Tally Ho!

Friday 8 March 2019

Kings of War Crusades Campaign - Battle of Damascus

Siege failed - Relief force defeated

This week we return to the Crusader forces taking the mountain route as they stand on the threshold of Jerusalem, needing only to capture Damascus to clear the way. The scenario for this battle was  Loot & Pillage -  where both sides try to destroy as much of the enemy as possible whilst holding one of 7 objectives each worth 200 points. 

The objectives were spread pretty evenly across the table so both sides deployed in a wide formation. The Saracens deployed with strong cavalry flanks and a weak infantry centre backed by the Mamluks.  
View from the Crusader right

Saracen's left

The centre with Mamluks in the distance

Saracen right with lots of horse archers

The long view from the Crusader left 

The Crusaders deployed with the Byzantines on their left, looking to hook around the flank. The right flank was a single unit of knights with some light cavalry support and the bulk of the force occupied the centre.

Byzantine's on the Crusader left

The strong central force

More of the centre and the solitary knights on the right
The battle began with a general advance from the Saracens as they sought to gain early control of the objectives and place the Crusaders under pressure. The Christian forces held back on the flanks to allow time for shooting and advanced cautiously in the centre.  The action was fairly even with both sides scoring hits but no major movement.

Crusaders capture the hill for now

On the Crusaders right they were badly outnumbered by the Saracens and things looked very dicey indeed. In the centre the Saracens were also faring well as their infantry pushed the Crusaders back off the objectives.

The Brother Knights face-off the Saracens 

Battle is joined on the hill

On the Crusaders right the Byzantines advanced against the weaker Saracen light cavalry but disappointingly they bounced-off and settled into a grinding melee.

Byzantines bounce off the light horse

Back on the right the Brother Knights found themselves largely surrounded and facing off against 3 units of Saracens. Despite a series of flank charges by the Saracens the resilient knights managed to see-off 2 units of light horse and 2 units of medium cavalry.  

Brother knights cut a swath through the Arabs
Eventually the Crusaders were able to beak through on the left as the Byzantines finally broke the resistance there and routed the bulk of the Arabs missile troops.

Two turns in the battle looked to be going badly wrong for the Crusaders with defeat seeming likely. They managed to turn it around in the last 2 turns due to the resilience and high armour of their heavy units. So an unlikely win with the Crusaders putting together 2000 points to 1000 points.

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