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Fatimid Egyptian

Fatimid Egyptian

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Historical Overview Section

The Fatimids entered Egypt in the late 900s, conquering the Ikhshidid dynasty and founding a new capital at al-Qāhirat (Cairo) in 969. After Egypt, the Fatimids continued to conquer the surrounding areas from the Seljuk Turks until they ruled from Tunisia to Syria - they even crossed over into Sicily and southern Italy. Under the Fatimids, Egypt became the center of an empire that included at its peak North Africa, Sicily, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, the Red Sea coast of Africa, Yemen and the Hejaz

The Fatimids fought the Early Crusaders from the moment the First Crusade invaded Fatimid territory and started the Siege of Jerusalem in 1099. Soon after, the Early Crusaders stormed and captured the city, setting off a war between the newly established Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and Fatimid Egypt. Al-Afdal Shahanshah mounted a series of invasions against the Early Crusader kingdom from 1100 to 1107 but they were ultimately unsuccessful. After this, the viziers contented themselves with launching frequent raids on Early Crusader territory from the coastal fortress of Ascalon. To protect against the raids from Ascalon, the Crusaders began encircling the strategic port with a ring of castles built between 1136 and 1149, eventually leading to the the fall of Ascalon.

This rather emasculated Egypt which ceased to be a threat to the Crusader states until the rise of Saladin, as the Fatimid regime broke apart into warring factions. From 1163 to 1169, Egypt became the prize of a struggle between King Amalric of Jerusalem and Nur ed-Din of the Syrian States as the Fatimid factions invited one side or the other to intervene in their civil war. In 1169, Nur ed-Din's general, Shirkuh seized Cairo for the last time and proclaimed himself ruler of Egypt before dying suddenly two months later. Nur ed-Din appointed Shirkuh's young nephew Saladin as his successor. As directed by his sponsor, Saladin ruthlessly stamped out Shi'ite Islam in Egypt, which had flourished under the Fatimids but instead of acting as Nur ed-Din's vassal, Saladin consolidated power in his own hands and deposed the last Fatimid caliph in 1171.

Egyptian armies of the period historically relied on masses of Sudanese bowmen supported by Arab and Berber cavalry. Since the archers were on foot and the horsemen awaited attack with lance and sword, a Fatimid army provided exactly the sort of immobile target that the Early Crusader heavy cavalry excelled in attacking. Except for the third battle of Ramleh in 1105, when Toghtekin of Damascus sent a contingent of Seljuk Turk Ghilmen to help the Egyptians, the Fatimids generally did not use loads of horse archers.

Whereas the Crusaders developed a healthy respect for the harass and surround tactics of the Turkish horse archers, they tended to discount the effectiveness of the Egyptian armies. While overconfidence led to a Crusader disaster at the second battle of Ramleh, the more frequent result was a Fatimid defeat. "The Franks never, until the reign of Saladin, feared the Egyptian as they did the armies from Muslim Syria and Mesopotamia."

Fatimids in Sicily A Fatimid Emirate existed for a time on Sicily when Fatimid caliph Ismail al-Mansur appointed Hassan al-Kalbi (948–964) as Emir. He successfully managed to control the continuously revolting Thematic Byzantines and founded the Kalbid dynasty, launching raids into Southern well into the 11th century. In 982 the Early Medieval Germans under Otto II tried to stop these raids but were defeated near Crotone in Calabria. Dynastic conflict under subsequent Emirs saw factions within the ruling family allying themselves variously with the Nikephorian Byzantine Empire and the Early North African Dynasties of the Zirids. By the time of Emir Hasan as-Samsam (1040–1053) the island had fragmented into several small fiefdoms.

Using the army in FoG

  • The Abid Al Shearer are the surprise package in this list, as they are a form of Dominate Roman legionaries disguised as Arabs. The supporting archers give the formations great resilience in combat and shooting, and they do not suffer the "1 Strike (DISR or casualty) and you're OUT!" syndrome that afflicts spear formations
  • Hard to ignore the Dailami as well - almost mandatory, and again LF supports are worthwhile to pad the unit out in combat even if their effect vs mounted is negligible
  • Save a unit of Bedouin LH lancers to last in deployment to allow you to over-stack on one flank vs enemy LF
  • Very much a mixed arms army, where the various elements can be combined in lots of interesting ways to add up to more than the sum of the parts.
  • A big challenge is providing rear support to the 9-strong foot units.

