Crusaders: 32 Glory Points
The ScenarioFor our final game we decided on a Battle Royal - a variation on the Bloodbath scenario, with three 20 point retinues per side. For the Crusaders it was Knights Hospitaller, Teutonic knights and the English. The Saracens fielded a large force of mounted and infantry, pretty much all the figures we had. The scenario was simple (destroy the enemy) so we threw in a few Boasts to liven things up and a Princess to be rescued and returned to her father.
The deploymentThe wargames gods were cruel to the Saracens as they were forced to deploy all three of their retinues before the enemy. This enabled the Crusaders to deploy their best defence forces (the English) against the massed Arab cavalry attack on the Saracen left.
|Teutonics and Hospitellers hold the centre / left|
|The English on the right|
|The Saracen centre and right|
|The Saracen centre|
|The Saracen cavalry massed on their left|
|Long-shot from the Saracen left|
|Long-shot from the Saracen right|
The Saracen rightOn this flank Stuart the Elder's Hospitallers made their first outing against the Younger's Saracen's. Things started badly for the Arabs with the horse archers failing to evade and being destroyed. A unit of Saracen heavy cavalry also feel victim, until a well-timed flank-charge ended the knights run and saw the Grandmaster struck-down leading the attack.
The Saracen LeftThe Arab force on this flank was entirely mounted with 2 units of horse archers and about 5 of heavy cavalry. Usually this would be a powerful force but they were up against the English in a good defence position.
|Glamping Saracen style|
|The English holding firm|
|The Saracens break through|
The CentreIf the flanks had been decisive then the centre was much more sew-saw. The battle began with a strong Saracen advance seizing both the wood and the farm in the centre. The Arab skirmishers managed to rescue the Princess and spirit her away to safety. The Saracen archers also won the archery duel with the Teutonic crossbow men and forced them back. So far so good for the Saracens.
|Capture the farm|
|The Saracens rescue the princess|
At this point the centre suddenly began to look weak. Infantry had to be diverted to the Saracen right to counter the Hospitaller advance, leaving it short-handed as the Teutonic mounted knights rumble forward through a couple of units.
With loses mounting fast in the centre only a unit of Saracen spearmen stood farm in the farm. With hedgehog formation and cover they had a might 5 Armour and were pretty-much untouchable.
|Propping-up the Saracen right|
The EndSo dear reader that is the end of the battle and of the campaign. The Crusaders won the final battle and claimed the campaign with a last-gasp victory after being behind for much of the time.
Overall a fun campaign and a fun set of rules once we learned not to take them seriously. The big plusses were the small / colourful armies and the ability to fit 2 or 3 games into an evening. The introduction of the flanking rules and allowing a reroll if your first go failed helped the play too.
So now its on to our next campaign - Montrose's fight to secure Scotland for the King