Thursday, 19 September 2013

Ibn Coldir against the Infidels - a WAB El Cid game

Ibn Coldir, loyal servant of Allah and brave commander of a mighty host of Berber warriors surveyed the land ahead of him. The field was broad and featureless and in the distance he could see sunlight glinting off the spear heads of his enemies. Shielding his eyes from the relentless Spanish sunlight he strained to make out the forces that faced him. However the colours of the enemy were clear, even at this distance, the vivid reds and yellows could mean only one thing - the cursed infidel known as El Scrivs once more confronted him.
Turning to his officers Ibn Coldir barked his orders - this time the Christian dog would get his just deserts

Scrivs and I once more convened at the rather splendid new club venue.
All week I'd been planning to revise my list to give myself a better chance against his Berbers but alas ran out of time. In the end I was glad I hadn't made the effort as Scrivs decided to dig out eh Christians once more.
We decided to play pitched battle and decided to follow the rules from WAB2 for setting up the table. The result  was a featureless plain. Muttering darkly about the influence of tournament players on WAB 2 I got Scrivs to agree to putting some terrain on the table for a more aesthetic appearance. And yes I know ancient battlefields were probably mainly featureless plains, but the visual experience is a big part of playing wargames for me so I like some hills, trees, and rocks scattered about.
With that we were off.

 El Scrivs at the head of his army

 Turncoat Spanish mercenaries in the service of Ibn Coldir

I pushed my skirmishing archers forward on my left and the Berber horse forward on the right. My centre moved a little to get into firing range.
The servants of Allah advance

Some of them are caught in the open

On the right my Berber cavalry launched themselves at the Caballeros - with the aid of the Sayyid in the unit they managed to win the combat (just) which was something of a surprise.
 Oh, a Cantador, eh? Well see how you sing on the end of my spear!

In the centre my mercenary knights launched themselves at El Scrivs and his Caballero Hidalgos. Once again the resulting combat gave Scrivs the opportunity to demonstrate that throwing spears > thrusting spears. "If you miss then you can't kill - even with +1 strength". I know this to be true but the image in my head is of charging christian knights with couched spears, not chucking sticks at people.

El Scrivs demonstrates the correct use of the charging knight.

Back at the game, my spear blocks overwhelmed the Spanish Peones, sending them fleeing from the table, while the Berber cavalry finally saw off their opponents on the hill top.

Eat Berber spear Spaniard!

The endgame saw my cavalry first chase off some light Christian cavalry before succumbing to bow fire while El Scrivs launched his knights at one of my spear blocks. That was a much more favourable match-up for me and eventually Almoravid might saw the Christians routed.

With that the game drew to a close and remarkably the field belonged to Ibn Coldir.

Of course the other view of the game is available over on the Scrivsland blog

A splendid game, with a great opponent and lots of lovely soldiers on the table. That's the way wargaming should be.


  1. Very nice report with fantastic looking troops!

  2. Simply awesome! Your figures look just superb!

  3. Thanks all.
    I can't take any credit for the really nicely painted Spanish models - they're all Scrivs' work!
    That said the two armies complement each other well and it does look great on the table (even if I do say so myself).

  4. I love this period. Makes me feel all tingly. Great-looking game!


  5. Great looking game in an interesting and colorful period.

  6. What a fantastic looking game! I never did like WAB2 really, and I'm sticking to that. Lovely, lovely work Tom.

  7. I think WAB2 did suck some of the joy out of the game - it was more tournament orientated in my view - geared up to the "time tunnel" games of Burgundian Ordonance v Hittites that some folk find strangely alluring.
    In particular Armies of Antiquity is a joyless exercise in "balance" and "fairness" aimed squarely at people for whom history is an inconvenient obstacle to proving they are the best at toy soldiers.

    We generally muddle by though and the errata for El Cid along with a couple of "house rules" means we have plenty of fun. Still my "go-to" rule-set for Dark Age battles (as opposed to skirmishes)

  8. "...for whom history is an inconvenient obstacle to proving they are the best at toy soldiers..."

    I love this. Consider it stolen!

  9. Great looking figures and nice to see WAB still in use

  10. Splendid barrel and always nice to see the Verbs getting a win

  11. Splendid barrel and always nice to see the Verbs getting a win