THE MONGOL ARMY This extension was written by Christian Delabos and published in 1995 in Claymore magazine #7. The extension and the three associated scenarios were translated by Bob Gingell in February 2000. The tables of points values in section 4 are an addition by the translator.
Tactical composition of the Mongol Army
New missile weapons
Mongol army scenarios
The Captain’s Head
“There can be only one!”
“We have seen, at the court of the (Mongol) Emperor, the Grand Prince of Russia, the son of the King of Georgia, many sultans and other princes to whom they pay no respect; and even ordinary Tartars who have been sent to escort them, however poor they were, walked in front of them and always took a better seat…” (Jean de Plan Carpin).
In the XIIIth century, the Mongol hurricane swept over Eurasia and reduced to cinders towns and empires. Europe and the Holy Land underwent their attacks and Japan repelled two invasions. Here is something that merits a few scenarios for “Croisades”, “Samouraï” and “Cry Havoc”…
To put these scenarios into operation, we need a game aid: so here it is…
Temujin takes the name of Genghis Khan: supreme chief of the Mongols.
Capture of Peking by the Mongols.
Capture of Bukhara and Samarkand: destruction of the Empire of Khwarizm.
Defeat of the Georgians; Conquest of Afghanistan; Battle of Kalka: Russian defeat.
Occupation of Azerbaijan.
Conquest of Russia.
1241 Conquest of Korea; Invasion of Poland and Hungary; Battle of Liegnitz: Polish-German defeat; Battle of Mohi: Hungarian defeat; The Mongols reach Austria and Croatia.
Defeat of the Seljuks at Erzinjan.
Invasion and occupation of Iran.
Siege, capture and sack of Baghdad.
1258 Mongol invasion of Syria; Battle of Ayn Jalut: Mongols defeated by the Mamluks.
Mongol invasion of Byzantine Thrace.
Halting of the first Mongol invasion of Japan.
Halting of the second Mongol attack on Japan.
2. TACTICAL COMPOSITION OF THE MONGOL ARMY
One of the greatest strengths of the Mongol Army was that a majority of the army was made up of a powerful national cavalry. However, other peoples did fight for the Mongols: these auxiliaries were primarily foot soldiers.
[NOTE: “Croisades” as published proposes using the counters from “Samouraï” (excluding the monks, ninjas and peasants) as Mongols, but giving all shortbows, all treated as unarmoured with a mounted move of 16 and a foot move of 8. The rules below offer a better balance and, in particular, provide the horse archers that formed such a major part of the Mongol armies.]
1) Mongol heavy cavalry
Members of the heavy cavalry were equipped with a coat of mail, a breastplate of scale mail, a scimitar and a lance 3.5 metres long. Most heavy cavalrymen also carried the Mongol bow (see below).
To represent the Mongol heavy cavalry, use the mounted Samurais (from “Samouraï”) and the Royal Mamluks (from “Croisades”). Only the Samurais armed with a bow should be treated as being armed with the Mongol bow.
The Mongol light cavalry was composed entirely of horse archers. These men carried the recurved mongol bow, a weapon more powerful even than the Welsh longbow (see rules below).
To represent the Mongol horse archers, use the counters (from “Croisades”) for the horse archers, the Seljuk light cavalry archers, the Turcopoles and the Mamluk light cavalry. All of these counters should be treated as carrying the Mongol bow.
Mongol light cavalry: Ayub, Fakr, Imad, Mongka, Qutuz, Rashid, Usamah; Bar, Ruzzik, Yesugai; Arnulf, Kamal, Merton, Mosul, Reuben, Tamara; Baha, Fa’iz, Rashid, Taki, Vezelay, Yaghi.
3) Auxiliary heavy cavalry
Some peoples conquered by the Mongols, such as the Georgians, furnished an auxiliary heavy cavalry. To represent these men, use the counters for Seljuk heavy cavalry (from “Croisades”).
Auxiliary heavy cavalry: As-Salih, Kilij, Saladin.
4) Auxiliary infantry
To start with, the Mongol armies were composed solely of cavalry. But, little by little, the conquered peoples furnished an auxiliary infantry, most useful in carrying out sieges… These infantrymen were Russian, Muslim, Chinese, Korean, Georgian and Armenian.
To represent the Russian auxiliary infantry, use the bondi counters from “Vikings”.
Russian auxiliary infantry: Askjel, Balder, Domar, Glum, Grim, Gyrd, Hagbard, Hermod, Otto, Runolv, Stig, Torleik, Torodd, Vagn, Yngve.
The Muslim auxiliary infantry will be represented by the Syrian spearmen from “Croisades”.
Muslim auxiliary infantry: Abdul, Ali, Baysan, Husseyin, Mesut, Tossaun.
