Umayyad Arab

Historical Overview Section

The Umayyad Caliphate exercised coherent control over the Moslem world in the centuries after the death of Muhammad (PBUH). They (contraversially) established dynastic succession in the Caliphate through a series of rulers from the Umayyad dynasty.

The Dynasty took power at the end of a series of struggles between various factions to control the Moslem world and its religious leadership. The unrest ("fitna" or Time of Trials) came to a head when the nominal leader Ali was assassinated in 661 after which the Umayyad faction leader Muawiyah persuaded a number of Ali's supporters to acclaim him as caliph instead of Ali's son, Hasan. Following his elevation to Caliph, Muawiyah moved the capital of the caliphate to Damascus, and Syria would remain the base of Umayyad power until the end of the dynasty in 750 AD.

During his reign Muawiyah waged unceasing war against the Byzantine Empire, occupied Rhodes and Crete and achieved consiiderable military expansion in North Africa and in Central Asia (conquering Kabul, Bukhara, and Samarkand). One his death the acession of his son provoked another "fitna" and period of unrest during which Umayyad armies clashed fiercely with rival factions. External resistance was ruthlessly crushed, and Umayyad dynasty's power was firmly entrenched following a brief succession struggle in 684 where the battle of Marj Rahit, near Damascus led to Marwan becoming Caliph. Marwan recaptured Egypt for the Umayyads, and his son, Abd al-Malik (685-705) reconsolidated Umayyad control of the entire caliphate.

One of the most notable Umayyad leaders was Sulayman (715-17), whose reign was dominated by a protracted siege of Constantinople. The failure of the siege marked the end of serious Arab ambitions against the Thematic Byzantine capital, but the first two decades of the eighth century still witnessed the continuing expansion of the caliphate, which pushed into Spain in the west against the Later Visigothic Empire and then Astur Leonese , and into Central Asia and northern India in the east.

The final son of Abd al-Malik to become caliph was Hisham (723-43), whose long and eventful reign was above all marked by the curtailment of military expansion. He established his court at Resafa in northern Syria and resumed hostilities against the Byzantines, which had lapsed following the failure of the last siege of Constantinople. The new campaigns resulted in a number of successful raids into Anatolia, but also in a major defeat (the Battle of Akroinon), and did not lead to any significant territorial expansion. Hisham's reign furthermore witnessed the end of expansion in the west, following the defeat of the Arab army by the Merovingian Frankish at the Battle of Tours in 732. In 739 a major Berber Revolt broke out in North Africa, which was subdued only with difficulty. Hisham suffered still worse defeats in the east, where his armies attempted to subdue both Tokharistan, with its center at Balkh, and Transoxiana, with its center at Samarkand. Both areas had already been partially conquered, but remained difficult to govern.

The Caliphate came to an end when in 746, Abu Muslim initiated a revolt from his power base in Khurasan, in an act which became the genesis of the Abbasid Arab empire - his rebel armies marched under the sign of the black flag. Abu Muslim soon established control of Khurasan, and dispatched an army westwards to Kufa (which fell in 749), and in November of the same year Abu al-Abbas was recognized as the new caliph in the mosque at Kufa. At this point the Umayyad Caliph Marwan mobilized his troops from Harran and advanced toward Iraq. In January of 750 the two forces met in the Battle of the Zab, and the Umayyads were defeated. Damascus fell to Abbasid Arab forces in April, and in August Marwan was killed in Egypt bringing the curtain down on the Umayyads.

Using the army in ADLG

  • Can be used as a massive mob, with the cheap but good value Medium Mediocre Lancers providing a wide cutting edge
  • A lot of interesting allies, with the Tibetans one of the most obvious.
  • Plenty of javelinmen make this a decent anti-elephant force too.
  • For large commands (which are possible with this list) you do need Brilliant commanders, so this sort of sends you down a route of 2 complex, large commands and one Ordinary general leading a simple command down the middle
  • Don't discount supported spearmen. They can be a good anchor whilst the army works the flanks
  • This mostly a lancer and spear army more flexible than the later Arab Conquest. It is also easier to get larger than the Arab conquest list because you can be more flexible on upgrades and downgrades.
  • The option in Iraq, Iran has the best extra toys.

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Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army

200 Points - Estella 2018

4 Arab Spearmen Heavy spearmen missile support
2 Berbers and Maronites Javelinmen
2 Light infantry Light infantry bow
1 Jund Cavalry Heavy cavalry impact
1 Bowmen Bowmen
2 Arab Spearmen Heavy spearmen ------
2 Jund Cavalry Medium cavalry impact Mediocre
2 Bowmen Bowmen ------
1 Berbers and Maronites Javelinmen ----
1 Arab and Bedouins Light cavalry javelin ------
1 Jund Cavalry Heavy cavalry impact ----
3 Jund Cavalry Medium cavalry impact Mediocre
1 Arab and Bedouins Light cavalry javelin
1 Jund Cavalry Heavy cavalry impact ------
1 Berbers and Maronites Javelinmen ----
1 Bowmen Bowmen ----

200 AP Estella 2018
4 Arab Spearmen Heavy spearmen ------
1 Bowmen Bowmen ------
3 Jund Cavalry Medium cavalry impact Mediocre
1 Asawira Heavy cavalry bow ------
1 Turks Light cavalry bow ----
2 Arab Spearmen Heavy spearmen missile support Mediocre
3 Jund Cavalry Medium cavalry impact Mediocre
2 Bowmen Bowmen ------
1 Asawira Heavy cavalry bow ----
1 Light cavalry Light cavalry javelin ------
Ordinary, Included, Tibetan Ally
3 Cataphracts Cataphract ----
1 Cataphracts (General) Cataphract Elite
1 Light infantry Light infantry bow ------
1 Bowmen Bowmen ----

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