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Last night we replayed scenario A and came up with new questions (which is good; it means we got past the old ones).

The question that leaps to mind right now is based on our discussion over how to handle demobilization of Taktikos and the lone Byzantine unit in a mighty Crusader army (who found themselves besieging Antioch at the end of turn one and then holding a city at the end of turn two). We agreed that since Taktikos was not the ranking commander, whether he stayed or went did not depend on him. So we wondered, would he automatically demob? Would he stay with the army since his commanding officer is not subject to the demob rules? Is the commanding Crusader only allowed to keep as many non-Crusaders as add up to half his combat strength? If so, does he have to count Crusader units against that number before he counts non-Crusaders?

In the end, I rolled for Taktikos, just because, and kept him around. But that didn't seem like a satisfactory answer. Does anyone have any insight on this issue?


As for the game:

The game felt a little different to me playing, but in the end the board looked very much the same -- in general, the Crusaders crushed the Muslims on the field but found themselves pretty well stymied during the sieges -- unable to take Antioch or any of the smaller port strongholds. Jerusalem fell in the third turn, and Edessa had flipped, but the cost of getting to Jerusalem and breaking through the walls (during turn 3, I spent my two -1 RF siege attack cards to drop the city to RF 5, gained a starvation loss, and finally used Holy Pilgrims to eke out a win as we both rolled on the 1-2 column) meant I didn't have resources to take another city or fortress in the final turn. I did have one final chance; sending my troops inland with a 1 in 6 chance to force a surrender in Damascus. Didn't happen.

I did try fortunes of war during my brief, failed siege of Antioch. That went badly.

I have been thinking that tracking (or sailing) the coast as the Crusaders head for Jerusalem means the Crusders are mostly trying to siege port strongholds, which hasn't worked well. I'm wondering how to best orchestrate an inland strategy.
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Scott de Brestian
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Mt. Pleasant
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Ah! A good question and one the learning scenario is perfect for.

A useful tip when trying to figure something like this out is that you may treat all units that either don't demobilize (Crusaders) or have the option to demobilize but won't (Templars, Hospitallers) as if they're not there at all. They are completely separate from the equation.

The other tip is that only the ranking leader (say Toulouse in your example) matters. Everyone else does not. In your case, Tatikios' presence is irrelevant.

So, let's look at two examples:

1) Toulouse, a bunch of Crusaders, Tatikios, 2 Byzantines just sitting around: Tatikios can stay or go home, as he is a leader. Toulouse can keep up to 4 units in the field, but (here is the rub) only if he can command them, and as a Catholic leader he cannot command Orthodox units by 10.2.1. So the Byzantines will demobilize no matter what.

1a) If Tatikios were, say, an Antioch leader with two Antioch units, Toulouse could keep one of them around, since he can command one unit from each Power not his own.

2) For the siege example, the same applies. Tatikios stays (if he wants to), the Byzantines go home no matter what.

2a) If Tatikios were an Antioch leader, Toulouse would have to make a roll against his battle rating to keep the one Antioch unit with him, by the second bullet of 16.1. If he fails the roll, only the Antioch unit goes home, since Crusaders never demobilize.

That was a long answer to a simple question, so here is the short answer: The Byzantines will automatically go home. Tatikios can stay, but is fairly useless by himself, so might as well go home too.
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