Sunday 7 October 2012

The Conquest of Majorca

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm recently back from a short break with my wife where we were away for just a week in Majorca for a bit of late sun.

Now, I don't know about the rest of you out there but when ever I'm abroad (or even just down the road a bit) I tend to look about and delve into the local history, partly just out of interest and partly to see if there's any inspiration for further reading or research, or more pertinently gaming potential, scenario's, terrain, new periods etc etc.

The one bit of local history which I quickly picked up on with my interest in the Berbers in Spain was the fairly prominent conquest of the Balearic Isles by Jaume I of Aragon, starting with the conquest of Majorca in 1229. This was prominent largely because we were staying in Santa Ponca which is where the Aragon forces landed to begin the conquest.

Disembartion Point Monument

The campaign to conquer the Balearic Isles lasted several years and the conquest of Majorca lasted several months mainly due to the siege of the Medina (now Palma) but there were at least three engagements including the siege, the largest set piece being near Santa Ponca.

The campaign and it's various goings on are pretty well documented, as indeed are the whole reconquest campaigns of Jaume I along the eastern coast of Spain, and a good bit of reading for this subject is 'The Book of Deeds of James I; A Translation of the Medieval Catalan' (which you can read on Google books).

The whole checking out of this bit of history quickly merged into an idea for a small campaign for my Almohad Berbers pitting themselves and defending their homeland against the infidel invader.

The good thing about this campaign idea is that it is pretty compact and self contained and could be played out over maybe three or four games and involves a reasonably limited number of troops on both sides.

A slightly harder thing to figure out is the 'victory' conditions for both sides, with the end result being if not a foregone conclusion, then at least a likely conclusion of the Aragon forces winning out against the Almohads. The main consideration here is likely to be time, so I think I'll try and base the objectives around a timescale, the Almohads trying to delay the progress of the Aragonese forces and the they trying to win out quickly.

A bit of reading up is still required for this little side project to take off but gives a bit of a direction for me and my on-going Berbers, so I'll do a bit more reading and jot down some ideas and see if this idea has got some legs on it.


  1. A great post :-) I'm the same when on Holiday you've got to look for local history.


    1. Cheers Jason, I think it's only polite to raid the local history for idea's. It would be rude not to.

  2. How long do you think a short campaign like that might take to run :-)

    Happy to get involved if you need some opposition

  3. Knowing our track record Dave, about five years :-).

    I think with a modicum of planning up front you could do it pretty easily in say three months taking things easy and doing other gaming, probably four sessions.

    Glad to have you on board if it's a go'er.


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