Camels

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Andreas Johansson
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Re: Camels

Post by Andreas Johansson » Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:39 pm

David Kuijt wrote: One critical aspect of the historical record was this -- in all cases except Tuaregs, armies that had a chance to switch from Camels to Horses as they got more wealthy and more successful, all did so.
Was switching to horses ever a realistic option for Tuaregs? Keeping them in the central Sahara can't be easy, and while Tuareg forces often intervened both in the Sudan and the Maghreb, I don't recall there ever being any based there on a more-or-less permanent basis. Switching riding animal in the middle of a campaign is unlikely to be a good idea even if the new one is better, because the men will be unused to it.

One use of camels that David didn't mention is Cyrus' supposed stratagem of mounting his cavalry on baggage camels to discomfit Lydian cavalry. Presumably another battle card if it's to be represented.

At the very tail end of the period, there's also the use of camels to carry very light artillery. Mounted Artillery? Or ignore as completely marginal.
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David Kuijt
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Re: Camels

Post by David Kuijt » Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:21 am

Andreas Johansson wrote: Was switching to horses ever a realistic option for Tuaregs? Keeping them in the central Sahara can't be easy, and while Tuareg forces often intervened both in the Sudan and the Maghreb, I don't recall there ever being any based there on a more-or-less permanent basis. Switching riding animal in the middle of a campaign is unlikely to be a good idea even if the new one is better, because the men will be unused to it.
Right. One reason they've got an invasion of 4 is their historical record of intervention, and the disinclination of anyone to come visiting them with evil intent (because they didn't have anything worth taking, especially their land). Regardless, your point is good -- the Tuaregs had exc ellent reason not to switch as long as they were based in the central Sahara.
Andreas Johansson wrote: One use of camels that David didn't mention is Cyrus' supposed stratagem of mounting his cavalry on baggage camels to discomfit Lydian cavalry. Presumably another battle card if it's to be represented.
Don't remember off-hand if we represent that -- it is one of the less bizarre of the "supposed Cyrus strategem" set -- but if so, it would be easily represented by the usual Bad Horse with regular Camel battle card (giving +1 v. Knight or Cataphracts) since the Lydian cavalry are Knights, IIRC.
Andreas Johansson wrote: At the very tail end of the period, there's also the use of camels to carry very light artillery. Mounted Artillery? Or ignore as completely marginal.
Do you have a date and nation-set? I don't recall that. My only memory of that sort of thing is Colonial period, way beyond even any possible expansion into Renaissance.
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Andreas Johansson
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Re: Camels

Post by Andreas Johansson » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:17 am

David Kuijt wrote:
Andreas Johansson wrote: One use of camels that David didn't mention is Cyrus' supposed stratagem of mounting his cavalry on baggage camels to discomfit Lydian cavalry. Presumably another battle card if it's to be represented.
Don't remember off-hand if we represent that -- it is one of the less bizarre of the "supposed Cyrus strategem" set -- but if so, it would be easily represented by the usual Bad Horse with regular Camel battle card (giving +1 v. Knight or Cataphracts) since the Lydian cavalry are Knights, IIRC.
It's also the best-attested of the set, being mentioned in Herodotus.
Andreas Johansson wrote: At the very tail end of the period, there's also the use of camels to carry very light artillery. Mounted Artillery? Or ignore as completely marginal.
Do you have a date and nation-set? I don't recall that. My only memory of that sort of thing is Colonial period, way beyond even any possible expansion into Renaissance.
I'm not sure quite where you consider the date cut-off to be for Triumph, but quite a few lists continue into the 16th century, which IIUC is the invention time frame for camel-guns. The Intertoobz are not very helpful ATM, but WP (uncitedly) credits Humayun (reigned 1530-40 and 1555-56) with them and the DBR lists allow them to Moghuls and Safavids from 1557 and 1591 respectively.
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Re: Camels

Post by David Kuijt » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:27 pm

Andreas Johansson wrote: I'm not sure quite where you consider the date cut-off to be for Triumph, but quite a few lists continue into the 16th century, which IIUC is the invention time frame for camel-guns. The Intertoobz are not very helpful ATM, but WP (uncitedly) credits Humayun (reigned 1530-40 and 1555-56) with them and the DBR lists allow them to Moghuls and Safavids from 1557 and 1591 respectively.
Solidly Renaissance, then.

One of our collective strongly desires to support a Renaissance (Pike and Shot period) Triumph, but there has been no work done on it so far, and Fantasy Triumph is ahead of it on the queue. If it happens, it would be several years away.
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Re: Camels

Post by Andreas Johansson » Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:33 pm

When writing the above, I hadn't noted that the DBR lists also allow camel-guns to Mamluk Egyptians in 1517, saying they were used at the battle of Raydaniyah (aka Ridaniye, and sundry other variants).

However, Phil seems have to changed his mind about this, because the overlapping DBMM list doesn't have them, but does have camel-mounted handgunners (presumably Skirmishers with the Mounted Infantry battle card in Triumph! terms), perhaps a reinterpretation of the same troops.

The only account of the battle I can find online that goes into any detail, namely that if Ibn Iyas (an eyewitness), mentions that Tuman Bey put camel-saddles with banners attached to them behind his guns - the purpose of which is unclear to me - but doesn't mention any camels as playing any role in the fighting.
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Re: Camels

Post by Andreas Johansson » Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:22 pm

In another context Ibn Iyas does however describe camels with some sort of "arrangement for musketeers to shoot from" on their backs. Now whether this describes Moghul-style camel artillery, or just some sort of special saddle for mounted handgunners, I'm not sure - and neither was David Ayalon, who, very much unlike me, was an expert in Mamluk firearms.

(We shouldn't set much store in the translator's choice of "musketeers" - contemporary Arabic didn't distinguish clearly between artillery and handguns, nor between their users.)

Of course, events in 1517 is dubiously relevant for Triumph anyway; but I thought people might find it interesting nonetheless.
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