Yuan Chinese 1274 to 1281 A.D.

This is an attempt to produce a list to reflect the Sino-Mongol army that twice landed on Japanese soil (in AD 1274 & again in AD 1281) but was forced to retire defeated, by a combination of stormy weather (the Kamikaze – or "Divine Wind" – a tropical typhoon to you & me); poor reconnaissance, it's own bravado and local martial efforts.

It appears to have consisted of an elite core of Mongol cavalry, supported by Chinese (ex-Jin) Heavy Cavalry and infantry, but with the bulk of the army made up of a much larger contingent of Korean troops – mainly infantry.

The relatively low initiative & low number of Heavy commands is an attempt to reflect contemporary written and pictorial descriptions of the Yuan troops huddled & bunched together when facing their Samurai opponents. I am also assuming that it also reflects the fact that the Japanese successfully managed to contain the Mongol cavalry and to a large extent prevented them undertaking their usual wide-range scouting and pillaging terror tactics.

This is the ‘natural' external opponent for the: Transition from Taiho Codes to Heian Period Japanese list.

Era: Age of Chivalry   Yuan Chinese 1274 to 1281 A.D. CR: H: 3 L: 5   BP: 2 Init: 5
Number Type   Description Key FV PROT Weapon Cost
1 HC(d) Mongol Elite X 5(0)0 +1 Lance/bow 14
2 LC Mongols* X 2(0)0 +1 Various/bows 8
2 FT Koreans X 4(1)1 +1 Spears/bows 6
2 FT Koreans X 4(1)1 +1 Spears 4
2 SI Koreans   2(1)1 +2 Bows 2
1 HC(d) Mongols X 4(0)0 +1 Lance/bows 12
4 LC Mongols* X 2(0)0 +1 Various/bows 8
1 HC Chinese or Korean** X 4(0)0 +1 Spears, etc. 10
2 FT Koreans X 4(1)1 +1 Spears/bows 6
6 FT Koreans X 4(1)1 +1 Spears 4
1 FT Chinese X 6(1)1 +1 Polearms 8
4 LI See Notes* X 3(1)2 +1 Various/bows 6
2 SI Koreans   3(1)2 +2 Javelins 2
2 SI Koreans   2(1)1 +2 Bows 2
2 SI Chinese sailors***   2(1)1 +2 X-bows 2


Core: GR

Bonus: (Max: 2 ) 2 GR


Core: 95 Bonus: 142

* Mongol LC can be dismounted at the start of a game as SI KEY 3(1)2 +2 various/bows at the same cost as their mounted alternative.

The Mongol LI in the bonus list reflect those LC who were forced to fight dismounted at the outset of the campaign as there was either not enough room in the horse transports to provide them with mounts, or whose mounts had died (from sea-sickness) during the voyage. The range of the bow in either case is 18 inches in 15 mm scale.

** HC are either allied Chinese (ex-Jin) cavalry or Korean allies – who did not have a tradition of fighting dismounted.

There is no evidence that Sino-Mongol HC took horse bards with them to Japan.

The use of (d) status for the Mongol HC simulates the effect of them using pavise-like shields when fighting dismounted, as their protection will go up to +2 when dismounted.

***Later Ming drawings from the Japanese Invasion of Korea show Ming troops using crossbows on board ships and this practice is supported by marine archeological finds off the coast of Japan at the site of the 1274 and 1281 invasions. There is also a weapons handling ‘logic' that makes crossbows highly suitable as a maritime weapon – allowing troops to use it from the protection of a ships 'castles & sides' or even from masts, rigging & portholes.

I am also very aware of the taboo around large numbers of FV4 FT infantry – but to be fair these were mainly unenthusiastic conscript troops, forced to fight in a foreign land after a terrible sea crossing – FV5 seems just too good!

Ordo Link: Yuan Chinese - Japanese Invasion

Last Edited: 13 November 2005

List Author: Aetius