Tuesday 22 August 2017

Historical Matches – Umayyad vs. Alan

Following the end of the Sassanid Dynasty and the setbacks suffered by the Byzantines the Caspian Gate and other routes crossing the Caucasus Mountains were no longer adequately guarded. Watchtowers and defensive posts fell in disuse which offered an invitation to the nomadic tribes of the north to invade. The Alan did just that and met the Umayyad.

Game 1
The Alan, to the left of the picture, deployed three skirmish formations ahead of the heavy cavalry. The Umayyad infantry took positions along the slope of a hill on their left and placed their archers in the proximity of a wood. The Jund cavalry formed a reserve behind the infantry line with the light horse were placed to guard the left flank.

Alan light horse probed the Umayyad left and to support the effort a second group was sent. By drawing off infantry to contest the flanking maneuver, this hopefully would weaken their centre.

The flanking maneuver did have the intended effect as the Alan heavy cavalry were able to charge the Jund cavalry and effectively destroy them. A 4 – 1 victory for the Alan.   

Game 2
The Umayyad, caught in the open, deployed their spearmen on the left and archers on the right of the Jund cavalry. The Alan positioned deployed their lancers opposite the Jund cavalry. Skirmishers were positioned on both flanks, with those on the right would occupy the spearmen and those on the left would support the nobles.

The battle was brief as the lancers bowled over the Jund cavalry. Further to the right, the supporting light horse destroyed the Umayyad archers ending the battle. Score 5 – 0 for the Alan.

Game 3
The situation looked grim for the Umayyad as they were caught again in the open. The Alan formed one long line along the crest of a gentle hill. A second group of light horse would encircle the Umayyad position and draw off their reserves. The Umayyad anchored their left on a small wood and protected their right with half the Jund cavalry.

The Alan battle line approached at a walk to give the flanking column time to execute their task, the Umayyad countered by withdrawing their line back in the direction of their camp. This caught the Alan by surprise and through a mis-communication (low pip score) allowed the Jund cavalry slip away from a dangerous predicament.

This time, the Umayyad fought like demons and even the archers were hitting the mark. Things looked desperate as the Alan were 3 – 1 down.

Both sides inflicted casualties on the following bound, but for the Alan it was not enough. Score 4 – 2 for the Umayyad. 

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