The counters for yari and bowmen from “Samouraï” provide Chinese and Korean auxiliary infantry. Note that the Chinese and Korean archers are armed with short bows.
Chinese and Korean auxiliary infantry: Aritomo, Domei, Hiro, Hidemasa, Hoshii, Ishido, Jikkyu, Kenzan, Kiyama, Kobi, Korekado, Tadamoto, Taitaro, Tamazaki, Todo, Yabu, Yukio, Zataki.
Chinese auxiliary archers (short bow): Asai, Asagi, Nobuzane, Obata, Omoshi, Saikaku.
Georgia and Armenia provided numerous troops for the Mongol campaigns in Syria. The ceorl counters from “Vikings” represent the Armenian and Georgian auxiliaries.
Armenian and Georgian auxiliaries: Aelfric, Aelmaer, Aethelberht, Aelfweard, Eadric, Eardwulf, Godwine, Ordheh, Oswald, Weohstan.
5) Auxiliary crossbowmen
Never very numerous, Chinese or Muslim crossbowmen often fought for the Mongols.
Engineers in the Mongol armies were often Chinese. To represent these men, use the monk counters from “Samouraï”.
Chinese engineers: Harafusa, Haunaga, Hideaki, Kagesue.
7) War machines
The Mongols did not hesitate to use war machines in the planning of battles in open country. Any Mongol player will therefore be able to deploy ballistas in his possession in the planning of a land battle (see “Croisades” section 2.5). Remember that the ballista counters and the rules applying to them are contained in the boxed game “Siege”.
3. NEW MISSILE WEAPONS 1) Mongol compound bows
Modifications, range and frequency of fire for Mongol bow
Frequency of fire
Limits on movement
Offensive + defensive
Offensive + defensive
Wounded archer: +1 to die roll.
The longbow results table from “Croisades” is used for the Mongol bow.
[Note: If players feel that the Mongol horse archers are too powerful, give them the same rate of fire as mounted shortbows – Offensive fire only: no limit, Offensive + defensive fire: ½ move only.]
Points value (purchase cost): Heavy cavalry archer – 3x Attack Strength + 2x Defence Strength;
Supplement: Different arrow types, by Fabrice Renier from Claymore #10
[Rules for one additional type of arrow, the flaming arrow, are provided in Siege. These rules are an optional extra, but should be used sparingly.] The bow, one of the oldest missile weapons, has undergone many modifications over the centuries (short bow, long bow, compound recurved bow, etc…). However, we must not overlook the arrows, which also have known some specialisation: the hunting arrow, the war arrow, the cutting arrow, etc…
The Mongols were a people that knew how to use bows to the best advantage, and they had an impressive number of types of arrow available to them. This game aid concerns two types of arrow which can be used as options: the arrow with an explosive head and the cutting arrow.
These two types of arrow can be used alongside normal arrows. During a campaign, at the start of each tactical battle the archers are re-supplied to their maximum carrying capacity with the different types of arrow: they can never have more than 5 arrows of each of each of these types.
The arrow with an explosive head
This is only available to the Mongols who had the secret of gunpowder thanks to their contacts with the Chinese. They were certainly used from the end of the XIIth century in the East and Middle-Eastern states.
Each Mongol archer may carry only 5 of these arrows. When an archer dies and he still has some explosive arrows, another archer may pick them up by remaining for a full turn next to the dead archer without fighting or shooting.
Shooting with an explosive arrow is only possible during offensive fire. The fuse must first be lit, one of the most dangerous moments for the archer. The player rolls 1D10, and on 1-3 the arrow explodes and kills the archer (this happened quite often).
If the arrow has not exploded, the player designates a target hex and rolls 1D6 to see if the explosion has any effect on adjacent hexes around the target. 1 means that only the target hex is affected, 2-6 means that one adjacent hex, counting clockwise from lower left, is also affected (the hex immediately in front of the target is never affected – 6 is the hex on lower right).
Effect of explosive arrow (1D10)
Explanation of results
A: Foot killed;
Horse and rider both killed.
B: Foot wounded;
Horse killed , rider wounded.
C: Foot stunned;
Horse unharmed, rider stunned.
D: Foot retreats 2 hexes;
Horseman retreats 4 hexes.
-: No effect.
[Note: The table has been modified slightly to cover omissions in the rules as published (results of 7-8 for horsemen in target hex, result of 4 for effect on foot and horse in adjacent hex).]
This type of arrow can be used by all types of archer. Its purpose is to cut the tendons of horses and so unhorse the knights who will then be on foot and more vulnerable.
Each archer may have 5 of these arrows. As with the explosive arrows, when an archer dies and still has some cutting arrows, another archer can take them by remaining next to the body for 1 turn without fighting or shooting.
