Tuesday 15 October 2019

The Umayyad vs. the Abbasid

During the year 747 AD, Murwan II had to contend with rebellion within the kingdom. In the east, rebel forces led by Abu Muslim would meet the Umayyad in a series of battles the following year. That revolt would later be takien up by Abu al-Abbas as-Saffah sealing the fate of the Umayyad in the final battle near the Great Zab. 

For these games, both armies of 24 elements are very similar in composition with a near equal proportion of cavalry to infantry. Both sides have trained cavalry, infantry and archers giving both sides an equal chance of victory. 

Game one.
As defenders, the Umayyad deployed its infantry in centre with cavalry supporting the flank and rear. The Abbasid, deployed in a similar fashion, but had to contend with constricting terrain, The Abbasid had planned an evelopemnt with their right wing refusing their left. While the flanking move had its desired effect the cost to both sides negated any advantage won. The shattered remians on both sides reformed on their respective center. There, the conflict escalated to a blood bath with casualties becoming even each turn. Renewing their effort, the Umayyad however launced successive waves crumbling the Abbasid resistance to end the battle. Final score 9 - 5 for the Umayyad. 

Game two.
Undeterred, the Abbasid gathered new forces to meet the Umayyad near Merv. Both sides formed their infantry in two wings with ample room for the employment of cavalry in the centre. These were positioned in a second line well outside of bow range. 

On the Abbasid left, spearmen clashed with their counterpart while Zanj swordsmen destroyed enemy archers. The Abbasid joy was cut short as they lost a unit of their own on the opposite wing. 

As the Abbasid were gaining ground on the left, their right was to suffer a similar loss against the Umayyad. As the struggle intensiified the Abbasid were able to turn events on their right to their advantage. Sensing the approach of tipping point in the battle, the Umayyad, commander launched a cavalry assault against the Abbasid centre. 

Abbasid archers found their range and were scattering Umayyad cavalry in the centre and right flank. This opened an opportunity for Abbasid infantry to leave their secure position to attack exposed flanks. The subsequent casualties were the final blow for the Umayyad forcing them to flee the filed. Score 8 - 1 for the Abbasid. 

The Umayyad
1 x general (Cv), 3 x Jund cavalry (Cv), 3 x spearmen (Sp), 2 x archers (3Bw), 1 x archer (Ps), 2 x Bedouin and Ghazis light horse (LH).

The Abbasid
1 x general (Cv), 3 x lancers (Cv), 3 x spearmen (Sp), 2 x archers (4Bw), 1 x Zanj (3Bd), 1 x archers (Ps), 1 x Bedouin light horse (LH).

The Umayyad were defending in game one, terrain features selected were from the list "Dry". This was 2 x rocky ground, an oasis and BUA (hamlet). 


  1. Looks nice. I recently played Art de la Guerre, which is clearly inspired by DBA. It's big battle DBA with - instead of recoil and quick kill - 1-4 'wound' points per unit. Maybe more subtle, maybe more complex. Have you ever tried it, maybe just for variety?

  2. I actually have very little time to experiment with ‘other’ rules as there is more than enough variety to satisfy my ‘fantasy’ (D3H2) or Horse and Musket (DBA-HX3) games. Shot and Pike next week then back to further tests with the larger command.