Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Reconnaissance Parties

Along the beach, well to the north of Spilt, a single xebec approaches shore, close enough for two bands of men, exotic in their Mahgrebi attire, to splash through the surf onto the Dalmatian shore.

At a notional scale of 1:20, this represents the full complement of manpower the xebec could bring to fight, in addition to the slaves below to work the oars. Since the Dey's xebecs are relatively crowded, especially for a strike across the Mediterranean all the way to Dalmatia, the challenge of keeping food and water in adequate supply on board is constant. Raiding parties will venture up and down the Dalmatian coast, possibly as far as Lagerburg and Slobbovia, to keep the Dey's men fed while the plan against Spilt is brought to fruition.

[Ed Note: Those following Prinz Geoffrey's posts on Cavenderia may note that these figures, from Askari miniatures, are in a different scale than the Bashi-Bazouks seen there. The rules to arbitrate the raids are still being considered. I am tempted to order Legends of the High Seas and, perhaps, Legends of the Old West: Alamo to allow us to use our figures for both skirmish and larger actions, along with the naval rules included in LotHS. Reader recommendations are welcomed.]

Friday, November 7, 2008

عَدَم الجَوَاب جَوَاب

"No answer is an answer."

Sidi Mohammed Ibrahim, Wakil al kharj of his eminence Driss Dey of Bizercca, reflected aloud as the deadline for response from the town fathers of the Cavenderian harbour town of Spilt expired. He ordered his xebec about, out of cannon range from the harbour to the north, and had signals set for a captains' meeting aboard his ship. The time spent off the coast of the Franj was to be minimised, to lessen the likelihood of difficulties with the xebecs' rowers, chained below, and the punitive raid to be launched as soon as final arrangements with the other commanders made.

Each xebec had been manned to capacity with men for the purpose of these raids, over 400 men on each, including the slaves, with each ship capable of putting 300 men onto the deck of enemy ships, or, in this case, ashore to participate in the rebuke of the Franj. While his orders called for the looting of the customs house and any merchants in Spilt, almost as important would be the capture of sufficient foodstuffs for the return voyage, since this raid had not been authorised by the Sublime Porte, and a safe harbourage in any Greek port to take on supplies could not be guaranteed.

Satisfied by the arrangements aboard his own vessel, Ibrahim called for water while waiting, and began his ablutions preparatory to noontime prayers.