The cutting arrows can be used only in offensive fire. They are used only against mounted targets. Shooting is only possible with aimed fire, thus only at short range:
Horse shortbow: 1-12 hexes; Shortbow: 1-15 hexes; Mongol bow: 1-30 hexes
Explanation of results
A: Horse killed, rider wounded.
B: Horse killed, rider stunned.
C: Horse unharmed, rider stunned.
-: No effect.
4. STRATEGIC RULES
Compatibility of counters to area of operations, plus table of costs
The table below allows a match between historical realism and use of the counters available.
Area of operation
Mongol heavy cav (some with bow)
1 ATT + 2 DEF
3 ATT + 2 DEF
4 ATT + 2 DEF
2) Land movement (Strategic rules for “Croisades”) We will ignore the modifications to movement allowances proposed in the rules to “Croisades”. The Mongols did not run faster than other men, and their horses were not the swiftest in the world.
The movement allowance of an infantryman is thus 8 Movement Points (MPs). The allowance of a heavy cavalryman is 12 MPs. The allowance of a light cavalryman is 15 MPs.
On the other hand, the Mongol armies were very well organised from the point of view of strategic reconnaissance and from the point of view of supply. This excellent organisation bore fruit in relation to strategic movement (see section 2.4 of the “Croisades” rules).
For strategic movement the Mongol player consults the following table:
Category of character
Draft animals and cart / Wounded men on foot
3) Command and morale of the troops A Mongol army was composed of 3 ‘touman’ of cavalry, each of which consisted of 10,000 men. Leaders of the ‘touman’ were chosen by the Khan: they were called ‘noyans’. No Great Khan personally commanded an army in Europe, Syria or Japan, so we will count the noyans as if they were Khans. Note that the Khans were of royal blood and descended from Genghis Khan. Army commanders who were not Khans had the title of Orlok.
The Samurai Tadatsuna and the Mamluk Al-Kamil have the title of Khan or Orlok.
The Samurais Tomomori, Munehisa and Jichu, and the Mamluks Abaga and Hakim have the title of Noyan.
Other Samurais and Royal Mamluks bear the title of Bahadur and represent the equivalent of European knights.
The auxiliary troops must always stay together with their ethnic group within a range of 10 hexes. These troops are a bit weak and this is reflected in the morale table.
6) Table for comparison of Points Values for Mongol troops under “Croisades” rules
Elite foot bow
5. MONGOL ARMY SCENARIOS (all published in Claymore #7)
THE CAPTAIN’S HEAD (La tête du capitaine), by Christian Delabos
This scenario uses “Samuraï”, “Croisades” and “Vikings”.
1 Background: In 1281, a fleet of 4,400 Mongol ships arrived in sight of the Japanese coast. To challenge the invaders, the Japanese armed a large number of canoes.
Isolated from the rest of the fleet, the ship of Bahadur El-Arish was attacked by 3 boats full of warlike Samurais.
Map layout: The Sea map.
3 The sides:
The crew of the Mongol ship – Bahadur: El-Arish;
Mongol archers: Ayub, Fakr, Mongka;
Chinese auxiliaries: Hidemasa, Tadamoto, Taitaro, Todo, Zataki;
Korean sailors: Amakun, Makoto, Nakamura, Omi, Yoshikume, Yoshiwara;
+ 3 boats (the 3-man boats from “Vikings”) and 3 grappling hooks.
4 Starting positions and sequence of action: The Mongol ship is placed in the middle of the map. The Japanese boats start the game by entering through any map-edge of the player’s choice.
Use all the rules in the Mongol Army game aid. Only the Korean sailors can row.
Japanese: Take the head of the Bahadur to be certain of victory, even if all the Samurais are killed.
Mongols: Keeping the Bahadur alive is the only way to win.
This scenario uses “Samouraï” and “Croisades” plus the Crossroads and Open Field maps.
1 Background: As a consequence of a fog, the Khan Maarat has disembarked separately from the Mongol fleet. The land that separates him from the main body of the force is quite rough, so that three or four days will be needed before he can rejoin them. Many dangers will press on him and his small troop of men far from help in enemy territory!
At least he has found a bridge to cross a raging torrent that barred his route. This will certainly place him out of the shadow of an unfortunate encounter, and will save him precious hours.
2 The map layout: 2 The Temple 4 2 The Open Field 4
1 1 1 6
4 White Dragon Village 2 5 The Crossroads 7
The Japanese – Groups Nos 1, 3, 4 and 8.
