Monday, 25 March 2013

Valencia 1094. Hail Cid at Cannon in Retford.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to be invited to help James Morris recreate the battle of Valencia 1094 at the Cannon show in Retford.
James originally staged this game ten years ago at Salute to celebrate the launch of the El Cid supplement he'd written for WAB.
This time we would be using the Hail Caesar rules but still fighting over the same superb scenery that James had created. I bought along my WAB Moorish army, and James and Scrivs provided plenty of additional Almoravids, Andalusians and Christians.

The game began with the Berbers forces hurriedly deploying to attack a diversionary force led by the Cid's banner bearer Pedro Bermudez. As the Moors struggle to form up for battle the Cid leads a force of cavalry out from a side gate to crash into the flanks of the Arabs...

In the event the game played out pretty historically. I made reasonable progress through the defenders of the main gate led by Bishop Jeronimo. Although I was able to bash the bishop, he escaped inside Valencia and the gates were barred against me as crossbow bolts rained down.
Scrivs led the Berber left flank to crush Bermudez, although (to chants of Pedro! Pedro!) he went down fighting.
However the battle was won on our right flank where the Cid himself led his men unstoppably into the Berber camp before rounding on the camel heavy rearguard and sending them packing.
But enough of this, Tom I hear you cry. Where are the pictures?!

Well, here, actually:

 As the sun breaks over the walls of Valencia the Cid prepares to ride into the pages of history

 The ranks of implacable Berbers await him

 The loyal Bermudez leads the forlorn hope

Whilst the fiery Bishop urges the townsfolk to defend their gates

The Berber camp, sack this and become a rich man...
 Jinettes hunt down the heavy Caballeros

 The Cid prepares to thunder home!


 Bermudez begins to run out of places to hide...

Hail Mary and pass the crossbow bolts!

The rearguard urge their recalcitrant (and smelly) mounts forward, to no avail...

Hail Caesar gave us a great game. We managed to get the entire battle played out in around five hours, but had lots of breaks and played in a very leisurely and unfocused fashion (this is I have to say my default setting). James certainly seemed to think it was a lot better suited to a battle this size than WAB had been ten years ago!
I had a splendid time (even though neither myself not fellow Berber Scrivs could roll anything other than a four for the all-important break tests). It looked marvelous and James, Matt and Scrivs were a pleasure (as always) to play with and against.

My fellow Moorish commander's views (and lots more pictures) are over on the Scrivsland blog

I did take a few other pictures at the show, but they can wait until tomorrow.


  1. Only 4 words:


  2. Wish I could have made it along to this... Great pics and report. See you at Salute!!

  3. Very nice looking terrain and minis, love the Berber camp too!

  4. Great looking game, thanks for sharing. Think I'll have to give Hail Caesar a go for my own EL Cid games

  5. Oh yeah!

    Fab looking game and yes, count me as a jealous wargamer!


  6. Thanks for all the kind words chaps

  7. Nice looking game. War gaming and figure collecting have been the one hobby I have always had an interest in, and have found always possible to do, no matter the weather or other circumstances.
    plastic army men

  8. Great looking game right enough. Cheers for posting T.