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344

History of the Formation


Segban, sometimes called seymen, were part of the
provincial forces (serhad kulu). Segbans were re-
cruited predominantly from young, landless peas-
ants from Anatolia. These volunteers were paid
for their services and these auxiliary forces could
often very large. In the 17th century, these troops
were armed with frearms and supplemented sup-
plement garrisons and state forces. Segbans were
recruited in a way similar to azabs. A sergeant, car-
rying a letter from the sultan and a banner, usually
red, was sent out to recruit men for this unit. He
persuaded volunteers to enroll and promised them
pay. The standard carried by the sergeant would
become the standard of the newly formed unit and
a janissary ofcer would become its commander.
Apart from low quality of such rather undisciplined
units there was a lot of trouble with them. Segbans
that did not receive their pay from the state or were
demobilized in large numbers used to create bands
that looted the local population. Much like France
during the Hundred Years War, demobilized units
plundered parts of Anatolia. Some of the more sea-
soned segbans were reformed, trained and turned
into tufekci units. In the provincial armies segbans
were to guard cavalry's wagon train and sarica -
infantry's wagon train. In the such situations the
segbans served as dragoons - they rode horses but
dismounted to engage the enemy.
Organization
Segbans were organized in small units called
blks. Such units were usually led by an ofcer
called a ser blks, but in the case of state or gar-
rison forces the commander was a janissary. The
structure of segban provincial forces is unknown
but as they were recruited in much larger numbers,
they undoubtedly formed larger units.

Equipment
Segbans did not use any armor and were equipped
with long frearms and close combat weapons. The
frearms supplied to the segban were of poor qual-
ity. As these troops lacked proper frearm train-
ing, it is difcult to consider them as shot infantry.
Rather the segban are best treated as infantry that
sometimes was able to shoot.
Tactics
This formation was often treated as a necessary evil
and were used as cannon fodder. The segban were
given the toughest tasks including taking part in
bloody assaults, massed attacks and providing a
screen for the more valuable units of the Ottoman
Empire.
8eghan Jc z + 1 J z Hand weapon c CC BahhIe
Poor guaIity J/c Jc/zc Poor
Bohhers
Insuhordinate
Pirearm
Pormation Move Armor MoraIe 8kiII CIose Comhat 8hooting Weapons Eectiveness Bange 8peciaI BuIes
8EG8AN
Infantry
TacticaI DiscipIine
Segban, Sekban
Seymen, Semen
1. In theory segban travelled by horse and fought on foot. How-
ever, these formations were so poorly trained that using them
as dragoons on the battlefeld seems improbable. As a result
both formations are treated as infantry.
2. In theory, the segban were formed into units called blks.
However, blks were not independent units. As a result in
the Army List segban are usually grouped into hordes and the
exact numbers are provided in the Army List.
3. You can equip segban with kobylice (see page 182-183).