An account of the third game in a small tournament among 5 occasional players.
1187 (War? What war?)
A cautious start for Saladin, with the forces of Islam posturing and preening. True, an attack is made on Tripoli - briefly, the Egyptain Legions stir - briefly, and Tiberius changes hands. But, even with the Assasins taking Christian gold to remove Saladins nephew (outside Tripoli), more pilgrims are killed in the crush at the temple every Sunday than died on this years battlefields.
Outremer 4 Saracens 3
1188 (Move and counter move)
The Assasins follow up their contract with another stab at the Saracen leadership. A lightly defended Acre falls to Saladin himself, while King Guy I assembles the "Army of God" (8 banners) in Jerusalem.
While Saladin is distracted by these events, a small force of crusaders crosses the mountains and grabs an empty Damascus. It is quickly retaken, but stalls any further Saracen offensive.
Outremer 3 Saracens 4
1189 (End of the Kingdom)
The Egyptian Emirs, reinforced to maximum, push north along the coast to Jaffa. They are so keen to reach Jerusalem that they neglect their supply routes, and the "Army of God" decends on them from every direction. Although Christian losses are suffered, the Egyptians are routed utterly by the concerted charge of the massed Military orders.
Saladin responds by bringing his Acre garrison to seize Jerusalem, and then floods in reinforcements from the Damascus region. He then turns the tables with a massive attack on the Military orders at Ascalon. Though their charge is once again devastating, they are too far outnumbered, and they are wiped out to a man.
Having reduced the kingdom of Jerusalem to a few scattered garrisons, the Saracens turn their attentions back to Tripoli, but it is too late in the year for such an ambitious seige, and they are repulsed with ease.
As winter begins, the Christian prayered are answered. At Antioch, Frederick Barbarossa arrives!
Outremer 2 Saracens 5
1190 ("Oh Christ!" said Saladin)
Stalled by the bad weather, Frederick, and the knights of Antioch, push on to Alleppo. Turkish delaying tactics wear the Germans down, but cannot stop them, and when they eventually invest the city, the Turks flee rather than face the seige.
Heartened by news of this success the survivors of Jerusalem regroup, and bolstered by numerous (fanatic) Pilgrims, besiege Acre. The Saracens unprepared for a seige, suffer greviously from hunger, and Saladins leadership is noticeable by its absence. When the assault comes, Acre falls quickly, and into its large port, sail the ships of the French Crusaders.
Outremer 4 Saracens 3
1191 (Ballance and counter ballance)
In an auspicious start to the year, the English, under Richard the Lionheart, arrives in Tripoli, further bolstering the Christian position, but with three foreign kings and a new claimant for the throne of Jerusalem they are much slowed by dispute and debate,(Two events and three "ones").
Saladin draws together a new army (mostly of kurdish levies) and tries to retake Acre. The newly arrived French knights are completely in their element, riding down these peasant hordes, and the great battle of Acre is a crushing Chrtistian victory.
In the North the surviving Turks mass an army and threaten both Antioch and Alleppo. The need to cover both leaves neither really strong, and Alleppo is beseiged with uncharacteristic vigour, continuing through the winter.
Outremer 4 Saracens 3
1192 (To the last roll)
Despite an heroic defence Alleppo falls, and with it the German king.
The "New Army of God", based mostly around the French Crusaders, marches to beseige Jerusalem. But is constantly harrassed by raids and strikes which make any concerted effort at its strong garrison impossible.
The English sally east from Tripoli, but depite riding down some local levy, Richard is met by Saladin himself. Neither man gives or asks for quarter, but it is the Lionheart - tired by his heavy armour - who falters first, and the great champion of Christendom is struck down by Saladins own hand. However to achieve this, Saladin has had to draw on the whole garrison of Damascus.
Forgotten by either side, a small force of knights under Orlando Bloom (Balian), slip through the mountains on a minor road, and triumphantly march unopposed into Saladins capital!
As winter falls the French king resolves that Jerusalem will be his, and with a mass of supplies, supports a winter assault. On the last die roll, of the last round of combat, of the last year of play, the final defender perishes. Gods own kingdom is saved.
Outremer 5 Saracens 2
The game was won when Balian seized the empty Damascus, but that is an unsatisfying victory, so I was delighted to actually retake Jeruslem in the final attack. The fact that this went to the ultimate die roll is a better reflection on the closeness of the game.
I squandered the (so called) "Army of God" , too entranced by the idea of surrounding the Egyptians to properly consider the cost (even of victory), and brought Richard on in the wrong place. He should have either come in further North to save/retake Aleppo, or further South to ensure the fall of Jerusalem.
I was origonally quite contemptous of Saladins lack of early action, particularly as the low losses brought in the crusaders quickly, but he was also suffering very little loss, and was continually harrying when attacked. This added up considerably over the game. It also meant he had a veritable sea of pieces to block, delay, and generally harass any move I made.
- Last edited Wed May 21, 2008 2:17 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Thu May 8, 2008 5:39 pm
Thanks for the detailed summary. I like the how you re-told the struggle in the spirit of the era. I just got the game and am itching to try it out myself. I'll have to remember to take as detailed notes as you did.