Wargame Rules

I have set up this blog for my wargaming interests in the Muscovite-Tartar Wars, Reconquista Wars, the Barbary Coast Pirates, and the early campaigns of the Ottoman Turks and Saracens. Some lesser known crusades will also be covered. All miniatures are 28mm scale, if my photographs serve to encourage others to complete their collections I shall be pleased. I will also be mentioning other sites with interesting collections on the above. Do join the 'Friends' if you like what you see.

I prefer to use my own rules which are kept simple and involve eight-sided dice. These allow for fast results with various types of weaponry. Morale dominates my games.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Band of Wargame Brothers, Ottoman and Seljuk collections

I regularly search out sites with Ottoman 25-28mm collections. Just visited John's blog with his mixture of Hinchliffe and Essex miniatures. With a fair number of photos just uploaded, do have a visit. Update for January 31, 2015. They have just uploaded photos of a wargame refight of the battle of Harran in 1104, between Seljuks and Crusaders, very large numbers involved! See Links

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Ottoman Turkish intervention in Spain 1490-1529

Preoccupied with campaigns elsewhere in the Mediterranean, the Ottomans limited their support for Moorish Spain to coastal raids. Even so, the fear of a large scale intervention must have been a constant concern to all the Christian states on the Iberian Peninsular. It was the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid II that sent Admiral Kemal Reis with a fleet to cooperate with the Emir of Granada, Abu Abdullah. During 1490-5 this naval force assaulted Malaga, and even captured Almeria, in addition to raiding the Balearic Islands. Despite the fall of Granada in 1492, the Ottomans continued to terrorize the coastal population with further raids in 1501, during 1513-14, and in 1529. Here are some Ottoman galleys. Constructed of plastic card with wood masts, they are surprisingly robust models. Bold paintwork and exotic cloth coverings were typical for all the states using such vessels. With detachable bombards these galleys can cover quite a few centuries of armed conflict, providing interesting wargame scenarios. Not sure if any Janissaries actually participated on these raids but I've included a yellow-coated orta armed with composite bows (TAG Miniatures). MGB

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Andalusian Guards for the Reconquista Wars

Have finally completed a unit of foot guards to protect my Moorish rulers and commanders. I wanted these to be in heavier armour and decided on Musketeer Miniatures. I must say they arrived with little flash and full of detail. My thanks to Luke Radford for helping me to clear much of the initial paintwork. Also included in the photos are some Gripping Beast and a few of my own converts. MGB

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The Crusade against Mahdia in 1390

Concerned with the growing menace from North African corsairs the merchants of Genoa petitioned the King of France, Charles VI, to organise a crusade against the port of Mahdia (aka Mehadia or Afrique)in what is now Tunisia. The command of the expedition was given to the King's maternal uncle, Louis of Bourbon. His instructions being that the French contingent should not exceed 1500 knights and gentlemen volunteers. Genoa was to provide a further 2000 men at arms, 1000 of their renowned crossbowmen, and vessels to transport the entire army, manned by 4000 seamen. It is reported that knights and gentlemen volunteers also came from England, the Low Countries and Spain. Arriving on the Isle of Commisseres, or Jerba, the crusaders wasted some nine days refreshing themselves before setting sail again for their objective, only thirty miles away. This action, no doubt, of great value to the ruler of Mahdia. The City of Mahdia possessed high walls and towers, but it does appear it was the lack of resolution by the Duke which brought about the failure of the expedition. While Arab and Moorish numbers increased about the area a state of disquiet and even animosity developed between the French and Genoese. After nine exhausting weeks besieging the city the crusaders re-embarked with nothing, officially, to show for their efforts. It appears, however, that the Genoese had, in fact, concluded a secret trade treaty with the sultan of Mahdia! This crusade provides yet another example of the inability of Medieval Europe, with the notable exception of Richard the Lionheart's, to organise efficient military crusades.
Here's a few photos from my 14th century French, and a cog-of-war loading supplies for the expedition. I actually compiled this article for a display game leaflet which I staged some fifteen years ago. Have just revamped the Cog with new flags, wooden mast and rigging. I think it looks quite colourful. MGB

Monday, 29 September 2014

Ottoman Cannon at Greenwich

In early September my living history society was commissioned to portray a Royal Navy Landing Party at the Greenwich Tall Ships event. Only a few paces from our encampment, next to the Maritime Museum, was this captured Ottoman cannon. I noted several names and actions ornamenting the gun carriage including Sir Edward Pellew, and his exploits against the Algerian corsairs in 1816.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Solaks, the Sultan's Footguards (Ottomans)

The Solaks were the Ottoman Sultan's personal bodyguard. Recruited from the 60th and 63rd Benluk Janissaries they numbered about 400 men. Where the Sultan went his guards would follow, for they were also entrusted with his personal baggage. Although officially armed with the composit bow they are occasionally depicted on horseback, carrying a lance with a red pennant, but no shield. Another period painting shows some mounted Solaks in advance of the main army, perhaps they also confirmed proposed routes on campaign. Their distinctive headress was exclusive to their corps, although it appears some Janissary officers also wore it. The Solaks certainly received uniform clothing but are also depicted in their own choice of garments. Here are my 28mm Solaks, foot and horse, heavy converts. The other characters are TAG, ESSEX, REDOUBT and some more of my own. MGB

Monday, 3 February 2014

Balkan Military History (see links)

Wargamers wishing to capture the border raids between the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires may like to view an article appearing on the above site. It also includes several photos of 28mm figures from the author's collection. MGB