time to commit the Caballeros before they succumbed to the arrows and javelins, on the Spanish left they piled into the Jinetes who were unable to evade away far enough and forced them back, following up for the kill.
The Jinetes must have planned this move as the Caballeros piled on for a second round of combat the Jinetes dodged all the blows and shattered the Caballeros with their return hail of javelins, a poor day for Spain!
On the right the Caballeros Hildagos and the Caballeros crashed into the line of Moors who resolutely held and neither side could exploit and advantage.
The following round of combat saw the Christians fall back to regroup under a steady barrage of missiles although their resolve held firm.
In the centre the lines clashed and again neither side could forge an advantage, both forces retreated to regroup. A duel of ranged attacks continued for the next few rounds and this time the Almoravids found their mark and got the better of the exchange.
Christian units were starting to flee the field.
On the left the Moors committed the Hasham Guard, supported by the Jinetes. In a one-sided melee the Caballeros were shattered fleeing from the table (they took seven casualties and only inflicted a single in return.
The Christian left was looking very shake, a single unit of Caballeros supported by two units of Jinetes were all that remained to stem the flow of Moorish horsemen.
Receiving the worse of the exchange of fire in the centre the Spanish forces closed on the Berbers, their numbers steadily thinned by the hail of arrows.
The horse to their left were also suffering from the missile fire and were unable to withdraw to regroup else they would expose the flank of their infantry, things were going down hill fast.
Led by the Black Guard, the lines of infantry clashed in the centre, the Spanish collapsed and it was all over for them. Both cavalry flanks were in no state to assist and the Moors were pouring through the gaps in the line.
All in all a very enjoyable days gaming. I need to mark my cloth with a 8" grid so I can do the same again with To The Strongest!
Here are a load more photos from the game for you to enjoy.
* For some reason the locals call it Labor Day :)