Almughavars in Cataln Company

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xavier
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Almughavars in Cataln Company

Post by xavier » Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:22 am

And finally, this is the last bit of ammendments that I couldn't suggest for the original lists due to the publisher's deadlines.


1. Upgrade 0-24 Almughavars to Elite before 1320.

This would be the veterans of the Sicilian war that also fought the whole campaigns against the Turks first, the Byzantines later and the Romanian Franks finally.
The logic is the same as applied to veteran Roman Legionaries classified as Elite vs. standard Legionaries being Superior in the Republican Roman armies.

2. Downgrade 0-24 Almughavars to Average from 1312.

Once they settled in Athens, their files included progressively more and more Greeks and other Europeans that couldn’t sustain the same level of effectiveness as the original troops.

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Post by hammy » Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:16 am

Mmmm, 24 bases of elite unportected offensive spears :lol:

From a game point of view I think that allowing the overlap is not right. A lot of people would mix all three grades which is a touch gamey.

xavier
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Post by xavier » Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:18 pm

hammy wrote:Mmmm, 24 bases of elite unportected offensive spears :lol:

From a game point of view I think that allowing the overlap is not right. A lot of people would mix all three grades which is a touch gamey.
Well, it doesn't seem to be a problem in the Republican Roman lists... 8)
In any case, we could simply agree on a date where the elite are no longer available and the average start to be available (1315 or 1320).

Xavier

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Post by hammy » Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:33 pm

xavier wrote:
hammy wrote:Mmmm, 24 bases of elite unportected offensive spears :lol:

From a game point of view I think that allowing the overlap is not right. A lot of people would mix all three grades which is a touch gamey.
Well, it doesn't seem to be a problem in the Republican Roman lists... 8)
In any case, we could simply agree on a date where the elite are no longer available and the average start to be available (1315 or 1320).

Xavier
I agree that Romans can have all types but that can be rationalised away as several different legions each with different training. I think that mixing veterans, normal chaps and lazy ones in the same force is pushing things for Catalan companies. Some elites would be really interesting, I am using the army at the weekend in the Northen League with plain old superiors and may even do some writeups.

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Post by Robert241167 » Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:50 pm

Hammy

I've just bought some almughavars from Essex for a guy at our club to paint up for me. I look forward to your report for some tips as I'm hoping to improve on my 48th of 48 in my last outing.

Rob

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Post by SirGarnet » Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:17 pm

hammy wrote:I think that mixing veterans, normal chaps and lazy ones in the same force is pushing things for Catalan companies.
I take your point as being that for FoG the whole motley crew should be represented as an average of their qualities as they were on the whole quite effective but not organized in units based on level of combat experience - thus Superior (at least until their territorial expansion was completed and they settled down in 1319).

Though - when it comes to Impact Foot, a BG of Elites as the schwerpunkt on the table would be tempting.

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Post by xavier » Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:36 am

MikeK wrote:
hammy wrote:I think that mixing veterans, normal chaps and lazy ones in the same force is pushing things for Catalan companies.
I take your point as being that for FoG the whole motley crew should be represented as an average of their qualities as they were on the whole quite effective but not organized in units based on level of combat experience - thus Superior (at least until their territorial expansion was completed and they settled down in 1319).

Though - when it comes to Impact Foot, a BG of Elites as the schwerpunkt on the table would be tempting.
I didn’t want to over complicate the list, but if we actually look at the historical facts, it should look like this:

The Company started with 4000 veterans of the Sicilian wars, 1500 other infantry (mostly crossbowmen) and 1500 horsemen.
Bernat de Rocafort joined the company with further 1000 veterans from Sicily and 200 horsemen in 1303.
They were reinforced by further 1000 veterans and 100 knights under Berenguer d’Entença in 1304.
In 1305 half of the remaining men were killed after a failed sea expedition.

This means that until 1305 all almughavars were veterans from the campaigns in North Arica and Sicily (=> Elite). They accounted for about 65% of the Company.
The mounted troops accounted for about 20%.
The remaining infantry accounted for the final 15%.
This should be translated into bases to get the minima and maxima APs needed in each list.


But the 1305 disaster brought big changes to the Company.
The survivors (about 1250 almughavars and 200 mounted) managed to defeat the Byzantines at Apros and started the so called “Catalan vengeance”.
Their successes attracted the Turcopoles formerly fighting for the Byzantines accounting 3000 men, a Seljuq tribe lead by Maleck with further 2000 to 3000 men, and Europeans from different countries (but mainly Greeks deserting from the Byzantine army) looking for fortune.
Also further veteran almughavar units join the company from Sicily and from Greece (like the ones commanded by Ferran Eiximenis d’Arenós that had been fighting for the Romanian Franks from 1302).
Finally further almughavars (non veterans) arrived from Catalonia.

