Seige failed - relief force not defeated
For our game this week we returned to the coastal Crusader force and its second attempt to capture Tripoli. This weeks scenario was an easy one, Invade - the winner is the one with the most points in the enemies half of the table.
The Saracens deployed with a large force of shooting cavalry on the left, looking to flank the Crusaders. The centre was held by the bulk of the infantry, backed by the elite Mamluks. The right had a force of spearmen with some light cavalry support, aiming to blunt the expected knight attack.
|Left flank of the Saracens|
|The right with lots of spears|
|Byzantines on the right|
|The left - knights and light horse|
|The centre - plenty of heavy stuff|
On the Saracen left they advanced rapidly into range and began to bombard the Byzantines with archery fire. In an unusual moment the Saracens declined a flank charge with their light horse that was within the rules but the commander felt was a bit gamey - would this cost them the game?
The Byzantines charged their Saracen opponents and with help from a unit of knights released from the reserve were able to rout them, leaving just two units of horse archers to hold the Arab left flank. Not looking good for the Saracens!
|The flank looks weak|
|A line break for the Saracens|
Finally on the Saracen left the horse archers were able to withstand a combined assault from the Byzantines and Knights against their hill-top refuge. A timely intervention from the second unit of Mamluks helped stem the tide.
|The Saracens on their hill-top|
In the end the Saracens won by a decent margin of about 800 points. They had lost more troops than the Crusaders but had pinned them in their own half so limiting their scoring units.