The Battle of
Seville (845 AD)
Battles > DBA
In 844, a Viking fleet pillaged Cadiz and then sailed up the Guadalquivir
River, taking the unwalled port city of Seville (aka
Roman Hispalis and Arabic Isbilya) by surprise on 31 July. The “Madjous” raiders
took liberties, infamously killing a group of old men who had taken refuge in
the main mosque (later renamed the Mosque of the Martyrs) and destroying other
Moorish buildings. They settled in and commenced raiding throughout the region.
After a year or so, Abd-Al-Rahman II dispatched a Moorish army from his capital
at Cordoba to strike back. Details of the battle are sketchy…what is known is
that the Vikings lost a 1000 killed and 400 men taken prisoner. The survivors
were forced to take to their long boats and abandon the city. The 400 prisoners
were later hanged. The Arab historian Ibn al-Quitiyan provides the only known
account of the battle and its aftermath.
- Vikings (III/40a) (choose 2Ps option)
- Anadalusian (III/34b)
The map is conjectural and assumes the battle was fought in proximity to the
- Deployment: Vikings deploy first as defenders, then Moors as invaders.
It is assumed that the Vikings were taken somewhat by surprise by the Moorish
attack. To simulate this, roll 2D6. The result is the
number of Viking elements that can deploy normally.
The balance of Viking elements are held off board and deploy
in the first bound like a littoral landing force entering the board
along the baseline within the city of Seville.
- Seville: At this point, Seville was an unwalled city and in
considerable ruin. Disregard the normal BUA rules and treat the city as plain
bad going equivalent to a wood. It should be large enough to accomodate all
12 Viking elements.
- Guadalquivir River: The river is wide and
envelops Seville on two sides (continuing off the game map parallel to the
baseline). For purposes of the game, treat the river as impassable
- Olive Groves: Treat as woods.
- Camps: The Andalusians deploy a camp
normally. The Vikings occupy Seville and
therefore do not deploy a camp. Their real logistical concern is
protecting their longboats, are beached off-board in the bend of the Guadalquivir river adjacent to the city. For each Andalusian element that
moves through Seville and exits across the Viking baseline, the Vikings lose the
equivalent of one logistical element toward the Victory conditions, up to a
maximum of two. In other words, moving two Andalusian elements off the
Viking baseline to attack the boats has the same effect as capturing an enemy's
camp. The Andalusian element may not return to the board, but is not
considered lost for purpose of the Victory conditions.
Robert (aka Timurlank): This scenario posed
some interesting problems. For the Andalusians with half their troops Ps their
only strength lay with the spear and cavalry. The Vikings, even in difficult
terrain, are not too disadvantaged unless they are flanked while engaged to
their front. The addition of a pips throw to determine the starting strength of
the Vikings is a nice touch, but in all three test games this did not hinder the
Vikings too much from winning. In all three games, they could advance no further
than 4-500 paces from Seville as most of their army were still en route, thus
giving them interior lines.
As was stated, only the outcome of the battle was known and not the
circumstances that lead to the victory over the Vikings. The expedition started
with 100 ships that sailed from Loire and first raided the coast of Galicia and
Asturias. After a setback they moved on to sack Lisbon in August finally
arriving in Seville in October.
An addition to your scenario is to either include the initial conflict with the
Galicians (Feudal Spanish III/35a) with the surviving Vikings finally meeting
the Andalusians or modifying the Viking setup at Seville by reducing the number
of elements to represent earlier losses. Another thought as the Andalusians have
a scouting advantage, it is quite possible the Vikings were surprised while
returning from an inland raid.
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Last Update: 8 July 2005
Comments and feedback welcome
and can be
sent to Chris Brantley.