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. Miniatures are mainly 28mm with a growing collection in 54mm. 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.

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


  1. Replies
    1. Hi Willie, thanks, and don't think your recent crusader photos haven't given me a morale boost to sort out my collection. A family illness and loss rightly took out much of this year but I hope I can now increase the number of posts, and perhaps some more wargames too! Regards