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Set 8247

El Cid Almoravid Heavy Cavalry

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released 2012
Contents 12 figures and 12 horses
Poses 4 poses, 4 horse poses
Material Plastic (Fairly Soft)
Colours Light Tan
Average Height 25 mm (= 1.8 m)


Almoravid armies were primarily about infantry, and what cavalry there was tended to be light in character. Yet there was also some heavy cavalry, which would be expected to ride down a defeated enemy and win a battle just as similar cavalry anywhere else in the Mediterranean world. Compared to European cavalry such men were quite lighted armoured, but contact with the Christian world, principally through the conquest of al Andalus, did result in some changes.

Like any Almoravid, these men mainly wore lose robes, and in particular a veil covering the mouth which is known as a litham. Any armour would have been underneath such robes, and so hidden from view, although it is believed that such armour was limited to the most wealthy, which probably means just the nobility. One pose in this set (possibly two) has a metal helmet, but otherwise any armour is indeed hidden, which is fine. One man has a cloak, which again is okay, but all the clothing here looks to be accurate.

The weaponry of these men was not so very different from that of the Christians - the lance and the sword were the usual arms, and in this set three poses carry the former while one is raising his sword. At 44mm (3.16 metres) the lances are of a good length, and two of these are separate, fitting into ring hands on the two central figures in our photo. All carry a shield, which was often round and sometimes decorated with tassels as some are here. The almond-shaped shield carried by one man may betray a Christian influence or even be a battlefield prize, while the heart-shaped adarga shield may strictly speaking post-date the period of El Cid himself, but was certainly used by these people in the following century.

The horses are also found in the other Muslim cavalry sets in the HaT El Cid range, and while not the most attractive models ever made they are quite serviceable for this role, although ideally we would have liked to have seen some evidence of horse armour of some description. The men fit the animals well and the poses are fair and relate well to the attitude of the riders.

The men are well sculpted, with a reasonable rendition of their robes, but of course we cannot see anything of their faces. There is no flash, and the lances fit the ring hands well enough so there is little needs doing to any of them before they are ready to go. While the difference between light and heavy cavalry is not so clear in Almoravid armies of the day than in many others, these are all very usable figures with no accuracy issues that will doubtless be a necessary element for anyone with an interest in the complex series of conflicts that characterised the period in which El Cid rode the Earth.


Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 9
Pose Number 6
Sculpting 8
Mould 10

Further Reading
"Armies of Feudal Europe 1066-1300" - Wargames Research Group - Ian Heath - 9780904417432
"El Cid and the Reconquista 1050-1492" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.200) - David Nicolle - 9780850458404
"Grandes Batallas de la Reconquista (1)" - Almena (Guerreros Y Batallas Series No.14) - Manuel González Pérez - 8413042754800
"The Moors: The Islamic West 7th-15th Centuries AD" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.348) - David Nicolle - 9781855329645
"Warriors of Christendom" - Caxton - John Matthews - 9781860194252

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