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Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 3 months ago

Title: Ghurid Changes

Author: Tom Adamson.



A few amendments, making minor adjustments to the list to reflect historical differences.


Proposal 1: Increase troop maxima

Proposal 2: Elephants and Allies

Proposal 3: Mounted Ghurid Ally armies

Proposal 4: Ghurid Foot Classification

Proposal 5: Dailami


Proposal 1: Increase the maximums of basic troops to allow the list to

represent purely tribal forces at 400AP


Change the following two lines..


Ghurid Spearmen - Irr Ax(X) @ 3AP 30 - 84

Ghurid tribal or Khurasanian cavalry - up to 1/3rd Irr LH(F) @ 4AP, rest

Irr Cv(O) @ 7 AP 3 - 12


Ghurid tribal cavalry - Irr Cv (O) 2-5

After 1145 only:

Khurasanian mercenary cavalry, up to one-third Irr LH (F), the rest Irr Cv (S) 0-3 -- Duncan Head



If you chose not to take Ghulams, the list only has a maximum of 341AP.

As this is reasonable for the early part of the period the maximums should

be bumped up a bit. Changing the 'spearmen' from 30-40 to 30-84, and the

Ghurid/Khurasanian Cv/LH from 3-6 to 3-12 ups this to 492AP. Is this

enough? 84 spearmen allows flexibility in other choices.


I assumed that the original concept was that the Lh(f) represent the

"volunteers and adventurers" from Khurasan mentioned a couple of times and

the Cv(o) are afghan tribesmen, rated as 'O' to differentiate them from

better equipped Khwarizari, Khurasani, Khitan or Turkish heavies. The

ghulam option would then represent the frequent influx of Turkish troops

and styles.


Proposal 2: Add the option of elephants and Indian allies.


Add the following..


From 1175AD to 1206

replace C-in-C with General on elephant - Irr El(O) @ 26AP 0 - 1

Elephants - Irr El(O) @ 16AP 0-4

Indian Allies - List 'Arab Indian' (Bk 3)


From 1207AD to 1215AD

replace C-in-C with General on elephant - Irr El(O) @ 26AP 0 - 1

Elephants - Irr El(O) @ 16AP 0-1


Justification 2:

The Ghurids became aggressive and expansive in the early 1170's, they took

Ghazna in 1173 and annexed parts of India. They held these until the

Khwarizamis overran them in 1206 and the rump of the Ghurid territories

were held as subject to the Sultan. From 1172 to 1206 they campaigned

continuously, Indian allies are specifically mentioned in 1204 (attacking

Gurgani with the Ghurids, both defeated by 70,000 Khurisanis and a Quara

Khitan army that attacked simultaneously) but were available in other years (1175-1206 is, I think, a reasonable timeframe).


Throughout their wars with the Khwarizamis, the Ghurids were noted as great users of elephants (from Juvani):


1201... 90 elephants.

1204 many elephants.


later in 1204, after a significant defeat by the Khwarizamis (who took

"wealth, elephants, horses and camels.." as booty), 50,000 Ghurids were

defeated by the Quara Khitans "despite their elephants". At the end of

this battle the Ghurid Sultan got off his elephant and sneaked off on a

horse (much to Juvani's disgust).

1206 while campaigning in India the Ghurid Sultan is assassinated (by men

who swum underwater to reach his tent on the river bank). Juvani laments

"What assistance are multitudes of elephants?".

1215 the last Ghurid army contained only a few elephants.


Proposal 3: Allow Ghurid allies in other armies to be entirely mounted.


Add to notes:

Allied commands drawn from this list can be entirely mounted, if foot are

taken the normal minimums apply.


Justification 3:

Reports of Ghurids fighting concentrate on the mounted troops, entirely

mounted raids on India are mentioned (nb. I don't have the source for this, it's in a 'coffee table' book on 'Cavalry', so potentially iffy) and two instances slightly later than this list (both 1221) entirely mounted Ghurid contingents are recorded in Juvani. It is not unreasonable to assume that some of the allied/mercenary contingents were entirely mounted.


Proposal 4: Ghurid Foot Classification and Heroic Elephant Killers


Classifying Ghurid infantry is problematic. The evidence for Ax(X) is based on pictorial evidence after this era. This classification prompted an extensive debate on the TNE-list (many messagees in the range 1598-1706). Some of this is reported here.


"The sources say very little about infantry in the region, but what there is seems to be fairly generic amongst Khurasani, Ghaznavid, Khwarizami etc... Ghur was pretty much the 'Wild East' of Islam and bordered on the exotic realms of India, big mountains and the high steppe so some differentiation of types is probable. My initial take was to change the current list only as far as necessary but I am also a little uncomfortable with the PB default of Afghan=Ax(x), but then I don't like the alternative default of mountain tribe=Ax(o), perhaps Brendan's suggestion of Sp(i)/Ps(o), though I'm less taken with this than Brendan, with Ax(s) for the heroic elephant killers. I also don't see any clear evidence for lots of infantry archers, though they were common enough in India and Persia." -- Tom Adamson.