Therefore, from 1305 there is a combination of veteran almughavar units, “standard” almughavars coming from Catalonia and non almughavar recruits.
It’s not clear whether the new recruits formed new units lead by some almughavars or just filled up already existing units. Almughavars fought in very compact units with a very strong “esprit de corps” based on personal relationships created during their long term campaigning. In many cases the units were constituted by people coming from the same town / region and that had already fought together against the Moors in Spain before moving to North Africa first, to Sicily immediately after, and to Turkey and Greece at the end. This would lead to assume that most probably they would prefer to stick to other almughavars rather than mixing with the newcomers, specially the foreigners.

If we consider that they didn’t mix, we would already have a combination of roughly 1/3 to 1/2 Elite (veterans),1/4 to 1/3 Superior (almughavar units coming from Catalonia) and 1/4 to 1/3 Average (other Europeans led by almughavars).
If we consider that they mixed, up to ¼ could either be graded as Elite or Superior, the rest being Superior.

In any case, the total number of almughavars would account for about 30% to 40% of the Company.
Catalan and Aragonese mounted troops would account for less than 10%.
Same for other infantry.
Turks and Turcopoles would account for 40% to 50% of the army.


The Company settled in Athens after the battle of Kephissos in 1311. After that, we have much less information about it.
It’s not clear if / when the Turks left it. Neither how many Albanians and from when start to fight with it.

Therefore we could keep the proportion between almughavars, other infantry, Catalan and Aragonese cavalry, and other cavalry (Turk or Albanian).
In any case the veterans had to retire after over 20 years of service, and there were not important reinforcements anymore.
Therefore from about 1315, no Elite almughavars should be allowed. There should be the option to class them as Superior or Average.
From about 1350, probably no more than half of them would deserve the Superior grading.

xavier
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New list proposal

Post by xavier » Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:47 am

If there's a way to attach a document, I can send a new version of the list taking into account all my previous comments...
Any help? :?

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Post by SirGarnet » Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:56 am

Thanks for the background, Xavier!

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Re: New list proposal

Post by philqw78 » Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:05 am

xavier wrote:If there's a way to attach a document, I can send a new version of the list taking into account all my previous comments...
Any help? :?
ctrl+a
ctrl+c
ctrl+v

I don't think you can put the doc itself here

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Post by hammy » Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:20 am

Interesting stuff.

I am not sure if there really is enough there for the Sicily vets to be elite but there is definitley justification for two grades where the newly recruited non catalan troops are only average.

FWIW it looks like my first game on Sunday will be against a Rus army :( It does rather make my selection of unprotected Almughavars look less than ideal.

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Post by bahdahbum » Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:17 pm

The problem with vet becoming elite is an overall problem . it is accepted for the roman legions, for Hannibal's veterans, but not, for exemple, the spartan army ( and they also could field an army of more than 30.000 soldiers with many veterans ) and other armies ....a difficult question .

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Post by Ghaznavid » Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:44 pm

Well, I think most people agree that the current handling of who what troops get to be elite and on which grounds is at least somewhat inconsistent.
There are basically two options out of this. The route Nik suggested in the past: Simply get rid of the elite grading alltogether.
Or: Make elite troops notably more common.
While I like having elite for flavour and colour, not having them might be much easier balance wise as well as the list writing point of view.
Anyway neither solution is going to be for several more years I guess.


More on topic:
While we got your attention Xavier, out of curiosity. In this thread: viewtopic.php?t=10083 it has been suggested that all Almughavars in an army must not only be classes as Off. Spears or Impact foot, but also as all protected or unprotected. I've to admit this surprised me a bit. Especially for the Catalan Company I would have assumed it to be reasonable to mix both protected and unprotected types (some having liberated themselves some armour during the campaigns, etc.). So was all protected or all unprotected actually what you intended?
Karsten


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Post by SirGarnet » Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:51 pm

Ghaznavid wrote:Well, I think most people agree that the current handling of who what troops get to be elite and on which grounds is at least somewhat inconsistent.
There are basically two options out of this. The route Nik suggested in the past: Simply get rid of the elite grading alltogether.
Or: Make elite troops notably more common.
While I like having elite for flavour and colour, not having them might be much easier balance wise as well as the list writing point of view.
The third option is to continue on course.

Isn't the reason for the rather substantial number of Roman elites that we need to be able to form proper legions of the things, and the elite legionaries are there because of the historical wargames importance of the relevant troops and events, both in foreign and civil wars? The representational purpose of Elites is some troops that need to be a notch better than other very good troops in the same and opposing armies. Maybe a single BG representing maybe 1000 elites here?

xavier
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Re: New list proposal

Post by xavier » Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:02 pm

philqw78 wrote:
xavier wrote:If there's a way to attach a document, I can send a new version of the list taking into account all my previous comments...
Any help? :?
ctrl+a
ctrl+c
ctrl+v

I don't think you can put the doc itself here
Yes, but like this I lose the table format and it bacomes unreadable...

