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News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. Or follow me on Twitter @Balkan_Dave
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Thursday 21 January 2021

The Mongols and Ertugrul

 I blame the Netflix series Ertugrul! If you are not familiar with this mega, and I mean mega, Turkish historical drama, it follows the life of Osman's father the founding dynasty of the Ottomans. It has over 450 episodes over five seasons, so it takes some stamina. And there is a sequel!

I am currently in season two, in which Ertugrul's Kayi tribe has migrated to Erzurum in Eastern Anatolia. His Turkish tribe is part of the Seljuk Empire, which is threatened by the Mongols. The Mongol advanced guard is led by Baycu Noyan, and they are the featured conflict of this season. Noyan is your archetypical baddie, played brilliantly. The production values are pretty good, even if the history is all bit speculative. While the actors have learned to ride pretty well, there is a lot of fighting on foot. Horse archery is a very skilled business!

Anyway, I looked at my collection of 28mm Mongols, which is sadly lacking. I have a more substantial 15mm army, but this is the small battle territory, best played with Saga or Lion Rampant rules. In particular, I was short of heavy cavalry, so an order goes off to Gripping Beast. Three packs give you nine figures, enough for two hearthguards and a command figure for Saga, and with my existing figures enough for two units for Lion Rampant.  

On to the tabletop with Saga, which is enjoying something of a renaissance in my gaming, for a battle with the Seljuks, including a unit led by Ertugrul.

 Sadly, I couldn't repeat the heroic, if somewhat implausible, combat feats of Ertugrul and his Alps. The Mongols went first and hurtled across the table, routing my archer levies and disturbing the Sultans tea. There was a bit of a rally as the Seljuk heavies counter-attacked. However, when Noyan killed the Seljuk commander, it was curtains for the Turkish cause. 

A sword might have been better than a Hawk in single combat!

Even on a hill, bow armed levies will get trampled over.

So you have a captive, well done, but you are disturbing my tea.

The Damascus Steel special ability worked well for the Seljuks here.

I am not having much luck fighting with Turkish armies in any period at present! A good quick game though and while not the easiest to play over Zoom, works so long as your opponent has a copy of the battle board. 

1 comment:

  1. Nice figures there and a good choice of rules. I started watching the first series of Ertugrul and enjoyed it, but the will to live evaporated when I saw how many episodes there were! And you say there is a sequel!!!