Ghurid Spearmen - Irr Ax(X) @ 3AP 30 - 84

Ghurid Archers - up to 1/4 skirmishers Irr Ps(O) {can support Ax(X)} @ 2AP, rest Irr Bw(O) @ 4AP 12 - 24

Heroic elephant killers - Irr Ax(S) @ 4AP 0 - 4

another TNE suggestion is to replace the Ax(S) with Ps(X) as "elephant killers".

Replace Ghurid Spearmen with karwah infantry - 1/2 front rank Irr Pk(X) @ 4AP, 1/2 rear rank Irr Pk(I) mounted on DBE @ 2AP 0 - 40

Replace Ghurid Archers with karwah supports - Irr Ps(O) @ 2AP {can support Pk} 0 - 1 per Pk DBE



Brendan's comment:


While we have little information about Ghurid foot, I think its worth making a few points.


First, their army resembled the Turco-Iranian armies of the region (elephants, professional cavalry, Turco-Iranian auxiliaries).

(Duncan notes that it came to resemble Turco-Iranian armies).


Second, "Khurasanian" foot fought with spears, backed by archers and supported by javelinmen. This tactic was common throughout much of the Middle East of the period. It was in this regard, the dominant infantry tactic (whether Bw(X/O) or Ps-backed Sp). Mail armour and jawshan cuirasses (produced in Ghur) are also recommended for front- rank troops in Muslim military manuals (al-Tarsi?).


Third, the only variation we know the Ghurids used was the karwah- shield wall. This is more related to the traditional Islamic shield wall, than it is to shieldless Ax.

(Duncan notes that infantry actually became less important for the Ghurid Sultans, casting doubt on this "evolutionary" thesis).


So my preference would be to actually model Ghurid foot on Khurasanian styles- elephant-killing sqauds could be classed as armoured javelinmen- say Ax(S)- and the rest modelled on a Ps/Sp formation. This could evolve into Pk if appropriate.


Duncan's comments


- allow Ax(S) to be supported by Ps (more effective El-killers), perhaps increase availability of Ps(O)-skirmishers.


Duncan's original notes:


"Ghurid infantry, Irr Ax (O) @ 3 30-40

Ghurid archers, Irr Bw (I) @ 3 or Ps (O) @ 2 12-20

To upgrade infantry to Ax (S) @ 4 or archers to Bw (O) @ 4 in armour 0-half

Karwah, TF @ 2 0-30"


And in the notes to that draft I said:


"How do we classify the Ghurid infantry? I have no description of their weapons. Hudud al-Alam says Ghur was noted for armour and weapons as early as the 10th century, but doesn't say what weapons. We normally treat "Afghan" troops as Ax (X), plus some archers; Chris has argued that there is no evidence for assuming that they were shieldless. The "North Indian" infantryman in Ian Heath (from Rashid al-Din) that Chris cites has a long spear and a small shield; he needn't be "partly or wholly lacking effective shields", whatever that is actually supposed to mean, unless he holds his spear in both hands, which there is no reason to assume he does. I agree with Chris that he might be Ax (O), Ghurid armour-production then going to make many of their infantry Ax (S). However I do wonder if wild mountain- men like these might be Wb (F) instead? These would be more vulnerable to Ghaznavid or Indian elephants, though.


How exactly to treat the karwah is difficult. Bosworth p116 says it is "a framework of bullock-hide stuffed with cotton which could be massed into a wall-like battle-line, affording protection against an enemy charge or enemy arrows." His notes cite a statement that th karwah was hide stuffed with straw, "rolled along in front of troops to protect them from enemy arrows" in 15th-century Pathan warfare; but this is apparently unsupported. Nicolle says the karwah was used to surround the enemy; he may just be combining the use of the karwah in the 1150 battle with the known surrounding of Ghaznavid troops there to reach this conclusion. It sounds like the karwah is a kind of portable fortification or lightweight sandbag, stuffed with cotton or straw instead of sand. DBM doesn't allow mobile fortifications, of course. I have treated it as TF, but another option is to regard it as a line of pavises, to upgrade archers from Bw (I) to (O) for example."


(TNE message 1688 has complete history of the Ghurid DBM-list).


Proposal 5: Include Dailami


The Ghurids used Dailami Foot as assault troops on several occasions against fortifications, defended passes etc. We have the Ghurid infantry described as including Dailami and Afghan (aka mountain Indian ) troops. I suspect that by this time Dailami is a geographical tag.


(Tabakat-i-Nasiri has two comments identifying infantry as Dailami and Afghans, in 546 and 548 AH (1151 and 1153 AD), during Indian campaigns.)

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