Sunday, October 27, 2013

Peter Laing Hyborian Battle

      Going with the idea of using Tony Bath's Hyborian campaign with Battle lore, I dug out my old copies of "Battle" magazine which has a continuing series of the Hyborian campaign. The first in the series  had a good map of Hyboria. By using this map and Horde of the Things list of Hyborian Armies, setting up battles with a purpose becomes easier. By using this idea, the last battle report involving  Crusaders verses Muslims becomes the army of Zamora fighting and defeating the army of Zuagir.
        Going farther along this line, it becomes easier to come up with a narration of the cause for battle.
The Zuagirs, being a nomadic people, are not above raiding their neighbors. What's more, a drought has been devastating eastern Hyboria, leaving the Zuagir people in the state of starvation. So now the raids have an even greater purpose. Prince Asfar of Zuagir  is ordered by his father to lead a raid into Zamora to find livestock and other foodstuffs. As the previous article showed, the Zuagir raid failed.
        If the situation wasn't so desperate, the Princes life might be in danger. However, the needs of the people outweighed the wraith of his father.  After much debate, it was decided to raid Vendhya.  While the empire of Vendhya has a large army, it is spread throughout the empire and the majority of it are militia levies.  A fast strike and they might not even have to battle the Vendhya Army. However, Prince Asfar decides to bring a unit of heavy armored camels just to be on the safe side.
       At first all goes well. The Zuagir raiders send large amounts of captured livestock back to their waiting tribe. But as the Zuagirs go deeper into Vendhya they noticed they were being trailed by scouts. It soon became apparent that the Vendhya Army was trying to get between Zuagir Army and the border. By the time Asfar decided it was time to withdraw, it was too late.  Every attempt to outmaneuver the Vendhya Army failed, so Prince Asfar resolved to attack it before more reinforcements arrived.
       The Vendhya Army draws up between two rivers, with units on the other side of each river to guard the flanks and possibly work around the Zuagir flanks.  For Prince Asfar this is good as it narrows the Vendhya frontage so it evens up the engaged units. While the rivers are fordable because of the drought, it will be easy enough to catch the enemy in the river at a disadvantage.
The Vendhya Army at the top of the battlefield with units on both sides of the rivers. All their units are light, except two infantry units and one cavalry unit, which are medium units. The Zuagir  Army on the bottom of the field. Most of the Zuagir infantry is medium. The cavalry is made up of 3 light cavalry units, one medium camel unit and one heavy armored camel unit.  Victory goes to the army which inflects 50% casualties to their opponent. The Vendhya Army has 16 units, the Zuagir Amry, 12 units.

A look down the Vendhya Army line.

A look down the Zuagir Army line . The unit of armored camels are in the rear  for reserve.

After the first couple of moves. The Zuagirs push forward their medium infantry in the center. The Vendhya forces on the opposite banks push forward to threaten the flanks of the Zuagir Army.

The battle from behind Vendhya lines. In the upper left of the picture the Zuagir archers keep a watch  on a Vendhya light cavalry unit. In the right center of the picture the medium infantry units slug it out, inconclusively.

Two units from Vendhya try to cross the river. A Zuagir archer unit holds the high ground to hold them off.

Two Zuagir light cavalry units slam into the Vendhya right flank, forcing it back. Notice the Vendhya light infantry unit starting across the river at the top of the page. At the center left of the page a Vendhya light cavalry unit had crossed the river, only to be forced back by the archers on the hill.

The Vendhya archers that were in the river now come up behind the Zuagir light horse. Their fire comes up with a "retreat" throw. If a unit cannot retreat back (they are blocked by the other Zuagir light horse) they must lose one piece.

Meanwhile on the Vendhya left flank the Zuagirs had advanced their other light horse and medium camel  to try to break the stalemate in the center. This picture shows after the advance of the Vendhya medium horse. They have routed the camels (2 retreat dice), that can be seen retreating up the valley.The medium horse then uses it's pursuit to hit the light horse,  inflecting 2/3 loses on it.

General Mirgol of the Vendhya Army now starts trying to turn the Zuagirs right flank, pushing forward all his troops on that flank. Notice the Vendhya horse blocking the valley to protect against the camel unit.

This picture shows after a particularly brutal fight. The armored camels came around the other side of the hill on the right of the picture. It inflected 2/3 casualties  on the medium horse and forced it to retreat. It then hit the light horse unit, wiping it out. However, the Vendhya medium horse counter attacked and caused 2/3 losses on the camels. The archers (at the left of the photo) then finished off the rest.

The Vendhya forces back one Zuagir light horse unit and cuts off the other light horse unit, which was shortly after dispatched.

At this point in the battle each side only needed to take one enemy unit to win the battle. The Zuagir medium infantry was just going to force the Vendhya light infantry off the field for the victory. Notice the two man Zuagir infantry unit, with the light horse right behind it.

This is a photo of the Vendhya infantry unit that won the battle. It spent most of the battle standing in the middle of the river. However, with the center of the army collapsing, they charged out of the river and hit that Zuagir medium unit in the flank, hoping to at least force it to retreat. However, it's roll came up with two "medium" hits, wiping out the unit and carrying the day!

The rest of the Zuagir army dispersed. Some found their way home, others surrendered and found themselves serving their former enemies. As for Prince Asfar, he had disappeared and no one knows what haappened to him.


  1. I well remember that series in Battle - and later in Military Modelling when the two merged. Love the idea of re-creating some of those battles. Now if only Peter had done a "Conan the Barbarian" figure....

  2. Tony's campaign sure does give lots of ideas. I might have to try to find one of the Conan books and try to read it this winter. However, last week I saw "Viking" on the History Channel and got my mind racing in another direction...

  3. If you have a Kindle (or one of the other e-readers) - then you can most or all of the
    Conan books for free as they are out of copyright - also his Solomon Kane stories that I love and have potential for a 17th century game - though perhaps more RPG than conventional wargame

  4. Ian, that's good to know. I've never heard of Solomon Kane before. Another thing to look up. I usually don't read fiction, but now I'm seeing why everyone else comes up with more clever scenarios than me.