Almoravides (Black Riders) 1036AD to 1136AD

Led by Yusuf Ibn Tashufin, the Almoravides rode out of a newly conquered Morocco to sweep back the tide of Christian conquest that threatened to over run Al Andalus (Southern Spain). The black robed Murabitun or Lamtuna were noted for their clothing which could be green but was usually black and their discipline. Christians and Arabs alike were terrified by their complex manoeuvres to the sound of pounding drums. The armies had a high standard of tactics and some high quality cavalry and infantry. Notably the Black Guard, which consisted of a cavalry formation and fierce Negro infantry in black robes. They also introduced the 'Deguello' - the spine tingling, strident bugle call for no quarter used at the start of modern bull fights.

Camels are not extensively recorded outside of Africa although some historians record their use at the Battle of Sagrajas, where an Almoravide/Andalusian alliance annihilated the Christian army and set the seal on a continued Almoravide presence in Espana.

More attention is given to the different characteristics of African tribes than previously and the horse generally go without bows except for Turkish mercenaries. It is possible that the Tagras Berber cavalry used bows and less Light Cavalry are evident than previously.

Tactics are reported as defensive, using bow fire and spearmen to break the Christian charge, then countering with cavalry.

Era: Triumph of Cavalry   Almoravides (Black Riders) 1036AD to 1136AD CR: H: 5 L: 3   BP: 2 Init: 6
Number Type   Description Key FV PROT Weapon Cost
2 HC Murabitun* X 5(1)0 +1 Light Lance 24
2 HC Berbers/Andalusians X 4(0)0 +1 Spears and swords 20
1 LC Atlas Berbers X 2(0)0 +1 Javelins 7
1 SI     2(1)1 +2 Bows 2
2 HI Black Guard X 6(1)1 +1 Spears 8
2 FT Lamtuna Infantry** X 5(1)1 +1 Spears and bows 8
4 FT Coastal Berbers/Andalusians*** X 4(1)1 +1 Spears and bows 6
4 FT Coastal Berbers/Andalusians*** X 5(1)1 +1 Spears 6
2 LHI Tagras Mountain Tribes   4(1)2 +1 Javelins 7
2 LI Sudanese Tribesmen   4(1)2 +1 Javelins 7
3 SI Sudanese   3(1)2 +2 Javelins 2
5 SI Coastal/Mountain tribes   2(1)1 +2 Bows 2
2 Cam Tuaregs**** X 4(0)0 +1 Javelins/various 9
2 MAA Christian Mercenaries X 5(1)1 +1 Lances 11
1 FT Christian Infanta X 5(1)1 +1 Spears 6
2 SI Christian skirmishers   2(1)1 +2 X-bows 2
2 LC Turkish or other ***** X 1(0)0 +1 Bows 6
1 LC Lamtuna X 3(0)0 +1 Javelins 9
4 LC Berber/Andalusian X 2(0)0 +1 Javelins 7


Core: 1 GR

Bonus: 3 Max.: 3 GR, 1 SH, 1 RG


*Murabitun are not subject to obligatory charge.

** If any Coastal Berbers are bought then these must be bought also.

*** Any combination of units may be taken from these two lines up to a maximum of 4 units in total.

****Camel units may not be in the same division as HC.

***** LC Bow may never outnumber Javelin LC in this army.

Christians may only be used if no camels or Black Guard are present. If any Christians are bought all must be bought.

Almoravides made much use of local 'converts' so the Coastal Berbers can be painted in customary Arab colours with the Andalusians even being quite colourful.

Ordo Link: Black Riders

Last Edited: 01 May 2005

List Author: Luxor