I have long considered building an Ottoman army to provide a new and interesting opponent for my War of Spanish Succession Imperialists. I was, however, put off by the sheer numbers of troops I would have to raise and the fact that there are no opportunities for fielding a contingent two to serve as allies in any of my existing armies. Fortunately one of my friends decided to do it himself. Not only that he has the space and patience to raise an Ottoman army in 28mm scale.
Ottoman light cavalry
I played the Ottoman right wing commander with an all-cavalry force of light Tartars, Bedouins and Akinci irregulars backed up by some heavy Sipahis. As a cavalryman at heart, these are exactly the type of troops I love to lead on the wargames table.
Süleyman the Magnificent
Our Sultan, the benevolent and magnificent Süleyman, arrayed his army with a powerful artillery force in the centre along with elite Janissaries behind mobile fortifications.
Jannisaries and artillery of the centre
His plan was to wear down the Hungarian foot with superior firepower, while the cavalry wings drew off the enemy mounted knights and retainers.
Commander of the Hungarian right wing
Hungarian knights and retainers
The Hungarian knights were heavily armoured with many riding barded horses. In an even combat they would inevitably have the edge but we had many light cavalry who could wear them down.
My light cavalry overwhelm the enemy right
Although I had initially planned to simply wear down the enemy cavalry on my flank, good shooting by my Tartar horse archers gave me the opportunity to close in and overwhelm the enemy light cavalry screen. I was then able to drive off the entire enemy left wing, forcing King Lajos to move his reserve knights to shore up his collapsing flank.
The Ottoman guns open fire
In the centre our guns opened fire at long range.
The enemy foot take casualties from artillery fire
Although it took 3 turns for our heavy guns to re-load, by the time the enemy Landsknechts and Hungarian foot reached our lines they were already beginning to waver.
The cavalry engagement on our left
On our left a huge swirling cavalry battle developed which flowed back and forth with neither side gaining a significant advantage.
The Saphis rout
Meanwhile on our right, King Lajos’ reserve knights succeeded in routing my Saphis. Isolated and in danger of being surrounded by my hordes of light cavalry the Hungarian knights called off their pursuit and pulled back to re-form. This gave my Saphis the opportunity to rally.
The enemy foot crumble
When the Hungarian foot came into close combat with the Janissaries in the centre, they were so worn down by artillery and musket fire that their lines crumbled.
Victory was ours. We had destroyed the Hungarian left wing and centre. We had managed to hold their right wing and their reserves without having yet committed our own reserves.