Tuesday 7 September 2021

The Khan of Kazan vs. Muscovy

 During the 15th century, the territories dominated by the Golden Horde began to reassert their former independence. The throne of Kazan, usurped by Ulugh Muhammad in 1438, held sway over the former land of the Volga Bulgars. Throughout his reign, Kazan forces raided Muscovy and its subject lands during the reign of Vasily II. One such raid forms the basis for our historical match up.


IV/44 Post Mongol Russian

IV/47 Golden Horde and Successors


A relatively open plain bordered by woods and gentle hill. 


The forces of Kazan and Muscovy met on an open plain surrounded by woods, but did not hinder their deployment. Both sides held formidable numbers of mounted troops supported by a small number of infantry. Cavalry on both sides formed two lines with intervals between divisions allowing supporting troops to move through.

Expecting a prolonged skirmish, Kazan only re-positioned its light horse to allow cavalry from the second line to move forward. Surprisingly, a cautious Muscovy took advantage of the redeployment to move forward at a quick pace followed by a charge to contact.

Repulsed in centre, Muscovy regrouped to charge a second time forcing the Tartars to fall back.

At this moment, the distance between wood and Muscovy’s right wing opened presenting opportunity for the Kazan light horse. The immediate threat was checked by the timely intervention of the Russian general and bodyguard.

Meanwhile, on the Tartar right, light horse archers moved into action.

The cavalry fight in the centre developed into a slugging match with both side taking casualties. Unfortunately, disaster struck when both Russian flanks succumbed to enemy light horse. Seeing the collapse of their flanks and the loss of their general, the Muscovites fled the field.

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