Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The Battle of Mohacs 1526 - Renaissance

Keeping up with my New Year's resolution I managed to make a wargame this month. In fact it was a gloriously big affair, a re-run of the 2011 Christmas special set up by my Redcar club. Over Xmas they opted for a deployment that was roughly 'historical', but in this re-run 'free deployment' was allowed (as per the DBR rules and conventions). It also allowed players to 'change sides' and see it from the other perspective. I must confess that I knew little or nothing about this battle in advance (see link below for the historical description and background):  

Wikipedia: The Battle of Mohacs

Somewhere on a flat Hungarian plain the Hungarian army of Knights and Peasant Infantry. These being the lower classes whose fighting ability was very much under-valued by the armour plate wearing, horse riding, lance armed aristocracy. Of historical interest and note is the fact that the "King" was 'elected' and not hereditary. This made for a poor command structure, as each Hungarian noble thought himself as good as the king and was a law unto himself. The Hungarian Army arrayed itself to face the Ottoman invaders (see below, viewed left-bottom to right-top):

The Hungarian army was comprised of: two "Wings of Horse", "Knight Lancers" supported by "Light Horse". In the middle was a huge mass (as in by far the bulk of the army in physical stands, although not 'point-wise' as the Hungarian Knights were rather 'expensive' to buy) of the Peasant "Infantry". The Peasant Infantry were "Shot" and "Bow" plus a few "Pike". The Ottoman tourists were deployed as follows (see below viewed right-bottom to left-top):

Again formidable "Wings of Horse" but with a more compact middle of "Infantry", very diverse in troop type. The horse was a mixture of "Light Horse" and "Spahi Cavalry", not quite as deadly but more numerous than the psychopathic Hungarian Knights.The Ottoman infantry was an eclectic mix of revolting Hungarian(ish) peasants making a bid for regime change, mixed with odds-and-sods warband and bow, backed up by the Ottoman Janissary "Shot" and the daunting obligatory Ottoman "Artillery Park" (of which every Ottoman General I have ever met never claims never to have enough of in relation to his "historical counterpart". yThen blames his bad dice rolling.).

How the two sides would physically match up this time was anyone's guess. In the historical deployment the Ottoman's army hurt itself as it emphasised depth over width, something which the DBR rule set punishes. The Ottoman player was also disadvantaged in that the Hungarian C-in-C respected the capability of "Shot" against "Mounted" (even knights) and unlike the historical counterpart did not elect to try and 'charge down the guns' with his royal retinue. In the Xmas game narrow Hungarian victory resulted. I too k my Hungarian command seat to the far right in line of battle, in charge of a "Wing of Horse".


David Crook said...

Hi Geordie,

Sorry for the late response.

This is a campaign and battle I would love to game (obviously from the Ottoman side!) and would even like to acquire the armies for (well the Turkish anyway!)

Deploying in depth was a good tactic against the Hungarian Knights and using the old WRG Renaissance rules somebody likened than to being an uncontrolled advance waiting to happen - that mights have been the winged Hussars of Poland but you get my drift!

PLEASE post some pics of the Turks - I will even look at them whilst listening to the CD of Janissary band music I have!

All the best,

Pasha DC

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Funny talk about coincidence.

Just as you posted your comment asking for Ottoman pictures, I've had posted the Ottoman Order Of Battle

Hope yo liked them :)

Is that Ottoman music I hear in the background. Out of interest what was the Ottoman C-in-C, Grand Viziar or the like?