Tuesday 28 April 2020

The Zanj

Following the completion of the Arab restoration project, the homeless elements that remained unused seemed to cry out for useful employment. There were plenty of archers, cavalry and camelry. My first thought, these could become the core of a Qaramita army, however, to do this would require a substantial order of camel mounted troops. Thinking further, the four elements of Zanj were made for the Abbasid and an army of Zanj (III/50) would prove to be a better option.

The great Zanj Rebellion was carried out for the most part by African slaves with cavalry and leaders coming from the Arab tribes. The slaves could easily be converted from the large collection of Dervishes in my collection, these have a large contingent of Hadendoa.

To make these, the slave troops would need a different hair style, or wear a turban or head band. The troops selected are seen in photo one and in the foreground are two boxes brimming with Sudanese and Hadendoa.

Aside from the Hadendoa the Sudanese figures would serve for the leaders and archers are extra Biblical Nubians. The spoon shaped swords were trimmed to become the standard saif model and trimming the hair-do would make room for a turban or headband.  

By the end of the week, the army should be completed and with photos posted to the blog.

Between painting, I have been working on a variant set for DBA3 to simulate the amphibious nature of the conflict. Before posting these to the blog, I will complete a timeline of events to give readers a sense of this unusual and long conflict.

01- 05- 2020

The Zanj in battle array.

In the forward rank are the formidable swordsmen (4Bd) supported by archers (3Bw). On the left of them are the skirmishers (Ps) and to their rear, the Zanj horde (5Hd) and positioned on the opposite flank are the tribal Bedouin light horse (LH) supporting the rebellion. In centre are the command elements in three options; Cv, 4Bd or 3Bd.

Next week, the timeline of the Zanj revolt.

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