The First Battle of Almeria
DBA Battle pitting Granada IV/38 against Feudal Spain III/35c
By Neldoreth
August 12th, 2009

The yellow sun rose over the rooftops of the coastal town of Almeria. The army of Roberto the Bold of Leon had marched through Castille in the night in hopes of taking the Granadine city unawares; Roberto had leave of the Castillan king to make war on Granada, and so aid in the conquering of Granada for Christianity.

Althought Roberto had planned to take the city with little difficulty, he did not know that word had travelled ahead of him; Ibn al Joahmar had heard tidings of Roberto's invasion and had gathered a great host of warriors from the lands and the city. So, as Roberto's exhausted army marched over the creast of a small rise, they were ill prepared for the Granadine host that faced them!

Roberto the Bold arrays his army (glowing a faint purple) against the Granadine's of Ibn al-Joahmar (glowing a faint red). A forest splits Roberto's line and a steep/rough hill flanks the left of the Granadine line.

As the armies line up for battle, Ibn al-Joahmar ordered three units of crossbowmen to control the steep/rough hill on his left flank, while two more units of crossbowmen are placed to hold the right flank against the light horse of the Spanish, who were threatening to move behind the Granadine lines. Bot Roberto and al-Joahmar lined their main army's units up facing each other roughly between the steep hill and the forest. The Spanish knights, lead by Roberto himself grouped on the edge of the forest, while the Spanish foot faced toward the steep hill. Roberto called to sound the march, and the battle began in earnest...

As the Spanish advance, the Granadines re-work their lines to take best advantage of the terrain.

As the Spanish marched toward his lines, Ibn al-Joahmar sent his runners out to his crossbowmen on the right flank and called them in to the centre; they would have more value harassing the Spanish knights from the forest's edge than deterring the Spanish light horse on the far right. It was also brought to al-Joahmar's attention that the Spanish foot were going to attempt to remove the Granadine crossbowmen from the hills on the left flank. The crossbowmen would be outnumbered, but they were fighting from the rough, under cover, and uphill from their attackers; the Spanish would pay for every inch of the hills they could wrestle out of the hands of the Granadine crossbowmen.

Bolts fly as the Spanish move toward the hills and the Granadine crossbowmen holding them!

As the Spanish approached the hills that housed the crossbowmen, the command was called to fire! The bolts from the Granadine crossbows flew and and their mass darkened the sky! Under a hail of death and pain one unit of Spanish skirmishers broke and was destroyed (the psiloi element on the far left side of the above picture). But it wasn't only the Granadines who let fly their missiles. The Spanish too let fly their arrows in return as the Granadines came out of cover to fire. Unfortunately for the Spanish archers, their fire was not enough to save them, and they were broken and destroyed. Despite their losses, the Spanish continued to press their attack!

Meanwhile in the center, Roberto's knights were harassed by the crossbowmen firing from the forest. This forced them to constantly reform their lines, making them unable to form up and make a charge against the main line of the Granadine general al-Joahmar. Meanwhile, al-Joahmar maneuvered his line to take best advantage of their position.

The Spanigh foot ascend into the hills after the Granadine crossbowmen. Note that for this image, the Spanish are actually in the hills, even though the figures couldn't be places in their proper positions due to terrain.

Despite their dug-in position in the hills, the Spanish spearmen charged up toward the Granadine crossbowmen. Battle was joined and one of the units of crossbowmen was destroyed and another pushed back. The Granadine hold on the hills became precarious, and it looked to both generals that the battle might well be decided by the skirmish in the hills and before any knights could bring their lances to bear!

The Granadines strike back from the hills!

Despite good position and tenacity, the Spanish foot fighting on the hills, plagued by their long march the night before, fail to remove any more Granadine crossbowmen from their positions (that is, many doors were closed on the Granadines, but the dice would not avail them!). The stale-mate skirmish in the hills gave al-Joahmar time to move his spearmen into position to aid the battle, and so they did. The Granadine spearmen charged the flank of the Spanish auxiliaries. Seeing the charge, one of the two remaining units of Granadine crossbowmen also charged the Spanish. Between the two, the Spanish foot were destroyed and scattered. The Spanish army was coming precariously close to defeat...

The fight in the hills continued to rage while the battle was decided on the main line!

Seeing how close the Spanish army was to collapse, al-Joahmar sounded the charge! The Andalusian drums sprang out through the air and the Granadine light horse, along with the crossbowmen from the forest charged the flank of the Spanish main line. Given their exhaustion from their long march, the assailed Spanish knights faught well, but failed to win the day and were broken. Roberto the Bold, having lost many men this day, yielded the field to al-Joahmar, promising that he would return again, and the next time he would leave in victory!