UK Tournament Results with this army

58 / 62 Fatamid Egyptian Britcon 2008 15mm (open) 10 / 12 Fatimid Egyptian Chester Doubles 2008 (S&S)

User-contributed links about this army:

Fatimid Soldiers & Hunters, 10th - 12th Centuries or mirror

Allies

  • Crusader, Later : Dates: 1167 Swords and Scimitars page 9 : Proper knights from 1150 onwards armoured spearmen and some MF Crossbows - not to be sniffed at
  • Syrian States : Dates: From 1074 Swords and Scimitars page 29 : Compulsary Bw/Sw cavalry, optional cavalry and LH lancers, more Bw/Sw - and some cheap foot units. Worth looking at

15mm Manufacturers supplying figures for this army

You can see some of the figures in the Ancients Photo Gallery also on this site. This listing only covers "arabic" figures - Turk/Hunninc/Mongol figures are omitted as nearly everyone does some of them.

Image Image Image Image

Core Troops

Which troops are absolutely needed for this army, and what are your thoughts on how to organise, paint and buy them.

Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army 900AP list as used by Madaxeman at Burton 2010

  • 1 Turcomans LH unprotected Average Undrilled bow - Swordsmen 4
  • 2 LF Bowmen LF unprotected Average Undrilled bow - - 6
  • 3 Berber LH LH unprotected Average Undrilled javelins light spear - 4
  • 4 Abid Al Shearer HF Protected Average Drilled - light spear Swordsmen 6
  • 4.1 suporting LF LF unprotected Average Drilled bow - - 3
  • 5 Abid Al Shearer HF Protected Average Drilled - light spear Swordsmen 6
  • 5.1 suporting LF LF unprotected Average Drilled bow - - 3
  • 6 Deaf Spearmen HF Protected Average Undrilled - defensive spearmen - 6
  • 6.1 suporting LF LF unprotected Average Undrilled bow - - 3
  • 7 Mamluks Cv armoured superior Drilled bow Swordsmen 4
  • 8 Mamluks Cv armoured superior Drilled bow Swordsmen 4
  • 9 Dailami MF armoured superior Drilled - Impact foot Swordsmen 6
  • 9.1 supporting light archers LF unprotected superior Drilled bow - - 3
  • 10 Deaf Spearmen HF Protected Average Undrilled - defensive spearmen - 6
  • 10.1 suporting LF LF unprotected Average Undrilled bow - - 3
  • 12 Crossbowmen MF Protected Average Drilled Crossbow - - 4
  • 11 Berber Arab Lancers Cv armoured superior Drilled - lancers Swordsmen 4
  • 13 Berber Arab Lancers Cv armoured superior Drilled - lancers Swordsmen 4
  • 14 Bedouin LH LH unprotected Average Undrilled - lancers Swordsmen 4
  • Generals TC - - - - - - 4

The aim was to tempt enemy knights to charge against a weak-looking mixed line of Def Spearmen and Al Shearer infantry (hoping at least half the infantry stay steady, thus forcing some of the enemy cavalry to bounce off and leaving the rest in the lurch, heavily outnumbered. Whilst this battle went on we should have been stoving in one (or more) flanks with the Ghulams and Dailami. The Lancer cavalry could either support on the wings or also plug the main foot line- especially against other infantry armies where the added benefit of a lancer intercept charge could be quite decisive. The Al Shearer Infantry are almost like cheap Roman legionaries and potentially an grind down spear-armed opponents as they do not lose much fighting capability even if disrupted - although in practice the lack of armour (and superiority) proved a serious handicap in their attempts to emulate the Legions. The use of Deaf Spearmen allowed several poor quality puns at deployment.

800 AP list

  • 1 Turcomans LH unprotected Average Undrilled bow - Swordsmen - 4
  • 2 Bedouin LH LH unprotected Average Undrilled - lancers Swordsmen - 4
  • 3 LF Bowmen LF unprotected Average Undrilled bow - - - 6
  • 4 Deaf Spearmen HF Protected Average Undrilled - defensive spearmen - - 6
  • 4.1 suporting LF LF unprotected Average Undrilled bow - - - 3
  • 5 Abid Al Shearer HF Protected Average Drilled - light spear Swordsmen - 6
  • 5.1 suporting LF LF unprotected Average Drilled bow - - - 3
  • 6 Abid Al Shearer HF Protected Average Drilled - light spear Swordsmen - 6
  • 6.1 suporting LF LF unprotected Average Drilled bow - - - 3
  • 7 Mamluks Cv armoured superior Drilled bow Swordsmen - 4
  • 8 Mamluks Cv armoured superior Drilled bow Swordsmen - 4
  • 9 Mamluks Cv armoured superior Drilled bow Swordsmen - 4
  • 10 Dailami MF armoured superior Drilled - Impact foot Swordsmen - 4
  • 10.1 supporting light archers LF unprotected superior Drilled bow - - - 2
  • 11 Bedouin LH LH unprotected Average Undrilled - lancers Swordsmen - 4
  • 12 Berber Arab Lancers Cv armoured superior Drilled - lancers Swordsmen - 4
  • Generals TC - - - - - - - 4

Remember to leave a line before you copy the above section as a template for your own list

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Created by admin. Last Modification: Friday 12 of April, 2013 08:17:11 BST by druzhina. (Version 26)
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