I am playing Almoravid pretty regularly since its publication. Based on this I already shared extensive article on solitaire suitability of this game (to make it short: it is pretty high!). Having those great experiences, the plan was to introduce some of my wargaming colleagues, starting with Kuba, to this great system. Yes, my idea is not to stop at Almoravid but play the whole palette, coming back to Nevsky and hopefully soon jumping into Inferno.

With Kuba we had chance to already play two great scenarios – one introductory and one advanced. That was my plan for gradual induction of him to that fantastic wargame. And I already have plan what will be next step 🙂

But before we jump to the future, let us talk a little about game and our close, exciting sessions. Enjoy!

The Game

Almoravid, is a board wargame about a pair of tumultuous campaigns in the Spanish Reconquista – Leonese King Alfonso VI’s advances against the 11th Century’s fractious Muslim Taifa states, and the resulting intervention by a fundamentalist African Muslim army seeking to roll the Christians back. It is the second volume in GMT Games’ Levy & Campaign Series portraying medieval military operations. And it looks simply fantastic!

A little more about rules and mechanics. Both sides every 40 days will levy various lords and vassals and their forces, transport, and capabilities, backed by higher political authorities. Each lord is rated for fealty, lordship, service, and command and lays out his forces and assets on a mat.

The players then plan and command a campaign for that 40 days with the lords who have mustered. To represent the limits of communications on medieval operations, stacks of command cards commit players to activating lords in a sequence that may or may not meet the needs of the developing situation (I love that mechanics!). Cylinder pieces on the map show the lords’ maneuvers, while markers on a feudal calendar show how much longer the lords will serve, influenced by success or failure in their campaigns.

When lords clash in field battle or storming a castle, players array their lords’ mats left, right, center, and reserve and attempt to rout the enemy. Various event and capability cards reveal cultural and technological particulars that influence levy, campaign, and combat.

Ps. Here you can find great storage solution which you can see on main article photo:

Sessions Reports

In this section I will present two short session reports from our games – with brief introduction and then a lot of beautiful pictures. We had a lot of fun with them and will play more for sure!

Scenario A, Toledo Beset, Spring 1085

Situation: León seized Toledo from the isolated al-Qádir as his rivals sat by. But what if the Taifas had risen sooner and tried to react? Introductory scenario, played over two 40-Day periods, from the first Levy of Spring 1085 (box 1) through the end of Spring. In this short scenario Christian forces are under my command, while Muslim under Kuba.

  • After first Levy - all the generals on both sides - some of the vassals already enlisted
  • Here it comes - Alfonso with Battering Ram quickly overcomes Toledo defenses!
  • But what Alfonso does in Tudela is mind-blowing - he needed double 1s to conquer it and he did!
  • After aggressive action of some of my generals (Alvar Fanez) Kuba decides to react and we have first battle...
  • ...which despite numerical and capabilities advantage on Muslim side, ends up in Al-Mutamid destruction. His Taifa becomes Parias!

That was such a close game – despite all the Muslim debacles in the field, resulting in two lost sieges plus lost battle. Kuba still, mainly thanks to Taifa Box deposits plus ravaging Christian lands, managed to get pretty good score. That a was tense game and pretty eventful one!

Scenario D, Arrival of th Africans, mid 1086

Situation: With Yusuf debarked at Algeciras, Alfonso must decide whether to press Zaragoza or defend Toledo. Another short scenario, played over three 40-Day periods, spans second Levy of Summer 1086 (box 12) through late Autumn (box 14). Again, I am leading invading Christians, Kuba is in command of Taifa Lords.

  • Kuba decides to bring both Africans into play. Huge forces but very difficult to feed!
  • After first Turn Africans moved to Sevilla while Zaragoza was abandoned by Alfonso. Toledo is reinforced by two Christian leaders.
  • Alfonso decides to start conquering smaller Strongholds. With Success!
  • Glance at the mobilized forces - bot sides brought everything they can - maybe this is why we in the end... did not have any battle!

Completely different session then previously. Alfonso had to back-down from Zaragoza and quickly reinforce Toledo. On the other hand moving super large African armies was consuming enormous quantities of forage. That was game of maneuvers, one siege, a lot of ravage but not large battles. Again, super close play with victory going to Muslims this time.


I truly and thoroughly enjoyed playing Almoravid and even more – introducing a new player! The story told by this title is fascinating, with so many twists and turns – not to mention multiple strategic decisions even in the smallest scenarios. I will be continuing with Kuba, this time moving to more violent play – we will reenact Battle of Sagrajas in a dedicated mini-game!