Now that I have the necessary images I have started work on the 1st of the REN II scenarios. This will be my remake of Richard White’s study of the battle of Marj Dabik 24 August 1516 (where the flower of Mamluk cavalry came face to face with the Ottoman cannon and Janissaries and lost) which shipped with the original game. I have strong memories of the coverage of the battle in one of my undergraduate history lectures at SOAS in the early 1980’s and how we were advised to keep an open mind as to importance of internal disagreements on the Mamluk side or superior Ottoman military technology in deciding who won.

 Last weekend I wrestled (in the end successfully) with how to construct an revised order of battle both incorporating some changes to reflect my own ideas on army composition and also to enable my new unit and leader portraits to show up in the right places.

With the long bank holiday weekend I have started the process of tackling the deployments of the two armies. (no in game reinforcements to worry about for this one) Once I have got this aspect of the scenario sorted out I will need to tackle the somewhat more complex issue of assigning objectives and the rather more daunting one of generating my own variants of  the AI scripts for the game.

In the meantime please see below a screenshot of the deployed Mamluk left wing. I have highlighted a unit stack to show what the unit and leader portraits look like in game. 1 of the units in stack has been selected to show the way the new REN II unit boxes light up when this is done.

Its clear that the creation of modified scenarios and the design of new ones from scratch is going to need large chunks of contiguous time (at least to start with) I will therefore use the smaller chunks of time I have available on weekday evenings to carry on making unit and leader portraits.. Please also see below a screenshot of the “Units” file showing the 45 new Persian images added this week.

There are 2 types of Safavid Persians as I found out doing research for this mod that the first Safavid Shah (Shah Ismail) used an entirely different flag from the Lion standard employed by his successors.  Also present are 7 “Other Persian” images which when used together with the 8 earlier “Turcoman images and new dedicated command images (to be added in the “Leaders” file) can be used to represent armies of earlier  Iranian dynasties such as the “Black Sheep” and “White Sheep” Turcoman confederations.



Further additions to both graphics files to show thi week. There are now 100 generic leader portraits in the “Leaders” file and a start has been made on specific personality portraits with 10 North African, Ottoman & Central Asian ones being added to the file starting at slot 600. Details of each and every graphic are in the “Leader Image Planning Grid” file but for now here are the details of which nations are represented, you will see that a scenario designer now has a wide range of Central Asian states to work with, that can be matched married up with the 15 generic Tatar unit portraits in the “Units” file.

Images 000-003 = Mamluk generic leaders & flags
Images 004-019 = Minor Turcoman states leaders & flags 004-007 Karamanid, 008-011 Dulkadirid, 012-015  Ramadan  & 016-019 Turcoman mercenary leaders.
Images 020-042 = Minor Arab states leaders & flags 020-023 Persian Gulf States, (inc Oman) 020-027 Kingdom of Granada, 028-031 Zayyanid, 032-033 Algiers Ottoman Period, 034-035 Arab Mercenary Leaders, 036-039 Hafsid & 040-042 Barbary pirate standards.
Images 043-049 = Ottoman Turk  leaders & flags
Images 050-059 = Tatar Mercenary Leaders
Images 060-063 = Crimean Tarter leaders & flags
Images 064-067 = Northern Yuan Mongol  leaders & flags
Images 068-099 = Other Tatar Khanates leaders & flags 068-071 Kazan Khanate, 072-074 Nogai Horde, 076-079 Uzbek Shaybanid Empire, 080-083 Khanate of Bukhara, 084-087 Chagati Khanate, 088-091 Khanate of Kazakh, 092-094 Khanate of Astrakhan, 096-099 Khanate of Siberia 

Images 600-601 = Barbary pirate leaders
Images 602-606 = Ottoman Turk  leaders
Images 607-609 = Mongol & Uzbek leaders

In the “Units file itself I have added 15 camp follower images and also 5 generic animal heard ones. I have various scenario design plans for these both involving stock theft and the employment of herds of stampeding cattle to break up the enemies battle line, a tactic used in this period by both Japanese and African armies. The images in the “Units” file now break down as follows.

Images 000-016 = Mamluk units (17 portraits)
Images 017-024 = generic Turcoman units (8 portraits)
Images 025-039 = generic Arab units (15 portraits)
Images 040-079 = Ottoman Turk units (40 portraits)
Images 080-094 = Crimean Tatar units (15 portraits)
Images 095-104 = Northern Yuan units (10 portraits)
Images 105-119 = generic Tatar units (15 portraits)
Images 120-123 = Mamluk, Turcoman or Arab Camp Followers & Supplies (4 portraits)
Images 124-127 = Persian or Ottoman Camp Followers & Supplies (4 portraits)
Images 128-131 = Mongol, Tatar or Uzbek  Camp Followers & Supplies (4 portraits)
Images 132-134 = African States Camp Followers & Supplies (3 portraits)
Images 135-139 = Animal herds (5 portraits)

I now have enough graphic images to start producing modified REN scenarios to use them. First up will be the Mamluk verses Ottoman battles of Marj Dabik, and Raydaniyah, along with a entirely new REN scenario covering the earlier Mamluk victory over the Ottomans at Adana in 1488. Please see below screenshots of the new graphics mentioned above.



I have added 40 new unit images to the “Units”  file this week.(see below) At 120 its now bigger than the “Units” file for the original game. 15 of them are for the Khanate of the Crimea, long standing allies of the Ottomans and equally long standing foes (and some time allies) of the Poles Muscovites, Cossacks and Teutonic Knights. And yes unit images for all of those armies are on my to do list as well !

There are another 10 images for the Northern Yuan Dynasty, the remnant state in Mongolia of the Great Yuan Dynasty in China who gave the Ming a lot of trouble in the 16th centuries. 

Finally there are 15 generic Tatar images without background flags. These can be used for Tatar mercenaries serving in other peoples armies and for the troops of the other 7 smaller Khanates for which along with the Crimean Tatars and Northern Yuan I am going to do command units and flags for next.