The Mongols – Mongol heavy cavalry: Maarat, Al-Kamil, Abaga, El-Arish, Hakim; Mongol light cavalry: All; Alan heavy cavalry (auxiliaries): As-Salih, Kilij, Saladin. (Total of 30 cavalry).
Starting positions and sequence of action
Japanese: Group No. 1 is placed freely on the White Dragon Village map; they cannot move until Turn 2.
Group No. 3 enters through map-edge 4 of the Open Field map on Turn 3.
Group No. 4 is placed on The Temple map, with the monks in the temple and the ronins on the bridge or within 2 hexes of the bridge.
Group No. 8 enters through map-edge 7 or map-edge 8 of the Crossroads map on Turn 4.
Mongols: The Mongols enter on Turn 1 through map-edges 2 and/or 3 of The Temple map, between the two exits of the river; they must thus cross the river in order to advance.
Special rules: Use all the rules and game aids for the Mongol Army.
6 Victory conditions: Victory will go to the first player that reaches 60 Victory Points. Victory Points can be achieved in different ways:
Each cavalryman dismounted is worth 1 point (it is possible to be dismounted many times).
Each cavalryman on foot that is wounded is worth 2 points
Each cavalryman on foot that is killed is worth 3 points
Each mounted cavalryman wounded is worth 4 points
Each mounted cavalryman killed is worth 5 points
A rider can possibly be dismounted several times then wounded on the ground and finally killed while mounted again: each time he gives the appropriate number of victory points to his adversary.
The Japanese player must seek out victory; in the event of a probable defeat he will still be able to obtain a glorious victory through strictly adhering to the ceremony of hara-kiri (seppukku).
3) “THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!” (“Il ne peut en rester qu’un!”), by Carl Pincemin
This scenario for 3 players uses “Samouraï” and “Croisades”, plus an extra set of character counters from “Croisades”, and the Watch Tower map (from “Vikings”or the Island extension set) and the supplementary maps The Coast No. 2 and The Open Field.
1 Background: Two young lords, both from powerful families, have the ambition of taking the vacant position of lord of the region, Hadatsu Hiroyama, who died without a male heir. It is clear that their qualities must be decided by a test of arms in honourable battle! The only problem, such as it is, is the Mongol invasion…
Will our two lords achieve a holy alliance, or will they destroy each other in the face of the inevitable advance of the Mongol cavalry?
2 The map layout: 4 Watch Tower 2 3 Coast #2 1
3 4 2 4
3 WD Village [*] 1 3 Open Field 1
[*: There is an error in the scenario as originally published: it states that the map ‘The Coast’ from “Viking Raiders” should be used in place of the Village of the White Dragon. The problem is that The Coast map (No.1) does not have a long side numbered ‘4’ and much less than half the map is land (so it would be impossible for the Mongols to deploy properly). The solution proposed seems the best way to resolve the problem, assuming that ‘The Coast’ is an error; the WD Village map has the same orientation of numbers as in the diagram, and it suits the location. Players may wish to try alternative map layouts for the two lower maps.]
The Japanese, Player A – Group No. 1; + Mounted Samurais: Tomomori, Tadanori, Kunika, Rokudai; Group No. 7; + Ninjas: Matsuo, Masazumi, Toshinaga; + Monks: Tajima, Jomyo, Hochi.
The Japanese, Player B – Group No. 8; + Mounted Samurais: Shigehira, Tadatsuna, Arimari; Group No. 2; Group No. 9; + Ninjas: Tokimasa, Yorikasa; + Monks: Benkei, Sukenaga, Tadazumi.
The Mongols – Mongol heavy cavalry: Al-Kamil, Abaga, El-Arish, Hakim, Maarat; Mongol light cavalry: All x2; Alan heavy cavalry (auxiliaries): As-Salih, Kilij, Saladin. (Total of 59 cavalrymen). [This total does not add up: 22 light cavalry excluding Arghun, doubled, plus 8 heavy cavalry, only gives 52 cavalrymen. Adding 2x Arghun and doubling the Mongol heavy cavalry will give 59.]
Starting positions and sequence of action
Player A enters through map-edge 1 of The Coast No. 2 on Turn 1.
Player B enters through the half of the map-edge 2 of The Open Field map between the number ‘2’ and side 3.
The Mongols are placed on The Watch Tower map and on the upper half of The Coast [or Village of the White Dragon] map between the middle of the map and side 4.
Special rules: Use the rules and game aids for the Mongol Army.
6 Victory conditions: “There can be only one”.
Victory is achieved once all the characters of the two opposing sides have been eliminated. To do this it is permitted to ally with any other player. An alliance is never final. Victory may be achieved by one of the Japanese players if he carries out the ceremony of hara-kiri (seppuku), perfectly.
RDG: MONGOL ARMIES Extension version 1.0, February 2000