Historical Overview

From the early 15th to the late 16th century, Songhai was one of the largest Islamic empires in history. Askia the Great (ca. 1443 – 1538) was emperor of the Songhai Empire in the late 15th century, the successor of Sunni Ali Ber. Askia Muhammad strengthened his country and made it the largest country in West Africa's history. At its peak under Muhammad, the Songhai Empire encompassed the Hausa states as far as Kano (in present-day Nigeria) and much of the territory that had belonged to the Mali Empire in the west

Following the death of Emperor Askia Daoud, a civil war of succession weakened the Empire, leading Sultan Ahmad I al-Mansur of the Saadi Dynasty of Morocco to dispatch an invasion force (years earlier, armies of the Aviz Portuguese had attacked Morocco, and failed miserably, but the Moroccan coffers were on the verge of economic depletion and bankruptcy, as they needed to pay for the defenses used to hold off the siege) under the eunuch Judar Pasha.

Judar Pasha was a Spaniard by birth, but had been captured as an infant and educated at the Saadi court. After a march across the Sahara desert, Judar's forces captured, plundered, and razed the salt mines at Taghaza and moved on to Gao. When Emperor Askia Ishaq II (r. 1588-1591) met Judar at the 1591 Battle of Tondibi, Songhai forces, despite vastly superior numbers, were routed by a cattle stampede triggered by the Saadi's gunpowder weapons. Judar proceeded to sack Gao, Timbuktu and Djenné, destroying the Songhai as a regional power. Governing so vast an empire proved too much for the Saadi Dynasty however, and they soon relinquished control of the region, letting it splinter into dozens of smaller kingdoms. The Songhai people themselves established the Dendi Kingdom


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  • Massed bow armies can be vulnerable to enemy charging horse. Most bow armies either lack decent cavalry, or have bow-armed cavalry that is also at risk vs European charging horse. This army gets round this by matching (or overwhelming) the enemy horse with camelry.
  • Against armoured foot or keils the bows are less good. The plan for this type of opponent is to maximise terrain with PBI +4 and the filter the warriors through difficult terrain while the four light horse units dance in front of the pike. Generally pike keils do not enjoy strolling through wooded scenic landscapes or treacherous mountain slopes so the bowmen with their 3-inch movement are difficult for them to engage. You can then go light foot and baggage hunting,which admittedly might not kill the enemy but makes the Sudanese even more difficult to kill in turn.
  • Using massed 6-strong bow units as filler is also effective - there are relatively few expensive troops in this army, so the unit count can get towards the 20's.
  • Even if the enemy does eventually close on your bowmen lurking at the back they will probably have been eroded by the mounted, so the bowmen- being Warriors - can either run away, or hand out a lot of shooting to bring many things to a standstill. And the warrior ++ in overlap is a nice bonus


Name and Date
800AP - winner of Roll Call 2015
  • 4 x 4 LH, Average JLS, Lt Lance
  • 6 LF, Poor, Bw
  • 5 x 6 Bow, MF, Warriors
  • 6 Superior Bow Warriors
  • 6 Superior Armoured Bow Warriors with Swords
  • 4 Ln/Sw Unarmoured Cavalry Average
  • 4 Ln/Sw Armoured Horse Superior
  • 6 Average Bow Warriors
  • 2 x 4 Camelry, Average, Lance/Sw
  • 2 x 4 Camelry, Superior, Lance/Sw
3 TCs and 1 allied TC

West Sudanese - 800AP, winner of Britcon 2012
  • Great Commander, two TC's and one Tuareg Ally TC
  • 1 unit Avge Lf bow 6 stands
  • 1 unit Avge LF Jls 6 stands
  • 7 units Warriors Avge Bow each of 6 stands
  • 4 units Tuareg camels Superior Light Lance Swd each of 4 stands
  • 4 units of LH Avge Light Lance Jls
  • 1 unit Cavalry Superior, Armoured Light lance, Swd 4 stands
All units unprotected other than the cavalry unit above



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Created by admin. Last Modification: Tuesday November 17, 2015 16:10:46 GMT by admin. (Version 3)

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