If we want to more accurately reflect the shape of the company during its 3 main stages (pre 1305; 1305-1315; post 1315) basic changes would be:

Cavalls armats: 0-6 before 1305, 0-4 from 1305
Cavalls alforrats: 4-12 before 1305, 4-8 from 1305
Almughavars: 18-72 before 1305, 12-48 from 1305
Upgrade veteran almughavars of the campaigns in Tunisia and Sicily to Elite: 6-18 before 1305; 0-12 from 1305 to 1315
Downgrade almughavars mixed with Greeks and other mercenaries to average: 0-18 from 1315 to 1350; 12-24 after 1350*
Turks or Turcopoles (only from 1305): 12-52
Turkish foot archers (only from 1305): 0-8
Replace Turks with Albanians (only from 1380): 8-16

* This is considering that the first foreigners joining the Company in after 1305 would fill-up already existing units rather than constitute new ones. moreover like this there's no chance to have Elite, Superior and Average in the same list.

xavier
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Almughavar armour

Post by xavier » Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:30 pm

Ghaznavid wrote: More on topic:
While we got your attention Xavier, out of curiosity. In this thread: viewtopic.php?t=10083 it has been suggested that all Almughavars in an army must not only be classes as Off. Spears or Impact foot, but also as all protected or unprotected. I've to admit this surprised me a bit. Especially for the Catalan Company I would have assumed it to be reasonable to mix both protected and unprotected types (some having liberated themselves some armour during the campaigns, etc.). So was all protected or all unprotected actually what you intended?
There were doubts on how to class almughavars in the game since from a definition point of view they should clearly be impact foot (they started combat with a shower of heavy iron javelins before clashing in the melee), but from game balance point of view, offensive spearmen reflect better their capability to stand against mounted in the open. Therefore we allowed both classes but forcing the player to choose one of them.

Regarding armour, there was no intention from my side to class them all the same, since the grade and quality of armour could vary from unit to unit. Originally they would be unprotected, but they could become "protected" depending on what equipment had they found / looted during a campaign...

Xavier

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Re: New list proposal

Post by SirGarnet » Sun Apr 19, 2009 4:05 am

xavier wrote: Upgrade veteran almughavars of the campaigns in Tunisia and Sicily to Elite: 6-18 before 1305; 0-12 from 1305 to 1315
Downgrade almughavars mixed with Greeks and other mercenaries to average: 0-18 from 1315 to 1350; 12-24 after 1350*

* This is considering that the first foreigners joining the Company in after 1305 would fill-up already existing units rather than constitute new ones. moreover like this there's no chance to have Elite, Superior and Average in the same list.
Right now you have overlap of Elite/Sup/Avg in 1315. I assume you mean 1305 to 1314 for the 0-12 Elites?

Or for flexibility during the swing period specify a number (e.g., 12?) can be either upgraded to Elite or downgraded to Avg, but not both.

xavier
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Re: New list proposal

Post by xavier » Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:04 am

MikeK wrote:
xavier wrote: Upgrade veteran almughavars of the campaigns in Tunisia and Sicily to Elite: 6-18 before 1305; 0-12 from 1305 to 1315
Downgrade almughavars mixed with Greeks and other mercenaries to average: 0-18 from 1315 to 1350; 12-24 after 1350*

* This is considering that the first foreigners joining the Company in after 1305 would fill-up already existing units rather than constitute new ones. moreover like this there's no chance to have Elite, Superior and Average in the same list.
Right now you have overlap of Elite/Sup/Avg in 1315. I assume you mean 1305 to 1314 for the 0-12 Elites?

Or for flexibility during the swing period specify a number (e.g., 12?) can be either upgraded to Elite or downgraded to Avg, but not both.
1305 - 1314, so no possibility of Eite, superior and Average alltogether.

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Post by danikine74 » Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:59 pm

Where are you from xabier?? :twisted:

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Re: Almughavar armour

Post by jlopez » Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:30 am

xavier wrote:
Ghaznavid wrote: More on topic:
While we got your attention Xavier, out of curiosity. In this thread: viewtopic.php?t=10083 it has been suggested that all Almughavars in an army must not only be classes as Off. Spears or Impact foot, but also as all protected or unprotected. I've to admit this surprised me a bit. Especially for the Catalan Company I would have assumed it to be reasonable to mix both protected and unprotected types (some having liberated themselves some armour during the campaigns, etc.). So was all protected or all unprotected actually what you intended?
There were doubts on how to class almughavars in the game since from a definition point of view they should clearly be impact foot (they started combat with a shower of heavy iron javelins before clashing in the melee), but from game balance point of view, offensive spearmen reflect better their capability to stand against mounted in the open. Therefore we allowed both classes but forcing the player to choose one of them.

Regarding armour, there was no intention from my side to class them all the same, since the grade and quality of armour could vary from unit to unit. Originally they would be unprotected, but they could become "protected" depending on what equipment had they found / looted during a campaign...

Xavier
Personally I think unprotected IF fits them better. Most of their victories over mounted troops were in terrain or were the result of dawn raids and other similar tactics for which they were renowned. I tend to agree that a core of the Company would justify elite status as they were tough bastards. They pretty much waltzed through modern day Turkey to the gates of Cilicia where other European armies struggled through with great difficulty.

With regards to quality status in the lists, my main beef is that too many troops are listed as superior when more average would have allowed for finer distinctions. For example, how do you reflect that French knights were regarded as better than their contemporaries when virtually all knights are listed as superior? Anyway, too late now.

Julian

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